19672
Italy
Cooking in Tuscany
Tuscany: The word conjures images of golden vineyards, nodding sunflowers and artfully prepared meals. Come learn the art of Tuscan cooking on this culinary adventure of a lifetime.
Rating (4.96)
Program No. 19672RJ
Length
10 days
Starts at
2,749
Flights start at
775
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10 days
9 nights
19 meals
8 B 6 L 5 D
Getting There
See travel details and required documents
DAY
1
In Transit to Program
In Flight
DAY
2
Arrive Lucca, Check-in, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Lucca
D
Hotel Palazzo Alexander

Activity note: Hotel check-in available from 3:00 p.m.

Afternoon: After checking-in at the hotel and getting your room, take some time to freshen up and relax before a light snack, followed by our Orientation session. Orientation: The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. Accommodations will be in the pedestrian-only historical center of Lucca. Pick-ups and drop-offs will be at the bus stop, a 5 minute walk from the hotel. Streets are mostly cobblestones. The cooking school is in Vicopelago, about 2.5 miles (10 minutes by bus) from Lucca. Transportation will primarily be provided by motorcoach, unless specified otherwise. These are the names of typical food courses: l'antipasto — literally "before the meal" — a hot or cold appetizer; il primo piatto, the first course, often soup or pasta; il secondo piatto, the second course or main dish; il contorno piatto, a side dish such as vegetables or salad; and il dolce, dessert. Breakfasts will be hearty buffets; most lunches and some other meals will be two courses featuring local dishes. Periods in the schedule designated as “Free time” and “At leisure” offer opportunities to do what you like and make your experience even more meaningful and memorable according to your personal preferences. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding. Before dinner, we’ll enjoy a welcome cocktail together.

Dinner: At a local restaurant, we’ll have a plated and served meal of regional specialties with wine, coffee and water included; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure. Continue getting to know your fellow road scholars, settle in, and get a good night’s rest for the full day ahead.

DAY
3
Lucca, Cooking Class, Academy of Italian Cuisine
Lucca
B,L,D
Hotel Palazzo Alexander

Activity note: Walking about 1 mile on cobblestone streets.

Breakfast: At the hotel, the breakfast buffet’s choices include an egg dish, a variety of sliced cold cuts and cheeses, breakfast breads, jams, hot and cold cereals, and fresh fruit with coffee, tea and water.

Morning: We’ll begin our adventure with an expert-led walking field trip through Lucca, taking in the atmosphere and seeing architectural legacies predating the Roman Empire all the way to the Renaissance at the Domus Romana, an archaeological site in the center of Lucca. We’ll delve into the lengthy history of this area through informative museum exhibits and excavation sites.

Lunch: At the Domus Romana, we’ll experience a Roman-style convivium, or communal “banquet.” Wine, water and liqueur included.

Afternoon: Our first cooking lesson will be at the International Academy of Italian Cuisine, with a professional chef. This comprehensive hands-on course is designed to teach us how to make four-course lunches by covering cooking techniques applicable to pasta, pastries, and everything in between.

Dinner: At the cooking school, we will enjoy the results of our cooking lesson along with other dishes prepared by the chef, plus wine and water.

Evening: Upon returning to the hotel, the rest of the evening is at leisure.

DAY
4
Pietrasanta, Colonnata, Carrara, Viareggio
Lucca
B,L
Hotel Palazzo Alexander

Activity note: Walking about 2 miles on cobblestone streets and uneven terrain. Total driving today is about 50 miles, approximately 2 hours.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We’ll first transfer to Pietrasanta for a walking field trip of this medieval town, led by our Group Leader. A place famous for its connection with marble, artists and sculptors from all over the world have been drawn to live and work here. It has been described as “the small Athens” for its sculpting studios, artistic foundries, and ancient and modern monuments. Its historic center is world-renowned and considered a precious jewel of the Middle Ages. Then, we will carry on to Colonnata in Carrara, where we will visit a factory producing lardo, a type of pork salumi seasoned with herbs and cured for about 8 months in handmade baskets made from local marble. For generations, lardo was a traditional dietary staple of marble quarry workers.

Lunch: At a local lardo producer, we’ll have a light lunch based on the lard of Colonnata along with other local specialties and water.

Afternoon: Next, we will go on a field trip led by our Group Leader and expert staff to a private marble quarry. On the way back to the hotel, we will stop for a walking field trip in Viareggio, a city famous for its Art Deco-style palaces and promenade, which are comparable to the ones in Cannes.

Dinner: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
5
Lucca, Cooking Class
Lucca
B,L,D
Hotel Palazzo Alexander

Activity note: Walking about 1 mile on cobblestone streets.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We’ll embark on an expert-led walking field trip of Lucca with emphasis on the progression from the Renaissance to the Modern Age.

Lunch: At a local restaurant, we’ll enjoy a plated meal featuring regional cuisine with a glass of wine, water, and coffee included; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: We’ll then transfer to the Cooking School for our hands-on cooking lesson.

Dinner: At the Cooking School, we will eat the meal we have prepared.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
6
Castelnuovo di Garfagnana, Free Time
Lucca
B,L
Hotel Palazzo Alexander

Activity note: Drive to Garfagnana is about 50 miles, approximately 1.5 hours. Walking approximately 1.5 miles throughout the day on uneven terrain.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: After transferring via motorcoach to Castelnuovo di Garfagnana, we’ll go on a field trip led by our Group Leader to the Caseificio Bertagni, a small family-run “caseificio,” or creamery, producing both sheep’s and cow’s cheeses from Tuscan milk exclusively.

Lunch: At a local restaurant, we’ll have a plated meal featuring specialties of Garfagnana made from local seasonal ingredients. Coffee, tea, water included.

Afternoon: Returning to Lucca, we will enjoy some free time. Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Dinner: On your own to enjoy what you like.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
7
Fabbrica San Martino, Cooking Class
Lucca
B,D
Hotel Palazzo Alexander

Activity note: Walking about 1.5 miles on cobblestone streets and uneven terrain.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: In the late morning, we will have a short transfer via motorcoach,to Fabbrica di San Martino, a farm producing biodynamic wine and oil where we will hear a lecture focused on farm production given by the owner. We’ll then visit the nearby Villa Sardi, a historical noble residence from the 17th century, and follow up our exploration with wine, cheese, and olive oil tasting at the winery.

Lunch: On your own.

Afternoon: We’ll then transfer to the International Academy of Italian Cuisine for our hands–on cooking lesson.

Dinner: Cooking school meal.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
8
Cooking Class, Free Time
Lucca
B,L
Hotel Palazzo Alexander

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We will begin by visiting a local market on foot with our Group Leader for an authentic experience of how people from Lucca go food shopping in preparation for cooking. We’ll then transfer to the Cooking School for our hands-on cooking lesson.

Lunch: Cooking school meal.

Afternoon: Free Time. Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Dinner: On your own to enjoy what you like.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
9
Montecarlo (Lucca), Borgo Antico, Winery, Free time
Lucca
B,L,D
Hotel Palazzo Alexander

Activity note: Walking about 1.5 miles on cobblestone streets, uneven terrain and some hilly sections. Driving under an hour today.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: After transferring via motorcoach to Montecarlo, we’ll go on a field trip led by a local expert to Borgo Antico. Afterwards, we’ll transfer to the local winery.

Lunch: At the winery, we’ll have a light lunch based on the local specialties.

Afternoon: Returning to the hotel, we will enjoy some free time.

Dinner: At the local restaurant, we’ll have a plated and served farewell meal with wine, coffee and water; other beverages available for purchase. Share some of your favorite experiences from the program with your fellow Road Scholars

Evening: At leisure. Be sure to prepare for check-out and departure in the morning.

DAY
10
Program Concludes
In Flight
B

Activity note: Hotel check-out by 11:00 a.m. See the travel information section regarding transfers.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet depending on departure time. This concludes our program.

Morning: If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on another rewarding program in the future. Don’t forget to join our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram. Best wishes for all your journeys!






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