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Iconic Tuscany

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Tuscany is a necessary part of any cultural education, as it has been for centuries.

By Eva Stelzer

tuscan landscapeTuscany long ago earned its reputation for capturing the very essence of Italy – picturesque rolling hillsides with vineyards and charming medieval towns. The geography varies dramatically: coastal cities teeter along the Tyrrhenian Sea, while lush mountains, quaint hill towns and river plains stretch far inland. Add to this beauty seeing some of the world’s famous art in person. One of many reasons we are drawn to Italy and other European destinations is that touring “the Continent” always has been part of the ultimate educational experience.

Cooking class in Florence

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Cooking class in Florence

Each year I spend some time at Costanza’s renaissance villa in Florence. Sometimes I bring group of people to gather together for a cooking class, and walk in the olive orchards or enjoy an outdoor feast of pizza freshly baked in the stone pizza oven. In one of her cooking classes in Florence, Costanza had a group of chefs from Norway who were being taught to make an authentic Tuscan meal. I personally loved the Faraona del Paradisino – roasted Guinea fowl. Back in my native Canada I replaced the Guinea fowl with grain fed, antibiotic free chicken. My guests were so delighted with this dish that I was embarrassed to tell them it’s a one pot meal. Try this out on your family or friends and let me know what they think.

Cook this amazing dish. Faraona del Paradisino – Roasted Guinea Fowl

Cook under the Tuscan Sun

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Cooking Class in Tuscany

Cooking with Costanza: a culinary adventure to awaken and inspire all your senses and allow you to experience the very essence of Italy!

The Renaissance Villa, on a hill with all of Florence spread out below, focuses on regional cuisine that is more regal and elaborate in preparation than in the villages. Set in a heritage-protected five-hectare property with colourful gardens, this is an opportunity to experience the lifestyle of the Tuscan city folk and immerse yourself in Italy as you imagine it in films. Your experience begins al fresco with a tour of the organic herb gardens. You are encouraged to smell, feel and taste the various greens. Learn how to choose the most perfect natural flavour enhancers of Tuscan cuisine. The discussions will cover food traditions, history, and what makes food such an integral part of everyday life in Italy. Of course you choose the freshest herbs for your cooking lesson.

tuscan cuisineFood choices are seasonal and take advantage of the freshest produce. The first dish to prepare is an authentic antipasto. Too many restaurants ignore antipasti and focus on pasta, but this is a traditional meal to be enjoyed all evening long, and enjoyment of each course is paramount to your culinary experience. The antipasti selection is based on seasonal and local produce. Each course is paired with an Italian wine.

Appetizers are based on both wild and cultivated foods. In spring you might make frittata di carciofi – fried artichoke. Jewish Romans made this dish famous in the ghetto, and it is still a staple of spring cooking. Chef Costanza may thinly slice an artichoke and treat it like a carpaccio – which is usually thinly sliced raw beef or fish – and serve with a deep grassy flavoured olive oil. In summer tomatoes ripening on the vine make delicious bruschetta al pomodoro (tomato bruschetta), insalata caprese (tomato salad with garden fresh basil, oregano and local buffalo mozzarella). Autumn is the season for melt-in-the mouth crostini con i funghi procini (porcini mushrooms in a flaky crust).

Eat, Drink, Walk Tuscany

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Tuscany Back Stage Pass

Escape to Tuscany’s idyllic landscape. There is something eminently peaceful in wandering through vineyards and olive groves, passing vines tended by generations of winemakers, and savoring traditional cuisine made of the freshest local ingredients. Walk the lush rolling hills and medieval towns with their meandering roads.  Experience the magic of medieval towns and renaissance landscapes and you’ll never want to leave.

  • Discover the Tuscany countryside, culture, food, and traditions.
  • Visit the Tuscany of your dreams on this awesome trip.
  • Check out Chianti’s main wine market town of Greve.
  • Walk past vineyards to the Castello di Brolio, home of the original Chianti Classico recipe.
  • Enjoy guided visits to important Tuscan towns of Siena, Florence and Pienza.
  • Meander up the steep hills of Medieval Montalcino.
  • Savor the super Tuscans: Brunello di Montalcino and more.
  • This is a bespoke travel group limited to a maximum of 10 people.

COOKING AND CULTURE – FLORENCE AND TUSCAN HILL TOWNS

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Capture the essence and flavors of Tuscany on our iconic cooking and culture trip. Visit Florence and the Tuscan Hills. Feast your eyes on picturesque rolling hills, charming renaissance gardens, medieval towns, and hill-hugging vineyards. Whether it’s your first time, or if you’ve been there before, let the magic of Tuscany memorize you.

Highlights

  • Florence Cooking and Cooking will awaken your senses.
  • Tuscan wine tour and tasting.
  • Heritage architectureal  walking tour of Florence.
  • Tour of Siena including Piazza del Campo and Palazzo Pubblico.
  • Sleep in the noble house of a Renaissance Villa, surrounded by heritage protected vineyards.
  • Cooking with our Master Chef, making authentic regional foods using updated versions of centuries-old Tuscan family recipes.
  • Go deep into the heart of the Tuscan countryside.
  • Sip wine fat our carefully selected vineyards.
  • Meander the cobbled streets in Medieval Siena a and Renaissance Florence with our expert local guide.
  • Visit authentic food markets and learn about local produce.
  • Eat, drink, walk and be immersed in Tuscan culture. Enjoy!

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