Gourmet Retreat

Day 1

The Arrival

On arrival, our English speaking driver will bring you from Pisa to the beautiful villa where you will be staying. We’ll greet you with a welcoming glass of local wine, tea or coffee, and a light Tuscan snack before leaving you time to rest, freshen up and to settle into your individual apartments. You can then spend some time getting to know the other people sharing this delightful Tuscan retreat with you, or wander off around the villa’s gardens from where you can admire the surrounding views across the sensational rolling hills. If you enjoy walking in the countryside, bring suitable footwear and make the most of this opportunity.

In the evening, our great local chef will cook us all a hearty Tuscan meal to welcome you and your classmates, which will be accompanied by carefully selected local wines.

After your delicious supper, you can decide how to continue your evening…..maybe dipping handmade ‘cantuccini’ biscuits into sweet dessert wine while chatting with your travel companions, or relaxing on one of the comfortable sofas, wine in hand, listening to local singer Andrea Bocelli’s music….or maybe retiring to your room to read a good book. On colder evenings it’s lovely just to sit chatting around the fire.

For those of you wishing to go out in the evenings, **a taxi can be arranged for you and we can tell you all about the possible options in the area. However, we need you wide awake and ready to go in the morning as we have lots of Tuscan treats lined up for you. Read on to find out more…..

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Day 2

A day in Lari

After breakfast in the villa, we’ll be driving off through the nearby hills of Pisa to a working oil mill where you’ll learn about the milling and production procedures of one of this region’s most precious specialities…scrumptious and healthy olive oil !  You’ll be able to taste both the oil and the wonderful jams that are produced by this family run business that has been handed down from generation to generation.

From the oil mill, we’ll move on to the nearby small historical town of Lari, famous for its enormous and almost overwhelming Medicean fortress (Castello dei Vicari), its production of cherries, and also for its small handmade pasta making factory to which we will be visiting briefly.

After seeing how this famous fine pasta is made, how about eating some!? Not only will you taste the pasta but you’ll visit the stunning Castelvecchio winery, set deep into the hills and surrounded by rows upon rows of captivating mature grape vines. Here you’ll enjoy a typical homemade Tuscan lunch and a variety of top quality biodynamic wines whilst learning all about how they’ve been produced. During your lunch you’ll be mesmerised by the fantastic views from the dining table and on the colder days, the big fire really adds that special magical touch.

Once the lunch and tour is over, it’s back along the picturesque windy lanes to the villa to freshen up and get cooking. Our chef will be ready to welcome you back into the kitchen for the hands-on preparation of your evening meal.

Day 3

A day in San Gimignano

A special day out to a very special place. The dominating ancient town of San Gimignano will offer you a day to remember. Famous for many things such as its history, its white ‘Vernaccia’ wine, its numerous gastronomic delicacies and of course its tall towers dating back to the 11th and 13th centuries,  we just had to include this in your Tuscan getaway.

Our first stop after the scenic journey will be at a well known family run winery, perched on a hilltop, just a short distance from the town’s ancient stone surrounding walls. Another opportunity to learn about and taste a selection of quality wines and oils, together with a luxury fresh local truffle based Tuscan lunch. Once again you’ll be surrounded with by really fantastic views.

After lunch you’ll have free time to spend wandering around this spectacular culture rich town’s streets and shops. You can admire the architecture, find out more about its history, and we strongly suggest a stop at the breathtaking panoramic view point !

After your afternoon wander, we’ll get back to the villa to freshen up in time to prepare our final meal together….. pizza and locally brewed artisan beers. A relaxing, fun evening together where we can chat about our time spent together and about what you’ve learnt too. Who knows, maybe you’ll have some Italian words that you’ve picked up to share with us !

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Day 4

A trip to Bolgheri

This morning we’re off to visit the tiny medieval hamlet of Bolgheri.

Famous for its history, its amazing wines such as Sassicaia which is appreciated all over the world, its impressive cypress tree lined avenue, and so much more, we’re sure that you’ll enjoy every minute of this trip.

Just before reaching the hamlet, our first stop is at ‘Campo alla Sughera’ top class winery, for an in depth and professional wine tasting tour.

From here we’ll move on up the road to the hamlet where you’ll have some free time to spend wandering through the ancient cobbled streets. Enjoy visiting the quaint and pretty little shops before meeting up for a very fine lunch in a small family run restaurant just off the central square.

After lunch, it’s back to base to freshen up and put our aprons on to prepare this evening’s carefully chosen menu together with chef Cristina.

Day 5

Departure

Departure

After our last breakfast together, you’ll be accompanied back to Pisa airport at around 10 am.

*For those of you with afternoon or evening flights, later transfer to the airport or a visit to Pisa centre can be arranged for you at a supplementary cost.

We hope you’ll have enjoyed our stay with us and to see you again for another of our Tuscan getaways…..

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Dates & Availability