Learn to cook like Italians do!
Italy and Tuscany are popular not only for their art, their landscapes and their language, but also for their culinary tradition. A good way to discover a bit of authentic Tuscany is to attend a cooking class.
There are many cooking schools in Tuscany, offering both week-long cooking courses and full-day or half-a-day cooking classes: you can find many suggestions by searching for terms like “Tuscany cooking school”, “Tuscany cooking class”, “Cooking vacations in Tuscany” or “cooking holidays in Tuscany”, just to name a few popular combinations. A list is provided in the cookery schools links section.
Most cooking schools offer both observation and hands-on cooking classes, where you can either observe Italian chefs preparing delicious meals or actually try your hand at it, and then indulge yourself in the pleasure of your own culinary delights.
Casina di Rosa is the ideal base to enjoy authentic Tuscany, including its tastes and flavours. You can visit the most beautiful areas of Tuscany without changing accommodation every other day and take advantage of the many activities we organize for our guests. You can participate in an olive oil tasting tour, in our wine tasting day or combine the two. You can participate in lavender days or honey tasting days and of course, you can participate in an Italian cooking lesson.
Casina di Rosa Cooking Classes
Italian cooking lessons by an Italian woman
Our cooking classes are given by an Italian woman, and therefore you will be guaranteed a real authentic Italian experience. No foreign experts, no experiments by people that have spent some time in Tuscany and now think that they can teach you how to cook as real Italians do! We firmly believe that the culinary tradition of a land is maybe the most relevant part of its people’s lives. It is a global experience that is so deeply rooted in our own culture and way of life that there is so much more to it than a set of rules or recipes that everybody can teach. A cooking class must tell a story, or many stories, those of its people. Italian cuisine is part of our life in a way which is hard to understand for many foreign guests. Food is not only a pleasure for the body, but for the soul itself.
Culinary traditions, Tuscan houses and the kitchen
Traditionally, the kitchen is the most important room in a Tuscan house. It is where the family gathers and shares every day experiences. It is where parents teach their children their way of life. It is where friends and guests are greeted and hosted on every important occasion. In the most traditional houses, it is still the only room where people live their everyday lives. Every Italian person probably associates the most important moments of their lives with a kitchen or with a special smell or taste. All the most important celebrations throughout the year revolve around food and traditionally the kitchen, the room with the fireplace, il focolare. And interestingly, even if in Italian there is no distinction between home and house (we only have one word, casa), home is sometimes translated as focolare, because the fireplace, generally in the kitchen, is the symbol itself of the Tuscan domestic life. This is why we wanted somebody who grew up in the Italian culture and for whom this is not just a tale to tell, or something cool to teach, or a book of fancy, fashionable recipes for foreigners, but her own personal experience, her own life and culture to show and pass on to our guests, with the same passion that we all have experienced in our Tuscan homes.
Cooking Lessons in Tuscany: cooking in the Maremma
We offer cooking classes which allow you to experience everyday life in an Italian home, how we prepare our meals, how we choose our daily menu and how we enjoy the ritual of lunch and dinner in front of a good glass of wine!
You can build your own menu, selecting the dishes that you want to learn to prepare from among the many on the list provided by our instructors. You can decide if you wish to observe or if you actually want to prepare food with Giovanna at her beautiful house in the countryside. If you decide to actively participate in the cooking lesson, you will help the cook prepare the dishes that you have chosen (all belonging to traditional Italian cuisine, and a good sample of what real Italian people in this area normally eat) and then you will enjoy your own first authentic Tuscan meal!!!
Upon request, you can combine the cooking class with olive oil or wine tasting: an excellent way to get to know Tuscany and its culinary tradition even better. We only select local olive oil and locally produced wines, because we wish to offer a real insight into the food and drinks of this corner of Tuscany.
The price of the half-day lesson is 70 euros per person and for a full-day lesson the price is 100 euros per person and the class can be organized for a minimum of 2 people. The class is exclusively available to the guests of Casina di Rosa. For prices for single participants, please ask.
The price includes:
- cooking class
- all ingredients
- a bottle of wine
We can help our guests plan more activities. Please, contact us to receive further information.
If you wish to know more about the typical dishes of this area of Tuscany or about the best restaurants in the area, read the sections below.
Casina di Rosa is in Civitella Marittima. The village hosts one of the best restaurants in Tuscany: La Locanda nel Cassero. The restaurant serves the dishes of the local culinary tradition, reinterpreted with great skill by the owner, Alessandro Prosperi, and accompanied by one of the many excellent local wines from their extensive wine list. The restaurant is a beautiful place, very tastefully decorated. It used to be an olive press and the owner has preserved the traditional and warm feel. The restaurant makes for the perfect setting for a romantic evening with its beautiful fireplace in the main room.
L’Osteria Le Merlaie is just outside the village and it is a very good restaurant too. All of our guests who have eaten there have left excellent reviews.
In the area, La Taverna di Campagna in Monte Antico serves the best pizza and the best traditional food, mostly game. Go there to try a superb cinghiale in umido, stewed wild boar, the real king of the local culinary tradition.
If you like truffles, then you must eat at Ristorante I Tre Cantoni, just outside the village of Paganico, by the train station, on the road leading to Mount Amiata. The wine menu is excellent, and truffles are used to flavour many different delicious dishes. Try the truffle steak (tagliata al tartufo)… it is divine.
If you really want to go local, then your best bets are La Locanda del Cacciatore in Pari, known to the locals as “da Siro” (Siro’s place – he is the owner), or “da Rosanna” (Rosanna’s Place) in Casal di Pari. These two restaurants are essentially a private house and a bar, with some tables, where the owners cook simple yet delicious dishes according to local tradition. Actually, this is as authentic and traditional as it gets, we promise. Plus, the villages themselves, especially Pari, are a real delight.
There are many other restaurants in the area, all of them quite good. This list represents a selection of our own favourite restaurants in the immediate surroundings of the village.
In Montenero d’Orcia, L’Antica Fattoria del Grottaione is well worth a visit. They serve typical food of the Monte Amiata, interesting the chestnut-based dishes and they have a great selection of wines.
A last recommendation: Salendo Wine Bar by San Galgano Abbey. It is not in the immediate area but it is a unique experience nonetheless, both in terms of location and of food. The bar serves a wealth of antipasti and cold dishes, no hot food there. But they are made with locally produced specialties and paired with the right glass of wine for each specific dish. We highly recommend it for a light but slow brunch, especially in spring, when it is warm and you can relax and enjoy the view under the tall trees in the garden.
Our favourite traditional Tuscan dishes:
- crostino toscano
- antipasto toscano
- tortelli al ragu maremmano
- pappardelle al ragu
- pici or pinci, as we call them here
- zuppa di pane
- pappa col pomodoro
- cinghiale in umido
- pecorino and pears, honey or jam
- ciambellini coll’unto
- cantuccini e vinsanto