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Looking for a great rustic agriturismo where we can learn the classics from the chef

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For my dad's 60th birthday my family is planning a trip to Italy (not too far south) to celebrate. He is really interested in cooking and wine, and is a quite decent cook himself and therefore we want this to be one of the themes for this trip.

Can anyone recommend a great, rustic agriturismo (clean, authentic and with character, but not necessarily fancy) where we can learn rustic italian classics from the chef? We are not really into group classes, but it gets really expensive with private lessons (and then we won't be spending enough time in the kitchen).

We will be travelling in September or October. Ideally I would like to find a place where we can cook dinner with the chef in the evenings, learn how to make pasta and italian specialities, harvest olives (if in season) and drink some nice wine.

All advice are most welcome!

thank you

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  1. I did a cooking vacation through International Kitchen where we had a week of group lessons with Chef Claudio of Torre Guelfa. It was a wonderful experience, we learned to make many rustic, classic Tuscan dishes.
    We stayed on the property which was very comfortable and charming. We cooked in the morning and made our lunch which was always huge and delicious. He did some private cooking classes in the afternoon (we weren't a part of) and those guests would stay for dinner. Since his place is a restaurant, you couldn't cook with him at night. It was just a great experience for my mother and I.

    He offers lessons through his website.
    http://www.torreguelfa.it/LITA/C10503...
    You can also check him out on Tripadvisor.

    2 Replies
    1. re: meljohns

      We loved our experiences at La Tavola Marche in Le Marche region of Italy. Wonderful setting, great hosts. We have been 3 times in the last 2 years and are heading back for a further 2 weeks in August. We have done all day classes, a gelato making class and a butchery class - all were excellent. www.latavolamarche.com

      To give you an idea you can see our pics here:
      www.flickr.com/photos/pub_girl/sets/7...

      1. re: jamikins

        Sorry that link should be

        www.flickr.com/photos/pug_girl/sets/7...

    2. There are so many possibilities in Italy! In Umbria and Tuscany there are literally hundreds of agriturismo and many offer cooking lessons in a local, authentic family setting. Do you already have an itinerary? Do you have a preference for one or another wine?

      Olive harvest does not start until half way October, so you might also need to adjust dates if you want to see the harvest and pressing.