THIS IS A MUST BOOK TOUR! My girlfriend and I took a four day break in Early December, and when we booked this tour there were less than 50 reviews, to our amazement all five star- now we know why! The lovely Mara was our guide for the day, so friendly and extremely passionate about the food and history of such in Florence and its fine buildings. Her walkabout with us was very informative whilst gathering fresh produce from the local markets for us to use that day. After a welcome coffee break we took to a minibus for a 15 min journey to the farmhouse in the hills with lovely views of the city, especially at night on the return (Winter months). The purpose built kitchen, diner and surroundings is any chef's dream and as most of the day is spent here they have certainly got the atmosphere spot on. Our group size was eleven and we had so much fun together all shared by Mara and our chef Camella who were just brilliant. We ate everything we cooked during the day, (so keep breakfast to a minimum) and the wine and beer were part of the deal as were the apron we had worn and the cookery book presented on departure. How they do it for this price is beyond me, we both agreed we would have happily paid double and not felt cheated. MARA and CAMELLA are so passionate about what they do and are an absolute credit to their employers, WALKABOUT. We had a fantastic day and if you get a good group you can't fail to enjoy it, you may even leave feeling sufficiently inspired to build a Pizza oven in your own garden!!
On our last visit to Florence we decided to experience the Tuscan Farmhouse cooking class and local market tour. This was one of the best organized events, catering to a small group that I have ever experienced. You might think that taking a day to spend on this tour is a lot of time but let me tell you it goes by way too fast. At the end of the day you are wanting more. You first start out by meeting your tour guide and the other guests in what is generally a small group of persons (our group was 6). Elisa, our tour guide, could not have been more interested in making each and every person feel as if she was your personal tour guide. We first walked about Florence and Elisa pointed out some historic building, churches, streets, traditions and tragedies. This was happening all the while we were enroute to visiting a few local markets including a stop at the central market to pick up the ingredients we would be using in our cooking class. Before I forget, what is a morning in Italy without coffee "Italian Style"? So while traversing the city streets Elisa introduced us to a very nice local pastry and coffee shop. But what's most important about this stop is that in order to blend in Elisa taught us the secrets of drinking coffee "Italian Style" (take the tour to learn). After a nice walkabout the city we jumped into two taxis and headed out of the city walls and up the hill to the Farmhouse. We walked through the gates and came upon a wonderful view overlooking the city of Florence through a notch in the olive trees adorning the property. Now as you move further onto the property you start to smell the smoke of the wood burning pizza oven. We next met our two celebrated chef's (another secret) who embraced you like you were their long lost Italian brother or sister. Out of space but the kitchen is wonderful; we cooked, Bruschetta, homemade pasta, Ragu Meat Sauce, Pizza (so much fun), Roast Pork, Patata al rosamarino, Tiramisu and Florentine Gelato. Great
When all the other reviewers said that this was the highlight of their trip in Italy, they weren't kidding! I spent 10 days in Italy, 3 days in Florence and this was definitely the best activity I did. Lavinia was a great tour guide with excellent spoken English, very friendly and knowledgeable about the local culture and cuisine. We went through the markets where she explained what are some of the highlights and must-trys of Florentine food. The farm house was beautiful (my dream kitchen) and we had so much fun with the chef despite her not being able to speak English nor us, Italian. Lavinia was a superb translator and we managed really well. We made pasta from scratch, pizza in a wood-fired oven, roast pork, gelato and tiramisu! It's all very hands-on so you'll definitely learn how all the ingredients come together. Be sure to eat very little for breakfast as you'll be munching non-stop throughout the tour!
This tour was by far the highlight of the Florence portion of our trip. What made it special? The people (both the leaders and the attendees), the atmosphere, the surprise of what we learned on the walk to the market, and the food.. just overally a really fun day that we would all (there were 8 of us) highly recommend
From beginning to end this experience was the high point of our trip. Our tour guide met us right on time, we walked through the streets of Florence and she told us some interesting facts about Florence itself as well as even pointing out a building where Michaelangelo lived at one time. We stopped at a bakery to pick up the bread for the bruschetta and sat there for a bit to also enjoy an espresso. Next we stopped and bought some fresh tomatoes and basil for the bruschetta and the potatoes. Then on to the meat market for the beef for our bolognese sauce as well as the roast pork. We also bought the fresh mozzarella for our pizza. Upon arrival where our class was to take place the setting looked like something out of a picture book. Our chef along with the help of our tour guide/ translator got us going on our cooking. We were all having so much fun drinking chianti, making home made pasta, sauce, bruschetta, roast pork, potatoes, pizza, gelato and tiramisu. Once all the food was prepared we sat down and enjoyed the marvelous food and wonderful company. I should also mention that the kitchen had all the modern conveniences as well as a view looking over the rolling hills. The dining room where we ate was a beautiful glassed in room again looking out ate the gorgeous view. I seriously can say that everything was done perfectly and I would not have changed a thing!
Amazing and fun! My wife, I, and two adult daughters had the privilege of experiencing the cooking class and tour during our visit in November 2014. Lavinia is superb as the overall tour guide and interpreter, speaking in English for our group of native speaking English folks. The tour in Florence was unique and interesting as well as the market encounter where we purchased our cooking supplies for the day's adventure. Arriving at the Farmhouse we were greeted by the ever attentive staff and our Master Chef Carmela, who speaking only Italian, guided us through the most entertaining and informative cooking endeavor that we have ever encountered. Our group of 14 was engaged and we laughed all day .. Meeting several friends that we now stay in touch with.
This tour was the highlight of our time in Florence! The tour guide was informative and charming as she took us around town to the markets. The location in the Tuscan hills was gorgeous, with wood fired outdoor pizza oven, large marble cooking surfaces to play on and glass walled dining room over looking the hills outside Florence. We learned to make a full Italian meal, (too much food) all while enjoying wine and each others company. We made bruschetta appetizer, small pizza, pasta noodles and meat sauce, pork roast and potatoes, and gelato and tiramisu for dessert. My daughter and I had a wonderful time and would love to go back!
I recommend not leaving Italy without doing this tour. Whether you are a regular cook or not at all, it is a lot of fun and recipes are relatively easy to do. I appreciated the market tour in the morning and the history lessons along the way. I enjoyed going to the markets as part of the experience.
The setting and kitchen in the Tuscan countryside was wonderful and unique.
I had so much fun and the food we made was outstanding. I would do this tour again in a heartbeat.
Our tour guide Olivia was awesome. We started off buying ingredients at the market. When we arrived at the beautiful Tusacan farmhouse I knew it was going to be an amazing day! What a great kitchen to work in! The food we made was delicious and had a great time with our Chef and group.
What a great tour! We had Mara as our guide and Carmela was the cook. We took the tour on a rainy day but Mara was very entertaining and showed us many sites around Italy while making our way to the market and to the farm house. The cooking class was great, very informative, hands on and fun! I'm not a cook at all but enjoy cooking and eating of course and thought this class was a had a great mix of both! Carmela, even though she only speaks Italian, she was very welcoming, fun, and energetic. The farmhouse was beautiful, I wish it didn't rain so we could get a better view of the scenery but it was still fantastic. On our trip to Italy (Rome, Venice, Florence and Milan), this was definitely the best tour and the highlight of our trip.
This cooking class was the HIGHLIGHT of our trip.
Our guide Olivia took extra time to point out specific landmarks along the way to the market that we would have never found on our own. A special treat at a local bakery along the way was a nice surprise. The shopping at the market was so much fun. The people in our group were the best! We learned new recipes and how to make pasta from scratch and it was easy!! Carmella the chef was so energetic and fun. Carmella spoke only a little English but NOTHING was lost in translation because Olivia helped. They make a great team. We hope to one day do another tour with Olivia.
If you are even remotely thinking of signing up for this class... DO IT! You won't be disappointed.
If I could give this tour 6 stars, I would. Of a two week European highlights tour, the day we spent with Lavinia and Carmela is still the one my family talks about the most. It was fantastic. The first part of the tour was a walking tour around the markets of Florence where we learned about the ingredients that go into Tuscan cooking and where we picked up ingredients for our meal later in the day.
After we went to a beautiful farmhouse a short drive outside of Florence where we made and ate a fantastic 6 course meal complete with wine and beer. We even picked herbs for our meal in the farmhouse garden. Pasta, ragu, roasted potatoes, tiramisu, gelato, pizza...you name it. Can you say awesome?! Carmela, Carmela's niece, and Lavinia made for great hosts. All of the other tour participants were equally nice. By the end, everyone felt like family. Grazie mille tutti!!
If you can spare a day in Florence, this tour is well worth your while.
My wife Linda and I have traveled around the world and enjoyed many tours. However, this one ranks as one of the most enjoyable we've ever taken. Our guide Olivia was wonderful, informative and gracious. The Chef, Carmela, was an absolute joy. She made us all feel like family and her recipes were delicious. The trip to the market was terrific. The setting for the class, on a hillside in the Florence suburbs, was beautiful. There wasn't a person in our group who had a negative comment.
This is the 5th trip we've booked through Viator and it will not be the last. Good job !!
Only one small issue. We were promised copies of all the recipes and have not yet received them.
This was a highlight of our stay in Florence. I took this with my friend who I was traveling with and it was a fantastic day. Antonella, who ran the day was very friendly, knowledgeable and added a lot to the experience. Our walk through the market to buy the food to take to the farmhouse was interesting. The farmhouse where we did the cooking was absolutely a beautiful setting. The views were amazing and it was a great kitchen. The chef was a lot of fun even though she spoke no English, Antonella did all of the translating. We had a delicious meal, good wine and a really nice day with a great group of people. I would highly recommend!
We had a fabulous time with Mara on this tour. Visiting the large market, stopping for a macchiato and talking about food was a great start. The location and facilities for the cooking class are first class! We made 7 or 8 dishes including fire oven pizza, handmade pasta and gelato. Our instructor, Camilla, was great. I could not expect more from this wonderful day!
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