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
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

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
July 2014

This tour was excellent, provided unique and interesting details of the food history of Florence. This was achieved by the walking tour of the food market and several destinations thru- out Florence! This was a great value because essentially you are eating your way thru the day by getting lunch, dinner, walking tour, and cooking class! Mara was an incredible hostess, tour guide, and educator ! Carmela was geniue Italy chef with incredible patience to teach students with out making you feel bad about screw up's! The cooking class felt like you were being taught by and with family how to make wonderful food.

The beautiful location, a scenic view of Florence, a fantastic working garden that is breathtaking both in beauty and function, and a totally cool outdoor pizza oven. You will be so amazed and impressed that you will want to plant your own working garden and build your own outdoor pizza oven.

What made this experience special was that you could actually see and feel the passion and love that Mara and Carmela have for food, gardening, and sharing this with others. We are looking forward to receiving via email the actual recipes for everything that we made that day so we can make these wonderful dishes at home again and again.

This is a real review by real people:

Erin and Diana from Pittsburgh, PA, USA

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

Victoria B
United Kingdom

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
July 2014

I'll start by saying that we were lucky enough to have a free upgrade to the VIP cooking class, so my review is really about this experience rather than the standard cooking class. When we arrived we were offered a free upgrade as there were so many people signed up for the cooking class, and I'm so happy we accepted, as this was the highlight of our time in Florence! Our teacher/chef Guiseppe, was brilliant, knowledgeable and great fun - our group (9 adults) started with a tour of the food market, where we tasted focaccia and learnt about Italian cuisine, before a short mini bus ride out into the Chianti countryside. We spent the day at a gorgeous old farmhouse, in a beautiful setting. We started the day with a prosecco toast, bruschetta and Italian treats, prepared by Guiseppe's assistant chef Claudia. We then made individual tiramisu desserts, a meat ragu sauce (and a separate vegetarian sauce for me), fresh handmade pasta in pairs, and finally a caprese salad. We ate our main meal in the beautiful historic dining room - accompanied by numerous bottles of Chianti wine - and enjoyed our dessert in the grounds. We had some additional time to roam and take photographs, before being dropped off back in central Florence. A wonderful experience!

Doing what: Small-Group Italian Cooking Class in Florence

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
June 2014

Molto Buono! Gulio and David were fantastic, fun and great chefs. This made our trip to Florence so much more meaningful - taking us away from the tourist-flocked museums and streets and giving our family hands-on lesson in how to be a real Italian....cook! I did NOT like tiramisu before this class. The way David showed us to prepare it was such a departure from the American way. And I gladly ate every last bit. The pasta prep led by Gulio was so fun and the end-product tasted amazing. The bolognese sauce, including David's secret ingredient, was one of the best I've ever tasted. Both Gulio and David took time to help my kids (8 and 11 years old) and were so kind. Truly a wonderful experience for our whole family. We can't wait to have a family pasta night at home with the recipes!

Doing what: Small-Group Italian Cooking Class in Florence

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
June 2014

My husband and I had a wonderful time at this Tuscan Cooking Class. Alessandro, our chef was both professional and entertaining at the same time. We made a wonderful four course meal, including dessert. This was followed by dinner in the wine cellar of the school, with all of our "classmates." What a great atmosphere! We met some wonderful people, while enjoying the food we prepared. Great food, conversation, and of course, wine. Would highly recommend this class to anyone visiting the beautiful city of Florence.

Doing what: Tuscan Cooking Class and Dinner in Florence

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
June 2014

I would rate this 6 stars if I could...a true highlight of our trip to Florence. Small group cooking class in a local culinary school, very hands-on instruction of techniques and food preparation. Our chef/instructor was fun and entertaining and really set an enjoyable tone for the evening. The dishes were interesting and challenging to prepare but we were guided through everything in a very organized way. After preparation, we all sat together to enjoy dinner...the food was outstanding and we had a wonderful time. Loved this class, highly recommended!

Doing what: Tuscan Cooking Class and Dinner in Florence

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
June 2014

My wife and I had a great time and we highly recommend this cooking class. The class was on our first full day in Italy and it introduced us to Florence, the market, and some important aspects regarding meats, flavors and tastes of Tuscany. We were able to sample olive oils, balsamic vinegars, Vin Santo wine, biscotti and truffle paste. We also had a lesson in how to order Florentine steak (T-bones). The class was a lot of fun and we learned to make pasta, bruschetta, pannacotta, and an Italian meatloaf. All were exceptional and we ate it all in the wine cellar. Francesco, our chef and teacher, was personable, knowledgeable and entertaining - great fun! He made the whole experience a great deal of fun as well as educational.

Doing what: Florence Cooking Course and Local Market Visit

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
June 2014

At first I was a little disappointed at the large number of students in the class, at least 25, but the kitchen was adequately designed for volume and the staff was equally efficient in assisting the group. We prepared an authentic Italian dinner and it was a fantastic hands on experience. After 2 hours of chopping, slicing, cooking and entertainment, we retreated to the cellar for a memorable dining experience. The class was excellent and I would recommend it to anyone traveling to Florence.

Doing what: Tuscan Cooking Class and Dinner in Florence

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
April 2014

The small group cooking class is a great way to spend a few hours in Florence! Our class was held at a top notch cooking school facility (formerly a restaurant) and our instructor, Giuseppe, was fantastic. We made ravioli, bolognese sauce, and tiramisu, all of which was enjoyed with red wine from the region at the end of class. Fortunately the class let out mid-afternoon so we had some free time left to enjoy more of Florence.

Doing what: Small-Group Italian Cooking Class in Florence

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
January 2014

The Italian cooking class tour was exceptional--it unfolded exactly as advertised online. The initial visit to the Florence food market was outstanding. Sonya treated us to hands on demonstration and tasting of the culinary jewels of Italy: pane, olio, balsamico, parmiagiano, vino . . . truly wonderful. Andrea, our chef teacher, was extremely knowledgeable and an excellent teacher. His teaching method was easy to follow, and he made everyone feel special. As advertised we prepared tiramisu, handmade paparadelle and ravioli, bolognese sauce--all from scratch and with our own hands under the skilled eye of Chef Andrea. And then, we got to eat--buonissimo! An overall 5 stars!

Doing what: Small-Group Italian Cooking Class in Florence

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
January 2014

My wife and I enjoyed this class immensly and we look forward to taking another class from this company in the future. Chef Giovanni really knows food and he imparts a large amount of cooking knowledge to his class in a short amount of time.

The Gelato and Pizza were the best that we had during our stay in Florence - and we made them! Some things never cease to amaze.

Doing what: Florence Cooking Class: Learn How to Make Gelato and Pizza

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
December 2013

My daughter lives in Florence, but had never taken a cooking class and I had always wanted to try one. This was perfect. Easy to meet our guide to the school with about 13 other english-speaking people. The school was well equipped for all of us. We made a wonderful appetizer, an amazing potato gnocchi with a white sauce (ground veal, pork and chicken, with vegetables and wine), the best chicken caccitore and a dessert with strawberry gelee, panna cotta-like top and fresh fruit on top of that. They give you all the recipes and I am sure these dishes all have wonderful names, but I don't have them in front of me now. I know we added brandy to something - but I have no idea what. Cooks were helpful, knowlegable, forgiving (I can't roll gnocchi it seems) and a lot of fun. We ate all our courses downstairs in this old wine cellar which was atmospheric and restful after all our cooking. Would do this again in a heartbeat.

Doing what: Tuscan Cooking Class and Dinner in Florence

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
December 2013

If I could give this tour more than 5 stars I would! Chef Francesco was awesome! He was entertaining and taught us so much about the local food and Marketplace. The Market was BEYOND SPECTACULAR! If you have the opportunity, book this tour early in your Florence visit so you can return to the market place. On the day of your cooking class the market tour is limited and the place closes before your class is over so go the next day and just shop and sample and savor this incredible market! After we had purchased what we needed for the class we walked to the cooking school and were joined by two other chefs to make a delicious (though very simple) Italian lunch complete with appetizer and dessert. This was a fabulous day and I would do it again or would sign up for more classes they have at the school. Even though the tour said there would be a maximum of 12 people, our group had 15 excluding the chefs but was still a great time!

Doing what: Florence Cooking Course and Local Market Visit

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
December 2013

This was a very fun evening out in Florence! I would highly recommend taking the time for a cooking class (or two) while in Italy. Each of us made an authentic pizza from scratch and learned how to make some delicious gelato in the heart of downtown Florence. Giovanni, our chef, was great in leading us through the steps of making a great pizza. The best part was enjoying our pizza creations over a glass of wine with our group! The gelato was fantastic too!

Doing what: Florence Cooking Class: Learn How to Make Gelato and Pizza

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