It has been over a week since my return from Italy and visions of olive oil, cheese and pasta are still dancing in my head.
Since being home, I’ve made the red onion pizza, tomato bruschetta and tomato sauce. I’m still dreaming about the gnocchi.
Everyone I’ve talked to has expressed an interest in taking a cooking class in Italy. I would, without a doubt, recommend a cooking holiday through Let’s Cook in Umbria.
You’ve seen the food, now let me show you the accommodations for a final review of my Italian cooking holiday.
The accommodation is included in the reasonably-priced fee. Guests stay in apartments on the family’s farm. The apartments are complete with a kitchen, dining area, small living room, bedroom and bathroom. There is plenty of space for a small family in each apartment. The kitchens are equipped with a refrigerator, sink and gas stove.
Most dishes and utensils are provided as well. Some tools, like a wine bottle opener and a can opener were not provided but once I asked Raffa for them, the problem was solved.
Jam filled croissants, dry bread biscuits and coffee were also provided for breakfast.
Since I was eating so much for lunch, I wasn’t really hungry for dinner. I did, however whip up a few simple meals in the apartment kitchen.
Mixed green salad with tomato, apple, celery and warm smoked buffalo mozzarella.
An omelet with tomatoes, onion, spinach and more smoked buffalo mozzarella.
The living area had a TV and sofa that could pull out into an extra bed.
My only complaint with the accommodations is the shower. I have never seen such a tiny shower. My feet touched heal to toe and just fit the width of the shower. There was no place to put my shampoo and body wash so I had to place them on the ground. Let’s just say that picking the bottles up was very uncomfortable. My butt was rubbing against the wall as I bent down while my face was plastered against the opposite wall. Not very relaxing at all.
Other apartments had bath tubs. I would recommend throwing out the phone booth shower and putting tubs with a shower fixture in all apartments.
The bedroom had an enormous bed and beautiful furniture.
The view from the apartment is also stunning. I would love to come back in summer to take advantage of the pool too!
The entire grounds of the cooking school are farm-like with cats running around.
We cooked with olive oil from the family’s olive groves and drank wine from their grapes. I really felt like the whole cooking experience was “in-season.” One day Stephania came in from gathering fresh basil from the garden and announced, “that’s it, the basil season is over.”
As I’ve mentioned before, I had a wonderful time in the cooking classes. My only wish is that the recipes would have been provided. I had to take very quick notes along with the photos to “remember” what we actually did. This may have distracted from my participation and concentration.
I know it is difficult to form a recipe when most dishes are done from ‘the feeling,’ but for guests unfamiliar with the way a pastry is meant to feel, a recipe would be a great starting ground.
Raffa, if you ever want more recipes written up and photos taken of the amazing food, just let me know!
- beautiful location
- accommodations were clean, comfortable, and well equipped
- flexibility in the menu to accommodate dietary needs
- Raffa, the owner, was very friendly and helpful
- willingness to help me get around (Raffa’s husband even drove me into town on my first day since he was heading that direction for a child’s birthday party. This saved me €20.)
- help to organize outings like truffle hunting and visits to local wineries
- classes were casual and comfortable in Raffa’s own home
- cooking classes were taught very well by the knowledgeable and friendly Stephania
- small classes allowed maximum participation
- delicious food and wine
- authentic food taught with a real passion for Italian cuisine
- Rent a car as it cost €20 for a one-way trip by taxi to Perugia. The farm is not far outside of Perugia but the roads are windy. I had high hopes for day trips but my budget couldn’t support the transportation expenses.
- I hope they get rid of the tiny shower and use a tub/ shower combination instead.
- Check that the kitchen has all necessary cooking utensils like knives, can openers and wine bottle openers.
- If possible, develop the cooking menu with the class to meet the interests of the students.
- Provide the recipes for each lesson, that way students only need to jot down extra notes and comments.
If you are planning a holiday to Italy and are interested in taking a cooking class, I hope you consider Let’s Cook in Umbria. They offer many different services from 1 day cooking lessons to week long culinary packages.
I hope to return someday with my Mom. I know she would love it as much as I have!
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