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Italy Cooks


For the food-lover and aspiring chef in all of us


“I love Italy for its idiosyncrasies – the fun, the unpredictability and the serendipity. The country bubbles with emotion, traffic jams, strikes, and irate Italians shaking their fists at each other one minute and walking arm-in-arm the next. Have a talk with yourself before you arrive. Promise yourself to relax, and remember precision in Italy is limited to the pasta (which is always exactly and reliably al dente).” – Rick Steves 

  • 6 nights in the Tuscan village of Montefollonico
  • I Castagni – superior accommodations in a restored villa
  • Daily cooking classes, wine tastings and cultural expeditions
  • 17 meals: daily breakfast, lunch (that we usually prepare) and dinner (usually served at a local ristorante)
  • Small group experience



Daily Itinerary

Day 1-2

Fly to Italy and transfer to the tiny medieval village of Montefollonico, your home for the next week. Following check-in to your room in a converted villa, meet the welcoming team – Rhonda, Coleen and their cadre of locals – who have come together for two primary purposes: to provide a joyous and memorable experience, and to assure that you return home with a firm grasp of the time-honored secrets of fine Italian cooking. Let your cultural and culinary immersion into Italy begin with dinner! Mangia, mangia, mangia! I Castagni – 6 nights (D)

Day 3

Whereas the actual itinerary is based on the ebb and flow of Italian life (as wisely stated by Rick Steves above), the weather and the natural cycles of what’s happening in the garden and vineyard, this is a rough outline of your time in Tuscany. After breakfast a morning cooking session is followed by visits to Pienza, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and a wine tasting dinner in Monticchiello. (CB,L,D)

Day 4

Today’s cooking class has an Agriturismo Belagaggio theme, then visit Montepulciano for dinner at the renowned Ristorante La Grotta. (CB,L,D)

Day 5

Spend the day exploring the wonders, history and rich flavors of fabled Siena. Back home it’s pizza night! (CB,L,D)

Day 6

Enjoy the fruits of the morning’s harvest and culinary labors served al fresco in the garden, followed by some tasty grazing to include cheese and wine tastings and a dive into the local ceramics scene. (CB,L,D)

Day 7

Can it be our last full day? Rest assured there’s still of plenty amazing food, wine to go, plus a honey excursion to keep things sweet! The evening ends with a gala dinner and graduation ceremony. (CB,L,D)

Day 8

It’s time to say arrivederci or extend your Italian vacation with an optional extension in Rome, Florence or both! Preliminary polling had inconclusive results, so a decision will be made next year. (CB)

Daily Itinerary Meal Legend
CBContinental Breakfast
BGenerally a limited buffet or menu
FBFull buffet or choice of menu
BRBrunch, often buffet-style
LLunch, often several menu options
HT or ATHigh or Afternoon Tea
DDinner, often several menu options


Saturday, October 16, 2021 to Saturday, October 23, 2021

8 Days, 17 Meals

Daily breakfast, lunch (that we usually prepare) and dinner (usually served at a local ristorante)


Pricing available soon. Place your name on the Priority Notification List to receive more information.

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