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Cooking in Chianti

April 29 – May 6, 2023

April 29 - May 6, 2023
Trip Status:  CLOSED
Tour Cost:  $3250

Single Supplement: - $250.
Activity Level: Low
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Spring is the time when the dishes of Tuscan cuisine are filled with colourful vegetables and fruits, emanating natural scents. Inspired by this atmosphere we have chosen Gaiole in Chianti, a medieval village in the middle of the Tuscan hills as a refuge to be able to discover the fresh and simple flavours of this land immersed in an oasis of peace but at the same time as a starting point in the discovery of the magnificent places and landscapes that surround it. 

In this week every morning we will go directly to the market to choose the typical fresh seasonal products.   Some markets will be farmers’ markets, depending upon the location and other times we will shop at the local grocery stores.

Together we will cook genuine and simple food that the Tuscan land offers, which is part of what we call the "poor" tradition. As appetizers, we will prepare bruschetta with pecorino cheese from Pienza , wine and truffle, fava beans with pecorino cheese and oregano, fresh artichoke salad and pecorino cheese flakes, warm spring salad with grilled pecorino cheese, muffins with fava beans salami and pecorino cheese, crostini with stracchino cheese and sausage, pizzette and schiacciatine. 

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As first courses we will prepare pici all'aglione, pappa al pomodoro, asparagus or traditional lasagna, tordelli lucchesi, garmugia (spring soup, ravioli "gnudi "with spinach. As main courses we can prepare from Florentine steak to lamb pillottato al forno, depending upon the availability at the local butcherstore).  This meat course is not part of the “poor” tradition!

And of course we will finish our meals with delicious desserts, such as tiramisu, zuccotto, strawberry tart, delicious chocolate cake, Ricciarelli cookies from Siena and more......... All accompanied by a good Chianti wine.

We will also have the opportunity to visit small villages and castles and taste more food from the local cuisine, as well as participate in a wine tasting at one of the wineries in the area. 

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We will be staying at Villa Montelucci in Gaiole in Chianti.  We will have the sole use of this wonderful 7 bedroom house, outfitted with a very nice kitchen and a large living room where we’ll spend some relaxing time together.  

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Your Hosts:


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Vilma Noga

My name is Vilma, and I live near Florence, Italy. I have a bachelor's degree in Foreign Languages, Literature, and Intercultural Studies from the University of Florence. I speak fluent Italian, English, German, French, and Albanian, and I teach the Italian language.

I worked for many years as the Reception Manager in a hotel near Florence. While working with tourists from all over the world, I improved my own language skills. My day-to-day interactions with the hotel guests allowed me to better understand the difficulties that foreign speakers face while learning a new language. 

I personalize my lessons according to the student's needs. I stress the importance of the spoken language, and we interact with one another in a friendly conversation–laughter included! I encourage everyone to speak immediately, from beginners to those with an advanced level of Italian. I believe that speaking another language is an enriching experience for everyone. Two years ago, I created my Italian online classes, which have been very successful. After much positive feedback from my students, I have also expanded my practice to include Italian language and culture group workshops and cooking classes. I also lead small group tours around Florence to teach about our magnificent art and architecture.

I truly enjoy teaching, and look forward to working with you!

Joan Hill

In 2008, the seed of Artful Journeys was planted in her brain, when Joan brought together all of her life's passions - her love of music, an affinity for the beautiful things in life, and an ability to organize events - to give birth to Artful Journeys, a program of art education trips for the soul.

Joan was born and raised in the apple country of the Hudson River Valley in New York; her father was a gentle, very tolerant, educated land surveyor, and her mother was the efficient business administrator and home engineer. The youngest of four children, Joan was encouraged to pursue anything she wanted, but also to do her best. Sometimes that was difficult, especially
succeeding three very accomplished siblings.


Journey Cost:


Trip cost is $3,250.  Single supplement:  $250.

  • Includes all accommodations, most meals, transportation in Italy,  other scheduled activity fees, and teacher and admin fees

  • Not included are tips and gratuities, personal purchases, and pampering

  • NOTE: A deposit of $500 is required upon registration to secure a place on this Journey

  • Airfare is not included to enable travelers to use their “travel points,” upgrade flight arrangements, or to extend their trip

  • Travel insurance is strongly encouraged. Please see the Travel Insurance Form

  •  Covid vaccinations  required by the EU and Artful Journeys.

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