Who doesn't love European cuisine? Italian pasta, Polish sausages, Spanish Paella, French pastries---
Enjoy the food and wines of Italy, France, Poland and Spain on a culinary tour, an Epicurean cruise, or in one-day cooking classes.
Learn about the history and culture of the area while shopping for ingredients and preparing a variety of dishes to be savored at the end of the day.
There are many cooking schools in Italy, of course - but look a bit further and you'll find that you have the opportunity to learn about European cuisine outside of the classroom. Add a walking and tasting tour or half-day class to your vacation, or take a full week to indulge!
- Casa Ombuto offers full week, all-inclusive cooking vacations focusing on the cuisine of Tuscany or the Mediterranean region. Located in a renovated villa in Tuscany, the week includes time for sightseeing and local tours as well as cooking. Non-participating guests are welcome, too!
- In Rome, take part in Diane Seed's Roman Kitchen for a day or a week. The classes include dishes from many regions, and participation can be as hands-on as you wish. Ms. Seed also has classes on the Amalfi Coast and Puglia (in the south).
- Tuscana Saporita has week-long courses in a 15th century villa. The week is all-inclusive, with guests boarding in rooms above the school. Local tours and excursions are also included in the cost of the week.
- If you are visiting Florence and want just a sampling of Tuscan cooking, this Florence Cooking Course and Local Market Visit shows you how to shop for the best ingredients, teaches you to make a full Tuscan meal - from appetizer to desert - then lets you enjoy the meal with local wines.
- In Northern Italy, you can explore both the Piemonte region and it's culinary wonders on a 6-day
Cooking and Walking Tour offered by Girosole. You'll taste local wines, cheeses, and other products while visiting villages, castles, and an abbey in the Alps.
- Country Walkers offers a week-long walking/hiking tour of Tuscany and Umbria, which includes a cooking class and many wine and cheese tastings along the way. This is an active tour (you do actually walk the entire distance!) and is for women only.
- Whether you are of Polish heritage, or just like kielbasa and a good beer, you'll enjoy Poland Culinary Vacations trips to southern Poland. This is a European cuisine often overlooked, although so many Americans are of Polish descent.
Their escorted culinary trips include hands-on Polish cooking classes and demonstrations in the kitchens of local farmers and in fine urban restaurants. You'll stay in fine hotels and castles!
If you are visiting Poland on your own, they also offer day classes in Krakow.
Click on the "Culinary Vacations" tab, and watch the video - it's great fun!
- Imagine learning French cuisine in the kitchen of Julia Child! The Courageous Cooking School has a full-week cooking school in Ms. Child's former home in Provence. Their February course focuses on seasonal cooking and truffles; other sessions are tailored to the interests and skill levels of the participants.
- The Rhode School of Cuisine has a week-long course located in a villa on the French Riviera, outside of Cannes. The lessons are hands-on, with plenty of time available daily to enjoy the beach and surroundings.
- While in Paris, take a Paris Chocolate and Pastry Food Tour! A culinary specialist will lead you through several neighborhoods, sampling sweet treats along the way. Recipes will be provided.
- Visit the most famous market in Spain, the Boqueria Market, on a Barcelona Gourmet Food and La Boqueria Market Walking Tour. The half-day tour also visits wine, chocolate, and pastry shops. You'll also visit The Tostaderos Casa Gispert, a coffee and nut roaster which still has it's original oven roaster, dating to the mid-1800's.
- Cook & Taste offers half-day, hands-on classes to learn Spanish cooking in Barcelona. The classes also include a tour of Boqueria Market to purchase ingredients for the daily meal.This is another often overlooked European cuisine, but well worth looking into!
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