Florence: Food, Wine Tastings and Cooking Classes
Become a Tuscan Chef For a Day
Become a Tuscan Chef For a DayWhen in Florence....cook as if you were a real Tuscan chef! This shared cooking class takes place in a typical Tuscan setting - a fully equipped, professional kitchen installed in a building, just a few steps from the Duomo and the Central Market. Chef Giovanni and his assistant Andrea will accompany you and the other participants of the class to the Central Market where you will select the freshest ingredients for your meal. They will teach you how to choose the best among the products offered, and as you shop, you'll get to taste the ham, cheese and bread that you buy. Afterwards, you will enter the kitchen to prepare a seasonal meal of traditional bruschetta, fresh homemade pasta and typical Tuscan main courses. You will also select the Chianti wine that best accompanies what you have prepared to eat. At the conclusion of this hands-on lesson, you will get to sit down and enjoy the delicious meal you have made! A "graduation certificate" will be presented to all participants in the class. Please note that the Central Market is closed on Sundays and bank holidays; a special introduction and extra tastings will be available during the cooking class.
From $130.00 Per Person
Italy's Most Glorious Creations: Pizza & Gelato
Italy's Most Glorious Creations: Pizza & GelatoWhich are the most glorious Italian culinary creations? Pizza and gelato, of course! Join this learn-and-taste afternoon tour -- it's informative, it's entertaining and it finishes up with a delicious Tuscan dinner, complete with wine! You'll meet the group in downtown Florence and head to a typical pizzeria where a local pizza chef, called a "pizzaiolo," will teach you the art of making pizza from scratch. Every participant makes their own pizza, starting with the dough, then covering it with a light yet flavorful tomato sauce and finally popping it in the oven to bake. And when the pizza is cooked to perfection... of course, you'll get to taste it! After pizza comes dessert! Making gelato seems easy but there is so much to learn. The chef provides an extensive introduction on how to select the best available raw ingredients, how the natural colors develop, how gelato differs from traditional ice cream and much more. And sampling many different flavors of freshly-made gelato is half the fun! The tour concludes with dinner and a wine tasting, making it a great opportunity for the whole family to gain an insight into Italy's famed gastronomical culture in a fun and tasty way!
From $70.00 Per Person
Learn to Cook a Florentine Meal
Learn to Cook a Florentine MealStep into the private kitchen of Francesca di Leonardo and learn to cook a traditional Florentine meal. Together you'll prepare a 4-course meal, using fresh, local ingredients, while Francesca shares with you her cooking secrets and special techniques. Finally, you'll enjoy the fruits of your labors, eating dinner around the kitchen table. This is a 'home-style' cooking class, which takes place in the private apartment of Francesca di Leonardo, located in Florence's San Frediano district. The class will last 3 hours, with the meal following.
From $147.00 Per Person
Chianti Nord Wine Tour: Half Day
Chianti Nord Wine Tour: Half DayProduced in the undulating hills of the Tuscan countryside between Florence and Siena, the famous Chianti Classico wine is known and celebrated all over the world. Tidy rows of vineyards set amidst historic villages and silvery-green olive trees are the scenic backdrop for this half day wine excursion to Chianti Country. Departing from and returning to your Florence hotel, first stop is the town of Greve in Chianti with its picturesque, asymmetrical main piazza. It is lined by a succession of palaces, porticoes and loggias with the rebuilt church of Santa Croce at one end, housing beautiful Renaissance paintings from the School of Fra Angelico. At the other end of the piazza stands a statue of the explorer, Giovanni da Verrazzano, who discovered New York Harbor. After a tour of Greve you'll head to the Casaloste Vineyards, known for their fine Chianti Classico and Riserva wines. A visit to the cellars and a guided wine tasting are included. Then you'll visit the cellars of the Setriolo estate in Castellina in Chianti to learn how grapes become wine; a guided tasting follows.
From $162.00 Per Person
Italian Wines: North to South
Italian Wines: North to SouthKeen to know more about Italian wines and the way they differ throughout Italy? Your sommelier will take you on a trip from north to south, discovering the best wines produced in three of the 20 Italian regions - not necessarily the most well known, but certainly of the highest quality. You will be introduced to limited production wines made by small wineries tucked away in Tuscany, Trentino Alto Adige and Sicily. These will be accompanied by various appetizers such as traditional bruschette and a selection of the best cured meats and cheeses of the area. This 45-minute wine tasting under the vaulted ceiling of the Enoteca Alessi wine bar is the perfect introduction to the wines of Italy, ideal for any wine-lover!
From $54.00 Per Person
Chianti Classico - Group Guided Tour
Chianti Classico - Group Guided TourTidy rows of vineyards, silvery-green olive trees and the inky exclamation points of cypresses are the scenic backdrop for this shared, full day excursion to the Chianti area where one of the world's most famous wines is produced. A comfortable minivan will take you around the picturesque Tuscan countryside, making stops at two celebrated wineries along the way. Here, a knowledgeable sommelier will show you around the production facilities and the cellars where you will taste wines made from Sangiovese, Canaiolo and other varieties of purple grapes. You will learn how to distinguish the flavor and acidity of each wine and, based on its unique characteristics, how to best pair it with food. Some of the excellent olive oils produced in this region will also be sampled. Lunch will be at a lovely trattoria serving local Tuscan specialties.
From $173.00 Per Person
Montepulciano & Pienza: Full Day Wine Tour
Montepulciano & Pienza: Full Day Wine TourThis full day excursion is a celebration of Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, one of Italy's most outstanding red wines made from a skillful blend of Prugnolo Gentile, Canaiolo Nero and Mammolo grapes. Departing from and returning to your Florence or Siena hotel, the first stop is the Boscarelli Vineyards, known for their fine Nobile wine. A visit to the cellars and a wine tasting is included. Next stop is Montepulciano - called "The Pearl of the 16th Century" - a jewel of the Renaissance period. Curving its way along a ridge, the town delights visitors with vino and views. After a short tour of Montepulciano, you'll visit the historic cellars of Contucci. This wine making family dates back 1,000 years and is one of the 'Fathers' of Vino Nobile. Lunch will be at Diva e Maceo, a lovely trattoria serving local Tuscan specialties. Afterwards you will head to the Poliziano estate for a guided wine tasting. Final stop of the day is Pienza. The town's main piazza was commissioned by native son Pope Pius II in 1459, and is the first example of Renaissance town planning in Italy. Pienza is also known for its excellent sheep's milk cheese (pecorino di Pienza).
From $332.00 Per Person
At the Florentine Market
At the Florentine MarketTake a trip back in time to discover the traditions of Florentine market shopping and cooking. Francesca di Leonardo will take you to the San Lorenzo market, introducing you to local produce and customs. Together you'll select the freshest ingredients before returning to Francesca's home to cook a traditional Tuscan meal. This culinary adventure allows you to learn about Italian culture in the most intimate setting -- dinner around the family table.This is a 'home-style' cooking class, which takes place in the private apartment of Francesca di Leonardo, located in Florence's San Frediano district.
From $212.00 Per Person
Gelato and Vino
Gelato and VinoIt may sound like a strange combination, but gelato and wine are two of Florence's best-known creations, so why not explore them together? Your tasting begins with a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the famous gelateria, GROM, where owner Mario will introduce you to artisanal Italian ice cream, explaining the stages of its production and revealing the secrets of its success. It goes without saying, all the gelato is made solely from natural products and with top quality raw materials and the seasonal flavor-of-the-month is a true delight! The tour continues right across the street, under the vaulted ceilings of the historic wine bar Enoteca Alessi. Here, surrounded by glass cabinets of filled with fine grappas, whiskies and cognac, you'll embark on a tasting menu that includes two Tuscan red wines accompanied by various traditional appetizers. Finally, for dessert, three different flavors of GROM gelato sprinkled with a special balsamic cream will be served. This 45-minute tasting experience is a great way to learn about the food and wine of Florence, and is ideal for any level of foodie!
From $62.00 Per Person
Brunello di Montalcino Wine Tour: Full Day
Brunello di Montalcino Wine Tour: Full DayNoble and seductive, Brunello di Montalcino is a grand red wine that is born in the heart of the hills around Siena. It is the work of one man, Ferruccio Biondi-Santi, whose patient efforts first brought this wine to light in 1888. Celebrate his invention on this full day wine excursion to Brunello country. Departing from and returning to your Florence or Siena hotel, first stop is the Altesino Vineyards. A visit to the cellars and a guided wine tasting of their fine Brunello is included. This is followed by a walking tour of the village of Montalcino. Here you'll be captivated by picturesque, narrow streets surmounted by the medieval fortress, La Rocca. Lunch at the Taverna Grappolo Blu in Montalcino will introduce you to authentic local dishes like the thick, hand rolled spaghetti called pici. After a delicious lunch you'll head to the 12th century Abbey of Sant'Antimo. In a serene setting of rolling hills blanketed in olive groves and vineyards, the Augustinian friars maintain the ancient tradition of Gregorian Chant. Afterwards you'll visit the cellars of the Poggio Antico estate; a guided tasting follows.
From $366.00 Per Person
Classic Tuscan Red Wines
Classic Tuscan Red WinesThis wine tasting takes place under the vaulted ceiling of the Enoteca Alessi wine bar, surrounded by glass cabinets filled with fine grappas, whiskies and cognac. Your sommelier will take you through Tuscany's best flavors in this fascinating tour entirely dedicated to Tuscan wines and delicacies. You will have the chance to taste three of the best red wines in the world: Chianti Classico Riserva, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and Brunello di Montalcino, accompanied by traditional bruschette and a selection of the best cured meats and cheeses of the area. Finish with a glass of historic Vin Santo; this sublime sweet dessert wine is enjoyed along with cantuccini - typical, hard almond biscuits that come from the nearby city of Prato.
From $67.00 Per Person
Florentine Masters: Art & Wine
Florentine Masters: Art & WineFamous for its abundance of art, history, charming vistas and sophisticated wines, Florence does seem to have the best of all worlds! With only a day to spare, see what this intriguing city has to offer on a guided tour that will give you a glimpse of Florentine cultural wealth and a taste of the best Tuscan wines. The visit starts in the heart of the Roman city (now Piazza della Repubblica); walking through medieval streets, you will pass many still visible, fortified family towers. Then comes the small oratory of San Martino dei Buonomini whose interior is covered with Renaissance frescoes and is surrounded by houses that once belonged to Dante. Piazza della Signoria is next -- it is dominated by the imposing Palazzo Vecchio and adorned with a copy of Michelangelo's "David" in its original location. More statues in marble and bronze are displayed in the Loggia dei Lanzi. After passing the remains of the ancient Roman Amphitheater in the neighborhood where the young Michelangelo once lived, the stroll ends in the Franciscan Basilica of Santa Croce. Famous men such as Michelangelo, Galileo, Machiavelli and Rossini are buried here, amidst impressive frescoes and sculptures. After the historical part of the tour, you will head over to the Enoteca Alessi. This wine bar is one of the oldest in Florence and occupies the site of two Jewish oratories that were built right outside the Ghetto. Under vaulted ceilings you will taste three of the best red wines in the world: Chianti Classico Riserva, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and Brunello di Montalcino, accompanied by traditional bruschetthe and a selection of cured meats and cheeses from the region. A glass of Vin Santo - a sublime sweet dessert wine - along with the typical, hard, almond biscuits called cantuccini will provide a sweet finish to your tour.
From $420.00 Per Group
Florence for Foodies: A Small Group Tour
Florence for Foodies: A Small Group TourDuring this 3.5-hour small group tour you will be immersed in a magical tasting experience, enjoying eight genuine, exquisite Italian dishes typical of the Florentine cuisine. The delectable food combined with the elegant and beautiful surroundings will create an experience that is impossible to forget. Your friendly and knowledgeable guide will take you to the best foodie gems in Florence, many of which are located in lovely non-touristy areas. First stop on this tour is a coffee bar, where you will have the chance to try an authentic Italian espresso. Next, by walking through the Florence's enchanting fashion borough, you will reach Procacci, an antique delicatessen owned by the Antinori family that serves appetizing truffle sandwiches which are impossible to resist. A wide variety of heavenly cheeses and olive oils, as well as a seasonal specialty, will be waiting for you at the San Lorenzo market, a hub for mouthwatering and fresh treats. Next stop is a lovely wine bar, where your sommelier will teach you various wine characteristics, including colors, flavors and location of production. During this tasting, you will have the chance to try one glass of the best red wines in the world and one glass of Vin Santo - a sublime sweet dessert wine - along with the typical, hard, almond biscuits called cantuccini. Your next and last stop on this tour will be an artigianal gelateria in the heart of the city. What better way to end your foodie tour?
From $100.00 Per Person
Immerse yourself in Tuscan cuisine at Il Macchero...
Immerse yourself in Tuscan cuisine at Il MaccheroneNestled in the hills of Tuscany, a mere 20-minute ride from Florence, lies Il Maccherone, a family-owned trattoria that has earned itself a wonderful reputation for preserving the authentic flavors of Tuscany while simultaneously capitalizing on innovative culinary techniques. As such, Il Maccherone is the perfect venue for both traditional and modern-day Tuscan cooking classes. Cooking is the birthright of Chef Sabrina Somigli. The daughter of two successful Florentine restaurateurs, Sabrina has been in the kitchen all her life. In addition to her extensive life experience, she has devoted herself to the nitty-gritty science of food, earning a degree in Agricultural Bio-technology and a Ph.D in Microbiology. Needless to say, she's a master chef and an unparalleled guru in the art of cooking! On Monday and Tuesday afternoons, Sabrina will teach a 3-hour cooking class in Il Maccherone's kitchen. Students will be fully immersed in the Tuscan cooking tradition and will master exquisite gourmet dishes that they will be able to recreate for friends and family. Afterwards, the class will sit down together to enjoy a wonderful meal with expertly paired wines. Students can choose from a variety of seasonal menus, so there's a cooking class to suit every taste!
From $114.00 Per Person
Balsamic Vinegar Tasting
Balsamic Vinegar TastingWine tastings are famous, but have you ever heard about a balsamic vinegar tasting? This phenomenon is becoming ever more popular with gourmet travelers and those who are curious about how Italians eat. During this 45-minute tasting, you will learn everything about the production of balsamic vinegar and how the humble grape is transformed into a powerful and flavorful product. The way the wine is aged affects the taste and consistency of the vinegar so you will start by trying eight types of balsamic vinegars, ranging from the youngest to the oldest. Not only will the taste be different, but also the color and the smell. After sampling all of the vinegars by themselves, including a real traditional balsamic vinegar of Modena, you will try them paired with a wide selection of meats, Tuscan cheeses, vegetables, and even fresh fruits! Traditional Tuscan bruschette and a glass of wine of your choice will be also served.
From $66.00 Per Person
From Market to Table: A Small Group Tuscan Cooking...
From Market to Table: A Small Group Tuscan Cooking ClassWhat is more fascinating and entertaining than discovering a region through the rituals of its cuisine? This is your opportunity to enjoy a fantastic cooking lesson that combines the city with the beautiful Tuscan countryside. The day starts with a pleasant walk through the farmer's market of Florence - the colorful and authentic place where many Florentines do their shopping. Thanks to your chef, Giovanni, you will meet the Florentine butchers, bakers and farmers with the possibility to taste some of their genuine products directly from their stands. Once you have collected what you need for the meal, you will be taken to the well-equipped kitchen of a villa in the Chianti countryside right outside Florence. Here, under the guidance of Giovanni, you will begin your hands-on cooking class. The menu may vary slightly depending on the season and which fresh ingredients are available, but among various other dishes a menu typically usually includes making homemade pasta from scratch. Needless to say, the class will conclude with a delicious lunch accompanied by a tasting of two Chianti wines.
From $214.00 Per Person
Olive Oil: From Tree to Table
Olive Oil: From Tree to TableOlive oil is a supremely healthy food and one of the most important ingredients in the Italian cuisine. This cooking class is designed for passionate home cooks and people who would like to learn the properties and the secrets of olive oil. Join this private cooking class to learn how to prepare exciting and easy-to-make recipes using the olive oil. Enter the kitchen with Barbara and Silvia to discover the secrets of olive oil, pizza and focaccia. During this cooking class, you will learn everything about the production of olive oil and how the olives are transformed into a healthy and flavorful product. You will also learn the history of olive oil, the names of the different varieties and the meaning of words like 'extra virgin.' After learning about olive oil's most important qualities, you will roll up your sleeves and discover how to make a tasty dough that you will use to prepare a pizza, a calzone, a focaccia and a savory cake: this is the best way to appreciate how olive oil influences the overall taste of the food. Finally, it's time to enjoy the fruits of your labor accompanied by a glass of local wine. At the end of the lesson, you will get a certificate of participation along with a booklet with information about olive oil.
From $230.00 Per Person
Winery Visit & Tasting at Cantina Antinori in Chia...
Winery Visit & Tasting at Cantina Antinori in Chianti ClassicoAntinori is a name that elicits reverence, respect and awe in the world of wine. This Tuscan family has been making wine for 26 generations, and a tour and tasting at their state-of-the-art cantina in the heart of beautiful Chianti country is an unforgettable experience. Departing from your Florence hotel, you will head to the brand-new Antinori cantina - the world headquarters of their brand - located in San Casciano Val di Pesa, only a scenic, half an hour drive through the undulating hills of Tuscany. As you approach San Casciano, you will notice that the cantina is literally constructed in the hillside, a conscious decision to punctuate the winery's rootedness to the land around it, as well as to maximize energy efficiency. Designed by Marco Casamonti, one of Italy's leading architects, the structure is not just a cantina but also features an auditorium, museum, restaurant and wine shop inside its 540,000 square-foot expanse. The Antinori museum traces the family's long and illustrious history and displays their private art collection that includes many portraits of ancestors, as well as three contemporary art installations made especially for the cantina by Rosa Barba, Yona Friedman and Jean-Baptiste Decavele. After a tour of the museum, you will proceed to the wine cellars: a series of softly-lit, sleek caves and spectacular, airy rooms that are tucked deep inside the hill, hidden behind discreet doors. Your tour of this remarkable temple of wine will end with a tasting of three of the best Antinori wines: Villa Antinori Chianti Classico Riserva, Marchese Antinori Chianti Classico DOCG Riserva and Badia a Passignano. Please note that for the shared tour, transportation to/from the winery is NOT included in the total price.
From $99.00 Per Person
Chianti Nord Wine Tour: Full Day
Chianti Nord Wine Tour: Full DayProduced in the undulating hills of the Tuscan countryside between Florence and Siena, the famous Chianti Classico wine is known and celebrated all over the world. Tidy rows of vineyards set amidst historic villages and silvery-green olive trees are the scenic backdrop for this full day wine excursion to Chianti Country. Departing from and returning to your Florence hotel, first stop is the town of Greve in Chianti with its picturesque, asymmetrical main piazza. It is lined by a succession of palaces, porticoes and loggias with the rebuilt church of Santa Croce at one end, housing beautiful Renaissance paintings from the School of Fra Angelico. At the other end of the piazza stands a statue of the explorer, Giovanni da Verrazzano, who discovered New York Harbor. After a tour of Greve you'll head to the Casaloste Vineyards, known for their fine Chianti Classico and Riserva wines. A visit to the cellars and a guided wine tasting are included. Next stop will be lunch at the Osteria La Scuderia, a lovely place serving typical Tuscan cuisine. After lunch you will head either to the Antinori vineyards at Badia di Passignano or to the small castle of Montefioralle depending on availability. Then you'll visit the cellars of the Setriolo estate in Castellina in Chianti to learn how grapes become wine; a guided tasting follows.
From $272.00 Per Person