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!
If you're looking for a great Italian cooking class, look no further! I would have done this cooking class everyday while I was in Florence if I could have. It was that good! Starting off with our friendly and informative tour guide, Lavinia, you get a short tour through Florence on the way to the local markets. There's also a quick stop at a coffeehouse (the best coffee you'll ever taste!) and a local wine shop for a tasting (all included) before you head to the beautiful farmhouse with your fresh ingredients. You get to pick fresh vegetables and herbs from the garden and then meet Carmela, our host and teacher for the day. She doesn't speak any English (which isn't a problem) but she makes up for it with her great cooking skills and warm personality. Each dish you create is fun and easy, plus you get to drink wine all the while. Cooking the pizza in the woodfired oven was one of my favourite things. After you cook all your dishes you get to sit down altogether, drink some more wine and eat all your fresh and delicious food from the day. This is GREAT value for money, and you get a recipe book and apron to keep. A MUST DO!
Fabulous tour. Mara and Carmela were wonderful. This was the best part of our trip to Italy. The whole experience was great. We loved the tour of Florence, and all the food connections. Shopping the local markets was fun. The Tuscan farm house was amazing, and the view breathtaking. The food was the best. Fun to prepare and delicious to eat. We enjoyed getting to know the others on our tour. Mara was just so much fun. A truly engaging individual. We have great pictures of her laughing. They make us smile every time we look at them. I would recommend this tour to every one. Ciao!
This was a wonderful day with our tour guide (Mara) and our instructor, Camilla, the lovely Italian lady at the farmhouse. We absolutely learned a lot (and plan to make homemade pasta when we get home!), and had a lovely time with the group. It was the highlight of our trip to Florence -- my husband and I both attended and I would HIGHLY recommend it. The setting is lovely, wonderful views, and we started off the day with a fun trip to the Central Market, took a short ride in a comfortable van to the farmhouse just outside Florence. We made pizza with all fresh ingredients, pasta from scratch with a wonderful sauce, a wonderful pork roast we bought fresh at the market, and homemade gelato and tiramisu! We drank wine, we cooked, we sang and felt like old friends by the time the day was done. Please do this if you have time, so much to enjoy!
We loved this tour. Our tour guide Livinia took us on a short historical tour of Florence on our way to the market. We boarded Avery nice bus that took us to hills overlooking Florence. The kitchen was modern (I wish I had it at home) the Italian chef was wonderful as well as the food we cooked.
Great fun! And well worth the cost. We started our day going to market and exploring some of the streets of Florence. We stopped for a cafe and then headed to the outskirts of the city picked up by a small bus to a local estate where we met our chef. Her beautiful kitchen with views of the hillside also sported an organic garden and outdoor pizza oven.
We proceeded to make a meat sauce (ragu), tagliatelle and roast pork and potatoes. We then started working on dessert: tiramisu and gelato. While waiting for the meal to cook, we enjoyed bruschetta we made and pizza as we met our professional pizza chef. After toasting some local wine and trying italian beer, we sat down with our newly discovered friends and enjoyed the feast. It was a wonderful day!
This tour was so much more than we expected! Loved the walking tour on the way to the Central Market...very informative...gave us a different perspective of Florence. Loved, loved loved the kitchen in the Tuscan hills... None of us wanted to leave. The cooking class was so much fun and the food was fabulous...this is a must do tour!!!!!!!
mara was an excellent tour guide who guided us thru the alleys of Florence pointing out food-related sites, to purchase bread, vegetables and then to the central market to purchase the pork for the main course. she was very patient with all of the questions we had and she made sure she spoke to each guest at least once on the tour. The farmhouse setting for the cooking was lovely in the hils just outside of Florence. There are a lot of steps involved, so beware anyone who has difficulty with stairs.Carmela the chef was an excellent instructor with Mara translating for her. They worked well together. In spite of the students'svarying cooking abilities, the food was great. It was an excellent value for the money-- the learning, the food, the time(about 8 hours) and the Tusacn scenery. I highly recommend this tour.
This was a terrific experience! Our tour guide Lavi spoke very good english and was very informative while taking around Florence to various markets to purchase food and wine in the morning. The farmhouse was absolutely gorgeous. Everything was brand new in the kitchen which comfortably held all 16 of us. Carmella showed how to make bruschetta, pasta, pork roast, potatoes, tiramisu and gelato. I would highly recommend this tour if you like to cook and have a wonderful day in Florence.
I loved this. Mara and Carmela are wonderful, both of them made the tour so much fun. Every part was great - the market, the cooking, the eating. The farmhouse has gorgeous views and is very relaxing with a beautiful kitchen. I had a great time cooking the different courses, and when we actually ate it, the food was better than some restaurants I went to in Florence. Seriously. So was the wine. I don't think anyone on the trip had a bad time.
OUTSTANDING, Do it you wont regretted is lot of fun and you get to learn so much, Levine will take you to the 'MARKET', and will teach thing that are not in the history books but you must know, then we go to this beautiful farm where the ingredients,, are organic and you pick them for the meal you are making, Homemade:
pasta, dough for the pizza, gelato, tiramisu, bread, while you are having homemade wine
This was the highlight of my trip to Florence! I would highly recommend this tour, our guide was excellent (Lavinia) and our cooking teacher Carmela was fantastic! Both ladies were very pleasant, great fun and just made the tour! We cooked many dishes, got to try them all with beer and wine. The trip to the food shops and market was a perfect way to see Florence, it helped with a sense of direction for the stay in Florence and gave me local information on where to eat, buy fresh foods and the history of the area.
Our cooking class was just about the BEST experience a person could EVER have! I would highly recommend this tour..Our tour guide Lavi was so amazing and informative..What a wonderful girl..The little tour of the Florence market was so fun and it was great to see and learn about the town.When we got to the farmhouse we were all so excited to cook here..It was so beautiful and picturesque! Everything I had dreamed about! The cooking was over the top and Carmella our teacher was absolutely wonderful! She was such a great teacher and we had just loads of fun and lots of laughter with her…even dancing in the kitchen! For one day in Tuscany they were our family! Lavi and Carmella..thank you from the bottom of our hearts.You made myself and my two daughters from Chicago such a memorable experience! We wished we could take you both home! Please give them my Facebook name so we can be friends..Taylor DePaola and Brittney DePaola and Karen Hirst-depaola xoxo
Fantastic day! cooking was informative, fun and delicious! Mara and Carmela were enthusiastic and really made our day perfect, we highly recommend this tour.
It was not only about the cooking; we had a walking tour of market, bakery and some history relating to food. The Tuscan Farmhouse was breathtaking, perched on top of a hill just outside Florence. The kitchen was a chefs dream as was the outdoor stone oven where we made Pizza too! Bellisimo!
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