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Overview

A 3-Day Cooking, Wine & Olive Oil Getaway

This short cooking getaway in Itay is perfect for people that are making their way between Rome and Florence, and would like to make a stop in between in the beautiful countryside at the border between Rome, Tuscany and Umbria. We are a quick 36 minute train ride from Rome, and just 90 minutes from Florence! For three days, we will take care of EVERYTHING, all meals, two cooking classes, and excursions that will knock your socks off, and you will continue on having had a wonderful 'small town' Italian experience that will remain in your memory forever.

The Cooking Classes

We'll have two half-day completely hands-on cooking classes this week, Our cooking classes are not demonstrations. They are 100% hands-on. We structure them so that you can be as involved as you wish in every stage of every course we prepare. So, if you are up for it, we will get wrist-deep as we make Pappardelle pasta from scratch, Gnocchi, Tuscan Roasted Chicken, Gelato, Biscotti, and more.

For those would rather eat than cook, our classes take place at our beautiful 18th century country villa. Take control of our 90-bottle wine rack, relax, take a stroll, or just enjoy the wonderful Italian countryside. Whether you are cooking or not, the time we spend at the villa is always a highlight.

The Excursions

On our second day, after our cooking class and lunch, we will head out to an amazing place known as "The Monster Park". This amazing estate is believed by some to have been designed by Michelangelo. It was commissioned by a local Prince in the 14th century after his wife's death. The grounds are full of massive and bizarre statues that were carved out of the local volcanic rock. It is believed that this "park", which is the only thing of its kind in the world, was developed to convey the grief the prince felt after having lost his beloved wife. It is a truly amazing place that words and pictures cannot fully describe.

On our third day, we will visit a small family-run winery and antique olive mill in the village of Castiglione in Teverina. Here, one of the owners will give us a private tour of their wine cellar and olive mill, followed by a tasting of their line of wines and their olive oil. As we are tasting, we will have a wonderful buffet lunch in their garden made by the owners with many local delicacies, and of course… their wine! This is likely to be one of the highlights not only of the vacation, but your life. In fact, when we do Alumni trips, our past guests always tell us that coming back here is at the top of their list.

The Food & Wine

We are all about food & wine, and if there is one comment we hear more than any other from our guests, it is "I can't eat another bite".

You will never be hungry, and you will never want for more wine, period. The restaurant meals are in small, local restaurants that are considered the best of the best for their area. These are the places the locals rave about, not the touristy places. Furthermore, we don't do "tourist food". We insist on the highest quality at all times, and always pull out all of the stops.

The wine is always flowing at lunch and dinner. We always focus on local wines from the area we are in, and it is always fantastic!

Additionally, the meals at our cooking classes are not little 'learn to make pasta' classes like many others. Instead, the classes are traditional Italian 'Sunday Family Meals'... 5 courses, done to the max.

When the vacation is over, you will have had a taste of the real Italy that few tourists have ever experienced. You will have made new friends, and you will have learned why Italian culture is so amazing... because you will have lived it.

What we'll be cooking...

  1. Class 1: Gnocchi made from scratch (with Sorrentina & Sautéed Porcini sauces); Sausage-Stracchino Bruschetta; Sautéed Bell Peppers (Pepperoni all Pina); Chicken Cacciatore; Tiramisu
  2. Class 2: Pancetta-Stracchino Bruschetta, Pappardelle pasta from scratch w/ Bolognese, Brasato al Barolo Roast, Sautéed Zucchini, Gelato

Dates & Prices

Accommodations

Private Village Homes

Our guests in Soriano stay in their own private village homes, rather than a hotel. All of our homes are beautiful places that date back to medieval times or the renaissance. Each one of them is unique, and has been completely restored with modern conveniences, while maintaining their original beauty.

Immersed in Local Tradition

Most of our village homes are not clustered together. They are peppered here and there in the village, such that your neighbors are not other travelers. Instead, they are locals. You will find yourself getting to know them with that daily 'good morning' wave, smile and Buon Giorno. You will see them here and there in town, and really get a sense of belonging as you weave yourself into the fabric of Italian village life.

Location

While our homes are not clustered together, they are all close. Soriano is a small town that is built around a central square, "The Piazza". It is in the piazza that we meet each morning for breakfast before our day starts, and end each evening after dinner. All of the homes are within several hundred feet of the Piazza, so getting to and from is very quick, and incredibly pleasant each day.

Amenities

All of our village homes are actual homes that were private residences at one time. As such, they all have private bathrooms, kitchens, refrigerators, etc. All of our homes are also air conditioned and heated. We also have television in each home with satellite service, allowing you English Language programming. Nearly all of our homes also offer free wireless Internet.

How Homes Are Assigned to Guests

Since each home is unique, so is the floor plan and the decor. Some are larger than others, some have valley views, some have castle views, and some have village views. Some offer balconies, while others do not. Some have two bedrooms, and some are one bedroom homes.

We don't charge different prices for different homes, so we do our best to assign homes based on what we know about guests that are booking. For example, if we know that you would rather not walk up a few flight of stairs or uphill, we will give you one of the lower-lying homes if available. If you are a married couple booking, we will give you a one bedroom home if available. In addition, we take requests. If you have seen photo of our village homes, and there is one in particular that you would like, we will try to make sure you get that one when we confirm your booking. In such cases, it is part first come, first served. But we also take other factors into consideration. For example, if a married couple requests a large 2 bedroom home that sleeps 4 people, we will happily give you a temporary assignment of that home, but if a group of three books later, and all we have left are one bedroom homes, we may need to move you.

See All Of Our Village Homes

Photographs of all of our village homes can be viewed by clicking here. Besides the photographs, you will also find a clickable map of Soriano that indicates the locations of all of our home.

Trip Extension

Extend Your Trip

Many of our guests make their vacation with us part of a larger trip to Italy or Europe in general. Often, they will simply spend a few days before or after in places such as Rome, Florence, Venice, or the Amalfi Coast, and need some help planning.

We are always happy to help, and will gladly do as little or as much as you like. If you simply need to find a good place to stay for a night, or if you would like for us to completely plan everything from airline tickets, to extended stays, hotels, rail tickets, tours in other cities, etc. just let us know and we will be happy to oblige.

Our experience in this area is unmatched, and we would love to put everything together to help make your trip as smooth and carefree as can be.