The undiscovered region of Tuscany, renowned for its rich history and cuisines, will be the setting of this 3 night/4 day Italian cooking short break, tucked away in the rolling hills of the Lunigiana region of rural Tuscany, you will find the restored 400 year old palazzo and home of this wonderful Italian cooking break.
The fun and relaxed atmosphere will have you cooking up a storm in one of the in house kitchens of the apartments of the palazzo. Here you will create a wide range of authentic Italian dishes from antipasti to dessert with your Italian chef.
Accommodation is set in an impressive 17th century palazzo, that used to belong to an Italian noble family and has now been lovingly renovated to provide 5 self-contained apartments. Each apartment has its own individual style, well equipped kitchen along with bedrooms with private ensuite bathroom.
The grounds include a swimming pool, beautiful gardens lawns and stunning views of the surrounding mountains and rural landscape – an ideal setting to relax and sample delicious local produce.
Get more from your holiday and learn cooking in Italy, enjoy the warm climate and hospitality, great food and wine, stunning surroundings and take home recipes from this beautiful area to treasure for a lifetime.
Who is it suitable for?
– This cookery holiday welcomes all levels from complete beginners to experienced cooks but is more suitable for those looking to learn about the fundamental basics of Italian cuisine
– Minimum age 18
– Your hosts are Italian but speak excellent English and all cooking classes are taught in English or Italian with translation
I’m travelling solo – can I join?
– These cookery holidays make great singles holidays and singles are welcome to join an existing group
– Please note there are NO SHARED ROOMS options on this course
– Solo travellers can book a private room by adding the single supplement at the time of booking; please see the ‘Costing and extras’ for pricing details
When can I start?
– Cooking holidays are for 3 nights/4 days
– This holiday only runs during specifics periods in the year
– This holiday is ‘on request’ so please email us and we’ll check availability for your preferred day of arrival as quickly as possible
The itinerary is for guidance only and is subject to change depending on the group’s needs and wishes but is typically as follows:
Day 1 – Arrival and welcome aperitifs
– Check into your room any time after 3pm and enjoy a welcome drink and chance to taste some of the regions local dishes by the pool (weather permitting) before taking your time to explore the house, gardens, pool and local area
– Whilst enjoying aperitifs by the pool there will be a chance to talk to your hosts and ask them about the course, and the local area
Day 2 – Free morning & cooking class
– Enjoy a leisurely breakfast at the palazzo and spend some free time getting to know the area or relaxing
– In the afternoon, it’s time for your first cookery lesson with the chef, which will last 4 hours
– Your dinner will consist of the delicious meal you will have prepared
Day 3 – Free morning & cooking class
– After breakfast at the palazzo, you will have free time to enjoy the pool or explore the surrounding areas
– In the afternoon, time for your second hands-on cookery class
– Your dinner will consist of the wonderful meal you will have prepared earlier
Day 4 – Departure day
– After a leisurely breakfast guests are asked to check-out of their rooms by 10am ready for departure taking home with them delicious new cooking skills and recipes and an insight into Tuscan culinary life that will stay with them long after the holiday is over
About your hosts
– Your Italian hosts are Mirella and Francesco
– Mirella is your chef for the week and will teach you lots of authentic Italian recipes
– Please note that if Mirella is unavailable, she will be replaced by a professional Italian chef and translation will be provided by Francesco
– Mirella’s style of teaching is relaxed and fun and she aims to share with you her passion for cooking using good quality local and seasonal produce
– Overall, Mirella’s philosophy is that meals should be made with the finest ingredients, and where possible, using only the freshest seasonal and organic ingredients – she’s a strong believer in the slow food movement
– Mirella lives in part of the palazzo so is always on hand for local advice or anything you may need during your stay
– Francesco is a state qualified sommelier and so is passionate about wine and extremely knowledgeable
– He loves talking about the different varieties and qualities and sharing his interest with others
– In addition, your hosts have been certified in the tastings and comparisons of olive oils, and would be delighted to share this experience with you so that you too, can know more about what the region offers, and what tastes you prefer
What will I learn?
– You will build on your cooking skills and understanding of Italian produce
– You will learn how to select the freshest ingredients and work with produce that’s in season
– The style of food will include authentic Italian dishes, regional Tuscan classics but also Mirella’s own creations too
– You will also learn how to pair the perfect wine with what you have cooked in your lesson and be taught how to pair all sorts of wine with food you make in the future
Dishes vary according to the season and what food is available but may include:
– Handmade ravioli stuffed with fresh cheese butter and sage
– Tuscan soup with beans and sausage
– Pork with potatoes
– Panna cotta with fruit sauce
– Cantucini (local speciality -dried biscuit with almond)
– Bruschetta al pomodoro
– Tagliatelle al ragù alla bolognese
– Arrosto di maiale con patate al rosmarino (Roasted pork with potatoes and rosemary)
Where will I stay?
– Your accommodation is set in the mountain hamlet of Tavernelle, in the pretty Lunigiana region of northern Tuscany
– You’ll stay in a restored 17th century palazzo in lovely grounds ensuring complete peace and quiet during your stay
– There are a total of 5 self-contained apartments and guest rooms all with private bathroom
– If you are travelling solo, stay in a twin/double room for sole occupancy for a small supplement
– Some rooms are decorated in a rustic style, others in a contemporary style
– The palazzo still has many traditional features including terracotta floors, sandstone portals and stunning vaults
– Rooms all have private ensuite bathrooms
– The rooms are all within the thick stone walls of the palazzo so remain a comfortable temperature during the hotter months
– There is a lovely secluded swimming pool in the grounds for guests use
– The house is surrounded by wonderful gardens where you can eat outside or relax on the sun loungers or by the pool
– You’ll take your cooking lessons in one of the apartment kitchens
– Accommodation is included for 3 nights / 4 days
– Check in anytime after 2pm on day 1 and check out by 10am on day 4
Are meals included?
– All breakfasts are included and are provided in a self-catering style; your hosts will leave plenty of food and equipment for you to prepare your own breakfast
– Upon arrival you will enjoy a tasting of local produce
– You will enjoy the food you’ve learnt to cook after your two cooking days on day 3 and day 3 accompanied by delicious wines
– If you have dietary requests these must be communicated to us at the time of booking
– Lunches are not included in the price, however your hosts will be happy to recommend local restaurants nearby
What can I do in my free time?
– This Italian cookery and wine holiday is perfectly located to explore this beautiful part of undiscovered northern Tuscany
– You are a within 2.5 hours of many Italian major cities; Florence, Genova, Pisa, and Milan
– Beaches and the coast are just 30minutes away by car, or you can take a train from nearby La Spezia along the coast to visit the 5 villages that make up Cinque Terre
– The nearest shops and grocery stores are about 6km away
– The hamlet of Tavernelle is very small but there is a good family run restaurant a short walk from the palazzo
– Your hosts will give you lots of information on what activities are on offer in the local area such as the local markets, restaurants, walking and more
– It is recommended to have a car to fully explore the area and there are many scenic drives throughout the region.