Thursday, January 22, 2015

Food Lovers Odyssey Offers Painting and Cooking Lessons on Boutique Vacations to Tuscany or Provence

TUSCANY & PROVENCE (Jan. 21, 2015) – Imagine this: savoring beauty, cuisine, tranquility, vine covered country sides, and dappling light while developing new talents in Provence or Tuscany. It all becomes real through several new painting and cooking vacations offered in English this May, June and September.

 Photo by Cynthia Dial
No culinary or artistic experience is required to enjoy these Food Lovers Odyssey vacations, which are limited to only a dozen people so that all guests receive personal attention and superb service.

The painting and cooking vacations are set for:

Provence: May 23-30, 2015 (enjoy the thermal baths of Aix; boat tour of the Calanques; explore villages, old Roman cities and ruins; savor salty scents of coastal towns; gaze at the amazing light, which changes from gold to pink to violet/$4,150)

Tuscany: June 6-13 and September 26 through October 3, 2015 (visit Tuscan villages of Radda, Castellina, San Gimignano, Pienza; drive through Val d’Orcia and its golden fields dotted with farmhouses and Cypress trees; pasta-making class with an Italian mamma; gelato stops!/$3,950)

Travelers may add a quick trip to Florence before their Tuscan adventure:
Florence: June 4-6 and September 24-26, 2015 (visit the famous Uffizi Gallery and more while staying at a luxury boutique hotel in the center of Florence/$495)

All on-sight costs are included – luxury villa accommodations, gourmet meals (with fine wine), classes, excursions (colorful local markets, pastry shops, olive oil farms), walking and boat tours, wine and guided food tastings, and airport transfers. Airfare is paid directly by guests, who are arriving from international destinations.

The gatherings feature lessons by Le Cordon Bleu of Paris-trained chef Kathy Ayer and accomplished fine artist and instructor Melanie Brannan. Ayer spends much of her time in Europe teaching classes and leading week-long culinary tours. She has worked in patisseries, pastry kitchens and cooking schools in Paris, Napa Valley, San Francisco, Southern France and Italy, where she still has family. Brannan teaches painting to both novices and advanced students. Her commissioned fine art hangs in luxury homes in addition to public exhibits. She also worked in graphic design for major consumer brands for many years.

Guests travel home with new skills, personal paintings, tasty recipes, inspiration and happy memories. More details and pricing are available at:, or

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