Gastronomic Tours of Tuscany and Pizza Lessons

Learn How to Make Pizza (and eat it!)

The villa has its own original bread oven and we can arrange lessons on how to make pizza, focaccia and calzone by a traditional pizzaiolo (pizza maker) for your stay as well as meals fantastic pizza lunches or dinners prepared by him on site

Gastronomic Tours

Tuscany is famous for its food and wine but the secret behind the flavours is the retention of the original artisanal methods of cultivation and production.

In this tour you will meet the artisans, see and learn how about their crafts and, of course, taste their products. These will include a wide variety of cheeses, notably pecorino, caprino and ricotta as well as local salamis, prosciutto, wild boar, truffles, extra virgin olive oils and, of course, the world-famous wines. You will be taught how to make your own pasta, pizza and biscotti have private conducted tours of beautiful parts of Tuscany. A detailed itinerary is set out below.

You will be based at the Villa in the heart of the Val D’Orcia, a UNESCO world heritage site, famed for its beautiful rolling landscapes. The Villa which has been faithfully restored using original Tuscan materials but also benefits from sumptuous internal furnishings, leisure facilities, hi-tech sound systems and broadband connectivity.

Throughout the week you will be accompanied by a bilingual licensed Tuscan tour guide who is also usually a qualified sommelier. She will explain in detail the qualities of the different wines that you will be tasting, notably the famous Brunello, Vino Nobile and Chianti Classico.

The tour is organised by a specialist licensed Tuscan tour operator.

Gastronomic Itinerary (Saturday to Saturday)

Day 1

Transfer by Mercedes minibus from Rome Airport to the Villa.

Day 2 (full day tour) - Montepulciano – Visit an organic cheese farm and learn how to make Pizza

You will be picked up at the Villa and taken to a small organic cheese farm which is famous for pecorino (sheep milk cheese) and caprino (goat milk cheese). The cheese is unpasteurised which gives it a unique flavour.

The owner of the farm will show you how to make pizza in the Tuscan style, and you will make your own pizza with your favourite organic toppings. You will also be able to sample their famous cheeses.

Montepulciano is one of Tuscany’s most enchanting towns. In the afternoon, you will go on a guided walking tour and meet some of its artisans.

Then you will visit an imposing, historical wine cellar where a wine expert will accompany you for a tasting of Vino Nobile and other local DOCG (denominazione di origine controllata) wines.

Day 3 (full day tour) – Siena and Chianti – Serious wine tasting

You will be picked up and be taken on a guided walking tour of medieval Siena, a UNESCO world heritage site and one of the most beautiful cities in the world. You will have a delicious lunch in a carefully chosen local osteria. Lunch will be followed by a tour in the Chianti region and you will then be taken to a top-rated Chianti winery to taste Chianti Classico accompanied by a wine expert to enhance your knowledge and experience.

Day 4 (full day tour) – Montalcino and Abbazia di Sant’Antimo – Wine-tasting and learn to make cantucci

You will be picked up at the Villa and be taken to an historical patisserie where the chef will show you how to make Cantucci biscuits (“biscotti”). You will, of course, have the opportunity to sample them as well as other cakes and pastries.

You will then be taken to San Angelo in Colle, a beautiful hilltop town, for lunch comprising Tuscan specialities.

This will be followed by wine-tasting at a local cellar and a wine expert will explain the different wines, notably Brunello.

You will also have the opportunity to visit the evocative medieval Abbey of Sant’Antimo.

Day 5 Options

Relaxing Option
This is a day to relax and indulge yourselves at the beautiful Villa. There is a sauna and pool table. In summer, you can also enjoy the marvellous swimming pool and the tennis court.

Alternatively, you can select from the three options below. The additional costs of two of these options are set out below in the section headed “Exclusions and Additional Costs”. These options must be reserved at the time of booking the Gastronomic Tour.

Ballooning Option
This is generally available from mid-May to October but is weather dependent.

You will be picked up very early from the Villa and taken for a breath-taking balloon flight over the arresting Tuscan landscape followed by a scrumptious breakfast comprising Ferrari (a sparkling wine created from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes) and various local cheeses and meats. You will be picked up at 6am and return to the Villa at around 11am.

There are certain pre-conditions, namely a minimum age of 7, a minimum height of 4ft 6in and a maximum weight of 110k. This option is not recommended for people who have had recent surgery, have back problems or are pregnant.

Truffle Hunt – S. Giovanni D’Asso
The truffle harvest is seasonal (15 February – 25 April, 1 June – 30 August and 10 September – 31 December) and this option is weather dependent.

You will be picked up at the Villa and taken on a truffle hunt in the woods with a local guide and trained dogs. Please wear hiking boots and robust clothes. This will be followed by truffle tasting. Please note that this option involves some exertion and mud.

At lunch you will sample truffle specialities and other local delicacies.

Monticchiello Dinner
A superb dinner in a private house in the beautiful medieval village of Monticchiello. You will have the opportunity to stroll through the village and see the beautiful stone houses and flowering balconies.

Day 6 (full day tour)

Trequanda - Chianina cattle and olive oil tasting
You will be picked up at the Villa and taken to the medieval village of Trequanda to visit the Chianina cows – source of the world famous “Bistecca alla Fiorentina” (Porterhouse). A specialist butcher will explain local cuts and specialities and how to cook them.

Your lunch will be based on Chianina steak. You will also have the opportunity to taste other local specialities, notably crostini, bresaola and salami as well as wines and olive oils.

After lunch you will be taken for a specialist olive oil tasting.

Day 7 (full day tour) – Pienza and Bagno Vignoni – Visit a flour mill and learn to make pasta

You will be picked up and taken to Bagno Vignoni, a small hamlet known since Roman times for the hot springs and the watermills. Then you will visit a working mill producing local flour and see the whole grain producing process. There will be a fascinating talk on the history of Tuscan flour production, from olden times to the present with a practical demonstration. You will learn about different wheats, barley, spelt and other cereals and see how grain is turned into flour using a stone mill.

You will then be shown by a local artisan how to make “pici” (the local pasta) using a bronze die.

Lunch will be near the beautiful hamlet of Monticchiello and you will be able to try pici.

After lunch you will be taken to beautiful Pienza, another UNESCO world heritage site and the City of Pope Pius II (1400’s) for a guided walk and a delicious gelato.

Day 8

You will be picked up in the morning from the Villa and transported by Mercedes minibus to Rome airport.

Breakfast at The Villa

A simple continental breakfast will be provided at the Villa every day.

Price, Payment and Size Of Group

The prices vary depending on the size of your group and the season and are available on application. The prices include airport transfers to and from Rome, accommodation at the Villa, the itinerary above including private tours with your own guide and transport by Mercedes minibus, lunches on 5 days and breakfast every day, 2 hours’ cleaning per day and a midweek change of towels. Payment is made to the specialist licensed Tuscan tour operator which organises this tour.

Additional Services, Additional Costs and Exclusions

  • Flights to and from Rome, Pisa, Florence or Perugia.
    The Tour runs from Saturday to Saturday. The Villa is available from Saturday 4pm until the following Saturday at 10am and flights should be arranged accordingly. Ideally you will arrange your flights so as to arrive at Rome airport (Fiumicino) around 1.30pm and to leave the following Saturday around 4pm. On the final day you will normally be picked up from the Villa at 10am.
  • Travel insurance you must arrange this yourselves.
  • Individual airport transfers i.e. when you do not use the same airport as the rest of your group or you do not arrive or leave with your group – the cost for individual transfers to/from the closest airports is as follows: Rome and Pisa (E350), Florence and Perugia (E250) per person per transfer (to be paid directly to the chauffeur).
  • Security deposit E2500 damage and loss deposit to the housekeeper on arrival at the Villa.
    Any loss or damage to the property, its fixtures or fittings will be deducted from the security deposit prior to refund. The guests are jointly and severally responsible for any loss or damage in excess of the security deposit.
  • Central heating of the Villa (winter months) is E2000 per week and, if required must be paid at the time of booking the Tour. This is recommended for the months of October-April inclusive.
  • Swimming pool heating at the Villa costs an additional E2000 per week and, if required, must be paid at the time of booking the Tour.
    The pool will be available from April–October inclusive and heating is necessary for April and highly recommended for the months of May and October.
    NB whilst this will increase the temperature of the pool considerably, it does not guarantee that guests will find it as warm as they would like.
  • Balloon option on day 5:-
    • E315 per person for the trip plus E360 per vehicle for transport to and from the balloon trip. Each vehicle can hold up to 7 guests
    • To be paid directly to the agency at the time of booking the Tour and only refundable if trip cancelled due to weather.
  • Truffle hunt option on day 5:- price on request.
  • Monticchiello dinner option on day 5:-
    • E60 per person for dinner and E300 per vehicle for transport to and from Monticchiello. This sum is to be paid directly to the guide who will travel with you. Each vehicle can hold up to 7 guests.
  • Babysitting is available on request @ E20 p.h. (to be paid directly to the housekeeper)
    NB the babysitter does not speak English.
  • Lunch on day 5 if you choose the “Relaxing Option”, lunch is available on request at the Villa at a cost of E35 per person including wine to be paid directly to the housekeeper.
  • Dinner at the Villa each day you will have the option of a typical Tuscan dinner including wine prepared for you by the housekeeper at a cost of E30 per person to be paid directly to the housekeeper.
  • Cleaning 2 hours per day are included except Sunday. Extra cleaning services on request at a cost of E20 per hour (to be paid directly to the housekeeper).
  • Wine upgrades at restaurants where you will be having lunch as part of the Tour (the ones included will be good local wines).

Changes To Programme

Occasionally in light of unforeseen circumstances e.g. unseasonal weather, changes to your programme may need to be made but efforts will be made to ensure that this does not in any way detract from your enjoyment.

Further information: or complete our contact form.