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SHORT BREAKS COOKING : ITALY COOKING VACATIONS

Villa San Michele in TuscanyCooking at Villa San Michele in Tuscany
. . . relax and linger over Tuscan specialities

In a very short time, the Cookery School at Villa San Michele has become a permanent institution: a true benchmark. A fact known to Gourmets from all over the world who have followed it from the start, to the internationally renowned Chefs who are happy to hold their lessons there, and to Guests of the Villa who have yet another reason to love this wonderful hotel.

In response to great demand, the Villa San Michele Classic Courses will still be on offer: The Children’s Cookery School, exciting recipes for singles, the cuisine of the great noble houses of Florence and Tuscany, plus of course all the essential series of lessons on pasta, the star of Italian cuisine.

There are also courses conceived and created in collaboration with elite international organisations working in the field of gastronomic holidays. Tailored for foreign guests, which combine the discovery of local cuisine with trips to Chianti, wine tastings, and visits to Florence for boutique shopping and museums. This is the perfect opportunity for a holiday in Italy, but one with some touches that are so special that even Italian gourmets will find it well worth the effort . . .

 

 
  VILLA SAN MICHELE COOKERY COURSES  

COOKERY COURSES

Have a look at the Villa San Michele cooking courses below and you will find ideas for every month of the season, long or short, with specific or more wide ranging themes. And, as always, the Courses are all hands-on affairs. You will work, play, taste: but the main thing is that you will be cooking alongside the Chefs, in direct contact with ladles, pans, lids, and ovens. The deliberately restricted number of participants ensures that each guest will be followed carefully and consequently obtain the optimum benefit from the chosen course.

Monday, Thursday and Saturday : Learning with the Chef

Short but absolutely complete, this is a full immersion course in Tuscan gastronomy with the Villa's 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 before.

In response to great demand, this year three particular days have been chosen to ensure you get the best out of your stay:

  • Monday - a perfect way to pass the time on the day when shops and museums 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: the preparation of pastas, risottos and soups, with a particular emphasis on the Tuscan culinary tradition.

FOR DATES AND RATES PLEASE <click here>

John Greeley at Villa San Michele

JOHN GREELEYJoin John Greeley of New York's renowned 21 restaurant on a special cookery course at Villa San Michele.

  • The Course held by John Greeley begins, on the evening of arrival, with a welcome dinner to be enjoyed in the company of your Master Chef

  • The course comprises 3 lessons in the kitchen with the Chef

  • The lessons take place every morning, from 10:00 to 12:30 - John will show you how to prepare his special dishes, to be eaten later at lunch time

  • Afternoons and evenings are free, to be enjoyed as you please

  • On the last day John Greeley will award each participant a diploma for having taken part in the Course

  • Departure in the afternoon or after breakfast on the following morning, should you wish to pay for an extra night.

Number of lessons: 3 Duration of stay: 4 days and 3 nights

FOR DATES AND RATES PLEASE <click here>

A Symphony of Pasta for three authors

With the participation of:

  • Attilio Di Fabrizio (Executive Chef at the Villa San Michele)
  • Domenico di Raffaele (Chef of the Hotel Caruso, Ravello)
  • Renato Piccolotto (Chef of the Hotel Cipriani in Venice)

Discover the secrets of pasta, an art in itself that Italy has made its own, and how to accompany it with a wide variety of condiments and the tastiest ingredients.

To help you get to know all the varieties of pasta and to learn traditional recipes as well some curious and surprising variations, three masters of haute cuisine will explain some exquisite recipes.

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

  • DAY 1
    Attilio Di Fabrizio, the Chef of the Villa San Michele, will interpret and prepare pasta in the most genuine Tuscan manner, assisted by Chef Luca Orini.

  • DAY 2
    Chef Domenico Di Raffaele of the Hotel Caruso in Ravello will produce the recipes of the Amalfi Coast, teaching participants how to prepare pasta dishes with a rich Mediterranean aroma.

  • DAY 3
    Renato Piccolotto, the Chef of the Hotel Cipriani in Venice, will present the pasta dishes typical of the Venetian lagoon, with its touches of land and sea, teaching you how to prepare four delicious dishes.

Departure will be in the afternoon or after breakfast on the following morning, should you wish to pay for an extra night.

Number of lessons: 3 Duration of stay: 4 days and 3 nights

FOR DATES AND RATES PLEASE <click here>

The Children's Cookery School

Magical cooking course for the younger enthusiast.

  • DAY 1
    A welcome drink for all the family on arrival at Villa San Michele, followed by dinner in the Hotel restaurant.

  • DAY 2
    The day is free for the parents: the children’s lessons begin with Chef Attilio Di Fabrizio, who will examine some fresh produce, talk about aromatic herbs and their use in cooking, and then show how to prepare a hors d’oeuvre. A swim in the pool, and then lunch, all together, based on the dishes prepared in the morning. In the afternoon, the Circus of Sweets with the Chief Pastry Cook: two desserts will be prepared to be enjoyed with the parents. The lessons end with afternoon tea and the presentation of the diplomas. Then everyone will go off for dinner in the Hotel restaurant.

  • DAY 3
    The day is free for visits to Florence or for relaxation. Dinner in the Hotel restaurant.

  • DAY 4
    Departure on the morning after breakfast.

Each child taking part will be given a personalised chef’s hat and apron.

Number of lessons: 2 Duration of stay: 4 days and 3 nights

FOR DATES AND RATES PLEASE <click here>

Single is beautiful and tasty too!

Finally someone has thought about it . . . and it has been done the way only Villa San Michele knows how!

Because living alone demands unique and special everyday standards. This is a different cuisine, in which you have to know how to prepare tasty dishes for yourself, often quickly and in single portions; but it also shows you how create a dinner or brunch for friends, or how to improvise an attractive dish for an unexpected guest, or how to amaze a new partner.This Course, held by our Chef Attilio Di Fabrizio, is devoted exclusively to Singles and teaches a variety of simple, appealing and flavoursome recipes.

A seductive cuisine, from all points of view, to be enjoyed alone or in company. Between one lesson and another, the Course leaves participants with time to visit Florence, relax in the Hotel, and to socialise with the other singles . . . a tempting opportunity, shall we say?

Number of lessons: 2 Duration of stay: 3 days and 2 nights

FOR DATES AND RATES PLEASE <click here>

The Ultimate Florentine Experience - in collaboration with The International Kitchen

This year, The International Kitchen, creators of the ‘cooking school vacation’, has included in its wide-ranging list of proposals a real top-flight experience in Florence, in line with a philosophy that unites quality, authenticity, cordiality and a personalised approach.

  • DAY 1
    Upon arrival, a welcome cocktail and dinner with regional wines, in order to get to know the other participants in the Course.

  • DAY 2
    A meeting with the Chef of Villa San Michele, Attilio Di Fabrizio, and Chef Luca Orini: the first lesson in the kitchen followed by lunch - all together - based on the specialities prepared in the morning. An afternoon spent shopping in the city’s finest boutiques accompanied by a personal shopper.

  • DAY 3
    Excursion to Chianti: first to Greve in Chianti, for a visit to the Antica Macelleria Falorni, with a tasting of various sausages, a special Tuscan salami flavoured with fennel, and the house wines. The Falorni is a historic pork butcher’s founded in 1729, still world famous for its sausages and noble Tuscan prosciutto. This is followed by a transfer to the Capannelle winery, in Gaiole in Chianti, with a guided tour of the refined cellars and a tasting of the superlative wines. Lunch at the luxurious farmhouse in Capannelle, with a country-style menu served by our butler.

  • DAY 4
    Second lesson on traditional Tuscan cuisine in Villa San Michele with Chefs Attilio and Luca, followed by lunch - all together – based on the specialities prepared earlier. In the afternoon, the third cookery lesson, devoted to fruit and vegetable carving for the further embellishment of both dishes and the table in general. An à la carte dinner in the hotel restaurant: remember to book!

  • DAY 5
    Excursion to Siena, with a stop along the way in the enchanting town of San Gimignano. A visit to Siena, famed for its Palio, and lunch in a typical local trattoria. In the evening, an unforgettable Renaissance-style dinner featuring decor and dishes inspired by Caterina de’ Medici.

  • DAY 6
    Farewell to the Villa and departure after breakfast.

Number of lessons: 3 Duration of stay: 6 days and 5 nights

FOR DATES AND RATES PLEASE <click here>

Italian Intermezzo - in collaboration with Sharon O’Connor

The famous creator of Italian Intermezzo - a collection of recipes to the sound of music - has organized at The Villa San Michele School of Cookery a week devoted to the table, to taste, to beauty and to Florence. An extraordinary cultural and gastronomic experience . . .

  • DAY 1
    Upon arrival, transfer from Florence airport, a welcome cocktail and dinner with regional wines, in order to get to know the other participants in the Course.

  • DAY 2
    A meeting with the Chef of Villa San Michele, Attilio Di Fabrizio, and Chef Luca Orini: the first lesson in the kitchens to the sound of music followed by lunch all together, based on the specialities cooked in the morning. In the afternoon, a second cookery lesson, devoted to the art of fruit carving. What better way to decorate dishes and the table in general? An à la carte dinner in the hotel restaurant: remember to book!

  • DAY 3
    Excursion to the Capannelle winery in Gaiole in Chianti, with a guided tour of the refined cellars and a tasting of the superlative wines. Lunch at the farmhouse in Capannelle, with a country-style menu served by our butler.

  • DAY 4
    Second lesson on traditional Tuscan cuisine in Villa San Michele with Chefs Attilio and Luca, followed by lunch - all together – based on the specialities prepared earlier. In the evening, a cocktail in the bar of the Villa and an unforgettable Renaissance-style dinner featuring decor and dishes inspired by Caterina de’ Medici, served and enlivened by waiters and musicians in costume.

  • DAY 5
    Florence and a visit to Palazzo Pitti and the famous Museo dell’Accademia, where you will see Michelangelo’s David. After a morning devoted to art, a gourmet lunch at the Il Latini restaurant. In the evening, at Villa San Michele, an à la carte dinner in the hotel restaurant: remember to book!

  • DAY 6
    Farewell to the Villa and departure after breakfast before the transfer to Florence airport.

For their entire stay Guests will have at their disposal the boutiques of Florence (a mere 12 minutes away thanks to the hotel’s free private shuttle service that runs every 20 minutes), the pool and the gardens of Villa San Michele, and the exquisite cuisine of the top-flight restaurant, served in the Loggia or in the Cloister according to the weather and seasons. It’s a dream week: give yourself a treat, it’s worth it!

Number of lessons: 2 Duration of stay: 6 days and 5 nights

FOR DATES AND RATES PLEASE <click here>

Active Gourmet Goes Tuscan - in collaboration with Active Gourmet Holidays

The programme prepared with Villa San Michele and our School of Cookery is perfect for nourishing body and soul with a range of irresistible temptations, from vineyards to shopping… Never a dull moment!

  • DAY 1
    Upon arrival, a welcome cocktail and dinner with regional wines, in order to get to know the other participants in the Course.

  • DAY 2
    A meeting with the Chef of Villa San Michele, Attilio Di Fabrizio: the first lesson in the kitchen followed by lunch - all together - based on the specialities prepared in the morning. In the afternoon, relaxation by the pool or a stroll through the gardens of the Villa, which apart from being one of the world’s most beautiful hotels was once a Sixteenth century monastery whose façade is attributed to Michelangelo.

  • DAY 3
    Excursion to Chianti: first to Greve in Chianti, for a visit to the Antica Macelleria Falorni, with a tasting of various sausages, a special Tuscan salami flavoured with fennel, and the house wines. The Falorni is a historic pork butcher’s founded in 1729, still world famous for its sausages and noble Tuscan prosciutto. This is followed by a transfer to the Capannelle winery in Gaiole in Chianti, surrounded by marvellous countryside dotted with cypresses and vineyards, for a guided tour of the refined cellars and a tasting of the superlative wines (“50&50”, white Chardonnay and Solare) and the oil made from the olives produced on the farm. Lunch at the luxurious farmhouse in Capannelle, with a country-style menu served by our butler. In the evening, a dinner with Tuscan wines in the Villa San Michele’s renowned restaurant, served either in the Loggia or in the Cloister.

  • DAY 4
    Second lesson on traditional Tuscan cuisine in Villa San Michele with Chef Attilio Di Fabrizio, followed by lunch - all together – based on the specialities prepared earlier. An afternoon spent shopping in the city’s finest boutiques accompanied by a personal shopper.

  • DAY 5
    Excursion to Monteriggioni, San Gimignano and Siena, three gems set in the heart of Tuscany. Lunch with regional wines in a typical local trattoria. In the evening, an unforgettable Renaissance-style dinner featuring decor and dishes inspired by Caterina de Medici, served and enlivened by waiters and musicians in costume.

  • DAY 6
    Farewell to the Villa and departure after breakfast.

For their entire stay Guests will have at their disposal the boutiques of Florence (a mere 12 minutes away thanks to the hotel’s free private shuttle service that runs every 20 minutes), the pool and the gardens of Villa San Michele, and the exquisite cuisine of the top-flight restaurant, served in the Loggia or in the Cloister according to the weather and seasons. It’s a dream week: give yourself a treat, it’s worth it!

Number of lessons: 2 Duration of stay: 6 days and 5 nights

FOR DATES AND RATES PLEASE <click here>

Autumn Cooking Getaway - in collaboration with Epiculinary

A programme for genuine epicureans, a blend of the pleasures of gastronomy and the sweetness of life in all its forms.

  • DAY 1
    Arrival in the morning. In the afternoon, a meeting with the Chef of Villa San Michele, Attilio Di Fabrizio, and Chef Luca Orini: the first lesson in the kitchen is devoted to Tuscan specialities, and then - all together – a dinner based on the dishes prepared during the lesson.

  • DAY 2
    Second lesson on traditional Tuscan cuisine in the Villa San Michele School of Cookery, again with Chefs Attilio and Luca: lunch - all together – based on the dishes prepared in the morning. An afternoon in Florence and a tour accompanied by a private guide in search of the city’s best kept secrets.

  • DAY 3
    Excursion to the Capannelle winery, in Gaiole in Chianti, with a guided tour of the refined cellars and a tasting of the superlative wines. Lunch at the luxurious farmhouse in Capannelle, with a country-style menu served by our butler. In the afternoon, the third and final lesson on traditional Tuscan cuisine with Chefs Attilio and Luca, and another convivial dinner based on the dishes prepared together.

  • DAY 4
    Farewell to the Villa and departure after breakfast.

For their entire stay Guests will have at their disposal the boutiques of Florence (a mere 12 minutes away thanks to the hotel’s free private shuttle service that runs every 20 minutes), the pool and the gardens of Villa San Michele, and the exquisite cuisine of the top-flight restaurant, served in the Loggia or in the Cloister according to the weather and seasons. It’s a dream week: give yourself a treat, it’s worth it!

Number of lessons: 3Duration of stay: 4 days and 3 nights

FOR DATES AND RATES PLEASE <click here>

   
  COOKERY SCHOOL CHEFS  
     
JOHN GREELEY  
 

John’s talents are not only reserved for the kitchen: he is also a successful painter. Palettes and pans, colours and flavours, and every ingredient, every suggestion is the cue for an exuberant creativity. His interest in the culinary arts developed when, as a young man, he began to work the summer season in restaurants on Nantucket Island, and then in New England. His enthusiasm for painting led him to attend the School of Visual Arts in New York, followed by the College of Art and Design in Savannah, Georgia, where he took his degree in 1995.

In the meantime, he carried on cooking . . . first in the famous 45 South restaurant, in the centre of Savannah, and then, after taking his degree and his BFA he returned to New York City where he wound up in a larger-than-life place, the renowned 21, which looks like a private club but is glad to open its doors to everyone.

And it is here that John is currently Chef de Cuisine in his own right, because 21 is not just a restaurant, it is also an atmosphere.

JOHN GREELEY
ATTILIO DE FABRIZIO  
 

Attilio de Fabrizio was born in 1952 in Abruzzi, and attended the Villa Santa Maria cookery school, where many of the best chefs in Italy trained. He spent several years of apprenticeship in Italy, France, Great Britain and Switzerland, developing his culinary skills, before joining the world-famous Hotel Cipriani in Venice.

From 1975 - 1983, Attilio di Fabrizio worked in both Northern and Southern America before returning to Italy to become Chef at the renowned restaurant Enoteca Pinchiorri in Florence. In 1987 Attilio di Fabrizio was appointed Chef de Cuisine at the Hotel Villa San Michele.

Over the last few years, he has taken part in several gastronomic events, both in and outside Italy, working side by side with such famous chefs as Gaultiero Marchesi, Roger Verge, Paul Bocuse and others.

ATTILIO DE FABRIZIO
DOMENICO DI RAFFAELE  
 

After obtaining a degree at the Technical Institute for hotel activities, Mimmo Di Raffaele had important work experiences in the sector that have marked his professional career. He first worked in Cortina d’Ampezzo, then in Switzerland, and at the Cala di Volpe Hotel in Porto Cervo.

He then offered his collaboration for designer Nicola Trussardi with whom he opened the Marino alla Scala restaurant in Milan. He made the acquaintance of chef Enrico Derflingher, the personal chef of Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain, with whom he collaborated as a sous-chef at the Eden Hotel in Rome. Before touching down at the Caruso Hotel in Ravello, he worked as executive chef for Radisson Sas Es Hotel in Rome.

Mimmo Di Raffaele’s philosophy has always hinged on genuine cuisine, where essence is more important than form; aiming at the enhancement of the territory with the use of innovative techniques that lead down the paths of memory and time.

DOMENICO DI RAFFAELE
RENATO PICCOLOTTO  
 

Hotel Cipriani’s Chef de Cuisine

Renato Piccolotto was born on January 28, 1954 in the province of Treviso, Italy. He started his career in 1971 as a commis de cuisine at the Villa Cipriani in Asolo.

There, he had the opportunity of being trained by the famous Giuseppe Cipriani.

From 1970, Piccolotto has been working at the Hotel Cipriani in Venice. He first worked under the management of Giuseppe Cipriani, and then under the management of Natale Rusconi, General Manager of the Cipriani since 1977.

During various seasons, Renato Piccolotto worked in several restaurants and hotels abroad, for example in St Moritz, Switzerland.

Chef Piccolotto is also the master mind behind the Cipriani Cooking School, which was founded in 1979 at the Cipriani, with the participation of famous gastronomic personalities of the cooking world, from Julia Child, to Marcella Hazan, from Anne Willan to Simone Beck, from Gregory Usher to Michael James, and finally to the great James Beard!

After having been Sous-chef for a few years, Piccolotto was promoted as the Cipriani’s Chef de Cuisine in 1990. In this position, he keeps on promoting the great cooking tradition invented and created by Giuseppe Cipriani.

He has been awarded the Piatto d’Oro by the Accademia Italiana della Cucina, who recently named the Cipriani Restaurant as one of the five best Restaurants in Italy (1995).

Renato Piccolotto took part in many food festivals organised between 1980 and 2002 by Natale Rusconi in France, England, Switzerland, America, France, Montecarlo, Japan, Brazil, Venezuela, Moscow and Mauritius.

RENATO PICCOLOTTO
 
  VILLA SAN MICHELE  

Formerly a Fifteenth century Franciscan monastery, the Villa San Michele is surrounded by its own gardens and woodland on the Fiesole hills. The present aspect of the building, with its façade attributed to Michelangelo and the imposing lateral Loggia looking towards Florence, dates from the year 1600, when the monastery was enlarged and completely renovated at the expense of Giovanni di Bartolomeo Davanzati.

Villa San Michele

There are 46 Guest rooms comprising 21 doubles / twins, 25 junior suites and suites. Most rooms have windows which enjoy views over the Italian garden, the private woodland and the hills of Fiesole. The Junior Suites with private garden and terrace, the Chapel, the "Orangerie" Limonaia Suites and all rooms located above the Loggia enjoy views over the town of Florence and the Arno valley.

All rooms are elegantly furnished and decorated and offer comforts such as air-conditioning and heating, direct dial telephone, mini-bar, colour satellite TV, hairdryer, weightscale, only to mention a few.

Standard Room
Junior Suite by the Pool

Leisure and sport facilities include an open-air 82 foot heated swimming pool with spectacular views of Florence from late Spring to early Autumn. A Gym is available in the Hotel, and massage is possible on request. The eighteen hole Ugolino Golf Course is easily reachable in the Chianti hills, 45 minutes from the Hotel and tennis and horse riding can be booked at the Cascine.

The Panoramic Pool

The Loggia Terrace Restaurant provides one of the most unique venues in Europe, overlooking Florence and the Arno Valley. In cooler weather, the indoor dining rooms located in the Cloister and the Cenacolo are used. Restaurant and Bar service is also available at the Pool, during summer.

Emphasis is placed on the typical Tuscan cuisine of the region. Home made Pasta, mushrooms and meat are house specialities.

The Open-air Restaurant on the Loggia by Night

There are three bars - the Terrace Bar with evening piano music until midnight, the Cocktail Bar which is situated in the small cloister of the monastery, and the Pool Bar.

  CONTACT DETAILS  
   
 

Villa San Michele
Via Doccia 4
50014 Fiesole
Florence
Italy

   
Phone:
+39 055 567 8200
Fax:
+39 055 567 8250
   
Email:
info@villasanmichele.net
Web:
www.villasanmichele.com