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Where we are

The cooking school is located between Florence and Siena: one of the most beautiful landscapes in Italy. As well as seeing stunning countryside, we explore the medieval cities in the area, and investigate the regional culinary traditions of great food and wine through meals and tastings.

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).

Certaldo

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.

Map of Tuscany

Explore Tuscany

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.

What people say about us

There are no words to describe how fantastic Shilpa and crew were for our week of cooking and touring Tuscany. She has perfected the balance of cooking, eating, touring and relaxing. Learned so much about italian food, wine and history of the region. I’d do it all over again in a heartbeat!

Kate Avatar
Kate
11/29/2019

5 star ratingAmazing local experiences and food! There are no words to describe how fantastic Shilpa and crew were for our week of cooking and touring Tuscany. She has perfected the balance of cooking, eating, touring and relaxing. Learned so much about italian food, wine and history of the region. I’d do it all over again in a heartbeat!

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210katev
11/28/2019

5 star ratingbest holiday ever have always wanted to go to a cook school and have always wanted to visit Tuscany, so for a big (unmentionable) birthday my husband and I went to join 8 others at Riccardo and Shilpa's cook school.

From the minute we walked through the doors we could not have been better looked after. Nothing was too much bother for them. The itinerary was perfect, opportunities to visit key places in Tuscany, a guide to show us round and give us the...
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Caz_C_12_12
11/27/2019

5 star ratingOne of our best vacations! Shilpa and Ricardo were excellent hosts and their entire crew was awesome!

The villa was beautiful and the views spectacular.

The cooking lessons were very well prepared and well organized. The chefs were amazing as well as the kitchen staff.

Christina is a wonderful teacher and she taught us a lot about olive oil and wine. Clara, Elizabetta, and Chiara were wonderful guides on our excursions.

Terry and Ricardo and friends gave us a memoral evening of music and singing. It was...
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Trek799509
11/14/2019
Our cooking week
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Contact us

If you’d like more information about our cooking courses or you are interested in booking a space, you can contact us by email, by telephone or send us a message using the form below.

Call us

If you’d like to speak to us, you can call our UK or US numbers (we answer them from here in Italy!)
from the UK:  0208 144 9164
from the US:  347 410 9690