Guest review: Karen shares her Tuscan cooking and culture experience in Italy

Karen, an England-native, decided that her first solo trip should involve two of her favourite things: cooking and taking in a new culture. So, she joined Chef Fabrizio and host Marina for a quick break away from the humdrum in Italy for the cooking and culture adventure of her life:

Was it your first solo trip?

Yes, it was my absolute first solo trip and I was the only guest attending that week, which honestly did not bother me one bit! Fabrizio has great English, and is very approachable and friendly. He also spent many years living in the UK, so we had a lot to talk about.

He has a very good teaching method which is easy for anyone to follow — of course, I had perfect tuition as my classes were one-on-one! Marina, who owns the villa, was very welcoming and had comfortable accommodation along with a lovely pool open for any guests.

Did you feel the holiday was reasonably priced?

Absolutely! The food and wine were ever present with no limits! And when you think of all the tuition I received one-on-one, you can’t put a price on the skills that I left with.

When you are the only one there, everything is catered to your wants and needs. My evening meals were with my hosts, and then I spent the evenings with good books and wine in my comfortable room.

The villa is quite rural, so there was no town or village in walking distance, but with the pool and the extensive countryside, there were plenty of ways to relax and lose yourself for a few hours. Overall, it was really relaxing and satisfying.

What was a highlight of the holiday for you?

I thoroughly enjoyed my day out and lunch in Arezzo. It is lovely being with a local who is a foodie — you always end up in the best restaurants adored by the locals, without any tourists in sight, and with the best of the menu brought out to you. I never would’ve found the hidden gem on my own.

The other highlight was finally mastering pasta. It was my first time making it myself, and I am very pleased to say I have done it again since my return with satisfaction.

Any advice for future travellers?

Enjoy yourself! Don’t be intimidated to be the only guest — enjoy the perks and use the time to relax.

I would also recommend flying into Florence if you have extra money to spend. Pisa is cheaper, but requires two trains to get to the farmhouse.

What’s next?

I am already seeking out cooking holidays in France.

If Karen has inspired you to try a solo trip for yourself, you can find this cooking and culture experience near Arezzo with Fabrizio here.

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