Italians are known for their food, and each province has its specialties. But Florence is widely hailed for its Tuscan-style cuisine, seemingly sent from Heaven itself. And while eating out is a singular pleasure, it can get expensive and leave ... 

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5 star rating: Highly Recommended
December 2014

This was the highight of our Florence trip. Chef Alessandro introduced us to butchers, bakers and market merchants selling olive oils, truffle oil and Italian food products.We learned a lot in his cooking class, it was good to eat and good fun at the same time. Mama Mia! It was great.Don't miss it!

Doing what: Florence Cooking Course and Local Market Visit

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
December 2014

This was the highlight of our whole trip. We started our trip with Olivia, through the streets of Florence, and gained much knowledge. She was very well informed, and very professional, and easy to talk to. Then we went to our farmhouse to start cooking, and that was just great. Carmela, our instructor was just fantastic. She is the real deal. Our group laughed, cooked, and drank the wonderful Chianti, and we all finished as friends with memories that will last a lifetime. I can not wait to go back to Florence and take this class again. Thank you Olivia and Carmela for making this real fun.

Doing what: Cooking Class and Lunch at a Tuscan Farmhouse with Local Market Tour from Florence

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
December 2014

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.

Doing what: Cooking Class and Lunch at a Tuscan Farmhouse with Local Market Tour from Florence

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
December 2014

The cooking class was wonderful! We learnt to make many dishes at our Host's villa and each of us had our own set of ingredients to work on. We had a class size of 11 people, which was a cozy number. Our tour guide, Lavi, was around to help with guiding us on how to work on some of the dishes. She also added a personal touch to the tour by sharing her knowledge and the culture of Florence as a Florentine.

At the end of the whole course, we all sat down for a meal at our Host's dining area. The dining area sits atop a hill and overlooks a beautiful scenery. It is a wonderful, wonderful place away from the heart of Florence. I can safely conclude that it was the highlight of my trip in Florence!

Doing what: Cooking Class and Lunch at a Tuscan Farmhouse with Local Market Tour from Florence

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
December 2014

This was the best class ever!...Mara, our tour guide was incredible and very informative as she took us thru the streets of Florence sharing some of the history and her garden!...Carmela, our Chef-instructor ensured we knew how to navigate with the different kitchen gadgets that I now have in my kitchen as a result of this fun-filled class!...you do not have to be a skilled cook to sign up for this, Carmela and team will ensure you learn!.. Just have the empty stomach to eat all of the fabulous dishes you are going to prepare!...great meeting folks from around the world and sharing good food and wine in such a beautiful locale!...Ready for another opportunity!!!

Doing what: Cooking Class and Lunch at a Tuscan Farmhouse with Local Market Tour from Florence

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
October 2014

This day long cooking class was well worth the money and the time. There were about 17 of us on this trip and we had a wonderful time. We learned a lot, ate well, laughed a lot and had a beautiful view of the countryside. Our guide, Olivia, was great (knowledgeable and a good interpreter), and Carmella, our teacher, was awesome - so full of energy - she didn't speak any English but made everything fun. After making bruschetta, pizza, homemade pasta, ragu sauce, pork roast, potatoes, tiramisu and gelato throughout the day we got to sit down and eat the fruits of our labor. My daughter and I would highly recommend this - it was a highlight of our trip to Florence and gave us the opportunity not only to learn how to cook some Florentine food, but also to interact with a bunch of fun people that we did not know before the trip.

Doing what: Cooking Class and Lunch at a Tuscan Farmhouse with Local Market Tour from Florence

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
October 2014

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!

Doing what: Cooking Class and Lunch at a Tuscan Farmhouse with Local Market Tour from Florence

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
October 2014

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!!!!!!!

Doing what: Cooking Class and Lunch at a Tuscan Farmhouse with Local Market Tour from Florence

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
October 2014

Florence Food Tour and Tuscan Farmhouse cooking class was amazing. It far exceeded my expectations. I loved the combination of a tour through Florence around the theme of 'food' and the hands on cooking experience. Our guide Elisa was fun, informative and focused on ensuring an amazing client experience. Our chefs demonstrated and guided us through the preparation of a great meal. The group of 15 was just the perfect size for engagement and yet personal focus. Highly recommended, great value, great location, great guides!!!

Doing what: Cooking Class and Lunch at a Tuscan Farmhouse with Local Market Tour from Florence

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
October 2014

Our Cooking Class was truly wonderful, one of our best days in Florence. Martina, our guide was lovely, very hands on and informative, and our chef Carmel, was terrific!! We had a great shopping, cooking, eating experience out in the country, away from the crowds, with only 16 ppl in our group. Would highly recommend this outing!!

Doing what: Cooking Class and Lunch at a Tuscan Farmhouse with Local Market Tour from Florence

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
October 2014

Cooking class was everything we expected and more. Enjoyed visiting the food market, the clear instructions on preparation of recipes and particularly enjoyed eating all we prepared with extra treats and plenty of wine. Thank you for a most memorable Florence adventure.

Doing what: Small-Group Italian Cooking Class in Florence

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
October 2014

It was a fabulous experience in every way. The guide and her knowledge of Florence, wonderful facilities for the cooking class and fun instruction (what a wonderful view), great group of people, AND THE FOOD! Still waiting for my recipes (maybe my email address was unclear).

Doing what: Cooking Class and Lunch at a Tuscan Farmhouse with Local Market Tour from Florence

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
October 2014

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

Doing what: Cooking Class and Lunch at a Tuscan Farmhouse with Local Market Tour from Florence

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
October 2014

All five of us agreed that this was the highlight of our vacation. We had not planned on any museum tours etc., because we had all been to Italy a number of times before. Lavi, our young tour guide was so knowledgeable, friendly and considerate that we could feel everyone on the tour (12 people altogether) bonding with her. The cooking class itself was preceded by a walk through the historical section of Florence, en route to the market where Lavi purchased our supplies for the cooking class. She took every opportunity to delight us with extra information along the way, whether it be historical or something interesting about Italian cuisine. We even stepped into a coffee bar along the way where Lavi kindly placed our orders for coffee and purchased some pastries we enjoyed as well.

A bus was waiting for us near the station to take us to the farm situated on a hillside not far from the center of Florence. The cooking class was fabulous, and before long everyone was mingling like long-lost friends with good cheer and tons of laughter to go round. Our teacher Carmela was amazing and we were all so proud of ourselves at the quality of the meal we had prepared, which included homemade Bruschetta on bread, (the bread was bought at the market), delicious pizzas, roast loin of pork and vegetables (Two of us non-pork eaters were served a delightful mozzarella and vegetable dish instead ), homemade pasta and beef bolognaise sauce, homemade gelati and tiramisu. A selection of wines were enjoyed continuously throughout the cooking class and the meal itself. By the time we headed back to the waiting bus, we were all bursting at the seams and thrilled by the wonderful day we had shared.

Doing what: Cooking Class and Lunch at a Tuscan Farmhouse with Local Market Tour from Florence

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
October 2014

Having chosen the class we had a great day with Mara and Carmela last week. First thing in the morning we found the meeting point – a lovely office/vintage Fiat 500 garage. After introduction we had a brief tour around the town with Mara visiting a traditional bakery/coffee house, a 70-old wine shop and the Central Market. As someone had mentioned in the reviews already - we were offered a lovely cup of coffee each in the bakery. What a start for the lovely day! A little bit of history of Florence and middle-ages food, all ingredients for the cooking class have been bought and we are on a comfortable van moving away from the town to a Tuscan farm house. Few minutes and we are in the farm enjoying beautiful view of Florence and taking pictures (of course!). Now time to start the cooking class! Chopping, mixing, rolling, baking, whisking...hands on but not pushed to be busy cooking all day long. All food we cooked has been eaten by all of us with greatest pleasure: bruschetta with fresh tomatoes from Mara's garden and olive oil from Carmela's farm, stone-baked pizza - made by us with the topping of our own choice, drinking Italian beer and wine. Then it was pasta time - we've learned how to make pasta and made linguine for dinner. Then Ragu - what we normally would call Bolognaise but Tuscan name is ragu. The meat earlier purchased in the market was seasoned Tuscan style and stuck to the oven as well as potatoes to become a mouth-watering Italian roast dinner. And the best part - tiramisu and Tuscan-style ice-cream making. Finally the aprons taken off (we kept it for the best memories) and we are facing the best chapter - dinner time! Delicious food was served in the lovely conservatory-dining room with stunning view of Florence. And finally cookery class certificates awarded, books of Tuscan cuisine given as lovely gifts and warm memories left. Many thanks to the ladies from London - it was one of the highlights of our Italian holiday!

Doing what: Cooking Class and Lunch at a Tuscan Farmhouse with Local Market Tour from Florence

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