|Under the Tuscan Sun of Siena
September 19 - 28, 2011
South of Florence, the Tuscan province of Siena ripples with the gentle forested hills of Chianti - a
region of contrasts - the blazing colors of reddened grape leaves or cheery sunflowers. The foods of
this area are pecorino cheese, truffles, porcini mushrooms, and Chianina beef. Stay in the country at
the gracious farm, Poggio Etrusco, near Montepulciano. In the distance is the charming hilltown of
Cortona, and nearby are the ancient towers of the historic town of Chianciano Terme.
Sunday - Individual arrivals by train to Chiusi/Chianciano Terme station. Welcome to Poggio
Etrusco. During our week together, we hope you will begin to feel some of the passion of our local
food artisans and understand their connection to the land. Tonight as we enjoy a down-to-earth home-
cooked meal. Some ingredients we will highlight this week: olive oil, pasta, risotto, capers, balsamic
vinegars, culatello and local salumi, Pecorino, and Parmigiano-Reggiano.
Monday - After breakfast, we head to Chiusi, the heart of the Etruscan world. Luciano Santoro will
demonstrate a local dish using artisinal ingredients, then guide us through a wine tasting of different
wines made with Sangiovese. We will have an hour before lunch to explore the Etruscan museum and
visit the underground labyrinths. Dinner is in the home of Marchesa Bichi Ruspoli of Cosona, at her
noble family’s ancient hunting lodge.
Tuesday - We visit La Macina, a nearby antique olive pressing mill for olive oil tasting, then on to the
medieval village of Monticchiello where Daria Bonari, wine master and owner of Enoteca La Porta,
will guide us through a lesson on the spectrum of wines in Tuscany. This afternoon Chef
Massimiliano (Max) Mariotti joins us to teach us to make pici, the handrolled pasta of this region. He
will teach us the classic aglione sauce (tomato and spring garlic) followed by arrista (pork roast),
seasonal vegetables, and Max’s famous white chocolate dessert.
Wednesday - Our morning begins with a short visit to Sant’ Antimo, a Romanesque abbey near
Montalcino founded by Charlemagne, to hear the monks present the mass in Gregorian chant. We will
enjoy a private tour and barrel tasting in a Brunello di Montalcino cellar, before lunch at Osteria
Leone in Bagno Vignone, a charming village focused on an ancient Roman bath said to have been
used by Pope Pius II and Saint Catherine of Siena. Tonight we fire up our wood-burning pizza oven for
a hands-on lesson with our chef, Massimiliano Mariotti, to learn to make the dough and properly
stretch out pizza with the classic toppings.
Thursday - Market day in Montepulciano to purchase the food for lunch, then, our hands-on cooking
class with a Tuscan home cook, Lina Mazzetti, who will help us make Ribollita. After lunch we return to
Montepulciano for a cooking class at the renowned La Grotta, and some time on your own to explore
the winding streets of the home of Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, we recommend a visit to Palazzo
Avignonesi, with cellars built over visible Etruscan tombs).
Friday - Today we explore the charming Renaissance hilltown of Pienza, famous for its Pecorino
cheese and visit an artisanal cheesemaker, Contessa Silvia de Gori Pannellini, lunch in her historic
villa. Our farewell dinner is at Mondo X, in Cetona - a beautiful little wooded village.
Saturday - Morning departure after breakfast to Rome or Florence by train.
Tour Fee: $4,650 double occupancy- all-inclusive per itinerary. Air available on request.
Celia’s Getaways 714-943-7430 email: firstname.lastname@example.org