Posts filed under ‘Tuscan Food Experiences’
Booking a food or wine experience during your villa stay is a fun, enriching way to truly savor life in Tuscany. Here are a selection of cooking classes and tastings available through RentVillas:
Truffle Cooking Class
Cooking fun with truffles! Learn how to clean, prep, and incorporate fresh truffles into a variety of Tuscan recipes. Giulio and Cristina, professional chef at Casa del Tartufo in Bagno a Ripoli (20 minutes from Florence), will share their passion for these unique “fruits of the soil” during an afternoon and evening of lively instruction and delicious flavors. Class participants will prepare (and enjoy!) an antipasto, primo, secondo, contorno, and dolce. Available Monday-Friday, March-December (except May); 4:00 PM-8:00 PM. Cost per person: 120 Euros (2-5 pax); 110 Euros (over 5 pax). Price includes wine and water. Transportation not included.
The true truffle experience: Join truffle hunter Giulio and his truffle hound Edda on a hunt for black truffles. After your time in the woods, you’ll proceed to Giulio’s Casa del Tartufo in Bagno a Ripoli for a delectable lunch in his Tuscan kitchen featuring truffles in each course. A local Sangiovese will be served with lunch. Available weekdays during March-December (except May) (10 AM - 2 PM). Cost per person: 130 Euros (4-5 pax); 120 Euros (over 5 pax). Transportation not included.
Wine and truffle tasting at the Casa del Tartufo in Bagno a Ripoli: Taste four different Tuscan wines (all produced by friends of Casa del Tartufo owner Giulio) and savor light Tuscan fare such as local prosciutto and salame, olives, garden salad, and frittata with truffles. Complete the meal with with homemade dolci. Giulio will discuss the wines and truffles and share insight into regional food culture. Available Monday-Friday March-December (except May). Cost per person: 90 Euros (2 pax); 85 Euros (2-5 pax); 75 Euros (more than 5 pax). Transportation not included.
Montepulciano Wine Tasting (half-day): Start your day in this lovely medieval town with a guided walking tour. You’ll then enjoy a wine tasting at a winery located in the historic center. Your ½ tour will culminate in the countryside, where you’ll be treated to a second wine tasting. Arrive back in Cortona at approximately 1:30 PM. Included in the price is transportation from the Cortona train station, a guided walking tour, and 2 wine tastings. This half-day tour is offered Monday-Saturday (9:15 AM-1:30 PM). Cost per person: 120 Euros (for 2-3 pax); 95 Euros (for 4-5 pax); 70 Euros (for 6-7 pax); 55 Euros (for 8-9 pax); 60 Euros (for 10-11 pax); 55 Euros (for 12 pax). Children 0-6 are free. Children ages 6-10 pay 50% of the adult per person cost. Gratuity is not included in the price.
Wine and Cheese Tour in Montepulciano and Pienza (full-day): Meander through the charming historic centers of Montepulciano and Pienza—and sample wines and cheese as you go! Your tour will commence with a walking tour of Montepulciano. Then, you’ll be transported to the Tuscan countryside where you’ll taste 3 wines and 2 different wineries (wines are available for purchase.) Later in the morning, you’ll travel to Pienza where you’ll visit a cheese maker and sample 10 different aromatic farmstead cheeses. Included in the price is transportation from the Cortona train station, your ½ day guide, 2 wine tastings (3 wines), and cheese tasting (10 cheeses). This tour/tasting is available Monday-Saturday (9:15 AM-2:00/2:30). Cost per person: 170 Euros (for 2-3 pax); 140 Euros (for 4-5 pax); 120 Euros (for 6-7 pax); 105 Euros (for 8-9 pax); 95 Euros (for 10-11 pax); 90 Euros (for 12 pax). Children 0-6 are free. Children ages 6-10 pay 50% of the adult per person cost. Gratuity is not included in the price.
My husband, Paul and I, would like to formally thank you for offering the “True Truffle Experience” to your clients. Never in our wildest dreams did we ever think that we would go on a truffle excursion while vacationing in Italy. Not only are we true foodies, but we are also morel mushroom hunters. This is an experience that we will certainly never forget, and one that we will share will family and friends for a lifetime to come.
We had been in contact with Giulio prior to leaving for our trip. His emails were very helpful and his directions were very easy to follow from our villa. Upon our arrival, we were greeted by him and his lovely partner, Christina, at their beautiful estate La Limonaia. They were very welcoming and spoke great English.
Giulio presented us with an overview of the evolution of truffles as well as his credentials. The knowledge and passion that he has can be seen by a certain twinkle in his eye whenever he speaks of the truffles. We were pleasantly surprised to have an impromptu olive oil tasting. We definitely learned a lot and have expanded our pallets. Unfortunately, we are now spoiled with Tuscan olive oil, and we will probably never be able to use anything else!
When it came time for the actual “hunt”, we first had to meet his partner in crime. Etta or Edda, is his beautiful hunting companion. The very key to a successful truffle experience. After she happily responded to us, we loaded into his car and drove up into the hills. From up top, we had the most amazing view of Florence. We quickly headed into the woods and followed 10 steps behind the hunting duo. Not knowing what to expect, we were very surprised to have found a black truffle 15 minutes into our hunt. We continued up the hills and through the woods for over an hour. The end result was 5 truffles!
When we returned to his estate, we were shown the correct way to clean the truffles. Christina then prepared a phenomenal potluck of dishes that were blessed with a generous amount of truffle shavings on top. My husband and I still talk about her Tuscan white bean soup. She is as gifted in the kitchen as he is in the woods. In fact, on our next visit to Tuscany, we want to do the truffle experience again as well as a cooking class with her.
We were very sad to say our goodbyes. It was as if we were leaving old friends. The only satisfaction we had was knowing that we will meet again.
This was definitely one of the highlights of our whole Italian experience.
Thank you again,
Brandy & Paul, October 2011
Please contact RentVillas at (800) 726-6702.To confirm a reservation, a 20% non-refundable deposit is required. Upon receipt of the deposit, you will be put in direct contact with the Cook or Tour Guide, who will be able to answer your specific questions regarding the details of the meal and/or tour, including balance payment, extra costs, and the meeting time and place. We recommend that reservations be made at least two months prior to your departure.