Learn How to Make Pasta in Tuscany

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Pasta-making at the Belmond Villa San Michele.

Knead to Know

Discover Tuscany’s top properties that offer hands-on pasta workshops and cooking courses.

Jump on in to Castiglion’s pool.
The beautiful Villa La Massa just outside of Florence.

Here are three spots you can jet off to to learn how to make Italian pasta from the masters:

1. Belmond Villa San Michele
Built on a steep terraced hill among citrus and cypress trees, this 45-room villa  began as a Franciscan monastery in the early fifteenth century. Today, it features a facade attributed to none other than Michelangelo, views that stretch to Florence, and a cooking school offering thrice-weekly classes focusing on Tuscan staples, including pasta, with special half-day gnocchi classes for children ages 6 through 14.

For those wanting a deeper experience, it also runs an extraordinary three-day course of luncheons, wine-pairing sessions with the sommelier, and hands-on classes with the resort’s executive chef as well as chefs from sister properties in Venice, Ravello, and Portofino. (Seasonal closure November through April.)
2. Villa La Massa
Twenty-two acres of gardens and plenty of olive and lemon trees surround this sixteenth-century villa, located just a few miles outside Florence on the banks of the Arno. Guests at the 37-room estate learn the fundamentals of pasta-making from the restaurant’s experienced and enthusiastic executive chef, Andrea Quagliarella, during a morning-long lesson, followed by a leisurely lunch.

3. Castiglion del Bosco
This vast estate comprises some 4,000 acres in the rolling hills outside Siena, complete with a crumbling medieval castle and an ancient church containing painter Pietro Lorenzetti’s fourteenth-century frescoes. Its heart is the manor house, winery, stables, a collection of outbuildings that make up the restored village—and, of course, the orto (kitchen garden). Chefs-to-be at the 23-suite, nine-villa resort learn to prepare fresh pasta, iconic regional sauces, and, as every good Italian meal should finish with a sweet indulgence, a traditional dessert.
Originally appeared in Virtuoso Life magazine, September 2014.

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