Your week with Tuscan Women Cook includes six nights accommodation at La Chiusa in Montefollonico, breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day, cooking classes, daily sightseeing, visits to local artisans, and wine tastings. Full translation is provided at all classes. Transportation to all activities is in a Mercedes minibus with private driver.
Sunday (Domenica)—Welcome to Your New Tuscan Home
Arrive. Check in at the historic La Chiusa hotel in the medieval walled village of Montefollonico . We will share antipasti and a glass of Prosecco together before our first dinner tonight at a charming local restaurant. Make a toast to new friends and new flavors. The chef will prepare a delicious Tuscan meal for us to begin our week together. Let the delicious journey begin.
Monday (Lunedi)—Ready, Set, Mangiamo!
It’s time to get cooking! Your adventure begins in la cucina with Dania Mazotti, the world-famous chef at the Michelin-starred La Chiusa restaurant in our village. Chef Mazotti teaches you essential foundational Tuscan techniques as she prepares chicken alla contadina, “white” ravioli stuffed with farm-fresh ricotta, Pappardelle “Dania”, and caramel gelato with strawberry flambé.
After this extraordinary lunch, you’ll wind through the historic medieval hilltop village of Pienza to peruse the galleries of many of the local artisans.
Tonight you’ll dine at the internationally acclaimed Osteria La Porta in Montichiello, which was recently profiled in the New York Times. Wine pairings from Montalcino will be featured with your sumptuous meal. Mangiamo!
Tuesday (Martedi)—Pici-licious Pasta and More
Join us for a cappuccino in the village of Montefollonico before this morning’s cooking class at 13 Gobbi. Simonetta, Ima and Sabrina will teach us today. Cooking class this morning features hand-rolled pici, the delicious eggless pasta that originated in our area of Tuscany. We will also prepare aglione (garlic and tomato) sauce, pollo diavalo, savory grilled fresh vegetables topped with local extra virgin olive oil, and crostata suisina.
This afternoon we visit the medieval hill town of Montepulciano where the famous Vino Nobile wine is produced.
Wednesday (Mercolodi)—Savoring Siena
Keep your apron in your hotel room. No cooking lessons today. We depart after breakfast for a day of touring Siena.
Joining us will be Cristina, our local guide and expert on Sienese culture, architecture and traditions.
Built between the 14th and 16th centuries, Siena is a magnificent medieval city that had a huge impact on art, architecture, banking and urban planning during the Middle Ages in Italy and throughout Europe.
Cristina gives us an exciting insider’s overview before setting us loose at the weekly open air market where shoppers will delight in a dazzling array of booths featuring leather goods, jewelry, clothing, local foods and artisanal crafts.
After our Siena shopping adventure, Cristina leads us on a memorable tour filled with fascinating information about Siena, past and present. You’ll enjoy an elegant lunch at Osteria Le Logge, one of Siena’s finest restaurants. After lunch, Cristina leads us on more sightseeing, a welcome opportunity to explore even more of this glorious city.
Back to our home base of Montefollonico, the best local pizza is featured for dinner tonight. The owners of Casa Bianco will present many local favorites baked to perfection in their hand-built wood-fired oven. The white pizza topped with fresh porcini mushrooms and a shaved truffle is a house specialty and one of our favorites. Mangia!
Thursday (Giovedi)—The Authentic Classic Dishes and Wines
We’ll start our day with a delicious cappuccino at the Bar Sport in our village. This morning Isa is our outstanding nonna della cucina. This could be the favorite meal of the entire week, but most of our guests say that same phrase every day. Parmigiana di melanzane (eggplant Parmesan), ribolita (Tuscan vegetable, bean and bread soup), roast loin of pork, potato smorfato, cantucci (biscotti) and panna cotta. Squisito! (Yummy!)
Later in the day, we will join local wine master, Vittorio Innocenti, for a wine tasting in his 750-year-old cantina. Vittorio is famous for his Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and his award-winning Vin Santo.
Dinner tonight is at another of our wonderful restaurants in Montefollonico, La Botte Piena (the full barrel). The owners are affiliated with the Slow Food movement and will give us an incredible Tuscan family style dinner with wines.
Friday (Venerdi)—Making Memories with the Bernadinis
Three generations of a Tuscan family will lead our class today at the Bernadini family home and agriturismo called Belaggagio. Grandmother Ada, daughter Antonella and granddaughter Gloria were our very first women cooks in 2000. We will make pizza in an ages-old wood-burning oven. Additionally, stuffed fried zucchini flowers, the “best ever” pasta al forno (lasagne) and tiramisù will be highlighted today. After a nice pausa, we will have time for one more wine tasting with one of the young Super Tuscan vintners, Flavio Andreucci of Tenimenti Adreucci Winery, who was recently honored at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City for his outstanding wines.
Our final dinner together is at the Michelin-starred La Chiusa restaurant. You will enjoy a seven-course degustazióne dinner with outstanding Tuscan wines, including the world-famous Brunello di Montalcino.