September in Italy

Six months ago, my husband and I decided to spend most of September in Italy, though for the most part not together. He wanted to take some intensive Italian language classes, and I wanted to add to my Italian cuisine repertoire – specifically, fresh pasta and gnocchi. After a great deal of research, I found three programs that sounded like they would meet my needs (more or less) and that cost no more than 1,300 euros for the week, including lodging. There were a number of other great-sounding programs that cost upwards of €2,000 – and one that was nearly €5,000! Even staying in a 5-star villa, I can’t see how a week of cooking could be worth the better part of a year’s rent. So I chose from the cheaper end of the scale and, for the most part, I was fairly happy with my classes. I’ve written detailed reviews of the three cooking programs to help out anyone else who is considering a culinary vacation. There were some problems and disappointments, but overall, I loved it.

Program 1: Organic Tuscany (Certaldo)
Program 2: Convivio Rome (Toffia)
Program 3: Apicius Culinary Institute (Florence)

2 thoughts on “September in Italy

  1. Anthony says:

    Hi, Great Blog

    I am in the process of setting up an Italian cooking course in Tuscany that will offer both group and private courses in a private villa (this will be of a high standard but wont break the bank), So after reading all your comments and the points you raised on the Italian cooking courses you tried what would you like to see in the perfect cooking course, what would have made you think “now this course needs a 10/10” as that is what I am aiming for and who better to ask than someone who has tried several courses already?

    Many thanks and look forward to your reply
    Anthony

  2. Hi – The most important factors for me are a large variety of excellent recipes, small classes so that all of the students can participate in all the dishes, and a fair price. (There are some amazing sounding classes that cost 5,000 euros, which to me is ridiculous. While I obviously want to be comfortable, I don’t want or need to stay in a 5-star villa.) If you read my review of Organic Tuscany, which was the best of the three courses I took, my only complaints were too many students, no access to the recipes, and inaccurate information about the accomodations. If you avoided those problems, and had friendly, knowledgeable cooks teaching lots of great recipes in a well-stocked, spacious kitchen, I’d certainly give it 10/10.

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