If there’s one experience on everyone’s bucket list when they visit Italy, it’s the opportunity to taste some fabulous authentic Italian food and drink. There are so many iconic national specialities: pasta, pizza, prosciutto, Prosecco … and that’s just the P’s!
If you’re a keen foodie, I recommend that you go one step further on your trip and learn how to cook some of the most famous Italian dishes yourself. Local cooking classes in Italy are the perfect way to experience a true taste of Italian passion, history and culture – and you get to leave with the culinary skills to bring a slice of your holiday home with you.
Taste Tuscany on Your Trip
In my opinion, the best cooking classes in Italy can be found in Tuscany. Each Italian region has its own distinct flavour when it comes to local cuisine, and Tuscany’s is famously simple, fresh and hearty. Traditional recipes can be learnt in a single afternoon, which makes a Tuscan cookery lesson the perfect trip experience for visitors to Florence.
Without further ado, here are two of my favourite cooking classes in Italy in 2020.
Pizza and Gelato Cooking Class at a Farmhouse in Tuscany
At a Glance:
• Half-day (5 hours)
• Afternoon or evening options
• Hands-on cooking lesson at a Tuscan farmhouse
• Learn how to make authentic Italian pizza and gelato
• €70 per adult
If I had to pick one tour for foodies who want to learn the true art of simple Tuscan fare, it would be the Pizza and Gelato Cooking Class offered by Walkabout Florence. This half-day experience teaches you how to make two classic Italian specialities, led by a professional chef in the relaxed environment of a Tuscan farmhouse kitchen.
“Take a (pizza) slice of Italy back home with you after learning top tips and techniques from the expert chefs on this hugely popular cookery course.”
After meeting in central Florence, a minibus will transport you through the rolling countryside to a private estate nestled in the hills above the city. The idyllic surroundings are the perfect backdrop for the class, which encourages you to roll up your sleeves and get stuck in – from picking your own pizza toppings in the vegetable garden to kneading and throwing the dough like a true master pizzaiolo.
The class will take you from the old-school wood-fired pizza oven to the wonders of modern science as you learn how to make traditional gelato flavours in a way that you can emulate at home. You even get a recipe book to take home with you!
Top Tip: book the class at 5.00pm to see a truly spectacular sunset as you cook and enjoy the fruits of your labour on the moonlit terrace.
What Makes it Special?
The one thing I hear again and again from guests who have been on this tour is that they have never laughed so much with a group of strangers. As well as being extremely knowledgeable the chefs have a fantastic sense of humour, which makes this experience stand out from other cooking classes in Italy; the most fun you will have in Florence!
“This was the most fun, delicious, and entertaining experience of our trip! Luca, Lavinia, and Luigi were so delightful! Just the drive up to the beautiful venue was fantastic and then arriving at the estate was breathtaking. We were warmly welcomed by our hosts with wine and bruschetta. Then we began the adventure and education of pizza and gelato making. You must do this on your vacation to Florence!”
5 stars on TripAdvisor, tammy d
Cooking Class and Lunch at a Farmhouse in Tuscany with Local Market Tour
At a Glance:
• Full-day (7 hours)
• Voted #1 Experience in the World at the 2018 TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Awards
• Visit a food market in Florence to buy fresh ingredients
• Travel to a farmhouse in the Tuscan countryside for a cookery lesson with a local chef
• Prepare and eat a four-course lunch with Chianti wine
• €120 per adult
I would highly recommend taking a full day out of your holiday schedule to experience one of the most popular cooking classes in Italy. Walkabout’s Cooking Class and Lunch at a Farmhouse in Tuscany takes you from the bustling fresh food markets of Florence to the peace of a farmhouse kitchen overlooking the Tuscan hills.
“Learn how to cook a full four-course meal, from appetiser right through to dessert, and eat it the real Italian way: al fresco with friends!”
One of the things that really appeals to people on this course is the chance to learn authentic Italian cooking, done in the same way that Tuscan Nonnas and Mamas have been doing it for centuries. Simple ingredients – including fresh herbs from the farmhouse garden and olive oil from the estate – really make these local dishes sing.
All courses are expertly paired with local Chianti wines – don’t worry, all transportation is included in the trip, so you can indulge as much as you like and rest assured that you’ll be whisked safely back to Florence at the end of the night.
– Tomatoes bruschetta
– Ravioli with Pesto sauce
– Tagliatelle with beef tomato sauce
– Roasted pork loin with potatoes
What Makes it Special?
This day trip isn’t just one of the best cooking classes in Italy; last year it won ‘#1 Experience in the World’ at the TripAdvisor Traveller’s Choice Awards, and over 1,700 five-star reviews can’t be wrong!
Best Day of the Trip!
“I booked this excursion and although my boyfriend agreed to go he was initially not looking forward to it. By the end of the day he and I both agreed that it was the best day of our entire week long vacation. Not only was the class informative but we had an amazing time and loved Isak and Carmela! We spent the entire day laughing, learning to cook traditional Italian dishes, and admiring the most amazing view. I’ve already suggested this excursion to 4 people traveling to Italy in the near future and intend to recommend it to anyone going to Florence. Thank you Isak and Carmela!”
5 stars on TripAdvisor, mego419
If your tastebuds have been tickled and we’ve awoken your hunger for cooking classes in Italy, you’re in the right place – you can book your place on either of these award-winning tours directly through our website. We can’t wait to introduce you to the very best of mouth-watering Tuscan cuisine.
Got any questions? Simply get in touch and our expert team would be happy to answer!
We Are Walkabout Florence
Walkabout Florence is an independent tour operator specialising in day tours that truly immerse you in the art, history and culture of Italy with a whole lot of fun included. We are regarded as among the best in the industry and we pride ourselves on not only our local knowledge, but also our genuine commitment to our guests’ satisfaction. Our tours are highly acclaimed and we strive to provide the most enjoyable and fulfilling experience possible – from cultural day tours, to food and wine experiences or Fiat 500 and Vespa tours.