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FAQ & Travel Tips

Read FAQ & Travel Tips

What would I be learning at the Good Tastes of Tuscany cooking class?
At our Good Tastes of Tuscany cooking class and Culinary tours you will learn about various ingredients and their nutritional value; how they are used in Italian cooking and how to combine them to make delicious meals. In our culinary classes, you will also be able to explore authentic Italian cuisine as you learn about traditional Tuscan recipes, and recipes from other regions in Italy. At the end of the course, students will be given our wonderful 100 page Italian cookery book.

What would I need to bring with me to class?
All you have to bring along is your enthusiasm and love for food, and we will provide you with all ingredients and cooking materials you will need, including aprons and cookery utensils.

What if I have no experience in cooking?
Whether you are a seasoned cook or a beginner, we offer specific classes and recipes to cater to your needs. We welcome everyone to enjoy an exciting experience of Tuscan cooking.

Is there an age limit for participants?
No, there is no minimum age limit for participants. You can also enquire with our staff about classes for families and groups.

What if I have special dietary requirements?
Our cooking class caters to participants with various dietary requirements including, organic, vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free diets. If you have any special dietary needs or food allergies, please inform us beforehand so we can plan the menu for the class accordingly.

How many students are there usually in a class?
There is usually a maximum of 13 students in each class. A larger number of participants will be divided into 2 groups in 2 separate kitchens, each with an instructor/chef.

How can I register for classes?
To register online or for more information, please contact us at: [email protected] or call us +39 393 930 5396.

Do you accept credit card payments?
Yes, we do accept credit card payments.

Are online credit card payments safe?
Online credit card payments are safe, fast and simple. To ensure your safety, we use a 128-bit SSL encrypted system and we will guarantee that your transaction is processed immediately.

Can I pay by EFT?
Yes, you can pay by EFT and we will also send you the invoice and details to complete the transaction. We will send you a confirmation when the payment has been received in the account. Please remember to include your name and invoice reference on the memo.

Can I pay by paypal ?
Yes, online through our site or sending the money to [email protected]

How do I get there?
We can arrange for participants to be picked up from Florentine airport and brought to the estate at a cost of €40. There is also a train available from Florence city to Lastra a Signa; the estate is just a short distance away from the Lastra a Signa train station.

Can I arrive on the day of the class?
You need to register and confirm your registration in advance. However, if you decide to participate at the last minute, you can call us (+39 393 930 5396) or book online ,we will send a confirmation to check for last minute availability email [email protected]

How early should I be present for the single day class?
If you are driving to the class We request you to arrive at least 5 minutes before the class starts, so that you have enough time to sign in and settle down before the cooking class begins. Your instructor will outline the menu, explain each dish and tell you about the various ingredients you will be using. The instructor will also be able to answer any questions you may have.

What do I need to do to reserve a space for the weekly culinary adventure
(weekly cooking tour )?
Either book directly online: click on the name here:
7 day gastronomical adventure
or email us at [email protected] for a registration form or call us at +39 393 930 5396. We will then check availability for the program and dates in which you are interested. If it is available, you will complete & fax the reservation form that we will send to you along with your deposit to secure your space.

What do I need to do to reserve a space for the weekly budget friendly course?
(weekly culinary tour )?
Either book directly online: click on the name here:
Budget weekly culinary tour
Are the cooking programs really a week , 7 nights or shorter like most programs being 6 nights?
We offer a full 7 nights !

Where can I find out the current dates and prices for the cooking programs?
The weekly program will be held all year round based on bookings and availability of the accommodation. Please let us know your preferred weeks and we will let you know if we can fit you in or will let you know the alternative weeks. You can also find an updated list of the weeks confirmed on our website, though of course we add more based on bookings so don’t hesitate to check with us even if the week you require is not listed.

Are the cooking classes taught in English?
Yes. All of our cooking classes are taught in English by our Italian chefs.

What if my travelling partner doesn’t want to learn to cook?
That’s fine; we have purposefully designed the program to cater for those who don’t want to stay in the kitchen. We will have an alternative tours & activities program for non participants or they can do their own thing. The Welcome & Farewell Dinner classes & the tours are open to everyone and we have considered these into the price for the non participants. So basically everything but the 4 cooking classes is included for the non-participant.

Can my partner join one of the cooking classes?
Yes that is no problem, as long as we know beforehand. They will be charged for a normal single day Advanced Cooking Class.

Do you cater to vegetarians?
Yes we certainly do. As long as we have prior notice, we can adjust the menus for the cooking days accordingly. Tuscan food is rich in vegetables and in almost all of our cooking menus, all but the small piece of meat in the second course is vegetarian. In a typical 5 course meal there is a lot of food for vegetarians!

What if I am allergic to something?
As long as we know beforehand then we can inform the chefs.

Do you have programs for more than a week?
Yes we can ‘add on’ as many extra days as you like which will allow you to delve even further into the wonders of Italian cooking with more hands on practical experience and then day tours and cooking based on the seasonal produce available at that time. If you think you would like to stay with us some extra days please let us know as early as possible so that we can check on the accommodation availability for you. For example- The extension in autumn may include porcini or mushroom hunting, or a search for ‘tartufi’ (truffles), and then you will spend the afternoon learning dishes based on these ingredients. Winter Game is very popular in the colder months and the hunting season runs from November until March or April. In this period, we will teach you how to prepare things like cinghiale (wild boar), pheasants, rabbits and hare. If we wanted to travel to other parts of Italy & continue our vacation can you help with that? Yes we most certainly can. We rent villas and apartments all over Italy and would be happy to make some suggestions for you.

Are all our meals included in the culinary adventure week?
No, not all meals are included though we guarantee you that the last thing you will feel during this week is hunger!!! We always arrange an ample welcome basket for you which will include fruit, yoghurt, cereal, coffee, tea, milk, bread, jam, fruit juice, chocolate, ham, cheese and salami as well as the estates red wine and extra virgin olive oil. On the cooking days the chefs welcome you with a huge pot of coffee and there are always biscotti and fruit in the kitchen. On the two excursion days we take you to a local pasticceria to sample the wonderful pastries and cappuccino. Lunches are included in the program. Dinners on 5 nights are included and then the other nights people normal like to wander down to the local pizzeria, enjoy a snack from their welcome baskets or finish off the meal from the days class that inevitably the chefs will pack up for you. Depending on the final schedule for the weekly program, we may also change some daytime cooking classes to be in the afternoon giving you dinner and leaving the day free for you to enjoy some more activities.

Do I need to be a proficient cook to attend the course? What if my skill level is basic?
No, you definitely don’t need high skill level as the chefs take the time to guide you through every step of the process. Cooks of all levels enjoy our classes!

If I am a single traveler or travelling with my companion and would like privacy for the week can you accommodate us in a separate villa?
Yes, depending on availability we would be happy to do this but there will be additional charges. The charges will differ depending on whether you are a couple or a single person and the accommodation of choice.

Can you assist with car rental?
Yes we work with a car rental consolidator and can send you their prices upon request.

What are your payment terms?
Upon booking of the ‘Gastronomical Week’ you will need to send us a 30% deposit. This deposit in non refundable, but maybe transferrable to another week based on availability and depending on how far in advance you cancel. The 70% balance will be due 60 days prior to your arrival at the Villa Pandolfini Estate.

What isn’t included in this price of the Adventure week?
This price does not include airfare or the transfers from the airport to the Villa Pandolfini Estate. From Florence the cost is 40 euro each way, though you can also take a taxi which is about 35 euro. There are a couple of evenings when you have free time so if you decide to eat ( after the cooking classes most people are very full, eat something light at the local pizzeria or the left over’s that the chefs pack up for you each day or make a platter of cheeses and cold cuts from their basket!) any extra restaurants is additional. That is really it! Any extra trips you want to take to Florence you need to pay for yourself though after the class, the minivan normally takes other single day students back into Florence so you can get a ride with him, then find your own way back ( train or taxi). Wine and olive oil purchased from the estate will be of your own cost.

Can I be picked up from my hotel for a single day cooking class?
Due to logistics, we cannot pick up participants from different addresses, so we will meet you at a central pickup point in Florence (the meeting point is at the corners of Via Curtatone and Via Amerigo Vespucci Lungarno, facing the river on the left hand corner). If in the event you have difficulties with walking or have special needs, then, on request, we can arrange for a pick-up at the hotel, for an extra charge according to the location of your hotel.

Is your class a hands-on cooking class?
Our class is a combination of hands-on and demonstration. If you prefer more hand-on participation in the class, simply inform the chef on the day and also make a note of it on your booking form.

Would I be able to learn to how to make any Italian recipes of my choice in the cooking class?
You can add the recipe you wish to learn on the form while booking the class and we will do our best to accommodate your request. However, we do have to take into consideration all the participants and their dietary requirements.

Is there a proficiency test involved at the end of the course?
No. There are no proficiency tests at the end of the class. However, you will be given a certificate of completion at the end of the weekly course.

What if I am unable to attend any day of the class due to unforeseen circumstances? Would I get a refund or reimbursement?
Although we cannot refund the deposit amount, we can re-schedule the class and credit the deposit amount for future classes. If in the event you cannot attend a day of class without any prior information, you will be charged 100% of the full class price, but you can reschedule the class for another day.

Do you include courses such as baking and bread making in your cooking class?
In our classes you can learn to make simple breads and pizza. Our cooking course also includes Tuscan desserts.

Can I learn how to make gelato?
Yes, if you wish, we can include gelato making in the course.

I am interested in a pasta making class.
All our classes include fresh pasta making, while the full immersion class covers coloring or stuffing pastas. In the multi-day classes you will learn how to make different varieties of pasta.