Client Comments about In Terre Di Toscana
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The Torre Guelfa vacation/cooking school was superb. Chef Claudio and his sister Sabrina and staff were incredible. This place is like a little resort/spa nestled in a quiet town in Tuscany (30 mins from Florence). Very relaxing, and a perfect place to go in the middle of a European vacation where you can catch your breath. The first day we hit the swimming pool, very nice and refreshing. The meal and wine we were served that night was over-the-top good. I tried many things I had never had before. Meeting the other guests and people from the town was a highlight as well. Claudio was so highly recommended and well known that we felt special, like invited guests. The room/accomodations were very nice with comfortable beds, nice equipped baths and pleasing decor. The cooking class was fun; we used all natural ingredients many of which were picked that day from the garden! And we accomplished a lot by making so many dishes! Sabrina was so kind to bring us to town to visit on our off day. She was also helpful at the train station since we did not speak Italian. Overall it was excellent. I couldn’t have asked for more! I just wish i could have stayed a day or two more!
Lucy T., LA
Our experience with Chef Claudio at Relais Torre Guelfa was surely one of the best we have ever had. As a host and teacher, Claudio is without peer. Although a master chef, he is without any presumption, and a very honest, fun-loving and open person. His skills in the kitchen and ability to effectively communicate were fabulous. Our class was full of Americans (!!) who were all personable and looking for usable knowledge, really good people. Claudio ensured that we all worked together through the lessons, and his hands-on assistance was invaluable. The results of our lessons were shared with all during lunch and dinner with Claudio sharing some of his wine cellar’s best offerings. The B&B was great, just what we expected for a Tuscan home (with a welcome pool, given the heat). Wonderful staff/family: Daniela, Sabrina, and everyone else (including Theo the dog) who were always available and ready to help. This was the end of a month-long trip, and a very nice ending indeed. Great food, great staff and classmates, and a memory that will last a lifetime.
After traveling for 2 months through Europe, we wanted to splurge at the end of our trip on a cooking vacation in Tuscany. Chef Claudio went above and beyond anything and everything we experienced in our travels to give us an incredible introduction into the beauty and passion of Italian cuisine. Our cooking class was by far the highlight of our trip. I can’t thank the International Kitchen enough for putting us in such great hands!
My wife and I had the time of our lives with Chef Claudio in Tuscany. Everything was “perfecto”. The villa we stayed in was perfect. The cooking classes had the right amount of detail and direction and Chef Claudio was overly accommodating, warm and friendly. I wouldn’t change a thing, what an amazing experience. We were very, very satisfied and can’t wait to go back!
Peter V., NY
From the very beginning, our trip was wonderful. The people at International Kitchen were extremely helpful assisting with our travel plans. We called often before we left and they were always willing to help in anyway they could. In addition, the information we received in the mail was invaluable. We used everything in the packet. Once we arrived in Italy the fun began. We were treated like royalty by chef Claudio and his wife. We fell in love with his restaurant staff and family. They were always willing to assist us with travel (we got lost a few times) and went out of their way in many ways to see that we had a wonderful vacation. The time we spent in their company was very special. I can’t begin to thank them all for the trip of a lifetime. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys cooking and enjoys culture. It far exceeded any expectations I had for the trip. As my daughter tells everyone, I really did live out one of my dreams come true.
Linda M., PA
First let me say that Chef Claudio, Daniella and Sabrina were wonderful and thoughtful throughout our stay. We had a wonderful experience and would highly recommend it to anyone. Our first night eating at the restaurant was a shock – the quantity of food (5 courses) was intimidating but each dish was so delicious that we ate the whole meal from beginning to end. The experience of several courses of delicious food was repeated throughout our stay. The instruction was thorough and well thought out, clear to understand and every participant had abundant hands-on practice. Chef Claudio has a very even temperament at all times, he was very patient with us and made everyone feel comfortable and relaxed with our assigned tasks. He was eager to demonstrate techniques and discuss the “why and where” of ingredients and techniques. His garden was the source of many items we cooked. I think his favorite phrase was “Perfetto”. Our cooking partners, who we met on our first day, were delightful. I expect to maintain friendships with several people we met at chef Claudio’s for many years to come. The B&B was surprisingly modern and comfortable for an old Italian Estate, although we had to get used to the small “tub” in the bath. The grounds were hilly and planted with olives, grapes, pomegranates and a garden of bounty. We collected mushrooms in the woods on site for a couple of the dishes we made (delicious). The place gave a feeling of the Italian countryside. The pool was fun and well-used by all the class participants. The temperature was wonderfully warm for May. The B&B is well located for day journeys into the Tuscan countryside and we took advantage of that with trips to nearby ancient castles and towns and exploring Chianti wine country. I should say that driving the narrow roads around Figline Valdarno can be perilous…
All my questions and concerns were immediately addressed by the Chicao staff in a very courteous and friendly way. Robyn, in particular was wonderfully informative and responsive (Thanks Robyn).
Dennis W., MD
I am a professor of Italian and I have taken Italian cooking before but this trip surpassed my expectation in every way. Claudio is a wonderful and caring chef. We leanred so much from him and the trip was entirely “perfetto.” Nex time Umbria.
Connie M., IL
The entire experience was superb and far exceeded my expectations. Claudio was a wonderful teacher and an incredibly gracious host throughout our stay. His staff was “over the top” in meeting our every need/request. Our accomodations at a nearby Villa were wonderful. And the food/wine . . . words can’t describe. The entire experience was a very memorable highlight of my trip to Italy.
Leann B., Minneapolis, MN
Claudio, Sabrina and the whole family were so welcoming and hospitable during our stay. They went out of their way to make sure that we enjoyed our time with them. The cooking experience and the tasting experiences were extraordinary. The accommodations were excellent. We all had a wonderful and memorable time in Figline and will recommend it highly to our friends. In addition, Karen in Chicago was very helpful in answering preparation questions and helping us to arrange a rental car—which surprisingly also turned out to be a pleasant experience!
Dennis K., Washington DC.
I wanted to write to tell you what a great trip we had in Figline Valdarno. Claudio and his sister Sabrina are wonderful hosts, and the experience, instruction, and dining surpassed our highest expectations. Claudio is a truly gifted chef and restaurateur, and Sabrina helped us plan fun road trips throughout the region when we weren’t at the restaurant. We have amazed our friends with the dishes we learned to make. We’re already thinking about a return trip in Summer 2006. Thank you to you and the Piantinis for a fantastic vacation.