What People Say

From Our Clients

  • Thank you again for the wonderful trip to Sant’Antioco! It was great from so many perspectives. The people we spent time with—making cheese, going fishing, baking bread, doing ceramics—made it much more engaging. Culture, history, food, landscape, laughter and song—all beautiful.

    Claudia Conlon, USA, Celebrating Sardinia, April 2017

  • I have now produced Bresaola, Coppa, Chorizo and Salami. I am very pleased with the results. I would have never had the courage to do it without having attended the training in Tuscany. Feedback we have had from customers has been fantastic.

    Malcolm Tennant, Stoneygate Farm, UK, Advanced Salumi Course, October 2016

  • It is with sadness that I await my train to leave Lucca. Our group of four enjoyed our time here as a special experience. We all agreed that our trip to the Garfagnana was one of the best days. Our guide Giulia was terrific and I thank her very much.

    Linda Bottari, Australia, Day Tour, May 2017

  • I came away from the trip wishing that there was a company like Sapori e Saperi in every country that I visit. We are both inspired by what we experienced with you.

    Gabrielle Robertson, USA, Day Adventure, July 2017

  • This evening I made fiordilatte again, and it is the best gelato I have ever made. It is perfect in every way. Simply knowing how to make it is worth the price of our entire trip to Italy.

    DM, keen amateur, USA, 3-hr gelato lesson, July 2017

  • I really enjoyed the salumi course in Bologna. Lots to learn, lots to see and of course lots to eat. Just haven’t managed to convince anyone that a course organised by you actually qualifies as work.

    Klaus Kuhnke, restauranteur, UK, Advanced Salumi Course Bologna-Parma, March 2017

  • I highly recommend Sapori & Saperi.  I attended the cheese workshop in May of 2017 and was blown away by Erica’s hospitality and the hospitality of the artisans. The food, drinks, and lessons taught were all incredible, however I would like to emphasize that the greatest treasure that can be found during a course with Sapori & Saperi is the emotional connection you will develop with people who live authentic and genuine lives centered around the well being of their communities and culture.

    CC, USA, Theory & Practice of Italian Cheese, May 2017

  • We thoroughly enjoyed our tour with Francesca. After touring with her, we were especially happy not to have to manoeuvre the roads she took us on!  Francesca is charming, knowledgeable and entertaining. We immediately felt as if we were old friends. The villages and scenery in the Garfagnana are truly wonderful.

    Anna & Bill C., USA, Day Adventure, May 2017

  • The time spent in Tuscany with you was the best of our three weeks in Italy. We loved it all. Our guide Giulia was amazing and really someone we connected with and enjoyed spending time with. She went out of her way to make the trip as personal and intimate as we could have asked for. The artisans we visited were also fantastic with Riccardo and Turbo being our favourite! Such warm and generous people who were genuinely happy to share their art with us. Our only complaint is that we had to leave….

    Troy Feener & Desiree Tech, Canada, Personalised Tour, May 2017

  • Thank you for your tireless efforts in making sure that I got the most out of the course. Thank you for handpicking the most talented and genuine artisans for me to learn from. Thank you for going out of your way for me to get spices. Thank you for one of the most memorable and fulfilling experiences of my life.

    Vahe Jr Seraydarian, chef, Lebanon, Advanced Salumi Course, February 2017

  • Would highly recommend Erica if you wish to have a personalised and “off-the-beaten-track” visit to Italy. After understanding our wishes, Erica put together a programme which we were able to amend and flex – even two weeks before our trip when we wanted to visit a local football game. The fact that Erica researched and visited all the places she took us to meant that we were confident that they would be high quality experiences – which they were. I was impressed that she continued to identify alternatives where they offered a better option. All the arrangements worked like clockwork and we enjoyed Erica’s company as well as valuing her language skills during our stay – we got so much more out of the trip that way. Our only problem is that we want to go again!

    Munro family, UK, Family Adventure at Modena, April 2017

  • Thanks for the brilliant course. I would certainly recommend it to others. Meeting the norcini really helped me to understand the skill and experience needed to make great salumi. I’m already planning a few curing projects at home!

    Elliott Bloomfield, chef, River Cafe, UK, Advanced Salumi Course, March 2017

  • I have to say that this was one of the best training I have had in my whole career (either as a butcher and also as a Geologist). Theory, tradition and practice has been explained in depth with hands on the job and plenty of Italian joy. I strongly recommend this training for any enthusiast of the salumi art.

    David Contreras, Romania, Advanced Salumi Course, March 2017

  • We wanted to let you know how wonderful the tour was. Francesca [the guide] was a sweet woman. Very knowledgeable about the countryside. She was the best. Enea and Valeria were very interesting people [cheesemakers]. I thought it would be awkward to be with them but they made us feel at home. Rob even got to play his bass guitar. It was our favorite tour we went on.

    Elise Robinson, USA, Day Adventure, March 2017

  • The day we spent with you was exceptionally interesting – we’re recalling it as the highlight of our vacation! Left us appetite for more…

    Lena Pasternak, Israel, Day Adventure, December 2016

  • I have worked as a butcher for 4 years, but haven’t worked with cured meats. I read a couple books on the topic but really wanted to learn hands on with experienced butchers. That is exactly what this course gave me. All the butchers we worked with were skilled artisans that have a deep respect for their craft and the animals they work with. They were all very open and happy to share their knowledge. They each worked a bit different which gave the experience even more depth. Giancarlo’s wealth of knowledge introduced us to salumi topics and then led us through and followed up each session. Erica’s depth of knowledge on various cultural and culinary aspects of the areas we traveled through rounded out the experience. She did a great job arranging the trip and I must say we ate very well along the way. The course was an excellent primer on various aspects of the craft of salumi and I feel confident going forward that I have a solid foundation to build on.

    Josh Meehan, butcher, USA, Advanced Salumi Course Tuscany, February 2017

  • The Tuscan salumi class has been fantastic. The hands on experience and the attention to communicating technique and detail has answered so many little questions that I’ve pondered over the years of producing salumi at home. Hats off to you Erica and Giancarlo. A great group of fellow students too!

    Rudy Marchesi, winemaker, USA, Advanced Salumi Course Tuscany, February 2017

  • I would like to thank you very much for such an amazing week… I enjoyed and learned a lot from this experience. The course was very valuable and full of information. Erica and Giancarlo were beyond expectations. Nevertheless, the group were such an amazing company sharing the best moments and knowledge of meat curing.

    Fayez Bathish, Israel, Advanced Salumi Course Tuscany, February 2017

  • It is not easy to compare the Tuscany course with this new one because they are so different – except that one learns a lot through each. The home dinners are simply stellar, one gains a much greater feeling for Italian culture and people through these events, not to mention a knock out dinner. The classes this year – the Mortadella with Silvio Scapin and his daughter, was a once in a lifetime experience! The farm tours with Giorgio Bonacini and Aldo and Luca Brianti were again sites that may never be seen by me again (to say nothing of the noon meal they provided!). The organic Nero di Parma pigs on Aldo’s farm were a rare view and quite a privilege! The trip to Parma was also great, visiting the organic Parmigiano-Reggiano farm and seeing how parmigiano is made – just fascinating. The morning at Maurizio’s family owned and operated Prosciutto laboratory and curing facility was also most memorable. Erica, you and Giancarlo out did yourselves on this one. It will be hard to beat.

    Cullen Case, USA, Advanced Salumi Course Bologna-Parma, January 2017

  • We have so many great memories of the tour – it was a huge privilege to be able to have such a personal glimpse into the lives of real people, and we so enjoyed focusing on a small piece of Italy at a relaxed pace. It was exactly the kind of experience we were hoping for – thank you so very much!

    Penny & Jon Stewart, Canada, Tastes & Textiles, May 2016

  • This tour has delivered everything it promised! We have seen and tasted everything I wanted to see and do and taste. Thank you for showing us these glimpses of rural and artisanal Italy. Thank you for your attention to detail. Thank you!

    Sally & Wilfrid Mennell, Canada, Autumn in Tuscany, November 2016

  • These past ten days have just flown by. From truffle hunting with that delightful dog, to tasting olive oils and watching chestnuts roasting, it has all been wonderful, enlightening and especially delicious.

    Wendy Newman, Canada, Autumn in Tuscany, November 2016

  • Thank you, Erica, for not only letting us ‘peek behind the curtain’, but allowing us to walk through and personally meet the artisan wizards! You took us on the path less travelled while we intimately observed what truly makes Italy—its food and its people—so wonderful.

    Natalie Herman, Canada, Autumn in Tuscany, November 2016

  • I will never taste wine, olive oil and gelato without knowing what perfection there is in artisan production. I came on this tour totally ignorant of the theme. I depart with such a rich amount of knowledge and wonderful experiences.

    Barbara Hughes, USA, Autumn in Tuscany, November 2016

  • As a nutrition professional who loves good food, the day my family and I spent with you and the artisans you brought us to meet was a highlight of our trip! I’m going to try to keep Vitalina’s [cheesemaker] simple and satisfying life in mind when my life gets stressful or complicated!

    Amy Sinsheimer, USA, Day Adventure, September 2016

  • The artisan cheese course was fantastic and I learned so much about the art and science of cheese making. I really think anyone could benefit from this experience – from novice cheesemakers to professionals and for those like me who are just passionate about Italy and cheese.  I especially loved visiting the homes of the cheesemakers and catching a glimpse of life in Italy from an insider’s perspective.  I would highly recommend this course.

    Robin Kerbel, Medical Consultant, Canada, Theory & Practice of Italian Cheese, June 2016

  • We would just like to say how much we enjoyed our day with Francesca. She was very friendly,  helpful and had great knowledge of the area and its history. Hopefully we will re visit and definitely take another of your tours.

    Lyn Walkington, UK, Day Adventure, September 2016

  • What a joy it was to meet you last week and spend time with you at the Chestnut Festival. It was definitely one of our highlights and we’re still talking about it to everyone!

    Laura Soothill, UK, October 2016

  • I recently entered the Melbourne Salami Festa with my 2016 winter Berkshire pork salami and I finished 6th out of 102 entries. The festa is the only major amateur salami competition of its kind in Australia, which is taken really seriously by some. I would like to thank you, Giancarlo and the artisan norcini for all the things I learnt on the salumi course last year. I strongly believe that these things have helped me to improve my family’s salami making techniques. Which has clearly paid off with us finishing in the top 10 this year and hopefully top 5 next year. Your courses are more than just training, they inspire a way of life.

    22 October 2016: News from Geoff Burgess, Australia

  • The trip to Tuscany was totally fascinating and just wonderful. I came back exhausted but inspired. I think the cheesemaker visits were really well planned, going from the off-the-grid cheesemaker up to the more commercialized ones. The visits that most resonated with me were to Vitalina and Marzia – I keep thinking about how simple and pared down the whole process was compared to what I do, and I loved their cheeses – in fact when my cheesemaking is done for the year (early Dec), I have made plans to experiment with this simple type of hand-pressed cheese. I will let you know the results. Other highlights (there were so many) were the Truffle Supper and being guests in people’s homes for supper, the villages, scenery and the welcome from everybody. I thought the Torre agriturismo was a great base in a beautiful setting. The others on the trip were great company too, a really good mix. Big thank you to you and Giancarlo for such a fabulous time – I learnt an incredible amount during my time with you both; history, culture, architecture…just so much. I am trying to persuade my husband to come on your Salumi course some time, so I can tag along too!

    Julie Wing, cheesemaker, Blackdown Hills Cheese Co, UK, Theory & Practice of Italian Cheese, September 2016

  • Our Tastes and Textiles tour was so unique! You took us to destinations I would have never found on my own or with another tour. We met enthusiastic and inspiring people who have created a rich and sustainable lifestyle which also preserves the traditions they hold so dear. Our textile and fiber workshops were fun and intriguing. And, we met plenty of characters along the way! With both gorgeous scenery and charming lodging, this trip was a hit with me! Thank you, Erica! In December 2016, Carol wrote: Since returning home, the impact of our September trip has slowly yet continually percolated up to my consciousness and I’m blown away by how much it meant and has influenced my thinking.

    Carol Bingaman, weaver, USA, Tastes & Textiles, September 2016

  • I had such a rewarding and wonderful trip with you. You really do your research and make the trip an experience. I will treasure the adventure forever!! We met so many nice people and saw their humble yet inspired lifestyles. They were so welcoming and really seemed to enjoy us being there. You have been a blessing in my life.

    Janet Castro, artist & weaver, USA, Tastes & Textiles, September 2016

  • The tour was great. The food was amazing and I really enjoyed the meals, including the four courses, the wine and the great company and conversation. Very civilized. I also enjoyed wandering around the chestnut grove and their history, as well as the history of the region. Ai Frati was a wonderful place to start the tour, so restful.

    Robin Nixon, Canada, Tastes & Textiles, May 2016

  • Having just finished the Cheesemaking Course I have had a week to reflect. I learnt so much from the artisan producers both small and bigger operations, from Giancarlo our master tutor, from Erica the tour leader and from my three classmates. An experience for any Cheesemaker at any level.

    Jas Futter, cheesemaker, New Zealand, Theory & Practice of Italian Cheese, September 2016

  • The sessions with the artisans were packed with information, and Giancarlo was a great instructor with a wealth of knowledge. I came away with many ideas on how to move forward with my own cheesemaking. I hope to be getting a few more Brown Swiss cows to mix in with our herd of Holsteins. I also have started to experiment with making cheeses like the producers we visited in Tuscany. We can’t wait to try them and see how they turn out.

    Byron Graybeal, dairy farmer, Pennsylvania, USA, June 2016, Theory & Practice of Italian Cheese

  • Thank you so much for a great cheese experience in Italy. I went for inspiration and came back with a renewed appreciation for the simplicity, beauty and art of cheesemaking. The gracious people of Italy and beautiful country were an added bonus.

    Lynne Lindgren, cheesemaker, Wisconsin, USA, Theory & Practice of Italian Cheese, June 2016

  • We would like to thank you for the wonderful time we had in Italy, it was a trip of a life time. The course was excellent. I have people back here asking about my adventure everyday and want to know when I’ll start making some of the items we learned about from all of the very fine artisans.

    Ron Cramer, Department of Animal Sciences, Ohio State University, USA, Advanced Salumi Course, March 2015

  • Thank you for such a wonderful day. We absolutely loved Paolo [village baker] and everyone can’t stop talking about the whole experience!

    Janie Trayer, chef, USA, April 2016

  • Thank you so much for creating such a well thought out week. Everything about the course was brilliant! I had a blast!!!

    Carla Thetford, chef, Baker & Spice Dubai, UAE, Theory & Practice of Italian Cheese, March 2016

  • Cathy and I had a wonderful time during the course. The people we met were gracious hosts, wonderful cooks and very open to teaching us the craft from their perspective. Each norcino shared his vision of salumi with all of us; it was interesting and informative. Their patience in answering our questions was very appreciated; they were always willing to listen and answer each and every question posed. Some of the course for me was reaffirming what I had learned previously or taught myself, a lot of it was new. However I did learned there are multiple ways to achieve the end result, multiple techniques, styles and traditions. I did not expect it and truly enjoyed learning that.

    Joe Abandonato, USA, Advanced Salumi Course, March 2015

  • Thanks so much for putting together a great day for our family on Monday. We enjoyed both the cheese and the bees, and Francesca was fantastic.

    Tracy Morris, USA, family day, July 2015

  • We had a fabulous time with you and will be reminiscing about it for years to come! It’s made us very excited about things we might try to make in the short term or even produce ourselves at some point. We’re also much more discerning about all sorts of different foods, even honey, and will enjoy continuing to explore the local flavours up north where we can find them.

    Leo & Katherine Peskett, UK, September 2014, honeymoon

  • The course was such a highlight for both of us. Your course and the Vatican were the top 2 – followed by Our fish dinner with you, Matera, Trulli and Terra Madre. Oh ya, the Mechanical Cow was a pretty big hit too. Wish we had one here! And the chestnut forest! Thanks again for how much you care, and for going the extra mile to create an unforgettable experience for all of us.

    Dana & Cameron Smith, chefs, Joy Road Cuisine du Terroir, Canada, Advanced Salumi Course, October 2014

  • The course for me was genuinely one of the best things I have ever done. Your passion and knowledge of Tuscany, its food, the culture and tradition was amazing, and coupled with Giancarlo’s insane knowledge of Italian salumi and wine, it was the perfect platform from which to learn and immerse yourself in the course. Everything about the course was authentic and I feel very confident I can apply what was learnt back in the UK.

    Hugo Guest, financial consultant, UK, Advanced Salumi Course, October 2014

  • Just wanted to say a massive thank you to yourself and Giancarlo for the salumi course last weekend. It was a fantastic experience for both Amie and I and we would definitely love to come back for another course in the future. I thought the tutoring was spot on and Giancarlo’s passion for the subject was infectious! As a complete experience it will be very hard to top.

    Jake Townley, chef, UK, Advanced Salumi Course, October 2014

  • What a wonderful few days spent in the company of people passionate about Salumi. It confirmed a lot of the things I am doing right, but also offered many, many tips and changes I can make, especially in the initial salting and curing of prosciutto. I am also excited about trying new things like capocollo and pancetta.

    John Evans, Dale Street Deli, UK, Advanced Salumi Course, November 2014

  • https://borglunds.wordpress.com/2015/01/22/sapori-saperi-dag-1/

    Kenth Borglunds’ blog, Sweden, Advanced Salumi Course, January 2015

  • The course provided a great insight into the skills and techniques of artisan producers in Tuscany. It was a wonderful adventure, very informative, hands on, delicious food and stunning scenery. The hidden gems of restaurants (and Gabriella’s house) where we dined, the welcome and hospitality we received wherever we went made it such a memorable experience.

    Billy Collins, pig farmer, Ireland, Advanced Salumi Course, October 2014

  • I attended both the cheese course and the salumi course and I have to say that both were amazing. Being a chef I appreciated every single minute and the dedication you put into these events. I think that I learned a lot and seeing many different artisans and the passion they transmit to us “students” is unforgettable. Erica, you should be proud of what you are doing and I recommend your courses to not only chefs but to all food lovers. I also want to thank Giancarlo for sharing all his knowledge and patience so we could understand more. He is an asset to your courses.

    Roderick Vella, Executive Chef, Excelsior Grand Hotel, Malta, Advanced Salumi Course, January 2015

  • Thank you for the wonderful few days we spent with you and the artisans in their laboratories looking at salumi techniques. It has enabled us to question why we do, or don’t do, things when making our products. It has clarified techniques, enhanced others and given me new ideas. We have already laid down a prosciutto for Christmas 2016. Nicely salting at the moment in the butchery, using different sizes of salt to account for the humidity and selective absorption – something which we didn’t understand beforehand. My 25-year-old son and I had a big work out on the leg trying to clear the blood and break the sinews around the joint as Ismaele showed us. We really enjoyed the Italian home-cooked meal. In fact every meal was good, and it was a credit to you that you had taken the trouble to get us tickets for the village feast. As you stated it’s not a course for beginners, but professional or keen amateur butchers and cooks should get a lot out of it. I know the hard work which goes into making something look easy – thank you so much.

    Philip Wray, UK, Advanced Salumi Course, February 2015

  • The experience with your group was so phenomenal. The things that stood out most for me were the dinner in the Tuscan home, the soup competition and Gino’s workshop. To me, these were opportunities that no other traveler to Italy can brag about. For that matter, the entire time with your group falls into this category. I cannot think of one bad thing to say about your course. I have told my friends about the mechanical cow and they want me to present the idea to our local dairy that sells whole unpasteurized milk. It would be wonderful to buy their milk in our own glass containers as they only sell it pre-bottled in plastic. I can’t believe how our time with you has transformed our lives by the people we met and the things we saw and learned. We will be putting our skills to the test the first weekend of May by butchering our pigs and and making the best salumi in Washington. 3 July 2015 We butchered our pigs the first of May. We were beyond pleased with the quality of our pork…At this time we have in our cooler lardo, pancetta, prosciutto, coppa and guanciale. It is hard to be patient with such wonderful pork products to dream about.

    Cathy Abandonato, USA, Advanced Salumi Course, March 2015

  • I was so impressed with your knowledge of the locals and local sites to visit. It was a very impressive selection and the mountain vistas are with me every day still.

    Gail Grasso, USA, Tastes & Textiles, May 2015

  • Because of you, I had the trip that I had always wanted to make to Italy. I am thanking you for all the research, hard work and patience. I urge anyone who is able to travel to go with you. I believe that your tour was the best I have ever been on.

    Diana McClure, USA, Tastes & Textiles, May 2015

  • As we travel on our own after your tour, I have come to realize what value you added by sourcing some of the best cuisine. It’s very hard to do this on our own, and I have been disappointed in our attempts to find authentic Piemontese food, for example.

    Marilyn Geary, USA, Tastes & Textiles, May 2015

  • Thank you very much for a wonderful experience. The memories will last a lifetime. So many fun and interesting activities, beautiful sights and lovely tastes.

    Polley family, Scotland, October 2015, Family Adventure

  • I especially enjoyed the visit to Daniela Pagliai because she has so much going on and is interested in experimenting. Also I was surprised and pleased by the respect and curiosity they showed for British cheese.

    Pete Humphries, cheesemaker, White Lake Cheese, UK, Theory & Practice of Italian Cheese, March 2016

  • The best part of the course for me was the variety of cheesemakers, both the range of cheeses they made and the insights we got into their personalities and family life through meals in their homes.

    Carolina Fiebig, dairy cattle farmer, Chile, Theory & Practice of Italian Cheese, March 2016

  • The course was great, because it gave us the chance to visit cheesemakers we’d never get to meet if we came on our own. I was impressed by how open they were and willing to show us everything from how they raise their animals to the details of how they make their cheese. I’ve come away with new ideas I want to try in the dairy. And don’t forget to let me know when the gelateria course is up and running. Our short lesson was a revelation of the complexity of making good gelato.

    Roger Longman, cheesemaker, White Lake Cheese, UK, Theory & Practice of Italian Cheese, March 2016

  • We want to thank you again for an absolutely unforgettable time away in such a diverse landscape.  The people are as beautiful as the country itself.  And the food sure measures up as well.  The artisans you have found are real gems and we enjoyed seeing them perform their crafts each day in and around Barga.  Thanks for going in to this line of ‘work’!   It is the BEST….

    Tina & Peter MacPhail, Canada, September 2015, personalised adventure

  • If the course were on Tripadvisor, it would get 5 stars.

    Paul Young, keen amateur, UK, Advanced Salumi Course, October 2015

  • The best part for me was getting close to artisans who are willing to reveal their secrets. That’s hard to find!

    Hans Mertens, butcher, Belgium, Advanced Salumi Course, October 2015

  • We all enjoyed your carefully and thoughtfully curated tour. You are exceptionally well organised with an eye for detail and an innate understanding of what will work and be appealing to people. I recognise quality when I see and experience it so thank you for organising an exciting adventure, one we could not have organised ourselves.

    Marina Slifirski, Australia, November 2015, day adventure

  • I was blown away by the course. You put heart and soul into it to make it so memorable!

    Maggie Healey, UK, Advanced Salumi Course, January 2016

  • I couldn’t be happier with my decision to join your courses and the experience is something that I’m sure will be in many of my future story tellings.

    Tony Nemati, chef, Kravings, Los Angeles, USA, Advanced Salumi Course, January 2016

  • It was a great and inspiring experience.

    Raven Burns, pastry chef, Blackbird Bakery, BC, Canada, Advanced Salumi Course, January 2016

  • Although I have visited many norcini during my various Italy vacations, I never made it beyond the refrigerated counter case. It therefore was really interesting to see how they operate in the laboratorio. We had a fun group with interesting people and I enjoyed the experience thoroughly.

    Christophe Kull, importer, USA, Advanced Salumi Course, February 2016

  • Had a blast on the course and want to thank you for arranging such a comprehensive program that highlights not only similarities but differences as well among Italian artisanal norcini, all of whom expressed their passion for their work. Very interesting and delicious indeed!

    Bonnie Suarez, chef, USA, Advanced Salumi Course, February 2016

  • I learned more than I imagined I was going to, and had a fantastic time.

    Kait Bauman, chef, San Francisco, USA, Advanced Salumi Course, January 2016

  • A year after attending your course I’ve been back in Italy travelling around visiting producers of both live animals and the final product. I would like to say how wonderful a service you are providing to not just small producers, but people worldwide. I don’t believe the Italian people really appreciate what you have done and continue to do with your Salumi Masterclasses. It seems that industry is gobbling up the little man. Everyone I spoke to is concerned that it’s getting harder to make salumi the traditional way and remain viable.

    James Mele, butcher, The Meat Room, Australia, Advanced Salumi Course

  • Having made and taught preserving in the past, I was always concerned with the risks of dealing with raw meat, in particular pork. This course has shown me that, following certain steps and guidelines, it is easily achievable and concerns could be overcome. Now, I just need to find the perfect pork and begin…

    Bruno Richeux, chef, Australia, Advanced Salumi Course, January 2016

  • The truffle hunt that Erica put together was fantastic! Hands down the best day of trip to Italy! We can’t wait to go on another adventure with Erica!!

    Kim Franke & friends, USA, November 2015

  • I appreciated the patience of the norcini who gave everyone a chance to try. It was valuable genuinely doing the work and having enough time to practice under their supervision. It has inspired me to get to work on my own projects.

    Tom Fabbro, design and marketing, USA, October 2015, Advanced Salumi Course

  • I would like to thank yourself and Giancarlo for creating such a great action packed course, well it’s more of a life experience than a course. All the things that are packed into the 5 days are amazing, well worth the long journey from Australia for the keen amateur or industry professional. I would also like to thank all the norcini for allowing us to come into their businesses and homes to teach and show us the way in which they produce their salumi, which is not only apart of their lives, but a tradition passed down over many generations. The course has left me feeling more inspired than normal in pursuing my dream of setting up my own Salumi Factory here in Perth, WA, producing as close as possible legal Traditional Italian Salumi.

    Geoff Burgess, amateur salumi maker, Australia, October 2015, Advanced Salumi Course

  • I thoroughly enjoyed the cheese course. I did indeed find it very informative. I can never visit too many cheesemakers, and seeing how small artisan Italian cheesemakers produce their traditional and other cheeses really helped me put things into perspective. I was reflecting on the differences between the cheesemakers I have now been lucky enough to visit in Australia, the US, the UK, France, and now Italy – such interesting cultural differences, as well as the techniques and business models they use. Giancarlo is a real gem – so knowledgeable and a very good teacher, as well as being a lovely person. I think you’ve done brilliantly to put it all together! And I was fortunate to be part of a delightful group of people, all very interested in learning more about artisan cheesemaking.

    Alison Lansley, Australian Specialist Cheesemakers’ Association, September 2015, Theory & Practice of Italian Cheese Course

  • A benefit of the course is the combined experience of the group. I’m going home more motivated.

    John Palmer, jewellery importer, UK, October 2015, Advanced Salumi Course

  • Thank you for a great time and phenomenal course. Prior to arriving I had prepared 38 questions and every single one of them was answered. In Cape Town we have a saying after surfing a big wave: I am amped. That’s how I feel after my trip.

    Oscar Bienz, South Africa, October 2015, Advanced Salumi Course

  • I often think about my time with you and know the things that you shared were indeed events of a life time.  Hope to make it back for a salumi course one day.

    Raven Burns, baker, Blackbird Bakery, BC, Canada, March 2015

  • Thank you for an enjoyable, interesting  and inspiring course. I met some lovely people, two of whom I will see again. I found the whole thing most informative and would love to come again.

    Lucy Hollinshead, dairy farmer, England, September 2015, Theory & Practice of Italian Cheese

  • I want to thank you and Giancarlo for such a fabulous experience; I learned so much, and felt it was so well organized and run. It met my expectations in terms of the educational aspect, and it was a rich cultural experience as well. It was also financially attainable for me, which was very important, because I haven’t found any other cheese courses that were. I truly appreciate the work you are doing there that benefits not only people like us, but local artisans as well. One year after taking the course: I can’t believe it has already been almost a year since Philip and I were with you for the cheese course. I think of you and Giancarlo often as I go about my day, and I use the cheese making lessons on almost a daily basis.

    Mindy Cottam, nearly self-sufficient family, USA, September 2015, Theory & Practice of Italian Cheese

  • I cannot tell you what a wonderful day we had with Francesca. This was the most amazing tour and much more than I had hoped for. I will recommend you to everyone I know!

    Merrill Crawford, USA, September 2015

  • Thank you again from both Jim and I for a wonderful 5 days. He really enjoyed the course and Giancarlo was great. We both appreciate the time and work you both put into making it a very special experience … Even for me as a non-participant!! Jim is very excited to take the salumi course in November. In fact, his enthusiasm rubbed off and another American couple want to join us at the salumi course.

    Louise Montalbano, USA & Italy, non-participant, April 2014, Theory & Practice of Italian Cheese

  • My objective was to see hands working, to dial in on these women’s hands. That’s specific to my needs where I’m at in my life of cheese and food. And I totally got that. It was super-helpful. In the first visit, watching Vitalina — with the stick in the pot, stirring it around, forming the cheese, putting it in a mould and doing it the same way every time — just gives you permission to make cheese! If I were to go to Italy by myself, it would take a long time to make the connections with those cheesemakers, and probably you couldn’t even find them at all. And I really enjoyed the by-products of the course: seeing the beautiful countryside and little towns and eating in people’s homes. No criticisms. I got exactly what I needed from the course.

    Rose Allred, cheesemaker, Sea Breeze Farm, USA, April 2014, Theory & Practice of Italian Cheese

  • This tour will be really wonderful! I have collaborated with Heather on a few aspects of this, not least my long time work with the Slow Food movement and the chance to offer the Women’s International Cigar Club members and friends the chance to get together during this tour. I can’t wait! I love Italy (lived there for a while) and I like the Toscano, with its ‘unconventional’/ traditional shape. It is actually very pleasing in the mouth, and I’m told I get a Clint Eastwood look in my eye when I smoke one!

    Sarah Saunders, Women’s International Cigar Club

  • Eva [9-yrear-old daughter] has not stopped talking about the entire week, truly we found it all so wonderful.

    Zoe Hall, UK, May 2008

  • Thank you to both you and Giancarlo for a fantastic course. I’ve been on a high ever since. I can honestly say that I enjoyed every bit of the experience, and while it was quite busy with not a lot of free time, I’m so grateful for that, as I learnt so much more and tasted such wonderful food. I would happily recommend the course to others, and can’t wait to get started making more salami now that the weather is cool. Thanks again Heather, for such a great experience, and your enthusiasm, which made the weekend all the more interesting and informative.

    Viv Clucas, Leeds, UK, keen amateur, October 2011

  • I was fortunate to join the artisan cheese course in the spring of 2014. There were so many great aspects of the trip: the small group of fun and like-minded strangers who quickly became friends; the artisans who were so open and willing to share their work with us; the many meals we were able to linger over and savour, and not the least, our course leaders, Heather and Giancarlo, who went out of their way to get the answers to our endless questions and make us feel comfortable.

    Tonya Harmon, USA, aspiring cheesemaker, May 2014, Theory & Practice of Italian Cheese Course

  • It was an absolute delight to be able to experience a cooking lesson in a real Italian home with Gabriella and her husband.We really got an idea of what it is like living in Tuscany and the traditions that are still held, like getting up early to go and pick mushrooms and salad leaves, seeing the yellow paper that is used to drain fried food, tasting the amazing spices and flours, and learning some of the traditional cooking methods.

    Susie, UK, March 2010

  • Sue and I had a fabulous time learning about the local food and tasting local wines. I am interested in learning more about the Tuscan wines and will clearly have to do more homework before I next return. Thank you for showing us your Lucca and we will be following your blog. Hopefully we will meet once again.

    Stephen Tham, Australia, June 2014, Day Adventure

  • A very special opportunity to meet the best of Tuscany salumeria, learn about the way of living of authentic rural families of this lovely region, and much important, making new good friends from all over the world. I will come back some day.

    Sergio Perrella, Brazil, March 2014, Advanced Salumi Course

  • I learned so much from the week Curtis and I spent with you. I would certainly call it an excellent beginning, and I’m sure that we will have a much better outcome from our efforts now.

    Ron Silver, chef, Bubby’s, NY, February 2011

  • Minky and I have made the herb and lemon chicken to rapturous audiences. We used the best organic chicken chopped into 8 by our local butcher. Kept the skin and bones on (instead of nude drumsticks, as Alessandra taught us), which makes for a much juicier richer flavour. I’d say ours tasted nothing like the one we made at Casabasciana — but I so enjoyed the extravagant amounts of herbs, garlic and oil that I had to have another shot at it. This will be our staple for the winter!

    Rachel Byrt, mother

  • It was a day, and a meal, we will never forget.

    Rabbi Larry Siedman, USA, October 2010

  • This course was an amazing insight into the methods and superb skills of the local producers of Tuscany. If you are serious about Italian Salumi techniques, this is the course for you. Giancarlo and Heather are such knowledgeable guides and translators and this adds another dimension to an already action packed tour. It really is amazing value for money in a stunning location, and meeting these producers is the key to knowledge that simply isn’t available anywhere else. 3 weeks after end of course: So far I’m making salsiccia regularly and they are going down a storm. This week I’m doing a roast porchetta and my first prosciutto, and next week we will be attempting our first Tuscan salami so keep the fingers crossed, and I’ll let you know how it turns out. 7 weeks after end of course: Salamis looking good so far – lovely mould developing not quite matured enough yet but I did try one yesterday and it was quite passable! 8 weeks after end of course: They are squisito! Two types – first was in the style that Massimo showed us, quite smooth with a fantastic flavour. Second was a more Tuscan style with red wine etc, lovely flavours again, just needs to mature for longer. 14 weeks after end of course (23 Jan 2012): We’re  pretty busy already this year, and just put down our first Lancashire Prosciutto – I’m like an expectant father! 8 months after end of course (Jun 2012): My latest batch of Coppa went down a storm at a food show here in the North West – sold out in an hour!

    Phil Wilcock, UK, pig farmer & butcher, October 2011

  • It was a trip to remember for a lifetime.

    Pat Smith, USA, September 2010

  • Special thanks for introducing us to such wonderful characters. We have gained an insight into the lives of passionate people who have a real love for family, place and way of life. Stefano’s restaurant is truly an extraordinary place. We’ll never forget the two rock ‘n roll Dannys on that fabulous hillside, Massimo’s generosity and pride for his town, Francesca’s industry and hospitality and all the other wonderful people.

    Nick & Anne Shelley & family, UK, August 2009

  • I want to thank you so much for the wonderful week we had with you. It was so much fun. I’m telling everyone about it.

    Marian Sticht, USA, May 2011, Tastes & Textiles

  • I had a really unforgettable tour with you. I appreciate all the extra attention to details, and special attention you gave us. I will never forget it. …My thank you doesn’t even begin to describe what I recall regularly; last night I was thinking about the workers’ lunch…that was fun…so fitting since we had just picked olives and it was different.

    Maria Afsharian, Iran, November 2009

  • We have very fond memories of our weekend with you, it was a real highlight of our holiday, so many special experiences.

    Lynette and Grace Mollard, Australia, September 2013, Personalised Adventure

  • Just a quick note to tell you HOW MUCH we enjoyed our cooking lesson. Alessandra was exceptionally ambitious, energetic, and talented–and we loved every minute of our time with her. She is an authentic Italian gem!! In addition, the meal we prepared was molto delizioso! It was truly the highlight of our visit to Italy. Thank you for being such a user-friendly enterprise, and we were delighted to benefit from your knowledge and expertise.

    Linda Rath, USA, September 2009

  • We are truly grateful for the opportunities afforded by traveling with you. You willingly share your passion for the slow food lifestyle with your clients, creating unforgettable and personal experiences like visiting with Beppe at his metato, picking olives with Augusto, or tasting the newest prosciutto with Andrea. Everyone made us feel like part of the family. Not to mention all of the amazing meals! We learned so much and are eager to apply it to our life here at home. It was truly a perfect honeymoon, and a once in a lifetime holiday.

    Kimberly Tortorice & Jay Hochman, USA, October 2008, Slow Food Tour to Lucca & Salone del Gusto

  • It was so great to meet all of you.  The whole trip was really fantastic and I learned so much and enjoyed every second.

    Kevin Flaherty, chef, USA, March 2014, Advanced Salumi Course

  • We had the most wonderful time on our tour. I knew I would enjoy myself but I was blown away by how much Bryan enjoyed himself. I have not seen him so relaxed. We all got on so well and loved all the things we did and saw. Just wanted to say thank you for organising such a great tour. I would recommend it to anyone.

    Kaye & Bryan Dillon, Australia, October 2010, Truffles, Olive Oil & Chestnuts

  • I want to thank you so much for giving us a wonderful four days. We all really enjoyed ourselves and you have definitely inspired the children, and given the adults a new appreciation of good food. James [age 7] and I made tagliatelle last night and he has announced he no longer wishes to buy egg pasta, but wants to make it all himself.

    Kathy Weston, Richard Treisman & family, UK August 2009

  • Thanks so much for a most incredible day. We just loved it & your terrific company!

    Kathy Iona, Australia, September 2011

  • You provided a memorable evening with a wonderful chef. Even though I spent another whole week at a cooking school, which was very, very interesting, I think Linda did the best job of sharing her love for the country and the style of cooking so important to the people of the Barga area. It was a night to remember and the favorite of our week in Barga.

    Kaaren Demorest, USA, June 2008

  • Thank you so much for a wonderful week, it really revives the spirit!

    Jenny Phillips, UK, June 2014, Cheese, Bread & Honey tour

  • I just wanted to say thank you again for organising such a fabulous day for us on Friday, we all thoroughly enjoyed it, the highlight for all of us being the visit to Gabriella and Alfredo’s house. This of course does not take away from the visit to the village and the winery, both of which were excellent. Mirko was an absolute delight! This was not because he spoke English, but because he was so engaging, genuine and he had a continuous smile to share.

    Jenny Cummings & 2 adult daughters, Australia, 28 Dec 2012, Day Tour

  • Thank you so much, Heather, for your marvelous hospitality and for giving us a delectable “taste” of the wonders of northern Tuscany. While many have taken Italian “trips”, they don’t realize that they’ve missed an Italian “adventure”.

    Jeff & Sue Blaine, USA, May 2008

  • We enjoyed the tour immensely and look back on all we did with great fondness.  You are a wonderful tour guide.  You took us to places we definitely wouldn’t have seen on our own.  I will cherish my memories forever.

    Janis Holmes, USA, June 2014, Cheese, Bread & Honey

  • We all enjoyed everything about the day. It is surely one we will remember forever! Going to the farm and having lunch there was so very special. It was fabulous — we all loved what you did and all the stories and your knowledge of the area.

    Janie Trayer, USA, May 2011

  • This is a tour for those who want to get below the surface. You will meet extraordinary people, share meals with them in their homes and watch as they keep ancient traditions alive. Heather’s knowledge comes from her love for the Garfagnana and its people and it is infectious.

    Janette Gross, USA, May 2011, Tastes & Textiles

  • Thank you to both you and Giancarlo, we had a fantastic and educational time with you guys. Every class was informative, the norcini were fantastic, generous with their knowledge as were you and Giancarlo. I do believe Sapori e Saperi is doing a wonderful service to artisan salumi producers, by exposing them to the world and allowing outsiders into their inner sanctum. I would recommend this course to anyone who is interested in furthering their knowledge of (in particular Tuscan style) salumi.

    James Mele, butcher, The Meat Room, Australia, February 2014, Advanced Salumi Course

  • Our visit with you was memorable in many ways. I loved staying in adorable and characterful Casabasciana. We learned and saw so much on our expeditions with you that greatly contrasted our lives in New York. We will never forget it!

    Hanako Yamaguchi, USA, June 2014, Family Adventure

  • Kirby and I had a fantastic time and all the people on the course inspire me to make my dream a reality even if it takes a few years.

    Gina Piazza, USA, March 2014, Advanced Salumi Course

  • Your tour was the highlight of our seven-week absence from home. There were so many highlights that it is difficult to single out one experience above another, but I must say that the contact with the olive trees was very special. Above all it was your preparation and organisation and great communication with us all that will remain with me forever.

    Gillian & Max Poole, Australia, October 2008, Slow Food Tour to Lucca & Salone del Gusto

  • We had so much opportunity to learn, not just by observing the producers, but by cooking, tasting and eating and, of course, being involved in all aspects of olive oil production. It was just brilliant to be able to pick, process and bottle our own oil.

    Fiona Richmond, UK, November 2005, Olive Oil, Chestnuts & Polenta

  • We LOVED our Cheese course with you! We learned so much and the food was beyond amazing. I’m afraid that you have turned us into food snobs. David and I need to come back for another tour!

    Faythe DiLoreto, USA, cheesemaker, May 2014, Theory & Practice of Italian Cheese Course

  • The pleasure hasn’t waned and I have already prepared food differently and made a big veg soup, bruschetta with OUR oil and the mondiola. Went to my local Sainsbury’s last evening and was totally depressed at the range and quality of the veg … My life won’t return to exactly where it was before the trip, truly: I shall experience greater satisfaction and greater frustration!

    Elizabeth Hartley-Brewer, UK, November 2005, Olive Oil, Chestnuts & Polenta

  • I made farro salads and fried polenta at home and will be trying to make the bread before too long. Great to have my culinary horizons expanded, with the understanding of the context that the produce and the food has risen out of.

    David Lewis, UK, May 2010

  • A brilliant four days that we got so much out of on both the foodie and the cultural side, as well as meeting lovely and interesting people. We know from running holidays for people what a huge amount of work goes on in the background and you really gave us the works with your efficiency and attention to detail and your easy nature. It was worth every last calorie! Clare and Steven (proud members of ‘the-best-course-so-far’ club)

    Clare & Steven Wade, Woodmill Shootings, Scotland, March 2014, Advanced Salumi Course

  • Both you and Giancarlo are passionate, enthusiastic people delivering a truly memorable course. The norcini we met were true artisans with a lot of skill and enthusiasm which is always fantastic for me to see. I have come back to the UK with a new deeper understanding of air drying pork products. I must say the first evening’s meal, at Gabriella’s home was FABULOUS, a definite highlight!

    Carl Slingsby, butcher, Greedy Little Pig, UK, January 2014

  • This is the most relaxing vacation we have ever taken. We even forgot what day it is! What a varied number of experiences. Heather has shown us an Italy we could never have seen on our own.

    Bryan & Victoria Poppe, USA, September 2012, Autumn Harvest

  • Amazing trip for us both. Much enjoyed every segment of our itinerary and our congenial group and coach driver! Food, our hosts, accommodation, your information and effective communication—all very good.

    Brian Marshall & Shirley Dwyer, October 2008, Slow Food Tour to Lucca & Salone del Gusto

  • My expectations were high, and were exceeded… Apart from the general delights of the day it has sparked off some fascinating thoughts about quality food. I find it wonderfully ironic that possibly the best ricotta in the world is only available to a handful of peasant farmers, and no amount of money will enable the richest people to buy it unless they make the journey up into the Tuscan hills.

    Bill Samuel, UK, June 2014, Day Adventure

  • Making fresh tagliatelle was my favourite activity and I remember every detail of how to do it — better than my Dad! We’ve made it together several times since we got home. The honey tasting was also fun, watching it being made and then actually trying the result. The birthday cake looked fantastic with all the fruit on, and tasted fabulous. I also had a great time swimming and horse riding, and the adventure park was brilliant.

    Beatrix Houston (aged 9 years)

  • I often think of the wonderful experiences Jane and I had in the Garfagnana because of you. Thank you for your excellent personalized program for the week. Our time with you was a definite success.

    Barbara Graham, USA, September 2012, Personalised Adventure

  • Just wanted to say how wonderful it was spending time with all you passionate people! We are all the bit wiser because of our organizers ( Erica & Giancarlo ) and the wonderful teachers we met along the way.

    April Bloomfield, chef, The Spotted Pig, New York, March 2014, Advanced Salumi Course

  • I just got back a few days ago and am still basking in the glow of learning and fellowship that I experienced on your course. Wow– just WOW! As a cheesemaker, it was very important to me to meet other artisans in their unique spaces, see them work with their hands and herds, and discuss the challenges we all face in this business. Experiencing their more traditional practices will help me make more authentic products for the growing market here in the States. The trip generated more than new knowledge about traditional Italian cheesemaking. It also fostered fellowship among us as cheese professionals, and we’re already writing regular updates and sharing best practices with one another. One of my fellow travelers, who is starting a cheese business, is even coming to visit my farmstead creamery and continue our learning adventure in real time!

    Anne Becker, USA, cheesemaker, May 2014, Theory & Practice of Italian Cheese Course

  • I had two wonderful days with you – Making pasta and pork and zucchini slice and secondly the organic farm where we made bread, focaccia and fried bread and CELEBRATED my birthday. I had an absolute ball.

    Anita Hogan, Australia, June 2011

  • I want to thank you for arranging such a fantastic course. Both Andrew and I have returned to England with a much greater knowledge of salumi. You provided us with a real insight into Tuscan food culture. We thoroughly enjoyed all the extras you arranged; the meal provided by Gabriella and the soup competition were fantastic experiences which we would never have had the opportunity to enjoy as tourists. We look forward to putting all our new found knowledge into practice.

    Andrew & Suzanne Clarke, UK, pig farmer, February 2011

  • The visit to Gemma and Cerasa farm inspired me to have a go at making cheese again and I made a small bit of cheddar a few weeks ago. I was too curious and we tried it far too soon (it was still rubbery and tasteless) but it looked like cheese, smelt like cheese and had the potential to taste like cheese so I am very pleased. I’ll certainly make more.

    Alex Entzinger, Switzerland, August 2012, Family Adventure

  • The most unfortunate part of our trip was that we were only able to spend two days with Heather (Erica). Her passion for the Tuscan culture is exemplified by the lasting friendships she has created with the local artisans. As a result of these relationships, we were able to enter into these artisans’ homes and learn about and participate in their crafts. Words cannot describe the intimate, personable experience that she provides. If you want a unique and memorable experience, Heather will exceed any expectation.

    Kellie Lagasse & Eric DeRoche, USA, August 2013

  • We had a fantastic time learning with the butchers and this will help our plans to start delving into making some test products.

    Jon Gonzales, USA, November 2012, Advanced Salumi Course

  • We had such a wonderful time with you, Marzio, Paolo and Ercolano. This was certainly one of the best days of our trip to Italy. I so admire the relationships you have built with the people we met. This is what it is all about. How wonderful to be in a foreign place and be welcomed as we were. It was delightful to be able to participate in and learn from what they do. We will have happy memories of baking bread with Paolo for a long time to come. And Daniela fed us well—it was so nice to have a home cooked meal while travelling!

    Liz Rosenberry, USA, March 2012, Day Adventure

  • I am so happy to have found Heather before I took my first group to Lucca. Everyone who has been on one of her outings says it was the absolute best day of their week with me. She is so knowledgable and the perfect guide to the Garfagnana.

    Janie Trayer, USA, Bella Bagni di Lucca Blog, August 2012

  • Thank you so much for having created such a memorable and unique travel experience. There were so many highlights in this tour, it’s difficult to say which my favourite was. I feel I have seen sides of Tuscany which I would never have discovered if I was travelling by myself. Your local knowledge and connections to the community has made the whole experience much more authentic.

    YL, Canada, October 2012, Truffles, Olive Oil & Chestnuts

  • I can’t let this opportunity pass without thanking you for an amazing six days and telling you that you have a fantastic product in the salumi course. I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it and feel invigorated after it with an appetite for rolling up my sleeves and getting down to curing and ageing. I found the extension day extremely valuable as an addition to the main course. The norcini we visited were very knowledgeable, skilled and made salumi in a completely different manner to all the previous ones we visited. I would recommend that anyone with the time available cannot afford to miss the opportunity to do the extension.

    Tim McCarthy, McCarthy’s of Kanturk, Ireland, January 2012, Advanced Salumi Course

  • I want to thank you so much for making my visit to these parts so memorable—the artisan visits have all been excellent, and the artisans themselves so engaging and inspiring.

    Alison Lansley, Australia, September 2013, Cheese, Grain & Wine

  • Thank you so much for organising such a wonderful tour. We all had a great trip! As much as we have enjoyed everything that we have seen, and done (and eaten), the best part is who we have met and shared stories with.

    Joanne Loui, Canada, May 2013, Tastes & Textiles

  • I joined the course with Heather last May as a break from home, my husband was very ill. It was the most wonderful week! We had the privilege to meet many people in their own homes and experience their passion and enthusiasm for their cheese, textiles, bread, life. The small group allowed us to be flexible and experience things a larger group would not be able to — hands on cooking, dinner in a family home. The people on the course had an interest in textiles, weaving, dyeing, woodworking making looms and spindles, as well as other varied interests. Spending a week with this group, I have met people from Canada and Vienna as well as the UK. I am currently booking my next course for next spring.

    Jenny Phillips, England, May 2013, Tastes & Textiles

  • Amazing people make amazing things happen. I fully recommend this course to anyone who wants to see fine Italian meats in action, eyes wide open!! I’m blown away at the amount I have taken from this. Giancarlo Russo and Heather Jarman delivered an in-depth look at the production and the practices of some very knowledgeable Artisans. Loved every minute. If you get the chance or have time, the extension to this course is the cream of the lardo! I met a 4th-generation family up in the hills above a small wine valley. This guy, his dad and uncle and the mum and aunt are truly spot on Salumi.

    Drew Howard, pork butcher, Beijing, China, October 2013, Advanced Salumi Course & Extension

  • We have really been looking forward to our ‘Day with Heather’ and it exceeded our expectations. Thanks for showing us some of the special artisans in this beautiful corner of the world and for helping us really ‘feel’ and experience the area.

    Kristine Antoon, USA, June 2012, Day Tour

  • Many thanks for a fantastic day! We never would have managed to find the Cascio sagra on our own nor experienced it so fully without you as our guide.

    Nerzig family, USA, May 2012, Day Tour

  • Beyond fabulous — from the earth — love it all — your passion is deep as is your knowledge — so happy to be part of your tour and to meet you.

    Janice, USA, April 2012, Day Tour

  • Our day with you is just what we hoped for — one wonderful moment after another.

    Janie Trayer, Panini Girl blog, USA, April 2012

  • This was truly an unforgettable day — one that is etched in my memory and heart forever. It reminded me of my childhood with my grandparents on their dairy farm some 50 years ago.

    Bonnie Dowell, USA, April 2012, Day Tour

  • It was so wonderful to meet you and — WOW, what a day. I can, with full confidence, guarantee my clients a fabulous and unique “Day with Heather!”

    Annie Collins, Freedom Tours, USA, June 2012, Day Tour

  • We knew spending the day with you would be fantastic BUT we were blown away with how amazing it turned out to be!! Thank you so much for sharing your passions with us and connecting us with the heart and soul of Italy — this wonder-full little pocket in the Garfagnana. See you again!!

    Kristy Rowe & Donnacha Russell, Australia, April 2012, Day Tour

  • What a wonderful tour! We loved the bread-making lesson, looking around the farm and of course the wonderful conversation. Thank you so much for a perfect day. We look forward to returning some day soon. Olive season, perhaps?

    Liz and Flip Rosenberry, USA, March 2012, Day Tour

  • Thank you for the bread making! I can’t wait to eat it, and for the lesson on the farro. I enjoyed listening to the stories, and looking at the scenery, thank you so much!

    Emily Rosenberry (11 years old), USA, March 2012, Day Tour

  • I have learnt more in four hours with Massimo Bacci than in the whole of the last four months back in the factory reading books and experimenting. It’s a brilliant experience.

    Nick Trott, butcher, Dukeshill Ham Company, UK, January 2012, Advanced Salumi Course

  • Thank you for a wonderful day in the Garfagnana. We really appreciated your local knowledge and relaxed manner. It was lovely to spend time with Catia and her Mum learning the traditional way of making bread. Also to try Catia’s produce including her excellent red wine. She is truly an inspiration. To top it off the scenery was spectacular and the villages so authentic and picturesque. We wish we could do it all over again.

    Maguire family, Australia, May 2012, Day Tour

  • You opened my eyes to the value of unadulterated food, especially salami! Thank you for introducing me to a dying art.

    Shelagh Meagher, Canada, April 2012, Day Tour

  • I found the course offered a fantastic insight into the otherwise hidden world of Italian artisan ‘charcuterie’. The opportunity to meet passionate and traditional craftsman at work was extremely useful and utterly mesmerising. It really highlighted the true differences between British and Continental butchery.

    Mash Chiles, MD, The Bath Pig Company, UK, March 2012

  • As an industry professional I appreciated the manner in which you conducted the course. You and Giancarlo hold a wealth of information from which I learned so much. The personal interaction and ability to talk with other experts was priceless. Pair this with the gorgeous Tuscan countryside as a backdrop, wonderful people and food around every corner and you have a gem of a trip! I would recommend this course to other industry professionals looking to get back to the artisanal way of doing things. Pete’s photographic diary of the salumi course

    Pete Manzo, Manzo’s Sausage Kitchen & Market, USA, January 2012, Advanced Salumi Course

  • It was one of those magical trips for me that you can’t really ever re-live, you just have to cherish it.

    Libby Saylor, USA, June 2011, Cheese, Bread & Honey

  • When people ask what I liked best, I must say that I rave about our trip with you — it was excellent and a real contrast with all the big city tours we did.

    Neroli Blakeman, Australia, October 2011, Truffles, Olive Oil & Chestnuts

The visit to Gemma and Cerasa farm inspired me to have a go.

Sort Descending
  • June 2009, Food and Travel Magazine


  • May 2009, Junior


  • 3 March 2009, Metro


  • March 2009, The Sunday Times


  • July 2011, Richard Tulloch’s Life on the Road


  • March 2011, The Telegraph


  • December 2011, Bagni di Lucca and Beyond: Marzia makes cheese


Tours & Courses

  • Small Group Tours

    Special interest tours for fibre and textile enthusiasts, connoisseurs of the Tuscan cigar and the excellent food and wine of Tuscany.
    Read more
  • Personalised Adventures

    These fascinating learning holidays are specially designed for you and your family, friends, club or organisation
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  • Family Adventures

    In Italy families delight in all aspects of food and enjoy convivial meals together. You and your children can experience these pleasures whilst…
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  • Day Adventures

    Even if you only have a day, you can meet an artisanal food producer, visit a handloom weaver, lunch in a family restaurant known only to the locals and…
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  • Cooking Lessons

    Immerse yourself in the food culture of Italy, and discover the age-old ways of cooking with a private lesson in an Italian family kitchen or your own apartment or villa.
    Read more
  • Courses with Artisans

    Intensive courses for professionals and keen amateurs consisting of theoretical and practical sessions during which you learn with…
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