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
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

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
September 2014

AMAZING and WONDERFUL EXPERIENCE. The description of the course doesn't even begin to explain how great this class is!! Our tour guide Mara was so knowledgeable about the city and hidden sites, super friendly and kind...and will now be a lifelong friend. The class started with a very interesting tour of Florence, coffee at a local shop, a visit to the local market to buy our ingredients, a stop at a wine shop for a drink and some bites, then a quick car ride to a gorgeous hillside farmhouse. We picked our fresh veggies and herbs from the garden on site. We thought we would just be making pizza, pasta, gelato and tiramisu, but to our surprise we make bruschetta, pasta with bolognese sauce, pizzas cooked in an outside wood fired oven, pork chops with fresh herbs, potatoes, tiramisu and gelato with raspberry sauce....all while drinking wine. Our instructor, Carmella, was so fun, a fantastic chef and a true delight...we learned SO much!! To cap off the day, we sat outside overlooking Florence, enjoying everything we had made with our new friends! Such a perfect experience for our last day in Florence. This class is worth 3 times what they are charging....A MUST DO!!!!

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

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
September 2014

This was my fifth cooking class in Florence and undoubtedly the best I have done so far. Unlike many of the other courses offered in Florence, this class takes you around the centre of Florence, allowing you to make a connection between the city, it's culture and food. Lavi was a great tour leader, as she was so informative and passionate about tuscan cuisine. We had coffee in a local florentine bar, ate cheese tastings at centrale mercato, and drank wine before we took a private transfer to the tuscan farmhouse where we were welcomed by our italian chef, Carmella. She was a lovely lady who had so much energy and was full of laughter. the class was very hands on, I was so happy that we were able to do everything, as in my past classes, you usually are only able to do half the work and the chefs complete the final production. we made a delcious five course meal of bruschetta, homemade pizza, taglietelle alla ragu, roast pork with rosemary potatoes, tiramisu and gelato. We were able to enjoy this meal while overlooking carmella's garden. I cannot fault anything about this tour, except that they don't offer another one! If you only have the opportunity to do one cooking class in your stay in florence, I recommend this one. This tour is run by some very passionate and kind people who love what they do, it makes you wish that every tour you went on was like this.

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

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
August 2014

My wife and I spent two weeks traveling throughout out Italy. We booked this tour before any reviews had been posted and we are very glad that we did. This was definitely one of and quite possible the highlight of our trip. Our guide Mara was really nice and informative as we started out visiting a couple shops to include a pastry and caffe bar, the Florence central market and finally a wine shop. After which we took a taxi ride up to the farmhouse where we were immediately amazed by the views of the Tuscan country side as we walked through the vegetable and herb gardens which Mara herself maintains. Next we went to the house where we were greeted by the very hospitable Carmela who immediately welcomed us into her home. We were immediately presented with bruschetta. We then proceeded to make Tiramisu, Florentine gelato, homemade pasta with a Bolognese sauce, and a roast pork with potatoes and rosemary. While allowing the Bolognese sauce to simmer down and the pork to roast, we moved outside to the pizza oven next to their future space for cooking classes (under construction but will be amazing when complete). Carmela's daughter came to show us how to form the pizza dough and cook it in the wood oven. After all the food was cooked, we sat outside on the picnic tables in their garden area overlooking the countryside while we ate the food we made together. This experience is one that I don't think that we will ever forget. This experience is one that I would recommend anyone coming to Florence should experience. We wish good luck to Mara and Carmela and we hope that our paths cross again someday!

Lee and Christie Anderson, Columbus, GA

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

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
August 2014

We came across this tour on Viator after seeing several other cooking classes that had reviews indicating they ended up being large groups that were rushed through the cooking process. Despite the lack of reviews when we booked this tour, we were hopeful it would be the hands-on experience we were looking for...and we were not disappointed!

There were only four people total in our group. My boyfriend and I met Mara at the tour office. Mara guided us on a leisurely tour around Florence with a focus on food culture. The highlight of the walking tour was the visit to the San Lorenzo market where Mara purchased meat, cheese and olives for our cooking lesson.

We then took a taxi to the Carmella's home, which is situated down the hill from the farmhouse which will be used for future cooking classes (construction is almost complete and it looks like a fabulous space for classes!). Mara has a great deal of passion for food, cooking and gardening and shared her amazing garden with us where we selected produce for our meal.

We all gathered in Carmella's kitchen where she graciously walked us through preparing pasta, sauce, a meat course, gelato and tirimisu. We also learned to make pizza dough and went outside to make our own pizzas in the wood-fired oven. The results were very tasty!

We then sat outside near the garden and enjoyed the beautiful weather and the view as Mara served us our finished meal. It was an amazing day with amazing food in an awesome location! The recipes were easy and delicious...we can't wait to try them at home!

We would highly recommend this tour - we hope to return to Florence and take another tour with this company.

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

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
August 2014

The cooking class/dinner was a true highlight of our vacation and our time in Florence. Alesandro, the chef in charge of my family, was fantastic-- so informative and professional yet so much fun. He made it fun for my teenager daughters as well as for my husband and me. We thought it was a reasonably priced event for a 2.5 hour cooking class and then a chance to eat the four-course dinner we had prepared along with red table wine. The cooking school was very clean and professionally set up and the downstairs wine cellar where we ate was cozy and felt very "Italian authentic." A really fun night for all!

Doing what: Tuscan Cooking Class and Dinner in Florence

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