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Cooking in Tuscany

Program Number: 19672RJ
Start and End Dates:
5/1/2013 - 5/9/2013; 10/1/2014 - 10/10/2014; 10/8/2014 - 10/17/2014; 10/19/2014 - 10/28/2014; 3/22/2015 - 3/31/2015; 4/30/2015 - 5/9/2015; 5/19/2015 - 5/28/2015; 9/30/2015 - 10/9/2015; 10/19/2015 - 10/28/2015; 11/11/2015 - 11/20/2015;
Duration: 8 nights
Location: Italy
Price starting at: $2,794.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Food & Wine
Meals: 17; 6 Breakfasts, 1 Brunch, 4 Lunches, 6 Dinners    

Experience the best of Tuscan culinary traditions during intimate cooking classes at the International Academy of Italian Cuisine and visits to local markets where you gather ingredients for your lessons, then enjoy the results. Get a first-hand look at artisanal food production as you meet a farmer who makes both sheep- and cow’s-milk cheeses, learn the centuries-old traditions of Lardo di Colonnata and sample wines with a sommelier.




Highlights

• Four comprehensive, hands-on cooking lessons encompass complete meal menus featuring seasonal ingredients.
• Visit local markets with your chef-instructor to shop for the freshest produce, meat and fish.
• Excursions around the region introduce you to producers of traditional Tuscan staples; olive oil, pasta, wine and cheese.



Activity Particulars

Some walking and standing on flat city sidewalks and even terrain.



Group size limited to 16 participants.




Date Specific Information

10-1-2014, 10-19-2014

Itinerary Summary Overnight flight from the U.S.A. 1 night Arrival Pisa; coach to Lucca, 8 nights; coach to Pisa for departure.



10-8-2014

Itinerary Summary Overnight flight from the U.S.A. 1 night Arrival Pisa; coach to Lucca, 8 nights; coach to Pisa for departure.



Itinerary Summary

Arrival Pisa; coach to Lucca, 7 nights; coach to Pisa for departure.



Overnight flight from the U.S.A.
1 night
Arrival Pisa
Coach to Lucca
7 nights
Departure

During a comprehensive hands-on course at the International Academy of Italian Cuisine, experience the art and passion of the Tuscan kitchen. Learn the authentic ways to make antipasti, main dishes and desserts with professional chef Gianluca Pardini. With your instructor, visit local market to purchase ingredients for your cooking lessons then enjoy the meals that you have created. Excursions explore Tuscan towns and countryside, including Colonnata, where you’ll learn how the famous Lardo has been made for over 1000 years; a cheese producer and a 16th century olive press. Learn about selecting the best wines to accompany your meals with a local sommelier. A free day provides time for personal explorations to nearby towns such as Pisa or Florence.




Italy

“Dolce far niente,” the “sweetness of doing nothing.” This ode to leisure is a distinctly Italian phrase, and yet the expression does not do justice to the hard-work ethos of the nation’s inhabitants. The monuments, art and civilization bequeathed to the people of modern Italy are a testament to the industry of their forebearers, and the legacy lives on in today’s Italians, who work hard to better enjoy the sweetness of repose.



Accommodations
Lucca: Historic hotel with spectacular views of the cathedral and piazzas.
Meals and Lodgings
   Hotel Universo
  Lucca, Italy 7 nights
 Hotel Universo
Type: Three-Star Hotel
  Description: There are places that have an undefinable, unique feel to them; something that only certain people can sense. The Hotel Universo is one of these places. L’Universo is one of the historical monuments of 19th-century Lucca, with a central location, opposite the eighteenth-century theatre and the splendid Ducal Palace. The rooms offer spectacular views out over the cathedral and the tree-lined Piazza Napoleone or Piazza del Giglio. The Palazzo was built some time in the 16th century and became a hotel in 1857, when guests included great names from Italian and international opera and theatre, who were playing at the theatre just opposite. The building still has the rooms, elegant salons and peacefully elegant atmosphere of times gone by.
  Contact info: Piazza del Giglio 1
Lucca,  55100 Italy
phone: +39 0583-493678
web: www.universolucca.com
  Room amenities: Air conditioning, direct telephone, television, Wi-Fi internet point, and minibar in every room category
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: € 110 DBL, € 100 SGL B/B Advanced reservation required and depending upon availability. Please also check the hotel website for special offers
  Check in time: 3:00 PM
  Additional nights after: € 110 DBL, € 100 SGL B/B Advanced reservation required and depending upon availability. Please also check the hotel website for special offers
  Check out time: 11:00 AM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Start Time: Hotel check in time 3:00 pm or 4:00 pm Program begins at 6:00 pm in the hotel lobby. You will be staying at Hotel Universo that night.
  End of Program:
End Time: 6:00 am in the lobby of the hotel. For later departures check out is at 11:00 or 12:00pm You will be staying at Hotel Universo the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. Passports are needed. No visa required for US citizens in Italy
  Parking availability:
Parking is free for the lenght of the program at the Hotel
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
  Train or bus availability: No train or Bus are available to site
To Start of Program
  Location:  Lucca
  Nearest highway: A11 Highway
  Nearest airport:  Pisa airport
  Transportation to site: There will be a shuttle bus available to participants (with included air from Road Scholar) from the airport to the Hotel. Transfer service from the airport to your Hotel is provided on the day of the group arrival only.
  From End of Program
  Location: Lucca
  Transportation from site: There will be a shuttle bus available to participants (with included air from Road Scholar) from the Hotel to the airport. Transfer service from the Hotel to the hotel is provided on the day of the group departure only .
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Elevation Note: There is no elevation above 3000 Feet.

Equipment Requirements: No equipment is required
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: in flight
(Wednesday, May 1)
   
 In Transit: Overnight in transit

Day 2: Check in / light snack / welcome cocktail / orientation meeting
(Thursday, May 2)
   
 Afternoon: Check-in at the Hotel Universo in Lucca. Light snack, orientation meeting and presentation of the program Welcome cocktail
 Dinner: Dinner at local restaurant
   
Accommodations: Hotel Universo
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 3: Lucca, first cooking lesson at International Academy of Italian Cuisine
(Friday, May 3)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel
 Morning: Guided visit of Lucca Visit to the Domus Romana followed by a Convivium (a lunch roman style)
 Lunch: Lunch at the Domus Romana
 Afternoon: First cooking lesson at the International Academy of Italian Cuisine The Chef Gianluca Pardini will hold a comprehensive hand-on course designed to teach you make Four courses lunches covering all the cook techniques from pasta to pastries and everything in between. You will learn the passion of the Tuscan kitchen and, importantly, have a lot of fun and enjoyment doing it. Menu : Antipasto: Trout with vegetables and light mayonnaise (filetto di trota con verdure di stagione e maionese leggera) Primo Piatto:Risotto with sea food (risotto ai frutti di mare) Secondo Piatto: Rolled bream fillet with eggplant and zucchini puree (INvoltino di filetto di orate) Dessert: Lemon and almond cake
 Dinner: Dinner at the cooking school
   
Accommodations: Hotel Universo
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Viareggio, second cooking lesson
(Saturday, May 4)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel
 Morning: Departure to Viareggio. On the way stop in Torre del Lago. Guided visit of the town of Viareggio famous for the “Liberty” style architecture of some of its buildings along the promenade
 Brunch: Snack and Aperitif at the Gran Caffe’ Margherita,
 Afternoon: Transfer to the cooking school. Second cooking lesson. Antipasto: Marinated and grilled artichokes (Carciofi grigliati) Primo Piatto: Fettuccine with tomato, pesto and rocket (Fettuccine al pomodoro pesto e rucola) Secondo Piatto: Pork fillet with artichokes and cheese fondue (Filetto di maiale con fonduta di pecorino) Dessert: Panna Cotta with pear sauce (Panna cotta con passata di pere)
 Dinner: Dinner at the Cooking School
   
Accommodations: Hotel Universo
Meals Included: Breakfast, Brunch, Dinner

Day 5: DAY AT LEISURE
(Sunday, May 5)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the Hotel
 Morning: Morning at leisure. Suggestions: - Florence or Pisa
 Lunch: Lunch on your own
 Afternoon: Afternoon at leisure. Suggestions: - Florence or Pisa
 Dinner: Dinner on your own
   
Accommodations: Hotel Universo
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 6: Fattoria Forci / Visit to San Martino (an old Olive press) and third cooking lesson
(Monday, May 6)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the Hotel
 Morning: Departure to Fattoria di Forci, one of the beautiful Villas of Lucca, aristocracy family summer Residences in the XVII century Visit the cellars and the ancient olive mill (16th century) Transfer to San Martino, farm producing biodynamic wine and oil. Lecture on the farm production in the winery followed by a wine and olive oil tasting with cheese in the Wonderful Villa Sardi, another noble residence.
 Lunch: Lunch at the local restaurant
 Afternoon: Third Cooking Lesson at the International Academy of Italian Cuisine. Antipasto:Bites of fried ricotta with sweet and sour tomato (bocconcini di ricotta fritta con pomodoro agrodolce) Primo Piatto: Zuppa Garmugia Secondo Piatto: Cacciatora Chicken Dessert: Charlotte with cheese and strawberries ( Charlotte di fragole con robiola)
 Dinner: Dinner at the cooking school
   
Accommodations: Hotel Universo
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Carrara, Colonnata, Pietrasanta,
(Tuesday, May 7)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel
 Morning: Departure to Carrara. Visit to a private marble quarry and marble studio. Departure to Colonnata. Visit to a factory producing Lard, which was the traditional meal of the quarry workers. Its production dates back to the year 1000 and has been handed down from generation to generation. The maturation takes place in marble tubs placed in caves or cellars.
 Lunch: Snack based on the lard of Colonnata along with other local specialties
 Afternoon: Departure to Pietrasanta. PIETRASANTA is famous for its connection with marble. Artists and sculptors, from all over the world, live and work there. It has been defined THE "SMALL ATHENS" for its marble studios, its artistic foundries, its artisans, for the ancient and modern monuments, for its sculptures, gifts of the great artists of this century that add beauty to its streets and squares, and also for its historic center, considered a precious jewelry case of the Middle Ages Free time in Pietrasanta
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel
   
Accommodations: Hotel Universo
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Castelnuovo di Garfagnana and Fourth hands-on cooking lesson
(Wednesday, May 8)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel
 Morning: Departure to Castelnuovo di Garfagnana. Visit to the Caseificio Bertagni, a small family-run caseificio producing both sheep’s and cow’s cheeses from using only Tuscan milk
 Lunch: Lunch at the local restaurant
 Afternoon: Transfer to the Cooking school for the fourth hands-on cooking lesson. Menu 4: Antipasto: Marinated Vegetables Primo Piatto: Paglia e fieno con funghi e noci (Pasta with mushrooms and walnuts) Secondo Piatto: Truffle scented white stew of veal (or suckling pig) with gratin fennels (Bianchetto di vitello di latte al tartufo) Dessert: Grandmother’s pine-nut cake (Pinolata della Nonna)
 Dinner: Dinner at the cooking school.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Universo
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Departure from Pisa airport
(Thursday, May 9)
   
 Depart From: Morning departures based on flight schedule time
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


Tuscany: The beautiful cookbook


Author: Lorenza De'Medici


In Tuscany


Author: Frances Mayes


Blue Guide Tuscany (5th edition)


Author: Alta Macadam




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