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Renaissance Florence™

Florence ~ Cooking & Art Classes ~ 6 Day

Welcome to our Cooking and Art in Florence tour where you will discover the beauty and romance of the art of cooking – while painting and drawing in small like-minded groups. You’ll experience food and art in the Renaissance city where ancient cobblestone streets are peppered with caffès and shops spilling out onto piazzas.

Florence Cooking Classes

Our cooking classes bring you into the Florentine kitchen with Chef Lorena. Tie on your apron and learn how to create authentic Tuscan traditions while preparing antipasto, fresh pasta and sauces, fish, meat or vegetarian, and delicious desserts. Following each cooking class, everyone enjoys the food that was prepared in the cooking class to follow with a toast of local wine.  During your stay, you will also visit the Sant’Ambrogio Market shopping with the chef while learning about fresh ingredientsand what to use in local recipes.

Art Classes & Academia Museum Tour
Watercolor or Drawing Classes

When you are not cooking, immerse yourself in art! Your teachers include the best of Florence’s artists and masters who have studied extensively and have been teaching fine arts, art history and the Italian language for a quarter of a century. You will experience hands-on watercolor or drawing classes in a peaceful, multicultural setting while learning, discovering and expanding your creativity.  Each guest selects their choice of classes.

When you are not in class, you’ll visit one of the most important museums, the Uffizi, home to an impressive collection of Renaissance art from Florentines. Think of the greats such as Leonardo DaVinci (Adoration of the Magi), Michelangelo (Davide), Botticelli (Primavera) and Giorgio Vasari (the Vasari Corridor).  Your English speaking guide, Luca, will lead the tour while explaining historic notes and facts – questions and discussions along the way. Luca is not only 100% Florentine, but he’s also a specialist on art and all things Florence! He knows the history of the local art, as well as 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 the art capital of Italy.

Discover The Great Florentine Masters

Step in the footsteps of the great artists – all from the Florentine school: Leonardo DaVinci, (a painter, draftsman, sculptor and architect but also an engineer and a genius); Michelangelo Buonarroti, (universally considered one of the greatest artists of all time); Giovanni Boccaccio (artist and poet who laid the foundations for the humanism of the Renaissance); Filippo Brunelleschi, (known for developing a technique for linear perspective in art and for building the dome of the Duomo); Sandro Botticelli, (a great artist best known for two paintings that depict mythological scenes, The Birth of Venus and La Primavera); Masaccio (worked on the frescoes of the Brancacci Chapel in the Florentine Church of Santa Maria del Carmine; Giotto (the most important Italian painter of the 14th century).

During your free time, we suggest to visit the Pitti Palace, Bobli Gardens, and the Santa Croce, a church that is home to so many masterpieces.

Florence ~ Shop With The Chef

Join Chef Lorena as she starts the morning with a 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 savory 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

Tie on your apron and learn how to prepare Tuscan antipasto, pasta, risotto, main courses and desserts under the guidance of Chef Lorena. She learned how to cook with her grandmother making fresh pasta, tagliatelle and Florentine almond biscotti. Her passion started when she was a child and continued as saying, “it was always in my heart and soul.”

Tuscan menus include crespelle alla fiorentina, Florentine crepes stuffed with spinach and ricotta; tagliatelle ai fungi porcini, handmade pasta with mushrooms; and ravioli di ricotta, handmade pasta stuffed with ricotta.  Learn how to prepare Tuscan pappa al pomodoro, or Panzanella, Florentine bread salad with tomato and seasonal vegetables. Main courses include pollo Florentine, chicken Florentine, or Steak Florenine.  Vegetarian menus are also available. Desserts are delicious from torta di mele, Tuscan apple cake and cantucci, twice-baked almond biscotti, and tiramisù al vinsanto.  Following each cooking class, everyone enjoys the food that was prepared in the cooking class with a toast of local wine.

Florentine Food & Wine

Tuscan food is simple, delicious and from the land – think thick hearty soups, antipasti, salumi and artisan cheese, wholesome pastas topped with sauces, truffle and porcini when in season, and meat sauce. Beans are also a staple in the Tuscan diet, as is the famous Florentine meat, roasted, grilled, fried, braised and always with wine, most often Chianti or Sangiovese. Bread is a staple as well, there are many; always made without salt respecting the anti salt tax laws that once existed. Florentine’s love their dolce be it biscotti, cantucci, crostata or torte made with golden apples, roasted chestnuts, and tarts made with pears. And not to forget gelato, whatever the season, gelato is available in all the 4 season, and flavors include pumpkin, rose petal, summer fruits and winter blends of caffè, caramel and chocolate.

Buon Appetito~Antipasto, Primo, Secondo & Dolce!

Start off with Tuscan bruschetta, a trilogy of three Tuscan breads served with first cold pressed extra olive oils dusted with sea salt and herbs, or white beans & olive oil, and always the Tuscan black olives and fennel. Then for the adventurous at heart, try the classical, toasted bread and fegato, sautéed livers and onion.

Florentine pastas such as gnudi, little pasta dumplings made with ricotta (in Renaissance dialect, ignudi literally meant naked) or pici, thick wholesome strands of hand-rolled pasta served in a zesty garlic sauce, and the classics, tagliatelle, ravioli and tortelli served with vegetable or meat sauces! Coniglio in umido, vitello and bistecca Fiorentina. Dessert include: Tuscan cantucci dipped in Vin Santo, frittelle di pere bosco, pears dipped in Vin Santo and baked and torte di mela, apple cake served with gelato.

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 Lorna’s 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.

Florence

When you’re not cooking painting or drawing, stroll along Florence’s cobblestone streets and pedestrian walk ways to discover the city’s famous restaurants, wine bars, goldsmiths, jewellers and leather artisans. Cross the ancient Ponte Vecchio, visit the Pitti Palace and Boboli Gardens.

 

Itinerary ~ 5 Nights, 6 Days

Day1: Arrival & Chef’s Tasting Dinner

  • Arrival and check in to our hotel set in the heart of Florence.
  • Enjoy your Cooking Vacations’ Welcome bag.
  • Later in the evening, enjoy you Welcome Dinner with a  Chef’s Tasting Dinner featuring: antipasto, pasta and sauce, main course, and dessert.  (Additional wine, liqueurs and any drinks are available at a surcharge).

Day 2: Art Class 1 & Explore Florence

  • Breakfast is served.
  • Following breakfast, enjoy your watercolor, drawing or acrylic class with your master professor. Spend the morning with your teacher learning technique and style.  Questions welcomed!
  • Later in the afternoon explore Florence on your own.
  • Enjoy dinner in any one of our favorite restaurants.  We include our Restaurant Hot Pick List.

Day 3: Market Tour & Cooking Class 1

  • Breakfast is served.
  • Following breakfast, discover the Sant’ Ambrogio Market with Chef Lorena.  Discover this historical  marketplace where you will learn about local seasonal ingredients. As you make your way through the heart of the Sant’Ambrogio Market, experience the scents, sounds and sights of colorful vibrant venders and artisans selling fruits, vegetables, fish, meat, cheese and wine.
  • After the market tour, join our chef in the kitchen for your hands-on cooking class. Under Lorena’s guidance, we’ll prepare a traditional antipasto, fresh pasta and sauce with dessert. Everyone dines together on the foods prepared in class. A toast of red or white wine is included as are soft drinks for the children and non-wine drinkers. (Additional wine, liqueurs and any drinks are available at a surcharge, if you chose).
  • Following your cooking class, explore Florence and walk along the River Arno.
  • Enjoy dinner in any one of our favorite restaurants.  We include our Restaurant Hot Pick List.

Day 4: Art Class 2 & Uffizi Gallery Tour

  • Breakfast is served.
  • Following breakfast, enjoy your morning art class with your master professor.
  • After your art class, join our English-speaking guide Luca for a private three hour tour (our small group) of the Uffizi Gallery.  Museum tickets are included.
  • Enjoy dinner in any one of our favorite restaurants.  We include our Restaurant Hot Pick List.

Day 5: Cooking Class 2 & Art Class 3

  • Breakfast is served.
  • Following breakfast, we head to the kitchen for our hands-on cooking class with Chef Lorena. We’ll prepare a traditional antipasto, fresh pasta and sauce with dessert. Everyone dines together on the foods prepared in class. A toast of red or white wine is included as well as soft drinks for the children and non-wine drinkers (Additional wine, liqueurs and any drinks are available at a surcharge)
  • Following your cooking class, head to your art class: watercolor, drawing or acrylic class. This final class may last longer producing your final creation. Then questions and answers and good-byes with your professor.
  • Enjoy dinner in any one of our favorite restaurants.  We include our Restaurant Hot Pick List.

Day 6: Check Out & Departure

  • Breakfast served.
  • Check out and

Program Includes:

  • 5 nights and 6 days in beautiful Florence.
  • Daily breakfast and maid service.
  • Chef’s Tasting Dinner with a Tasting Menu including: antipasto, pasta and sauce, main course and dessert.  Wine and beverages not included.
  • Sant’Ambrogio Market Tour iwith our Chef – discussions with tastings along the way.
  • 2 hands-on cooking classes followed by lunch or dinner which includes the foods that were prepared in class. Wine and beverages included.
  • 3 Art classes with our Florentine professor.  Art supplies included.
  • Museum Tour of the Uffizi Gallery, including 3-hour tour with private professional guide & reserved entrance to the museum with museum tickets included.
  • Round trip transfers to and from Florence Airport or Train Station.
  • Cooking Vacations’ Welcome bag with Chef’s apron, Prosecco toast and recipes.
Program Prices

$2,595 per person, based on 2 guests in 3 Star Deluxe.

$3,495 per person, based on 2 guests in 4 Star Superior with view on Florence.

$3,695 per person, based on 2 guests in 4 Star Superior 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.

*Supplement may apply during fair dates.

*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 and you can start your program on any day of the week. 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. 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.