1. Where do I fly into?
Arriving in Florence will be the most convenient and is the preferred airport. Pisa is another alternative but you will find less flights arriving and departing from this airport.. Rome is a possibility as well, but is quite far and will require additional fees for pick-up and drop off.
2. I paid my deposit to secure my spot, now what?
When accessing the payment portal, you will be prompted to write down your request for accommodation in the notes box. Rooms are acquired on a first-come, first served basis. Once the deposit has been received, we will be reaching out to you directly to discuss room options and send along the additional payment links to secure your spot. (Which is: 50% of the room balance due after deciding on your particular accommodation, then the remaining balance due 30 days prior to departure). You will receive additional group emails that will have updated information regarding the trip, including the exact itinerary, as well get closer to the event date!
3. How do I know what room I am getting?
There are various styles of rooms available at the Villa and all have varying pricing for both single and double occupancy. Room 'assignments' are based on first come first served requests and deposits being paid. Once a room has been selected and paid for it is pulled from inventory and no longer available. Descriptions can be found in the informative email you have received from your chef-host as well as on the website..
4. What should I bring?
We will have varying weather so be prepared for chilly evenings, warmer days and even some rain. Good walking shoes are a must! There will be some nice down time so bringing a good book is always a nice way to pass the time.
5. How many people are coming?:
We will need a minimum of 6 guests to run the trip. Wanting to keep the group intimate, we will max out at a group size of twelve guests (not including instructors).
6. What's Included in my Trip?
The week includes 6 overnight accommodations at Villa Montecastello, 6 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 5 dinners, all local transportation as described in the itinerary including airport pickup and drop off at Florence airport. Daily breakfast buffet includes locally baked goods and produce, fruit, coffee, tea and juice. Also included are all of the materials for cooking, wine and other classes, instruction by your favorite chef as well as wine, cheese, butcher tours and tastings. Unlimited bottled water (sparkling & flat) is available to you at the villa. House wine with lunch and dinners from our expertly curated house selection, plus all fine wines for tastings and winery tours.
Not included in pricing: Airfare, all extra beverages, additional transportation outside of itinerary.
7. Who will be my point of contact before the trip?
You will be working directly with the organizer of the trip Cate Hughes. She will be in touch regrading exact itinerary as we get closer to the trip, as well as the person arranging travel once you arrive in Italy. Feel free to reach out to her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or her cell phone:
415-717-8912- Durningyour stay, Jens Schmidt, maestro frantoiano (oliveoil maker) picks up also the tasks of welcoming you, and serving your wellbeing with delicious foods based on our farm ingredients.
8. What about 'force majeure' and any issues that may cause cancellation?
In our post-covid world, we all know anything can happen- If for some reason we are unable to leave the US or enter Italy for a global emergency, all deposits will be repaid in full. We strongly urge you to get traveler's insurance to cover any costs regarding airfare and transportation, as theses will not be covered.
9. What if I need to cancel for an emergency of my own?
We will kindly refund any deposits if we have a waitlist of guests wanting to join, or if you can find another person(s) to take over your reservation. We have to pay the Villa upfront in order to secure the week-long event so unfortunately we cannot refund any deposits if we cannot find guests to replace you.
10. What if I have a severe food allergy?
We can certainly accommodate any severe allergies- our chefs are trained to work around these issues with their guests in their restaurants and can certainly do so when teaching in our classes! Celiac will be a more difficult allergy to accommodate since the kitchens at Montectastelli are not gluten-free. Please reach out to Cate with any questions you have about this.