Colorful fresh pasta drying on racks. You can see people around the rack working on rolling out more pasta dough.

Toscana Mia – An In-Home Cooking Class in Chianti

If you’ve wandered through Tuscan villages, you’ve smelled the delicious meals cooking inside the homes you walk past.  Wouldn’t it be nice to cook and eat with the family inside?

At Toscana Mia Cooking School in Chianti, you can!  Sisters Simonetta and Paola invite you into their family home in a small borgo in the spectacular Chianti countryside – where you cook their favorite classic Tuscan recipes with them and enjoy the meal together afterwards.

My son and I just returned from Toscana Mia’s cooking class and we had an amazing time! Below I’ll share class details and our experience so you can decide if it’s a good fit for you on your Tuscany trip.

Disclosure:  Toscana Mia allowed my son and I to join their class as guests, but this isn’t a sponsored post, and all opinions are mine (and my son’s!).

Toscana Mia Cooking School Basics

Run By: Sisters Simonetta and Paola started the Toscana Mia cooking school in 2002. 

Location: They run it out of their family home in a small borgo in the picturesque Chianti hills, not far from Gaiole in Chianti and Radda in Chianti.

Opening Dates:  The class is available from April through October.

Cuisine: In the class, you cook and eat classic Tuscan recipes.

Ingredients: Toscana Mia uses fresh, organic ingredients.

Language: Simonetta and Paola teach the class in English to visitors from around the globe.

Class Type:  Groups of mixed travelers or private groups (families, friends, colleagues, etc.).

Class Size: Max 8 people per group; private groups can have 12-14 participants.

Ages: All ages are welcome at Toscana Mia.  Simonetta and Paola encourage kids as young as 2 to participate. 

Booking: It’s easiest to book directly through the website.

Wooden bowl with lemon, garlic, and red onions. Surrounding it are fresh sage and rosemary and a dish of salt.

Cooking Class Options at Toscana Mia Cooking School

Toscana Mia offers one type of cooking class – together the group cooks classic Tuscan dishes.  After, you eat together at a large table in the family’s kitchen.

If you have a food allergy, you can communicate it to Simonetta and Paola.  They’ll accommodate food restrictions or diets like no lactose, gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan.

Good To Know:  If you’re joining a group class and you have an allergy or special diet, you may still see others eating dishes you don’t eat.  For example, if you’re vegan, you’ll have a full meal of vegan dishes, but others in the group may make and eat a meat dish.

Our Experience at Toscana Mia

View from above of boy rolling out fresh pasta. On right you can see freshly rolled pasta drying on racks.
My son rolling out fresh pasta

We drove from close to Florence and it took us about an hour driving on the superstrada and smaller Tuscan roads.  We loved the views of the Chianti countryside, vineyards and olive groves.

I attended Toscana Mia’s cooking class with my 9-year-old son.

We arrived in the borgo, parked, and were greeted by Simonetta and Paola.  Our group of six chatted for a bit before Simonetta showed us the original family dining room / kitchen and led us into the kitchen we’d be cooking in.

Inside, we worked together and at individual stations to make our meal.  Our menu included handmade fresh pasta with a tomato and herb sauce, lemon-marinated chicken, a Tuscan-style green salad, and an olive oil cake. 

After cooking, we headed up to the family kitchen to enjoy our meal with Chianti Classico wine from the adjacent property. 

The class lasted from 10:00am to 2:00pm. 

After the class, Simonetta and Paola email all of the recipes (and even some extras), so you don’t need to worry about keeping track of paper copies while you’re traveling through Italy.

Things I Loved Most:  Toscana Mia is a cooking class in a private home with a family, not just learning a few new recipes.  I really enjoy that it’s a hands on class (everyone participates, but if you want to, you can sit back and watch) and that these are recipes we’ll actually cook at home.  The ingredients used are readily available in Italy and the US (and most other countries!), so you won’t be running to specialty grocery stores or trying to figure out substitutions.

Good To Know:  At Toscana Mia, it feels like you’re cooking with friends, from the moment you step onto the property until you wave goodbye – with a full belly and new skills!

How to Get to Toscana Mia Cooking School

You need to drive to Toscana Mia – it’s in the middle of Chianti and there are no private transport links.  If you don’t want to drive, you can hire a private driver (NCC – noleggio con conducente) to bring you to the class. 

Simonetta and Paola can give numbers of private drivers if you need to organize one.

The drive to Toscana Mia takes about*:

  • 1 hr 15 min from Florence
  • 3 to 3.5 hr from Rome
  • 45 min from Siena
  • 1 hr 45 min from Lucca
  • 1 hr 15 min from Arezzo

*could be longer if there’s traffic

Parking is easy – there’s a small piazza and plenty of parking class participants.

Good To Know:  Many of the roads in Chianti are winding.  If someone in your group tends to get carsick, you’ll need to take it slow, so allow extra time for the drive.

Toscana Mia Cooking School with Kids

Boy making fresh pasta shapes and setting them on a drying rack at a cooking class.

Simonetta and Paolo encourage kids to participate, from as young as two years old.  My 9-year-old was able to participate in all parts of the class and he had a blast.  He’s already made plans to make fresh pasta with the rest of our family and recreate the delicious olive oil cake!

Little ones can use the mezzaluna to chop herbs and vegetables, help stir the cake batter, roll the pasta, and more. 

If you come with a baby or toddler, you can try to have baby nap during the course, or even have one adult take your little one to a nearby village like Radda in Chianti to wander the pedestrian center or play at the playground.  Then, join the group for the meal at the end of the class!

Check out more Things to Do in Tuscany with Kids!

What to See and Do Near Toscana Mia Cooking School

Boy walks in front of mirror art and you can see vineyards in background through windows in the mirror. Sunny day with puffy clouds.
Castello di Ama is just five minutes from Toscana Mia

If you want to explore a bit more of the area after the cooking class, check out:

  • Castello di Ama – the small borgo has an enoteca, contemporary art on display, and a wine bar with spectacular views of the vineyards and Tuscan campagna (countryside)
  • Gaiole in Chianti – village that’s the home base of the Eroica bike race
  • Radda in Chianti – small village with pedestrian center (shops, enoteca, restaurants)
  • Castello di Brolio – castle and winery
  • Chianti Sculpture Park – variety of outdoor art on a path in the forest

Toscana Mia Chianti Cooking Class– FAQ

Close up of olive oil cake being served. It's sitting on a light brown table cloth decorated with small white hearts.
Is wine served at the Toscana Mia cooking class?

Yes, you can enjoy Chianti wine with your lunch.

What type of dishes do you cook during the Toscana Mia cooking class?

You’ll be making traditional Tuscan dishes during the class, using local ingredients like extra virgin olive oil and Tuscan herbs.

Can I participate in the cooking class on a visit to the area during the grape harvest?

Yes, Toscana Mia has an excellent location in Chianti near many wineries, so you can cook and experience the vendemmia. Toscana Mia is surrounded by vineyards, so if the timing’s right, you may be able to see some of the harvesting, and you can ask Simonetta and Paola about the process.