If you are planning out your itinerary to discover Tuscany off the beaten track, the many sights of the Val di Merse might be just right for you.
Set between the foothills of the Metalliferous Hills and the Crete Senesi, along the course of the river Merse, this area is almost entirely a nature reserve: gently rolling green hills, mountainous areas, meadows and valleys thick with woods.
At some points, you’ll encounter wilderness areas that seem almost unexplored.
We chose Borgo Personatina for the Tuscany week of October. The program includes various cooking experiences and visits to special sites. 7 days of fun!
VISIT TO THE MAGICAL ABBEY OF SAN GALGANO
SAN GALGANO is an abbey with its roof open to the heavens. It is the first gothic church built in Tuscany, between 1218 and 1288 by the Cistercian monks as a sign of the popularity of Saint Galgano cult. Getting there causes the sensation to travel back in time, in the mysterious Middle Ages, rich in legends that influence many people’s imagination. And if you get there during the week, or also on Sunday in low season, when the silence dominates all, this sensation is even more evident. This unique place rises in the valley of the river Merse, in the the Provinces of Siena to the border with the one of Grosseto, between the two medieval villages of Chiusdino and Monticiano.
THE FONTERUTOLI COOKING EXPERIENCE WITH CHEF LORENZO BALDACCI
Castello di Fonterutoli is perfectly located in the very heart of the enchanting Chianti
You get a hands-on cooking lesson experience with the experienced chef Lorenzo Baldacci who will teach you the basics of italian Florentine cuisine.
The “hands-on lessons” last approximately 4 hours where you will learn the basics of the Italian cooking, and at the end you’ll be able to taste what you have learned and you will receive a personal certificate with a recipe book. During the lesson you will be guided through mixing, kneading and cooking techniques as well as storage tips.
The dishes you will learn to cook are prepared with fresh local farm ingredients, perfectly portioned.
Besides, if you are a “pasta lover”, you will be able to have an exclusive cooking lesson focused on the realization of different homemade pasta like tagliatelle, ravioli, tortellini, cannelloni, etc with their respective sauces. Mostly you will have a lot of fun and you’ll be surprised of your ability on making it!
Classes are friendly and fun, where clients are treated as individuals, enjoying time with Chef Lorenzo and new acquaintances, cooking and eating side by side.
Experiencing a wine tour where a local expert guide of Marchesi Mazzei wine will take you around showing you the vineyards, wineries and cellars while giving you a full explanation of the winemaking process. Of course, this is followed by the wine tasting often combined with the local farm products and specialties that will delight your refined palate.
VISIT THE SIENA MARKET
Every Wednesday, it’s market day in Siena.
The biggest market in Tuscany is held at La Lizza, an area near the old fortress, from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Vendors sell food, clothes and also souvenirs.
We will Arrive here early in the morning, because the market is always very crowded.
All together you will learn how to select the freshest ingredients at the best butchers & vegetable stalls around.
Once your shopping bags are bursting with delicious groceries, return to our villa beautiful kitchen where we will be welcomed by a wonderful flow of Prosecco.
Together we will cook and create a feast of Italian dishes that use few ingredients, well chosen, cooked with simplicity and brought to the table with gusto.
We will have a memorable lunch!
Dinner at a local trattoria to taste Siena famous pasta called “pici”
TOUR BY NATURE TRAIN
Today it is still possible to immerse yourself in this vintage atmosphere thanks to the Nature Train, a steam train that will allow you to explore the Crete Senesi and the Val d’Orcia from a completely new perspective.
In fact, it should not be forgotten that in addition to the charm of the train itself, the beauty of traveling lies in being able to cross some areas of this area of Tuscany where there are often no roads, which means ensuring unique and absolutely unusual views.
COOKING DAY WITH CARMELA CIPRIANI, CRISTINA BONDUA’ AND OTHER CHEFS
Passion, professionalism, experience, creativity: these are the key elements embodied by us.
VISIT TO A LOCAL POTTERY CERAMIC STUDIO
The potter´s wheel is very interesting. You can make any kind of pot or dish. Take a fun with us. In that case we prepare for you special comfortable wears.
When in Chianti, you will come across some of the great personalities, who were born, lived or visited the area.
One of the most famous personalities in Chianti is Dario Cecchini, the butcher from Panzano.
Esperienza C will organize a full day wine tour visiting lovely sites of Tuscany and an amazing lunch with Bistecca at famous butcher Dario Cecchini.
If you try this chianina steak and the Dario Cecchini experience you will go back home understanding what does it mean: BISTECCA ALLA FIORENTINA the mythical T-bone Steak.
Dario claims that he has dedicated his life “at the service of her majesty bistecca alla fiorentina”, and there is no doubt, that he has done more, getting the florentine steak known world wide, than any other good butcher in the neighbourhood.
We will Experience Dario Cecchini’s wonderful world of meat and Tuscany wines.
A TRIP TO ITALY INVARIABLY LEADS TO OLIVE OIL
Olive picking is one of the most traditional events of the Autumn in Tuscany. A unique moment to taste the flavours of this beautiful region during the most charming season of the year. Esperienza C will organize for you a day in the countryside picking up olives and sharing moments of genuine rural life.
We will also visit an olive mill to learn how the olive oil is produced, pressed and finally bottled.
As the olive harvest can vary, depending on climatic conditions, the dates of picking olives may be flexible.
We will arrange to go to the olive grove first and the to the olive mill for the final oil tasting.
The lightning is the extra vergine, the oil from the first cold pressing, sampled fresh at the press by farmer and friend alike: pungent gold, with a shade of verdant green, light, somehow sweet and pungent at once, the delicacy lasting on the tongue. So good, you could drink it straight.
Though the locals, of course, suggest bruschetta or focaccia as a complement!
Olive oil is often called the liquid gold of Tuscany.
Timing, activities, and itinerary during tour may vary according to unforeseen circumstances, weather conditions, availability, performance, or to enhance the trip experience.
Organizers reserves the right to substitute a service/good with one of equal or greater quality.
Included in tour:
• 7 nights accommodation in Location (villa/casale)
• Transportation from airport to destination and from destination to airport
• All meals during the 7 days experience
• All wines served at dinners and tastings
• Visits to wineries with wine tastings
• guides, drivers, and other staff
• Professional chefs
• Tastings and other gastronomic activities
• Cooking demo/class by Chef Orsa Pillon and local guest chef
• Cooking expertise of Carmela Cipriani
• Table decorations and setting by Cristina Bondua’
• Transportation and daily activities for (cooking classes,
visits to local artisans, visits to cultural and historical sights + more)
• Liability insurance toward third parties
• Tuscan recipes from cooking class packet
Not included in tour:
• Airfare to/from Italy (affiliate travel agent available upon request)
• Extras in hotels and along the tour
• Massages (available at an extra cost to be booked in advance)
• Tips for tour guides and bus drivers
• Travel insurance (travel insurance is highly recommended for each participant)
Pricing & Terms:
• euro 7700 based on double occupancy.
• Single occupancy rooms available at a supplemental cost of euro 700.
• euro 1500 deposit required to reserve spot
• Balance due by August 3 2019
• Minimum 6 participants maximum 10 participants
To reserve your spot: A deposit of $1,500 per person is required to secure your spot. Final payment of the remaining balance is due 60days prior to the tour start date. Payments can be made using US domestic checks, wire transfers, or credit cards (please note that a 3.5% transaction fee for payments via credit card is applicable).
If you have any questions or wish to reserve your spot for this tour, please use the contact form below.
Upon receipt of your inquiry, we will send you the necessary booking instructions, payment schedule, and terms & conditions.