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Savory secrets of an ancient abbey

A taste of Tuscany, past and present, deep in the heart of Chianti.

Savory secrets of an ancient abbey

Learning how to make authentic tasting Tuscan cuisine in the kitchen of a thousand year old abbey which has been transformed into farmhouse is, without doubt, one of the most memorable experiences, and the perfect way to appreciate both the region's superb food and Tuscany's marvellous, unspoilt countryside.

Badia a Coltibuono is situated on the highest hills of Chianti, in the district of Gaiole in Chianti, surrounded by vineyards, olive trees and centuries-old woods. At Badia a Coltibuono, wine making is an ancient tradition which the current owners continue to practice. The Stucchi Prinetti family have been responsible for the introduction of organic production methods, used to make both the estate's excellent Chianti Classico wine and its highly prized extra virgin olive oil. The Badia's Biblioteca delle Passioni (library of passions) houses a fascinating collection of monks' manuscripts, family diaries and farm registers, all of which testify to Coltibuono's long history of wine making.

Badia a Coltibuono's cooking school was founded over twenty years ago by Lorenza de Medici, the author of numerous cook books. Today, lessons are taught by her youngest son, Guido Stucchi Prinetti, who has inherited his mother's passion for good food and the desire to maintain the family's long-standing culinary traditions.

Lessons are held in the estate's traditional country kitchen. Here, pupils learn to prepare a veritable Tuscan feast, from the homemade bread which accompanies each meal, right through to the dessert. Badia a Coltibuono's hands-on cooking courses are organized from March to November and have a duration of one, three, or five days. Whichever course they choose, students are given ample opportunity to get involved in everyday life at the farm, whilst all the same time being surrounded by the beauty of the Tuscan landscapes. On request, the longer courses can be adapted to include excursions and the chance to attend special events such as Siena's July 2nd Palio.

At the end of each lesson, students sit down together in the private dining room adjacent to the kitchen so as to taste the food they have just prepared, and a selection of the wines and oil produced on the estate. The time spent cooking is alternated with visits to some of the most interesting parts of the estate, such as Badia's old aging cellars, formal gardens and vineyards, as well as trips to meet local dairy and cattle farmers.

Badia a Coltibuono
Gaiole in Chianti (Siena)
Tel. +39 0577 74481

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