Learn Tuscan Cooking At Historic Wine Estate And Boutique Hotel

chiantiThere’s certainly no shortage of cooking schools and classes to be found in Italy, but the type, quality and locale vary wildly. If you’re looking for something focused on the good stuff – like eating – within a stunning venue, Castello Banfi Il Borgo is likely to make you as happy as a pig in … lardo.

This stunning historic estate, comprised of 7,100 acres of vineyards and olive groves, is located near Montalcino, one hour south of Siena. It was created from restored 17th- and 18th century structures adjacent to a medieval fortress known as Poggio alle Mura, and is owned by the Mariani family, well known for their Brunello di Montacino wine.

The seasonal, contemporary Tuscan menus used in the classes are taught by the property’s English-speaking sous chefs, who are from the region. Classes are offered exclusively to guests of Il Borgo March through November, based upon availability (advance reservations required). Two hundred and twenty euros will get you a demo, hands-on class, and four-course lunch paired with estate wines.

Other activities offered through Il Borgo include foraging for porcini mushrooms and chestnuts in fall, driving the hills of Chianti in a Ferrari or Maserati (but of course), hot air balloon rides, shopping excursions, and more. Even if you decide to just kick it in one of the 14 Frederico Forquet of Cetona-designed rooms, you’ll be able to indulge with bath amenities made from estate-grown Sangiovese grapes. That puts the “ahh” in Montalcino.

Overview of Siena, Italy

Daily Pampering: Suite drive at Four Seasons

Four SeasonsMaserati? Ferrari? Rolls Royce? Why, yes! I don’t mind if I do!

Listen up, car lovers: If you rent one of the top suites at the Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, you are given your choice of a Maserati, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Rolls Royce and more, to use during your stay at no additional cost. Guests who book a One Bedroom Suite, Luxury Suite, Premier Suite or Grand Luxury Suite will receive car options including a Cadillac, Mini Cooper, Mercedes-Benz, Audi and Volvo.

The “Suite Drive with Four Seasons” program provides hotel guests with access to ultra luxurious vehicles such as Bentley, Ferrari, Rolls Royce and Lamborghini during their stay. Simply book one of the hotel’s 36 newly-renovated suites and you can choose from a selection of luxury or exotic cars, depending on the suite category at no cost, other than fuel, additional mileage and insurance.

Cars available for driving include: Rolls Royce Phantom, Ferrari F430, Ferrari California, Bentley Flying Spur, Maserati, Bentley GTC, Porsche Cayenne Turbo, Lamborghini Gallardo, Mercedes-Benz SLS, Mercedes-Benz S600 or Porsche 997. What we love: The Four Seasons can also arrange for guests to receive their cars at the airport at no additional cost, and valet parking is included throughout the duration of the stay. Now that’s some suite pampering!

Want more? Get your daily dose of pampering right here.