Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Capezzana Wine and Culinary Center - A new meaning for B & B

Agriturismo Capezzana, located just 15 miles outside of Florence, has it all, fantastic wines, fresh fruits and vegetables grown on the property, a great restaurant and a culinary school. I usually would not write about a place where I have not personally stayed but while researching the Ghiaie della Furba that I liked so much I was intrigued by this agriturismo where the wine is produced. I began sending emails and called some friends and it turns out that Agriturismo Capezzana is pretty well known and appreciated among my Italian food buddies. For the first hand experience we thank Giuseppe and his family. They provided a detailed description of their vacation.

The ride to Agriturismo Capezzana in Carmignano is an adventure in itself. Winding roads through the cypress trees in the hills of Tuscany is suggestive and relaxing. Visitors are welcomed through the arched trees into the courtyard in front of the XV century building. The Montalbano mountains spire behind the vineyards. Marble statues of Atlantis guard the entrance. Overlooking the rose garden, the rolling hills of Carmignano are clearly visible in the distance.

The estate includes a wing of guest rooms. Although not large, they were comfortable, but this is not the primary reason to visit Agriturismo Capezzana. The cellars are located in the primary building and a trip to the cellar usually brings with it the bottle for lunch or dinner. The restaurant is excellent. The food is traditional, no fusion cuisine here, just hearty Tuscan food made with the freshest of ingredients and prepared by masters.

The estate has a swimming pool and access to horseback riding and nature trails for hiking excursions. The proximity to Prato, Florence and Pistoia make this a great base camp for interesting day and evening trips restaurants and events in three major cities. It would also be possible to spend a day at the beach if want to spend an hour in the car.

Contessa Lisa runs the culinary school. She is considered one of the best cooks in Tuscany. Her school, instituted for food service professionals, provides in depth studies of the basics of Italian cooking and wines. Ingredients are fresh from the garden. The classes run from 1 to 5 days and include visits to local restaurants.

All in all this is a great destination that offers numerous opportunities for a wide variety of interest. The vineyards and winery are accessible and the wines produced are of very good quality. The surrounding cities offer numerous cultural events in the summertime and can be reached by car within a half hour. The real plus at Agriturismo Capezzana is the culinary school. This is an opportunity to understand the basic concepts of Tuscan cooking and the characteristics of local wines. You can find contact information here.


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