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Villa Castelletti – Aristocratic Florentian Estate – & Il Borgo

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’!

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Villa Castelletti
€ Euro / $ Dollar
1 Wk: € 2.750,00 / $ 3,065.15 *
5 Nights: € 2.410,00 / $ 2,686.19 *
4 Nights: € 1.970,00 / $ 2,195.76 *
1/2 Wk: € 1.525,00 / $ 1,699.77 *
Cooking Course & Meal: € 250,00 / $ 278.65 *

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.

 

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. We will visit towns like Lucca and San Gimignano, stroll around the best preserved ancient Roman City sites and become immersed in an unforgettable cultural experience.

 

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.

NEW OPTIONAL ADVENTURES

Choose your adventure!
Customize your own tour with our new super offers:
BIER TOUR a visit in a typical brewery and the taste of beer Italian
YOGA RETREAT 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
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
OLIVE HARVEST the magical smells and flavors of the olives and the unique experience of attending to their harvesting

Contact us now to know more about them!
info@tuscanway.com

VACATION OPTIONS

Our most popular package is the full week that fully represents Tuscan culture and history – rooted in our art, foods, wines, and genuine hospitality.

Cooking Class – Culinary Tour Packages:
All Packages include everything but airfare and gratuities:

– Accommodations at Villa Castelletti, near Florence, a noble estate. The accommodations are in upscale private apartments in part of the estate’s hamlet.
– All meals as indicated in the itinerary. All lunches and dinners in authentic trattorias.
– Small groups
– Hands-on cooking courses in“La Cucina Povera Toscana” – Tuscan country cooking.
– Guided excursions to the enchanting towns of Florence, Lucca, Pisa, San Gimignano, the Chianti and Carmignano wine regions.
– Wine Tastings (Carmignano & Chianti Classico). 3 wine estate visits: 2 in Carmignano, 1 in Chianti Classico and 1 vertical tasting with professional wine expert in Carmignano.
– Visit to Olive oil farm with tasting.
– Free time to shop in each town.

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. All Villa Castelletti programs begin on Saturdays!
During the spring and fall, you may participate in local “Sagre” – food festivals which take place in medieval villages and towns around the provinces of Florence & Lucca.

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.

Cooking Class – Culinary Tour Packages:
 

7 Day/6 Nights
6 Day/5 Nights
5 Day /4 Nights
4 Day/3 Nights

The 4 Day/3 Night Package Includes:

– Accommodations at Villa Castelletti, near Florence
– Hands-on Tuscan cooking courses specializing in“La Cucina Povera Toscana” – Tuscan country cooking.
– Guided excursions to the enchanting towns of Florence, Lucca, Pisa, San Gimignano, the Chianti and Carmignano wine regions.
– Wine Tastings (Carmignano & Chianti Classico). 3 wine estate visits: 2 in Carmignano, 1 in Chianti Classico and 1 vertical tasting with professional wine expert in Carmignano.
– Visit to Olive oil farm with tasting.

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 and 3

Visit to Lucca and Pisa – Wine Appreciation in Carmignano

In the morning, after Breakfast either in your apartments or out in the breakfast room, you will be off to beautiful Lucca, a town West of Villa Castelletti. 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. 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 a light lunch in one of the many Trattoria’s in Lucca. On our return to the Borgo 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. Dine in the heart of the Carmignano region where you will havdinner in a wine bar in the town center. You will be introduced to the wines of Carmignano accompanied by a tasting-specific menu.

A ‘Nobile’ Winery and Medieval Towers in the heart of Chianti

After breakfast, you will take a walk up to the restaurant where you will enjoy a cooking course followed by lunch. In the afternoon, 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. After your tour, 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.

Day 4 – Depart: Farewell Villa Castelletti and friendsAfter Breakfast and good-byes, you will be taken to the airport or the train station in Florence.

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The 6 Day/5 Night Package Includes:

– 5 night accommodations at Villa
– Hands-on cooking courses in“La Cucina Povera Toscana” – Tuscan country cooking.
– Guided excursions to the enchanting towns of Florence, Lucca, Pisa, San Gimignano, the Chianti and Carmignano wine regions.
– Wine Tastings (Carmignano & Chianti Classico). 3 wine estate visits: 2 in Carmignano, 1 in Chianti Classico and 1 vertical tasting with professional wine expert in Carmignano.
– Visit to Olive oil farm with tasting.

Day 1 – Arrive in Florence

Your time at Villa Castelletti will start with meeting your guide and staff with some time to settle into your accommodations at the Borgo next to the main Villa. After a bit of unwinding time after your travels, your guide will give you a tour of the Borgo and the Villa. Later you will be properly welcomed by the Villa staff with a welcome drink followed by dinner at the estate’s restaurant La Quercia di Castelletti prepared by your chef and cooking instructor.

Days 2 through 5
Includes all tours in the 5-Day Package: Lucca, Pisa, ‘Nobile’ Winery and Medieval Towers in Chianti, and Olive Farm, along with meals and cooking classes as described above.
The Growers markets in Florence

On this special day, you will discover the authentic side of Florence visiting areas most tourists don’t get the chance to see. On your orientation walk, you expert guide will take you to visit the San Ambrogio quarter and local growers market. Enjoy a walk around the market to discover locals’ delicacies and Tuscan Products. Continue on this gastronomic tour to the Central Growers Market located in the St Lorenzo quarter where you will learn about Balsamic Vinegar and Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Enjoy a fresh panino and a glass of local wine before enjoying the afternoon on your own. In the evening, we will transfer back to Villa Castelletti for a light, quiet and restful dinner or you can choose to remain in Florence for a free evening on your own terms!

Day 6 – Depart Villa Castelletti

After Breakfast and good-byes, you will be taken to the airport or the train station in Florence.

The 5 Day/4 Night Package Includes:

– 4 night accommodations at Villa Castelletti
– 2 hands-on cooking courses in“La Cucina Povera Toscana” – Tuscan country cooking.
– Guided excursions to the enchanting towns of Florence, Lucca, Pisa, San Gimignano, the Chianti and Carmignano wine regions.
– Wine Tastings (Carmignano & Chianti Classico). 3 wine estate visits: 2 in Carmignano, 1 in Chianti Classico and 1 vertical tasting with professional wine expert in Carmignano.
– Visit to Olive oil farm with tasting.
– Free time to shop in each town.
– Guided excursions to extraordinary cities and regions including: Florence, Lucca, Pisa, San Gimignano, the Chianti & Carmignano wine regions, wine tasting at a famous Carmignano wine estate, wine tasting opportunities in the Chianti region and a vertical wine tasting in Carmignano.

Day 1 – Arrival and Pickup in Florence

You will be met in Florence and taken to Villa Castelletti where you will be welcomed at the Borgo (Hamlet) – your vacation home next to the main Villa. After settling in, your guide will show you around the entire estate, which will be your home for the week! You will have time to relax in your lovely apartment before enjoying a welcome drink with the staff at the Borgo. We will dine at the restaurant on the Villa Castelletti estate where your chef & cooking teacher will prepare your first Tuscan meal at the “La Quercia di Castelletti” restaurant – where you will be taking your hands on cooking classes throughout the week.

Days 2 through 4
Includes all tours in the 4-Day Package: Lucca, Pisa, and ‘Nobile’ Winery and Medieval Towers in Chianti along with meals and cooking classes as described above.
Special Visit to an Olive Farm

This morning you will have breakfast at your own leisure and enjoy a cooking class followed by lunch. Then we will have some free time to take a stroll around the estate or simply relax in your comfortable apartments before taking a picturesque drive through the Carmignano wine region to the winery known as Fattoria di Bacchereto. In addition to wine tasting you can learn about the olive oil making process which is really nice. and special. Dinner at a typical “trattoria” in the Carmignano area.

Day 5 – Depart

After Breakfast and good-byes, you will be taken to the airport or the train station in Florence.

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The 7 Day/6 Night Package Includes:

– 6 nights at Villa Castelletti, near Florence
– Hands-on cooking courses in“La Cucina Povera Toscana” – Tuscan country cooking.
– Guided excursions to the enchanting towns of Florence, Lucca, Pisa, San Gimignano, the Chianti and Carmignano wine regions.
– Wine Tastings (Carmignano & Chianti Classico). 3 wine estate visits: 2 in Carmignano, 1 in Chianti Classico and 1 vertical tasting with professional wine expert in Carmignano.
– 1 visit to Olive oil farm with tasting.

Day 1 – Arrive 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, the guide will show you around the entire estate, which will be your home for the week! You will have time to relax in your lovely apartment before enjoying a welcome drink with the staff at the Borgo. We will dine at the restaurant on the Villa Castelletti estate where your chef & cooking teacher will prepare your first Tuscan meal at the “La Quercia di Castelletti” restaurant – where you will be taking your hands on cooking classes throughout the week.

Days 2 through 6
Includes all tours in the 6-Day Package: Lucca, Pisa, ‘Nobile’ Winery and Medieval Towers in Chianti, Olive Farm, and the Florence Growers Farm, along with meals and cooking classes as described above.
Wine Tasting in Carmignano
This morning you will have breakfast at your own leisure and enjoy a cooking class followed by lunch. In the late afternoon, enjoy a tour to a nobile winery situated in the Carmignano region. Meet owners Count and Contessa Bonacossi at their working farm where they produce a fine Carmignano wine and extra virgin olive oil. Enjoy touring the estate before returning to the Borgo for your last nights’ dinner at ‘La Quercia di Castelletti’.

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.