We just got back from a 10-day family trip to Venice, Florence and Rome. A whirlwind trip with three kids between 8 year old and 6 months old, we all managed to still like each other when we got back! Hands down one of our favorite experiences on the trip was the pizza and gelato making class we took as a family in Florence. Everyone had a great time learning the secrets to creating two of Italy’s best-known dishes at home.
There are many tour companies that you can choose from when looking for a Tuscan cooking experience. After doing a good bit of research I decided to go with Florencetown tours for our class. We have three young kids and a time bomb of a three year old. The Pizza and Gelato making class that Florencetown offered seemed like the best fit for us. About 3 hours long, inside the city, and it included two of my childrens’ favorite things to eat…pizza and gelato. You can book the class online before you get to Florence at www.florencetown.com. They offer two different sessions a day, 3pm and 6pm. The cost of the class is 49 euro for adults, with a 50% discount on the adult price for kids ages 6-12, and children 5 and under are free. It seems like a lot, but you get entertained for 3 hours, get dinner, and house wine and soft drinks are included. Plus you leave with a great recipe book so you can replicate your pizzas at home!
We met our chef at the tour headquarters in the heart of Florence and had a short walk to the kitchen where we did our class. Everyone washed up and suited up in our aprons once we arrived and the chef got started on teaching us how to make the dough. Once the demonstration was over, we got our hands dirty making our pizza dough. My three-year old had a great time mixing and kneading the dough with his hands and my eight-year old daughter was happy to be able to “do her own thing” for once in the kitchen. After topping our pizzas with whatever desired toppings we wanted, into the oven they went for a short time. By far, our favorite part, other than getting to eat our delicious creations, was seeing who could get their pizza onto the pizza board without having it stick. It’s all in the wrist…
In between creating our pizzas, the kids helped the chef make chocolate gelato. We learned about what makes gelato different than ice cream and how to tell the “good” gelaterias from the “bad” ones (it all tastes delicious to me!) Our chef gave us a tip as to which gelateria was his favorite in Florence. Of course we had to check it out the next day, and yes, it did not disappoint. After our pizzas were out of the oven we got to try our delicious chocolate gelato. I wish they gave out bigger bowls!
At the end of the class we each got our certificate of completion and our recipe book. The kids really felt special getting their certificate. Everyone left with a full stomach and smiles on their faces. I highly recommend this class to anyone who wants a break from the many architectural wonders of the city and especially if you have kids that need a break from admiring great works of art. If pizza isn’t for you, check out the other cooking classes Florencetown has to offer. They have a variety to choose from inside and outside of the city.