September 12-17, Italy


September 12-17, Italy


The total cost of this workshop is $3,400 for double rooms. A deposit of $1,700 is required to secure your double room registration. The remaining balance ($1,700) is due August 1, 2018. By purchasing this workshop, you agree to pay the remaining balance when prompted to do so. No refunds are available after booking.

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Acclaimed Italian cookbook author, Domenica Marchetti, will be the instructor for our first ever workshop on canning and preserving in the Italian tradition. Italians are masters at the art of preserving the bounty of the seasons - summer's tomatoes and zucchini; September's peppers and figs; winter's citrus. Domenica has meticulously documented the recipes and techniques of Italian food artisans in her book, Preserving Italy: Canning, Curing, Infusing, and Bottling Italian Flavors and Traditions. In this one-of-a-kind workshop, we will spend five days in the glorious Tuscan countryside harvesting fruit and vegetables from La Fortezza's own organic garden and transforming them into jams, pickles, and other preserved foods. We will also hit the road and visit Parma for more culinary inspiration and ingredients (think Parmigiano-Reggiano and balsamic
vinegar. And we’ll meet a local food artisan who makes chestnut honey.

This workshop is for experienced cooks and preserving aficionados looking to expand their knowledge. It is also for those looking to delve into the wonderful world of preserves with one of the most accomplished recipe developers and experts on Italian cooking. 

This is a hands-on experience. You will learn to choose, prep, and process a variety of seasonal vegetables and fruits the Italian way. You will also learn how to make and store fresh pasta, and how to make and bottle sauce. There will also be an informative lesson on the many ways that Italians transform their food for safe keeping to enjoy later ~ from using ingredients such as salt, sugar, vinegar, and oil as preservatives to methods such as water-bath canning, pressure canning, and drying. Best of all, you will get to eat what you make, and bring it home, too. Be sure to leave room in your suitcase for your goods. We will also incorporate our preserves into our meals at La Fortezza ~ a stunning backdrop and the perfect place to learn this vital culinary art.

$3,400 shared rooms (nonrefundable initial deposit: $1,700 + remaining deposit due one month prior)

Fee includes breakfast, all lunches (excluding free day), some dinners, all instruction, and excursions. accommodations included some art supplies will be provided. 

Note: Airfare is not included. Students fly into nearest airport which is Pisa, Italy. You are responsible for transportation to the workshop.

All attendees traveling from the United States are required to purchase short term international travel health insurance. Proof of travel insurance will be required to attend any workshop.

Here’s a good site to compare pricing and benefits:

Travel Information:

Book your flight to Pisa. It is 1 hour and 15 minutes from La Fortezza's front door in Lunigiana. 


As there are no local taxi services in the countryside, we recommend guests arrive by rental car as it gives the maximum amount of freedom. 

Note: Once you are registered for a workshop, you will be able to reach out to fellow attendees through a private Facebook group to arrange ride-sharing. Please contact Annette with any additional questions.

The Instructor:

Domenica Marchetti, author of 7 beautiful books specializing in Italian home cooking and preserving. As a food writer and recipe developer, Domenica is in love with all of Italy including its people and food.

The Setting –  The Fortress

The Fortress, the Joseph's Tuscan summer home and workshop location, is nestled in the heart of Northern Tuscany a region known as the Lunigiana. The medieval stone compound sits on 27 acres, on the grounds are Roman ruins, a river and the vineyard. The Fortress has a breathtaking view of the Apennine mountains & the marble-topped Apuane Alps and the valley below. The property is surrounded by olive groves, chestnut trees, and fruit orchards. The Fortress was a medieval defensive tower in a region that had over 120 castles and kingdoms to protect in the 15th century. On the property there are 3 outbuildings, a massive terrace, and a private living quarters. You can wander the grounds with camera in hand and capture the Italian country life during your stay

*canning images courtesy of Lauren Volo

Lodging: You will be staying onsite at The Fortress. 


Wednesday, September 12th: BENVENUTI
1:30 pm - Arrivals at The Fortress - Light lunch
2:30- 6:30 pm - Relax, Nap, Unpack
6:30 pm - Meet and Greet Aperitivo on the terrace - cocktails and nibbles
7:30 pm - Welcome dinner on the terrace to follow

9 a.m. – 10 a.m. Breakfast
10 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Brief lecture/information session on various techniques used in Italian preserving. Plus important safety tips to keep in mind.
10:30 a.m. – 12: 30 p.m. Picking, prepping, marinating of vegetables for pickling and preserving in oil.
12:30 – 1:30 p.m. Lunch on the grounds.
1:30 – 4:30 p.m. Finishing any pickle projects and making and canning homemade tomato sauce.
4:30 – 6:30 p.m. Free time.
6:30 p.m. Aperitivo on the terrace.
7:30 p.m. Group dinner at a local restaurant.

Friday, September 14th OUT AND ABOUT WITH ARTISANS
8 a.m. – 9 a.m. Breakfast
9 a.m. – 6 p.m. Day trip to Parma; walk around the historic centro and have lunch at a local trattoria; afternoon visit to a producer of Parmigiano-Reggiano, and a producer of Balsamic vinegar.
6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Relax and refresh for dinner.
7:30 p.m. Dinner and a movie on the terrazzo.

Saturday, September 15th: FRUIT PRESERVES / FRESH PASTA
9 a.m. – 10 a.m. Breakfast
10 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. A chat with Giovanna, a local producer of chestnut honey.
1:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Picking, prepping and canning fruit preserves (jams, preserves, conserves).
12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. Picnic on the grounds.
1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Making fresh pasta. Hand-rolling, stretching, shaping, and storing.
4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. Free time.
6:30 p.m. Aperitivo on the terrace.
7:30 p.m. Group dinner on the terrace, starring our own preserves, pasta, and sauce.

Sunday, September 16th: FREE DAY
Find a list of sample excursions/activities here.
Be back by 6:30 p.m. for our farewell festivities at the Fortezza.

Monday, Sept. 17th: ARRIVEDERCI
Breakfast and Departures
9:30 am- Board the bus for the Pisa Airport
Hugs & Goodbyes