Tutti A Tavola Cooking Holiday, Tuscany

Courtesy of the American Spouses of Brunssum Travel Information Guide

Time of year: Spring

La Casa
53013 Gaiole, Chianti, Siena
Tel: 0039-0577-738-707

Cooking Holiday: The class included a welcome reception, three evening cooking classes, a day time wine tasting/vineyard tour, and a daytime trip to the market. The evening meals were included after you cook it. The class was about $1100 which included my lodging. I went with a friend and we both took our families. Since the cost of the class included one villa, we split the cost of another villa and each family got their own. There was an in-ground pool and lots of other things to do in the area. The old Italian ladies were so impressed with our husbands coming with us and caring for the kids while we went to the class that they made sure we had lots of food for the families at the end of the night.

Things to do in the area: Florence, San Gimignano, Livorno, Siena, and Lucca.

Recommendations: We used Epiculinary to book the class, but call direct for better rates (the number for La Casa). On the drive we stopped at Camp Darby for two nights. We bought marble in Carerra, toured Pisa, and enjoyed the beach. On the drive back, we stayed at Camp Ederle.



Sample Itinerary:

15 May – Leave early morning – we left around 3 am (should take approx 11 hours)

15-17 May — Arrive Camp Darby before 5pm

Camp Darby (00-39-050-547580) confirmation number 65798 $55/night

Possible things to do:

American Beach

Marble Quarry

Leaning Tower and Church

Major Area Attractions

  • Pisa, famous for its Leaning Tower (6 miles from Camp Darby). Turn left on SS11, turn right at the fourth stop light. Go under the railroad tracks and 100′ past the next intersection (the one with the stop light) and turn RIGHT into the parking lot. The Leaning tower is on the other side of the wall.
  • Carerra, famous for its marble quarries (the same ones used by Michaelangelo). North of Pisa, take the Carerra exit, follow the yellow signs “CAVE DI MARBO” up the mountain. There are several marble gift shops. We shopped around and found the best one to be GIANCARIO CONTIPELLI & C. They have a small cafe in the middle of the store and they give Americans a 12% discount! Their phone number is (0585) 758005. We bought marble rolling pins ($9), marble lazy susans ($9), alabaster chess sets ($50-$90) and many other marble items! The tolls on the Autostrade are 6000 lire each way (exchange rate was 1538 lire / dollar) DON’T MISS IT!
  • The walled city of Lucca, a quaint medieval village with its soaring cathedral and a commanding view of the Tuscan Hills (20 miles from Camp Darby)
  • San Gimignano, a picturesque 14th century town renowned for its medieval atmosphere and characteristic towers (56 miles from Camp Darby)
  • The peaceful Isle of Elba, Napoleon’s first place of exile (car ferry during the summer months, 52 miles south of Camp Darby)
  • Florence, incomparable city of world art treasures, churches and palaces (75 miles from Camp Darby)
  • Siena, showcase of Italian gothic architecture (60 miles from Camp Darby)
  • Livorno, home of Modigiliani (6 mi. from Camp Darby)

17 May — Depart Camp Darby around 1300 to La CASA

Directions to La CASA (MAP QUEST DIRECTIONS www.mapquest.com were used for all directions needed for journey)

Address of Property : La Casa, 53013 Gaiole in Chianti, Siena, Italy
Owners: Marisa and Sandro Forcheri
Tel.: (++39) 0577 738 707

Arrival times: 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Departures times: By 9.00 a.m. on your departure day

Arriving from Pisa airport: Turn right out of the airport and follow the road in the direction SS LIVORNOFIRENZE direction Firenze. Follow part 2.

Part 2:

Pay toll at the end of the motorway and follow towards Montevarchi. Follow SS 408 towards Gaiole in Chianti and Siena. Continue at least 19 kilometres until you arrive at crossroads. Go right in the direction Radda in Chianti. After 4 kilometres, and at the end of a quite difficult corner, at your left you have a white road in direction of Vertine – S.Donato in PeranoSpaltenna.

La Casa is the first house at your right after 200 metres.

19 MayFlorence

17-21 May – Check-in at 1500 (Class Agenda Follows)

B&B Accommodations:

La Casa (I Gelsi) 53013 Gaiole in Chianti
Telephone (from
USA): 011-39-0577-738-707
Your hostess: Marisa Forcheri

Cooking Class Itinerary:

Monday, May 17

Afternoon arrival and a warm welcome at your farmhouse accommodation.

5:30 pm wine tasting at Podere Ciona. A good occasion to meet your fellow participants.

Tuesday, May 18

At approximately 9:30 am enjoy an olive tasting at Pornanino farmhouse, where Franco will teach you to understand and appreciate what it is that makes extra virgin olive oil so very special.

At 4:00, you’ll go to one of the farmhouses for the first cooking class. Some of the dishes you might prepare include: bruschetta, hand-made pasta, arista, and panna cotta. Dinner follows the lesson.

Wednesday, May 19

Morning free.

4:00 cooking lesson at another farmhouse. Today maybe you will make crostini, ribollita, scaloppini al limone, and zuccotto fiorentino. A dinner follows the lesson.

Thursday, May 20

At 9:15 am, you’ll go with your guide to visit the Montevarchi market. Afterwards a visit to shops and workshops.

4:00 pm cooking class followed by a festive farewell dinner.

Friday, May 21

Morning checkout after breakfast.

21 May – Depart Nove/Vicenza (3 hours)

Ederle Inn Caserme EderleVicenza 011-39-0444-71-8034

Possible things to do: Venice, Nove (30 min see map quest directions), Vicenza (Teatro Olimpico Designed in 1579 for the Vicenza Accademia Olimpica to stage theatrical performances, this is the only surviving Renaissance theater in the world.)

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