A Taste of Tuscany
A Traditional Family Experience!
October 3 - 9, 2020
Join us in beautiful Cortona, Italy for a unique and unforgettable authentic Tuscan experience, where you will discover magical villages and off the beaten path adventures! June is when the Tuscan countryside reaches its peak of beauty and the landscape is filled with captivating and colorful flowers. It also marks the beginning of the summer, where the sunshine illuminates the days. Bars and restaurants open their outdoor spaces where friends and family gather to welcome the start of a new season, and where traditional festivals, food, and wine fairs animate villages and towns.
Together, we will embark on a rich cultural journey of Italian passion, beauty, food, and wine. Our week together will be filled with amazing people, encompassing the warm hospitality the Italian culture does so well. We will travel through the rolling hills of Tuscany covered in vineyards dotted with hilltop medieval villages full of history, and visit small, family-run farms and vineyards, where you will have the opportunity to partake in a cultural experience with the owners.
This is where the magic is! Join Chef Lina and her Tuscan family in beautiful Cortona where you will nourish your soul with a Taste of Tuscany.
As always, we will arrive as strangers, but leave as family!
Together, we will experience a ‘Taste of Tuscany’ relishing in the food and wine specialties of the region, while enjoying the most scenic Tuscan routes!
Cortona, Italy, is a historic medieval hilltop and charming town in the Val di Chiana region, in the Provence of Arezzo, enclosed by stone walls dating back to Etruscan and Roman times. Val di Chiana is a region filled with historic art, culture, traditions, and delectable cuisine.
Accommodations are at Villa Ugo, a beautiful and historic 16th century villa located in Tuscany’s countryside. Our home for the week is a place of extraordinary beauty where you will rediscover the wonderful sense of life. Villa Ugo encompasses every quality of Tuscan charm, simplicity, and beauty surrounded by olive groves, herb gardens, and vineyards. Our group will occupy two villas on the grounds of this large estate, Villa Orlando and Villa Lilliana. Each villa has been beautifully restored, while maintaining their rich traditions and authentic character. The villas are located along a footpath on the hillside said to be the “old Roman road” - an enchanting road leading to the town of Cortona filled with breathtaking views.
A welcome dinner and cocktail party, where you will have the opportunity to taste Villa Ugo’s well-know Sabatini Gin and Sabatini Olive oil.
Daily breakfast with a private local chef on the terrace of Villa Lilliana.
A hands-on pasta and sauce making class at Villa Lilliana, where Chef Lina and cousin Sergio will teach you how to make a family pasta and sauce, followed by a traditional family Sunday lunch.
A free day to explore other magnificent Tuscan towns, walk to the town of Cortona, stay at the villa and explore the lovely grounds or enjoy relaxing by our personal pools for our group’s use exclusively. We have two to choose from! Local transportation to town, train station, or supermarket will be provided.
A visit to the town of Pienza, a superb example of Renaissance architecture, which has inspired poets, writers, and artists, surrounded by the wonderful hills of the Val d’Orcia. Pienza is also known as a romantic city because of its streets with”lovely” names such as Via dell’Amore (love street) and Via del Bacio (kiss street). We will also be visiting ‘Podere il Casale’, a farmhouse where you will learn how to make a Pizza using their farm grown seasonal products and cheeses. While the dough is rising, Sandra the owner will show you the farm, stables and dairy, to give you a better insight about the ingredients used during your lesson. We will then enjoy a delicious lunch, where you will get to taste your own creations. Lunch will also include their own dessert, wine, and coffee. You will also have some time to explore this charming village.
A visit to Montalcino, a classic fairytale hilltop town, set within a full circle of fortified walls and watched over by a mighty castle of medieval perfection. It is also known for its precious, Brunello di Montalcino, the worlds best and most appreciated Italian wine. We will be visiting a charming and family run vineyard to tease your taste buds with a taste of their wines and local Tuscan specialties. After enjoying some free time exploring, we will meet up to visit a special winery called Col d’Orcia, an organic producer of Brunello. Here you will be meet the owners who will take us on a walk around the Estate’s organic farm, with a unique insight into the management of an organic farm with biodynamic practices. A cellar tour will follow with an exclusive Brunello barrel tasing, a rich, full-bodied wine with a distinct personality and longevity, a tasting of 3 awarded wines and a mixed Tuscan antipasto.
A buffalo mozzarella making class. Here you will dive into the world of fresh buffalo mozzarella making, an art that goes back to the 12th century. You will learn how to make your own silky, smooth, and delicious buffalo mozzarella. Lunch will follow where you will enjoy your creations, along with a cheese tasting and concluding with a taste of their very famous gelato made with buffalo milk!
And the ever so popular ‘grande finale’ - a farewell, sunset wine tasting and dinner on the private vineyard of Cantina Doveri. Our friend Fabrizio and his family will prepare for us delicious and organic foods along with wine tasting from this family run cantina and farm. Fabrizio has planned a special evening for us where we will be among vineyards, sipping wine, and experiencing a total silence of a deep countryside, pleasures that are often forgotten in our modern daily rush. A true Farm to Table experience!