Where we are
The cooking school is located between Florence and Siena: one of the most beautiful landscapes in Italy.
As well as seeing stunning countryside, we explore the medieval cities in the area, and investigate the regional culinary traditions of great food and wine through meals and tastings.
How to get to the cooking school
We are conveniently placed for both Florence (Amerigo Vespucci) and Pisa (Galileo Galilei) airports (50 minutes or one hour and 15 minutes drive, respectively). It is also possible to get to Certaldo by train from Rome or Milan (around 3 hours, changing in Florence).
If you will already be in Europe, you may also want to consider taking the train. There are often special offers for Paris-Florence
trains on www.raileurope.co.uk
Or make a week with us a part of a longer holiday travelling by train
around Italy or Europe-wide, and buy an Inter-Rail pass (available for
We run the courses from a lovely farmhouse which is a few miles outside the medieval
town of Certaldo. Certaldo is a little off the usual tour routes, so
its charming historic centre is refreshingly free of tourists and tourist traps. Its claim
to fame is that the author of the Decameron
Giovanni Boccaccio, lived and died there. Forty minutes away are the
unique art towns of Florence and Siena, and half an hour away is the
little medieval gem of San Gimignano (whose towers - which give it the jokey nickname of the Tuscan Manhattan - we can see from the garden).
The hills all around are covered in vines and olive groves, and there
are great walks to be taken. Horse-riding is another great way to see
the surroundings. The countryside is dotted with charming hamlets to
explore, and of course farms and vineyards to visit where you can buy
delicious produce and wines.
Explore the surroundings
You can get to Certaldo easily by train from the local airports and from
all cities in Italy, but once here, car rental is a must. In Italy,
train services between cities are good, but the public transport system
in rural Tuscany leaves much to be desired. We do not transport you
in a minibus, so you need a car (we can put you in touch with other
participants so you can share one, even as a non-driver!) This way
you can also explore the area on your own and tailor the week's cookery
holiday programme to your wishes. For example, following your afternoon
tour of Siena, you can stay and watch the city empty of tourists and
dine at one of the excellent restaurants; alternatively you can explore
the stunning countryside on your drive back, then have a dip in the
pool and a healthy bite to eat in the garden outside the villa.
The towers of San Gimignano, just twenty minutes away.