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>>>A Slice of heaven for the eyes and for Italian...

Casa Ombuto | A Slice of heaven for the eyes and for Italian gastronomy

Posted on may 22, 2017 by Greg S Green Valley, Arizona
Excellent

A Slice of heaven for the eyes and for Italian gastronomy

5 of 5 stars, Reviewed on TripAdvisor by Greg , May 2017

If you're looking for an Italian cooking vacation that is fun, challenging, exciting, rewarding and a gastronomical delight as well as located in quite likely one of the most beautiful areas in Tuscany and also provides accommodations that are certainly worth 5 stars then look no further than Tuscookany at Casa Ombuto in Poppi, Italy!
I've wanted to attend an Italian cooking class as one of my own "bucket list" items for sometime. The opportunity presented itself to me last year and my dear wife told me to go for it although she wouldn't be able to accompany me.
The accommodations are absolutely first rate. My room had a wonderful balcony with a fabulous view (see picture) of the surrounding mountains. The bathroom was modern and convenient with new brass fixtures and beautiful Tuscany tile. Combine the fabulous room with a lovely living room and another balcony, other amenities such as a hot tub, sauna, steam room, modern exercise equipment and a gorgeous swimming pool and you've described a first class facility.
The staff are so friendly and accommodating that their efforts make you feel as if you were at your own home villa. You have free rein of the kitchen (excluding the chefs refrigerator) for snacks, beverages (including wine and beer) and tea, cappuccino, espresso or cafe Americano. There isn't a single thing the staff wouldn't do to make your experience absolutely perfect. Accommodating doesn't even begin to describe how everyone treats their guests. After dinner every imaginable aperitif are made available to the guests and if they don't have what you like they'll get it for you. In my case Alex obtained a wonderful highland single malt scotch for me to enjoy. But don't miss out on tasting the Grappa!
The chef, Paola Baccetti is an absolute charmer with a wonderful sense of humor and a personality that can't help but make even the most amateur cook feel successful and challenged. But make no mistake when it comes to cooking Chef Paola is no nonsense, passionate, professional and absolutely loves what she is doing. She is a chef to be emulated and a chef that doesn't make you feel anything but successful. Chef Paola is quite simply a wonderful teacher, with a fabulous personality and so passionate about her cooking that she just makes you feel great about yourself and what you've accomplished in a week. I'll relish the friendship we've established for years to come.
I had my doubts about what could possibly be learned in a few short days of cooking lessons. But trust me when I say that those doubts were soon cast aside and I became amazed at what we learned in that week! The tips, tricks, techniques and hands on skills taught by Chef Paola will be relished for the rest of my life. Chef Paola arrived each afternoon prepared to discuss the menu for the evening, the cooking assignments and the new techniques we'd be learning for the day. The best part is my friends and family will be the recipients of the new skills I've learned and sharing a good meal with the people we love is the best life can offer.
I realize this review may sound "gushing" or too good to be true, but trust me I don't write reviews like this often. In fact, probably never, so perhaps you'll trust me when I say you'll have the best week of your life, some of the best food in your life (that you've prepared), make some of the best friends in your life and will be so disappointed that the week has come to an end you may just shed a tear or two. And that doesn't even begin to describe the small slice of heaven where Casa Ombuto is located. It is absolutely drop dead stunning. Not to mention the history in the area, the quaint, friendly village of Poppi and need I mention the surrounding wineries, olive oil farms as well as the artisanal cheese dairies nearby to visit?
Do not miss the opportunity to attend this Italian cooking vacation!

Room Tip: No A/C in rooms, the mountain breezes are wonderful.
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