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There are many great cooking schools in the Tuscany Region and some not-so-great ones. The Villa Pandolfini Gastronomical Adventure costs about $2,800 per person. The cost includes your accommodations at a Tuscany villa, all meals, all tours and transportation to and from Florence to the villa. There is plenty of “hands-on” participation and loads of camaraderie. By the end of the week, you will make many new friends. You cook every day and shop for ingredients at local markets.
Cooking with Divina Cucina is also an excellent cooking class. Gourmet Chef Judy's classes are of shorter duration and do not include accommodations. The one, two, three or five day sessions are taught at her studio on Via Taddea near the incredible Central Market in Florence.
Classes are hands-on and combine cooking, wine tastings, shopping and even a dash of art appreciation. Prices range from $375 for one day to $1,300 for five days.
A third source for locating Tuscany cooking classes is Shawguides. Caution: Class size and English language proficiency are two key factors to ask about in a Tuscany cooking school. The smaller the class, the more personalized it is. There are more opportunities for hands-on participation and time for questions. Language proficiency is critical. No matter how good a chef may be if you have difficulty understanding him or her, the class will be more frustrating than fun. Before you book a course, speak directly with the chef and make sure you are on the same wavelength. Happy Travels! Mangia!