The trip to Tuscany, hosted by Chef Ray, is currently underway! So check out our Facebook page now for current photos of food and fun from the trip. Arrivederci!
Trip Description: For the past 15 years, Chef Ray’s cooking classes have been a very popular destination for local foodies and now, Chef Ray is packing his bags and taking his show on the road for an epicurean adventure of a lifetime. And guess what? You’re invited! From September 22 – 29, Chef Ray and D’Arcy Arpke are hosting a week-long culinary trip through the beautiful hill towns of Tuscany.
The trip will include cooking lessons and demonstrations, market visits, wine tastings, special dining and more. The itinerary is below – come, enjoy these soul-satisfying (and belly-filling) experiences with us!
Day 1 – Sunday, September 22nd
Morning arrival and meet-up at Florence’s Airport (Peretola). We’ll enjoy a panoramic tour of this beautiful city narrated by our guide Elizabeth and then head north to the medieval walled city of Lucca, showcasing a different Tuscan landscape. Lucca is renowned for its olive oil. Lunch will be en-route. Check in – Villa La Principessa. This aristocratic residence is set in an elegant private park, located at the foot of the Lucca Hills. We’ll have time to relax before our Welcome Dinner.
Overnight Villa La Pricipessa (L.D.)
Day 2 – Monday, September 23rd
Breakfast at hotel. We’ll indulge our taste buds today with a tour of the award-winning and magical Amedei Chocolate factory. Later, we’ll hunt for truffles, of course there will be a tasting. A light lunch will follow. There’ll be time to relax before our cooking lesson and dinner.
Overnight Villa La Principessa. (B.L.D.)
*Can you keep a secret? Today is Ray’s Birthday…too bad he has to work. We’ll figure out a way to make it fun for him!
Day 3 – Tuesday, September 24th
Breakfast at hotel and check out. This morning we’ll visit an organic farm that cultivates the crocus flower for saffron and enjoy a farm-to-fork lunch. Our afternoon will include a winery visit and stops in San Gimignano and Monteriggioni. Late day, we’ll check in to our hotel – Borgo Scopeto. A beautifully restored Tuscan estate, it sits amidst the gently rolling hills of Chianti, just outside Siena. It will be our home for the next four nights. In the evening we’ll join Chef Ray in the hotel kitchen for a cooking lesson followed by dinner.
Overnight Borgo Scopeto (B.L.D.)
Day 4 – Wednesday, September 25th
Breakfast at hotel. Today we will have a tour & tasting and lunch at the Banfi Winery Estate. The Day’s agenda will include a visit to a cheese farm to learn about the production and sample artisanal cheeses and a light dinner.
Overnight Borgo Scopeto (B.L.D.)
Day 5 – Thursday, September 26th
Breakfast at hotel and a late morning departure to Siena. We’ll enjoy a guided walking tour of Siena including the Mangia Tower and its heart, the Piazza del Campo. Lunch will be on your own and the afternoon will include free time for shopping and personal sightseeing. Our cooking lesson this evening will be in the heart of Siena where Chef will collaborate with the school’s director in a special lesson dinner and then “home”.
Overnight Borgo Scopeto (B,D)
Day 6 – Friday, September 27th
Breakfast at hotel. Today we will tour the villages of the Chianti region and lunch in Panzano with the famous butcher, Dario Cecchini. After lunch we’ll visit a winery for an exceptional tasting of the region’s wines.
Overnight Borgo Scopeto (B,L,D)
Day 7 – Saturday, September 28th
Breakfast at hotel. Transfer to Florence, the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance and enjoy a special day tour with Elizabeth. We’ll check into the Hotel Athenaeum, a stylish property in the heart of the city. You’ll be on your own this afternoon to lunch and explore. This evening we’ll gather for our Farewell Dinner.
Overnight Hotel Athenaeum (B,D)
Day 8 – Sunday, September 29th
Breakfast at hotel. Transfer to Florence airport for departure. (B)
To reserve a space, please contact Lisa Silvestri at Silvestri Travel. Call or email Lisa at 866-966-6535 or firstname.lastname@example.org.