It’s easy to get lost on the back roads of rural Italy. Just ask Marlane Miriello. In 2000, the former San Diegan was enjoying a vacation in Tuscany when maps failed and she ended up in a tiny Tuscan hill town called Radicondoli.
“I fell in love with it,” Miriello explained to me, “and went back once or twice a year until I finally moved there in 2009.” It was the sense of community and sustainable lifestyle that first attracted her. “I was so impressed by the unbelievably delicious meals made in local kitchens that I started to research a cookbook — but then realized that no one in the village used recipes.”
In 2010, Miriello found another way to share Radicondoli’s food traditions: she launched Il Campo Cucina, a cooking school where guests learn first-hand about farm-to-table cuisine and the preparation of traditional Italian dishes. Groups of up to 12 people stay at Il Bel Canto, an 18th-century stone farmhouse and spend a week cooking with villagers, enjoying local wines, and soaking up the countryside. While the emphasis is on food, wine, and local culture, Miriello also includes a daytrip to Siena, dinner with a Count, and free time for biking, hiking, photography, and relaxing by the farmhouse pool.
It was a stroke of good luck that I met Marlane Miriello and heard about her Tuscan cooking school. The Italian-American was visiting with friends in San Diego who thought I might find her story interesting.
Of course, I was – not just interested, but really interested. Marlane and I are both of Italian descent, and I love hearing about travelers who fall in love with a destination. Our first coffee date lasted nearly two hours. By then, I knew I wanted to write about Il Campo Cucina – her Tuscan cooking school – in Ranch & Coast, San Diego’s ultimate lifestyle magazine, where I am the travel editor.
Part II features four chefs, four days, four pastas and so much more! Hang on your hat as you soak up the knowledge and wisdom from the amazing encounters. Read about it here and make sure to read Part I as well from our friends Linda and Sue at World Famous Food!
Here is a wonderful article published in the Bangor Daily News about a special one day class we held for our friends out of northern Maine, Fresh Trails Adventures. This spirited group of eleven cyclists rode out to Radicondoli from Siena (in two hours flat) and then donned aprons and cooked a meal to remember with Il Campo‘s amazing Michelin chef, Francesco Costagli at a beautiful farmhouse nestled in the forest south of the village. Read more here.
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