The Cookery School at Villa San Michele, Italy

I took the photo above as our class began at Villa San Michele's cookery school without even realizing it looked like the Italian flag. How appropriate. Basil, garlic, and tomatoes. From now on, that's what the flag means to me. Isn't that what Italian cooking means to so much of us? The sizzling smell of garlic in the pan of olive oil, letting tomatoes bubble until the skin bursts, and topping it all off with fresh basil. At the cooking school, we made gnocchi from scratch, which is surprisingly easy, a simple sauce, and a tiramisu. All with Chef Attilio di Fabrizio, who has headed up Villa San Michele's dining for 25 years. I love to cook but cooking with a panoramic view of Florence before me and not having to do the dishes makes it even better. We finished the class with Tuscan wine and eating everything we had prepared. Bellissimo! My dream is to go back and take one of their Symphony of Pasta courses, with three classes and three nights included in the program.

An apron is included in the classMy station set upChef Attilio di FabrizioRolling out gnocchiReady to cook


Setting up for tiramisu