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My wife and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary with a trip to Italy. My wife wanted to do a cooking class while we were in Florence. Luckily a co-worker of mine had been to Florence in May and had done this same class and highly recommended it. We LOVED it! We stayed at the Hotel Spadai in Florence which is close to the Duomo and easy walking distance to Walkabout Tours which is where this class originates from. We met Freddie our host along with our fellow classmates sisters from Hong Kong, a girl from the Philippines, a couple from Houston and a couple from Denver at their office. Freddie then led us on a walking tour through Florence where we picked up bread and vegetables on our way to the Central Market where we got our cheeses and meats. We then loaded up into a couple of taxis and headed out to where the class was to take place.
The setting is absolutely magnificent. It's a beautiful overlook of valleys and hills and vistas. As you walk up, there is a stand alone wood burning oven which leads you to a wonderfully constructed stand alone kitchen / prep area. It is modern and rustic at the same time. And as we cook, there is a separate dining area that is all windows and the view is spectacular.
The class was so much fun. I am NOT a cook, so I was there to eat. My wife loves to cook, but isn't a Julia Child's protégé. We were there to have fun. And we had a bunch of it. We learned to make Ragu, pasta, pizza, tiramisu, gelato, etc. Chef Isaac was there along with our Italian chef hostess and they were all amazing. Freddie did a great job of hosting us and making us feel comfortable, engaged and informed. The food was spectacular and the company was great. We all got along and laughed and cooked...
It is a full day and we were stuffed and exhausted when we finally got back to Florence. I wouldn't change a thing and I would definitely do it again. Definitely 5 stars and I highly recommend it!
We started the day meeting at the walkabout office in Florence. There we met Lavi and the rest of the group that would be on the tour. We walked with Lavi to the vege store, bakery and the central market to buy the food that we were going to prepare at the farm house. On the walk Lavi gave us some information on Florence. She showed us where MichaelAngelo lived and told us other interesting history facts about Florence. Lavi by the way, is beautiful, smart and speaks beautifully. She showed us how to shop for certain items and when we were done shopping we went to the farmhouse to start our cooking lesson. The kitchen was a professional kitchen, adjacent dining room had all glass windows over looking a beautiful landscape above Florence. It was the perfect setting. We met Carmella one of the chefs who was from Italy who sang in Italian and danced while teaching us how to cook. she was a real live wire. Issac a chef who was from the US translated for us what carmella was saying, and teaching us to cook as well. He was charming and had a great sense of humor. We made brushetta, pizza taught by Carmellas neice who owned a pizza place in florence baked it in the wood burning oven that was on the property. We made fresh pasta, bolognese sauce, pork roast, potatoes, gelato and tiramisu. Lets not forget we drank wine and beer with our food too. This class is a must. It was the highlight of our trip. A relaxing day, instead of the running around sight seeing. I cant say enough about Liv, Carmella and Issac all tutti bene!
My husband and I debated whether or not we should pay this much for a tour cooking class. We had so many other things we wanted to do and were trying not to go overboard. Then, we finally pulled the trigger! Some of our best memories from our honeymoon are from this cooking class! The food was delicious and they serve a good amount of beer and wine once you sit down to eat. The Tuscan farmhouse is owned by Walkabout Tours and it has the most beautiful kitchen and dining area overlooking the rolling Tuscan hills. It's really breathtaking and located about 20 minutes from downtown Florence. We couldn't believe how quickly the landscaped changed in a short drive away from the city. Once you arrive, you jump right into the first recipe but you have more downtown later in the day to mingle with the other people in your group. The walking tour was pretty slow-moving and the tour description makes it sound like you'll have ample opportunity to taste food during this portion of the tour. We had a couple of nibbles tuscan bread and parmigiano cheese. Be sure to eat breakfast because you don't want to miss any of the great information Martina shares about Florence!
This tour was so much fun. Our guide Lavinia walked us through Florence food markets to buy ingredients, and that was fun and instructive itself. The farmhouse was in the hills above Florence in a beautiful setting. There we met 2 chefs and 2 professional pizza makers who taught us how to make bruschetta, pasta, Ragu sauce, pizza, roast pork and potatoes, gelato and tiramisu. We had 2 teenagers and an 11 year old in our family group, and they were full participants. The day was skillfully planned so that we started the dishes that took longer to cook first and then spent time making and eating the quicker dishes to fill in the time. The day ended in a formal dinner setting in which we ate our meal and were presented with our certificates for completing the cooking class. Each dish was served with wine. It was a great day spent learning about Italian food culture. This was one of the best days we had in our trip to Roma and Florence. You can't go wrong with this tour!
This class was so much fun!!! We meet at the Walkout office and started on a shopping and city tour with Gloria, our guide. We got some history about Florence as well as went to a market where the locals shop for their food. Got to taste some cheese, flat bread and a few other things. The market was amazing!!! I wished we had time to go back there and explore more. After about 2 hours we got on a mini bus and went to the cooking school where Chef Carmella taught us many wonderful things as well as to sing and dance while you cook, very important. Gloria and Martina the other guide assisted with our class and tried to teach us a little Italian along the way. When we planned our trip to Italy we knew we wanted to take some cooking classes, my husband family is from Northern Italy so he grew up with his family cooking all the old recipes. We learned many new recipes and some spin offs, so we can practice these when we get back home. The bruschetta recipe was prepared differently and with the fresh olive oil it was so much better. We made our own pasta, created our own pizza, helped season the pork roast and potatoes, make the ragu sauce and even made fresh Tiramisu and Florentine gelato!! The whole experience was amazing!!! I would do it again if I was still there. You will not regret taking this course, you get so much out of it and the staff is truly awesome!!! Thank you, Chef Carmella, Gloria and Martina!!! We will sing, dance, drink and just have fun when we make our new recipes!! Your friends from South Carolina, Don and Colleen
Wonderful day! Pick-up was easy and the ride to the farm allowed us to see some of the countryside. As it turned out, only my daughter and I were there this day, so it was like a private cooking class. The owner/chef does not speak English so there was an interpreter. However, my daughter lives in Florence and speaks Italian so she and the chef had long conversations as we cooked. After being shown around a goat, ducks, a goose, a pony, cats and an olive grove, we were served wonderful antipasto with prosecco. Then we cooked! The same ragu, pork loin in wine, from scratch pasta and tirimisu that others have talked about. Then we ate and drank wine from the farm! Would do this again and recommend.
Doing what: Cooking Class in Traditional Tuscan Farm
Excellent cooking class in the heart of Florence. The teacher was well-versed in the best options for using gluten-free ingredients for the recipes. Our lasagna was to die for!!! We also met a delightful couple from Chile during the class.
Doing what: Private Gluten-Free Cooking Class in Florence
This was by far the best thing we did in Italy. This tour was so much more than just a cooking class. It was truly an introduction to Florence and Italian food. The chef teaching the class was wonderful and Sandra and Martina were the perfect guides. The food was delicious and the wine was plentiful. Worth every penny!
Lauren A United States of ...
My husband and I were on our honeymoon and chose to invest in experiences rather than souvenirs on our trip. Without a doubt, the cooking class we took with Walkabout Tours was the highlight of our 2 week trip. Martina was the most AMAZING tour guide we could have hoped for.
We both love cooking and trying the local cuisine so it was the perfect tour. We started the day with a walking tour of Florence's markets and loved learning all about these unassuming areas and the history they held. The short bus drive up into the hills brought us to the most beautiful kitchen I've ever seen.
We learned how to make several different courses by Italian speaking Carmella who had excellent translations by our guide. She was a hoot, and did a lot to get the class involved. We also made pizza from scratch in the brick oven and drank lots of delicious local Chianti wine. We will never forget this special day in Tuscany and can't wait to make the recipes again to relive our dolce vita honeymoon in Italy. We will suggest this tour to everyone we know who visits the area!
This was SO MUCH fun! The chefs were hysterical, the food was SO delicious, and everything was so much fun to make! I can't wait to go back to Florence and take their other cooking classes, you must add this to your trip! I promise it will be an experience you will always remember!
Lavi was THE BEST. She made the day so well worth it. I would recommend this class to anyone visiting Florence. We learned so much history and insight to the culture - well beyond the cooking. This was money so well spent. I would do it again if I return to Florence!
Wow! Both my husband and I loved this experience. Our day started with Martina and a two-hour walking tour of the historical center of Florence while making stops along the way to pick up ingredients for the cooking portion of the day. We were pleasantly surprised at how much we saw and learned during this portion of the day. The group was smaller and Martina was a lovely, energetic, and knowledgable. She also learned all of our names and made a great effort to include everyone.
At the end of the walking tour, we met up with Gloria and her small group, and we all boarded the bus to go to the Walkabout estate. It's a 20-30 minute drive, in which Gloria and Martina took turns explaining what to expect in the second portion of the day. They are both high-energy and clearly love their jobs, as they were entertaining and informative, and kept us paying attention.
The estate is breathtaking. It has a beautiful view of the city from the hills of the Tuscan countryside--along with a state of the art kitchen, plenty of outdoor space and a dining room enclosed in all glass, so you can see all of this from where you sit.
The cooking class is obviously the bread and butter of the day--and it did not disappoint. After our two smaller groups joined together, it seemed like a lot of people 25-30. But it actually worked well--we all took turns with the various tasks and everyone had room to breathe. It was fairly a relaxed environment--so you were never forced to participate but you were always welcome to if you wanted to. Carmella, the house chef, is an absolute joy. There is so much life in that woman it's impossible not to be infected by her positive energy. You can easily see that she has a passion for what she does, which is not only cooking tremendous food but also sharing that gift with so many people.
The food was amazing--some of the best we had in Florence. We didn't need to eat dinner afterwards and we cannot wait to get our recipes to start cooking for our friends!
If I had to list one area for improvement, it would be to make it more clear in the description just how much walking is required for this day. Again, we walked for about two hours at the start of the day--though Martina was really great about keeping it to a slow pace and making sure everyone was keeping up. Also, while we were transported to the estate by bus, there was an additional 7-10 minutes of walking downstairs/downhill upon arrival. That means uphill/upstairs to get back. While this may be easy for many, there were some seniors in our group concerned about the trek back up--so I think it's just important to note for anyone with reduced mobility.
Overall, one of our favorite days in the two weeks we spent in Italy--do yourself a favor and book it!
My wife and I had a great time at cooking class. We made two types of homemade pasta and two types of sauces. We also made tiramisu. At the end of the class we got to enjoy a great lunch of the food we cooked, which was one of the best meals we had while in Florence. The class size was small enough so that we each received personalized instruction but also large enough to enjoy the company of a nice mix of other people. The two instructors were extremely knowledgeable and gave us many useful tips. They were also great fun to be with. The class was one of the highlights of our trip to Italy.
This was such a great experience! My husband and I really enjoyed the cooking class with Carmela and Elisa and Valerie. They were so much fun and we were stuffed after preparing and eating all of the delicious food. Everything was very well organized and had a nice flow to the whole day excursion. One of our best days in Florence!!!
I had an amazing time !! Meet some great people ! I would recommend this cooking class in Florence Tuscany !!!
This cooking class was fantastic and I would recommend this for anyone looking for something a little different of an experience. We had a fantastic tour guide, Olivia, that was able to share little tidbits about Florence and how the locals cook and shop.
To start our day, we got to go on a brief walking tour of Florence on our way to a produce market, bakery and meat market. It was interesting to see the little shops and we were able to purchase a couple snacks along the way which were delicious. I believe this part of the tour is not offered on Sundays as the market is not open and I would recommend doing this on a day where you can experience this. After picking up all our food we went on a short bus ride to the villa where the class was taking place. This was a beautiful property with amazing views of Florence, make sure to bring your cameras!
The cooking portion of the day was so much fun! We were given valuable instruction on how to make each item, people in the class got to complete different tasks towards making the meal and the guides and chef were so much fun. As a class we made bruschetta, bolegnese sauce, pasta, pork loin and potatoes, tiramisu and gelato. At lunchtime, we were shown how neapolitan pizza is made and we were able to make our own personal pizzas in the wood burning oven outside.
After spending a couple hours cooking, we got to sit down to our very own meal of pasta with bolegnese sauce, pork, potatoes and desserts that we made and it was all delicious.
It's been over two weeks we just got back from our vacation and I am still reeling over how much fun I had in this class. It was the highlight of our trip. Lavinia, Olivia and Carmela were the most informative, knowledgeable, and enjoyable instructors I have ever had and I've taken a few dozen classes. We made bruschetta, pizza, pasta from scratch, pork loin with yummy potatoes, tiramisu and gelato. I am looking forward to receiving the recipes so that I can try them at home -- maybe incorporate a couple for Thanksgiving. The market-bakery-vegetable tour was amazing. The farm house and surrounding view were incomparable. If I ever get back to Florence again, you can bet I am going to plan my trip around another one actually more of these cooking classes.
Thank you, ladies, for a wonderful day.
Michelle and Jim from Southern California
The cooking class was so much fun! Martina, who was our walking tour guide, was fun and lively throughout the walking tour which included the San Lorenza market. We learned several great techniques for food food preparation that I have already reproduced at home ragu and handmade pasta Even my mother thought they were fantastic, she may be a little biased, I am sure. However, I was able to recreate the recipe just based on the methods learned in class. I would recommend this class to everyone that has an interest in coking italian style and is looking for a great time out from the crowds in Florence.
Outstanding! Our tour guide Gloria began the day with a walking tour of Florence - to an area where we visited some small produce stores followed by a visit to the city market. Meats, cheese, bread and tomatoes were selected and purchased for use in our cooking class. We were then transported to a farmhouse in Tuscany - a beautiful setting - where we spent the day preparing bruschetta, pasta, pizza, gelato, tiramisu and more. Chef Carmela was delightful and we all enjoyed the wine, food and the fun of the day. Highly recommend this activity to anyone who visits Florence.
Best tour experience ever! There, I said it. The experience was possibly one of the best that we have ever had on any vacation. We took the Walkabout Tours Cooking Class and Lunch at a Tuscan Farmhouse on September 10, 2016 with Freddy as our guide. Freddy showed us wonderful hospitality and gave us a great walking tour as we bought our ingredients for the meal. The farmhouse was very much modern and comfortable for handling our group during our meal prep. Our group was made up of folks from the US, Australia, and the UK. It was a fun filled afternoon while we each took turns making our meal. Finally, we sat together in an outdoor dining room that overlooked a beautiful valley in the hills of Florence. We then had our favorite meal of our vacation, drank incredibly delicious Chianti Classico, and finally finished the meal with our own handmade Tiramisu. Overall, my wife and I felt that the value of this tour was well worth the cost and time. Freddy and crew made us feel completely welcome and provided an experience that we will always treasure. This tour should be on everyones to-do list when coming to Florence. You wont regret it!
My Mom and I took a 3 week European vacation, including Italy, Czech Republic, Germany, and England ... this class was the ABSOLUTE HIGHLIGHT of our entire vacation! We had so much fun buying groceries in the Florence Marketplace, with our guide Elisa, before heading to the beautiful farmhouse to spend the rest of the day cooking, drinking, eating, and hanging out with a group of about 24 people. Our awesome Chef, Carmela assisted us in cooking more food than we thought we could possibly eat, including bruschetta, beef ragu, pasta, pizza, tiramisu, and more! Thank you Elisa, Carmela, and Walkabout Florence! We can't wait to come back and do it again. Buon Appetito!
This was SO fun! We really enjoyed the atmosphere and Davide was such a great instructor. Definitely would recommend doing some sort of cooking class while in Florence, but we did especially enjoy this one!
The cooking class my daughter and I took in Florence was fabulous! Alan and Guseppe were very knowledgeable and taught the class with a lot of humor. We started the class with a trip to the market where we bought the meat and learned a lot about the local products. Then we made 2 pastas and 2 sauces as well as tiramisu. The food was amazing and I look forward to making the recipes at home. Also the book they leave you with is very informative. I wish I had it earlier in our trip. Take this class! It was fun!
Gloria and Lavi were wonderful guides and Carmella was a great teacher. We started with a walking tour of Florence and the market which was both fun and interesting. The cooking class at the farmhouse in Tuscany was incredible fun and the food was delicious. Don't bother making dinner reservations for later, you will be stuffed.
We had a great day with this cooking class tour! While we had fun, we learned to make a big italian meal that I was able to replicate once at home for my guests... this is a wonderful souvenir from this day and from Italy! Thank you Julian and Walkaboutflorence.
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