How to get to the cooking school
We are conveniently placed for both Florence (Amerigo Vespucci) and Pisa (Galileo Galilei) airports (50 minutes or one hour and 15 minutes drive, respectively). It is also possible to get to Certaldo by train from Rome or Milan (around 3 hours, changing in Florence).
If you will already be in Europe, you may also want to consider taking the train to Tuscany. There are often special offers for Paris-Florence trains on Rail Europe. Or make a week with us a part of a longer holiday travelling by train around Italy or Europe-wide, and buy an Inter-Rail pass (available for all ages).
We run the courses from a lovely farmhouse which is a few miles outside the medieval town of Certaldo. Certaldo is a little off the usual tour routes, so its charming historic centre is refreshingly free of tourists and tourist traps. Its claim to fame is that the author of the Decameron, Giovanni Boccaccio, lived and died there. Forty minutes away are the unique art towns of Florence and Siena, and half an hour away is the little medieval gem of San Gimignano (whose towers – which give it the jokey nickname of the Tuscan Manhattan – we can see from the garden).
The hills all around are covered in vines and olive groves, and there are great walks to be taken. Horse-riding is another great way to see the surroundings. The countryside is dotted with charming hamlets to explore, and of course farms and vineyards to visit where you can buy delicious produce and wines.
You can get to Certaldo easily by train from the local airports and from all cities in Italy, but once here, car rental is a must. In Italy, train services between cities are good, but the public transport system in rural Tuscany leaves much to be desired. We do not transport you in a minibus, so you need a car (we can put you in touch with other participants so you can share one, even as a non-driver!) This way you can also explore the area on your own and tailor the week’s cookery holiday programme to your wishes. For example, following your afternoon tour of Siena, you can stay and watch the city empty of tourists and dine at one of the excellent restaurants; alternatively you can explore the stunning countryside on your drive back, then have a dip in the pool and a healthy bite to eat in the garden outside the villa.