One of the nicest ways of getting to know your fellow travellers when taking part in one of our small group tours of Italy is to join in on a great cooking class. The local cuisine is one of the main reasons why visitors flock to Tuscany year upon year. This region of northern Italy gathers the best aspects of a Mediterranean holiday all in one easy-to-explore destination: sensational food, jaw-dropping architecture, fascinating history and culture, and great weather to boot. |
Exploring Tuscany’s gastronomy, however, doesn’t stop at tasting it. Cooking classes offer you the chance to dig deeper into the area’s culinary tradition and to obtain a better understanding of the ingredients and dishes that will make you swoon at every meal. To make sure that you get the most from these classes, we’ve put together some tips for getting the most from your cooking experience during one of our small group tours of Italy!
Are the Difficulty Level and the Teaching Methods Suitable for You?
This may seem a bit obvious, but we all learn differently and often underestimate how much we actually know. Thus, it’s important to reflect on what you would like to get out of a cooking class so you can make sure you’re attending the right one. For example, would you rather experience a demonstration, a hands-on class, or a workshop? Each of them has pros and cons, such as varying levels of participation and their length. Would you consider yourself a total beginner at the hob or an apt cook who just doesn’t cook much Italian fare? These are very different, so make sure not to sell yourself short.
Read the Class Requirements Ahead of Time: Dress Code, Tools, Dietary Requirements…
You will receive some sort of introductory email or information package from the class organizer beforehand, informing you of the dress code to follow (such as the all-important comfortable, closed-toed shoes!), whether you need to bring any tools (most likely not, but it’s worth double-checking especially when you’ll be away from home), and if you are allowed to bring photographic equipment.
And, most importantly, you will be informed of whether you’ll be fed at the end of the lesson – whether it’s the dish you made or a selection of small dishes if you’ve been collaborating on one dish with some other people.
Don’t Just Stand Back and Watch: Get Involved!
After years of organizing these type of activities, I have often come across people who are too timid to actively participate in a lesson or who are afraid of intruding on other people’s learning time. Nevertheless, not only do cooking instructors love seeing their students get carried away by curiosity and answering all sorts of questions, those attending the class with you will be grateful to get a small nugget of knowledge they might not have thought to ask for otherwise!
Coming along to one of our small group tours of Italy comes with the added advantage of socializing with like-minded people and taking part in events you may have not have thought of: be sure to make the most of it.
Most Importantly… Have a Blast!
Food is a wonderful conversation starter. Aside from learning new skills in the kitchen, make sure to relax and enjoy yourself and the company of others. Swap chopping techniques or seasoning ingredients and you will find yourself immersed in conversation with complete strangers or discovering a whole new facet of the friends you are travelling with.
Small group tours of Italy are a wonderful way of exploring some of the country’s best regions, such as Tuscany, and excellent quality local cooking classes are just one of the many reasons you should join us.
Antonio Nobile is Tour Operator & Researcher at Caspin Journeys, a specialist provider of small group tours of Italy, England and Spain. Following in the footsteps of the company founders Pino and Caroline, he has exceptional insider knowledge and a personal devotion to all the tours he organises.
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