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Taking a cooking class in Florence is a delicious way to explore Italy’s Renaissance capital. Florence is renowned for its culinary heritage, especially gelato, which was invented in Tuscany.
While exploring the local food specialties in Florence, we took a fun pizza and gelato-making class.
If your travels take you to Florence, a cooking course is a great way to experience rich gastronomy over delicious handmade dishes.
Beyond this gelato and pizza-making class, we also feature great alternative cooking classes if you want to make pasta, tiramisu, and more.
Here are the Florence cooking classes we recommend and what to expect from this cooking workshop.
Overview Of Our Cooking Class in Florence
This cooking class in Florence focuses on gelato and pizza, two of Italy’s most iconic dishes.
Seeking immersive and authentic experiences, we teamed up with Cookly, a partner we’ve taken classes with before.
What we like most about Cookly is their mission. Like Authentic Food Quest, they aim to bring people together through food and culture.
After meeting our group in the center of Florence for our evening class, we took a short trip above the hills of Florence to a Tuscan farmhouse.
Meeting us was one of three chefs, Chris, who outlined our agenda for our Florence cooking class.
Handmade pizza, gelato, and Chianti wine tastings, coupled with loads of fun, were the promised experiences.
AUTHENTIC FOOD QUEST TIP: This pizza and gelato-making class in Florence is hands-on and focuses on the history and techniques of these classic Italian dishes. There are two classes offered per day, one in the morning and one in the evening. The experience last about 5 hours starting with the aperitivo and ending with your delectable homemade dishes. Located in a Tuscan farmhouse with a stunning view of the countryside, you’ll enjoy a short private ride from the city center.
Highlights Of Our Cooking Class in Florence
Starting Out With Wine, Appetizers, and a View
Shortly upon arrival, our group of about 25 assembled outdoors for a welcome Italian plate of appetizers and Chianti wine.
As we looked around, I was mesmerized by the beauty of the Tuscan countryside and views of Florence in the distance despite the light rain that evening.
While munching on focaccia deliciously paired with Chianti wines, we couldn’t wait to start cooking.
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Making Fresh Gelato from Scratch
Gelato, which takes longer to make than pizza, was the first dish we made in our Florence cooking class.
As a huge ice cream fan, I was excited to learn to make gelato. Chris, our animated instructor, talked passionately about the history and gelato-making techniques.
Before getting started with gelato making, we learned the differences between ice cream and gelato.
The artisanal production method, the amount of air, and the gelato’s simple ingredients are some of the biggest differences.
While learning the gelato-making techniques, we also discussed the recipes and the amounts of ingredients needed to achieve gelato’s creamy texture.
Gelato, which was invented in Tuscany in the 1600s, we learned, still respects the proportions of the original recipe.
Chris, passionate about gelato, captivated the group with stories while getting everyone excited to start making gelato.
AUTHENTIC FOOD QUEST TIP: If you want to explore more of Tuscany during your Florence visit, consider taking a day trip. Read our Tuscany Day Tour: Visit Siena, San Gimignano, and Chianti in One Day
Dark Chocolate Gelato Amongst a Multitude of Flavors
The choice of gelato flavors we could make in the class was quite vast with almost a dozen flavors.
To be able to try the different flavors, each group of two made a different gelato flavor.
We chose to make dark chocolate gelato, and everyone got to work at their stations with the ingredients and recipes to follow.
As we had fun measuring the ingredients precisely and mixing them together, the most surprising aspect was the simplicity.
Our gelato recipe required only four ingredients plus water, and this was the case for the other recipes too.
Gelato Making with Liquid Nitrogen
One of the most entertaining parts of this cooking class in Florence was seeing gelato made quickly with liquid nitrogen.
While the individual buckets of gelato everyone made were cooling, Chris demonstrated making lemon gelato using liquid nitrogen.
Wearing protective eyewear, it was fascinating to watch the process of quick-freezing gelato through clouds of evaporating vapor.
The resulting lemon gelato was surprisingly smooth and creamy and a delicious palate cleanser before pizza.
AUTHENTIC FOOD QUEST TIP: If your travels take you to Rome, consider taking a cooking class. See our review of the 10 Best Cooking Classes in Rome: From Pizza, Gelato to Pasta Making
Pizza Making Class Florence
Working The Pizza Dough
With the gelato left to set in the fridge, we made our way across the farmhouse to meet our pizzaiolos, or pizza experts.
Just as we started with an introduction to gelato making, our pizza instructors, Tommaso and Tiziano began with an introduction to pizza dough.
In addition to learning about the yeast, ingredients ratios, and gluten structure, they also demonstrated the kneading techniques.
And with that grounding on the fundamentals of pizza making, the group dispersed to their individual workstations to make the pizza dough.
RELATED: Rome Pasta Making Class Review: Top 3 Best Cooking Classes You’ll Want To Take
Pizza Flipping and Spinning
Have you ever wanted to learn how to flip pizza? It can be quite tricky and perfected only with practice.
In pizza making part of this cooking class in Florence, we had a blast flipping and spinning pizza for the first time.
After our pizza instructors demonstrated the right techniques, we tried in vain to replicate their expertise.
While we didn’t come close, we both at least flipped the pizza and, importantly, kept the dough intact.
The flipping, while not necessary for making a delicious pizza, helps stretch out the dough.
Soon after, we were ready for the toppings and cooking the pizza.
Pizza Toppings with Fresh Seasonal Ingredients
From a selection of fresh vegetables picked from the garden, we had a choice of about 10 different toppings for our pizza.
The one recommended ingredient for all pizza was fresh and creamy mozzarella cheese. After that, both Claire and I loaded our pizza dough with artichokes, mushrooms, olives, peppers, pork, and more.
In just a few minutes of cooking in a 400°C (752°F) wood fire oven, we couldn’t wait to dig into our handmade pizzas.
Handmade Gelato To Close the Class
With everyone having a fantastic time, eating pizza, drinking Chianti wine, and making new friends, it was time to taste our handmade gelato.
With all the different gelato flavors laid out, our expert chef, Chris, shared secrets for pairing gelato with toppings.
The right combination makes all the difference, he shared, and when we tasted some unusual combinations, we were blown away.
For instance, the delicious dark chocolate gelato we made paired perfectly with local chili peppers.
Strawberry gelato with aged balsamic vinegar was heavenly, as was pear with Madagascar salt.
The class ended with a presentation of certificates of completion and a recipe booklet sent via email later.
AUTHENTIC FOOD QUEST TIP: Make your culinary travels worry-free! With the right travel insurance, you’ll enjoy a delicious experience. From medical emergencies, flight cancelations, car rental protection, or tour cancelations, a good travel insurance has got you covered. Check out our travel insurance review for food lovers to get started.
Overall Impressions of this Florence Cooking Class
What We Loved
Taking a pizza and gelato making class in Florence is a great way to combine two iconic Italian foods. It’s also a great way to see the Tuscan countryside while enjoying a fun experience.
We enjoyed our cooking class in Florence for a variety of reasons.
- Hands-on cooking class with detailed explanations – If you want to truly understand authentic Italian cuisine and the intricacies of gelato making and pizza dough, the expert chefs share all the secrets. We appreciated the theory behind the delicious food we made.
- Very well organized – Everything was well organized, from the back-and-forth transportation from Florence to the nearby Tuscan hills to the pizza and gelato class experiences.
- Several knowledgeable expert chefs – Each local instructor shared their expertise making it a fun experience to learn different techniques and perspectives.
- Beautiful views of Tuscany surrounding Florence – The Tuscan farmhouse is perched on a hill with picturesque views of the Tuscan countryside. You can’t beat cooking with a view.
- New friends and Chianti wines – Our group had great energy with chatty and friendly people from all over. Having free-flowing Chianti wine only enhanced the experience.
What Could Be Improved on this Florence Cooking Class
We had a great time and thoroughly enjoyed our cooking class in Florence experience. Overall, there was not much that was negative as it was well organized, fun, and a delicious pizza and gelato cooking experience.
That said, there are a few points worth noting.
- More drinking water overall – There was free-flowing Chianti Classico red wine and also beer. While there was some water served while cooking and eating, we would have liked to have more available throughout the cooking experience.
- Smaller group class – Although there was plenty of room in the Tuscan farmhouse for our Italian cooking experience, the class was at capacity. The experience could have been cozier in a small group class.
What You Need to Know Before Booking Your Pizza-Making Class in Florence
Who is it For
- This class is best for those who want to learn to make their own gelato with detailed instructions and proportions
- Italian pizza lovers will love the detailed instructions and advice on flour, yeast, and baking tips
- Those who want to cook with views of the Tuscan hills above Florence
- For those looking for a half-day cooking class in the morning or evening and savor a delightful lunch or dinner experience.
Who Is It Not For
- Not for those who want to visit a market and shop for produce and local ingredients
- Not for those looking for a small group or private cooking class in Florence
How To Book Your Florence Cooking Class
This cooking class in Florence, Italy, is one of the tastiest ways to dive into pizza and gelato handmade dishes.
The Italian cooking class experience lasts for about 5 hours, and it includes private transportation to the Tuscan hills above Florence.
While in the Capital of the Renaissance, get more from your trip with this pizza and gelato Tuscan cooking class.
Alternative Florence Cooking Classes To Consider
You can find many cooking classes in Florence. In addition to pizza and gelato making, pasta-making cooking classes are also available.
And some cooking classes offer a more intimate experience or a visit to a local market in Florence city center.
Here are two other cooking classes we particularly recommend that will satisfy pasta lovers and people seeking intimate experiences.
Pasta Cooking Class in Florence With Market Tour
This pasta cooking class in Florence teaches you how to make homemade fresh pasta with fresh seasonal ingredients.
Before the cooking class experience, you’ll visit a local market and shop for Italian fresh ingredients to make your meal.
The cooking class starts at 9:00 am and lasts for about 6 hours. You’ll learn to make pasta, roast pork, and creamy Tiramisu for dessert.
What To Expect From This Cooking Class
Some of the key highlights from this class are:
- Local central market tour and shopping for season ingredients before the cooking class
- Learn to make handmade fresh pasta and sauce from scratch
- Menu also includes learning to make roast pork, traditional Florentine cuisine
- Lunch ends with homemade Tiramisù and Italian coffee
What People Say
As one of the top Florence cooking classes, travelers describe it as “amazing, with the kitchen, the views, the menu, and shopping experience at the beginning.”
And, the “trip to the market and making fresh pasta was a highlight, topped off with personally designed Tiramisu.”
Small Group Pasta Making
Located in the center of Florence, this hands-on cooking class focuses specifically on making homemade pasta from scratch.
Spend about 4 hours in this small group class learning the secrets of making colored pasta and pasta of different shapes.
You’ll also learn the best fillings and sauces to go along with your homemade fresh pasta.
In addition to pasta cooking, this class includes learning to make an appetizer and dessert. Chianti wine is also offered to go along with your meal.
What To Expect From This Florence Pasta Making Class
Some of the key highlights from this class are:
- Small group class with no more than 10 people
- Learn to make colored pasta and different pasta shapes appropriate for beginner or advanced home cooks
- Easily accessible class in the center of Florence
What People Say
Families and those traveling with kids have described the class as “really incredible.”
“My 16-year-old daughter loved the class, the food was delicious and the chef wonderful and helpful.”
“It was my first time seeing my kids so enthusiastically engaged in cooking. The chef was lively and fun, and the instructions were child-friendly.”
Have you ever taken a cooking class in Florence, Italy? Please let us know in the comments below.
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Disclosure: Special thanks to Cookly for this cooking class in Florence experience. All views and opinions expressed are our own. Full bellies and happy taste buds too.
Rosemary is the editor-in-chief and strategist at Authentic Food Quest.
Traveling slow since 2015 with her partner, Claire, she has explored the cuisine in 45 countries and more than 240+ culinary cities.
Her writing about local food specialties has been featured in Lonely Planet, Business Insider, Honest Cooking, Food Insider, and Huffington Post.
As a food and travel writer, Rosemary has co-authored three books, including one in collaboration with Costa Brava Tourism.
Rosemary is an avid runner when she’s not eating and exploring new destinations. She has run ten marathons and counting.
Before Authentic Food Quest, Rosemary held senior-level strategy positions in advertising.
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