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Cooking in Tuscany

Program Number: 19672RJ
Start and End Dates:
9/30/2015 - 10/9/2015; 10/19/2015 - 10/28/2015; 11/11/2015 - 11/20/2015; 3/16/2016 - 3/25/2016; 4/30/2016 - 5/9/2016; 5/13/2016 - 5/22/2016; 8/27/2016 - 9/5/2016; 10/3/2016 - 10/12/2016; 11/10/2016 - 11/19/2016;
Duration: 9 nights
Location: Italy
Price starting at: $2,899.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Food & Wine
Meals: 18; 7 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 6 Dinners    
Meal Options: Low Salt; Low Fat; Vegetarian; Gluten Free    

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 12 participants.



Itinerary Summary

Arrival Pisa; coach to Lucca, 8 nights; coach to Pisa for departure.



Overnight flight from the U.S.A.
1 night
Arrival Pisa
Coach to Lucca
8 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 Palazzo Alexander
  Lucca, Italy 8 nights
 Hotel Palazzo Alexander
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: The building, which dates from the 12th century, housed a girls boarding school in the 1800's. Closed until 2000, the site was restored to its former splendor and prepared for its present use thanks to refurbishment works that left unaltered the original structure of the building, and have successfully created an elegant, charming residence in the heart of Lucca's historic city center. Known today as the Palazzo Alexander, the residence encompasses four floors of double rooms, connecting rooms for families, suites and junior suites, all with modern, private bathrooms. In addition, all rooms have been equipped with air conditioning, satellite television, telephones, computer hook-ups, safe, wi-fi and hairdryers. Services: in the public area - high speed internet access free of charge - air conditioning - buffet breakfast from 7:00 to 10:30
  Contact info: Via Santa Giustina 48
Lucca,  55100 Italy
phone: +39 0583 583571
web: www.hotelpalazzoalexander.it
  Room amenities: The residence encompasses four floors of double rooms, connecting rooms for families, suites and junior suites, all with modern, private bathrooms. All rooms have been equipped with air conditioning, satellite television, telephones, computer hook-ups, safe and hairdryers.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: DBL € 160 B/B, DUS € 140 B/B Advanced reservation required and depending upon availability. Please send an e-mail to ffigliuolo@exploreitaly.net or call (781) 899-0900 City tax if applied it has to be paid locally: roughly cost: € 2,00 per person per night Please also check the hotel website for special offers
  Check in time: 3:00 PM
  Additional nights after: DBL € 160 B/B, DUS € 140 B/B Advanced reservation required and depending upon availability. Please send an e-mail to ffigliuolo@exploreitaly.net or call (781) 899-0900 City tax if applied it has to be paid locally: roughly cost: € 2,00 per person per night 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 Palazzo Alexander 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 Palazzo Alexander the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information 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 Transit to Program
(Wednesday, November 11)
   
 In Transit: Overnight in transit

Day 2: Check-In, Registration, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
(Thursday, November 12)
   
 Afternoon: Check-in at the Hotel Palazzo Alexander in Lucca. Light snack, orientation meeting and presentation of the program Welcome cocktail
 Dinner: Dinner at the Hotel
   
Accommodations: Hotel Palazzo Alexander
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 3: Lucca, Cooking Class, Academy of Italian Cuisine
(Friday, November 13)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel
 Morning: Expert-led 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: Panzanella (bread salad) Primo piatto: Zuppa di faro (barley soup) Secondo piatto: Carrè de maiale bardato con patate arrosto (pork loin with roasted potatoes) Dessert: Crespelle di Necci, Castagnaccio (pancakes with pine nuts and ricotta cheese, chestnut dessert)
 Dinner: Dinner at the cooking school
   
Accommodations: Hotel Palazzo Alexander
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Lucca, Cooking Class
(Saturday, November 14)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel
 Morning: Expert-led visit of Lucca, from Renaissance to Modern Age
 Brunch: Lunch on your own
 Afternoon: Transfer to the cooking school. Second cooking lesson. Antipasti: Calamari ripieni (Stuffed calamari) Primo piatto: Gnocchi di branzino con vongole e pomodori arrostiti (Sea bass gnocchi with clams and roasted tomato sauce) Secondo piatto: Involtino di filetto di orata con melanzane e pure di zucchini (Rolled bream fillet with aubergine and zucchini purée) Dessert: Buccellato
 Dinner: Dinner at the Cooking School
   
Accommodations: Hotel Palazzo Alexander
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 5: Free Time, Cooking Class
(Sunday, November 15)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the Hotel
 Morning: Morning at leisure.
 Lunch: Lunch on your own
 Afternoon: Third Cooking Lesson at the International Academy of Italian Cuisine. Menu 2 Antipasto: Sfogliatine di zucchini e caprino con crema di zucca (Puff pastry with zucchini and goat cheese served with pumpkin cream) Primo piatto: Ravioli di zucca con pecorino e cannella (Ravioli stuffed with pecorino cheese and cinnamon) Secondo piatto: Pollo alla cacciatora (cacciatore chicken) Dessert: Cantucci con Vin Santo
 Dinner: Dinner on your own
   
Accommodations: Hotel Palazzo Alexander
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 6: Castelnuovo di Grafagnana, Free Time
(Monday, November 16)
   
 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: Afternoon at leisure
 Dinner: Dinner at the cooking school
   
Accommodations: Hotel Palazzo Alexander
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Carrara, Colonnata, Pietrasanta
(Tuesday, November 17)
   
 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 Palazzo Alexander
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Fattoria Forci, Visit to San Martino, Cooking Class
(Wednesday, November 18)
   
 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: Transfer to the Cooking school for the fourth hands-on cooking lesson. Menu 4: Antipasto: Involtini di peperoni con crema al formaggio ed erbette (rolled peppers with cream cheese and herbs) Primo piatto: Pasta fatta in casa con fiori di zucca (fresh made pasta with zucchini flowers) Secondo piatto: Scaloppine alla Senese (Scaloppine with terragon) Dessert: Schiacciata con l’uva (typical sweet focaccia with grapes)
 Dinner: Dinner at the cooking school.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Palazzo Alexander
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Cinque Terre
(Thursday, November 19)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel
 Morning: Excursion to Cinque Terre. The Cinque Terre is a rugged portion of coast on the Italian Riviera. It is in the Liguria region of Italy, to the west of the city of La Spezia. "The Five Lands" is composed of five villages: Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore. The coastline, the five villages, and the surrounding hillsides are all part of the Cinque Terre National Park and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
 Lunch: Lunch at the local restaurant
 Afternoon: Free time at the Cinque Terre
 Dinner: Dinner on your own
   
Accommodations: Hotel Palazzo Alexander
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 10: Program Concludes
(Friday, November 20)
   
 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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