Abbondanza Toscana

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Abbondanza Toscana is staffed with people who have an unending love of all things Tuscan and an overwhelming enthusiasm to share them. We’re Italians, Europeans and Americans. Some of us are recent arrivals to Italy, others have been here much longer and the roots of a few are lost in Italian antiquity.

Paula SullivanPaula Sullivan, Abbondanza Toscana Director, "Aren’t we fortunate!" has become the chosen toast at Abbondanza Toscana tours and workshops. Surrounded by olive groves, stunning views, chestnut forests and vineyards and having access to Tuscany's culture, music, art and people, we are all -- staff and participants alike -- indeed fortunate. Living and traveling in Europe for nearly 25 years, I've had the opportunity to explore European cultures and to seek out those special experiences not found in guidebooks. I've made Italy my adopted home, and Tuscany has become my touchstone. I'm thrilled to introduce the bounty of Tuscany and its jewel city, Lucca, in the form of courses and tours, so you can learn to know and love it as much as I do. I am also fortunate to have found an incredibly talented and knowledgeable group of people whose unbounded enthusiasm for Tuscany will make your visit here unforgettable.


Chef Karolina with guests in a cooking class Our charming chef, Karolina, learned to cook at her mother's knee and polished her skills with training in Italy and France. She's a master at preparing Tuscan cuisine and is a faithful adherent to "fresh and local." So "local" in fact that you'll find her planning menus around what's in season in the villa's vegetable beds. Karolina is a natural teacher and eager to help you master her techniques. She'll have you preparing her recipes at home with her own practiced touch.


Beppe DiStefano-Driver

Beppe DiStefano is our gallant and skilled van and mini-bus driver who carefully and safely negotiates Italy's super highways for us as well as the impossibly narrow lanes of the ancient walled towns we visit. We've never lost a rearview mirror yet! Be sure to ask Beppe about the card games he's taught some of our visitors. He says they're children's games; in this case we are convinced that all Italian children are math whizzes!

Anna Biagi, local guide




Our well-trained and knowledgeable guide, Anna Biagi (on right with guest) leads our groups on cultural, artistic and historical walking and biking tours of Lucca. As a native Lucchese she knows well the cobblestone streets of our walled city and shares her stories of the local lore and the tradition of the area. Ask Anna, too, about colorful local phrases or the perfect hand gesture to use -- or to avoid! She knows the best places to shop, and she's always ready to offer a recommendation for an artisan or cafe that most visitors would never find.


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