Tuscany & Beyond Culinary Tour

A week-long food lover's tour of Tuscany, Umbria, Emilia-Romagna & the Marches

June 2-8, 2019


Please note that due to the small number of rooms, both of our Tuscany tours for 2019 sold out rapidly. If you want to receive early exclusive notifications (one week before the rest of our mailing list subscribers) about the tours to Italy we are planning for 2020 and beyond, or if you have questions, please fill out the future tours early access form.

This unique culinary vacation offers a rare chance to live like a Tuscan for a week. We'll stay on the sprawling grounds of a fifteenth century stone villa with a splendid view of Tuscany's rolling hills. We'll spend mornings in the villa's kitchen, cooking traditional Italian dishes to be enjoyed in the rustic dining room or on the vast terrace overlooking olive groves and cypress trees below.

After lunch, you can relax by the infinity pool, take horseback riding lessons, or book a massage at the estate's own spa before heading out for an afternoon of sightseeing and culinary discovery.

Thanks to the villa's proximity to 3 other regions of Italy, we'll also visit Umbria, the Marches, and Emilia-Romagna, savoring four distinct culinary traditions during our stay.

We have had the pleasure of taking many people on cooking tours since 2004. Read their testimonials here.

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Dinners will be at the area's best restaurants and paired with each region's top-notch wines, including Sangiovese, Brunello di Montalcino, Verdicchio, Orvieto, Montefalco di Sagrantino, the Super Tuscans, Chianti, and more...

During our week together, we'll visit an olive oil mill, indulge in a wine tasting, sample local prosciuttos and fine cheeses, and meet chefs and food artisans who embody the spirit of the cooking of central Italy.

Our hands-on cooking lessons at the villa will be led by tour hosts Micol Negrin and Dino De Angelis, and will touch on every aspect of Italian cuisine: antipasti, fresh pasta (gnocchi, tagliatelle, and more), risotto, fish and meat, vegetables, handmade bread and focaccia, and classic desserts.

Pricing:

  • $3,950 per person based on double occupancy
  • A very limited number of single occupancy supplements is available for an additional $1,500 per person. NOTE: Since many of the rooms have two separate beds, friends traveling together can comfortably share a room and book as double occupancy.

Our philosophy is that once you arrive at the villa by your own means, everything is included: every meal with wine, transportation to and from the various sites, tastings, and all activities we will be enjoying as a group.

Price includes:

  • 6 nights stay at the villa - check in Sunday June 2, check out Saturday June 8
  • all breakfasts, all lunches, all dinners
  • room with its own en-suite bathroom
  • 5 hands-on cooking classes at the villa
  • wine with all lunches and dinners
  • wine tasting at a sixteenth century Tuscan estate
  • olive oil tasting and visit of olive mill
  • all organized group activities
  • transportation with our private bus within the tour to medieval towns such as San Leo, Gubbio, Carpegna, Arezzo, and more
  • recipes
  • Rustico Cooking apron
  • gift certificate for a cooking class at Rustico Cooking in New York city (value $110 per person)

The villa is located on the grounds of a large estate in Tuscany. The decor is rustic, with stone walls and wood beams on ceilings. Our group will occupy a single countryhouse on the estate, ensuring privacy and quiet. The pool is for our group's use exclusively.

Cost excludes airfare and ground transportation for your arrival at the villa on the first day of the tour, and transportation from the villa to your next destination at the end of the tour. We are happy to suggest a car service that can arrange for pick up and drop off as requested. Excluded are optional activities while at the villa (use of the spa, massages, etc). We strongly encourage trip insurance.

A deposit of $1,000 per person is required to reserve. Final payment is due on March 1, 2019. Deposits and final payments are non-refundable.

Tour Overview & Reservation Details

This is going to be one amazing week! Our culinary vacation will start on Sunday June 2 at 4 pm at the villa. The majority of people who take tours with us spend a couple of days in their city of arrival in Italy - whether Rome, Milan, Florence, Venice or other - and then join us when the tour starts. This is a good way to plan your trip, since it will give you a day or two to beat the jet lag (depending on what time zone you are coming from). Some folks will be driving, others flying in to nearby airports, others taking the train.

Keep in mind that the villa is far from the beaten path: the closest major train station is in Arezzo - which is about a 45-minute car ride from our villa. We can help you get to and from the villa by suggesting a car service that will pick you up or drop you off from your hotel in your city of arrival, or from a train station or nearby airport of your choice.

Check in is at 4 pm on June 2, and after you settle into your private room, we'll start off with a welcome reception: a little wine, some finger foods to nibble on, and the opportunity to meet your fellow travelers; this will be followed by a wonderful dinner at the villa.

The next morning, we'll enjoy our first hands-on cooking lesson in the villa's kitchen, followed by lunch, an afternoon of sightseeing and culinary discovery, and dinner in a nearby town.

This will be the pace of our week together: cooking in the mornings, lunching together, and discovering Tuscany, Umbria, The Marches, and Emilia-Romagna by private bus in the afternoons. We'll include wine tastings, olive oil tastings, encounters with local food artisans, and more on our daily itineraries, so every day will bring a new adventure. (We would also love to include a gelato tasting, and are working hard on finding a local gelateria willing to open its doors to us and unveil its secrets--we'll keep you posted!)

Since we'll be exploring small medieval towns, there will be some walking involved, including some stairs or moderate hills; we suggest comfortable walking shoes.

Getting to the Villa:

The Villa is located in a small municipality above the town of San Sepolcro in the province of Arezzo, Tuscany, at an altitude of about 1,500 feet, with a gorgeous view of the Tuscan countryside. As mentioned, we can help you get to and from the villa by suggesting a car service that will pick you up or drop you off at a nearby airport, train station, or hotel.

Traveling by car from major cities:

  • From Florence to villa: 1 h 33 min. (70 miles)
  • From Arezzo to villa: 43 min. (25 miles)
  • From Rome to villa: 2 h 50 min. (150 miles)
  • From Milan to villa: 4 h 05 min. (240 miles)

Traveling by train to Arezzo station:

  • From Florence to Arezzo: direct, 55 min.
  • From Rome to Arezzo: direct, 1 h 10 min.
  • From Milan to Arezzo: 1 transfer, 3 h 30 min.

(keep in mind that the Arezzo train station is 45 minutes away from the villa by car).

Cooking Classes at the Villa:

Italian food is extremely varied and deeply regional. From making fresh pasta by hand to kneading focaccia dough, roasting and braising meats, poaching fish, whipping up amazing desserts, and more, each class at the villa will focus on key Italian culinary techniques and will culminate in a full Italian meal. By week's end, you'll have perfected many essential culinary skills and learned dozens of Italian dishes.

Restaurant Dinners:

We have selected restaurants in nearby medieval towns where you can enjoy a taste of the local cuisine. Some restaurants are elegant, others cozy, but all will provide us with a memorable gastronomic experience. The only prerequisite is to bring your appetite, because the meals will be generous and wine is always included!

Dietary Restrictions:

Please note that due to the nature of the hands-on cooking classes (intended to provide a breadth of knowledge and perfect a wide range of skills), as well as the group nature of the regional dinners we will be experiencing at local restaurants, there will be no way to accommodate gluten-free, vegan, or dairy-free requirements.

Waiver & Medical Form:

We ask that all tour participants complete a waiver and release form as well as a medical form for their own safety. Any medical information shared will be kept absolutely confidential and will be used only to facilitate communication with medical personnel in the case of an unforeseen medical emergency while in Italy; please rest assured that this is the ONLY purpose of the medical form. All paperwork will need to be completed and returned with final payment by March 1, 2019 at the latest to secure your spot(s).

Deposit & Final Payment:

A deposit of $1,000 per person is required to reserve. Final payment is due on March 1, 2019. Deposits and final payments are non-refundable.

Price is subject to change as a result of international currency fluctuations that may affect the cost of air/land/sea transportation, hotels, or other related services.

Refunds: In the event that we must cancel a trip, you will be given a full refund of all deposits and payments. We do not give refunds of deposits or final payments for tours that commence as scheduled, including for unused portions of the tour. We do give credit for cancellations as noted below.

Cancellation Credit: In the event you cancel your tour for any reason, we allow credit for payments (but not deposits) in the following way:

  • 100% credit for future tours given with 90 days notice.
  • 60% credit for future tours given with notice of 60 to 89 days.
  • 30% credit for future tours given with notice of 30 to 59 days.
  • No credit given for cancellation less than 30 days prior to start date of the tour.
  • No credit for the reservation deposit.
  • All cancellation credits are good for two years from the start date of the originally scheduled tour.

Please note that this tour sold out fast and registration is now closed. If you want to receive early exclusive notifications (one week before the rest of our mailing list subscribers) about the tours to Italy we are planning for 2020 and beyond, or if you have questions, please fill out the future tours early access form. You can also email us at micol@rusticocooking.com if you have any questions.

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