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Under the Tuscan sun

Overview

Your home for the week is a 17th century family residence near Cortona – location for the movie of Frances Mayes’ “Under the Tuscan Sun”. Set amongst vineyards and olive trees that surround the small Etruscan hill top village, this is the perfect locale for unforgettable cooking vacations in Tuscany. Enjoy hands-on cooking courses with our cheerful Michelin-starred chef, market visits, wines and superb Tuscan countryside.

Recommended for:

If you prefer to travel at your own pace with our local guides, our private trips are for you. Our culinary journeys focus on immersion into the local culture. We introduce you to local experts who invite you into their culture and kitchens to participate.

Highlights:

  • A unique opportunity to cook along side of a Michelin chef
  • Stay in a 17 century family residence, set amongst vineyards and olive trees
  • Explore surrounding hill top villages, Etruscan towns and beautiful Assisi
  • Taste wines from the family vineyards to Vino Nobile di Montepulciano
  • Visit UNESCO site Pienza with our guide and venture of the beaten track
  • After a long day, indulge in the luxury treatments at the Thesan Etruscan spa
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Location

Our estate is on the foothill of the small charming town Cortona in the Valdichiana region in southern Tuscany. The city, enclosed by stone walls dating back to Etruscan and Roman times, sits on the top of a hill and offers a spectacular view of the surrounding valley and rolling hills towards Lake Trasimeno.
Plenty of hilltop villages can be explored from here and Perugia, Assisi, Pienza, Montepulciano and fabulous designer shopping outlests are just at your doorstep.

About the cooking course/ chef

During a three- or six-night stay you will learn to cook and present traditional and innovative Tuscan dishes with our Michelin star chef. He will guide you through culinary tricks of a gourmet kitchen. The owner is a professional sommelier so will have the opportunity to learn from her about food and wine pairing.

Menus are carefully chosen to complement eachother and change depending on the season. The pasta is homemade, the olive oil is produced from the Relais’ own trees, and grapes from the vines may feature in some of the dishes.

The owners will personally oversee your culinary week and guarantee that you get to know authentic culture of Tuscany and enjoy an experience of a lifetime.

Other activities

  • Wine tours and tastings
  • Sports: Biking, Hiking, Swimming, Horseback riding
  • Spa onsite
  • Designer shopping outlets nearby

Accommodation

This elegant residence, built in 1600, was home to poet Antonio Guadagnoli in the XIXth century. Today, our luxury boutique hotel, which retains all the splendor of its historical past, has been magnificently restored. 13 guest rooms and 6 suites enjoy panoramic views and original antique furniture with iron poster beds.

In addition to the gourmet restaurant, there is an outdoor terrace surrounded by beautiful cypress trees and a chestnut-lined garden where you can enjoy fine Tuscan wines or pre-dinner cocktails.

Dates 2017

3 and 6-night programs available year-round, minimum 2 guests.

Annual closing: 11 Nov  2017 – 29 March 2018

Special dates:

Autumn
Harvest and olive months of September & October: What better occasion to visit the villages of Tuscany and above all taste Tuscan wines and oil famous all over the world.

In September, the Tuscany comes alive with festivals relate to harvest grapes and opens its cellar, filling the streets with music and typical products. The traditional annual grape harvest, by the end of August for the red grapes that ripen earlier, and continues until October for the white grapes that ripen later.
Wine in the Kitchen? A valuable ingredient to achieve amazing results and dishes full of aroma. From cakes to braised meats, fish to desserts.

Prices 2017

6-night:

Classic room, double: Euro 3,155 pp

Supplement Single room:
Euro 340 pp

Supplement deluxe room:
Euro 300 pp

Supplement Junior Suite:
Euro 630 pp

Supplement Suite: Euro 990 pp

5-night: (Oct-Dec,Feb–April)

Classic room, double: Euro 2,050 pp

Supplement Single room:
Euro 700 pp

Supplement deluxe room:
Euro 250 pp

Supplement Junior Suite:
Euro 529 pp

Supplement Suite: Euro 825 pp

3-night:

Classic room, double: Euro 1,200 pp

Supplement Single room:
Euro 400 pp

Supplement deluxe room:
Euro 150 pp

Supplement Junior Suite:
Euro 315 pp

Supplement Suite: Euro 495 pp

Includes

6-night package includes:

  • Six nights in luxury Relais****
  • Daily buffet breakfast
  • Welcome dinner and aperitif
  • Four hands-on cooking lessons
  • Lunch or dinner after class with matched wine selection
  • Visit of wineries and wine tasting
  • Truffle hunt followed by truffle lunch
  • Excursions as per itinerary, with lunch break
  • English speaking guide
  • Complimentary entrance to the Thesan Spa plus Euro 30 voucher to use for massage and beauty treatments

5-night package includes:

  • Five nights in luxury Relais****
  • Daily buffet breakfast
  • Welcome dinner and aperitif
  • Three hands-on cooking lessons
  • Lunch or dinner after class with matched wine selection
  • Visit of wineries and wine tasting
  • Excursions as per itinerary, with lunch break
  • English speaking guide
  • Complimentary entrance to the Thesan Spa, Aqua & Vapori circuit.

3-night package includes:

  • Three nights in luxury Relais
  • Daily buffet breakfast
  • Welcome dinner and aperitif
  • Two hands-on cooking lessons
  • Lunch or dinner after class with matched wine selection
  • Guided sightseeing tour
  • Visit of wineries and wine tasting
  • Complimentary entrance to the Thesan Spa

Excludes

Getting There

We are located near Cortona in Southern Tuscany:

Perugia – 38 km
Arezzo – 30km
Florence – 83 km
Rome – 165 km

We recommend to rent a car or we will be happy to arrange transfers from airports or train stations.

Map

Day 1 (Sunday)

Arrival in Cortona and check into your beautiful hotel – Welcome dinner at Michelin star restaurant

Day 2 (Monday)

Morning cooking class – optional Spa experience – Vineyard  and winery visit – dinner with wine tasting

Day 3 (Tuesday)

Morning guided sightseeing Cortona – Afternoon cooking class – Evening wine pairing

Day 4 (Wednesday)

Morning visit to organic farm – cooking class with focus on cheese making – afternoon visit to UNESCO  Val d’Orcia – Montalcino and Montepulciano – Brunello wine tasting – gourmet dinner

Day 5 (Thursday)

Morning visit to vegetable producer – cooking class at a Locanda – Farewll candle light dinner and presentation of cooking certificates

Day 6 (Friday)

Half day guided sightseeing of UNESCO sites Pienza, Montepulciano, Val d’Orcia – Late afternoon cooking class – Farewell dinner and cooking certificates

Day 7 (Saturday)

Departure and a presto!

Happy guests…

Fantastic
“It was fantastic! We all had a great time. It felt very, very special! The pacing was perfect. The classes were wonderful (Chef Richard cooked with us for all three meals). They accommodated our preferences (and a food allergy) and we made amazing dishes that we really will be able to cook again. Silvia and Riccardo were very hospitable and gracious. The wines were great.
The tours they sent us on had great tour leaders. The rooms were lovely and air-conditioned! We would highly recommend it!!”

Ann S., US

Excellent. Treated like family
“We had an extremely enjoyable stay with Il Falconiere. The overall experience was nothing short of excellent.
Sylvia took the time to sit with us on the first evening and run through the suggested itinerary. She was eager to hear our own thoughts, and to understand what we wanted to take away from the experience including anything that we wanted to add in or take out.
In short, nothing was too much trouble and we ended up with a completely customized experience.

The quality of the food in the restaurant was staggering. We often eat in nice restaurants and our expectations were high, however the quality of the food and the impeccably matched wines selected each evening by their friendly and knowledgeable Sommelier, Gianni, blew us away. I don’t think I’ve ever eaten so much in a week!

Gianni also took us on an impromptu tour of the winery before teaching Shari how to open a large bottle of their sparkling wine with a large knife!

In short, we were treated like family from the moment that we arrived.
We ate and cooked some of the best food I’ve ever eaten and all using locally sourced fresh produce.
Everything that we wanted from the holiday was wonderful and truly enjoyable.
We’ve already told friends and family how enjoyable the experience was, and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them to anybody.”

Adam G., Singapore

Wonderful family vacation
Thank you for all your help in arranging a wonderful vacation for our family! Everyone, including our kids, had so much fun.

Seth W., US

What happy guests said about this tour…

  • Fantastic - It was fantastic! We all had a great time. It felt very, very special! The pacing was perfect. The classes were wonderful

    Ann S., US
  • Excellent. Treated like family - We had an extremely enjoyable stay with Il Falconiere. The overall experience was nothing short of excellent.

    Adam G., Singapore
  • Wonderful family vacation - Thank you for all your help in arranging a wonderful vacation for our family!

    Seth W., US