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8 days
Available in English
All levels
Max. 8 people

What's included

  1. 7 nights of accommodation in family-owned B&B
  2. Meals served with wine (as per itinerary)
  3. Four hands-on cooking lessons (3 to 4 hours each)
  4. Trips to Barga, Pisa, Lucca and Sommocolonia
  5. Visits to "La Grotta del Vento" and The Calomini Hermitage
  6. A vineyard visit and wine-tasting
  7. Recipes to take home
  8. Transfers to and from Pisa Airport
  9. Local transfers for the included activities

Not included

  • Airfare
  • Travel insurance
  • Personal expenses
Day 1: Arrival

You will be picked up from Pisa Airport between 11:00 a.m. and 03:00 p.m. and taken by private shuttle to your accommodation to meed your hosts. Once you settle in, join your hosts for a glass of wine and talk about the activities planned for the week.

Meals included: dinner

Have breakfast with the group and head to the medieval village of Barga where you can admire the 11th century Cathedral and take in fantastic views of the Serchio Valley. After a light lunch in Barga, you will head back to your accommodation and start your first cooking lesson, a 4-hour workshop on creating pasta from scratch and cooking sauces that go with each type. Dine together on your own creations in the evening.

Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Today you will travel to Pisa and admire the famous leaning tower and Piazza Miracoli. In the afternoon, you will visit the ancient town of Lucca with its historic city center and the Renaissance wall. In the evening, your hosts will greet you with a BBQ dinner back at your accommodation.

Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Your hosts will take you to the town of Castelnuovo Garfagnana where you will wander around the local market and have a light lunch in a local wine and grocery store. In the afternoon, join your second cooking lesson with Chef Rita back at your accommodation. Pizza will be the main focus of the class, you will learn how to make the perfect dough and sauce while cooking your pizza in the authentic wood fired brick oven available. In the evening you will enjoy live music on the veranda.

Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Today you will go on a market visit in Fornaci di Barga, buy fresh vegetables and fish. For lunch you will put together some insalata di mare and crostini di mare. You will use the rest of the ingredients to cook an abundant dinner using the catch of the day.

Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner

On the sixth day, you will visit two of the region's landmarks: the Calomini Heritage (a local 18th century monastery) and La Grotta del Vento where you can admire stalactites, stalagmites, mud formations, little ponds and perfectly vertical shafts. In the afternoon, you will take your forth and final cooking lesson focusing mainly on vegetarian dishes such as sformato di patate, sformato di verdura , torta di farro, zuppa di farro and perhaps melanzane alla parmigiana.

Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Take a day trip to the village of Sommocolonia, where your hosts' parents lived before emigrating to Scotland. Rita, your host, will delight you with details about the village. You will visit a vineyard to learn about the wine making process, have a light lunch, and taste some local wines from the Concori vineyards. In the afternoon there is also an optional two-hour Italian conversation lesson that you can take part in. Enjoy your last dinner with your hosts before leaving the next day.

Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner

After breakfast, get transferred with the rest of the group to Pisa Airport.

Meals included: breakfast
Blue apartment
Double / twin bed(s)
Shared bathroom
Fan cooling
Outside area with gazebo
Shared kitchenette
Bed linen, towels

The Blue apartment has two rooms: one with a double bed and the other with twin beds and a double bed. The two rooms share a bathroom.

Specific rooms cannot be guaranteed at the time of booking, you will be assigned a room based on availability. No single supplement required.
Double bed
Private bathroom
Fan cooling
Kitchenette and dining area
Bed linen, towels

The Red apartment is in fact a studio with one bedroom equipped with a fireplace and an en-suite bathroom.

Specific rooms cannot be guaranteed at the time of booking, you will be assigned a room based on availability. No single supplement required.
Double / twin bed(s)
Private bathroom
Fan cooling
Bed linen, towels

Three double bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms and one twin room with en-suite bathroom are also available.

Specific rooms cannot be guaranteed at the time of booking, you will be assigned a room based on availability. No single supplement required.

Tuscan cuisine is all about simple meals that are inexpensive and can easily be made in large amounts. You will use fresh and organic ingredients to cook high-quality meals and enjoy "la vera cucina Italiana". You will enjoy freshly made pasta, filled ravioli, ragu, pizza, gnocchi and long-forgotten Tuscan classics such as vegetable sformato, castagnaccio, and necci.

Breakfast selectionFresh pastries, fruit and coffee
Lunch and dinner optionsBruschette, ragu, homemade pasta, cheese and spinach filled ravioli, gnocchi, pizza, focaccia, tiramisu, torta di ricotta
Regular, vegetarian and gluten-free meals are provided
Please get in touch in advance to discuss your specific dietary requirements.

With magnificent views overlooking the Apuan Alps, Rita's cookery school and B&B is situated on the edge of La Garfagnana in Northern Tuscany , 36 km / 22 miles from Lucca and just 4 km / 2.5 miles from Barga.

How to get there:

Please book your flights to arrive at Pisa International Airport (PSA, also known as Galileo Galilei Airport).

Airport transfers to / from Pisa Airport on the arrival and departure dates are included in the package. The shuttle picks up guests on the first day between 11:00 a.m. and 03:00 p.m. and drops them off on the last day after breakfast.

Rita was born in Scotland from Italian parents. Her family opened a catering business in Scotland so Rita has always had deep roots in the culinary business. During her formative years Rita fully immersed herself in her parents and grandparents culinary cultures. She has now been in Barga for over 30 years running her own Bed&Breakfast and cooking school.

Are the cooking classes available to all levels?

Absolutely, no prior cooking experience is required. All levels of knowledge and ability are more than welcome.

When is the cooking vacation available?

The following dates are available:

  • April 7-14, 2019
  • May 26 - June 2, 2019
  • June 2-9, 2019
  • June 16-23, 2019
  • July 7-14, 2019
  • July 21-28, 2019
  • August 4-11, 2019
  • August 18-25, 2019
  • September 15-22, 2019
  • September 29 - October 6, 2019
  • October 9-16, 2019 (Fully Booked)
  • October 16-23, 2019

Other dates may be available on request. Please get in touch in advance to check availability.

What language is used during the cooking classes and other activities?

The entire experience is available in English.

How many people are to be expected in the cooking sessions and other activities?

There are maximum 8 participants per session.

Is any equipment provided?

Everything you need for the cooking sessions is included in the package.

I am vegetarian / vegan. Can I still book this cooking vacation?

This experience would be well-suited for vegetarians but not for vegans. For other food restrictions, please get in touch.

Is WiFi available?

Yes, WiFi is available at the accommodation. However, due to the thick walls of the villas, not all rooms have direct access to the Internet.

Are there any age restrictions?

This experience is available to guests aged eight and above. However, please keep in mind that you must be 18 years of age to travel independently.

I have food allergies, is this experience right for me?

Please get in touch to discuss your specific requirements, dietary restrictions, and concerns. Guests who suffer from severe, life-threatening allergies are strongly encouraged to come prepared with all the necessary medication and be capable of self-administering it.

Would this experience be suited for people with limited mobility?

Unfortunately, this experience would not be well-suited for people with limited mobility.

Do I need a visa?

Guests traveling from EU and/or Schengen member states may enter Italy for tourist purposes without a visa. Please contact us for further guidance.

Where should I land?

Please book your flights to arrive at Pisa International Airport (PSA, also known as Galileo Galilei Airport).

Are airport transfers included?

Airport transfers to / from Pisa Airport on the arrival and departure dates are included in the package. The shuttle picks up guests on the first day between 11:00 a.m. and 03:00 p.m. and drops them off on the last day after breakfast. Only one pick-up per day is provided, so pending on the number of guests for each session, participants might need to wait for others while at the airport.

Are there any check-in and check-out hours?

Check-in is after 11:00 a.m. and check-out is at 10:00 a.m.

What should I pack?

Please make sure you pack insect repellent, sunscreen, and personal toiletries.

How far in advance should I book?

Please try to book at least 60 days in advance to make sure there is availability for your selected dates.


"My 3 sister's and I had a 4 day Cook and Dine course with Rita mid-September. There were the 4 of us and another 5 guests who were strangers when we met but we very quickly all became friends. From picking us up at the airport until our return journey back to the airport Rita was without a doubt the hostess with the mostest. She looked after us all so well, not just with the cookery lessons but she was our tour guide also. Every morning she took us to a local place of interest, bought coffees, ice cream and on the last day lunch as this was a non-cooking day and we were out for the full day between Pisa and Lucca.

All meals and copious amounts of wine were included and evening entertainment was provided by Ritas partner Alex. We cooked, are drank danced and laughed non-stop and this was a truly wonderful experience which I am happy to recommend"


"Highly recommend this holiday. From the moment we were picked up from the airport we were well looked after. Nothing was too much trouble for Rita and Alex. The 3 four hour cooking lessons were fun and informative, I learnt a lot. The added trips out were wonderful. Would definately recommend this place and return again."


"My two daughters (13 and 11) and I spent six relaxing days hosted by the lovely Rita and ever smiling Alex. Rita went above and beyond to make our stay the best she could. We really felt right at home and nothing was too much effort. Our all inclusive basis meant just that, right down to buying us drinks and ice creams when we went out on excursions (inc Pisa). The girls and I learnt some very useful cooking skills which we've already put into practise. Thank you Rita and Alex we love you "


"This past week as part of our honeymoon we did a private class with Rita on Toscana cooking-- we made homemade raviolis and pasta and she definitely explained how to make the recipes in a simple and approachable way for all levels. We ate afterwards and everything was delicious!!! It was lovely to get to know Rita and her family is lovely-- Alex her partner sang to us and we were dancing-- it was a joy! Also we customized this class to make recipes that my husband enjoys (he is a picky eater!)"