Renaissance Florence™

Florence ~ Cooking Tour With Chef Lorena ~ 4 Day

Join chef and food lover Lorena in the heart of Florence for a fun and educational 4-day cooking experience.

The cooking classes bring you into the Florentine kitchen with Chef Lorena. Step into her kitchen and learn how to create authentic Florentine foods and Italian classics, while participating in hands-on cooking and discovering new techniques for each recipe. Each guest will prepare antipasto, pasta and sauces, fish, meat dish, and delicious desserts. Chef Lorena will lead you through each step using only fresh in-season organic vegetables that she buys daily at the nearby Sant’Ambrogio Market. A market tour to the famous Sant’Ambrogio Market with the Chef is included, as is Lorena’s special Florentine Secret Addresses Tour where Chef Lorena leads you through her favorite places in Florence which will have you experience the city like a local.


Food, art and romance overflow in Florence where ancient cobblestone streets are lined with caffès and trattorias that spill out onto piazzas. There are artisan makers of Renaissance paper, old world books, leather goods, wine, lines, and Florentine food.

Florence is home to two important museums, both the Uffizi & Accademia which include an expansive collections of Renaissance art from Florentine greats such as Leonardo DaVinci (Adoration of the Magi), Michelangelo (Davide), Botticelli (Primavera) and Giorgio Vasari (the Vasari Corridor).

Meet Luca your Florentine guide and expert on art and all things Florence! Luca not only knows the history of the local art, but he knows the best places to eat and drink Tuscan wine. Learn about the first Etruscans who founded Florence, perhaps as early as 1000BC, the Medici Family, the Renaissance Art that followed, and how Florence evolved into being the art capital of Italy.

Step in the footsteps of the great personalities who were attracted to Florence, from Leonardo DaVinci to Catherine de Medici. There was also 19th century writer, Stendhal, who loved Florence so much he suffered from withdrawal when he was away. “Florence and its art causes me to have rapid heartbeat, dizziness and even fainting,” he said. Pick up a copy of Stendhal’s Naples and Florence: A Journey From Milan to Reggio to inspire you as you sip a cappuccino in a Florentine caffé.

Shop With The Chef

Join Chef Lorena as she starts the morning with an early morning visit to the Sant’Ambrogio Market located in the ancient neighborhood of Camaldoli. Artisan vendors display their seasonal goods – fresh, local and piled high. It is a colorful scene as vendors shout out their specials of the day, and Florentines negotiate the best product and price. Our market tour takes you through the Sant’Ambrogio market under the wings of Chef Lorena and introduces you to the foods of the region. From artisan bread and cheese, to fruits and vegetables, fish and meats, to salumi and sweet baked goods, the market is an authentic place to purchase foods for all tastes.  Look for the cavolo nero, Tuscan black cabbage, grown in this region and only in season. Some of the fresh ingredients are bought for the cooking class and used are as an informal tasting before one of the cooking classes. Return to the kitchen and get cooking.

Florence Cooking Classes

In your hands-on cooking classes you will learn to prepare antipasto, pasta, risotto, main courses and desserts under the guidance of Chef Lorena. She learned to cook by watching her grandmother make biscotti and tagliatelle for Sunday lunch. Her passion started when she was a child and continued as she says, “it was always in my heart and soul.”

You will learn from start-to-finish how to make Florentine bread including,-coccoli con prosciutto, schiacciata all’olio, and bruschette. There is fresh pasta, such as crespelle alla fiorentina, tagliatelle ai fungi porcini, and ravioli di ricotta. Also learn to make a great Tuscan pappa al pomodoro or Panzanella. Main courses or secondi, include,-pollo in fricassea, scamerita col cavolo nero, and polpette della nonna. Desserts include,- torta di mele, cantucci, and tiramisù al vinsanto to name a few. Following the seasons, recipes vary.

Everyone joins around the table and enjoys the foods that were made in class following. Local wine, dessert and great conversation always included. Chef, food lover, and member of a professional choir at the School of Music in Fiesole, there is always music in Lorena’s kitchen!

You will be cooking up some of the regions most treasured traditional recipes! She welcomes each and every guest into her kitchen, while sharing the secret addresses of Florence for food, wine, artisan products and local produce. This exclusive Food & Romance cooking tour for women only will have you cooking, learning, and touring – the perfect trip for real foodies!

Florence Accommodations

In the very heart of Renaissance Florence and where all the artists once lived is our boutique-style B&B. Comfy, cozy and adorned with all the modern touches is your accommodation. The property is just around the corner from Dante’s statue and a short walk from the Museum Uffizi. Set on a quiet street filled with Florentine palazzi make its location convenient and centrally located. Step into the bright and newly renovated rooms complete with comfortable furnishing, large windows, ensuite private baths in every room with showers, hairdryers, and air conditioning. A common breakfast room always filled with the sweet smell of home baked cakes and jam, along with eggs, fruit, tea, espresso, cappuccino, Tuscan bread, eggs and ham, salumi and artisan cheeses, welcomes you each morning.  This continental breakfast is included each day.

*4-star and 5-star accommodations are available upon request.

Itinerary ~ 4 Days, 3 Nights

Day One: Arrival & Chef’s Tasting Dinner

  • Arrival and check in.
  • Introduction and a Welcome aperitivo.
  • Chef’s Tasting Dinner with the Chef’s Tasting Menu at our favorite Ristorante, including classics such as crostini or bruschette, a classical antipasto; tagliatelle and porcini or gnudi, as your primo. secondo, main course, includes, tempting Tuscan beef-fillet with arugola and Parmigiano or the classic bistecca alla Fiorentina.
  • Fish or vegetarian menus are also available. Top it off with a sweet ending Tuscan torta di mela or cantucci and Vin Santo.

Day Two: Market Tour & Cooking Class 1

  • Breakfast is served.
  • Market Tour: Chef Lorena takes you to the Sant’ Ambrogio Market. Make your way through the the famous marketplace where you will learn about the local foods in season. As you make your way through the heart of the Sant’Ambrogio Market, experience the scents, sounds and sights of colorful produce and vendors shouting out their specials!
  • Next, head into the kitchen with Chef Lorena for your cooking class 1.
  • Lunch follows on the foods prepared in class. Local wine, water and café included.
  • Afternoon is free and dinner on your own.

Day Three: Cooking Class 2 & Uffizi Museum Tour

  • Breakfast is served.
  • Meet Chef Marie for your cooking class 2.
  • Lunch follows with the foods prepared in class, wine & beverages included.
  • Afternoon: Uffizi Museum Tour with our professional guide. Spend the morning at the Uffizi Gallery and see the Masterpieces of Botticelli, Da Vinci and Caravaggio. Giovanni Botticelli’s, Birth Of Venus & Primavera depict Renaissance art at its best.  The half-day tour is with our private guide and reserved museum entrance included and tickets included.
  • Dinner is on your own.  Cooking Vacations provides many suggestions.

Day Four: Departure

  • Breakfast is served.
  • Check out and say goodbye-until next time.
  • Ciao e Arrivederci!

*Note: This schedule may vary due to inclement weather, saint days or festivals. All activities, in the event of rescheduling, are always included during the program.

Program Includes:

  • 4 Days and 3 Nights in beautiful Florence.
  • Daily breakfast and maid service.
  • 2 hands-on cooking classes followed by lunch or dinner with the food that was prepared in the cooking class with a toast of wine included.
  • Chef’s Tasting Dinner with Tasting Menu at including:  antipasto, pasta with sauce, main course and dessert. Wine and beverages not included.
  • Sant’ Ambrogio Market Tour with English-speaking guide, discussion and tastings along the way included.
  • Museum Tour of the Uffizi Gallery, including 3-hour tour with private English-speaking guide and reserved entrance to the museum with museum tickets included.
  • Cooking Vacations’ Welcome Bag with chef’s Apron and recipes.
  • Round trip transfers to and from Florence Airport or Train Station.
  • A copy of Lauren’s cookbook It’s A Dream Place, Stories & Recipes of Food, Love and the Amalfi Coast
Program Prices

$2,095 per person, based on 2 guests in a a 3 Star Deluxe.

$2,595 per person, based on 2 guests in a 4 Star Deluxe with View on Florence.

$2,695 per person, based on 2 guests in a 4 Star Deluxe with View on the Arno River.

For Single Guests: If you are traveling on your own, please call us for the best group price. We are happy to welcome you into an already scheduled group.

*Prices change during fair dates and festivals.

*An Italian visitor tax may apply in some cities and must be paid directly on site at check out.

Check Availability

2024 Dates: This program is available throughout the year. Check-in is on Sunday, but other days may be available on request. Rates are subject to change based on currency exchange. Call for updated rates. Airfare not included. Group transfers for any cooking tour or tours that include transfers, are for the group and are not private. Transfers before, after or to another destination outside of your cooking tour are not included in the program price. If you would like to add on a private transfer or transfers, let us know and we will send you pricing.

Add-On Activities

Add-on extra nights, cooking classes, a gelato tour, painting and or Italian classes & Food Lover’s Tour to your program.

Florentine Secret Address Tour

Let us lead you through our favorite Florence places, choose a walk in the hills of Florence to see one of the most unforgettable panoramas or the window shopping through some of the most exclusive artisan craft-shops and the specialty shops in the historical center of Florence. Along the way, stop for a Florentine coffee or tea, a local glass of wine, or gelato. Informal discussion, food notes and tastings included.  Program Price is 120E per person based on a minimum of 2 guests, including all taxes..

Drawing, Painting & Sculpture Classes

Florence has inspired artists for centuries, so let this magical city inspire your creative side in drawing, painting or sculpture classes.  Each lesson lasts three hours and choose your focus based on your interests whether architecture, still life, the human body.  Semi-private and group lessons available as well for those staying longer in Florence.  Private and group art classes available.  Please call us for best pricing based on private or group classes.

Learn Italian In Florence

During your stay, add on Italian language lessons for a true immersion into Florentine life and culture.  Each lesson lasts one hour and themed lessons available to spiff up your kitchen vocabulary, too.  Imagine walking through the market with your teacher to learn food words in Italian, or stop in a café to practice ordering from a menu.  Whether you decide to keep your lessons inside or outside of the classroom, our Italian language teachers’ fun and relaxed style teaches you Italian greetings, going shopping, ordering in a café and restaurant and more that you will have the opportunity to use and practice during your stay.  Semi-private and group lessons available and lessons can be geared to each person’s level, whether you are just learning to say Buongiorno, or you are ready for Dante’s Divina Commedia in its original Tuscan.  Private and group Italian classes available.  Please call us for best pricing based on your private experience or group experience.