Selasa, 23 Jun 2009

Indulge yourself in the Tuscan lifestyle and discover the region's passion for food and wine. The best cooks in all of Tuscany, the local women, teach our classes. They'll share regional techniques, ingredients, and family recipes that have been passed down over the centuries.

Put on your apron, gather around the old farmhouse table, get wrist-deep in pasta dough and learn Tuscany cooking from the source. You'll learn first-hand how to make gnocchi, tagliatelli, and pici--thick strings of handmade eggless pasta made originally in the area of Montefollonico.

Morning classes include both hands-on cooking and demonstrations at local country homes, plus visits to food artisans, olive oil producers, local food markets, and food festivals. We will stop and buy the day's ricotta and Pecorino cheeses from local farmers. The classes are taught in Italian and are translated into English. Tuscan Women Cook is an insider's view of true Tuscan seasonal cuisine.

This area of Tuscany produces several of Italy's greatest wines, including Brunello, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, "the king of wines", and the great Chiantis. One afternoon, we will all gather for a special wine tasting in the 700-year-old cellar of Vittorio Innocenti, the local wine master. Vittorio has degrees in both agriculture and philosophy and produces some of the area's best Vino Nobile and Vin Santo. The locals say, "Vittorio makes wine from the heart." It's easy to understand how the Tuscan people can talk about the characteristics of wine deep into the night.

At both lunch and dinner, you'll dine in a variety of Tuscany's finest restaurants, humble local osterias, and the private homes on Tuscan farms. There will even be an opportunity to dine at La Chiusa in our village of Montefollonico and sample the lamb with rosemary oil or duck with fennel, or both if you're so inclined. Conde Nast called this Michelin-starred restaurant "the best country inn in Italy."

There will be plenty of free time to explore the area on your own and in small groups. Outings often include day trips to any of the wealth of local towns or cities within striking distance by car.

For the shopaholics and those looking for a taste of a chic and trendy Italy, the discount outlets of Prada, Gucci, and Dolce & Gabbana, along with local factories that produce specialty items for Giorgio Armani and Burberry, are just a short drive away. (Italians call them spaccio.) When you return from your day of shopping, we'll welcome you with a refreshing apertivo before dinner.

You'll want to take advantage of local markets, festivals or sagre, and flea markets. Depending on the time of year, you may have the opportunity to visit the Palio in Siena, Tuscany's best antiques market in Arezzo's Piazza Grande, the donkey races in Torrita di Siena, the olive oil festival in San Quirico D'Orcia, or even experience first had the picking and crushing of the season's grape--what Tuscans call Vendémmia.

Click here for a sample daily schedule of our Tuscany cooking school.

For lovers of Italian food, we offer a unique hands-on opportunity to participate in small groups as Tuscan women cook. The local women of Tuscany will share their techniques, special ingredients, and family recipes. Our cooking classes in Italy are ideal for cooks at all experience levels. And you'll join them a tavola to enjoy what you've prepared.


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