Pecorino e Vino Culinary Retreat 2022 in Pienza, Tuscany

5-10 June 2022, join us for the Pecorino e Vino Culinary Retreat

{UPDATE: SOLD OUT! Let me know if you’d like to be on a waiting list!}

We will be based in Pienza, in the the heart of the Val d’Orcia, pecorino cheese country and a UNESCO world heritage site, in a truly stunning, unique, beautifully restored Tuscan home, Villa Pienza, with a 360 degree view of the surrounding undulating Tuscan hills, on a highly curated trip to bring you our favourite food and wine experiences in Tuscany.

Our days together will consist of our most favourite things: a combination of day trips to beautiful local towns, hands-on cooking classes, visits to a cheese farm (the one that started this blog, actually), wine tastings and a visit to a family run flour mill. We will cook together and enjoy aperitivo every night together, but for those who prefer a bit of down time and lounging by the saltwater pool at the gorgeous villa we’ll be calling home, you can choose to do that too and just join in on the eating part! See below for all the details.


  • Call a stunning, lovingly restored Tuscan villa home, complete with a pool and 360 degree views of the Val d’Orcia UNESCO World Heritage landscape
  • Cheesemaking lesson with a master cheesemaker at his sustainable family farm
  • 3 cooking classes with cookbook author Emiko Davies
  • 2 winery visits with wine tastings and daily natural wine pairings with sommelier Marco Lami
  • Visits to a local organic farm and ancient grain flour mill
  • Visits with free time to the beautiful towns of Pienza and Montalcino
  • Taste Tuscan traditions in the local trattorias
  • Healthy breakfasts, lunch and Tuscan dinners cooked with organic produce

The itinerary:

Day 1: Late afternoon arrival at the villa and welcome aperitivo, followed by homemade wood-fired pizza dinner.

Day 2: After breakfast we visit an organic sheep farm for a tour of the farm to see cheesemaking from the stable to the table, after a cheesemaking lesson we will have lunch including a taste of delicious “Pecorino di Pienza” raw milk cheese. We will pop into a organic, ancient grain flour mill to see how their flour and pasta is made and taste their artisan beer in their medieval garden, and spend some free time in the gorgeous fifteenth century town of Pienza, a city designed for Pope Pius II as the “ideal Renaissance city,” and wonderful for browsing the cheese shops, quaint alleyways and stunning views with a gelato. Later, a relaxed cooking class and dinner back at the villa.

Day 3: After breakfast, we will have a cooking class with Emiko, preparing the area’s famous pici pasta and making fresh curd cheese together. The afternoon will be free for a dip in the pool or relaxing, or maybe a wander through the kitchen garden, and in the early evening Marco will guide us through a lesson in pairing cheese and wine before dinner.

Day 4: After breakfast, we head off for Montalcino, which sits up high overlooking the Val d’Orcia. The home of Tuscany’s most important wines, Marco will take us to two very special wineries to taste their Brunello. We’ll have time for a stroll through the town and aperitivo, of course. Dinner in a wonderful restaurant in the historical centre of Montalcino.

Day 5: After breakfast we will spend the morning immersed in a cooking class using stoneground local flour and making our own mascarpone. After an easy lunch, relax by the pool or read a book on one of the day beds or hammock on the hill and for our last evening, we will make a classic Tuscan bistecca cooked over coals and tiramisu with our handmade mascarpone.

Day 6: Breakfast and goodbyes!

Retreat cost per person: 2,500 euro in double occupancy, single supplement: 600 euro (2 available). BOOK HERE.

What is included in the price:

  • 5 nights accommodation in a beautiful Tuscan villa
  • Day trips and transport included in the itinerary above
  • Two winery visits and tastings
  • Cheese tasting, lunch and organic farm visit
  • 5 healthy breakfasts, 4 lunches and 5 dinners, including meals out at local restaurants
  • Delicious natural wine during meals
  • Three cooking classes with cookbook author
  • One professional cheesemaking classes
  • Cheesemaking equipment to take home
  • Wine tastings and pairings with a sommelier

Not included in the cost:

  • Airfare and travel costs to and from the villa
  • Travel insurance

We will be based in the Val d’Orcia, an untouched, beautiful valley lying roughly between Siena and Orvieto with the most picturesque, unique Tuscan landscape. Think cypress trees and undulating wheat fields and every film set in Tuscany that you can think of from The English Patient to Gladiator. The villa that we will call home for the retreat is set on a hill top with 360 degrees views of the valley. Villa Pienza is a beautiful, traditional Tuscan home with 6 bedrooms and 6 bathrooms, air conditioning and wifi. There is an 18 ft (5.5 meter) long saltwater pool, several communal kitchens, a cosy lounge room, a pool table, outdoor and indoor dining spaces and a vegetable garden at our disposal.

All the rooms are double but two are available for single occupancy at an additional price of 600 euro (first come first served) — if traveling alone but you would like the double occupancy rate and don’t mind getting to know a roommate, we will be happy to pair you in a twin room with someone else wanting to do the same thing. Please quote the room name when booking if you have a preference:

PRINCESS ROOM – on the ground floor, this room is named for the romantic, handmade canopy over the double bed (cannot be made into twins). Ensuite with a huge double head shower. Also available as a single. {BOOKED}

SWAN ROOM – this large room upstairs has a super king size bed and a huge hydromassage jacuzzi along with an ensuite with shower. Special for a couple but this can also be made into twins. {BOOKED}

SKY ROOM – second bedroom upstairs with beautiful pale blue walls and double bed which can be made into twins, and an ensuite bathroom with double sinks and double shower heads. It shares a communal loungeroom with a pocket terrace with the swan room. {BOOKED}

OCHRE BEDROOM – a upstairs double room in a quiet part of the house, fitted out in neutrals, with an ensuite that has a hydromassage tub. Available as a single or double. {BOOKED}

PIENZA ROOM – this quiet, elegant ground floor room can be a double or twin shared room and has an ensuite bathroom. {BOOKED}

To book your place, head right here.

We require a deposit of 50% upon booking; the remaining 50% should be paid by 1 May 2022. When booking, please specify if there is a room you prefer (I will do my best to update the website with those that have already been booked, but please select a second preference too incase your first is unavailable) and whether you would like single occupancy (paying a supplement fee) or double occupancy.

If coming with a friend or partner, please let us know so we can match up the bookings otherwise let us know if you are happy to share with any roommate.

Please let us know of any dietary requirements when you book.

The booking is non-refundable but if you need to cancel, we can accept someone to take your place.

Important: You must have your own travel insurance and a Green Pass to participate (indispensable in Italy now, even have a simple coffee at the bar).

A note on Green Passes:

At the time of writing, a Green Pass (proof of vaccination or recovery from covid-19) is necessary to eat at restaurants indoors or outdoors, enter shops and do many activities in Italy such as going to swimming pools, traveling long distance on trains and public transport etc. We also require that you have a Green Pass to attend the workshop — be assured that the hosts are vaccinated and boosted and those involved in the workshop will also have a Green Pass too.

Getting here:

Pienza is in the province of Siena. The closest international airports are Florence, Perugia and Rome. You could rent a car from the airport, Pienza is roughly 80km from Perugia (1 hour drive), 115km from Florence (1 hour and 45 minutes drive) and 190km from Rome (2 1/2 hour drive). The nearest train station if you’re coming from Perugia, Florence or Rome is Chiusi-Chianciano Terme and from there we can organise transfers from the station for arrival and departure (about 36km, a 45 minute drive) or there are several local busses. For train schedules check the Trenitalia website.

Tuscany in June:

Expect very warm weather! Tuscany in June is has long, sunlit days and warm evenings, (but possibly getting even chilly at times so a light layer might be handy). We will do our best to ensure everyone is comfortable with the heat – there will be breaks at the warmest time of the day (for a dip in the pool or a rest in your air-conditioned room), cool drinks and fresh meals suited to the warm weather. We encourage you to dress comfortably for the heat and wear comfortable shoes for day trips and farm visits – and don’t forget your swimmers!

Things to note:

The retreat will take place with a minimum of 5 and maximum of 10 participants. The itinerary is a guide; we reserve the right to make changes as necessary, such as where we may need to change the order of activities or replace some of the activities with something equally wonderful.

If you have any questions, please email:


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  1. Carlyn Hunter says:

    I’d like to be on the waitlist please for tuscany.

  2. Nancy lloyd says:

    I am traveling to Italy with Sandy Rowzie prior to your workshop and I understand there have been some cancellations. Would there be any room for me to share a room with Sandy? (She invited me to share). If yes, can I bring a check when I arrive?

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