Since I’ve been living in London for the past months I’ve found quite exciting how near everything is and all the places and cities you can visit. This can sound obvious for many of you, however, I come from Chile (for those who are not very good at geography, Chile is in South America, next to Argentina… the long, thin and narrow piece of land). As you can imagine we are kind of far away of all the European, African and Asian cities and to visit them we must take long and expensive plane trips. So I’ve been traveling around, specially during weekends or mid term holidays.
Last September I spent a week in Florence. I have a cousin who is studying there; taking advantage of my loved ones and not having to pay for a hotel, I packed one morning and took a 2-hour flight to this lovely Italian city. And Oh My! What a great decision it was! I spent seven days enjoying the glorious Italian food. Filled up with wine, spritz, pasta and lots of gelato! Heaven on earth!
*In case you are planning to go by airplane you can also look for flights to Pisa, it’s just 40min. away from Florence and there are buses departing from the airport every 30 minutes.
As this was not my first time in Florence and I had already visited the museums and must-see sites I looked for other interesting ways to enjoy the city… searched up in Google for cooking classes and found a very convenient one in a Tuscany Villa. I was quite excited when I saw this, and immediately booked it with a friend.
Our day started at 9am. We met with our guide and walked to a boulangerie. It was one of those best kept secrets places, where only local people buy pastries. We stopped and bought bread for the bruschettas we were going to cook later and enjoyed a cappuccino (everything is included in the booking price, you don’t have to pay for anything during the day).
Our second stop was “San Lorenzo Mercato Centrale” – local market. We picked up some wine bottles, vegetables, fresh mozzarella, prosciutto, meat and pork; ingredients we needed to prepare our dishes. Then a private mini van came, picked us up and drove us to a lovely Tuscan Villa 15 minutes away from Firenze – we were a group of 12.
In the Villa dearest Carmella was waiting for us. A lovely Italian chef who was our teacher for the day. She didn’t speak a word of english so Mara, our guide, stayed with us and helped with the translation – this gave a great atmosphere of a truly italian kitchen.
We began with the preparation of the bolognese sauce (tomato and meat) for our future pasta. I had no idea but this sauce needs at least 2 hours of boiling to be perfectly ready to serve. Then we opened some bottles of wine and prepared the bruschettas. Later came the pasta (we learnt about lasagna, spaghetti, tagliateli, ravioli and farfalle). Finally we prepared pizza, pork, potatoes, tiramisu and florentine gelato with raspberries. Around 5pm we sat down and ate everything. It was magnificent! everything we had cooked during the day! (5pm sounds quite late but don’t worry, we ate a lot while preparing our recipies, you’ll never be hungry, not for a second this day).
I don’t want to bore you with recipes. This day was not only about learning, but about enjoying, having fun, talking, laughing… it’s amazing the atmosphere you get when you cook with a group of friends. In the future, when I have my own house I’ll definitely think about having a big open kitchen where I can hang out with friends and family while preparing meals… I’m sure it will be amazing fun and laughs!
*If you are interested on booking this day tour contact: firstname.lastname@example.org