Explore the traditional hill towns of sun-kissed Tuscany on our sumptuous 5-day Tuscany cooking vacation. Wine-drenched hillsides, art-filled cities, and soft sunsets over swathes of olive groves and truffle forests — Tuscany epitomizes la vera Italia. The heart of our tour is the enchanting village of Cortona, the star of Frances Mayes’ inspiring bestseller Under the Tuscan Sun. You just might run into the town’s famous resident of Bramasole during a daily stroll to the piazza. Explore the region through its cuisine and, of course, through some of the best wines in Tuscany. Learn to cook an authentic Italian meal from local chefs, visit farms and nearby food producers, relax in lush, rolling vineyards, and sip and taste your way through iconic Montepulciano, Pienza, Siena. Hunt truffles with adorable truffle dogs. Dine at a Michelin-starred restaurant with an exclusive tasting menu. Our Tuscany culinary vacation is a relaxing getaway on its own, or continue exploring with visits to Sicily or Florence.

5-Day Tuscany Food Tour

In sunny Tuscany, food is about more than just cooking and eating: It’s a way of life. Tuscany’s legendary cuisine is known for artful simplicity, fresh ingredients, and hearty flavors. Regional diversity is a hallmark of Italian cuisine, with each area offering a variety of flavors and preparation—Tuscan cuisine evokes its regions delicious abundance.

We’ll spend five days exploring Tuscany’s culinary treasures, including world-class wines and cheeses, a dizzying variety of olives and olive oil, delectable pastas and truffles. Local chefs give hands-on Tuscan cooking classes on regional specialties as well as traditional pastas and flavorful sauces. During your Tuscan cooking class you’ll prepare a four-course meal with antipasto, local pici pasta with ragu, a traditional main course and a delicious desert.

Don’t feel like cooking? Pour yourself a glass of wine and just keep the chefs company.

Another class is delicious in a different way. Working with a local bartender, you’ll learn to make Italian cocktails with the local gelato and sorbets of the day.

Our Tuscany cooking vacations include daily breakfasts, three lunches, and countless tastings along the way. A sumptuous farewell dinner at a Michelin-starred restaurant caps it off.

Exceptional Experience

  • An Italian cooking class specializing in traditional Tuscan cuisine
  • Wine and cheese tasting in Pienza and Montepulciano
  • Ice cream and sorbet cocktail class
  • Truffle hunt and farm-to-table lunch
  • Dinner at a Michelin-starred restaurant

DAY 1: Your Tuscany Cooking Vacation Begins

Welcome to Tuscany, Italy’s rustic, tranquil and historic heartland and home to world class wine and cuisine, lush rolling landscapes, and medieval hill towns. Your culinary tour of Tuscany begins at Florence airport, where our driver will be waiting for you. Our destination today is Cortona, the stunning setting for the movie “Under the Tuscan Sun.”

On our way to Cortona, we’ll visit Siena, arguably Italy’s most beautiful medieval city, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Set on three hills in the Chianti region, Siena is a must-see on any visit to Tuscany. Siena’s heart is its central piazza called Il Campo, which is best known worldwide for the famous Palio di Siena, a horse race run around the piazza twice each summer. We’ll tour the ancient town on foot, stopping at its most renowned bakery to taste the local “Ricciarelli,” a traditional Sienese cookie made from almonds, sugar, and egg whites.

We’ll then transfer to our lovely boutique hotel, walking distance to Cortona’s central piazza. Dinner tonight is at your leisure.

Drive Time: Approximately 2 hours
Meals Included: None

DAY 2: Tuscan Cooking Class

This morning we walk a short distance to the historic center of Cortona for one of the most interesting and traditional cooking classes in Tuscany. We’ll meet Antonella, an eclectic and talented chef who is also a journalist and expert on local culture. Her charming kitchen has a massive fireplace and a view of the ancient alleys and roofs of Cortona. Working with the best seasonal ingredients, Chef Antonella will guide you in the hands-on preparation of an unforgettable meal, from antipasto to dessert, including the local pici pasta with ragù. We’ll then sit down at the large kitchen table for our hearty lunch, paired with the perfect wine. Saluti!

This afternoon we’ll tour local food producers, such as a greengrocer, a butcher, or a beekeeper. We’ll also visit a family-owned farm in the Chiana Valley, set on over 37 acres of grain, fields of sunflowers, alfalfa and beautiful vineyards. The farm house has been in the same family for four generations. All of their products are made traditionally without preservatives or dyes, including cheese that is made from raw milk and aged from from 15 days to 12 months. Learning the customs and traditions of rural life, we’ll relax at the farm and taste their various products, such as raviggiolo, ricotta and pecorino cheeses paired with Vin Santo (dessert wine), artisan jam, fresh vegetables and fruits, and extra virgin olive oil.

In the late afternoon, just in time for an aperitivo, we’ll head back to Cortona for an ice cream cocktail class. The drinks we prepare will incorporate what is available at the local artisan gelato shop that day. Examples might include a White Lady using gin, triple sec and lemon sorbet, or a strawberry daiquiri using rum, lime juice and strawberry ice cream. Perfect for a late summer afternoon!

Dinner tonight is at your leisure, assuming you still have room!

Drive Time: Approximately 1 hour
Meals Included: Breakfast, lunch and tastings

DAY 3: Visit the Wineries of Tuscany

Our Tuscany culinary tour continues as we spend the day exploring the Val d’Orcia, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and world-famous wine region. We’ll start the day at Braccesca Winery, one of the best wineries in Tuscany, for a tour, tasting and lunch. We’ll explore the vineyards and cellar of this luscious wine estate and then enjoy an exclusive, private tasting of their excellent wines including Syrah and Vino de Nobile, one of the most popular Tuscan wines. We’ll then sit down for a delicious lunch paired with Braccesca wines.

After lunch we’ll stroll the beautiful hill towns of Pienza and Montepulciano, famous for their excellent cheese and wine production. We’ll visit an artisanal cheese workshop in Pienza where you will have the opportunity to taste pecorino di Pienza cheese at different ages. And we’ll end the day at Talosa winery, where we’ll tour the cellar and taste several of their award-winning wines accompanied by local pecorino cheese and bruschetta.

Drive Time: Approximately 2 hours
Meals Included: Breakfast, lunch and tastings

DAY 4: Truffle Hunt & Michelin-Rated Dinner

One of the highlights of our Tuscany cooking vacation is a truffle hunt, which takes place in a “tartufaia” (woodlands where truffles are found) on a family farm and vineyard. Together with our truffle expert and his trained dogs, we stroll through the woods as the dogs sniff out the precious truffles. You’ll even have the chance to handle the truffle dogs directly if you are interested. During the walk, our guide will give you an introduction to the world of Italian truffles, particularly the species of truffles in Tuscany. We’ll learn where and how the truffles are found, how to preserve them properly at home, how they are used in cooking, and what recipes complement them the most. After the hunt, we will head to the farmhouse with our new-found treasure, just in time for lunch al fresco that is paired with the lovely wines that are produced on-site. Our farm-to-table meal includes truffles and other local and seasonal ingredients, such as handmade pasta from flour milled on the premises, local meats and cheeses, and herbs from the garden.

As if you haven’t eaten enough phenomenal Tuscan food this week, our farewell dinner is at the Michelin-starred Il Falconiere, run by award-winning executive chef Silvia Regi Baracchi. You’ll enjoy a unique tasting menu with the freshest local and seasonal ingredients. This is a meal you may never forget!

Drive Time: Approximately 1 hour
Meals Included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

DAY 5: Our Tuscany Culinary Tour Ends

Our culinary tour of Tuscany is over today, but if you want more, we can deliver! Ask us about our 3-day/2-night Florence extension, which you can enjoy either before or after your Tuscany cooking vacation.

Please note: This itinerary is designed to give you an idea of what to expect during our Tuscany food travel experiences, but is not set in stone. What we actually do on a given day is flexible and can be tailored to the interests of the group.

Note: This itinerary and package inclusions might be changed in time, subject to availability.