About Tuscookany cooking schools in Tuscany
The mission of the Tuscookany team is to offer our guests the vacation of a lifetime. We want to welcome you into our villas as if it was your home and make you feel totally at ease whether you are travelling alone or coming with your spouse or friends.
The whole Tuscookany team is committed to making sure that your stay with us is unforgettable. We aim to offer you a cooking experience which is informal and fun and where you will learn to make wonderful dishes together with your fellow cooks from all corners of the earth. We have designed the course in such a way to make sure you have enough time to relax and enjoy the surroundings or go out sightseeing in Tuscany. In the afternoon you cook up a storm and then sit down to dine on your wonderful creations complimented with superb Italian wines. Conversations sometimes go on till the wee hours and then you can retire to your room and surrender to the absolute peace and quiet of the surroundings.
We take you on a unique culinary excursion to local producers of cheese, wine and olive oil. These are places guests would not have access to otherwise and all our producers are as passionate as we are about the Italian cuisine and making superb local produce which you will get a chance to taste.
We want you to leave feeling you have learnt more than the dishes you made during the course. We strive to inspire you and instil in you a passion for Tuscany and the Italian cuisine.
You might need an extra button on your trousers but you will leave having made new friends for life.
Lars Korn and Pippa Ward-Smith, discovered the beauty of the Casentino Valley in Tuscany 26 years ago when they went there on holiday. They had rented a villa in the area and within a couple of days decided that the Casentino Valley would be the perfect spot to buy a property. They first found Casa Ombuto and fell in love with the setting and the magical feel about the place. The secluded location, the breath taking views and the interesting building with its different levels and roofs made it truly special. Renovation of the villa has been an on going story and has taken many years to get the villa where it is now, as it is imperative for them to keep the same Tuscan style and charm with the addition of modern comforts. Each year new features and improvements are added both internally and externally. The old vegetable field was transformed into a beautiful swimming pool area and most recently the spa area was built with sauna, steam room and fitness area. These renovations and improvements do not take place when the villa is occupied.
Their passion for Tuscan villas did not end there and about 20 years ago they found Torre del Tartufo. Again it took many years to renovate this magnificent villa with the same attention of detail and dedication to stay true to the character of the villa. It is situated close to Arezzo on an extensive estate with olive trees and truffle fields, hence the name Torre del Tartufo. Over the years not only the interiors have been renovated but also the grounds and later the addition of a pool and even later the spa. The last addition of the carport with solar panels has made the villa now even more "green".
Ten years ago Tuscookany discovered Bellorcia which is a beautifully renovated villa in the Val d'Orcia which has views from each window that look like Renaissance paintings which is owned by the Miani family.
The most recent addition is Bellancino which is a beautiful new villa built in classic Tuscan style but with large open spaces, and magnificent views. The villa is offered for private groups of between 6 and 8 participating guests.
Paola Baccetti runs the Italian cookery course at Casa Ombuto and Franco Palandra runs the Italian cookery course at Torre del Tartufo and Alice Cornacchini runs the Mediterranean cookery course at Casa Ombuto and the Italian cookery course at Bellorcia. Bellancino is run by either Alice Cornacchini or Riccardo Grillo.
The reservations and operations for Tuscookany are handled by BEL SOGNO SOCIETA' AGRICOLA S.R.L.
Since 2020 the owners also rent out a beautiful villa they rennovated in Camps Bay, Cape Town South Africa. They do not offer cooking lessons there but can recommend many wonderful restaurants and wineries to visit. Have a look at the website for La Baia Campsbay for more information.
Lars and Pippa live in the Netherlands and have two daughters, Georgina (28) and Julia (22). Georgina is living in Amsterdam and Julia is still in university in Rotterdam. Lars is Dutch and Pippa was born in South Africa.
We pride ourselves in having organic vegetable gardens and use vegetables in season from our own gardens. We also purchase produce from authentic local producers and farmers. When possible we use vegetables and fruits in season, our chefs not only believe the taste is far superior but it also has an impact on the carbon footprint.
Our villas and the environment
We are very conscious of the environment, use of natural resources and energy saving features has been taken into consideration when we renovated and improved the original villas. This is how we are managing this:
- All warm water you use comes from the solar heating on the roof of the house or solar panels on the estate.
- We produce our own power with two Photovoltaics plants with an total yield of 40.000 kWh/year.
- All the water coming out of the taps and the water in the swimming pool is from our own boreholes.
- All wood used comes from the estate gained from maintaining and cleaning out the forests without having to chop down one extra tree for this purpose.
- All garden, kitchen and wood debris is used as compost.
- The pools are heated by a solar system.
- The villa's are all heated by under floor heating, all windows have double glazing which keeps the rooms warm in the winter and this, together with the original thick wall structures and high altitude, keeps the villa cool in the summer.
- The pools both have a special Nature 2 filter system, a method designed to filter similarly to the way a river keeps itself clean and thereby dramatically reduces the amount of chlorine needed to keep the pool clean.
The Tuscookany villas are Awarded the highest rank "Platinum" by the TripAdvisor GreenLeaders program.
The International booking agents
The booking and administration of international reservations for Tuscookany is handled by Bel Sogno SRL which is based in Italy. Liz Carver is the contact person who handles the reservations and administration and is available for any enquiries or questions you might have. Please complete the enquiry form and you will receive a response within 24 hours.
We all look forward to welcoming you in Tuscany,
The Tuscookany Team
info @ tuscookany.com
Toll Free USA & Canada:
1-888-722-6901 USA Eastern time 9AM-2PM
For rest of the world:
+39-0575-1460010 Central European Time 9:00 - 22:00