Chianti Classico, Italy
Main course: This region in the heart of Tuscany — the hills between Siena and Florence — is, of course, the home of Chianti Classico: a blend of Sangiovese and other grapes that is arguably Italy's best-known red wine. It's also the locale of legendary live-in cooking schools. Among the finest is Badia a Coltibuono, a medieval abbey near Gaiole, where matriarch and noted cookbook author Lorenza de' Medici (now retired) founded a cooking school in her family kitchen.
Quick bites: Even the tiniest villages have bars, probably more than one, and they serve food, too.
Farther afield: If you stay at Castello Banfi, in Montalcino, south of Siena, spend four hours in small classes learning to hand-roll spaghetti-like pici and other Tuscan specialties that will become your four-course lunch. "Day-trippers see the cellar, taste estate Brunello di Montalcino, and visit the balsameria where vinegar is barrel-aged.
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