Cooking Schools in Italy

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Need an excuse to visit Paris???
Cook-Dating (des cours de cuisine pas comme les autres — roughly translated: "a cooking course unlike the others") intrigued us ever since we noted a mention on its singles-only cooking classes in the New York Times Style Magazine. For details, click: Cook-Dating

NEW cooking classes from Chef Paolo Monti's Cucina Italiana, featuring an Italian Cooking School and Gourmet Cooking & Wine Tours.

Here's a sample:

"Under the Tuscan Sun" Cooking Class in Tuscany with Chef Paolo Monti and Tuscan chef and friend, Chef Gianluca Pardini.

* 3 "hands-on" Cooking classes in Tuscany

* 1 Fish class and fish market visit in Portovenere

* Visit to Pisa, Siena, Lucca, Greve in Chianti and wineries in the Chianti and Montalcino wine areas. Plus — a mozzarella-making and a Chocolate Lesson with world-class Chocolatier Andrea Slitti.

Dates: May 15 - 22; June 19 - 26

Price: Euro 2090 [$2703] per person - double room

Chef Paolo Monti comments:

"A large percentage of my clients are single, mostly female; about 25% are couples.The majority of them are American with a few Australians and British.

The single supplement varies from Euro 300 [$388] to Euro 450 [$582] depending on the place and the length. In some cases, in the low season — November to April — I waive the supplement.

Usually with cooking, eating and drinking together, all become friends by the 2nd or 3rd day and have a lot of fun for the rest of the trip. It's a great way of socializing, learning something useful and having fun!"

Interested in a cooking-hiking vacation combination? click: Portovenere, Cinque Terre and Portofino

Planning (dreaming about) travel in Italy? The Home Cooking organization may enrich your plans. A network from Puglia to Piemonte, 100+ home cook members open their homes to strangers. For details, click: Home Cooking

In celebration of SoloDiners' EAT OUT Week — February 1-7. 2006, invites the public (singles, solos and couples, too!) to nominate their favorite communal table dining restaurants for publication in a new section of the website.

To check out the growing list of communal table dining restaurants, or to submit your nomination, visit
: SoloDiners' EAT OUT Week

Apicius - The Culinary Institute of Florence — specializing in regional Italian and Tuscan cuisine — asks, "What's your pleasure?"

* Individual cooking instruction? (Propose the menu according to your special interests or select among Apicius' special theme menus.)

* Group cooking classes, plus Italian language classes, plus wine tasting? (Program "B" offers 4 hours of Italian language per day; 4 cooking classes — once a week; and 4 wine tastings — once a week.)

* Group cooking classes in Italian, plus 2 hours a day of Italian language classes?

Note: A vast array of other Non-Professional Group courses are also available throughout the year, as are market tours, gastronomic tours and culinary lectures. (Ask about Apicius' diploma program.) asks and receives answers:

What percentage of your cooking school students are solo (single or married, but not traveling with spouse)?

What is the gender mix of your solo students?
60% female, 40% male

What are the countries of origin of your solo students?
USA, South America, Japan, Israel, Korea

Wine for you — or for a friend!

The International Cooking School of Italian Food & Wine — Bolgna, Italy — Classes: May through October.

The cooking school is located in a sixteenth-century palazzo, a private Renaissance palace located in the Historic Center of Bologna.

Cuisine International — represents 11 cooking schools in Tuscany, Sicily, Bologna, Rome, Venice and the Neapolitan Riviera, Italy.

Classes: April to November

The International Kitchen — Represents cooking schools in Amalfi Coast, Lazio, Liguria, Lombardia, Piedmont, Sicily, Tuscany, Umbria, Veneto, Italy.

Classes: April to December.

Peggy Markel's Culinary Adventures — Tuscany, Morocco, Sicily and Elba — Classes: April to June and September to November.

Villa Delia Cooking School — Tuscany, Italy — Classes: April through November.

Canadian celebrity restaurateur Umberto Menghi conducts classes in a restored 17th century villa.

Per the website: "Group situations are great for singles and couples."

Cooking aids for you — or for gift-giving!

Toscana Saporita Cooking School — Tuscany, Italy. Classes: Spring through mid-November.

Here's a sampling of what we wrote when we included them in the May/June 1999 issue of

“The culinarily” deprived are welcome — and so are serious cooking aficionados at Toscana Saporita Cooking School!

Learning how to cook (and eat!) like a Tuscan appealed to kitchen novice Karen Sophiea. But of more interest, at least initially, was the location of the school. Located in a 500 year old estate only 30 miles from Florence, Italy, it offered a perfect base for touring Tuscany.

This Southern California-based marketing director was amazed by vacation’s end. The school experience had become the highlight of her excursion."

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