Ever since I moved to Italy, I have received many questions and comments about food. It makes sense since Italians are known for their amazing food! If in America, people fight with each other over the color of their football jersey, in Italy they would fight over the ingredients in the perfect ragu. Cooking skills are certainly alive and well here and cooking isn’t just a chore where you whip together something edible to get through to the next meal. There is a passion which is evident in each step of the cooking experience – from picking the ingredients, to the cooking processes, to stopping to sit and enjoy the meal. Today I am excited to share this post with you because I get to showcase a wonderful local business where you can experience an authentic cooking class in Italy, learn new skills, cook a meal and even enjoy farmstay accommodation in the most picturesque area.
Don’t Miss This Unbelievably Amazing Cooking Class in Italy
After finding the Cooking in Umbria website, I contacted the owner, Raffaella, to arrange my stay. I didn’t know where to start and she helped me greatly with booking the class which was best suited for me, finding a train station nearby and she even arranged a driver to transport me on the scenic drive from the station to the farm. Once I arrived, Raffaella met me with her warm smile and showed me to my apartment for the night where I had a bed, bathroom, kitchen, breakfast items and, as I looked out the windows, the most picturesque view of the Italian countryside. It’s set up to be self sufficient, so you will need to bring your own soap and shampoo, other than that it has everything you need. You can pick up some food from town and practice your cooking in the apartment or, if you prefer to dine out, there are a number of nice places to eat. I went to Trattoria Della Volte for dinner and had a delicious meal of pasta and tiramisu!
After a very refreshing sleep, I had a cup of tea and watched the sun rise over the mountains, which, I might add was a perfect way to start the day, then walked from my apartment over to the main area of the house and waited for the class to begin. The living room was decorated with childrens paintings and other family treasures and a small fire crackled in the fireplace which added to the cozy ambiance. It was a small class with just two others in the group, a lovely mother and son duo who were traveling around Europe and were taking a class for the day to add to their Italian chapter of the travel journey. They too were Australian so it was nice to hear the accent again and connect with people from back home.
Time to begin!
In our class we worked together to make four dishes with the expert knowledge and hands on approach of Rafaella guiding us the whole way. We made our own bread, pasta, pasta sauce, pork tenderloin, sauce for the pork and even a cake. Along the way Raffaella explained variations of everything we were making, some history behind the food and its significance to the region and also, most importantly, the skillful tips we needed to take our cooking to the next level. Obviously, I would not share those tips here, you will have to experience the class to get those trade secrets, but I will say that they have helped my own cooking at home greatly! It’s interesting because I would’ve always thought that a meal such as the one we made, with everything from scratch, would be a big production and take a whole day to make. But I was surprised to learn that with all the tricks that Raffaella shared and how she managed her time, we were able to put it all together in the space of our class. It shot my whole ‘I don’t have time’ excuse well out of the water and also inspired me to cook more. Luckily, we were given print outs of the recipes so that we could also recreate everything back at home which will I am very excited to try.
The best part? Afterwards, we got to sit down together and eat what we had made, with a glass of wine produced right there on the farm. The wine is available for purchase and you can bet that I bought a couple of bottles to take home with me. (If you watch my Instagram stories you may remember my fun backpack full of wine situation as I walked around town afterwards and I can assure you they made it home safely!) I love meeting people so for me, one of the coolest parts of the experience was being able to join with other travelers for the class and chat with them over the meal afterwards. They had many interesting travel stories to share!
I had signed up for a one day class – we started at 9:30 in the morning and finished at about 2 in the afternoon, though there are many other options available such as 3, 4 and 7 day classes. If you are staying for the longer tours you get the opportunity to cook in the morning and then go off to explore the surrounding area for the afternoon and evening giving you a balanced mix of cooking classes and sightseeing. Raffaella can also assist with organizing private, guided tours of the city if that is more your style.
If you are looking to add an authentic experience to your travels and gain some quality cooking skills while you’re at it, then this would be the perfect addition to your itinerary and whether you visit for the day to attend the class or stay in the accommodation for a longer visit, I am confident you will enjoy this treasure of Italy. I love finding local businesses like this and sharing them with you guys here on the blog, it’s truly a passion of mine and as always I hope you enjoy this as much as I did.
For more information
Phone: +39 340 646 1480
This post was written in partnership with Let’s Cook In Umbria. All opinions expressed are my own.