It would be very surprising to me when the area of Tuscany was mentioned during any conversation, all within hearing distance wouldn't have a warm, romantic feeling just from hearing the word. The area has been an extremely popular for holidays for decades, however, with the movie “Under The Tuscan Sun” starring Diane Lane and the burgeoning career of one of the world's most famous Italian tenors, Andrea Bocelli, born and raised in Tuscany about 40 km. south of Pisa, Tuscany has become even more well known and visited if that is possible. “Under The Tuscan Sun” was filmed in Cortona, a town which is in the southern area of Tuscany and Mr Bocelli, to this day, calls Tuscany his home and lives there full time whenever he is not performing.

Where is Tuscany? Tuscany is in the north central part of Italy with it's capital being Florence and very easily accessible by both international or local flights. So if you wish to make a tour of Italy and include Tuscany or want to go directly there to experience the romance, history and, of course, the food for an extended period, the choice is yours.

It has been said that Florence alone would be reason enough to want to see this area of the world but there is so much more. Florence is surrounded by the lush, green rolling hills, like those of Chianti and undulating ridges of the Apennines and by the summits of the Apuan Alps. The scenery is alluring and breathtaking at the same time. The Tuscan region is knee deep in sites that you have heard about all your life, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Seina with it's Piazza del Campo and the legendary Palio, Arezzo, Livorno, Lucca and Chianti, ah Chianti, with all their attractions and sites which is probably understating the facts.

One of the most memorable things that will linger in your mind for quite some time is the authentic Italian cuisine which we all try to reproduce on our return to our homes
but it just dosen't seem to match the quality that we experienced in Tuscany. Well, there is an answer to this dilema.

Nestled in the Chianti hills is a villa which dates back to the 1100s. It was later turned into an aristocratic villa which was to guard the road to Rome. The villa stands as it has, literally, for hundreds of years but today it is the home of some people who want to preserve that marvelous Tuscan Italian cuisine and teach these age old techniques to visitors to the region who wish to retain the ability to produce these delicious dishes for their families.

The two main principals of this villa are Chef Tina and Chef Manuela. Manuela was born and raised in the lovely town of Impruneta just outside of Florence while Tina was born in Chicago, Illinois and has been living between the USA and Italy all her life. Their love for cooking has grown out of family tradition and lifetime friendships. They raised their families in this gorgeous villa. They ate at each others homes with many friends and family.

What is it that these two ladies have to offer to the Tuscany visitor? The answer is in the kitchen. Manuela and Tina provide the expertice to teach a one day cooking class to a maximun of 6 people per class where they use a hands on method of showing the skills of traditional Tuscany cooking to their visitors from the shopping for the ingredients, through the class, and to the ultimate finale, eating the meal itself with some very tasty wines from the cellars of the Chianti region which you may also visit if you desire. Just ask Tina and Manuela.

The villa does not provide lodging for visitors at this time but the in future will provide the ability for patrons to stay at the villa possibly as soon as next year. These very friendly people are also available to assist you in finding a very appropriate lodging in the area of Tuscany. After all, they were raised and have lived here for many years and know the region exceedingly well. Their knowledge is to your advantage as they will provide information to you so that you may enjoy your stay even more.

The course consists of appetisers that are typical of the Tuscan cuisine, crostini, bruschetta, famous Chianti bread soups like ribollita or pappa al pomodoro and two or three main courses, consisting of home made pasta that will then be elaborated into fresh
tagliatelli, lasagne, Gnocchi, or ravioli. Then there are the side dishes and , of course, Italian desserts such as tiramisu, chocolate rum cake and bricotti di prato. All this served with selected Chianti wines. It just makes one salivate just thinking about such a culinary delight.

One of the best things regarding these cooking classes is that it can be a family affair. The children can participate in the classes or they can be looked after by the entertainers...the chef's daughters.

Manuela and Tina offer this statement of their philosophy: “Learning to cook is much more than a recipe and some's a synergy of passion and tradition”!

How great can this world be? Just take a trip to Tuscany and soak up the romance, beauty and friendliness of this magnificent region; her lush green hills and valleys, her mountains, her history, her rivers, her art and culture and last but certainly not least, her traditional Tuscany Italian cuisine which can be yours for ever if you choose to make it so.

Manuela and Tina extend an invitation to you when you travel to this must see area of the world. Then when you hear or thalk about the region of Tuscany, you will get that warm, romantic feeling from personal experience.

If you wish more information on trips of this nature, contact Bruce Pickett at 866-554-5353 or go to this web site TPI Travel-Bruce Pickett.

If you would like to get more information on the villa and the great classes on Italian Tuscan cuisine, you can go to Authentic Tuscany Cooking Classes.

Author's Bio: 

Travel has been Bruce's passion for many years with cruises and cruise ships being his delight. He has experienced and enjoyed upwards of two dozen cruises to many parts of the world on almost all cruise lines amid many stops at beautiful land resorts. His goal now is to continue to, of course, cruise and travel, and to help others in the process of deciding on itineraries, and enjoying their cruises and travels to the fullest. We all know life is meant to be happy and joyful and disruptions and problems will certainly detract from your holiday.

Bruce took the time and the energy to achieve his ACC designation from Cruise Line International Association, an organization that has as one of it's goals to oversee the cruise industry and develope the experience and knowledge of the people in the industry. This ACC designation displays Bruce's dedication to his clients and the industry.

An offer of a FREE monthly newsletter is available to you concerning cruising and traveling with up tp date information on destinations and details at the web site TPI Travel-Bruce Pickett. Don't miss the opportunity to look around at all the beautiful places that are available to you. Drop a note to Bruce with any questions you may have. There is no obligation and the service is priority one!