7 Days Intensive Cooking Vacation in Italy

  • The Villa Pandolfini Estate, Via Livornese 334, 50055 Lastra a Signa, Florence, Italy

Overview

Cooking Holiday in Italy

This intensive cooking holiday program is designed to give you a traditional experience of Italian love for cooking and genuine food. During the week, you will have six days of cooking classes and preparing a five-course meal, the total of traditional Italian dishes you will learn are at least 30! You will also explore the delightful aspects of Tuscan cuisine and culture, with cooking tips from Italian chefs and clues from your hosts.

Highlights

  • 6 days of cooking classes
  • Learn to cook about 30 traditional Italian dishes
  • Visit to the bustling central food markets of Florence
  • Enjoy wine, extra virgin olive oil, and balsamic vinegar tasting
  • Explore the delightful aspects of Tuscan cuisine and culture
  • 7 nights accommodation in an authentic Tuscan estate
  • 6 days with instruction
  • English
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During this holiday, you will be staying at the Villa Pandolfini estate. The 150 hectare estate comprises of a private forest, vineyards, and olive groves. Antiques, frescoes, and beautiful loggia are looking onto a breathtaking renaissance garden. This is the perfect place to discover Florence and enjoy the real Tuscan countryside. This elegant castle with famous architecture design has accommodated guests such as Napoleon Bonaparte and King Charles VIII of France.

Accommodations are in the villa or one of the farmhouses. The rooms and villa are chosen by based on the size of the group and composition, supplements paid, and so on.

This cooking holiday is an intense course, but there are not only cookery classes - in this less expensive culinary program, you can spend your free time at a real Tuscan estate which is a working vineyard and olive grove. You will not only see the places where traditional olive oil and wine are produced, but also enjoy wine, extra virgin olive oil, and balsamic vinegar tasting.

For special dietary requirements, as long as there is a prior notice, menus can be adjusted for the cooking days accordingly. Tuscan food is rich in vegetables and in almost all of our cooking menus, all but the small piece of meat in the second course is vegetarian. In a typical five-course meal, there is a lot of food for vegetarians.

On one of the days, your cooking classes will be enriched by a visit to the bustling central food markets of Florence. Once there, the chef or the guide will share with you information on an abundance of products, keeping the focus on how this genuine ingredients have inspired traditional Tuscan dishes for generations.

Included in the total cost of this retreat is a visit to the central food markets of Florence.

This retreat will take place in Florence, Italy at Villa Pandolfini, where you will be staying during this holiday, is located 12 kilometers from the Florence center. Trains, buses, and all shops are within walking distance and it is close to all major highways. You can stroll downtown to buy your fresh bread or morning cappuccino and feel like a local.

The area is full of great restaurants, weekly open air small markets, straw museum, and horse riding. Throughout the year, the little villages and towns scattered through Tuscany celebrate 'sagre', which give visitors a perfect opportunity to share this unique experience. Accademia Italiana di Cucina Pandolfini will happily give you advice on events taking place in the area.

Nearby places

  • Florence, 12 kilometers
  • Forte Dei Marmi Volterra - 40 minutes
  • Lucca - 40 minutes
  • Montecatini - 20 minutes
  • Pisa - 40 minutes
  • San Gimignano - 40 minutes
  • Siena - 40 minutes
Activities
  • Horse riding
  • Swimming pool
  • Wine tasting / tour
General
  • Garden
  • Kitchen
  • Restaurant nearby
  • Special menu request
Services
  • Free parking
  • Free Wi-Fi

The following dietary requirements are served and/or catered for:

  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
(If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation)
  • Discover many local attractions such as horse riding, trekking, antique markets, Caruso‚Äôs villa and gardens, medieval villages, and Etruscan ruins.
  • Experience the wonderful dining experiences at the many local restaurants, some noted as being the best in Italy
  • Relax at the villa and enjoy its grounds, wine, and forest
  • 7 nights accommodation
  • 6 days of cooking classes
  • Enjoy wine, extra virgin olive oil, and balsamic vinegar tasting
  • Visit to the bustling central food markets of Florence
  • Airfare
  • Airport transfers
  • Daily meals
  • Extra activities

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Florence Airport, Peretola (FLR). Accademia Italiana di Cucina Pandolfini can arrange for participants to be picked up from the airport to the estate for 40 EUR.

Arrival by train

There is also a train service available from Florence city to Lastra a Signa. The estate is just a short distance away from the Lastra a Signa train station.

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 30% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid on arrival.

Testimonials

  • Review by Kim H. from Alaska, USA

    "What a fun day! We did the market tour and cooking class. We met Luciano, our chef, at the market to shop for ingredients and were informed that the other couple had cancelled last minute so it would just be myself and my mom for class. What a day! We started with espresso and a fresh pastry outside the market. We spent extra time at the market learning, tasting, and shopping and made a feast of food that day! The owners had friends visiting who ate with us so we cooked for a party of seven. Pate, bruschetta, homemade raviolis, homemade pasta with a tomato sauce, chianti beef stew, and panna cotta with a strawberry and balsamic sauce. Luciano made us rossini prosecco cocktails once we got back to the kitchen and we drank red and white wine from the onsite vineyard throughout the prep and meal. They have HUGE herbs growing on site that we snipped from for our dishes. They provide you a comp apron to keep as well as a small cookbook which they give you before class to take notes in which is nice. What was supposed to be around five hours turned into an all day affair that we ate up, literally. They owners even gave us a handwritten and hand drawn map to get us out of Florence that evening as we were driving to Siena. Can't say enough about our experience this day. Luciano made it so much fun and the food was fresh and yummy! It's spendy, but we felt that our experience was worth every penny! Also, the chef can tailor the menu to your likes, preference, or allergies, as there is plenty to choose from at the market (beef, chicken, fish, veggies, and so on). We wanted to learn staples or how to make homemade pasta like a champ!"

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by a traveler

    "We decided to truly take a class where we could prepare a gluten-free Tuscan meal with true professional guidance and we are so glad we chose this class. We met in a meeting spot in Florence to hop in a van to Villa Pandolfini, where in a truly Tuscan rustic kitchen we prepared our meal along with two other newly wedded couples. We prepared a gluten free pasta from scratch and the other four prepared traditional pasta from scratch. The processes were somewhat different, but the results; homemade pasta."

    "Then preparing the dessert, main dishes, and having the time of our lives. What fun it was. I highly recommend this class to anyone who truly wants to partake in an authentic experience. I for one would be happy to do it again."

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by Collen J. from Germany

    "Good Taste of Tuscany or Accademia Italiana di Cucina Pandolfini is the only place for the lover of Tuscan food and a person wanting to learn to cook from the best chefs. I was lucky enough to experience the seven-day intensive program and it was wonderful. The team of chefs are brilliant and patient, the farmhouse I stayed in was beautiful. My cooking holiday was everything I had hoped for and more. This trip was something I had wanted to experience my entire life. Good Taste of Tuscany helped to make it a reality. Amazing place where dreams are made."

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by a traveler

    "Fantastic! We had a great day and food was amazing! Great experience and we will be back best experience and glad we did it! We will be back!"

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by a traveler from Minnesota, USA

    "Good Tastes of Tascany was so easy to work with. As a family we took classes and just loved the people, the chef, and the food of course! Our kids are 12 and 13 and I thought it was perfect for them as well. We look forward to go back again and again."

    Accademia Italiana di Cucina Pandolfini website, edited

  • Review by a traveler from North Carolina, USA

    "My husband and I took a four-hour cooking class with Georgio as the chef and teacher. I am vegan, so Georgio put together a great vegan menu and taught us how to adapt delicious, well-known Tuscan recipes. The kitchen was large, well-equipped, and beautiful. We made homemade Pici pasta with a to-die-for tomato sauce, Cannelini salad, poached pears with cream sauce, and stuffed peppers. We now know how to make homemade fresh pasta without the need for eggs. We also now know how to slow cook vegetables to allow the flavors to fully develop. It was great having Georgio's hands on help and guidance. After cooking, we sat down to eat with him and the site's owners. It was a glorious meal with good company! We would like to take other classes from them in the future!"

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by Jenny and Paul

    "Dear all, I wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed participating in your Tuscan cooking experience. As a chef on board a corporate jet, I was looking forward to learning some new recipes I could cook on the plane. On the way home, I indeed did cook the stuffed onions with pecorino cheese and the Tuscan chicken with pine nuts, red onion, raisins, white wine, and black olives. The owners loved the dishes and it was the perfect end to our Italian leg. The market tour we took was very informative. I would suggest that everyone add that tour to the day. I learned so much from Simon. So many times in foreign countries the food is different and I always have many questions. Not only was this market spectacular, but I returned and bought almost all my catering from there for the trip home. The benefit of the tour is also knowing where to buy. Thank you for saving me time with that selection. Of course coming during mushroom season was an added bonus. I cooked Porcini mushrooms and they were also appreciated by the owners. I would love to come for a vacation and cook more Tuscan delights. I loved the ease and simplicity and the countryside. My owner's wife wanted a copy of your book. the Vice President of Jet Aviation would like one,too.I raved about the experience and would like to purchase two books to give to them if possible. Thank you again to all who worked so hard to make us feel welcome and teach us some great recipes. I look forward to returning either for business or pleasure soon!"

    Accademia Italiana di Cucina Pandolfini website, edited

  • Review by Jess B. from USA

    "We were spending a week in Italy before taking a trans-Atlantic cruise back to the US and made a reservation after a friend who went to the school on her honeymoon recommended it. We couldn't have been happier. The driver picked us up at the designated location, right on time and we were off on our mini adventure. We arrived in a little village about 15 minutes from the center of Florence at the Pandofini Villa. The kitchen is in the old horse stables across the road from the residence. We were greeted by Giorgio, our instructor and chef. His English was excellent and his instructions were clear and easy to understand. Even if you are not a cook, you will be after this class. We were joined by another couple, Allison and Pete, who were delightful. We cooked a four course meal from scratch, including the pasta that we made and enjoyed a the villa's wonderful wine while making the food and then consuming it"

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by Allison S.

    "We have done both the one day and one week series of cooking classes. The food is incredible and the cooking experience well worth doing. You must take detailed notes throughout the classes as the recipe book is not very helpful when trying to recreate the dishes at home. During the one week class we stayed at the Villa Pandolfino, there is very little to do outside the classes. If we were doing it again, we would stay in Florence and take the train out for the daily events. Again, the cooking class experience was unparalleled."

    TripAdvisor website, edited

Located at the Villa Pandolfini in Tuscany, Italy, Accademia Italian di Cucina Pandolfini has a combined total of around 20 years experience in providing authetic Italian cooking classes and tours.

Speaks English

Offers starting at --

7 days / 6 nights

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