Italian Cooking and Wine Break Tuscany

Summary

Itinerary

This Italian cooking and wine short break makes the most of your time in Tuscany, near Lucca; make delicious rustic Italian meals and other Italian classics while visiting culinary highlights such as local markets & vineyards on this family-run 4 night Italian cooking and wine break.

Join this 4 night / 5 day Italian cooking and wine short break in this amazing, lush part of Northern Tuscany where you will be welcomed by your hosts, Rita and Alex, for a truly authentic and memorable holiday experience.

During 2 hands-on Italian cooking lessons, you will learn how to make delicious rustic classics including fresh pasta and pizza.

Combining cooking and wine makes for the perfect marriage as we learn all the basic Italian cooking techniques and traditions that ‘la bella’ Garfagnana and Serchio Valley has to offer.

Through the additional cultural element of the holiday, you will visit the fresh local markets, wander the streets of Barga, known as one of the prettiest villages in Italy, and visit Lucca, known for its intact Renaissance-era city walls. You’ll also have the opportunity to taste & learn everything you need to know about a variety of local Tuscan wine.

The area also gives you the opportunity to experience Italian culture first hand with concerts, folk festivals, theatre, Barga Jazz and the Opera Barga, as well as food festivals that all run throughout the year.

Location Information

Join us in our Italian cookery and wine tasting holiday in this amazing, lush part of Northern Tuscany. Combining cooking and wine makes for the perfect marriage as we learn all the basic Italian cooking techniques and traditions that la bella “Garfagnana and Serchio Valley” has to offer.

We will visit the fresh local markets, wander the streets of Barga, (known as one of the prettiest villages in Italy), and explore Lucca, known for its intact Renaissance-era city walls. We’ll also hit a local vineyard where you’ll be given a tour & learn everything you need to know about wine, then finish off with a tasting and a delicious Italian meal!

The family run cookery school is situated on the edge of the Garfagnana and 36 km from the city of Lucca. It is only 250 metres from the train station of Barga-Gallicano, a strategic position for visiting the nearby towns of Lucca, Pisa, Florence and the famous Versilia. Pisa International airport is also just 90 minutes away.

The area is alive with concerts, folk festivals, outdoor food festivals (where you can savour local products), theatre, Barga Jazz and the Opera Barga, all that run throughout the year.

The structure of this charming bed and breakfast has small apartments with kitchen, kitchenette and ensuite rooms. You can enjoy tasty local cuisine in the Crescent restaurant and relax on the spacious veranda with views of the Apuan Alps.

Features
– 1.5 hours from Pisa International Airport
– Near to the medieval towns of Lucca, Pisa, Florence and Versilia
– Surrounded by the Apuan Alps and Garfagnana Valley
– Wonderful Terrace surrounded by mountains to relax on
– Local bar and restaurant on site
– Pets welcome
– WiFi
– Plenty of free parking
– Wheelchair accessible
– Italian, English and French speaking hosts with a wealth of knowledge about the area
– Delicious local food and wine
– Each room is spacious and has a private bathroom

Getting there

Please note that prices for the holidays do not include flights. We recommend using www.skyscanner.net to check flights.

Nearest airport:
Pisa International (1 hour, 30 minutes away)

Complimentary return transfers:
Return transfers from Pisa Airport to the cookery school are included in the price. The transfer may be in private car or shared minibus, depending on amount of people.

Please note, this complimentary service can only be offered on the first and last day of the holiday. For transfers on other days, there will be a charge of €50 each way.

Full details about the transfer will be written on your booking voucher.

By car:
If you would like to travel by car, full details and directions will be printed on your booking voucher.

By train:
The nearest train station is Barga Gallicano, which is around 250 metres from the school, which will take 2 hours and 43 minutes from Pisa.

To check trains, we recommend you look at www.trenitalia.com.

Full, detailed directions will be shown on your booking confirmation voucher.

Other Information

Who is it suitable for?
– Italian cookery short breaks are suitable for all levels from complete beginners to experienced cooks but are probably more suited to those who wish to learn the foundations of Italian cuisine
– Minimum age 18 (under 18s must be accompanied by an adult)
– Your hosts are Italian but also fluent in English and French
– Cooking classes are taught in English

I’m a solo traveller – can I join?
– These cookery holidays make great singles holidays and singles are welcome to join an existing group
– Solo travellers can pre-book a private single room without a single supplement
– No minimum number is needed for the holiday to go ahead but you may be the only one attending that week, please email if you would like more information

When can I start?
– All arrivals are on set dates throughout the year
– It may be possible to arrange cookery holidays on alternative dates, to check availability, email us with your preferred date
– Cooking short breaks are for 4 nights/5 days
– If you wish to stay for extra nights, please email to check availability for your preferred duration and we will do our best to accommodate you
– If dates appear ‘on request’, please email us and we’ll check availability for your preferred day of arrival as quickly as possible

About your hosts
– Your Italian hosts are Rita and Alex
– Your chef is Rita, whose parents moved onto Scotland to open a catering business, whilst she stayed behind in Italy to practice the traditional way of cooking
– Rita studied the ancient secrets and techniques of the traditional Tuscan cooking and keeps alive certain recipes that have lost popularity in the fast food era
– Rita has been running her B&B for 30 years and recently began giving cooking lessons
– Alex, who is also a professional singer, has been working with the local wineries for years, and together with Rita, provides the perfect combination of cooking lessons with wine tasting and live entertainment – which is what Italy is all about

What will I learn?
– How to select the best, freshest ingredients the market can offer
– Old school Tuscan recipes and styles of cooking
– Cooking fish
– Food tours
– Pasta making
– Pizza making courses
– Cultural and historic tours
– The wine making process

Sample menus
Dishes vary according to the season and what food is available but may include:
– Ragu
– Salsa di pomodoro (tomato sauce)
– Salsa salsiccia e porcini
– Zuppa di farro (grain similar to spelt)
– Home-made pasta
– Cheese and spinach filled ravioli
– Gnocchi sformati (vegetable or potato pie)
– Fish based dinners
– Homemade pizza
– Focaccia
– Cakes and desserts

Where will I be staying?
– You will stay in either the hotel rooms or small apartments each with a private bathroom
– The rooms are spacious and some have a magnificent view overlooking the Apuan Mountains
– All rooms have a traditional Italian sized double bed
– There is 1 double room with an ensuite bathroom & 4 single rooms with ensuite bathrooms
– Accommodation is included for 4 nights / 5 days
– Check in anytime after 12pm on day 1 and check out by 11am on day 8

Restricted mobility access
Please find below some information regarding the accommodation and location of the holiday which may be useful when deciding if this is the right holiday for you; should you have an further questions, please contact us and we will be happy to help
– Accommodation is available on the ground floor with a walk-in shower – There is a ramp to get into the restaurant
– There are many cobbled streets in Barga, so the Cathedral can be challenging; however there are plenty of other charming areas in Barga to explore

Are meals included?
– All breakfasts, lunches and dinners are included
– All soft drinks and wine are included with every meal
– You will enjoy a welcome buffet on day 1
– If you have dietary requests these must be communicated to us at the time of booking

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