Program Overview

COOK: Join us in our medieval hill top village for a week of cooking delicious meals where the women of the village are masters of their art…food! They will endear you with their skills and laughter in the kitchen. Our teachers use the same recipes their grandmothers, or “Nonnas” as we say in Italy, used. Nothing has changed for generations--this is the way women in Tuscany have cooked for hundreds of years. Its magical to see Tuscan women cook!

EAT: After sharing time in the kitchen with new friends and your new “Nonna” we get to eat. We will sit around the table on patios, in gardens and sometimes in the kitchen and share the fruits of our labor. We will dine on homemade gnocchi, tagliatelli, bruschetta, herb chicken, stuffed flowers and original to Montefollonico--the thick ribbons of handmade eggless pasta--pici. And of course no meal is complete in Tuscany without a few good bottles of vino. We will also travel to neighboring villages and dine at renowned restaurants each day.

PLAY: After all the food and vino we are ready to play…the Tuscan Way. We will walk the cobblestone streets of villages, shop at local markets, visit wineries and cheese makers, see historic sights, and stop for cappuccino and local made pastries and taste creamy gelato. We will see who wins the red ravioli with their pasta rolling skills and who can win the coveted golden rolling pin for their skills and ability to pronounce the village names correctly. During the week we will take you to visit some of our neighbors--other hilltop villages like Pienza, Cortona and Montepulciano.

The Village

On top of a hill facing Montepulciano, stands the medieval village of Montefollonico. Far from busy roads and from the usual tourist trail, the splendid isolation of Montefollonico is probably what makes it particularly charming and appealing. It is a fantastic medieval village, surrounded by 13th century walls that protect Montefollonico Castle.

With its narrow, winding streets and its low, rustic houses, Montefollonico provides a genuine view of Tuscany. Here you'll enjoy great cooking, memorable meals, and unlimited wine in our hidden village surrounded by rolling green hills.

The Accommodations

Relais La Costa is located in the small medieval town of Montefollonico between Pienza and Montepulciano, is an oasis of peace and refined gastronomy.

The building dates backs to 1300. Relais La Costa was the ancient town farm, but today is a charming Hotel Restaurant, that was restored leaving its ancient characteristics unchanged, paying great attention to every details. The bedrooms with panoramic views, some with balconies, have been perfectly restored keeping their original style.

All guestrooms are individual in decor and supplied with the finest amenities.

Each room has a private bathroom, some of which with Jacuzzi hydromassage bathtubs. Relais La Costa was owned by the Marquis Scipione Bargagli, the Prime Minister under the Tuscan Grand Duchy Pietro Leopoldo II, as attested in numerous documents preserved by the present owners.

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