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“Our favorite day in Bologna”

Bologna Cooking School
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: A real Bolognese home cooking school in Bologna from "native Bolognesi." The better way for being able to appreciate the "Cucina Bolognese."
SF Bay Area
Level Contributor
281 reviews
150 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
“Our favorite day in Bologna”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 October 2011

My husband, teenage son and I signed up for the Bologna Cooking School on our recent trip to Italy and had a fabulous time! We met Carlo at his apartment and walked to the market to shop for ingredients. It was fun and educational even though there was not as much activity at this time of year due to Italians literally leaving for vacation. We were able to sample various items and had our questions answered. Then we headed back to Carlo's apartment where his assistant Lucianna taught us how to make pasta dough which we later used to make our tagliatelli and also our tortellini and tortelloni. We learned how to make the stuffings for the tortellini and tortelloni and had an entertaining time mastering the art of stuffing the pasta. We also learned how to make a traditional Bologna ragu for our tagliatelli. After all of our hard (and fun!) work we ate one of the best meals of our stay in Italy - and we created it!! It was a veritable feast! Carlo brought out his traditional aged balsamic (not the cheap stuff) to drizzle on our appetizer (melon with mortadella, fig with prosciutto, olives and 30 month parmegiano with balsamic) and it was accompanied by Prosecco and followed by a Caprese salad. The next course, which was my son's favorite, was the tortellini in brodo (broth). Next came the tortelloni in a butter and sage sauce and then the ragu Bolognese with the tagliatelli accompanied by a Sangiovese wine. And then dessert ... I can hardly believe I ate all of this ... peaches with Prosecco followed by tiramisu and some of Carlo's homemade Limoncello! Typing all of this makes me want to go back and do it all again!! It was not cheap, but it was so worth it! It was a lot of fun in a relaxed setting and so delicious - I really can't recommend it highly enough.

Visited August 2011
Helpful?
1 Thank EBTravelGirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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127 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
679 reviews
98 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 284 helpful votes
“It made our trip!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 October 2011

My wife and I were in Italy in November of 2010 to see all the sights. This year we came back to EAT! This was one-on-one cooking experience with a real Italian Family, in their home. As the other reviews have said it is not a "school" (I hated school when I was a kid) this was a fun experience where you learn how to cook hands on, no studying, or boring books. I can now make pasta at any time, I had no idea it was so simple. Carlo and his family are warm, welcoming, and friendly. I don't need to repeat what the other reviews said, we are there the day after the October 7th 2011 review and had the same great experience!

Visited October 2011
Helpful?
1 Thank BethlehemPaUSA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Green Bay
Level Contributor
20 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Unforgettable experience with true Bolognese chefs”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 October 2011

What an unbelievable experience. Big Carlo met me in my hotel lobby to begin our lengthy market tour. As we perused the many stands and purchased the items for our cooking class, Big Carlo shared with me many tips on Bologna history as well as the best food items and local cooking concepts. We visited beautiful cheese and meat markets and Big Carlo was welcomed by all and introduced me to many of the people. They were all wonderfully welcoming and friendly and I was often offered tastes along the way! After a quick espresso, we headed back to his large apartment to begin cooking. His sister, Gabriella, joined in the teaching as well. We began with the pasta making. Measuring, mixing, kneeding and rolling out the dough. Cutting, filling and shaping the pasta was new and exciting for me and Gabriella was patient and helpful, even though she spoke only Italian. I think this language barrier added to the experience as it forced me to use my limited Italian! We made tortelloni, tortellini, and tagliatelle all by hand - and shared many smiles and laughs. Big Carlo showed me how to make the delicious ragu alla Bolognese right in his very own kitchen. I also enjoyed tasting the parmigiano cheese drizzled with the remarkable, aged balsamic vinegar. The fresh mozzarella and the prosciutto were the best I've ever had! After all of our hard work, we enjoyed a giant feast. First the antipasti served with a glass of Prosecco, then the delicous tortellini in brodo. Next came a hearty dish of a ricotta i spinachi stuffed tortelloni served with a lovely red wine. By this time, I was so full but excited and determined to try the many dishes I'd had a hand in preparing! The final main dish was the wonderful tagliatelle served with the ragu alla Bolognese. As if this wasn't enough, the main dishes were followed by a deliciously sweet and very large dessert of apricots in Prosecco. Carlo finished off the enormous meal with a generous portion of his signature tiramisu along with tips on preparing it back at home. It was heavy on the cream, just the way I love it! Before my day ended, I was given a book of all of the recipes with detailed pictures and instructions in order to prepare them all back at home. I will never forget this day. I felt that the experience was remarkable. I was in a typical Italian home with actual Italian people. It was a glimpse that I don't believe most tourists are given. I can't wait to show my children how to prepare the wonderful food!

Visited October 2011
Helpful?
2 Thank lknut01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
italy
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“not a cooking school as name suggests, but if you are interested in an inhouse experience”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 October 2011

My husband and I had been living in Rome for 2 years for my husbands job. We are a young couple, and wanted to finish our stay in Italy with a cooking class. I had wanted to go to 'la vecchia scuola Bolognese' which is run by Alessandra Spisni (a very popluar chef on the daily cooking show 'la prova del cuoco'). [--]

However, at the time they only ran courses on Saturday mornings, and our train was not arriving in Bologna until midday. Our only option was the Bologna Cooking School, where we could have an afternoon session.

I was apprenhensive, as from what i could tell, this was a 'school' run out of an Italian man's home. True to my suspicions, it was indeed as i thought. If you want an 'in home' experience with an older Italian guy and his sister, then this is for you. But what is incredibly dissapointing, is that this is not a school, he is not a chef, it is just a persons house who has capitalised on making pasta. It was like going to a grandfathers house, and him cooking his local dish and showing you how....which maybe an experience you would want.

The price was crazy for this kind of amatuer experience, and my husband and i quickly realised the 3/4 of the pasta and meat sauce we made was not eaten by us that night, but used to stock his own freezer. I was dissapointed to pay for his pantry stocking.

He gave us a certificate, which he just made and printed from his computer....I could do that. You could come to my country and i will show you how to make Roast beef, call myself a school, and make you a certificate. The price wasn't worth it, but again, this may be the in home experience you want.

Whereas the aforementioned cooking school, is indeed a true school, with actual chefs. However, a class with other people inside a classroom may not appeal to those wanting dinner and demonstration inside a true italian home. But my advice is to decide what experience you want and decide from there.

Visited November 2010
Helpful?
12 Thank shelleyItaly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CarloAberto, Proprietario at Bologna Cooking School, responded to this review, 20 October 2011
In 2010 I did not have classes on Saturday afternoon so we start with a lie.
A chef is a person who cooks professionally for other people
I cook for my guests at the B & B for 11 years (ABC Bologna in B & B and before I Portici). For 8 years I gave cooking lessons to hundreds of people ... it is true that we have grown old but it shows how much experience and knowledge we have.
Is called the school a place where teaching
The website is written clearly that we only deal with small groups in order to personally follow each participant as each has its own cutting board and work the "browse".
Not only do the classic recipes, but also dishes with fish, mushrooms, white truffles and still use top quality products and wines of high quality and therefore expensive.
If you wanted to take home the leftovers, just ask how to do it at the restaurant "for the dog."
A few who have asked him very willingly have given, but most foreign visitors stay at the hotel.
Luckily for me my freezer does not need to be filled.
Therefore, the food that remains from the lessons are given free to needy families.
It seems to me very strange that the praises do not be gone to another school!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
1 review
“A fabulous foodies experience and a gastronimical taste sensation”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 September 2011

We were taken to the market and best places for fruit/veg/meat etc! in Bologna to collect (and taste!) our ingredients, then strolled back home for our cooking class. Our cooking teachers (Gabriella and Carlo) were very patient and showed us all the techniques and the key things to look out for when we made our dishes (taglietelle, tortellini and tortelloni pasta and Bolognese ragu). Afterwards we were able to feast on everything we made and also some specialties made by Carlo and Gabriella. All in all it was great fun and an amazing gastronmic experience, made more so by our lovely hosts. Having never tasted ingredients of such quality, I am entirely grateful that we were introduced to these flavours in this cooking class! I would recommend it to anyone with the means and time to do this in Bologna.

Visited August 2011
Helpful?
Thank Esther W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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