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Has anyone been to Tuscany Italy for a Culinary course or trip? [moved from Ontario]

princess.melody Feb 14, 2013 10:30 AM

I always wanted to go to Tuscany and I know it is very favous for its wine and olive oil. If anyone has been there before, I would like some feedback from you. What would be the best place to visit? Any good culinary school? My trip would be just about 7-10 days. A good short 3 day course would be nice and I would really like to learn the Italian cuisine. Thanks!

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  1. d
    DavidT RE: princess.melody Feb 14, 2013 11:13 AM

    This subject has been discussed on past threads. Here is one:


    If you go to the upper right-hand corner of this page and search for "cooking school", you should be able to find several other similar threads with many helpful suggestions for you.

    1. madonnadelpiatto RE: princess.melody Feb 14, 2013 11:58 AM

      There is more cooking schools that you can count in Tuscany however I strongly advise you to go for home cooking where you will get personal attention as well something autentic.

      Judy Witts of Divina Cucina and Giulia Scarpaleggia of Jul's kitchen are among the best people you can contact for home style food in Tuscany.

      1. l
        lisaonthecape RE: princess.melody Feb 14, 2013 01:44 PM

        I took a class here in the U.S., which I really enjoyed, with Gina Stipo, an Italian-American who runs Ecco La Cucina outside of Siena. I was lucky to win the class in a contest, and have kept in touch with Gina periodically since then. She has single day classes or weeklong culinary tours. Her website is www.eccolacucina.com. Gina usually winters here in the states and is in Italy from spring through fall.

        2 Replies
        1. re: lisaonthecape
          princess.melody RE: lisaonthecape Feb 19, 2013 11:48 AM

          Hi Lisaonthecape, where did you take the course in US? I think that would be good for me to consider for now. When did you take the class? Did you find the class you took very useful? Thanks!

          1. re: princess.melody
            lisaonthecape RE: princess.melody Feb 19, 2013 12:11 PM

            I actually won the class through a contest with Chico's, so it wasn't a traditional class--it was at my home with a group of friends. Gina does classes all over the states when she is here for the winter, then does classes at her cooking school, Ecco LaCucina, the rest of the year. Her schedule is online at her website (eccolacucina.com). I know that many of her classes are in Texas, where her sister lives, but she travels all over.

            As for the class, I found it helpful. I cook quite a bit, but had never taken a class before. Her timbale di gorgonzola con pere was delicious. We also prepared risotto con carciofi. I make risotto frequently at home, so the risotto technique wasn't new to me, although I did learn to trim and pare an artichoke. We also made maiale arrosto con finocchio. I added a dessert (panna cotta), which I prepared and matched the courses with wine pairings. My friends and I still talk about how much fun we had that night.

        2. minchilli RE: princess.melody Feb 15, 2013 01:35 AM

          I would second the recommendations for Judy Witts and Gina Stipo.

          I'll also add Pamela Sheldon Johns, who also has a B&B, Poggio Etrusco.


          1. m
            meljohns RE: princess.melody Feb 22, 2013 03:25 PM

            I did a class with Chef Claudio


            Loved it. It was a 4 day class that we booked through the International Kitchen. We cooked from 9-1 everyday, making 6-7 dishes each time (then ate them all). We made fresh pastas and sauces, soups, tripe, fish and a terrific tuscan beef recipe. You can book something shorter and more specialized through him directly.

            1. r
              Ray2 RE: princess.melody Mar 2, 2013 07:14 PM

              Just the Chanti region would be my choice. We do a course at Badia Coltibuono and eat to our hearts content there and elsewhere. More concentration of superb restaurants in that area than anywhere we've been in Italy and we go every year for months, have lived there and are currently building a home in the lakes region.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Ray2
                allende RE: Ray2 Mar 3, 2013 12:41 AM


                Which are the superb restaurants that you like in that area? Which lake region?


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