Day 1: Meet in Rome and transfer to Casa Innocenti (Arcidosso). Fly to Italy. Upon arrival at the airport of Rome or Florence, you will be accompanied by car or van to the village of Arcidosso and then welcomed to your vacation home next to the castle. After settling in, your host and chef, Carlo will show you his beautiful home, yours too for a whole week! Then you can either relax in the garden or take a walk through the enchanting streets of Arcidosso. For dinner you will enjoy a Tuscan meal prepared by Carlo.
Day 2: Montalcino (wine country), Pienza. In the morning, you’ll set off for Montalcino, a town famous for its Sangiovese grape vineyards that produce the celebrated Brunello wine. You will visit the magnificent 14th century Rocca (a fortress) and enjoy yourself wandering around the village and exploring picturesque little shops. Then, your guide will bring you to visit a quaint family owned winery just outside Montalcino. The owners will show you their cellar and explain to you the procedures of how to make wine. You can then have a tasting of the Rosso and Brunello. You will then continue to Pienza, where you will have lunch in a local restaurant and then visit its main square, Piazza Pio II, which is a model of Renaissance planning. This main piazza is so attractive that it was recently used to shoot scenes for the film The English Patient. Evening dinner with cooking course at home.
Day 3: The Etruscan villages: Pitigliano, Sorano, Sovana. You’ll start off the day with a cooking course culminating with lunch. Then you will be off to Pitigliano. This medieval town built on tufa stones features a fascinating ghetto with its own Synagogue and Jewish cemetery. Then, you’ll continue to Sorano, where you can visit the massive fortress (built by the Orsini family), the rest of the village and have lunch in a local restaurant. After lunch, you will go to Sovana, Pope Gregory VII’s birthplace, visit its country church and the old town square which is surrounded by cafes and little souvenir shops. Dinner at La Locanda del Prete.
Day 4: Siena. In the morning, after your breakfast, you’ll set off for Siena. You will visit the famous Piazza del Campo, the main square where the people from Siena (“i senesi”) organize, twice a year, a medieval horse race known as Il Palio. Facing the square there is the beautiful tour Torre del Mangia, where if you wish, you can climb up to the top to admire a marvelous view of the city. You can also visit the Duomo which is a gothic style cathedral. At the end of the morning, you will have lunch in a quaint restaurant in Piazza del Campo. Once home, and after having rested, you will have dinner with Carlo at La Locanda del Prete.
Day 5: Castiglione della Pescaia. Today, you will enjoy a trip to the seacoast to the pretty seaside village of Castiglione della Pescaia. This old fishing village stands up high on a hill with its castle looking over the turquoise bay. You will enjoy a tasty lunch at a local restaurant. In the evening, you will have your cooking class and dinner.
Day 6: Departure. You can choose to have a final breakfast at the house or at your favorite cafe in Arcidosso before heading back to Grosseto.