8 Days Italian Cooking Tours in Florence, Tuscany

  • Villa Pandolfini, Lastra A Signa, 50100 Florence, Italy

Overview

Tuscany Cooking Vacations

This cooking tour in Italy has been designed for lovers of Tuscany and all that it represents - the charming medieval towns, the centuries old traditions, the people and their culture, the art and of course, the great food and wine! We have spent time with our friends, tourism professionals, the guides and chefs all from Tuscany to create a Italy cooking tour dedicated to the secrets and traditions of Tuscan cookery and participants will spend many hands on hours perfecting the skills of Tuscan cooking in the original kitchen of a 14th century Villa and a 13th century Castle. Experience la dolce vita of Tuscany.

Highlights

  • 4 cooking classes
  • Farm and market visit
  • Vineyard, winery, and cellar visits
  • Excursions to historic and world renowned sites
  • Gourmet and artisan shops visit
  • 7 nights accommodation
  • Apron and recipe book
  • 4 days with instruction
  • Italian, English
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Accommodations are in the villa or one of the farmhouses. The rooms and villa are chosen by us based on the size of the group and composition, supplements paid etc. The culinary vacation is designed to have you experience the life in a Tuscan home. The Villa Pandolfini Estate is a 150 hectare estate comprised of a private forest, vineyards and olive groves. Antiques, frescoes, beautiful loggia looking onto a breathtaking renaissance garden. This is the perfect place to discover Florence and enjoy the real Tuscan countryside.

The property has been totally restored 5 years ago. From the living room of the main apartments 2 sets of double doors open onto the loggia and the Italian style gardens with lemon trees, hedges and fountain. The estate is very quiet and private and you can enjoy outdoor dining, visiting the local shops and outdoor fresh produce markets, and pleasant walks. It has 10m high ceilings with breathtaking frescoes, gold gilded mirrors, terracotta floors. The villas foundations date back to the 1200s; the property produces fantastic extra virgin olive oil and wine.

Each room is a pleasure in itself: the main bedroom opens onto the front terrace with views of hills and Florence. The kitchen has a vaulted ceiling and fireplace with a dining table seating 6. Wonderful dining experiences at the many local restaurants, some noted as being the best in Italy. Relax at the villa and enjoy its grounds or discover the many local attractions. Stations, bus stops, and shops are within walking distance and close to all major highways. The villa offers you an incredible vacation experience, letting you live like a king.

Cooking Holidays in Florence

The saying that Italians live to eat while the rest of the world eats to live still rings true today. That is why your foodie vacation includes a discussion of the history of the Tuscan diet, typical dishes, Tuscan bread, peasant food, and how the gastronomy has changed throughout the medieval and renaissance periods up until modern times.

Our culinary tour will expose you to the best food and wine that our beautiful region has to offer. We will unveil the Good Tastes of Tuscany not only through cooking but also in understanding the culture of the people behind the delightful food.

The typical cookery class consists of the preparation of a full five course meal where the chefs will instruct you on the coordination and timing of preparing a full menu. Our recipes vary according to the season following what is freshly available on the local market. All cookery classes are hands-on.

There may be participants of all cooking levels in our group which means that instructions may differ with each participant. Lastly, sometimes the day cookery class is changed to evening classes to allow for extra excursions and time to enjoy the estate and lovely long Tuscan days.

Full five course meals cooking class

I primi piatti: Risottos, Tuscan soups, gnocchi and fresh handmade pasta

Pasta: We will discuss different pasta making techniques, stuffed pastas, coloring and flavoring pastas, different sauces and how to match them with different types of pastas. Handmade pasta from rolling out picci, making pasta with the gitara or the pasta machines.

Risottos: what makes a great risotto? The do's and don'ts, shortcuts, and the broths. Professional tricks to save you all the stirring.

Salads and soups: there are many dishes in our region that focus on soups in the winter and salads in the summer using old bread and the wonderful variety of vegetables in season. The combinations seem countless and it all began with Florence cooking.

Gnocchi: there are many varieties of gnocchi from dressed and undressed! Discover what this means during your florence cooking vacation with us!

Seasonal cooking and antipasti & desserts

The secret of all Italian cookery are the fresh products used. Fresh, seasonal fruit and vegetables are the base of all tasty dishes and frozen products are almost never used. During the year the menus in all restaurants change, adapting to the produce available and we will discuss the various dishes popular for each season.

Antipasti is always a must. It is the start of the culinary experience of each meal. It can be a simple bruschetta with fresh basil, tomato and garlic chopped and placed on the country style wood oven baked bread, sprinkled with pepper and salt and drizzled with only the best extra virgin olive oil to an artichoke salad. Do not be intimidated. Also taught in the cooking class is how to prepare artichokes. We have also included how to make a focaccia and Italian pizza.

Secondi and Contorni

These are the meat, fish and game dishes accompanied by vegetables and flans. Italy has many meats, the game is handled and treated perfectly and there is no waste of any of the animals, dishes are cleverly invented to use all the organs and cuts of any meats with outstanding results. The vegetable dishes used in the Tuscan cooking class are endless so vegetarians are not disappointed.

Seasonal vegetables make each seasons cookery vacation interesting. Our vegetables include zucchini flowers that are stuffed, fried, or used in risotto or pasta sauces, wild mushrooms, artichokes, black kale, Italian spinach, cabbages, and cannellini beans which have many uses and are also incredible when fresh, used for antipasto as salads and crostone to side dishes in the winter.

Good Tastes of Tuscany Cooking Vacations Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival, free time, welcome dinner

Saturday

Arrival to Villa Pandolfini Estate, orientation and 'Benvenuto' to meet the chefs and your hosts' who will be with you for the cooking vacation.

The entire group will arrive after lunch and settle into their accommodations, having time to explore the estate, relax and freshen up for the 'Benvenuto' which will take place in the villa's historical 14th century kitchen featuring the original stone fireplace, marble sink and vaulted ceiling.

The kitchen will be the heart of this gastronomical adventure. Participants will receive their recipe books and course guidelines. Partners are also welcome to join.

You will feast on traditional Tuscan fare of the season and enjoy the estate's wine. Meet your chefs who, by the week's end will become your lifelong friends! The dinner is prepared by the chef.

Day 2: Excursions, wine tour, wine tasting

Sunday

Southern Tuscany Tour: this day we have designed to give you an introduction to the Tuscan countryside; its people, history, and culture. We will share with you firsthand the origins of Tuscan produce which is the soul of this land's cuisine.

This will be an authentic travel experience visiting medieval villages, admiring impressive castles and witnessing centuries of history whilst driving through the green Chianti valleys, the Sienese Crete which is farmhouse for its red earth and the magnificent Val d'Orcia.

This is the area where the film, Gladiator, was made. Undoubtedly, it has the most photographed row of cypress trees.

Throughout the day the group visits a charming vineyard estate where everyone has the opportunity to tour the cellar, learn about the wine making to savor their wines including Brunello, olive oil, cheese and salami.

Enjoy a light lunch either at the vineyard's restaurant or in one of the quaint village trattorias.

We then continue onto the characteristic towns of San Quirico and Bagno Vignoni, famous for the natural hot springs.

Relaxation time in Pienza, a quaint village famous for the pecorino cheese, made for centuries in a huge variety of methods. The small shops decorated with incredible varieties are eager to have you taste them. The village is full of lovely shops selling crafts and local produce and the view overlooking the Val d'Orcia is absolutely spectacular.

Dinner is at our local pizzeria then home to rest your weary heads before getting started with the lessons of the cooking tour!

Day 3: Cooking class, free time

Monday

Breakfast in your villa and then head to the kitchen for your cooking class.

There will be a hot pot of moka coffee to greet you and your Tuscan chef.

The 5 course cooking class will finish in a lunch prepared by the students around the long Tuscan table.

Free time in the afternoon.

The group can relax or opt to choose additional activities and tours.

Dinner, if you can fit it in after the five course Tuscan lunch you had earlier. This can be enjoyed at your villa with your group, a glass of Chianti wine and a cheese and meat platter from your basket.

Day 4: Cooking class, free time, wine tours, wine tasting, farm visit

Tuesday

'Chianti & San Gimignano'

Today's cooking class will also finish in a lunch prepared by the students.

You have a free afternoon in Florence. You have the choice to relax and do your own thing or join us on this afternoon trip where we will take you through the hidden country roads through the glorious Chianti region of Tuscany.

We will take you to an ancient Abbey which has a spectacular view over the vineyards of one of the top 2 winemakers in Italy. You will also have the opportunity to taste their wines.

Winding through these country roads, admire & enjoy breathtaking scenery and some of the most charming Chianti villages. If luck allows, you may also get to listen to the famous 'Dante reciting' butcher! People all around the world come to this little town in the hope that they hear his 'pose'.

The group will then visit a farm where 'Chianina' where cows are raised; and here is where we will settle and relax for a wonderful meal while enjoying the view up to the medieval town of San Gimignano. You really will feel like you are part of another century!

Day 5: Market tour, free time, excursion

Wednesday

The group will leave the estate in the morning to travel into Florence to visit the famous Mercato Centrale, food markets in Florence.

Meet the chef or the guide here and they will tour you through the multi level marketplace where Florentine's have purchased their fresh produce for centuries.

Take a glimpse at an amazing Florentine tradition and then eat lunch together, shoulder to shoulder with the Florentine people.

When time allows we also include a historic tour with the guide of Florence to expose you to what this incredible city is all about from the time of the Medicis.

After lunch you are all free to enjoy Florence, to go shopping in the leather markets, try the best gelato in the world and walk the stone streets enjoying this romantic and enthralling city.

Do not forget to rub the boars nose to ensure your return to Florence, for those who wish to have a personal guided tour of Florence or museums.

Evening dinner at a historical Florentine famous restaurant with us after dinner you will be brought home.

In the hotter summer months the dinner may be in the country on the Florentine hills in which case you can return home after your day where you have time to freshen up, and then experience another incredible Tuscan meal and beautiful setting.

Day 6: Cooking class, free time

Thursday

The day's cooking will finish in a 5 course lunch prepared by the students.

Free time in the afternoon.

The group can relax or opt to choose additional activities and tours such as Truffle hunting (seasonal).

Day 7: Excursion, wine tour, restaurant trip, cooking class, farewell dinner

Friday

This morning we start with a stop at the local bar to savor the pastries and coffee whilst witnessing the not so slow Italian breakfast.

We are going to share with you one of the centuries old crafts that is still alive and well today- hand painted ceramics! Visit to a local ceramic manufacturer, see the products being spun and painted and have the chance to purchase directly from them. They can then ship to anywhere in the world.

Next is you can visit either a local winemaker which has marvelous underground cellars or to one of the nearby hill towns through the winding hills to reach a magnificent Medici villa which we will visit and get an insight into the incredible word of the Medici family and the last royal family of Italy.

The group will then be taken to the nearby medieval hamlet of 'Artimino' which sits on top of a hill overlooking the vineyards and farmland of Etruscan times. Lunch in the Hamlet of Artimino. From this hamlet you can also look over to another of the Medici Villas. You have the opportunity to admire this magnificent villa, famous for its 100 chimneys. This differs from the previous villa in that it was not a residence but a hunting lodge. Dine at a very famous restaurant with incredible views, in the summer and spring we sit on the terrace and in the winter in the old restored farmhouse converted to a restaurant.

We then head back to relax before the cooking class begins in the afternoon.

The purpose of today's cookery class will be the preparation of the farewell dinner for the entire group! At the grand finale dinner, participants will be presented with a certificate of attendance.

Day 8: Departure

Saturday

The cookery vacation Tuscan experience is a gastronomical discovery of quality, intimacy and enjoyment. Chosen for you are places that only locals find.

Activities
  • Horse riding/rental nearby
  • Swimming pool
General
  • Bar nearby
  • Caf nearby
  • Garden
  • Restaurant nearby
  • Smoke-free property
  • Special menu request
  • Terrace
Services
  • Car rental nearby
  • Cell phone rental
  • Free! Parking
  • Laundry
  • Shop nearby
  • Wireless internet

Sagra Food festival: Small villages throughout Tuscany host Sagras for specific foods each weekend like the Sagra di Porcini of Monte Catini in August. At these festivals you have the opportunity to sample the featured food in a variety of different typical recipes and are often for free. Summer also brings the Florentine nightlife outdoors-several major piazzas like Santo Spirito and Santissima Annunziata host nightly live music concerts and an open bar. Piazza Poggi located just below Piazzale Michelangelo features live music of all genres from jazz to folk every night!

The Saracen Tournament: Arezzo's Piazza Grande is the setting of this joust. Held on the first Sunday in September, this tournament dates back to the Crusades in the Middle Ages, when all Christendom dedicated itself to driving the Moors out of Europe. There is a lively and colorful procession preceding the event in which eight costumed knights charge towards wooden effigy of the Saracen. The aim is to try to hit the Saracen's shield with lances. Each pair of knights represents one of Arezzo's four rival districts and their supporters each occupy a side of the piazza. The winner receives a gold lance.

Calcio Storico: June is Florence's golden month. There are fabulous fireworks to celebrate St. John the Baptist, the patron saint of Florence, and the final playoff of the historical football match, held on the Piazza Santa Croce on July 24 and 28. It commemorates a similar match played by a soldier trapped in the city in 1530. This Renaissance soccer game is played by teams representing four neighborhoods in Florence: Santa Croce, Santa Spirito, Santa Maria Novella, and San Giovanni. The game is a combination of soccer, rugby, and big time wrestling, sporting 16th century costumes.

Scoppio del Carro: On Easter Sunday a cart (carro) decorated with flowers and loaded with fireworks is set up between the baptistery and the Duomo. A mechanical dove swoops out of the cathedral door and into the cart: if the fireworks ignite, it bodes a good year.

Gioco del Ponte: This sham fight between the people leaving the opposite sides of the Arno takes place on the last Sunday in June, on the ponte di Mezzo. After a colorful procession in the 16th and 17th century costume, the combatants use contraptions on rails in attempts to take the bridge. The "Gioco del Ponte" is the high point of "Giugno Pisano", which also includes a regatta and the "Festa di San Ranieri", a candelight festival on the banks of the Arno commemorating the city's patron saint.

Palio dei Balestrieri: The Palio is Tuscany's most celebrated festival held on July 2 and August 16 each year in the Campo (the main Piazza in Siena). Its roots can be traced back to 1283. The jockeys represent 10 of the 17 contrade (parishes) or district within the walled city of Siena and the horses are chosen by the drawing of straws and are blessed at the local contrada churches prior to the race. These bareback horse races are preceded by heavy betting and pageantry, but only last about 90 seconds each. The winning contrada is awarded a palio (banner) who displays it proudly until the following year.

  • 4 days intensive cooking and instruction from the chefs
  • 5-course lunch on the 4 vacation cooking days
  • 7 nights accommodation
  • A "Good Tastes of Tuscany" apron
  • All food ingredients
  • All taxes
  • Dinner in restaurant
  • Final farewell dinner
  • Historic tour
  • Local area tour with breakfast and lunch in Artimino
  • Meals as specified
  • Recipe book
  • Southern Tuscany day tour including breakfast, lunch, wine tasting and pizza dinner
  • Visit to central market in Florence with guide, lunch and transfers
  • Welcome basket with breakfast items, cold cut, cheeses, breads, yoghurt etc

Distances

  • Florence centre - 10 minutes
  • Forte Dei Marmi, Volterra, San Gimignano, and Arezzo - 60 minutes
  • Montecatini - 20 minutes
  • Pisa, Lucca, Siena, and Bologna - 40 minutes
  • Trains, buses, and all shops - walking distance
For information about the booking conditions, please send Good Tastes of Tuscany an inquiry.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 40 days before arrival.

Testimonials

  • Review by Elaine C

    "I attended the month-long certificate masters class and it was absolutely amazing. We got to work with amazing chefs, learn tricks of modern kitchens (no stirring the risotto constantly!) and eat amazing food! The villa was absolutely gorgeous and our hosts were gracious and attentive. A wonderful experience that I'd recommend to anyone looking for a fantastic taste of Italy!"

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  • Review by Patrick H from New Hampshire, USA

    "Be prepared to get messy and have a great time. This day class was so much fun, Maurizio our chef/teacher was a blast and what a cook! The class is as much hands on as you desire and if you decide to do hands on then you are going to have fun as the day simply wisks by with a smile and leaves you with so many fond memories. The class was such an inspiration for us and gave us so much confidence to cook what had learned in class such that we held an Itallian Mama Mia Thanksgiving Dinner at our home instead of Turkey dinner. I could not sing like Maurizio did for us but we did play a great Itallian music CD while we cooked and dined."

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  • Review by a traveler from North Carolina, USA

    "My husband and I took a 4-hour cooking class with Georgio as the chef/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!"

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  • Review by Kim H from Anchorage, Alaska

    "What a fun day! We did the market tour plus 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 7. Pate, bruschetta, homemade raviolis, homemade pasta with a tomato sauce, chianti beef stew, and panna cotta with a strawberry / 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 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 5 hours turned into an all day affair that we ate up-literally. They owners even gave us a handwritten / handdrawn 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 / allergies, etc. as there is plenty to choose from at the market (beef, chicken, fish, veggies, etc.) We wanted to learn staples (ie how to make homemade pasta like a champ!)."

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  • Review by Lila from Italy

    "We signed up through ArtViva website and worried our class might be cancelled since we went during off season. We were so happy they didn't cancel the class and it ended up to be just the two of us. Our instructor is Giorgio and we had a lot of fun learning how to fresh ravioli and gnocchi, parmesan scuffle, beef stew and Tiramisu. We like how he was showing us a few tricks to look for when preparing each dish and how to fix them if they didn't turn out the way we want them. After preparing these dishes, we got to enjoy them in the dining room next to the kitchen. Owners of the villa and a fellow Texan joined us for dinner as well. Overall, we really enjoyed our lessons and looking forward to try each recipe at home. Definitely recommend this experience while in Italy!"

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  • Review by Jess from Florida, 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 could 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."

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  • Review by a traveler from Pennsylvania, USA

    "We arrived at Good Tastes of Tuscany cooking school to a warm welcome from the chef Luciano who had coffee and biscotti waiting for us. We were then introduced to the menu for the day: crostini toscanini, farrotti, tagliatelle bi-colour, con ragout danatra, osso bucco, flan di patate al tartuso, and torta pinolata della nonna. All the ingredients were fresh from the market and Luciano's guidance on each dish was easy to follow. At the end of the cooking we sat down to a scrumptious meal with excellent wine and great company. We are all looking forward to returning home and trying some of Lucianos creations. We also received a lovely cook book and apron. A huge thankyou to Luciano for making our time so enjoyable and to Meaghan and June who organized our day and also another tour exploring the wine regions of Tuscany."

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  • Review by a traveler from Pennsylvania, USA

    "My sister and I, along with our very special friends, had a lovely day at the cooking school in early September. Chef Luciano was great, very warm, informative, and an amazing chef with years of experience. We learned so much from him. The food we prepared was made with the freshest ingredients purchased that morning from the market. The food we prepared was outstanding and the best part was sharing and enjoying the meal at the end of the class. Thank you Luciano for such a memorable and fun day! Many thanks, as well, to Meaghan, June, and family for such a wonderful and special time."

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  • Review by a traveler from Florida, USA

    "Had the experience of a lifetime with the chef, Luciano and Sou Chef, Meri, his wife. A huge menu was prepared by students with ease. Can you imagine making fresh pasta for Spinach Ravioli and with left over dough, Spaghetti, then Bruschetta, Pork Loin with grapes, Fried Zucchini Blossoms, Vegetable broth and Vegetable Risotto and Tirimasu with left over batter wonderful muffins all in a day.And it was delicious. And the entertainment from Luciano and Meri was delightful. Received a cookbook with the recipes used and an apron. Eating the delectable Italian cuisine was the best part, of course, and we were all pleased with the great outcome on the first try. Bonn Appetito!"

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  • Review by a traveler from Michigan

    "We came from Michigan, USA with 9 friends - male and females and took the half day cooking class. Chef Luciano was a delight - so engaging and so knowledgeable. We made a pork loin, tri color pasta with pesto sauce, 3 kinds of foccacia bread, parmesan souffles, tiramusu and a grape flan.The class was in Villa Panfolfini, outside Florence. The class was in the Villa's kitchen and it was so much fun! We learned new recipes but more importantly new techniques for cooking better and easier!We were not all experienced cooks and the chef made all of us feel like 5 star chef's by the end. We ate our meal together with delicious red and white wines produced onsite. Highly recommend if ever in the Florence area!"

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  • Review by Callen Brandt from New York, USA

    "When we finally made the decision to take a week long cooking class in Tuscany I took the research seriously. I investigated four other options and created a pro's con's worksheet and we picked Good Tastes of Tuscany. After some back and forth e-mails and conversations with Meghan we booked the week of June 8.The two of us joined 4 other fabulous ladies in la Casa Rosa on the estate. We had never met the other ladies until the day we arrived. We felt the lucky ones because the chemistry in the house was perfect. Why not? We had the love of cooking, touring and savoring wines in common. The house was rustic but very comfortable.Even with 97 degree temps we were comfortable without air conditioning in the evenings. We were in an upstairs bedroom with one double bed and one single with a newly renovated bath. The mattress was comfortable and the room spacious with plenty for storage for our stuff. But, the outside veranda was the favorite gathering place overlooking the greenery of the Tuscan hills and colorful flowers.The cooking classes exceeded our expectations with Lucianno, the chef, as the star of our week. Be sure to go on the trip to the market in Florence with Lucianno he makes it a touring adventure with tasting of balsamic vinegar, aged cheeses. Plus, he will guide you to where to buy all of those culinary gems you want to bring home.Going into town did turn out to be further than we expected, but Meghan was very accommodating with providing drop-off and pick-ups. Pick this school for a combination of cooking pleasure, treasure chest of cooking tips, making new friends, and fond memories to warm your heart for a lifetime."

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  • Review by Sulp from Salem, USA

    "My friend and I just returned from a week long participation in the cooking program. The villa was stocked with lots of options for breakfast and snacking including fresh fruit, coffee, and cheese. We also had access to both white and red wine for a small charge. The villa was across a terrace from the pool which was lovely in the afternoon since temperatures were in the 90's.The Wi-Fi worked fairly well which was nice for keeping in touch at home. There were very nice tours which included a trip to the Central Market in Florence for food treasures, and historical tour of Florence, a southern Tuscany tour, and a winery tour. We ate out several times for lunch and dinner and all of the restaurants were charming and had good food.The best part of course were the cooking classes and our wonderful chef Luciano. We all learned a lot and ate wonderful food. Luciano not only taught us to make the recipes in the book, but many other items. I worked with Meaghan prior to booking and found her to be wonderful. Her great service continued while we were there and I can't thank her enough. I will always remember this trip and all the people I met. Special thanks to Meaghan and June and of course Luciano."

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  • Review by a traveler from Stuttgart, Germany

    "Just spent a week as a daily participant in the week long cooking program with some girlfriends. Our chef, Luciano, was amazing - such a gem of information and full of laughter and enthusiasm for this craft. Our first night we had a welcome dinner with our organizer Meghan and her husband Masimo, plus our chef Luciano and his wife Mary. It was delicious and set the stage for a great week.We started each day with coffee or tea and an overview of what we would be making for the day. The class consisted of cooking every day for 5+ hours - as hands on or off as you choose. We prepared a 5 course meal every day and ate it for a late lunch - usually around 3:30pm. We had enough food to pack up the leftovers and take them back to the villa for later.Late afternoon and evenings were free to explore Florence or the surrounding towns on our own. We rented a car but others in our party opted for Meghan to supply a driver and/or train schedules. Very flexible and helpful. Luciano tailored the course for our interests (focus on seafood, gluten free pastas, and perfect pestos). We learned so much!Our notes filled the margins of the cookbook we were given (included in the cost) and I actually bought another notebook to take more notes because there was that much information. The recipes were varied and provided a good range for a variety of cooking skills/levels. On one day we visited the market in Florence to buy our produce and learn how to choose the best beef, chicken and fish for our meals.We even found some zucchini flowers and I asked about recipes for them. Immediately Luciano bought some and we had a delicious starter and an impromptu lesson which wasn't on our original plan. I loved how flexible this course was for all of us. We opted to stay on site at the villa - we all had private bedrooms and bathrooms (plus a shared shower for some).The villa had a lovely kitchen - stocked with breakfast fixings, coffee, tea, water and wine. We shared it with 2 other ladies and had a blast each night comparing our day's experiences and notes from cooking. There was a living room, sitting room and lovely outdoor terrace that was perfect. Plus the pool had just opened - ringed by beautiful white roses!On the last day Meghan gave us a tour of the wine cellars, old villa and kitchens etc... Nice history. I can't recommend this course enough - the setting was beautiful, the Luciano was fabulous and Meghan and Masimo were so helpful and kind. We felt comfortable and learned so much. I've been to other cooking courses in Europe and this was the best one by far - worth every penny!"

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Florence, Italy

We offer beginner and advanced cookery classes and culinary vacations in Tuscany, Italy in a 13th century Villa.

Speaks English

from --

8 days / 7 nights

Custom dates

This vacation is also available on other dates. Please contact the organizer by clicking the "Send Inquiry" button below, if you prefer other dates.

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