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All reviews chef franco the kitchen amazing experience tuscan countryside day trip my sister table settings amazing villa amazing chef the entire property cooking meals florence winery assistant towns 3pm
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Reviewed 30 October 2016

To truly appreciate the absolute beauty of not only the villa of Torre Del Tartufo but also the people who work there, you really must visit. I recently did the 3 day cooking school and within minutes of arriving realized it wasn't long enough, and that I would need to go back. Words cannot do the people or place justice.

Alex and Lena were our first contacts and right from the get go made you feel like you were part of the family. They are responsible for ensuring that all the guests are comfortable and that their stay is seamless. I would have to say that they went far beyond that. Their attention to detail was in a word, superior.

When it came time to start cooking, we had the privilege of being led by chef Franco Palandra and the lovely Paola. I can cook well enough but am sometimes intimidated by certain recipes. Franco made us all feel like we could be stars in our own kitchens. He is to be commended for his passion for food, his ability to deal with 11 people cooking several dishes at the same time, and above all, his patience!

the Villa itself, stunning! A self stustaining property that provides 5+ star accommodations. With everything from a hot tub, swimming pool, work out room with steam room and sauna, to ping pong, badminton, and hiking trails. And if you are so inclined, you can even do some laundry while you're there!

The day trip just added to the exceptional experience I was already having. It included a visit, with wine and cheese tasting, to the old town if Arezzo. A private tour to a doctors villa with another wine and cheese tasting, and a homemade lunch at the 'Olive Oil Man's' house. We ended the day in the mid evil town of Anghiari.

I cannot forget to mention the other staff that worked tireless behind the scenes. They cleaned up our dinner messes, made sure we had lovely clean rooms to come back to and that breakfast was ready for us when we needed it.

I have barely scratched the surface but in short, this was a trip of a lifetime, and worth every cent. I will definitely be back, and most likely it will be next year!

Date of stay: October 2016
  • Trip type: Travelled with friends
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank penelopeanne2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 30 October 2016

Stayed with a friend at Torre del Tartufo for the 3 day cooking vacation with Tuscookany in October. Only complaint was that we did not book and stay longer. From the absolute moment we arrived, our expectations were exceeded. The genuine, warm greeting from property hosts, Lena and Alex, to the beauty of the property, and to our anticipated authentic cooking classes with Chef Franco Palandro and his amazing wife and assistant, Paola, the incredible three days have left the most memorable imprint and anticipation of returning.

Franco not only is incredibly experienced and has a great teaching style, but is skilled in quickly getting acquainted with the group and different personal styles all with precision pace and genuine humour, not to mention patience at every moment throughout. Paola is a delight, has a keen ability to answer multiple questions at once always with quick wit and a smile on her face. Franco and Paola ensure that everyone learns the fundamentals and many facets of true Italian cooking and favorites. They are truly passionate about their craft and want to ensure every participant gets everything and more out of the classes and experience.

There is no detail not thought of and considered for the guests and upon arrival, guests are encouraged to feel at home. This is an understatement!

This experience and vacation truly was a find and memory of a lifetime....one I will definitely be repeating.

Room tip: Every room is charming and unique with character. No room could disappoint.
Date of stay: October 2016
  • Trip type: Travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank lauramcd0
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 30 October 2016

How can you beat seven days in a secluded, rustic palazzo, perched among vineyards on forested hilltop, eating gourmet meals while scanning a dazzling vista of the Tuscan countryside spreading out below? My wife and I shared shared cooking classes and delightful conversation over leisurely meals with an assortment of sophisticated travelers, singles and couples, representing four continents, in an idyllic setting straight out of a magazine pictorial.
Chef Franco conducted lessons in a spacious professional kitchen. His first instruction: "Feel free to enjoy wine or beer while you cook, but use the shatter proof tumblers." He effortlessly and gracefully adapted his recipes to accommodate our idiosyncratic food preferences (I am vegetarian, my wife not.) Always engaging and cheerful, at mealtime, he morphed from master to server, describing regional Italian wines as he poured. He only became inflexible when he demanded that all cooking cease so we could enjoy late afternoon "coffee break."
When I was not busy cooking, eating, or lingering over drinks, I was lounging at poolside beside elegantly sculpted shade trees. Our suite had a great view, updated luxury bath, and a comfortable ante room with a fireplace, where I could read late at night without disturbing my spouse.
Torre is a spectacular destination. I plan to return.

Date of stay: July 2016
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Bessen
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 26 October 2016

Words cannot describe what a perfect holiday Tuscookany at Torre Del Tartufo is. Book the holiday, part with the money and you wont regret it. I promise.

My husband is not a mad foodie and I love to cook but would not say I am highly experienced. It doesn't matter. You will have the BEST time regardless. I would not go as a 'non-participating' member because you will miss so much of the experience.

Firstly, the accommodation. Rooms are beautiful - not super luxe - but tastefully decorated and inviting. Our room had a fireplace and beautiful view over the pool and Tuscan countryside. Robes, Slippers and toiletries are included. Rooms are cleaned daily. We slept like babies - bed was super comfortable and rooms were whisper quiet.
Only negative would be poor water pressure for the shower.

The broader villa provides you with a lounge area (with fireplace), bar area (fully stocked), access to coffee/tea facilities at all times (with wicked cakes and biscotti), a small fitness centre (some weights, yoga mats, elliptical machine and bike), spa/sauna, pool and lots of lovely lounge areas and great walking trails. We also booked a massage - a must do - Laura the therapist works wonders and is great value.

The cooking begins at 3 each day and goes through until about 7.30pm when you take a short break and reconvene to eat your efforts (with fine wines and liquors unlimited).
It is intensive but super fun with time to break (for wine and nibbles) throughout the cooking. Franco and Paola oversee everything and are fantastic coaches with a great sense of humour. I am vegetarian and was very well catered for.

Do the seven day course - three is far too short. You get a free day and there is heaps to do and see. You also do an excursion (wine tasting, cheese tasting, olive oil tasting, linen factory) which is lots of fun as well as experience truffle hunting.

Yes, the week is expensive but I would say absolute value for money. You really don't need to spend a cent the whole week you are there (we only did on our free day when we chose to go to Florence and buying a few small items on excursion which you don't need to do). You "live" for a week in paradise, you have a super fun experience cooking and you eat and drink like kings and queens.

Thank You Franco, Paola, Lena, Alex, Francesco and the team
Thanks to our beautiful fellow guests (team)
This experience is something we will always cherish and talk about for years

Justin & Laura

Date of stay: October 2016
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
1  Thank Laura0576
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 26 October 2016 via mobile

Visited Tuscookany in Torre Del Tartufo Italy with two other couples
Our wives took the cooking course which was run by Chef Franco and Lena his assistant and a wonderful staff
The course was wonderful and allowed them to prepare delicious meals which we dined on every evening
We met a great group of people who helped to make our experience even better
The place is located high in the mountains and if you visit suggest you rent a vehicle for day trips
This was truly a great vacation and would highly recommend Tuscookany not only for the ultimate cooking vacation but the wonderful people we met who were associated with the course

Date of stay: September 2016
Trip type: Travelled with friends
1  Thank Johncy47
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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