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Nov 3, 2008 01:24 PM

Help! Affordable cooking class/workshop in Florence or Venice?

Hi! My husband and I would absolutely love to take a cooking class/workshop while in Italy in late November, but I can't find any affordable options. Any suggestions in Florence or Venice? It's my first trip to Italy and thought it would be incredible to experience the food and preparation first hand but since that can get really pricey we're just looking for something brief... anything from a one hour olive oil tasting to a half-day session. Ditto if you know of any reasonable wine tastings. Maybe what I'm looking for doesn't exist?! I hoping you can help! Thanks so much in advance for your replies and insight.

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  1. I'm going to this one next week:
    Cooking inTuscany <>
    Don't think I'll be able to give you a review before you go, but it was recommended to me and sounds wonderful.

    2 Replies
    1. re: elle

      Thanks, Elle! Please keep me posted if you like it. Any other rec's out there?

      1. re: elle

        I took this class yesterday. It was WONDERFUL. The teacher was adorable, spoke very good English and taught us so much! We made a 4 course meal, the highlights of which were gnocchi-so light and delicious-and ravioli filled with eggplant, walnuts, sheep milk ricotta and parmesean. It was held in a restaurant style kitchen on a vineyard; we ate all our creations for lunch and drank espresso and wine all morning. Can't recommend it highly enough.

      2. How lucky you are to be going to Italy! I was in Florence for 5 weeks and my 2 favorite things to recommend are my cooking class in Florence, and my trip to Chianti for wine tasting.

        In Tavola ( is a cooking school right over the Ponte Vecchio (the main bridge in Florence). These classes are very reasonably priced since you get a great quality 4 course meal for 30 Euros and you get the addition of receiving the recipes and learning
        how to make the dishes yourself. The class is broken up into 2 groups, one side is taught in English and the other side is taught in Italian, but of course all the chefs are Italian (I liked the English speaking chef better). The chef instructors were very entertaining and instructive and the class had a good energy!! The class was about 4 hours long and we made 3 types of risotto or 3 types of pasta and a dessert, and then we ate our creations together in class. There are 2 kinds of classes that I know about through In Tavola:
        *Group class with about 25 students (which is what I did) every Tues, Wed, and Thu 6:30pm-10pm or 10:30pm- 30 Euros
        *Small group class of about 5 students and a more sophisticated menu (I think those classes are everyday in the daytime): 50 or 58 euros

        The Chianti wine tasting trip I took was amazing! It was 38 Euros which included transportation from Florence to Chianti and back, an easy guided hike through the hills of Tuscany (so beautiful), and lunch and wine tasting at the house of a historic Italian family. I did this through the tour group and did MANY other tours with this group as well. I like this tour company because they don't give "stuffy" guided tours. They take you to the location (whether it's Verona, Chianti, or Assisi) and then they say you can go on the guided tour with or you can explore by yourself and meet back at whatever time. Florence for Fun is a great group, and you should definitely check it out while you are in Florence!!

        I think both of these things would be great additions to your trip (and also won't break the bank)!!

        2 Replies
        1. re: sunflowerla

          Hey Sunflower. Thanks for the advice! I'm leaving for Italy in 2 weeks, and I'm thrilled to find an affordable cooking school

          1. re: sunflowerla

            A bit belated... THANK YOU for this! Your course sounds exactly like what I've been hoping to find (and at just the right price point). I'm checking it out right away. Thanks again!

          2. I second In Tavola -- I just took 3 days of classes with them; 1 group market tour and cooking class, and a 2-day beginning pastry course, which was one-on-one and fabulous!!! We are still in Florence and had to have a dinner party and then take the rest of the cakes and pastries to my husbands's writing program because I made so much (and due to good instruction it was all really good).

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