Mama Mia…Tuscany is one bella regione

We attended a two day cooking class in Tuscany a couple of weeks ago, and wow… it was really fun! We learned how to make fantastic eggplant parmesan, three kinds of bruschetta, delicious tiramisu, and the best raviolis we’ve ever had.  Even better than the famous Hutnick Italian Scratch PartyTM raviolis, and that’s saying something!

Tina and Manuela were great instructors with lots of positive feedback (“Si, perfecto!”) and assurances (“Non c’e problema”).  Believe it or not, there were four “Mama Mia”s articulated over the two days (that’s 0.5 MM per hour).  To know that Italians actually use that phrase was, as the Master Card commercial says, “priceless”.

In addition to teaching us the basics of Tuscan cooking, the classes offered us a chance to spend two evenings with the instructors’ wonderful families and friends in their thousand year old villa tower.  After fours hours of cooking each evening, we presented our creations to our appreciative new friends.

The bed and breakfast we stayed at was ancient, too.  We weren’t thrilled with the owner, but we loved the location.

Other than the cooking classes, we explored two smaller towns south of Firenze. We spent most of Friday in Siena where the Palio, the famous horse races, take place twice a summer. Saturday we went to the Renaissance and Medieval town of Colle di Val d’Elsa where crystal has been manufactured since the 19th century.

The Siena Cathedral was possibly the most impressive we’ve see yet.  Rather than try to describe it, have a look at the pictures below.

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