Bread is Culture - new class announcement!

Culterra Magica is excited to introduce a new slow tourism activity this summer. Learn some history basics of bread baking. Get ready for learning a new skill and endless fun while creating different types of breads from around the world, starting from scratch and continuing to perfection. In a very short time you will become confident in handling a variety of bread projects, such as:

  • Classic Italian Bread, Thin-Crust Pizza, Focacchia (Italy)
  • Flat Breads - Naan (Central and South Asia), Pita (Middle East)
  • Quick Breads - Soda Bread (Irish), Khachapuri Cheese Bread (Georgia, Caucasus)
  • Sourdough Bread (Northern Europe and United States - St. Francisco)
  • Culterra Magica's Own Kombucha Bread (Signature Recipe)

This class is based on best practices, - ratios and recipes, - adopted from highly credible sources as "Ratios" by Michael Ruhlman, "The Bread Bible" by Rose Levy Beranbaum, and celebrity mom-chef Elisa Costantini, author of "The Italian's Moms Cooking". The latter incredible lady, native to Abruzzo, Italy and current USA citizen, has been teaching us and our guests to prepare Italian dishes, and breads! since summer 2015. To book this class, please go to Book Now tub and choose Bread baking class. Enjoy!

Kombucha bread dough, ready for kneading and second rise.

Kombucha bread dough, ready for kneading and second rise.

Culterra Magica's Favourite Recipes - Torta

FLAKY PASTRY for Torta

Use it for a folded rustic savory tart (torta). It’s tender and buttery, and very easy to make.

Ingredients:

· 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour, plus additional for preparation

· ¼ teaspoon salt

· 12 tablespoons (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

· 1 large egg, beaten

· 2 to 4 tablespoons cold water

Combine the flour, salt, and sugar in a large bowl or mound them on a work surface. Work in the butter and egg with a fork until the mixture takes on the look of breadcrumbs. Add cold water if needed to form a soft dough. Form the dough into a disk, pat it with some flour, and wrap it in a damp dishtowel. Chill for at least an hour.

Generously flour a cool surface and roll out a circle of pastry to fit your pie plate. Flip the pastry over the rolling pin into the pie plate. Crimp the edges together to make it pretty. Chill again while you make the filling.

Try these FILLING suggestions, - use your imagination and anything that comes in season to create a perfect torta:

·       Roasted asparagus and goat cheese

·       Asparagus and ricotta

·       Trout fillet with rosemary and thyme

·       Roasted artichoke halves and feta

·       Any combination of roasted vegetables

·       Summer vegetable (use raw vegetables!)

·       Leek and goat cheese

·       Zucchini and goat cheese

·       Honey-roasted onion

·       Oven-dried tomatoes, black olives and goat cheese

Buon appetito!

 

Torta con Trout e Rosmarino

Torta con Trout e Rosmarino

Palettes of Italy

To behold beauty.  To listen to the wind. To savour the flavour and fragrance of a land rich in essence.  To caress the gentle stroke of a paint brush.  The senses speak a magnificent language; they reveal wonder, release emotions, expand awareness and show us who we are.                   

There is a quintessential bliss that happens when we tap into an experience that brings together all of our senses. We become engaged, enlightened and set free to revel in the pure joy of self- expression.  Art is the key that unlocks this extraordinary response.  Whether viewing art, creating art or sharing ideas and feelings about art – it is a source of great inspiration and happiness.

Imagine an experience, in an exceptional place, where you will be invited to embark on an incredible adventure of the senses.  Consider a unique concept that combines the exploration of travel with the expression of art. Welcome to Culterra Magica – the ultimate art experience in Northern Tuscany, Italy.  The name says it all, a creative culmination of “culture” and “terra” (land) with that of magica (magic), defining a land of magical culture. 

Italy is all that and more.  It is a country known for the unique beauty of its breathtaking landscapes and art infused cities.  A diverse country that boasts spectacular scenery and picturesque nature, dotted with quaint farmsteads and century old vineyards to medieval villages and astounding castles.  A historic country most renowned for its masters of Italian Renaissance art and a culture synonymous with celebrating life.

Culterra Magica takes you on a bohemian, once-in-a-lifetime summer vacation, enhanced by seeing art and creating art under the guidance of world-class artists, while staying in one of the most enchanting “truly Italian”, pristine areas of Tuscany, known as Garfagnana.  Go back in time and fill your senses with antiquated beauty.  Far away from the bustle of touristic crowds, your art haven waits for you in the small medieval village of Brucciano.  Journey up the mountain path to the 400 year-old Canalecchia, a onetime chestnut farm where you will set your eyes on a gorgeous antique stone building that you will come to know and love as your home.

By day, explore the chestnut forests, hike the mountain paths, explore the lush grounds, and then sit in the exquisite beauty of nature and escape.  Travel to the cobblestone streets of Florence and stroll through the galleries showcasing Italy’s best masters and masterpieces. Discover Tuscany’s best-kept secret – the colourful town of Lucca where some of the finest medieval and Renaissance architecture resides. Explore the vibrant corridors brimming with fabulous antique markets, superb dining and a lively music scene.  A quick train ride takes you to Pisa – the home of the famous Leaning Tower, a truly incredible sight, especially adorned by the holy trinity of architecture known as the Basilica, Baptistery and the Camposanto. Then travel to the charming town of Barga, beautifully framed by lush hills speckled in grape vines and olive groves. Saunter through the streets and take in the awestruck beauty of some of the most intriguing cathedrals you will ever set eyes on.  

While your days are full of beauty, exploration, experimentation and discovery, your nights are spent enjoying the camaraderie of new friends in a family-like setting over al fresco dinners while sipping some of the region’s best wines under the stars.   There is a magical presence here – a restorative atmosphere that calls you to breathe in inspiration, relax, recharge and create. An experience that epitomizes the art of living life to its fullest.

Indulge your artistic expression in classes that explore the dance of watercolour painting and the ebb and flow of sculpture, while learning the authentic techniques of gesso. Ignite your passion for flavour and flair in traditional Italian cooking classes.  Dabble in the art of aromatherapy and herbal remedies, while studying the intricacies of nature drawing.  If performance is your passion, delve into the drama of improvisational theatre, one of the original art forms typical to the streets and marketplaces of the Italian Renaissance. And for fans of flash and fashion, develop your personal photographic style with artful classes in fashion photography.   Awaken your inner artist in one-of-a-kind classes, led by established artists who come here with the sole intention to share their love of art.

Culterra Magica is so much more than an art retreat; it is a unique experience that truly celebrates life.  It is an adventure in discovering a new culture and expanding your view of the world.  It presents an environment to share, learn and celebrate with like-minded new friends and artists. It’s an opportunity to refuel your creative inspiration, hone your awareness to see the beauty all around you and learn how to express it artfully.  But more than anything Culterra Magica will kindle your emotions, open your mind, engage your senses and invite you on a journey of self-exploration, reflection and creative expression.

Life is canvas, choose to express it beautifully.

Garfagnana is a hidden gem of Northern Tuscany.

Garfagnana is a hidden gem of Northern Tuscany.