2 cheesemaking sessions with award-winning cheesemaker
2 cooking classes with cookbook author Emiko Davies
2 winery visits with wine tastings and wine pairings with sommelier Marco Lami
Visits to a local cheese farm with cheese tastings and a local flour mill
Visits with free time to the towns of Pienza, Montalcino and Bagno Vignoni
2 dinners in our favourite restaurants
Breakfast, lunch and traditional Tuscan dinners cooked with organic produce
Be immersed in a beautiful Tuscan villa with a pool in a UNESCO World Heritage landscape
Day 1: Late afternoon arrival at the villa and welcome aperitivo, followed by homemade wood-fired pizza dinner.
Day 2: Visit to a family run, organic, ancient grain flour mill to see how their flour and pasta is made, followed by a visit to an organic sheep farm for a tour of the farm and a tasting of their delicious “Pecorino di Pienza” raw milk cheeses. We will also pop in to the gorgeous fifteenth century town of Pienza, a city designed for Pope Pius II as the “ideal Renaissance city” and we will have dinner at a charming local trattoria.
Day 3: After breakfast we will spent the morning on our first cheesemaking session with Cressida. After a light lunch and free time for a dip in the pool or relaxing at the villa, we will have a pasta masterclass with Emiko, and eat what we have made together for dinner. Marco will guide us through a lesson in pairing cheese and wine before dinner.
Day 4: The morning will be spent on our second cheesemaking session with Cressida. Then we will spend the second part of the day visiting Montalcino, the home of Tuscany's most important wine, where Marco will take us to two very special wineries. We'll have time for a stroll through the town and aperitivo, of course. Dinner in a wonderful restaurant in Montalcino.
Day 5: After breakfast we will spend the morning making schiacciata and crostata with the stoneground flour from our visit earlier and preparing an easy lunch. In the afternoon, we will visit the ancient spa town of Bagno Vignoni, which has a sixteenth century thermal pool as its central 'piazza' and has long been an oasis thanks to the healing waters. We'll have free time to spend here (maybe some might like to relax at the spa and see why people have been coming to these hot springs since Etruscan times). Dinner will be a classic Tuscan bistecca cooked over coals at the villa for our last night together.
Day 6: Breakfast and goodbyes!
Retreat cost per person: 2,200 euro in double occupancy, single supplement: 600 euro (3 available)
What is included in the price:
5 nights accommodation in a beautiful Tuscan villa
day trips and transport included in the itinerary above
Winery visits and tastings
Cheese tasting and farm visit
5 healthy breakfasts, 4 lunches and 5 dinners, including two meals out at local restaurants
all wine during meals
Two cooking classes
Two cheesemaking classes
Cheesemaking equipment to take home
Wine tastings and pairings with a certified sommelier
Not included in the cost:
Airfare and travel costs to and from the villa
We will be based in the Val d'Orcia, an untouched, beautiful valley lying roughly between Siena and Orvieto with the most picturesque, unique Tuscan landscape. Think cypress trees and undulating wheat fields and every film set in Tuscany that you can think of from The English Patient to Gladiator. The villa that we will call home for the retreat is set on a hill top with 360 degrees views of the valley. Villa Pienza is a beautiful, traditional Tuscan home with 6 bedrooms and 6 bathrooms, air conditioning and wifi. There is an 18 ft (5.5 meter) long salted, heated pool, several communal kitchens, a cosy loungeroom, a pool table, outdoor and indoor dining spaces and a vegetable garden at our disposal.
All the rooms are double but three are available for single occupancy at an additional price of 600 euro (first come first served) — if traveling alone but you would like the doubly occupancy rate and don’t mind getting to know a roommate, we will be happy to pair you in a twin room with someone else wanting to do the same thing. Please quote the room name when booking if you have a preference (check here for photographs of the rooms: http://www.emikodavies.com/blog/pecorino-e-vino retreat-22-27-june-2020):
PRINCESS ROOM – on the ground floor, this room is named for the romantic, handmade canopy over the double bed (cannot be made into twins). Ensuite with a huge double head shower. Also available as a single.
SWAN ROOM – this large room upstairs has a super king size bed and a huge hydromassage jacuzzi along with an ensuite with shower. Special for a couple but this can also be made into twins.
SKY ROOM – second bedroom upstairs with beautiful pale blue walls and double bed which can be made into twins, and an ensuite bathroom with double sinks and double shower heads. It shares a communal loungeroom with a pocket terrace with the peach room.
LILLA ROOM – a charming room with special vintage pieces, this bedroom has an external bathroom with a hydromassage tub and opens onto the dining room on the ground floor. Available as a single.
OCHRE BEDROOM – an upstairs room fitted out in neutrals, with an ensuite that has a hydromassage tub. Available also as a single.
PIENZA ROOM – this elegant ground floor room can be a double or twin shared room and has an ensuite bathroom.
To book your place:
We require a deposit of 50% upon booking; the remaining 50% should be paid by 15 April 2020. When booking, please specify if there is a room you prefer (I will do my best to update the website with those that have already been booked, but the bookings may come hard and fast so please select a second preference too incase your first is unavailable) and whether you would like single occupancy (paying a supplement fee) or double occupancy. If coming with a friend or partner, please let us know so we can match up the bookings otherwise let us know if you are happy to share with any roommate. Please let us know of any dietary requirements when you book. The booking is non-refundable but if you need to cancel, we can accept someone to take your place. You must have your own travel insurance to participate.
Things to note:
The retreat will take place with a minimum of 6 and maximum of 12 participants. If we do not reach the minimum, the retreat will be cancelled and you will be refunded 100%. The itinerary is a guide; we reserve the right to make changes in case of bad weather or unforeseen circumstances where we may need to change the order of activities or replace some of the activities with something equally wonderful.
Retreat cost per person: 2,200 euro in double occupancy (single supplement: 600 euro)
If you have any further questions please email: firstname.lastname@example.org