Castello di Gabbiano Cooking Classes and Culinary Tour Packages
The cooking course is taught by Francesco Berardinelli in the restaurant kitchen or in the castle. He is a master chef. The guests will learn genuine Southern Tuscan dishes. All classes are hands-on and include local wine. It isn’t necessary to be a sommelier to appreciate a good wine, but it is worth knowing how to recognise certain properties that make a wine a good wine.We will share our experience with you: how to identify the main characteristics of wines, discovering the peculiarities of oil and the process that makes the vinegar special.
Set apart, impossible to see from the road, majestic and solemn, the Castle dominates the enchanted land in whose embrace it lies, a breathtaking, elegant and harmonious setting. Discover the Castello di Gabbiano and let yourself be astounded by its beauty!
The marvellous terrace spread out before the Castle is dominated by the fortified twelfth century tower, its most ancient part. The great entrance doorway, above which the inscriptions on the coats of arms of the Soderini family (16th century) may still be read, is an invitation to enter, an invitation that cannot be refused… The visitor immediately senses an aura of protection from these ancient walls, along with the warmth of the light that streams through the vast windows along the sides of the little cloister and pervades the broad corridor that runs along the entire perimeter.
The perception of solidity, yet at the same time lightness, that such an ancient structure can impart fills the observer with wonder, in no small part due to its restoration, which succeeded in combining modernity and history in perfect harmony!
Where You Will Stay
Rows of vines run along, and olive groves give way to woods, the gentle slopes of the hill are daubed with infinite shades of green, yellow and red, depending on the season: this is Chianti country.
A curve, a straight stretch and another curve: the castle is in the heart of Chianti, and the gentle slopes of the hills between Florence and Siena are straddled by ancient hamlets and solitary parish churches. A land of ancient traditions, settled by civilisations in the most remote of times, even before the Etruscans – of which there is much evidence – and later occupied by the Romans.
Today, this land is considered particularly suitable for the production of high quality wine, and has been intensively cultivated from time immemorial, due to its favourable climatic and environmental conditions.
Indeed, the mild and healthy climate, the lush woods and fertile land have been settled by man since the second millennium before Christ, but it was the Etruscan civilisation which was first to really change the Chianti landscape, passing from animal husbandry to crops. It was the Etruscans who introduced the cultivation of the vine. They were succeeded by the Romans, who intensified agricultural development, beginning the cultivation of olives, whose oil they regarded as valuable produce which, in addition to its use as a foodstuff, could also be used to light their houses.
Where You Will Sleep:
Staying at the castle means enjoying comfort and refinement blended with the warmth of a family home. The atmosphere is welcoming and informal, all the rooms of the castle are open to guests, who can choose to enjoy some reading or turn on the television in the welcoming drawing room, play the piano or hold conversations with the other guests in the large lounge, take tea in the cloisters, or the garden, enjoy an aperitif in the shade of the pergola after drying off in the sun at the poolside…
Breakfast is served in the castle dining room, and those customers who want can have a snack by the pool at lunchtime.
Eleven large, comfortable rooms, all different but sharing the same style in furnishings, attention to detail and colour schemes, which together create a perfect harmony, but individually remain unique, each with its own narrative, creating different emotions…
The bedrooms are divided into different types, according to size: Junior, Standard, Superior, and Suite.
The standard room is regular size room with double or single beds (ca. 16 m²), private bathroom with shower.
Junior Room: IRIS
The junior room is a double room with twin beds (ca. 13 m²), private bathroom with shower.
Suite Duplex: ROSA
The duplex suite, a three level suite in the XII century tower, double bed, private bathroom with shower, a studio (extra bed available), (45 m2)
Room Superior: BEGONIA
The superior room is a comfortable large double room (ca. 20m²) with private bathroom with shower or bathtub
Room Superior Deluxe: ERICA
The superior deluxe is a large double room (possibility of extra bed), sitting area in the tower, splendid view over the vineyards, bathroom with shower and bathtub. (30 m2)
*single occupancy requests a supplement*
Our most popular package is the full week that fully represents Tuscan culture and history – rooted in our art, foods, wines, and genuine hospitality.
1 Week Cooking Class – Culinary Tour Packages:
All Packages include everything but airfare, gratuities and transportation by car (to quote at the request, it changes by number of persons):
– 6 nights accommodations and breakfasts in the beautiful Castello di Gabbiano
– all meals as indicated in the itinerary: they will include 1 first course; 1 main course with side dish or 1 appetizer; 1 dessert; 1 glass of wine; water; coffee
– small groups accepted (4 to 12)
– tour leader from Tuscan Way that will accompany you during the whole stay
– 1 hands-on cooking course in Tuscan country cooking (appetizers, fresh pasta, main course with side, dessert)
– 3 wine and olive oil tastings with visits to estates
– 1 cheese and wine seminar
– 1 guided tour to Florence
All Castello di Gabbiano programs begin on Sunday!
The tours listed are not in chronological order to be followed on a day-to-day basis. However, all tours listed will be conducted throughout the week.
We will pick you up in Florence and take you to the Castle “Castello Di Gabbiano”. After settling in, your Tuscan Way Guide will show you around the entire estate, which will be your home for the week! You will have time to unpack and relax in your lovely apartment before enjoying a welcome drink with the staff. Your first evening meal will be at “Il Cavaliere” (the knight), the Castle’s restaurant.
Day 2 – Carmignano
After breakfast, you will have a relaxing morning, to enjoy the facilities of the Castle (swimming pool, jacuzzi, and so on). In the afternoon, you will visit a famous winery of a noble family in Carmignano region; they are wine makers for twenty six generations! The Wine cellars are situated below an Abbey consecrated in eight hundred A.D. Massimo, the estate’s wine-maker, will take you on an informative tour followed by a tasting. They are not only wine makers, but also olive oil makers; you will have the opportunity to taste also this excellence product of Tuscany, during your tasting. At the end of this tasting, you will come back to Castello di Gabbiano to have dinner at the castle’s restaurant.
Day 3 – Lucca and Pisa
After breakfast, you will be off to beautiful Lucca. You will enjoy a walking tour around the heart of Lucca, which is considered to be one of the most picturesque of all the fortified (medieval wall) towns in Tuscany. You will have free time to shop, take a walk around the 16th century intact walls, visit museums and churches or simply sit in one of the many cafe’s that line this Roman city. You will enjoy a light lunch in one of the many Trattoria’s in Lucca. On our return to the castle we will go to Pisa and visit the Cathedral, Leaning Tower and Baptistery (exterior only) followed by a stroll in to the city center. Arrive at the Roman Forum where you will view the lavish 15th century Palazzi built by The Medici family. At the end of your visit of Pisa, we will come back to Castello di Gabbiano, where you will have dinner at the castle’s restaurant.
Day 4 – Florence
After breakfast, you will visit the Heart of Tuscany: Florence. You will have a guided tour throught the city. After a typical lunch in Florence. Now you will enjoy some free time to walk and to have shopping. Before coming back to Castello di Gabbiano, your tour leader will bring you to see Dante’s city by a wonderful panoramic point. Now, get ready for your seminar about cheese and wine: you will see how cheese can change the taste of a wine; you will learn how to pair a particular kind of cheese to the right wine. You will go through a step-by-step tasting of all different categories of wines in combination with 4 categories of cheese. Dinner at the restaurant of the castle.
Day 5 – Cooking Class; San Gimignano
After breakfast, enjoy your cooking class followed by lunch. In the afternoon, you will continue on with a drive through the Chianti region situated between Florence and Siena. Here there is an ancient Roman road which will take us to the medieval town known as San Gimignano. You will discover why San Gimignano is the only remaining medieval town which has been called the “Manhattan of Tuscany” and witness firsthand its ten (originally there were seventy two) towers! You will have a chance to shop while strolling along the magical windy streets, which are packed with local artisans’ stores that specialize in ceramics, leather goods and wooden crafts. Enjoy dinner at a local wine bar where you will try the white wine of San Gimignano called Vernaccia.
Days 6 – Villa Antinori
Today you will continue your tour of the Chianti visiting the beautiful VILLA ANTINORI at Badia a Passignano. Here you will have the opportunity to visit the grounds of the estate and the cellars, and have a masterpiece tasting featuring the best of Chianti Antinori – perhaps Tuscany’s most celebrated wine & wine family. After lunch, you will come back to Castello di Gabbiano, to have a free afternoon to enjoy pool and garden of the castle. Dinner at the castle’s restaurant.
Days 7 – Departure
After Breakfast and good-byes, you will be taken to the airport or the train station in Florence.
Choose Your Adventure!
You can customize your own tour with our new super offers:
– BEER TOUR a visit in a typical brewery and the taste of Italian beer (*where available*)
– YOGA RETREAT/SINGLE LESSONS dedicated yoga lessons in extraordinary scenery, benefits of these practices include a clearer mind, a deeper feeling of inner calm, the ability to accept and move through challenging and stressful life events with more ease and acceptance, improved immunity, increased energy levels and sometimes even feeling happy for no good reason!
– SPORTS EXCURSIONS bike rides, trekking, horseback riding… all you can do in a land of a thousand possibilities as Tuscany
– GOLF GAME are you a golf passionate and you want to try the emotion to play golf in the beautiful tuscan countryside? Why not? We can provide for you your Italian Game!
– CRUISE EMOTION you can visit the most exclusive spots on the Tuscans Islands , accessible only by sea, and see scenery of incomparable beauty, grottos, inlets, picturesque coves and rocks where nature has let its imagination run free to create strange, unrepeatable shapes (*available only at Villa Poggiarello*)
– OLIVES HARVEST the magical smells and flavors of the olives and the unique experience of attending to their harvesting (*by season only – normally october/november, depending on weather conditions*)
– THERMAL SPA a day in one of most famous thermal center of Tuscany, where you can find the best spa treatments
– TRUFFLE HUNTING do you want to live the emotion to look for truffles with a real truffle hunter and his dog? You can! And then enjoy a wonderful lunch with truffles! (*by season only – normally october/november*)
Contact us now to know more about them!