The cooking week

Our cooking classes are very hands-on. The classes are taught in English and our wonderful local chefs will guide you through the preparation of a variety of simple but delicious Italian recipes (from Tuscany and from other Italian regions) and reveal some of their culinary secrets.

The cooking classes

Groups are small (maximum 10 people), so that everyone gets a chance to try their hand at the techniques, from making fresh egg pasta dough to lovingly stirring an artichoke risotto to perfection. Rather than cooking a “usual” Italian meal of first course, second course and dessert, we teach you several dishes on each day, so that you go home with quite an extensive repertoire!

You are free to pick and choose whether you’d like to join in the cooking school activities on a particular day or not. If you fancy a day horse-riding, hot-air ballooning or just going to the beach, let us know in advance and we’ll help you do just that.

Getting around

You can get to Certaldo easily by train, but car rental during your week is essential. Ours is not a package tour, where we herd you around in a van. We give you a structured week’s activities but also the tools to explore on your own if you wish to. You drive to all excursions, either following us, or with our detailed directions. Distances driven are short and to keep carbon emissions down, we encourage car-sharing and car pooling whenever possible, putting you in touch with other participants who would like to share a vehicle.

Your week with us

Here is a typical week at Organic Tuscany. Please note that this is an example, albeit a pretty accurate reflection of what we do! The dishes cooked will vary following the seasons and any special requests you have, and the specific days for excursions may vary.

Saturday

You arrive

We help you get settled in. You can just rest after your journey, have a dip in the pool or explore beautiful Certaldo or the surrounding countryside.

 7.30 pm

Alfresco welcome dinner

We cook for you and your new classmates on this first evening, and keep things simple. Warm foccaccia straight out of the oven accompanies grilled organic vegetables, local biodynamic cheeses and crisp salads, all washed down with local biodynamic wine.

Alfresco lunch

Sunday

 11.00 am-1.00 pm

An exploratory walk to get your bearings

We take you on a gentle walk to explore the surroundings and learn about the history of the area where we are staying. We also drive five minutes to see a charmingly frescoed Romanic church nearby. Lunch is back at the villa.

 1.00 pm-2.30 pm

Lunch

 5.00 pm-7.30 pm

Cooking class 1

Handmade fresh pasta, 3 seasonal sauces (a meat sauce, an asparagus and ricotta sauce and an artichoke sauce), Sicilian fennel and orange salad, tiramisù.

 7.30 – pm-9.30 pm

Dinner

Monday

 Morning

Visit to San Gimignano

We suggest a visit to this medieval city just 20 minutes away. This is also a good morning to use if you want to explore on your own (the Chianti area, Volterra, etc).

 4.30 PM – 6.15 PM

Cooking class 2

Crostini with roast peppers and with “salsa verde“, “pappa al pomodoro” (Tuscan tomato and basil soup), potato and spinach gnocchi, slow cooked beef with vegetables and herbs, artichoke and parmesan salad, custard and fruit tart.

 6.15 PM – 7.30 PM

Olive oil tasting session

Our oil expert guides you through the world of extravirgin olive oils.

 7.30 – pm-9.30 pm

Dinner

Tuesday

 10.00 am-1.30 pm

Visit to an organic vineyard

with tasting and lunch. We visit a five hundred year old cellar and are shown around by the charismatic owner. Lunch is in the old oil pressing room.

 Afternoon and evening

Visit to Siena

A minibus takes you to the stunning town of Siena and brings you home to the villa. The visit includes a tour with an official guide. For dinner, explore Siena’s many great restaurants.

Wednesday

Visit Florence

You have a whole day to visit Florence. You meet an official guide for a three-hour walking tour in the morning, and have the afternoon free to do as you wish – see museums, churches, go shopping for shoes, people-watch on a sunny terrace, or just wander the magical streets.

Ponte vecchio, Florence, Tuscany

Thursday

 10.00 am-12.30 pm

Cooking class

Braised artichokes, risotti (e.g. artichoke, asparagus, porcini mushrooms), herby turkey cooked in milk, moist apple cake.

 12.30 pm-2.00 pm

Lunch

 5.30 pm-6.00 pm

Visit to a master potter’s ceramics studio

Our friend Terry Davies wll show you his beautiful studio.

 7.00 pm-9.30 pm

Wine tasting of local organic wines

led by our wine expert, followed by a light dinner (much of which you will have prepared earlier!) accompanied by the wines you have tasted.

Friday

 10.00 am-12.30 pm

Cooking class

Delectable antipasti (marinated sundried tomatoes, baby onions slow-cooked in balsamic vinegar), vegetable sformati, pollo alla cacciatora (chicken with herbs, wine and olives), almond biscotti.

 Afternoon

You are free to relax by the pool or do some shopping before you leave.

 7.30 pm

Farewell dinner

We have a relaxed dinner at the villa, cooked by the talented Serenella.

Saturday morning

Departure

The villa from the garden

2022 Calendar

Our weeks include 7 nights accommodation - Saturday through Saturday. Check-in is on Saturday afternoon, departure is on the following Saturday morning. The dates show Saturday through Friday for clarity.

April 30th - May 6th
Full
May 7th - 13th
Full
May 14th - 20th
Full
May 21st - 27th
2 places available
May 28th - June 3rd
2 places available
June 4th - 10th
Full
September 3rd - 9th
Full
September 10th - 16th
Full
September 17th - 23rd
Full
September 24th - 30th
Full
October 1st - 7th
6 places available

Prices

USD prices are based on the current exchange rate.
Type of guest Euros USD
 Cooking guest1 €1,900 $2,150
 Non-cooking guest1 €1,400 $1,584
 Double room for single use2 +€500 +$566

1) Based on two people sharing a double room with an ensuite bathroom.
2) We only have space to accept 2 solo travellers per course. They pay a €500 supplement and are offered their own double room with ensuite bathroom.

What our guests say

Reviews from TripAdvisor, Google, Yelp and Facebook

anntuscany
5 star rating
27 Nov 2020 - TripAdvisor

You will love Organic Tuscany! I will never forget the fabulous week we had at Organic Tuscany. Shilpa and Ricardo were amazing hosts and everyone on their team, from the cooks to the tour guides, to the local artisans were approachable, knowledgeable and fun. It was a perfect mix of cooking and touring. I highly recommend the Organic Tuscany experience.
Ann

210katev
5 star rating
28 Nov 2019 - TripAdvisor

Amazing local experiences and food! There are no words to describe how fantastic Shilpa and crew were for our week of cooking and touring Tuscany. She has perfected the balance of cooking, eating, touring and relaxing. Learned so much about italian food, wine and history of the region. I’d do it all over again in a heartbeat!

Kate v
5 star rating
28 Nov 2019 - TripAdvisor

Amazing local experiences and food! There are no words to describe how fantastic Shilpa and crew were for our week of cooking and touring Tuscany. She has perfected the balance of cooking, eating, touring and relaxing. Learned so much about italian food, wine and history of the region. I’d do it all over again in a h

bonniebray
5 star rating
17 Oct 2019 - TripAdvisor

Ricardo and Shilpa along with their entire crew guarntee you a delightful experience. I feel like I have ten new friends who live and work in Italy doing what they love most. In every sense of the schedule and sights they allowed us to experience were amazing. It just kept getting better and better every day. I highly recommend Organic Tuscany if you want a true Italian experience.

Susan C
5 star rating
26 Sep 2018 - TripAdvisor

ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS! This was one of the best vacations ever. The people were fantastic, the cooking was out of this world, and the setting was picture perfect. Everything was "out of the garden" fresh. We had wonderful side trips into the country side along with private wine and olive oil tastings. Could not have been more perfect.

SamK20
5 star rating
12 Aug 2018 - TripAdvisor

Highlight of our trip! My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed our cooking class and wish that we could have taken the week-long class. The ingredients were fresh, the chefs kind/helpful/fun, and the meal we made was delicious!

Contact us

If you’d like more information about our cooking courses or you are interested in booking a space, please call us, email us or send us a message using the form below.

Call us

If you’d like to speak to us, you can call our US number (we answer them from here in Italy!)
From the US: 347 410 9690