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.
We loved our guide's presentation and knowledge of her home city of Siena! The wine dinner was good, but a little bit rushed. Would liked to have more time between wines and dinner courses. The 30 year balsamic vinegar was great too! A lovely day ending with a gorgeous view of Firenze at night!
Our guides knew so much about the wine and the region I wish I had recorded everything they said because I know I forgot a lot. A good sampling of wins and delicious food. I would have loved to have spent more time and done another few vineyards in the region, but for a day tour it was the perfect amount.
I was travelling in Italy with my 9 year old son and this was one of the highlights of our trip. The instructors were helpful and entertaining and they made a point to include everyone. We were in a class of about 20 people (including about 7-8 children) and each person had his own work station. First the chef demonstrated and explained the techniques very clearly as we watched and then walked around as we followed his steps. There were 2 instructors - one did the pizza instruction and the other did the gelato instruction. They both helped during the "hands-on" part. Each person made a pizza but the gelato was a whole group demonstration since it has to be made in a larger batch. After the "work" was done we ate together and got to know each other a little. It was an informal atmosphere and an enjoyable evening.
This tour was liked by all of our group. Our guides Mateo and Jacopo were both very knowledgeable about the wines of the Chianti region and the tour of both wineries was interesting . The cheese , bread ,olive oil and lunch that were a part of the tour were all delicious. It was great to have someone drive us around the area, it made for a relaxing day. Very highly recommended.
A wonderful day spent with Mara learning about Florence and its food and visiting the market to make our purchases. We really enjoyed meeting our host Carmela and spending the day in her kitchen, touring the incredible garden, and enjoying her family's beautiful property on the outskirts of Florence. Thanks to Carmela's watchful eye and instructions we created a delicious Tuscan meal and were able to enjoy it with a nice Chianti and the views of Tucany. We did this 'tour' as a family and loved it. Carmela helped our son each step of the way and provided a delicious non-coffee version of Tiramsou that he was proud to devour. This tour was the best of our two-week visit to France and Italy !!
This was a really fun evening. I was a solo traveler and my fellow attendees made this a great evening. Learning about the pizza and gelato was great too. The presenters were fun and easy to talk to.
This tour was terrific! The food and wine was tremendous. We sampled 9 wines, 3 cheeses, olive oil, meats and had a three course lunch overlooking beautiful Tuscan vineyards. Our guide, Chris, was excellent. He was very knowledgable about the area and the wine making process. Highly recommend!
My husband and I truly enjoyed this all day tour and experience! Cooking in the Tuscan hills and learning about Italian food was such a treat for the both of us! Our guide, Martini, and chef, Carmela were outstanding! The food and wine were exceptional! Can't wait for our recipes to try them at home
We had such a fun time creating our pizzas and learning what good gelato should look and taste like ! Everything we needed was supplied. The instructors were both helpful and hilarious. The best part was getting to know our "classmates" from around the world. It was one of the highlights of our trip. We would recommend this experience to anyone traveling to Florence who is looking for a hands-on experience with their family.
I had a fantastic time on this tour. Because it's a relatively new offering, there were only two other people in the group with me, which led to an all-around great day. Our guide, Chris, knew his wines, cheeses, and the regional history, was engaging, and (especially because of the small group size) made it very easy to ask questions and slightly bend the timing of the tour if we particularly liked a view (or a wine!)... On our particular day, we got to sample a few more than the advertised seven wines -- but even if we hadn't, it was a great day.
We had booked this tour before leaving for Europe; there weren't many loco king schools to choose from and online reviews sounded ok, so we took the chance and I'm so pleased we did. What a fantastic day we had! We were "upgraded" and had the deluxe cooking school experience with a small group totalling 13. Our professional chef Paul took us for a quick but highly informative tour of the indoor food market, and then we all set off into the Tuscan hills to a wonderful old Villa - we couldn't believe our luck.
Paul taught us to make Tiramisu, two types of pasta and he made different sauces to go with them, along with a delicious salad; all with ingredients bought that morning at the market. This was accompanied by local wines - bellissima!
The combination of our fabulous, enthusiastic and engaged group (all so lovely and friendly); our great Chef Paul (so patient! And a great cook!!); the magnificent setting - they make films about places like this... And the wonderful food and wine, made for one of the most memorable days of our holiday.
If you're thinking about doing something like this, I can only say - do it!
Doing what: Small-Group Italian Cooking Class in Florence
It was entrataining , great staff . Perfectly organized and very much hands on. Will do it again next time I am back .
Doing what: Small-Group Italian Cooking Class in Florence
We had a wonderful day and have told everyone how great it was. Mara and Camillia were perfect hosts and we enjoyed every minute of the day from buying food in the market to cooking our shopping in the magnificent hillside kitchen of Tuscany. I can't praise the tour or the ladies enough. Long may it continue and I wish them all the success in the future. We had two weeks in Italy and this day was definately was the highlight especially for my husband a committed non-cook of over 35 years who is now keen to get his hands on my pots and pans in the kitchen!! Thank you again for a wonderful day. Lesley Anne and Bryan Sparshot
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
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