Vacanza Italia

The drive leading from Casa Umbuto to the main road. We are dreaming of being on this road!!

Yesterday Kelly reminded me that we will be flying off to Florence in just 9 weeks!  We will share an Italian cooking vacation for seven days at Casa Ombuto near Florence.  Paolo, Laura and Franco, our chefs, have returned from Sicily where they sampled several new dishes they will add to our Mediterranean Cooking Class cookbook. There is much to do to prepare.

We were wondering if it will be necessary to purchase the international phone package for our IPhones.  I say “yes”.  The GPS will probably come in handy for our walking tours. And it will be great to be able to send pictures of the culinary masterpieces we will create.  I can smell the garlic and truffles already.

Each day is well planned with a sightseeing trip after breakfast and hands-on cooking lesson in the afternoon.  Then we dine on our creations accompanied by delicious Tuscan wines that compliment the dishes. Although the week long course is intense there is plenty of leisure time for a trip to Florence to shop or a visit to LaVerna and its ancient monastery where St. Francis of Assisi lived most of his life.

International chef Laura Giusti teaches the Mediterranean Cooking Class. Laura was born in Subbiano which is a charming village close to Arezzo in the heart of Tuscany.  Her passion for food and wine inspired her to pursue this as a profession.  She studied to be a Professional Sommelier and she also complete and Oil” degustation course.  To improve her cooking skills she took courses with famous chefs from Florence, Rome and Lucca and with the “Slow Food” organization and the Institute of Alberghiero near Sienna. She also completed a Moroccan cookery course in North Africa.  In 1989 she opened up her own restaurant in Capolona near Arezzo “Il Giardiano Sull’ Arno”.  She started teaching in 2002  and was happy to finally unite her two greatest passions, cooking and teaching.  Her extensive knowledge of food and wine, combined with passion for teaching and personal charm will inspire us.

Here is a typical day at Casa Ombuto.  “Day 7  Breakfast.  Morning of leisure.  Light lunch if you are around.  About 3:00 pm begin hands-on cooking lesson.  Prepare an elaborate buffet dinner using all the cooking techniques that you mastered  during the week plus some new tricks. Presentation of food will also be demonstrated.  Grand finale dinner.  You will be presented with a certificate of attendance, cookbook and apron.”

During the next nine weeks I will be brushing up on my Italian and shopping for comfy travel clothes.  I intend to pack light as I will be responsible for my suitcase. Kelly will be a great travel companion and shares the same love of wine and cooking. My 13 day vacation is a dream come true and another line item to check off of my personal bucket list! Thank you honey for making this possible.  Ti amo!

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  1. Judi – I am so blessed to call you friend. I cannot believe we are on our way. I also LOVE your blog – how have I missed it? You are so truly talented in so many ways – writing is one I didn’t know about – and I cannot believe that I have the privilege to share this trip with you. No one else understands why cooking for 7 days is vacation! The kitchen is where I feel most comfortable and were better to learn about someone. Sono Pronto!!

  2. So happy for you guys!! You will have a blast and learn lots I am sure. Can’t wait to try your new dishes!! Keep us updated and take lots of pics. Love you!!

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