A week in Tuscany to live an extraordinary experience in the Chianti countryside.
The accommodation will be in a luxury Renaissance villa situated above the town of Ambra in the southern Chianti area, a Tuscan retreat with the relaxed atmosphere of a country house but with four star hotel style service.
The twenty bedrooms are all to be found in the cluster of original estate buildings, the accommodation is air conditioned and has a flat-screen TV with satellite channels.
Our friendly and professional assistant will be at your disposal for the whole week and will be happy to share with you all about Tuscan lifestyle, culture, traditions and of course… our excellent food, extra virgin olive oil and wine! You will learn to cook authentic Italian dishes with the professional Chef of the Relais, having fun and making friends.
The Cooking classes
Learn to cook in the professional kitchen of the Relais with the chef MariaLuisa. During the cooking courses, which are hands on, you will learn how to make your own homemade bread, focaccia, homemade pasta, a second dish (normally meat, from pork, chicken, turkey or red meat), side dish and of course a delicious dessert. Chef purchases top quality products from local producers and farmers and uses fruits and vegetables in season. You will receive a cookbook including recipes of all the dishes made during your stay. Dishes you will realize can easily be made at home, using ingredients that you can usually find in most general or specialty stores.
May 4 Arrival
Meet with our Tour Leader at Florence or Pisa Airport and transfer to our 4 star Relais in Ambra in the southern Chianti area, with the relaxed atmosphere of a country house but with hotel style service, which will host us for 7 nights, the staff is at our disposal as well as the chef, who will prepare for us throughout the week all our meals.
Up on your arrival you will be met by the owner who will lead you on a tour of the estate: buildings, olive oil groves producing top quality oil and the “Orto” (the vegetables garden), as well as an orchard where they grow products for chickens.
Welcome dinner at the Relais, you will meet the chef MariaLuisa who will hold the Cooking classes for you. The dinner will be focused on traditional Tuscan dishes, with particular attention to fresh and seasonal products.
May 5 Cooking class, walking and cultivating the Orto
This morning you will attend the first Cooking class in the kitchen of your relais, followed by lunch with the dishes you have prepared.
Learn to cook in the professional kitchen of the Relais with the chef MariaLuisa. During the Cooking courses, which are hands on, you will learn how to make your own homemade bread, focaccia, homemade pasta, a second dish (normally meat, from pork, chicken, turkey or red meat), side dish and of course a delicious dessert. Chef purchases top quality products from local producers and farmers and uses fruits and vegetables in season. You will receive a cookbook including recipes of all the dishes made during your stay. Dishes you will realize can easily be made at home, using ingredients that you can usually find in most general or specialty stores.
After lunch you will have a walk through the countryside with our expert guide Oliviero , who was born there and knows every single detail of this area.
Today you will walk from the relais to Badia a Ruoti where we will visitto the ancient Camaldolese Abbey.
The village of Badia a Ruoti develops entirely around its imposing religious complex, that keeps traces of 15th century frescoes.
Once back to the Relais you will join the master gardener in the vegetables garden, you will learn how to cultivate your own Orto. Back to the relais and dinner
May 6 Siena & San Gimignano
In the morning drive by private minibus to Siena, where you will meet our guide. This city is captivating and exhilarating. It’s a flamboyant town of medieval buildings, dominated by Tuscany’s tallest tower and the dazzling Duomo. The main artery is café-lined Piazza del Campo, where the Palio, a bareback horse race, is held every summer. On the south side of the square, elegant Palazzo Pubblico has been the seat of the city’s government since the 13th century. The view from the top of the Torre del Mangia is spectacular. After the guided visit of the city, drive to San Gimignano, that served as an important relay point for pilgrims travelling to or from Rome on the Via Francigena. The patrician families who controlled the town built around 72 tower-houses (some as high as 50 m) as symbols of their wealth and power. Although only 14 have survived, San Gimignano has retained its feudal atmosphere and appearance. The town also has several masterpieces of 14th- and 15th-century Italian art. Transfer back to the relais and dinner.
May 7 Cooking class, walking and cultivating the Orto
In the morning meet the chef for your second Cooking class at the Relais.
After lunch meeting with Oliviero for another walk in the area to the hamlets of Cennina and Solata, overlooking the wild countryside .
Once back to the Relais you will join the master gardener in the culinary garden, you will learn how to cultivate your Orto (culinary garden). Dinner at the relais.
May 8 Pienza & Montepulciano
Today you will discover the Orcia Valley, UNESCO heritage, and its art treasures such as Pienza, the great wines of Montepulciano and the pecorino cheese .
In the morning you will reach Pienza, a Renaissance jewel, than you will reach an organic cheese maker near Pienza where you will enjoy a private visit and Pecorino tasting.
In the afternoon you will visit Montepulciano for a walk through the historic center of this beautiful Medieval Village and we will have the pleasure of visiting an absolutely unique winery, a young company, born 30 years ago, which has given a great mission: quality research, both in the vineyard and the cellar, with a close attention to the peculiarities of the grapes.
Manual harvesting, non-sulphite vinification, native yeast, big barrels and tonneaux : these are the tools for obtaining deliberately soft and elegant wines, with pronounced and unique perfumes at every grape harvest.
The owners have always had great attention to sustainability and wanted to create an off-grid cellar (energy saving is the first source of energy supply) and technologically innovative.
The lunch will be at the restaurant of the winery, in a terrace overlooking the vineyards.
Then transfer back to the Relais for dinner.
May 9 Arezzo & the Chianti area, Meet the people
A day devoted to the discovery of Arezzo and Chianti. In the morning you will drive to Arezzo where you will meet our guide. The countryside, the monuments, the museums, the typical dishes and the wine are the main beauties and peculiarities that characterize Tuscany. Arezzo embodies all these qualities, combining the love for tradition with the desire to innovate. You will visit the many sites rich in history and meet incredible people and artisans . After lunch in a gourmet restaurant overlooking the main square (Piazza Grande) you will drive to the Chianti area.
Around the village of Panzano, probably one of the most enchanting and intact areas of Chianti, you will meet some small producers who have spontaneously created a district where only organic Chianti wine is produced. You will visit a boutique winery, a certified organic estate and you will have dinner at the Farmhouse.
Transfer back to the Relais.
May 10 Departure
Check out from the Relais and private transfer to Pisa or Florence airport.
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