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Tuscan Women Cook

Learn Italian Regional Cooking at an Agritourismo in Tuscany

Tuscan Women Cook is not just another cooking school. This residential program offers a unique involvement in Tuscan life. Participants in the week-long course stay at Agriturismo Belagaggio, a B and B on a working farm near Siena, and learn how to prepare Tuscan country dishes from the women on the farm.

A week full of food, wine, exploration, and shopping begins with a superb dinner that progresses from platters of crostini and toppings, to three types of homemade pasta, to stuffed breast of chicken-all served with wines grown on the surrounding hills. The view out an open window at the end of the rustic wooden table is tough competition for the delicious food.

Belagaggio's spacious farmhouse kitchen is the setting for each morning's cooking class. Ada Bernadini and her daughter Antonella, whose ancestors have lived on and worked the farm for generations, demonstrate the age-old recipes and techniques of Tuscany: using the freshest local ingredients and not complicating them too much.

In addition to cooking classes, the daily schedule, in which students can participate as much or as little as desired, includes a tour of a nearby winery and explorations of picture-postcard medieval villages.

The joy of this unique program is in the location, the gracious and knowledgeable hosts, and, most of all, in learning how Tuscan women cook at home: not the latest rage in Italian cuuisine, but how families have cooked for generations. Classes are offered from spring through fall. Cost of the program, which includes seven nights' accommodations and all meals for five days, is $3,950 per person, based upon double occupancy.

Tuscan Women Cook, Belagaggio, 53040 Montefollonico, Italy; 011-39-0577-669-444, fax 011-39-0577-668-707; www.TuscanWomenCook.com.