Name: Mrs. Debi Johnson
From: Camas, WA - U.S.A.
“You come as a stranger you leave as family.”
We arrived just in time Sunday night for dinner that concluded with the most amazing Pear tart (dang forgot to get that recipe) which set the course for out next 5 days.
My main reason for booking this course was because they were willing to work around my allergy of tomatoes, which in Italy you can imagine how many people found that hard to change their courses too. But not here, I never had to worry about it as they prepared special dinners for me as well as made sure the things we were taught didn't have a drop of tomato anywhere.
Annalisa and Manuela spent 3 mid mornings (about 2 Â½ hours that flew) teaching us to use all 5 of our senses to make wonderful rustic northern Italian recipes, 21 in all. Everything was fresh and so simple but the complex flavors that they achieve are remarkable. They do all the prep work so that you can focus on the important parts like how many times on each pasta setting to get the perfect pasta. I have to say I have had a lot, I mean a lot of Tiramisu (maybe 2 to 3 hundred, as it is my favorite) and the one we were taught was hands down miles above anything I have every had. They also got me to eat my veggies, which I am not a fan of (especially carrots, which I ate all gone.) Only warning is with 4 course at lunch and 3 at dinner bring clothes a size to big as small portions are not on the menu. Love these ladies!
Mario was our Translator for our cooking classes and Wine Guide. His English is excellent and his knowledge of wines and the local wineries that we visited was extensive. He taught us everything for tasting a good wine to the history of how vineyards were constructed. He also made sure that we had the right wines to go with our foods and that our tastings at the wineries we perfect (usually opening a new bottle for us.) I will never drink a glass of wine the same way again.
Silvia was our guide for our day in Valpolcella and 2 wineries that specialize in all my favorite wines. She is a delight and I know we will stay in touch for a long time. We got a wonderful tour of the Verona area and she made the 2 hour drive fly by. If you can talk them into this tour (it isn't on the website anymore) you really should go the wines are the best in the region if not all of Italy.
Paolo was our guide to Chioggia and took us to the airport and saw us off safe. His knowledge of the area was vast and he helped with our translations and even allowed us girls shopping & photography time (he even carried the bags). He stayed with us at the airport until we were sure we knew our gate just like a protective brother and friend. Felice was our chef at the La Taverna in Chioggia, we learned how to cook the freshest seafood you can get with the smallest amount of ingredients. My friend even ate seafood which she hates.
Andrea and Riccardo were are host and the most gracious of Italian men as you can find. Our happiness, well-being and enjoyment was always at the forefront of their minds, we never wanted for anything, other than more sleep as our days were packed beginning to end (in a great way). They maintain a Villa that just begs of peace and tranquility. There is not a sound of the outside world except for a few cars coming and going to the property. Thank you both so much for beginning such great hosts and always having lunch with us. If you want to leave Italy with new friends and a vast amount a knowledge book a week here. It is a sure thing!