There are certain ideas that take hold and won’t let go, even when you kindly explain to your brain that you have to focus on the task at hand and keep ahead with the motions of everyday life. Yet, you promise yourself that someday…
For me, one of those “someday” ideas was to make my way to the Anna Tasca Lanza Cooking School in central Sicily. When I saw that the school was looking for an intern, I pushed “someday” away and I applied.
Founded by Anna, the school is now run by her daughter Fabrizia.
On the drive to Vallelunga we had a chance to chat about Sicily, Sicilian food and life at Case Vecchie – where the school is located. The name differentiates it from the casa grande on the neighboring Regaleali estate.
I had my first proper explore around the grounds the next morning.
That stone building? It is the kitchen where all the magic happens.
The courtyard was covered in camomile blossoms and the stunning garden was just starting to approach its peak season.
Under Chef Michael, the classes change daily. One day you will be perfecting your handmade cavatelli pasta, and the next it will be all about the involtini alla siciliana.
I have honestly never eaten so well in my life.
In between cooking classes, there are trips to the shepherds house for a morning picnic and a cheesemaking demonstration.
Follow, naturally, by an exceptional cheese tasting representing the many types of formaggi from all over Sicily.
After cooking, excursions, and eating, the countryside calls out to be explored.
The vineyards of Regaleali are perfect for long pre-dinner strolls to check up on what exactly is blooming today.
And there is always the exceptional garden to return to.
Classes and stays can be arranged by the day or week, and there are fantastic workshops set up for this year. You can read more about them here.
I am now back in Rome but I know I left a not-so-little piece of my heart at the Anna Tasca Lanza Cooking School. If I could stay after summer, I would do so in an instant, but sometimes the other pieces of your heart have a say in the matter so Rome it is for now.
But every year the school hosts an amazing 10-week intensive course called Cook the Farm – which could very well tempt me back some day.