Siena Hamlets & Vineyards™

Cooking Classes & Wine Tour With Chef Elena~6 Day

» What's Included, Prices & Dates

Imagine an enchanting country Tuscan winery nestled among vineyards and olive groves on a panoramic hillside overlooking the town of Siena. Welcome to Siena’s Hamlets & Vineyards cooking program with Chef Elena at her residence set in roses and pine trees – truly one of the most charming hideaways in the rolling Chianti hills.

Your hosts are a husband and wife team, passionate winemakers and sommeliers and experts on local cuisine. From the day you arrive, you will be welcomed like a long-lost friend and swept up into the day-to-day activities of everyday Tuscan life. Keep busy in the kitchen as you pick up tricks on how to turn out perfect Pappa al Pomodoro, that wonderfully fresh Tuscan bread and tomato soup, Chianti Risotto, baked ham with potatoes and capers and delicious strawberry Tiramisu. Sample the estate’s home produced olive oil; enjoy a relaxing spa treatment; visit the nearby town of San Gimignano with its famous towers; spend a day at the one of the most important Brunello di Montalcino wineries where you’ll enjoy a tasting of some of their best wines accompanied by a light lunch; and just as a reminder that you really are in heaven, close your eyes and soak up the magic of soothing Gregorian chants in the Abbey of Sant’Antimo.

Cooking Classes

The culinary traditions of Tuscany are closely linked to its most characteristic flavors, and during this program you will discover the ancient roots of many traditional dishes. Step into Elena’s vegetable garden to gather the seasonal produce and herbs you’ll need for the lesson and quickly transform delicious fruit and vegetables into local specialties such as spinach gnocchi, vegetable quiche, Bruschette with zucchini marinated in lemon juice, larded pork with fennel and onions and the delicious sounding hot apple pie with orange sauce. Chef Elena’s classes are informative and light hearted, and during each lesson you’ll prepare a full three course menu. Afterwards, enjoy all the foods you’ve created for lunch, each accompanied by a different type of wine produced on the estate.

Siena

Set among the olive groves and vineyards of Chianti, Siena is one of the most popular and attractive towns of Tuscany. It is a town that has changed very little over the centuries, and its unique shell-shaped central piazza, Piazza del Campo, is now regarded as one of the most beautiful town squares in Europe. Famous for its annual historic horse race, the palio, which takes place in the central piazza, Siena has much to offer visitors. The Duomo is a striking example of Italian Romanesque architecture and was originally intended to be the grandest cathedral in existence (before funds ran out!), and Palazzo Pubblico houses Ambrogio Lorenzetti frescos on ‘the results of good and bad government’. However, just a few steps away from the main square, a tangle of narrow, winding side streets and steps temp strollers into every hidden angle of the town, past pretty squares, bars and restaurants and theaters.

San Gimignano

San Gimignano is a small, walled, medieval gem of a town, perched on a hillside in the Tuscan country and famous for its striking skyline. It is renowned for being the town of towers, only 14 still standing of the original 72 towers that used to grace the town in times when a profusion of lofty towers was a sign of great prosperity. Wealthy families tried to outdo each other by building impressive towers and twin towers that were, nevertheless, never allowed to be built taller than La Rognosa, the tower of the town hall. Once inside the ancient walls, you’ll notice that San Gimignano is a fascinating mix of styles, with buildings sporting elegant red brickwork and distinctively shaped pointed windows, with some dating back to the early Renaissance. A stroll round the main street and its shops is a must, and there is no end of things that will catch your eye: hand painted pottery, thick, carved olive wood chopping boards, art galleries, a selection of local wine and olive oil and the area’s famous boar produce – delicious salamis made with fennel seeds and deep red boar Prosciutto.

Accommodations

Just 5 miles from Siena, your charming country resort is set in a stunning 54 acres within the Chianti Classico landscape and offers breathtaking views over Siena or the Chianti Valley. Apartments and suites have all been carefully restored so that all are unique and each is decorated in Tuscan country house style: some with terracotta floors, wood beamed ceilings and stonewalls, others with walls of sage, blush, saffron, sky blue and ochre yellow. Furnishings are stylish: chests, furniture, glass cabinets and antiques were picked up in the local antique markets and restored by skilled local artisans and pretty accents are provided by one off pieces in glass and ceramic. Breakfast is served on the terrace daily and includes delicious homemade cakes and tarts, bruschette, cheeses and cold meats. There are extensive grounds to be explored with sweet smelling juniper trees and a wonderful swimming pool, but the fiery sunsets and starlit skies provide all the best entertainment of all.

Itinerary: 6 Days, 5 Nights

Check in and start your program on any day of the week.

Day 1: Arrival, Check-In & Welcome Dinner

  • Arrival at Siena train station and transfer to resort.
  • Check in, relax, and enjoy an aperitivo.
  • Welcome Tuscan Gourmet Dinner. Wine is included.

Day 2: Cooking Class 1 & Excursion To San Gimignano

  • Breakfast is served.
  • After breakfast, head to the kitchen for your hands-on Tuscan Cooking Class 1. Lunch follows and everyone eats the foods prepared in class together. Water and local wine included.
  • After lunch, excursion to San Gimignano. Wander through this Medieval town’s winding streets, pop into the many artists’ workshops and enjoy sampling some of the area’s Chianti.
  • Return to hotel.
  • Dinner on your own; suggestions available on request.

Day 3: Excursion To Brunello Di Montalcino Winery & Sant’Antimo Abbey

  • Breakfast is served.
  • After breakfast, excursion to one of the area’s most prestigious wineries to find out more about the production of the great red wine Brunello di Montalcino. A light lunch is included and dishes will be accompanied by some of the vineyard’s best reds.
  • In the afternoon, proceed to the Abbey of Sant’Antimo, one of the most beautiful Romanesque churches in Italy, where you’ll also be able to hear the monks perform their poignant Gregorian chants.
  • Stop off in Montalcino with free time to do a little shopping.
  • Return to hotel in the later afternoon.
  • Dinner on your own; suggestions available on request.

Day 4: Cooking Class 2

  • Breakfast is served.
  • After breakfast, head to the kitchen for your hands-on Cooking Class 2 with Chef Elena. Lunch follows and includes the dishes made in class. Water and local wine included.
  • Afternoon free to relax or visit Siena on your own.
  • Dinner on your own; suggestions available on request.

Day 5: Cooking Class 3, Spa Treatment & Farewell Dinner

  • Breakfast is served.
  • After breakfast, head to the kitchen for your final hands-on Cooking Class 3 with Chef Elena. Lunch follows and includes the dishes made in class. Water and local wine included.
  • In the afternoon, enjoy a wonderful Spa Treatment. Choose between a Shiatsu, Relax or Ayurvedico massage that will leave you feeling rejuvenated and refreshed. Massages are carried out by experts either below the patio next to the pool, in the privacy of your own apartment or immersed in nature, in the woods, in the meadow or under the trees.
  • Farewell Gourmet Dinner is served. Wine is included.

Day 6: Check Out & Arrivederci!

  • Breakfast is served
  • Check out and transfer to Siena station.
  • Arrivederci!

 

Program Includes:

  • 6 Days, 5 Nights accommodations in double room, based on double occupancy.
  • Daily breakfast.
  • 3 cooking classes followed by lunch on the foods prepared in class. Water and local wine is included.
  • 1 Welcome Dinner, wine included.
  • 1 Farewell dinner, wine included.
  • Half Day guided excursion to San Gimignano, wine tasting included.
  • Full Day Excursion to Brunello di Montalcino Winery, Sant’Antimo Abbey & Montalcino. Light lunch and wine tasting included during the tour.
  • 1 Spa treatment: choose between a Shiatsu, Relax or Ayurvedico massage.
  • Arrival & Departure transfers from Siena train station. Transfers from Florence can also be arranged at a surcharge.
Program Prices

$2,995 per person, based on double occupancy. All taxes and Italian VAT included.
$3,995 per person, based on single occupancy. All taxes and Italian VAT included.

2014 Dates: This program is available throughout the year. You can check in and start your cooking program any day of the week. Rates are subject to change based on currency exchange. Call for updated rates. Airfare not included.