The second day was a free day and we took the opportunity to explore one of the hill towns near La Rosa called Volterra. It was an Etruscan city (Pre-Roman) but there were also Roman ruins. It was very charming. There were lots of cobblestone winding roads to walk around. Volterra wasn’t as touristy as some towns we have been too. We got to see alot of the locals in action as they visited with each other on a Saturday night. We also went to a fall festival while there and got to taste all the fresh olive oil that was just harvested along with various other meats, cheeses, cookies, and even roasted chestnuts (which I had never had before but are now a new favorite).
The third day, 11/6/06 was a Welcome dinner that had been delayed until today at one of the local restaurants, and we also got to do our own wine tasting at Il Selvino’s neighbor, Fattoria Fibbiano with it’s owner Giuseppe. We tasted the five wines that his winery produces and also got to tour his factory and grounds. Quite a special treat.
By day four, 11/7/06 we were becoming quite used to our perfect Tuscan world and had the chance to experience our second cooking class with Arianna and Marisa. This time it was a lunch and we learned how to cook 4 different types of Tuscan lunch dishes. On top of that we learned 2 different ways to cook chestnuts and also learned how to make HOMEMADE tomato sauce. YUMMY. It was great. We of course got to eat all our creations when we were done and they were all fabulous. I am going to have to definitely try out Marisa’ s recipes for our friends when we get home! Chris also did well in the kitchen despite some slower starts with chopping spices with this special crazy knife things called a Mezza Luna. Marisa said he improved greatly from day 1 to day 2. Me, well she said repeatedly to Chris that “She make very good wife someday” while referring to my cooking skills, and I took this as a big compliment. You know you have succeeded as a chef when you impress a lovely Italian cook.
We were sad to leave La Rosa and La Mia Toscana. I had the best time, as did Chris, and we wished we had more time here. This has certainly been one of the highlights of my trip and I would recommend this cooking class to anyone. I am sure I will share stories about Arianna, Marisa and Il Selvino with people for years to come.