Italy is synonymous with good wine and good food, so why not take a cooking class in Italy? Regional specialties vary – from bistecca alla fiorentina in Tuscany to pizza in Naples. No matter where your travels take you in Italy, you’ll find a cooking school where you can learn to cook the area’s traditional recipes.
Tuscany is a food-lover’s paradise. Food here isn’t necessarily fancy, but it is good, hearty cuisine made with fresh ingredients. There are virtually limitless options for cooking classes in Tuscany where you can learn to make traditional recipes that include spinach ravioli in a brown-butter sage sauce, almond cantuccini (biscotti), and ribollita soup.
Toscana Mia offers cooking classes for the novice and serious chef alike in both Florence and Chianti. For those just looking for “a taste”, a half-day cooking class can be done on its own or combined with a market tour or wine-tasting. Extend to two or three days for a bit more instruction or go for the intensive hands-on five-day course for full immersion. All courses can be combined with Italian language lessons and the Chianti location also offers classes for kids.
Cook Diane Epstein runs full-day cooking classes and culinary tours in Rome through her school, As The Romans Do. The morning starts over coffee in a café where the day’s menu is discussed before you head to the market to buy fresh ingredients. The menu will include an antipasti like fried zucchini flowers or carciofi alla romana (roman artichokes), a first course of risotto or linguine, main course such as chicken alla romana and of course, a traditional Roman dessert like baked figs with honey.
At Abruzzo Cibus , you can take a culinary holiday in one of the most beautiful (albeit undiscovered) parts of Italy. Enjoy a 4 to 7 day program, with half-day cooking classes and afternoon tours and tastings. Stay in a beautifully restored palace, the Palazzo Tour d’Eau, right in the little town of Carunchino. Come alone , or put together a group of up to 8 people for a week of cooking, sightseeing and relaxation. The executive chef, Cheryle Molino, brings her flair and experience to you at Abruzzo Cibus, and owner Massimo Criscio will enchant you with his warm welcome and personal tours of the region. Included in the pricing is a Rome airport pick-up and return!
Turin, in the northern Piedmont region, is the fourth-largest city in Italy, and one of its most contemporary. Famous for its chocolates and sweets, it embraces more modern spins on traditional Piedmontese specialties like braised meats and truffled pastas. At Cook in Italy, guests can select from three or six nights (with one and three cooking classes included, respectively) and the school will arrange hotel accommodations. Classes are conducted in the professional state-of-the-art kitchen and mix old traditions with new recipes.
Naples is the home of pizza, though its location on the Amalfi Coast also means many of its traditional recipes are made with fresh local seafood. Centro Italiano offers cooking and language classes on a more in-depth level. Week-long sessions offer three cooking classes that not only cover specific recipes like pizza and linguine al fruitti di mare, but also teach basic cooking techniques such as knife skills.
You’ll never go hungry in Italy, and if you attend a hands-on cooking class in Italy on your travels, you can bring the delicious tastes of the country home with you.
Other Cooking School Choices
Divina Cucina in Florence offers one day market tours with lunch, three day programs and week-long cooking classes in Chianti and Sicily.
You can also take all-inclusive hands-on Italian and Mediterranean cookery courses given in two luxurious villas in Tuscany near Arezzo.
Written by Terri Fogarty for EuropeUpClose.com