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Tuscany Food & Wine Trips


Food and wine lovers, this is your special trip! Join us for a week-long vacation in the heart of Super Tuscan wine country, on the Mediterranean coast of Tuscany.

You’ll cook authentic Italian recipes in my farmhouse, discover centuries-old villages, eat like a local in my favorite restaurants, meet our beloved winemakers, tour stunning vineyards and taste some world famous Bolgheri DOC wines.

Based on the same itinerary, we offer two different experiences.

Including 3 cooking classes and 3 wine tastings, our Cooking Vacation is designed for lovers of home-cooking. With a focus on hands-on cooking in my kitchen, you’ll learn how to make fresh pasta and many other dishes from my Italian heritage, paired with amazing Bolgheri wines.

Including 6 wine tastings and 1 cooking class, our Food & Wine Trip is a great holiday for people passionate about wine. Throughout the week, we’ll tour world-class vineyards and cellars, meet the producers, learn about the prestigious Bolgheri DOC region and enjoy superb wines paired with traditional recipes from Tuscan cuisine.

Your home for the week will be a charming villa overlooking the Mediterranean, with a stunning view on sloping coastal vineyards stretching to the sea.

With over 20 years experience in hosting guests from all over the world and living my daily life in Tuscany, I’ll guide you every day to discover the culture of Bolgheri region through its food, wine and people.
Together, we’ll celebrate the best of Tuscany!

Chicca

Your trip starts here. I made my dream to live under the Tuscan sun.
I can help you to make your Tuscan dream come true.


Do you prefer a shorter stay or alternate dates?
Contact us to customize your vacation.

Rated 5 stars on TripAdvisor, Google & Facebook

More About The Tours

OVERVIEW

Our Cooking Vacation and the Food & Wine Trip are designed in every single detail. We rely on trusted longtime local connections to provide you with an authentic experience of life in Tuscany. Tours are meant for small groups, to have an intimate experience of the local culture.

HIGHLIGHTS

• Cook with me in my home.
• Taste world-class wines from some of the top producing vineyards in the world.
• Explore beautiful medieval villages, meet local shop owners and learn about the history of this area.
• Dine at my favorite local restaurants and wine bars, tasting the best of Tuscany’s world-class cuisine.
• Group size will be 6-12 people

WHAT’S INCLUDED

Our tours are a 7 day, 6 night all-inclusive experience that includes:
• 6 nights in a beautiful villa overlooking the Mediterranean.
• Meals: 6 breakfasts, 5 lunches, and 5 dinners (one dinner on your own), including 2 dinners in fine-dining restaurants.
• Daily excursions to the stunning medieval towns of Volterra, Bolgheri, Populonia, Castagneto, and others.
• 1 extra virgin olive oil tasting at an award winning local farm.
• Personalized service from your hosts, Chicca and her team – Jedd, Michelle, Arnaud and friends throughout the region.
• All transfers including to and from the local train station upon arrival and departure. Easily accessible by train from Pisa Airport (1 hour) or Rome Airports (2.5 hours).

Not Included: Flights. 1-2 meals. Private transfers directly from the Pisa, Florence, or Rome airport available for additional fee.


What are the differences between the two trips?


Cooking Vacation
The Cooking Vacation is designed for lovers of home-cooking.
⋅ 3 hands-on cooking classes
⋅ 3 vineyard visits & wine tastings
Food & Wine Trip
The Food & Wine Trip dives deeper into our Tuscan wine region.
⋅ 1 hands-on cooking class
⋅ 6 vineyard visits & wine tastings


UPCOMING DATES

September 30 – October 6, 2022: Food & Wine Tour
October 21 – October 27, 2022: Cooking Vacation
If interest: October 28 – November 3, 2022: Cooking Vacation

PRICE

Finalized prices will be determined based on future vendor costs. Estimate: $3,500 – $4,000 per person.

Price is based on double occupancy. Single occupancy available upon request with additional fee.

Alternative dates may be available upon request. Please contact us if you would like to join us at a different time or coordinate a customized, private tour for your group. 

 

NEXT STEPS

Due to the ever-changing travel situation these days, we will not be collecting deposits for tours until January of 2022.
Your health and security are taken in great consideration, and our tours will operate only in a safe environment.

In the meantime, please express your interest via the button below. We’ll follow up with more details as the tours become available.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who are the small group vacations for?

Our small group tours are for adults who love food and travel and want an intimate, “insider” experience with Italian culture. Every day, we’ll enjoy excursions and meals together as a group but also have some time to relax on your own.

What is the difference between the Cooking Vacation and the Food & Wine Tour?

Based on the same itinerary, we offer two slightly different experiences.

COOKING VACATION: Includes 3 cooking classes and 3 wine tastings

Our Cooking Vacation is designed for lovers of home-cooking. With a focus on hands-on cooking in Chicca’s kitchen, you’ll learn how to make fresh pasta and many other dishes from Chicca’s Italian heritage, paired with amazing Bolgheri wines.

FOOD & WINE TRIP: Includes 1 cooking class and 6 wine tastings

Our Food & Wine Trip is a great holiday for people passionate about wine. Throughout the week, we’ll tour world-class vineyards and cellars, meet the producers, learn about the prestigious Bolgheri DOC region and enjoy superb wines paired with traditional recipes from Tuscan cuisine.

How many people will be on the tour?

This trip will be made up of 6 to 12 participants, plus your hosts, Chicca, Arnaud, Jedd and Michelle. We will also be joined on occasion by some local friends, food and wine producers, and guides.

Should I book a small group tour or custom tour?

  • Hoping to travel with just your family or friends rather than strangers?
  • Want a different trip length or different dates?
  • Have a specific focus you want for your trip?

If you answered YES to any of the above, please contact us about scheduling a custom tour. We’ll work with you to craft an itinerary of experiences you’ll love within your timeframe.

The full team will be available October and early November of 2022. Outside of this time period, Chicca and Arnaud can host groups as well.

What is the tour cost? What does the price include and exclude?

Price per person:

  • $3800: Food & Wine Tour,  September 30 – October 6, 2022
  • $3590: Cooking Vacation, October 21 – 27, 2022

Additional dates, if there’s interest: $3590 Cooking Vacation, October 28 – November 3

Why the price difference?

The Food and Wine tour offers several additional and exclusive stops to world class vineyards and wine tastings. Because of this, there is added cost to that trip itinerary

 

The price includes:

  • Planning: All trip logistics, including pre-trip negotiations with all hotels and vendors, onsite coordination, useful information leading up to your trip, etc.
  • Personalized service: Daily on-site guidance and support from Chicca and her team – Jedd, Michelle, Arnaud and friends throughout the region.
  • Accommodations: 6 nights boutique accommodation overlooking the Mediterranean, based on two people sharing a room.
  • Meals: 6 breakfasts, 5 lunches, and 5 dinner, including two dinners a fine dining restaurants. One dinner will be on your own. Some wine with meals, water and snacks are also included.
  • Transport: Ground transportation, including transfers from Castagneto Carducci-Donoratico train station and hired ground transportation for excursions, are included.
  • Activities: Daily excursions to the stunning medieval towns of Volterra, Bolgheri, Populonia, Castagneto, and others. All activities, wine tastings, cooking classes, etc. are included.

The following expenses are not included in the total trip price:

  • Round-trip airfare: this gives you flexibility in using airline reward miles or to extend your trip as you wish. Each guest is responsible for organizing their own airfare and transportation to Castagneto Carducci. We can provide airport transfers for an additional fee, if needed. You will be asked to share flight details at least 8 weeks before the trip commences.
  • Proof of travel insurance: is required (covering emergency medical, evacuation, COVID-19, and trip cancellation).
  • One dinner on your own: during one of our visits to a small town, you’ll have the opportunity to explore on your own. We’ll provide restaurant recommendations.
  • Any COVID-19 tests or vaccines: required for entry into the country.
  • Additional wine/beverage purchases: Each meal will be planned with great care and paired with a special selection of Bolgheri wines, defined in a certain amount.  You’re welcome to purchase extra wine or other alcoholic beverages but you will be responsible for the additional cost.
  • Any additional activities: you want to book along the way or outside of the coordinated group trip: spa visits, private tours, etc.
  • Spending money: there’s a good chance you’ll want to purchase souvenirs or bring back wine or olive oil.
  • Additional tips for the Trip Hosts


Custom Tour Price Quotes: Will vary based on your chosen activities, number of days, and level of accommodations. Please email us to request a quote.

Is airfare included in the tour cost?

Round-trip airfare is not included. This gives you flexibility in using airline reward miles or to extend your trip as you wish. Each guest is responsible for organizing their own airfare and transportation to Castagneto Carducci. Nearby airports include Rome, Florence, and Pisa. We can provide airport transfers for an additional fee from these three airports, if needed. You will be asked to share flight details at least 8 weeks before the trip commences.

What type of travel insurance is required to participate?

We require that all participants purchase a travel protection plan to help protect you and your travel investment against the unexpected. Travel protection plans should include coverage for Trip Cancellation, Trip Interruption, Emergency Medical and Emergency Evacuation/Repatriation, and COVID-19 risks.

See: Nomad Insurance by SafetyWing

Is there a payment plan?

You can either pay in full OR with an installment payment plan:

  • $600: $100 Non-refundable inscription fee + $500 Deposit
  • Final payment due 90 days before your trip

What if I need to cancel my trip? Is there a refund?

This global health crisis has impacted everyone, so we want to make sure your future travel plans are safe, and reassure you that we are committed to supporting our guests in the best way that we can.

As we’ve learned during this past year, what makes sense today may not make sense tomorrow. Please understand that we reserve the right to change these policies due to this very fluid and unpredictable situation.

CANCELATION BY YOU

If you decide you need to cancel your trip, the following refund schedule applies upon written notice of your cancellation:

  • Cancelations made on or before 90 days prior to arrival:
    •Your $100 inscription fee is nonrefundable.
    •Full refund minus unrecoverable costs.
  • Cancelations made 89 days to 60 days prior to arrival:
    •Your $100 inscription fee is nonrefundable.
    •You will be reimbursed 50% of what you have paid to date, less the nonrefundable fee.
  • Cancelations made 59 days to 30 days prior to arrival:
    •You will be reimbursed 40% of what you have paid to date, less the nonrefundable deposit.
  • Cancelations made 29 days prior to arrival:
    •All payments are nonrefundable.

Cancelations must be received in writing by email to club@cookingintuscany.cc.

Unrecoverable costs may include credit card fees or any deposits required by our vendors.

You are strongly advised to take out trip cancelation insurance at the time of booking. If you leave a tour for any reason after it has commenced, we are not obliged to make any refunds for unused services. If you fail to join a trip, join it after departure, or leave it prior to its completion, no refund will be made.

What if the trip gets canceled or it’s not possible to travel to Italy?

CANCELATION BY US:

If our tours cannot operate due to COVID travel restrictions or other Force Majeure Event, we’ll give you a full refund minus unrecoverable costs. If, after the start of the tour, significant elements of the itinerary cannot be provided as agreed, suitable alternative arrangements will be offered.

To ensure a trip is safe for guests and the local community, we will consider:

  • Government safety and travel advice
  • COVID-safe requirements and protocols
  • Entry and exit requirements for travelers to Italy, including testing and quarantine
  • Current medical facility and healthcare availability in Italy
  • Flight and airline accessibility in and out of a Tuscany
  • Ability for our travelers to get travel insurance protection for, and regularly scheduled, reasonably priced flights to Italy
  • Accessibility to everyday services, such as restaurants, public transport, cultural sites, etc.

Due to the ever-changing nature of travel restrictions, we will continue to evaluate the ability to run our tours between one and two months before the scheduled tour dates. This is in order to keep the possibility of traveling viable for any guests who may be in a position to do so. All travelers will be notified of their options at least one month before they are scheduled to depart, to allow them time to make any changes to their current arrangements. However, at times it may be necessary to cancel a trip at late notice should the factors listed above change.

Our tours require a minimum number of participants (6) in order to take place at the stated price, since it takes into account group discounts, shared accommodations and other factors that create cost efficiencies. If a trip does not have enough participants, or if someone unexpectedly cancels, we will contact you with possible options.

In addition, we reserve the right to cancel your spot if we have not received your balance payment within one week of your balance due date.

Trip hosts are not responsible for additional expenses incurred by you in preparing for the trip, including air tickets, gear, medical equipment or travelers insurance. You are strongly advised to take out trip cancellation insurance at the time of booking.

What kind of accommodations are we staying in?

CANCELATION BY US:

If our tours cannot operate due to COVID travel restrictions or other Force Majeure Event, we’ll give you a full refund minus unrecoverable costs. If, after the start of the tour, significant elements of the itinerary cannot be provided as agreed, suitable alternative arrangements will be offered.

To ensure a trip is safe for guests and the local community, we will consider:

  • Government safety and travel advice
  • COVID-safe requirements and protocols
  • Entry and exit requirements for travelers to Italy, including testing and quarantine
  • Current medical facility and healthcare availability in Italy
  • Flight and airline accessibility in and out of a Tuscany
  • Ability for our travelers to get travel insurance protection for, and regularly scheduled, reasonably priced flights to Italy
  • Accessibility to everyday services, such as restaurants, public transport, cultural sites, etc.

Due to the ever-changing nature of travel restrictions, we will continue to evaluate the ability to run our tours between one and two months before the scheduled tour dates. This is in order to keep the possibility of traveling viable for any guests who may be in a position to do so. All travelers will be notified of their options at least one month before they are scheduled to depart, to allow them time to make any changes to their current arrangements. However, at times it may be necessary to cancel a trip at late notice should the factors listed above change.

Accommodations will be at a modern, locally-owned boutique hotel within walking distance to Castagneto Carducci village. The family-run hotel/bed and breakfast sits atop a hillside with stunning views of the valley below and the Mediterranean. Daily breakfast will be provided on site.

Each room in the hotel is unique. Rooms will include a private bathroom with hot water. WiFi, heat, and air conditioning will be available. You’ll be able to unpack and make yourself at home in the same room for the duration of the tour.

What are the health and physical requirements to join the tour?

Physical ability: Guests should take personal responsibility to ensure they are physically able and healthy to participate in all group activities, such as:

  • walking on uneven surfaces for up to 3 hours over the course of a day,
  • climbing up and down up to stairs during excursions,
  • riding in and getting on/off buses or vans.

Trip activities are not strenuous, however some days we will be out and about for long periods of time. Accommodations are located in the medieval village which is located on a hill. You will encounter some steep walks uphill as well as many stairs when exploring the town.

 

Dietary restrictions: Consult with your Trip Hosts to discuss dietary restrictions, or preferences, that would need to be accommodated in order for you to enjoy this experience. We can generally accommodate vegetarian diets, but we cannot accommodate other restrictions (gluten-free, vegan, lactose intolerance).

 

Prescriptions and medical issues: If you have a condition which may require professional attention, special equipment, or prescriptions during the trip, you must bring and be fully responsible for all necessary items related to your condition. Please consult with us prior to booking to determine if our tour is a good fit for you. Failure to advise us shall release the hosts and all professional personnel from any liability related to such condition or its treatment. We cannot accommodate women past their sixth month of pregnancy. We also cannot accommodate passengers requiring wheelchair assistance, as most features of our trips are not wheelchair-accessible – please contact us directly for more information.

You should consult with a medical doctor to determine if you are healthy and physically able to participate.

 

COVID requirements: 

  • All guests and tour hosts are required to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination before the tour begins, in addition to any requirements that Italy has in place at the time of the tour.
  • You will need to bring a COVID-19 vaccination card or photo copy to access venues on the tour.
  • Mask use may be required according to the local regulations at the time of the tour.
  • We will update you of any changes to health and safety protocols as the tour dates approach.

What kind of food will we be eating?

We will be eating regional Italian dishes and sampling many of the local wines. This will typically include wheat/gluten, dairy, and meat. We’ll dine at several fine restaurants as well as casual cafes and a pizzeria. Breakfast at the hotel tends to include baked goods, eggs, cereal, yogurt, fresh fruit, along with coffee, tea, or fruit juice options.

What will the weather be like?

Temperatures in October are pleasant in Tuscany, averaging 50°-70°F. It can be rainy on occasion, so be prepared with some rain gear. Also consider bringing layers like sweaters and jackets to keep warm.