Browse Our Travel Ads
Receive Our Newsletter
Use Our Search Engine
Discover Hermail.Net
Where's Journeywoman?
Her Travel Tales
Her Cities of the World
She Travels Solo
She Loves to Cruise
The Older Adventuress
She Travels to Learn
Her EcoAdventures
She's a Biz Traveller
She Shops the World
She Travels with Kids
GirlTalk Cyberguides
Men Have Their Say
Travel Love Stories
Tour Guides Worldwide
Restaurants Worldwide
Books She Suggests
We Love Our Sponsors
She Visits Spas
JourneyDoctor Advice
Letter to the Editor
Send a travel tip
Media request
Speaking Engagements
Want to Advertise?
Bloggers We Recommend




An Incredible Cooking Experience in Florence


Bless our JW Network of Classified Advertisers for this suggestion. It was Karen Herbst of The International Kitchen that arranged for my Tuscan cooking class with Silvia Maccari (right in her Florence home). Cooking is not one of my strong points but because of Silvia, who enjoys sharing her love of life, good food, expertise and meeting people, this was definitely one of the highlights of my trip to Florence.

Our day started with a tour of San Lorenzo Market -- my teacher greeting her favorite merchants and choosing only the freshest ingredients to be used for our class. Then on to her kitchen where Silvia handed me an apron and we began our hands-on cooking class. While preparing our five-course meal, I learned simple cooking techniques and shared lots of interesting girl talk and travellers' tales.

It was a lovely sunny morning -- Silvia kept the doors to the small balcony off her kitchen open -- when the recipe required it, she stepped out to snip fresh basil growing in outdoor clay pots. Our class menu included: pie with cheese, onions & olives, risotto with shrimps & vegetables, stuffed veal chops, tomatoes with porchini mushrooms & leek stuffing, as well as biscotti and vin santo to close the meal. Julia Child once said that the sign of a good cook is that she can have all dishes ready at just about the same time. Silvia was right on with everything including the risotto which only has a five-minute window for perfect consistency.

Now my teacher morphed from a Tuscan chef to a fine Italian host. Her dining room table was beautifully set with simple white porcelain dishes and red napkins on a vibrant orange-red Indian cover. A pot of yellow flowers sat in the center along with three bottles of wine -- white, red, and dessert.

Silvia, who speaks excellent English, learned to cook from her Florentine grandmother who passed on a wealth of family recipes. I am grateful to both of these women for the gorgeous meal I enjoyed. Once the main course was on the table, Silvia joined me. This was no ordinary meal and no ordinary classroom. It was a true immersion into the Italian culture. I was welcomed into another woman's kitchen where she shared her expertise and her company. While other travel experiences may fade, I know that this one will not. Bravo Silvia and thanks, again, to The International Kitchen for making this adventure possible.

She travels and learns to cook...

The companies listed below are all members of our network of Journeywoman classified advertisers. For those readers interested in a cooking holiday, we thought it was appropriate to offer these ads as a place to begin your 'travel & learn' research. Bon appetit everybody!

SAVOR THE HIDDEN DELIGHTS OF SICILY with professional chef Michele Topor. Learn the ancient arts of ricotta cheese making and the pressing of olives. Enjoy lunches at farmhouses and wineries. Dine in a castle with the baron and baronessa. Become immersed in the culture and befriend the people; every essence of Sicilian life is experienced firsthand. Stay at the most exclusive properties. E-mail:; tel: 617-523-6032, or visit:

WOMEN/WINE/FOOD/FUN IN ITALY Join my small (4-12) culinary tours/cooking classes to Italy and let me share with you the rich assortment of friends and colleagues in the country that has captured my heart - we'll visit an amazing group: baker, butcher, winemaker, balsamic master, olive oil producer, cheese makers, grappa processors, chefs, fishermen. All while staying in beautiful accommodations throughout Italy: Tuscany, Umbria, Venice, Riviera/Cinque Terre, Amalfi Coast, Sicily, Apulia. Phone: 1-888-636-1602, Website:, E-mail: Bev Gruber's Everyday Gourmet Traveler, Seattle, USA.

MAKE FRANCE YOUR CLASSROOM Stay in an 18th Century Chateau in France and study French Language and/or Cooking. Ecole des Trois Ponts in C18th Chateau de Matel specialises in French Language & French Cookery Courses for adults seeking a relaxed setting and good food in a convivial atmosphere. E-mail: Visit our website: We welcome you!

INTERNATIONAL COOKING SCHOOL OF ITALIAN FOOD AND WINE -- Join Mary Beth Clark and Italian chefs for hands-on cooking in our Bologna Renaissance palazzo. Make traditional and new-style dishes, enjoy delicious food-and-wine pairing meals, countryside excursions, Michelin-star restaurants. Cook on Tuscan wine estate in our Savoring Course. Hunt for truffles in Piedmont in October. Four different courses (4-7 days), May-October, hotel accommodations included. Many women travelers join us for this wonderful dream-come-true!

eduVacations - LANGUAGE, SPORTS, ARTS & CULINARY LEARNING ADVENTURES Solo travelers, families, mother/daughter duos enjoy special savings when you book at! Meet people from many countries, explore great places and learn: French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, German; painting, golf, skiing, bicycling, surfing, photography, motorcycling, cooking & wines; you name it! From North America to South America, Europe, the Caribbean (for French), and more. Call: 202-857-8384. Website:





More travel & learn stories



free newsletter | gal-friendly city sites | go-alone travel tips | love stories
travel classifieds | ms. biz | journey doctor | women's travel tales | she goes shopping
what should I wear? | letters to the editor | the older adventuress | travel 101 | girl talk guides
women helping women travel | her spa stop | her ecoadventures | best books
travel with kiddies | shopping | cruise holidays | awards and kudos | home|
search engine