If you’ve ever wanted to get a taste of tantalizing Tuscany, the best way to do so is on a personalized culinary tour. You can follow in the footsteps of Cosimo de’ Medici, the first Grand Duke of Tuscany and wander down alleyways that Leonard Da Vinci strolled along as he planned projects that shook the world. And, of course, you can learn how to prepare some of the best cuisine in the world.
You won’t sit in a classroom or show kitchen to learn new skills on a Tuscan food holiday, instead you’ll enjoy the gentle guidance of a local chef who knows all the special touches required to make true farm to table dishes. You will also see how to present simple fare with the kind of panache you would expect form a Michelin-starred restaurant – one of which you might just dine in during your trip.
Of course, Tuscany is also known for its fine wines and on a culinary tour with experts like Culture Bites, you will walk through vineyards as you discover from a real local vintner how the most famous grapes in the world are planted, cared for and turned into the nectar of the gods.
If, like most aficionados, you feel that good art is like great wine, to be enjoyed slowly and up close, you’ll also be thrilled to explore the many museums containing works from the likes of Michelangelo, Donatello and Fra Angelico. Privately guided tours are run by skilled professionals, so you’ll learn from experts how the four main Tuscan art schools – Florentine, Sienese, Lucchese and Pisan – influenced its architecture, art and culture.
For souvenirs and mementos of this artistic region, you’ll be guided to specialty shops in Montepulciano, chosen for their quality leather goods, soaps, statuary and jewelry. You’ll also visit farms in Lucca, Cortona and Arezzo that have honed the art of country living and self-sustainability. And you’ll enjoy the heavenly sensation of bathing in the ancient hot springs at Rapolano Terme, a famous Roman spa village.
Of course, Tuscan cuisine remains the centerpiece of a food holiday to the region, which means participants learn how to choose the best produce at market, through to preparation, cooking, presentation and wine pairing.
From beginning to end, with all the tasteful places in between, your culinary adventure will be as fascinating as it is enjoyable, and you’ll leave Tuscany imbued with a bounty of beautiful memories and new knowledge to boot.