Tuscany Villa Culinary Workshops in Italy

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Wine and Food Workshops in Tuscany

Pamela Sheldon JohnsReaching south from Florence, the province of Siena ripples with the gentle forested hills of Chianti into the rich valleys of the Chiana and Orcia Rivers. The area bubbles with the earthly pleasures of hot mineral waters and agricultural wonders. It is a region of contrasts. Depending on the season, travelers are treated to the visual splendors of the blazing colors of reddened grape leaves or cheery sunflowers, soothed by billowing fields of wheat.

It is not uncommon to see deer, porcupine, pairs of pheasant, and perhaps even wild boar as you drive or walk the area. Many quaint and traditional food-making practices still exist here. Along with extraordinary wines (Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Brunello, and other wonderful Sanviovese wines), the highlighted foods of this area are the pecorino cheese, truffles and porcini mushrooms, and Chianina beef. You’ll also be introduced to some uniquely local products such as a pasta called pici, the unique extra-large and sweet garlic called aglione, and a pork sausage called finocchiona, which is salted and cured in a coating of aromatic wild fennel flowers and black pepper.

Pamela Sheldon Johns featured on how2heroes.comYour host is cookbook author Pamela Sheldon Johns who has worked in Italy for nearly 30 years, studying the traditional cuisine and products of the 20 diverse regions. Seasonality and regionality are the concepts we follow, so the dishes will change with the season, and according to your food sensitivities. Pamela is a licensed Tour Escort and works according to the itinerary we set for you.

Unless otherwise stated in the descriptions below, accommodations are in the countryside at Pamela Sheldon Johns' organic farm, Poggio Etrusco (near Montepulciano, halfway between Florence and Rome). On 15 acres, this estate is an active oliveto with 800 olive trees, a small vineyard, and an abundant garden to pick our fresh, seasonal produce from. Just ten minutes from Montepulciano, in the countryside, the views are breath-taking from every angle. In the distance we can see the charming hilltown of Cortona, and nearby we see the ancient towers of the historic town of Chianciano Terme. In warm weather, we can enjoy the swimming pool and dine al fresco. In cool weather you can sip our after-dinner drinks in front of the fireplace.

Photo Credit Dave Treece

Five-night Workshops at Poggio Etrusco in Montepulciano
€ 2750/person, double occupancy

Includes 5 nights accommodations at Poggio Etrusco,
Daily breakfast and lunch, morning and afternoon activities (classes/visits/tastings),
and ground transportation to scheduled events
(arrive/depart Chiusi station, halfway between Florence and Rome).
Additional nights B&B can be booked before or after the program, write to Poggio Etrusco for details)

Discover Tuscany's traditional cuisine with hands-on classes, and cooking our lunch together using ingredients from our organic garden and the local market.

We'll visit an artisan cheesemaker, organic/biodynamic wine maker, an olive mill, a coffee roaster, and have an extensive lesson on Tuscan wines paired with dinner in a tiny medieval village. We will visit local hilltowns (Montepulciano, Pienza) and meet craft artisans making ironwork, ceramics, and copperware.

Dinners and transportation to them are on your own, we will help with reservations and arranging your transportation. Some people may opt to prepare their own dinner in their apartment; we will help you procure the supplies you need to do that.

For a sample itinerary, send us an email.

Three-Night Workshops at Poggio Etrusco in Montepulciano
€1600/person, double occupancy

Includes 3 nights accommodations at Poggio Etrusco
Daily breakfast and lunch, morning and afternoon activities (classes/visits/tastings),
and ground transportation to scheduled events
(arrive/depart Chiusi station, halfway between Florence and Rome)
Additional nights B&B can be booked before or after the program, write to Poggio Etrusco for details)

Discover Tuscany's traditional cuisine with hands-on classes in the farmhouse kitchen at Poggio Etrusco. We start with a short discussion of olive oil and a comparison of artisanal and industrially produced product, then cook our lunch together using ingredients from our organic garden and the local market.

We'll visit an artisan cheesemaker, organic/biodynamic wine maker, an olive mill, learn about local salume production, along with an extensive lesson on Tuscan wines paired with dinner in a tiny medieval village. We will visit local hilltowns (Montepulciano, Pienza) and meet craft artisans making ironwork, ceramics, custom-made shoes, and copperware.

One-Day Workshops at Poggio Etrusco in Montepulciano
€190/person, minimum 2 persons
(10: 00 – 4:00 pm)

If you are staying at Poggio Etrusco, or will be in the area, it is possible to book a culinary workshop for a small group. You can choose from the topics at this link, or request your own subject to focus on. The price, Euro 190/person, includes the lesson (with printed recipes in English), lunch and wine. There is a 2-person minimum. Group prices available for groups of 10 or more.  

Tree-toTable Olive Harvest at Poggio Etrusco in October

Help harvest the olives, bring the to the olive mill, learn to use it at the table. Great week that also includes wine tasting, truffle hunting, and exploration of our nearby hilltowns of Pienza and Montepulciano. Please request sample itinerary.

One-day harvest experiences can also be booked through Poggio Etrusco, send an email for info.

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