We will be having some of our meals, and conduct all of our cooking classes at Villa Casanuova, about 11.5 km outside Montalcino, just a few kilometers beyond the magical Abbazia di Sant’Antimo, founded by Charlemagne in the 9th century. I used to ride my bike to the gates of the small town above the abbey because of all the roads out of town, this one had the gentlest inclines yet some of the most beautiful views. Whether or not you are staying at the farm, you are encouraged to rent a bike and ride out to the farmhouse yourself! (We will drive you out there if you’re not up for a bike ride.) The restoration of the farmhouse has been meticulous and while it may be too cool to use the pool, the setting will be one in which, sitting in the open air and gazing across the pastoral hills sipping a glass of Rosso or Brunello di Montalcino, the light and colors of the fields and countryside change before your eyes with cloud drift and the sun moving across the sky. Only then can you understand what people mean when they talk of Tuscany as a living, breathing color palate that is as hypnotic and ephemeral now as it was when the Renaissance artists tried to capture its beauty on their canvases or in freschi on the ceilings of their palazzi. No, it’s not a Disney animation, it’s real, and don’t be surprised if tears come to your eyes. Write a postcard to someone special. Visit the website for the farmhouse at www.villacasanuova.com.