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Villa Castelletti – Aristocratic Florentian Estate

COOKING COURSES AND WINE TASTING

The cooking courses are taught by the Master Chef at the restaurant: La Quercia” on the Villa Castelletti Estate, where you will enjoy cooking, wining and dining in a traditional Tuscan ambience. You will sample an array of fine wines from the area where you will be based. This area is known as one of the oldest wine zones Carmignano and this DOCG (the highest quality denomination assigned by the Italian government for authentic wine producing regions, literally “di origine controllata e garantita” translated as: of controlled and guaranteed origin) blends Cabernet with the Sangiovese grape which produces some of Tuscany’s finest wines. You will also experience a wine tasting in the Chianti region and a special visit to an Olive Farm and Winery in Carmignano area where you will have the opportunity of tastings its wines and olive oils.

The estate’s restaurant “La Quercia di Castelletti” offers a delightful and creative selection of Tuscan food . The restaurant offers a large variety of regional wines

Built in the 1400’s by the Strozzi family, Villa Castelletti is the epitome of Florentine culture and nobility. This historical villa has seen many improvements and changes over the centuries, including founding the Agricultural Philanthropic Society and becoming a working agricultural model in the 1800’s. For the duration of your Tuscan vacation, you will be surrounded by luxury and elegance, making you feel like a true Florentine nobile. Surrounded by a centuries old forest and lake, Villa Castelletti reflects the best of both worlds; a stone’s throw from Florence, and the tranquility of the Tuscan countryside. Each apartment has a private bath, air conditioning and heat, and provides the comfort and beauty you would expect from a noble estate.

Meet Your Chef

The cooking courses are taught by the Master Chef at the restaurant: La Quercia di Castelletti on the Villa Castelletti Estate, where you will enjoy cooking, wining and dining in a traditional Tuscan ambience.

This is where you will wine & dine and, most importantly, learn how to cook like a true ‘Tuscan’!

request-information-side

Villa Castelletti
€ Euro / $ Dollar
1 WK: € 2.850,00 / $ 3,030.12 *
5/4/3 Nights: [On Request]

*price per person in double standard room*
*single occupancy requests a supplement*
*City Taxes: €2 per person/per day to pay at the check out*
 *Feel free to request a quotation for a shorter program (3/4/5 nights), choosing which days of itinerary you want to keep in your vacation*
*Ask for Additional Cooking Classes*
NOT included: airfare, private car (to quote at the request, it changes by number of persons) and gratuities

Where You Will Stay

accommodations-villa-castellettiThe Estate of Villa Castelletti is located outside the hills West of Florence, just North of the Arno river, along the Lucchese plain – literally between Florence and Lucca (The historic heart of Florence is about 9 miles away). The estate grounds are set within an ancient park that is surrounded by forest. The main villa is spectacular, large and beautiful and it is sometimes used for weddings, conventions and special events.

The origins of the villa date to the beginning of the 4th century AD. The oldest noble landlord was the Strozzi family. Through the centuries the villa passed hands from the Strozzi to the Lapi, then to the Uguccioni, then the Cavalcanti (of whom the poet Guido belonged; he was a companion of Dante), then the Cattani-Cavalcanti family. It was the Cavalcanti family who, in the 18th century, radically expanded the villa’s structure adding 2 outside walls, enlarging the central area, adding a second level and the characteristic top.

In the following century, under the guidance of the Count Leopoldo Cattani Cavalcanti, the property became a model agricultural producing estate founding the Istituto Agrario Filantropico (Agricultural Philanthropic Institute). At the end of the 18th century, the Montagliari Counts (of German origin with the name “Mayer”) came to acquire the villa. Today the villa is managed by a historical society that promotes cultural initiatives.

On the estate grounds, about 100 yards in front of the main villa, there is a building called “Il Borgo” and this is where the accommodations are located.

Il Borgo has a seasonal swimming pool, that you can use in some relax moment.

 

EXCURSIONS & ITINERARY

Not only will you be experiencing a fine Tuscan Estate, the Guide will take you to discover the famous towns that you will come to experience from a more native perspective. You will be learning all there is to know about Tuscan cuisine by cooking on the beautiful Castelletti estate (your home for one week!). Along with cooking fantastic meals, the Guide has incorporated a number of excursions for the week, which feature the region’s cuisine, culture and art while not forgetting to give you sufficient time to shop in some of the most exciting nearby towns and cities.

 

Where You Will Sleep

On the Estate grounds, about 100 yards in front of the main villa, there is a building called “Il Borgo”, which is where the accommodations are located.

Il Borgo (the hamlet), is made up of a group of renovated farmhouses, which maintains the original style of an old Tuscan country house.

Accommodations for our guests are in top-notch Tuscan styled apartments, which contain all the creature comforts you would desire.

The renovated mini-apartments are fully independent. Each one is made up of a lounge/dining room, split level bedroom, bathroom, corner kitchen, and can be occupied by 2-6 persons, depending on the size.

All apartments have central heating and air conditioning, satellite and Pay-TV, all of which function on a chip-card system. Each apartment is equipped with a sophisticated electronic system, which controls the functioning and comfort of air temperature and humidity, as well as the locks etc. to guarantee our guests a comfortable and secure stay.

APARTMENTS

MICHELANGELO (Sleeps 4)

One level apartment with 1 king-size double bed. 36 square meter “Deluxe” room with view outside. Living room, kitchen, satellite TV, phone with internet connection and mini-bar. Can also use double sofa-bed. Heating and air-conditioning.

 

GAUGUIN (Sleeps 4)

Split level apartment with 2 king-size beds (1 on each level). 28 square meter “Junior Suite” + 12 square meter loft area. Kitchenette, satellite TV, phone with internet connection and mini-bar. Heating and air-conditioning.

ISABELLA CUCCATO (Sleeps 4)

Split level apartment with 2 king-size beds (1 on each level). 28 square meter room + 12 square meter loft. Living room, kitchen, satellite TV, phone with internet connection and mini-bar. Can also have 2 Single beds instead of king-size bed on first floor. Heating and air-conditioning.

 

CLAUDE MONET (Sleeps 4)

Split level apartment with 1 king-size double bed on top level. 20 square meter room + 12 square meter loft with view outside of park and swimming pool. Living room, kitchen, satellite TV, phone with internet connection and mini-bar. Heating and air-conditioning.

 

GUSTAV KLIMT (Sleeps 2)

Split level apartment with 1 king-size double bed on top level. 20 square meter room + 12 square meter loft with view outside of park and swimming pool. Living room, kitchen, satellite TV, phone with internet connection and mini-bar. Heating and air-conditioning.

 

Food and Wine Vacation – All Inclusive

Our most popular package is the full week that fully represents Tuscan culture and history – rooted in our art, foods, wines, and genuine hospitality. Feel free to request a quotation for a shorter program (3/4/5 nights), choosing which days of itinerary you want to keep in your vacation.

 

The Vacation includes everything but airfare, private car (to quote at the request, may vary by number of persons and number of days) and gratuities:

– 6 nights accommodation and breakfast at Villa Castelletti, near Florence, a noble estate. The accommodations are in upscale private apartments in part of the estate’s hamlet (standard room/double occupancy).
– 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)
– 2 Hands-on cooking courses in “La Cucina Povera Toscana” – Tuscan country cooking (appetizers, fresh pasta, main course with side, dessert)
– 4 Guided excursions to the enchanting towns of Florence, Lucca, Pisa, Siena
– 3 Wine and Olive Oil Tastings with visits to estates
– Free time to shop in each town

 

All Villa Castelletti programs begin on Saturdays!
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.

Note: We would like to emphasize that for larger custom groups we are quite flexible with regard to the itinerary and the excursions. Sometimes we can switch around different excursions based on local events and activities, new excursions (not mentioned above) can be added if they’re of interest to you. The most important thing is to communicate your specific interests, which will be given priority if possible and if they are in the best interest of the overall group.

 

1 Week Cooking Classes –  Culinary Tour Package:
 


Day 1 – Arrive and Pick-up in Florence
We will pick you up in Florence and take you to Villa Castelletti where you will be welcomed at the Borgo (Hamlet) – your vacation home next to the main Villa. 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 at the Borgo. Your first evening meal will be at La Quercia di Castelletti, Villa Castelletti’s restaurant prepared by the estate’s head chef and your instructor for the cooking classes.

Days 2 – Florence
After breakfast, you will start your Tuscan vacation by visiting the Heart of Tuscany: Florence. Your tour leader will bring you to see Dante’s city by a wonderful panoramic point. After a typical lunch in Florence, you will meet your guide to visit the city and its beauties. At the end of your visit, you will enjoy some free time to walk and to have shopping, before you have dinner.

Days 3 – Cooking Class; Pisa and Lucca
In the morning, after breakfast, you will enjoy your first cooking class at the restaurant of the hotel, La Quercia; during your classes you will learn how to prepare typical appetizers, fresh pasta and main course, followed by a fantastic dessert. After lunch you will be off to Pisa, a town West of Villa Castelletti. Here you will have your guided visit to Piazza dei Miracoli, where you can see the Cathedral, Leaning Tower and Baptistery (exterior only) followed by a stroll in to the city center. At the end, you will go to Lucca, which is considered to be one of the most picturesque of all the fortified (medieval wall) towns in Tuscany. After our informative tour, 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 dinner in one of the many Trattoria’s in Lucca.

Day 4 – Siena and San Gimignano (Chianti Region)
This morning after you enjoy your breakfast, we will take you to the nearby town of Siena. There you will visit the famous Piazza del Campo, the main square where the people from Siena (“i Senesi”) where twice a year the hold the Il Palio, a medieval horse race. You can later climb to the top of the Torre del Mangia and admire a marvelous view of the city. Siena has a beautiful Gothic-style Duomo or cathedral. You will have lunch in a quaint restaurant nearby Piazza del Campo. In the afternoon we will go to 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. Here you will visit a farm house, where you will have your first Wine and Olive oil tastings. You will come back to the Villa where you will have dinner.

Day 5 – Carmignano; Shopping Day
After breakfast you will visit a famous winery owned by a Florentine Nobile (noble) family, 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. You will have the possibility to have lunch at the estate and to have Wine and Olive Oil tasting. After your tour, you will have a shopping afternoon; you will have some free time at The Mall, the outlet of shopping where you will find the best brand of Italian fashion (Gucci, Prada, Valentino, Armani, and so on).

Day 6 – Cooking Class; Tastings
In the morning, after breakfast, you will enjoy your second cooking class at the restaurant of the hotel, La Quercia. At the end of your lunch, we will come back to Florence, where you will have your last tasting of Typical Wines, Olive Oils, Cold Cuts and Cheeses. It’s time to go back to the Villa, where they are waiting for you for your Goodbye Dinner.

Day 7 – Depart the Villa and travel to Florence
After Breakfast and good-byes, you will be taken to the airport or the train station in Florence.

 

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NEW OPTIONAL ADVENTURES

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!
info(at)tuscanway.com