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Villa San Michele: ‘Italian Intermezzo’ by Sharon O’Connor

Stay: 6 days and 5 nights

Cookery lessons: 2

The renowned creator of “Italian Intermezzo” — a collection of recipes accompanied by music — presents a week devoted to the table, to taste, to beauty and to Florence. Expect an extraordinary cultural and gastronomic experience.

Day 1: Upon arrival, enjoy a welcome cocktail to meet the other participants on the course, followed by dinner together at the hotel restaurant.

Day 2: Meet the chef of Villa San Michele, Attilio Di Fabrizio, then begin the first lesson in the kitchen to the sound of music, followed by a delicious lunch with the class, based on the specialities cooked that morning. The afternoon is a time for leisure, when you can laze by the pool or head into Florence on the free hotel shuttle. Dinner à la carte in the hotel’s restaurant.

Day 3: Enjoy the day in Florence, and have lunch in a typical trattoria (not included in the programme). In the evening, travel to the theatre for a Maggio Musicale performance. Dinner is at leisure (not included in the programme).

Day 4: Second lesson on traditional Tuscan cuisine at Villa San Michele with Chef Attilio, followed by lunch—with your classmates—based on the specialities prepared earlier. In the evening, sample a cocktail in the Villa’s sumptuous bar followed by an unforgettable Renaissance-style dinner, featuring decor and dishes inspired by Caterina de’ Medici, and served by waiters and musicians in costume.

Day 5:  In the morning, transfer by private minibus to Florence for a guided tour of Palazzo Pitti and Museo dell’Accademia, where you will see Michelangelo’s David. After a morning devoted to art, be treated to a gourmet lunch at Trattoria Cibreo. In the evening, enjoy an à la carte dinner in the Villa San Michele restaurant.

Day 6:  Breakfast at leisure, followed by departure. Check-out is by noon. The Front Desk takes care of luggage. Supplement for late check-out on request.

During your entire stay it is easy to visit central Florence, thanks to the hotel’s free shuttle service that runs every 20 minutes. You also have at your disposal the pool and gardens of Villa San Michele, as well as the magnificent cuisine of the hotel’s Loggia Restaurant. It’s a dream week: give yourself a treat!

Dates:
22-27 May 2011

Rates per person*
€ 3.240 in a superior double room
€ 4.065 in a double room for single use
€ 3.050 for a non-participating companion

*price subject to 10% VAT

Package Includes:
Five nights’ accommodation, transfers, all activities in the programme, lessons and all materials and necessary ingredients.

Please note:

  • The courses are reserved for guests staying at Villa San Michele.
  • The lessons are held in English and Italian; other languages are available upon request.
  • The courses are for a maximum of 10 participants and the approach is highly personalized.
  • The lessons are held in the morning (from 10.00 to 12.30)
  • Hours not taken up by lessons and all the evenings are free.
  • At the end of every lesson, the dishes prepared will be served for a lunch to be enjoyed in the company of the Chef.
  • The complete list of the dishes taught during the lessons with recipes will be handed over upon arrival.

More info and reservations

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Villa San Michele: A Symphony of Pasta

Stay: 4 days and 3 nights

Cookery lessons: 3

With the participation of :  Renato Piccolotto (Chef of Hotel Cipriani in Venice), Attilio Di Fabrizio (Executive Chef at Villa San Michele), Mimmo di Raffaele (Chef of Hotel Caruso in Ravello), Corrado Corti (Chef at Hotel Splendido in Portofino) and Roberto Villa (Chef of Splendido Mare in Portofino).

Discover the secrets of pasta, a true art in Italy, and learn how to accompany it with a wide variety of condiments and the tastiest ingredients.

Get to know many of the varieties of pasta and learn traditional recipes, as well curious and surprising variations. Three masters of haute cuisine introduce the secrets of their kitchens.

Upon arrival there will be a welcome cocktail reception and dinner with regional wines to allow participants to get to know one another.

Itinerary

Day 1: Welcome cocktail followed by dinner in the hotel’s restaurant, with the other participants.

Day 2: Chef Attilio Di Fabrizio will interpret and prepare pasta in the Tuscan tradition, after which lunch is served. Later, there is free time to relax in the hotel or visit Florence.

Day 3 and 4: You will be taught by two other participating hotel chefs, according to the list below, followed by the same daily programme.

Depart either in the afternoon, or after breakfast on the following morning should you wish to stay an extra night (supplement applicable).

Rates per person*

€ 1.965 in a Superior Double Room
€ 2.430 in a Double Room for single use
€ 1.465 for a non-participating partner

*price subject to 10% VAT

2011 Dates:

28 April – 1 May
16-19 June
15-18 September
6-9 October

Package includes:

The price is inclusive of 3 nights (half-board), regional wines, 3 lessons, and all materials and necessary ingredients.

Please note:

  • The courses are reserved for guests staying at Villa San Michele.
  • The lessons are held in English and Italian; other languages are available upon request.
  • The courses are for a maximum of 10 participants and the approach is highly personalized.
  • The lessons are held in the morning (from 10.00 to 12.30)
  • Hours not taken up by lessons and all the evenings are free.
  • At the end of every lesson, the dishes prepared will be served for a lunch to be enjoyed in the company of the Chef.
  • The complete list of the dishes taught during the lessons with recipes will be handed over upon arrival.

More info and reservations

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Villa San Michele: Learning with the Chef

Short but comprehensive, this course immerses you fully in Tuscan gastronomy courtesy of our chef, Attilio Di Fabrizio. If you are in Florence for a few days or just passing through, take advantage of this opportunity: all you need do is book one day in advance.

Following demand, this year we are offering courses on three days to ensure you get the best out of your stay:

– Monday, use your time constructively on the day the shops and museums of Florence are closed
– Thursday and Saturday, start your holiday weekend with a lesson on Florentine cuisine.

The cookery course is held from 10.00 to 12.30 and is followed by lunch together with the Chef.

The main themes are the preparation of pastas, risottos and soups, with a particular emphasis on Tuscan culinary traditions.

Dates:
Lessons start on Saturday 2 April, 2011 and end on Saturday 12 November 2011. The cookery lessons will not be hold in the month of August.

Rates:
Individual rate: € 200 per person
Group rate for more than 5 people: € 180 per person

10% VAT is not included in the rates.

Includes:
The price includes the activities, the portfolio of recipes, the School of Cookery apron, and the lunch served with Tuscan regional wines.

More info and reservations

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Villa San Michele: Seasonal Tastes of Tuscany

Italy is world-renowned for its delicious cuisine and there can be nowhere more idyllic to learn about the diverse and authentic flavors of the country’s vibrant gastronomic scene than at the Cookery School at Villa San Michele in Florence. New this season, the Orient-Express property is introducing ‘Seasonal Tastes of Tuscany’ for culinary enthusiasts to experiment with local, fresh ingredients.

A former monastery, Villa San Michele is nestled on a hilltop amid lush trees and terraced gardens, enjoying unparalleled vistas of Florence. In just a short time, the hotel’s Cookery School has established a reputation of excellence and with a ‘hands-on’ approach to cooking, guests can expect to work, play and taste next to internationally renowned chefs.

The one day ‘Seasonal Tastes of Tuscany’ cookery courses are the ideal introduction to fine local fare that uses the freshest produce available that month.

May 14-28, 2011: Guests will learn about spring delights such as asparagus, artichokes and broad beans.

July 9-23, 2011: Focus on summer recipes including eggplant parmigiana, tomato soup and fresh Florentine Salad.

September 10-14, 2011: Risottos created with fall mushrooms, the many varieties found in the nearby Chianti woods add rich flavors to this heart warming favorite.

October 15-22, 2011: Guests will discover the powerful flavors of truffle, one of nature’s gourmet wonders, which can transform the simplest of dishes such as scrambled eggs.

‘Seasonal Tastes of Tuscany’ joins a host of other cookery courses at Villa San Michele, including the six-day ‘Italian Intermezzo’ and the four-day ‘Symphony of Pasta,’ as well as a selection of shorter but still comprehensive half-day cooking experiences.

The ‘Seasonal Tastes of Tuscany’ cookery course starts from 275 Euros (approx. US$392*) per person, including VAT, all activities, the portfolio of recipes, the School of Cookery apron, and lunch served with regional wines. A double room at Villa San Michele starts from 946 Euros (approx. US$1,350*) per room, per night, including VAT, based on two sharing on a bed and breakfast basis.

Reservations

To book visit www.villasanmichele.com or call the Orient-Express reservations team at (800) 237-1236.

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Taste Florence – Espresso Academy “Crash Course”

For Coffee Lovers! Learn to make proper espresso & cappuccino. Discover interesting coffee trivia, and master latte art.

Gabriele from from Mokaflor, a local roastery, will teach you in a three-hour course in the city center.

More details about the course and what it covers

Knowledge of the coffee plant: Arabica, robusta, Jamaica Blue Mountain and Kopi Luwak. Mild and dry methods. How beans are blended and roasted in Italy. Knowledge and maintenance of the espresso machine. Perfect espresso technique. Grinding and pressing. Intro into coffee tasting, tasting of single origin and specific types of beans. How to master the foam: Latte Art: How to make perfect foam without bubbles. Knowledge of Italian Cappuccino, Latte Macchiato, Espresso Macchiato and other Italian classics.

PARTICIPANTS RECEIVE A DIPLOMA AT THE END OF THE COURSE!

  • Be sure to give us the full names of participants on your reservation form. This course is not intended for children.
  • PLEASE NOTE: As this course requires using bar equipment, we offer the lesson in a hotel setting as it allows us to offer a hands-on experience to our students without the distractions and noises caused in a coffee bar setting.

CLASS TIMES:

Monday-Friday, 3-6pm in January & February

Email in advance for availability. No last-minute reservations available for this itinerary.

  • PRICE: 55 euro per Person
  • Deposit: 8 euro

TO MAKE A RESERVATION:

To reserve, click here, then scroll down and click on “Book this tour now”
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