Imagine weaving around crates of freshly plucked olives and the plumpest, juiciest tomatoes you ever did see. The smell of basil wafting in the air. To get you intimately acquainted with Tuscan cooking, our insider experience with local expert Chef Libero will take you to the finest markets in Florence and back to his restaurant, where you’ll prepare and eat lunch together under the shade of cypress trees.
The owner of Villa Machiavelli, there’s no better host to introduce you to the wonders of Tuscan cooking than the larger than life Chef Libero. Passionate, knowledgeable and with a love for la dolce vita, he’ll impart his wisdom to have you cooking like nonna in no time.
“I like to take Trafalgar guests to the local markets, especially Sant’Ambrogio, because they must have the local experience,” explains Chef Libero. Beginning at the famous Florentine market, you’ll be guided by Libero and introduced to delicious produce freshly delivered that morning. Armed with a shopping list, you’ll select and purchase the ingredients needed to cook your lunch, seeing Italian life through the eyes of a resident. “I like to give to the guests the experience of our life and how we live,” shares Libero. “They never forget that.”
Set in acres of undulating Tuscan countryside, just outside Florence, Villa Machiavelli exudes medieval charm and is the historic location where Niccolò Machiavelli wrote his iconic work, The Prince. Today, the estate is home to Chef Libero’s restaurant and a wine cellar and vineyard, which has been in operation for 500 years. Back at the restaurant, you’ll get a masterclass from Chef Libero and his family on how to prepare fresh pasta and other Tuscan delicacies.
Afterwards, you’ll eat the fruits of your labours over a beautiful al fresco lunch. Like all good Mediterranean meals, it’ll be a long and leisurely one with plenty of merriment courtesy of local musicians and Chef Libero’s warm hospitality. Tuscany is Chianti country and no lunch would be complete without sampling wine from the Villa Machiavelli estate with Chef Libero on hand to introduce it.
“In the evening I like to stay with the guests, talking and explaining about the wine and our production,” explains Libero. “We have fun making music and singing, I love the atmosphere; we have a good time. I love spending time with the people.”