Coconut Grove, FL, January 2006 — Continuing its tradition of hosting guests in authentic settings, Tuscan Way has announced a new cooking vacation site — the 18-century Villa Poggliarello. Its fourth location, in the 1,000-year-old village of Roccastrada, 34 miles south of Siena, is surrounded by vineyards, rolling hills, medieval villages and natural parks. Participants in the four- or seven-day cooking vacations are taught in the style of "La Cucina Povera Toscana" — the Tuscan peasant’s cuisine, are treated to the foods and wines of Southern Tuscany, explore the medieval villages, attend local food festivals and stroll the sandy beaches of the nearby seaside. Departures are March through October, off-season visits can also be arranged. Prices range from $2,000 per person, double for four days to $3,250 for the full week.

The cooking vacations held at the villa are of the same intimate nature of its three other locations — Casa Innocenti, Villa Castelletti and Villa Gaia: hands-on cooking classes led by an accomplished chef, Romeo Innocenti, whose specialty is Maremma seafood dishes, small groups, comfortable surroundings and a member-of-the-family atmosphere not found in more formal schools. An array of excursion choices offers flexibility in accommodating guest interests: examples include Montepescali, whose panoramic position dominates the grossetana plain, the well-preserved medieval village of Roccatederighi and the seaside villages of Talamone and Porto Santo Stefano, and wine tasting in Montepulciano, with architecture that rivals its wine in reputation, and Montalcino, known for the celebrated Brunello wine.

Set amongst the woods and vine groves of the Maremma region and surrounded by a large natural park, the one-time farmhouse dates back to the 1700s and offers a stunning view of sunsets and the surrounding hills from its 1000-year-old tower, traditional-styled apartments with full amenities, an outdoor swimming pool, optional horseback riding and mountain bike rentals and easy access to and from Siena.

All courses include accommodations, meals, wine, transfers and local transportation for scheduled excursions. There are five hands-on cooking courses during the seven-day package, three during the four-day package, a wine-tasting session and escorted visits through the local markets, restaurants and vineyards.

Tuscan Way is a specialized provider of packaged and custom tours to Tuscan destinations and villa rentals.
Reservations, brochures and information can be obtained from Tuscan Way, 2829 Bird Avenue, PMB 242, Coconut Grove, FL, 33133; telephone (800) 766-2390 or (305) 598-8368, fax (305) 598-8369, website: