Tag Archives: cooking classes

Cooking Classes, Hotels, and Wonder

We’ve been sending folks to Mama Isa for a while now, so that my wife got to take one of her tonnarelli and tiramisu classes for herself instead of hearing about other people enjoying it was just wonderful; I figure I should edit the video and stills from that and do a write up on that first.  Several other things that’ll take more time that I want to put together will trickle out in the next week or two, depending on how long this latest bout of jet lag takes to dissipate and let me quit procrastinating.  As much time as I spend in airports, one thing I’ve noticed is conditioning doesn’t matter as you age:  past 35…sitting in a big metal very arid tube for hours and having your biorhythms disrupted just takes a while to get over.  Even a short hop business trip for a few days will leave you drained and dreading airports.


Vaporetto 1


But to tide you fair readers over, I’ll post some pics here and there to share in the wonder that is the Veneto.  And yes, I still cry a little when the train pulls out of the station and Venezia recedes in the distance.   This one:  from the vaporetto *1 at night.  Sigh…such beauty.  Everyone should see this place at least once.  I remain committed to the notion that if they did, we’d end all war.

Tiramisu and Tonnarelli


Today’s cooking class with Mama Isa in Padova was everything the wife hoped it would be. The results speak for themselves!


Tonnarelli are a fresh pasta made via an instrument known as a chitarra (guitar), pressing the dough through a series of strings to make a square spaghetti-like noodle.

Gave a pasta making demonstration last night

I like to think Mama Isa would have been proud!  The wife has joined a women’s group that’s focused on exploring international cuisine, locally sourced foods, and self-reliant artisanal “making it yourself” outlooks.  They wanted to have a pasta making night, and fortunately they knew just who to ask.

I brought some already made semolina noodles and some pre-mixed dough that had already had a chance to settle; there were about 15 attendees, and we talked about the importance of making your food yourself and being connected to where it comes from (it’s interesting how that concept is somewhat revolutionary here in the US thanks to our industrial processed food addiction, but is just “how it’s done” in Italy), and how that’s a key component of what makes food so enjoyable in Italy. 

I like to think that person by person we Americans are going to start grasping just how unsustainable our processed food diet really is and starting seeing the nobility in the “get everything you can locally and make it yourself” take on food. 

It was nice talking to like minded folks, many of whom were planning trips to Italy and hadn’t yet heard of Sassi Italy Tours.  Not a bad way to spread the good word about what we bring to the table–some pappardelle arrabiata and vino rosso!Image

Cooking Classes in Venice

Have you checked out Mama Isa’s page?  Her recipes are outstanding and our clients have loved her private cooking classes.  She teaches you the authentic Veneto cuisine–seafood, meats, pastas, veggies, desserts…all the good stuff!  There are scads of great local markets in the Padova area from which she sources fantastic ingredients. 


We include cooking classes in a lot of itineraries these days, as it’s a great way to take a little slice of Italy home with you.