Cooking in Noble Tuscany – Cooking Tour

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Departures:   Sept. 30, 2017 & Oct. 24, 2017

Tuscany Cooking Tour – Escorted Tour: 9 Days/ 7 Nights

At the heart of Etruscan civilization, Tuscany offers a picture of wondrous beauty. Art and culture both contribute to make this region one of international prestige. Montecatini, situated in the beautiful Nievole Valley near Florence, is your home for one week to experience the true Tuscan life. This tour is limited to 16 persons with a passion for fine foods.
Participants will discover the Chianti region, famous for great wine and food amid a relaxing atmosphere. You will have the opportunity to prepare traditional dishes, such as home-made pastas and other Tuscan delights. Savour great foods and wines while visiting noble homes and local farms throughout Tuscany’s rolling hills, charming old towns, and the grandeur of this unique region.

Montecatini, San Gimignano, Volterra


Note: First day of tour is your departure date from the USA. Actual tour in Italy begins the next day.

Day 1: Saturday
Departure from USA to Italy – with your own purchased airline tickets.
Day 2: Sunday — Pisa or Florence Airport/Montecatini
Arrival at the Airport, meet your assistant and transfer to your hotel in Montecatini Terme. At the hotel, you will have a welcome aperitif to discuss the itinerary for the week with Gianfranco.  The easygoing Italian way of life, La Dolce Vita, reflects the Italian custom of gathering friends and family together for good wine, delicious food and great conversations. Over the next week you’ll spend an unforgettable holiday in the heart of Tuscany that combines cooking courses, art and culture. Dinner is at the hotel.
*Chef and food connoisseur Gianfranco has vast experience in the traditional Tuscan cuisine food, wine and oil products from the area. He will give you insight into the Tuscan Way of Life and convey the emotions and style which are so much admired.
Day 3: Monday — Cooking Class 1 – “From Farm to the Family Table”
After breakfast, transfer to a local farmhouse, where your hands-on cooking class “from farm to the family table” begins. The owner of the farmhouse, will show how only the finest and freshest ingredients are chosen. The meals will be prepared using the local products of the farm and served with local wines. After the cooking class and lunch, you will visit a pastry shop where the delicious Brigidini wafers are made…an absolute must. Continue to the chocolate laboratory of the “doyen” of Tuscan chocolatiers, Andrea Slitti. Dinner is at the hotel.
(Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 4: Tuesday — Cooking Class 2 – “The Noble Art of Cooking”
After breakfast, you will enjoy your Tuscan “hands-on” cooking experience. Located in the region of Carmignano, our estate is one of the authentic jewels of this region, a small hamlet of houses with a majestic main villa where the Contini-Bonacossi family lives. You will visit the olive press, the underground wine cellars and the ancient “Vinsantaia” (holy wine cellar). You will have the opportunity to experience the fascinating transformation of grapes into wine and taste local wines. The chef of the Contini-Bonacossi family will assist participants in the preparation of traditional recipes passed down through generations. After the cooking class, lunch and local wine tasting, return to the hotel. Dinner is at the hotel.
(Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 5: Wednesday — San Gimignano
After breakfast at the hotel start your full-day tour of San Gimignano. You will visit the wine cellars of the “Tenuta di Cusona”. The estate of the Guicciardini-Strozzi family extends over an area of 525 acres where the many varieties of grapes such as Sangiovese, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon are grown and Super Tuscan wines are created. The tour includes a visit to the historical cellars, to the enological museum, with a detailed description of all the production stages as well as tasting of the local production. Continue to a guided visit to San Gimignano, a town of Etruscan origin. Built by noble families, the fourteen remaining towers that lined the rampart look like medieval skyscrapers. The rest of the afternoon is at leisure to have a walk in the town center and enjoy an Italian ice-cream in Piazza della Cisterna. Dinner is at the hotel.
(Breakfast, Dinner)
Day 6: Thursday — Montecatini Alto/Pizza Dinner
Enjoy this morning at your leisure. Spend time exploring the town of Montecatini where the local market stalls sell everything from clothes to shoes, scarves, and accessories. In the afternoon, you will visit a local olive press to follow all the different production stages of extra virgin olive oil and to taste the newly pressed olive oil. Continue to a local “Torrefazione” to discover and taste how true Italian espresso is made and savored. Continue to the ancient medieval village of Montecatini Alto and enjoy a pizza dinner in a traditional pizzeria. Lunch is at the hotel.
(Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 7: Friday — Volterra – Cooking Class 3 – “Old-Style Country Cooking”
You will visit an ancient Tuscan bakery to taste typical Tuscan bread and focaccia. Continue to a local farmhouse for your hands-on cooking class “old-style country cooking” with Pietrina, the owner of the farmhouse. The farmhouse is located in the heart of a 37 acre property. Part of the land is cultivated and part is left untouched. You will have the opportunity to enjoy the authentic countryside and taste home-made products, such as the pecorino and ricotta cheeses. After the cooking class and lunch, continue with a guided tour to Volterra. The rest of the afternoon is at leisure to have a walk in this magnificent Etruscan town. Dinner is at the hotel this evening.
(Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 8: Saturday — Day at Leisure – Cooking School Graduation
Enjoy this morning at your leisure. Spend time exploring Montecatini, enjoy a spa treatment or just relax. In the afternoon enjoy a farewell drink followed by a Cooking School graduation and dinner. Not only will you return with lots of great recipes, but Gianfranco will also have a little memento to take home with you.
(Breakfast, Dinner)
Day 9: Sunday — Montecatini/ Pisa or Florence airport/Depart for USA
After breakfast transfer to the airport for your flight back to the USA, where you will take home an experience and a dream that will last lifetime.



  • Hotel accommodations in Montecatini Terme in a 4* hotel for seven nights based on 2 persons sharing a room.
  • Round-trip transfers to/from the airport in Italy on designated group transfer time.
  • Welcome cocktail.
  • Buffet Breakfast daily.
  • 1 lunch at hotel with wine and bottled water.
  • 3 Cooking lessons followed by lunch.
  • 5 dinners with wine and bottled water.
  • 1 pizza dinner.
  • 1 Graduation Party Farewell Dinner.
  • Visit to an olive oil press and wine cellar.
  • Cheese, wine and bread tastings.
  • Guided visit to San Gimignano and Volterra.
  • Services of a professional tour director.
  • Hotel taxes and service charges.

**Note: Minimum of 8 participants needed to operate tour.

Does not include:

  • Round-trip air transportation from USA or Canada to Italy.
  • Porterage at airports.
  • Round-trip airport to hotel transfers if arriving and departing on non designated group flights.
  • Beverages and meals not mentioned in the itinerary.
  • Tips and optional excursions.
  • Transit tax to be paid locally.
  • Travel Insurance.
Grand Hotel Tamerici & Principe (4 Stars)
Viale IV Novembre 2B,
51016 Montecatini Terme

— 8 participants needed to operate tour. Should the minimum not be reached alternate dates or tour will be made available. Should the tour not operate you will be notified 45 days in advance of your departure date. We urge you to purchase travel insurance to cover the cost of your entire vacation including any services you purchased from another agency.

Note: First day of tour is your departure date from the U.S. Actual tour in Italy begins the next day.**Price is based on 2 persons sharing a Double room. Single Supplement –$199.  Prices are subject to change as a result of fuel surcharge increases or currency fluctuations. No changes will be made once final payment is received.
*Air Fare is not included but discounted rates are available upon request.Click here to view information on travel insurance.For information on air fare, transfers or optional tours, please contact us: 212-400-7347

Please note that for operational reasons it may be necessary to substitute hotels and adjust itineraries due to local conditions.

To submit a reservation request BOOK NOW! Or call for more info 212-400-7347.


A deposit of 25% of the total price of the land services, inclusive of taxes and fees or full payment (depending on departure date) is required to confirm a reservation. Final payment is due no later than 90 days prior to departure. Airline tickets must be paid in full prior to issuance regardless of departure date. Ticket prices cannot be guaranteed until paid in full and ticketed. For full Terms and Conditions please click here.

Cancellation Policy
61 days or more prior to departure: 5% of package price
60-46 days prior to departure: 10% of package price
45-31 days prior to departure: 20% of package price
30-15 days prior to departure: 40% of package price
14-8 days prior to departure: 50% of package price
7-0 days and no-shows: 100% of package price


Tips to waiters, chambermaids, and to the Tour Directors, local guides, and drivers are not included. The following is a suggested guideline on tipping:
(a.) Euro 1.00 per person/per day for waiters and chambermaids
(b.) Euro 2.00 per person/per day for drivers and local guides
(c.) Euro 3.00 per person/per day for your Tour Director
Add transfers to your tour so you don’t have to worry about how to get to your hotel and back. Prices available upon request.
Transit Tax:
As of July 1, 2011 all visitors to Italy are required to pay an additional tourist tax for their hotel stay. The new tax has been created mainly to help re-build the ancient cities and is based on how many stars a hotel has. This tax may vary by city and can range from 1 to 6 Euro per person, per night, for a maximum of 10 consecutive nights. This must be paid by the visitor, in Euro, directly to the hotel at time of check-out. It will be presented as a separate charge from any other charges accrued at the hotel. (Children under the age of 10 are exempt from this tax.
Different airlines may have different policies. For information on specific airline policies, please check your carriers web site.
Air Transportation:
Air fares change often and vary by gateway city, season, day of week and seat availability. Our air fares will be quoted to you within two business days of your tour reservation and will include the air fare, fuel surcharges and government taxes as quoted by the airlines. You are under no obligation to accept our airfare quote and may elect to use your reward miles or your preferred airline. Typical airfares from New York to Rome varies from $1200 in March – May and September – October to $1500 in June – August but can change without prior notice. We highly recommend to reserve your seats early in order to obtain the best air fare.



“We completed the Cooking In Noble Tuscany tour on May 11th and it could not have been better. Starting with what we came for, the food was spectacular including the dishes we participated in preparing. Gianfranco, our chef, teacher, and guide throughout Tuscany was terrific. His knowledge of food preparation as well as the surrounding area was second to none. A nice balanced itinerary that also accommodated requests that were agreed to by our group. This tour was set up by the Europe by Choice travel agency,who we found through friends, also did a great job. Very responsive and even contacted us on Sundays during booking to ensure the best rates were available. The only place for improvement would be the hotel. It was advertised as a 4 star but, is closer to a three, due the room needing a little updating. However, the food and maid services at the hotel were outstanding and equivalent to a 5 star! Overall, the trip was excellent and exceeded my expectations. I look forward to visiting Italy again and engaging this agency to make the arrangements.” Dennis from N.Y.



  1. Veronica Panzica says:

    My husband and I took this cooking tours many years ago with Gianfranco. It was the best trip we ever took. We booked the trip with Abc Tours, which is not in business anymore. We brought home all the recipes we used and I still use them wonderful trip, and this one looks even nicer, more days to spend in Tuscany. I would rec

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