Saturday, November 9, 2019

Tuscany...cook eat discover tour.

I was going to publish a post about our visit to The Vatican 
but when I looked over my photos I realized that there were only a couple.
I was in awe of the place and paid full attention to what we were seeing...
BTW there are NO photos permitted in The Sistine Chapel.

We took an early morning tour with a small group of about 20 people to avoid the crowds that gather during regular visiting hours.

We stopped for a coffee in the cafe across the street from the Vatican and made the mistake of sitting while we drank it...
Let's just say it was the most expensive cup of coffee I have ever had.
(8 Euros)

And now on to Tuscany...

We arrived in the Maremma area of Tuscany by train and were met at the station.
We were driven to a hilltop medieval village called Roccatederighi.

Emily a guest from the UK and Ollie the chef and owner of Cook Eat Discover.
We got settled into our rooms and then were picked up for a welcome dinner.

My view from the terrace to the pool and valley beyond.
The week long tour includes daily excursions as well as cooking instruction.

Lush groves and cypress trees.
Quiet except for the cacophony of birdsong.

We met Martin the owner of Valdonica Vineyards in the village of Sassofortino.
He is a former doctor who fell in love with the area and purchased several hectares of forested land.
He cleared some of the land and planted grapevines.
Martin grows his vines using organic healthy practises.

 We tasted a variety of his wine...
as well as some of the olive oil that he produces.
His rose wine won a 98 point award a few years ago.
Martin runs a rural "hotel" which is attached to the property.

Martin loves the colour orange...
It features prominently in his tasting room and patio.

Another lovely pool!

Beautiful orange sunset...

Tom McGovern was a guest on the tour.
He's a professional and very talented food photographer 
you can follow him on Instagram "Food Photographer."

Tom is the nicest fellow you could ever meet.

It turns out that he took the photos for Jane Green's cookbook "Good Taste."
(I have the book!)

Water Buffalo
we visited a farm where they make buffalo mozzarella and other assorted cheeses.

We then drove to an Organic Tuscan Rice Farm
Tenuta San Carlo
 where we purchased the risotto for our cooking lesson.

Agritourismo is an important part of farming life in Italy.
Visitors can stay on the farms and participate in farm related activities.
These guests help to subsidize the farmer's income.

We explored the picturesque lanes in the village of Roccatederighi.

Loved the pots and charm of this stone home and garden.

The Village "community kitchen" 
we made our risotto here.

Flo served us bubbly and appetizers atop the rocky outcropping 
in the setting sunlight before we ate the risotto.

In the next post I will share some of the pastas that we made.

~ Be well and Be Kind ~


  1. It all look wonderful! What a delicious week you had there, all the senses nourished.

    1. Tuscany was such a beautiful area for a Cooking Class...our hosts made sure that we were well fed and entertained...such a wonderful experience.

  2. I just smiled the entire way through this post! Lovely!
    Mary Lou

  3. Seeing the Vatican is awe-inspiring, isn't it? I once had an "official" audience with the Pope when my son was young, there were the 2 of us and about 2000 other people, but proper protocol was observed back then, so we covered our head and no photos of anything. I love Italy, but only if I can see water so Tuscany is not my thing. I'm the lake country and the Amalfi Coast person. Water. I am water. xx's

    1. Ah yes I love the water might enjoy the fishing trip we took! Stay tuned for that post!

  4. I am really enjoying reading about your trip to Italy

    1. Have you travelled to Italy? It was my first trip and did it not disappoint.

  5. What a stunning spot. Your photos are wonderful!

    1. I fell madly in love with the ancient stone architecture...want to try and create a stone something in my garden!! One of the class memnbers suggested we build an outdoor pizza oven but we don't have the space...maybe a stone mosaic planter or a stepping stone path?