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Cooking and Sleeping in Umbria or Tuscany

Hopefully this post belongs in the Italy board...

I'm looking for one of those magical agriturisimo-esque olive grove/farm/vineyards anywhere between Rome and Florence for my boyfriend and I to stay for a night or two between the cities. Looking for a Blackberry Farms-type experience (at about a third of the price, preferably), where they grow most of the goods used to make a meal. Ideally, I'd love to take a cooking class, but most of the places I've found online with cooking classes are either in a city or look like a big touristy thing (I'm looking for...you know...the non-touristy cooking class). Or, I'd happily pitch in if it is just a small kitchen in a farm house.

I don't mean to be vague but I have 21 additional tabs open on this browser with 21 hotel/farmstay/and-everything-in-between options, and it is impossible to determine what is an honest slow food movement and what's the olive garden cooking school...

Any help or suggestions would be a huge help!

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  1. This topic has been discussed here before. You should go to the search box in the upper right-hand corner of this page and search for agriturismo.

    Here is a past thread: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/811070

    1 Reply
    1. Most places that have a genuine Slow Food connection advertise it, so you might do google searches for Tuscany and Umbria cooking classes or agriturismi using those words. If you are a detective, you can use a program like this to ferret out possibilities:

      http://blog.artviva.com/2010/11/01/sl...

      You can also contact the Slow Food movement directly and ask if they will help you.

      http://www.slowfood.com/

      1. We spent a couple of days at Albergo Rosati, a few km south of Orvieto, several years ago. Eight or ten excellent rooms, community dinner every night that lasts until all of the wine and grappa is gone. Look it up in Slowtrav for enthusiastic recommendations. And a plus you can enjoy lunch at I Setti Consoli in Orvieto, my favorite restaurant in all of Italy.

        3 Replies
        1. re: DaleJ

          Just so there is no confusion, SlowTrav is not a part of Slow Food. I have no experience of Locanda Rosati (the correct name), but I do know that it appears as a recommendation in recent Rick Steves' guides, and my experience of that is his recommended places become overwhelmed with foreign visitors who follow his guides.

          1. re: barberinibee

            Eek! Another great place bites the dust.

            1. re: DaleJ

              Dont lose hope, it seems like places in more obscure or remote locations (i.e. not Cinque Terre, Rome, Florence/Tuscany, Venice or Amalfi Coast) wont get nearly as slammed as a result of his recommendations since visitors are so much thinner on the ground..

        2. Poggio Etrusco would be a great choice. The owner, Pamela Sheldon Johns, has been running this farm for 15 years. She also happens to be a best selling cook book author and fantastic cooking instructor. Very reasonably priced and a lot of fun. She also can suggest visits to local cheese makers, etc.

          www.elizabethminchilliinrome.com

          1. This could be an option: http://www.incampagna.com/incampagnaE.... The owner is from Umbria and also provides cooking classes. I haven't stayed here myself. I was a regular visitor to the SlowTrav forums before my trip to Italy last year, and Letizia is a regular contributor. Here's a recent blog post from someone in my city who stayed there and took the cooking class (though I can't seem to find the post on the cooking class!): http://www.acanadianfoodie.com/2011/1...

            1 Reply
            1. re: Silverwing

              I can chime in with a endorsement of Letizia at Agriturismo alla Madonna del Piatto too, mentioned by Silverwing above.