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Il Falconiere, Cortona

Cooking under the Tuscan Sun

7-day tailor-made break from £2,885 pp incl. flights


Short description

Savour dreamy views and the secrets of home cooking and haute cuisine in Italy


  • Stay at one of Tuscany’s finest small hotels with its own Michelin-starred restaurant
  • Enjoy four cooking lessons with the chef, served as lunch or dinner
  • Tour the hotel’s vineyard, and taste the wine afterwards
  • Take expert-led tours to Cortona and other Tuscan towns
  • Relax at the hotel’s fabulous spa


Recommended for:
Food & wine | History & culture | Summer

Italy is as famous for its cuisine and fine wine as it is for its frescoes and glorious art and architecture. Cooking here is resolutely regional and seasonal, literally a way of absorbing the beguiling landscapes. In Tuscany, those landscapes feature olive groves and vineyards rolling into hilly horizons. The charming Tuscan hotel, Il Falconiere, sits in the middle of these views, and is the perfect base for a gourmet break, as part of the refined Relais & Chateau group, where culinary excellence is a given. The restaurant holds a Michelin Star, the hotel’s vineyards and cellars provide notable wines, and the cookery courses here are full of fun as well as finesse, with trips to picturesque hillside towns and markets. Learning to cook local classics under the Tuscan sun and then recreating them back at home keeps those holiday memories vivid, a pleasure that lingers long after leaving. 

Day by day itinerary

Day 1
Depart the UK, arrive Perugia/Cortona

Make the most of complimentary lounge access before your flight to Perugia, where your private transfer awaits. Wind your way through verdant Umbria into the Tuscan charms of Cortona, a typical hillside town made more romantic still by Frances Mayes’ book and film about restoring a house here. On arrival at Il Faloniere, owner Silvia Barrachi, will welcome you with a cocktail. A delicious gourmet supper in the Michelin starred restaurant follows, to whet your appetite for the coming days.

Stay: Il Falconiere, Cortona (Superior)

Meals: D

Day 2
Il Falconiere/Cortona

After breakfast – an extensive buffet of delectable cold cuts and hot dishes, stroll over to the hotel kitchen for your first cooking lesson with the master chef. Some dishes pay homage to Frances Mayes, who made Cortona famous in her memoir Under A Tuscan Sun. The ingredients are predictably the finest to be found in the region. Beef here, particularly from local white cattle – La Chianina – is a subject of veneration, and often features on the teaching menu, perhaps cooked with shallots and balsamic vinegar. Another staple is pici, the local pasta, long and round, married with small fragrant tomatoes and herbs, or aubergines rolled around prosciutto and buffalo mozzarella. Enjoy the fruit of your labours over a leisurely lunch and then relax in the spa or beside the pool in the afternoon. There’s an evening tour of the notable vineyards and cellar, followed by a wine tasting during dinner. 

Stay: Il Falconiere, Cortona (Superior)

Meals: B L D

Day 3

Enjoy breakfast before a guided sightseeing tour of Cortona, a place of highly romantic buildings and vistas and a great deal of charm. Stop for lunch at Bottega Baracchi, the hotel’s Tuscan style bistro, before returning to cook more dishes inspired by Frances Mayes’ book, all served for supper alongside fabulous Tuscan wines. 

Stay: Il Falconiere, Cortona (Superior)

Meals: B D

Day 4

A day of contrasting delights, with a visit to a nearby farm bustling with busy chickens and geese, rabbits and slightly more sedate sheep, amongst other animals, and the best place to pick up supplies for a cheese making lesson ahead. In the afternoon, the ancient hilltop towns of Montalcino and Montepulciano await. Both are famous for wine and views that are almost as heady. You’ll visit the most renown wineries and taste some outstanding wines before returning to Il Falconiere for dinner. 

Stay: Il Falconiere, Cortona (Superior)

Meals: B D

Day 5
A tour of Tuscany/Cortona

So many Tuscan towns excel in a particular dish or ingredient – it’s hard to find one that doesn’t dedicate a day of feasting to their own favourite. Today you’ll visit some amazing small towns, all famous for their food and wine, including Asciano. This is where the incomparable white truffles are found, and if the season is right, a walk through the woods on the lookout for ‘white gold’ is not to be missed. Whatever the season, lunch today is with the truffle hunters, who are full of stories, facts and figures about this treasure. Back at Il Falconiere, today’s cookery lesson focuses on Etruscan cuisine, followed by dinner.

Stay: Il Falconiere, Cortona (Superior)

Meals: B D

Day 6
Il Falconiere/Cortona

Make the most of your last day with a trip to a nearby vegetable farmer and choose the pick of the crop. The last culinary lesson will incorporate these into the menu. There will be time for a last visit to the spa or to relax and take in the beautiful surroundings before dinner. As the farewell meal, this is a special occasion, with flickering candles, music, fun… and the handing out of cooking certificates.

Stay: Il Falconiere, Cortona (Superior)

Meals: B D

Day 7
Depart for UK

Enjoy breakfast before your private driver whisks you through cypress-studded hills to Perugia, for your flight back to the UK. 

Meals: B


Any element of this itinerary can be adjusted to suit your needs. Just contact us to find out more.

Accommodation rating: Superior

7-day tailor-made break from £2,885 incl. flights


Low Season

from £2,885 pp. incl. flights

High Season

from £2,910 pp. incl. flights


  • Complimentary UK departure airport lounge access
  • Return flights from UK to Perugia
  • Return Private transfers from Perugia Airport to Il Falconiere
  • Welcome cocktail and Gourmet welcome dinner at Michelin Star Restaurant at Il Falconiere
  • Evening tour of vineyards and winery of the Baracchi Estate with wine tasting and dinner
  • 4 daily cooking lessons with the chef Silvia Baracchi, followed by either lunch or dinner with a matched wine selection
  • Sightseeing tour of Cortona followed by lunch at Bottega Baracchi Bistro
  • Tour of Tuscan villages of Montalcino and Montepulciano
  • Truffle hunting tour followed by lunch with the truffle hunters
  • Trip to local vegetable supplier and markets
  • Access to the Thesan Spa for the Route Acqua & Steam (hydro massage pool, Sauna and Turkish bath)
  • A EUR30 voucher to be used in the Therm Etrusian Spa for massage or beauty treatments
  • Farewell candlelight dinner
  • Cooking certificate from head chef Silvia Baracchi

Terms & Conditions

Prices are per person based on two people sharing a twin/double room; prices are subject to availability and possible change; normal booking conditions apply.

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