Italy·May - September
An intimate and immersive 7 day gastronomic retreat deep in the hills of TuscanyVIEW DATES
Immerse yourself in Italian food, wine and culture under the Tuscan sun in this seven-day journey of gastronomic discovery. Live the Italian foodie dream with intimate cooking classes, private dinners, tastings and behind the scenes tours at artisanal organic food and wine producers. Guided by your experienced chef, pasta maker and host, Oli, you'll try your hand at making beautiful handmade fresh pasta, gnocchi, risotto, pizza and Italian desserts, and meet some of the leading sustainable food and drink producers in Tuscany. Located in the untouched Maremma region of southern Tuscany in the charming village of Roccatederighi, your retreat is in the perfect location to visit artisan winemakers, fishermen, farmers, cheese producers and honey makers. You'll stay in traditional apartments with wooden beams and exposed Medieval stonework in a converted Tuscan 'palazzo', with its own pool where you can sip wine and watch the sun dip over the valley. ***Please be advised that we are based in an area of authentic and medieval hill villages in southern Tuscany. The accommodation and some of the activities and classes are in these villages where some of the streets can be slightly steep and uneven. A certain level of mobility is needed. Please let us know if you have any concerns around this due to health issues etc. On a similar note, these are traditional communities and some of the infrastructure won’t be as modern as what you may be used to. There is no air conditioning in the accommodation, and while wifi is available in the apartments, it is not high speed.***
Check in to your apartment, relax, get acquainted with your surroundings and take in the backdrop of the medieval village. You'll meet the team and your course-mates before heading to a local organic vineyard for a tasting with an incredible view!
Then dive into an al fresco four-course welcome feast cooked by chef Oli with plenty of great local wine to celebrate your arrival!
Visit a local buffalo mozzarella farm, starting the day off with a delicious buffalo milk cappuccino before taking a guided tour, meeting the buffalos, and tasting their amazing range of cheeses..
Head to a farm near the coast for an insightful tour of an organic Tuscan rice farm. We'll pick some rice up for the risotto class later!
Aperitivo with a view, followed by a risotto masterclass using our local rice, plus a lesson in perfect biscotti making.
Enjoy the fruits of your labour for dinner, eating the risotto and biscotti you have made out in the square of our medieval village with plenty of good wine!. Your private chef has also thrown in a couple of extra gastronomic treats.
Set sail on unique fishing boat trip bright and early to pull in nets with the charismatic local fisherman who's making waves in marine life preservation on the Tuscan coast. Enjoy the chance to dip into the sea for a swim and have lunch on the deck, under the sun's rays.
Have a break by the pool or take advantage of your free time to explore the local village and rub shoulders with the Tuscan locals.
Roll up your sleeves and get to cooking with your resident expert chef Oli who is on hand to show you the ropes—you'll be making handmade gnocchi! We'll enjoy this as well some fresh fish which we caught on the boat just this morning.
You'll start the day with a cycle tour to a nearby vineyard—a light ride over the hills and down through the local villages to burn off the excesses of the week, with a knowledgeable and friendly private cycling guide. The ride will take you to a beautiful vineyard on the Tuscan plains.
An unforgettable experience at an award-winning vineyard, you will get a real understanding of the art form that is winemaking. Enjoy a Tuscan lunch and private tasting of their Sangiovese, Viognier and Syrah.
After an hour or two resting up after your cycling and vineyard experience, professional fresh pasta maker Oli will take you through all the basics of creating great fresh pasta, including making the dough, using a pasta machine, and learning 3 shapes—farfalle, tagliatelle and garganelli. You'll also drum up the perfect Tiramisu together, and enjoy your creations with a view of the Tuscan hills.
Using yesterday's newly acquired basic pasta skills, you'll take things a step further and learn to make different filled pasta shapes. With a delicious seasonal filling (eg spinach and ricotta or pumpkin) you'll learn to make ravioli, tortelloni and much more! You'll then enjoy your pasta as part of a delicious 3 course lunch.
After lunch you'll knead out some pizza dough ready to be used for the following day's dinner. Pizza dough has a much better texture and flavour when made the day before and allowed to develop!
Relax at your apartment or enjoy one of the great local restaurants and a bit of time to yourselves on your free evening.
About an hour away is the fairytale medieval town of Montalcino—gastronomically famous for Brunello wine and honey. Here, you'll learn all about organic honeymaking, study the hives, and get an insight into what makes Brunello wine so sought after. To the soundtrack of the bees busying away, you will lunch with traditional Tuscan dishes and honey tastings, along with some delicious Brunello.
Spend an hour or two wandering the beautiful streets of Montalcino. Grab a gelato, enjoy the impressive churches, great views, and numerous wine bars!
Back in Roccatederighi, you'll use the dough you made the day before to create real handmade Italian pizza and cook it together in our wood-fired oven. Sit down with the view for one last time and enjoy your authentic handmade pizza.
Time to say goodbye. Check out and ground transfers to the train station.
Accommodation (breakfast included)
All meals (apart from 1 evening off)
wine and selected aperitivos
Private transport for tours
RESIDENCE IL CILIEGIO
Located in the beautiful hillside village of Roccatederighi in the south of Tuscany, Residence Il Ciliegio provides the perfect poolside Italian retreat amongst the olive groves, vineyards and forests.
Lounge by the pool and soak up the Tuscan rays as you look out over the lush countryside below or eat breakfast al fresco on the porch.
Furnished in a traditional Tuscan style and converted from a beautiful old 'palazzo', these apartments combine rustic elements like exposed medieval stonework with all the contemporary comforts of home.
The apartments have a double bedroom, bathroom and kitchen/living room with pullout double sofabed, with windows looking out over the pool and the wonderful view beyond.