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"We had never taken time out from our holiday schedule before to attend a cooking class but I would recommend it to anyone."

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What they're saying about us...

Below you will find articles and reviews of our cooking school in Umbria as well as comments from clients who have taken our cooking classes and those who have dined with us at Tita's house near Perugia or had a dinner catered at a villa rental.

The following are recent comments from clients of our Italian cooking classes in Umbria in 2013.

Comments 2013

I can't recommend Tita and Nonie's cooking class highly enough. They tailored a class to our whole family, vs targeting it just to our kids, or just to the adults. Our 3 boys had a blast, as did their parents. The food we prepared together was not only delicious, but accessible enough that we could replicate it together at home. Both Tita and Nonie are charming, warm and knowledgeable; great with kids and with adults too. The setting, in Tita's lovely hilltop home, was absolutely lovely. This had something for all 5 of us, kept our children engaged, and provides us with a family memory we won't forget.

Also, they were a pleasure to work with on the administrative side; easy to reach, responsive, and flexible. I'd definitely send friends and family who are visiting Umbria to Tita and Nonie.

Annabel and Chris George
P ortland Oregon

This review is LONG overdue. My fiance and I travelled to Perugia in July for the Umbria Jazz Festival and I decided to surprise him with a cooking class with Nonie and Tita. It was the BEST experience ever! Nonie responded to my emails right away and from the tone of her emails I had a feeling that we would have a great time. And we did!

Nonie picked us up on the day of the cooking class (we had a rental car so we met half way) and I am so glad she did, because I am pretty sure our navigator would not have found the wonderful beautiful villa that sat on top of a little hill with a wonderful view of the surrounding area. Nonie and Tita were wonderful - they made us feel like we came home to our long lost Italian/NYC grandmothers who tend to take you by the hand and show you how to cook - the proper Italian way. We drank some great wine and cooked away (and had lots of in between snacks) and the food was delicious. We talked a lot, laughed a lot and philosophized about life and happiness (I think Nonie has figured it all out, by the way).

The food was easy to make, yet fantastic to eat (since our cooking sessions, I have made two of the dishes at home, which I never did before with other cooking classes) - I think that's how cooking classes are supposed to be. Cooking, laughing and feeling like you are having a great time with long lost friends, who make you feel like you are part of the family. I only wish I had worn my comfy pants that day - the food we prepared (and Tita made look even more fantastic once presented) was plenty and the courses kept on coming.... The day was over too fast and I hope between New York, Germany and Italy we will meet again one day!

Akua
Washington D.C.

We had a great afternoon with Noni and Tita. We were lucky that they made time to allow us into Tita's home on an what was normally an "off day".

It is hard to say if any one thing made it so enjoyable, it was just a great package. They both made us feel so welcome and guided us through the prep and cooking while providing loads of valuable information and tips at the same time. Eating the result was the icing on the cake, so to speak!

I strongly recommend you take the time to look them up and try to get into one of their sessions. You will not regret it. In fact, it will likely be , like ours, the highlight of your trip to Italy. Thanks again Noni and Tita.

David and Cathrine Jones
Toronto Canada

We had the pleasure of sharing an afternoon at our villa with Nonie and Tita for a family cooking lesson! With a mixed group of grand arents, parents (us!) and children the ladies had their work cut out but made everything seem very easy relaxed and most importantly showed us how to produce some wonderful food.

At the end of the ‘lesson’ Nonie and Tita, set the table and cooked and served each course allowing us to really appreciate the wonderful food.

If you are love cooking and want an afternoon to remember I could not recommend highly enough. Thank you both.

Justin  Taylor
London England

Comments 2013

My friend and I were celebrating graduation and thought a cooking class would be perfect--and it was!! Tita and Nonie were wonderful instructors, and it seemed like they were long-lost friends--we connected and talked and laughed and cooked! I generally do not like to cook, but could not resist trying Italian cooking and they were wonderful! We were there just last week (October 2013) and I have already tried a recipe at home!


Ann Waddle
Clarksville Tennesse

 

A  highlight of a wonderful holiday in Italy was the afternoon spent learning to cook authentic Umbrian dishes with Tita and Nonie of Umbriacooks4u. The hospitality and generosity they offered started right from my initial enquiry months previously, Nonie understood exactly what I wanted (catch up time with my sister as we live on different sides of the world whilst sharing something we would remember), I booked immediately and looked forward to it until we arrived in August 2013. As we were staying in Perugia and without a car Nonie very kindly picked us up from a very efficient train (resembling something from Thomas the Tank), which took a matter of minutes. We were then driven to Tita’s secret garden of olive and bay trees and incredibly sweet smelling herbs. Tita welcomed us into her home speaking rapid Italian while Noni quickly translated for us (what a wonderful partnership, Noni with her quick New York wit mellowed by many years living in Umbria) we felt like we were part of a real Italian home.

For the afternoon we kneaded dough, sliced tomatoes, fried bread, melted cheese, flamed veal, sprinkled olive oil, learnt the secrets of sugar, baked pudding and throughout all we talked and laughed. We learned to cook the old fashioned way, with good company, with pleasure and with wine.

Too soon the afternoon was over but we got to taste the spoils of the day, this in itself was another lesson in how Tita can turn a meal into a piece of art. Since my return to Australia I have cooked the same meal for friends with huge success, Noni and Tita thank you for turning me into someone who now enjoys cooking and please book me in for next year!

Sally McCarthy
Sydney, Australia

My wife and I read all of the trip advisor reviews and frankly thought that they could be too good to be true!!! Well we were wrong - words cannot describe the day that we had. From the outset Nonie was exceptionally well organized, making travel arrangements for us and arranging to meet us at the Mini Metro stop and whisk us away in her little car. Cooking with Nonie and Tita in Tita's beautiful country home in Umbria is one of the most fabulous experiences we have ever had! Transportation to Tita's home was so easy and we began cooking and laughing right away. Seriously if you cant get on with these two beautiful girls then you need to give up. As we cooked we sampled traditional Italian foods and wine while laughing, discussing our backgrounds and families, joking and sharing stories before sitting down to enjoy the feast together. I am a bloke and certainly not a cook but the recipes were so simple that a bogan like me could understand. Further all of the recipes were printed off for me to take home so I can make them again. Cooking was hands-on, so funny, an absolute joy and delicious! Nonie and Tita are the most wonderful, down to earth and genuine people who instantly upon meeting you set you at ease and make you feel like family. Both these girls work and do these classes for pure fun and to meet people from all over the world They both love people and love their work We have not laughed so much for so long and the only problem i had is that I was not allowed to sit out by the doghouse and have a beer with Tita's husband (who is a bloody nice bloke). Seriously if you do not do anything else in Umbria you owe it to yourself to take a leisurely afternoon in Paradise and learn to cook from two absolute beauties. To the two Umbrian Italian Models - Nonie and Tita, Alex and I will never forget this experience and will always remember the wonderful afternoon you gave us See you in Australia and enjoy your Bull Mastiff pup!

Dave and Alex Cockbain
Sydney Austrailia

Comments 2013

I'd been contemplating going on a cookery course in my native Glasgow (Scotland) for a little while but for some reason I never got around to finding the time to go. With an impending trip to Italy on the cards I thought it would be too good of an opportunity to pass up learning to cook traditional Italian dishes in Italy.

I have one slight problem....I'm allergic to dairy products (milk, cheese, cream, butter) so I wasn't sure if this would even be possible. I decided it was worth at least enquiring and I was delighted when I got a response from Nonie, not only saying that this would be possible but also that my preferred date was free. With those details organised I took the plunge and booked 2 spaces, one for me and one for my husband.

When we arrived it turned out that we were the only two people booked for that day so we had a truly personal experience. Once our aprons were on we were put straight to work, following Tita's actions and Nonie's instructions at a nice even pace. All too quickly our time in the kitchen was over and we were set to enjoy a delicious 5 courses. That was a feat in itself for me, I'm usually a 2 course and I'm full kind of person, but the tasty dishes kept coming and I kept finding more space to enjoy the delights that I'd helped to create.

My husband found it equally enjoyable and he was rather skeptical at the outset, believing it to be a relatively expensive experience (and possibly somewhat lacking given that cheese wasn't going to feature - he has pizza at least once a week!).

Before the end of our holiday we recreated the Spaghetti con pomodori pachino (Spaghetti with oven roasted tomatoes) with ease in an unfamilar kitchen and it was as good as when we created the same dish with Nonie and Tita. Therefore I'm confident that we'll continue to return to the recipes we made during this experience time and time again.

I'm also pleased to say that even the lack of dairy products did not lead to disappointing dishes. Tita is such an experienced cook that I didn't feel hard done by as a result of this food group being absent. If anything it made for a more special experience and I can't wait to cook for friend and family.

If you're lucky enough to be staying nearby I couldn't recommend this experience more highly.

Emma and Stuart Williamson
Glasgow. Scotland

My husband and I went to Umbriacooks4u in May 2013 and had an amazing time. The lesson takes place in a gorgeous Italian home in the country side with breath taking views. It was really chilly while we were there so we didn't get to enjoy the gardens but everything was so beautiful. The food that we cooked was so delicious (my mouth is actually watering as I remember it while writing this)! Patricia & Tita were so fun to work with! It was so much fun and I can't wait to make some of the meals again! Even though I am mediocre in the kitchen, many recipes were for every skill level. I know the chic pea soup will be a staple in our house this coming winter. It was worth every penny - some cooking classes in Perugia are offered a little cheaper, but spend the extra - it is worth it! If I am ever in the Rome area again, I wouldn't think twice about going back again! Thank you again Patricia & Tita!

Ashlee D
Glastonbury, CT

I'm 24 years old and this class was one of the more expensive things I budgeted into my trip to Italy. And it was totally worth it. When you factor in the cost of the ingredients, a reasonable per-hour rate for the instructors and all the vino (they never let my glass go empty!), it's a great deal. The food we made was simple enough that we would be likely to try it again on our own at home, yet still different from anything else we have ever cooked before. Most of the ingredients were fresh because Tita grows them right there in her yard. She has a gorgeous home in the Perugian countryside with beautiful scenery and, to my delight, lemon trees! Very cool. Nonie, the translator, was extremely kind and made us feel right at home. She even came to pick me up before the class and dropped me off at the train station after. It was unbelievable how kind and accommodating they were. Very pleasant experience. Not to be missed if you're in the area! They also mentioned they do house calls and teach lessons at vacation rentals. Like I said, very accommodating! They were never difficult to contact and responded to all emails promptly, considering the time zones.

Malloy McDonald
Canada

Titan and Nonie will make you laugh and teach you traditional Umbrian fare at the same time. It's hands-on cooking in Tita's kitchen in her country home overlooking lush Umbria--the green heart of Italy. This is an authentic experience which any food-loving traveler will love. These two women put their heart and souls into this class. Besides learning to cook, you will also get to sit down and enjoy the fruits of your labors. They pair Umbrian wine with several courses -- a real treat. I understand they also teach classes to visitors in their rental villas. Whether you go to them or they come to you, don't miss this opportunity if you find yourself in this magical, non- touristy place. Just try to learn a few phrases of Italian-- it's not a place where everyone speaks English-- one of its many charms!

Dave and Lee Husk
Bend, Oregon

Dear Nonie,

We are back home in Virginia after having a wonderful time in Italy. Your cooking class was one of the highlights of our time in Tuscany. You and Tita did an exceptional job of instructing and entertaining us. I was so pleased that even our youngest grandchildren stayed interested in the class the whole time, and they are still talking about it. We are happy to have the recipes. The food was delicious, and it was special to have the meal served to us, then the two of you left the kitchen immaculate.

Thank you so much for driving the distance to entertain us so well.

Regards,
Mary Lou Cole
Virginia

This was everything you'd want in a side trip and more. When staying in the area as a tourist or local, I highly recommend a day with Tita & Nonie at Tita's hidden gem of a country house just outside Perugia. We were 2 people paired up perfectly with a Dutch couple and had a great day of cooking, meeting new friends and just being comfortable. We meet at a central location and follow Nonie back to just a remarkable house. After some chit chat, we get right down to cooking a pre planned menu. Everything was hands on, Nonie speaks english as a former NYer. Tita is a lovely host. Everything was easy to follow and we've already recreated the parmesan baskets at home. They take into account cost, likes and dislikes. This is not their full time job, but they make it seem that way with their hospitality. This is a home run and I could imagine if you are a larger group than we were, it would be hysterical. Highly recommend, in fact, we'll look to go back again and try a different menu.

Michael Sheifetz
North Carolina

Highly recommended. The "class" was paced just right - felt like you were in a friends' home. Delicious food, interesting facts about the local cuisine and a friendly, relaxed atmosphere (complete with lots of wine and laughter).

Thanks Nonie
Dawn Kotva

Comments 2012

We especially enjoyed how they adjusted their style to fit the group. The last trip we cooked an incredibly ambitious meal while this time our group was looking for a little easier lesson followed by an amazing dinner. While everything we made was wonderful, group favorites were Tita's torta rustica, balsamic marinated zucchini on crostini and the mushroom fettuccine. We also really enjoyed the "surprise" Tita made us as a little warm up course. We didn't have room for the fruit tart (made with preserves Tita made herself) after all the amazing courses, but we warmed it up the next day (our farewell dinner) and it was as amazing as the other courses.

The entire group loved the dinner and Nonie and Tita. We can't recommend them highly enough.
Tom Moore
Napa Valley , California

Comments 2012Cooking with Nonie and Tita in Tita's beautiful country home in Umbria is one of the best experiences I've ever had! They made transportation to Tita's home easy and we began cooking right away. As we cooked we sampled traditional italian foods and wine while sharing stories and then sat down to enjoy the feast together. I am not a cook but the recipes were simple and they printed all the recipes for me to take home so I can make them again. Cooking was hands-on, fun and delicious! Nonie and Tita are wonderful genuine people who make you feel like family. They work other full time jobs and offer these classes for fun so you know they love what they do and enjoy meeting guests. The food and conversation is well worth the money, I highly recommend it!
Thank you again Nonie and Tita, I will never forget this experience and will make the dishes again!
Erin Hislop
Redmond Washington

 

 

 

 

Comments 2012I had the most wonderful experience with Nonie and Tita ! They make you feel like family.I would do this again the next time my travels take me to Umbria. It was very educational on the food and origin of why and where,and I felt like I met two new friends that I would definitely see again ! Thank You Nonie and Tita Voi Belle Donne.
Lisa Worthington
Phoenix, Arizona

 

 

 

 

Comments 2012Hi Nonie and Tita,

We want to thank You for a fantastic cooking lesson in Perugia tuesday 5th of february 2013. These few hours which we spent together with you in Your kitchen were absolutely fantastic and really inspiring. We learned massive amount of things and secrets about Italian food and most important: how to prepare that ourselves after this great lesson. The food we made and then ate together was so good that my english is not good enough to describe it. We STRONGLY want to recommend this lesson to anybody who has any kind of interest on Italian and especially Umbrian food. KIITOS

Pekka & Hannele Hokkanen
Kirkkonummi, Finland