What People Say

From Our Clients

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

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

    Janie Trayer, Panini Girl blog, USA, April 2012

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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 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

  • 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

  • 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 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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 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

  • 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 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

  • 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)

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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 for a wonderful week, it really revives the spirit!

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

  • 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

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

    Kathy Iona, Australia, September 2011

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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 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

  • 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 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • It was a trip to remember for a lifetime.

    Pat Smith, USA, September 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 day, and a meal, we will never forget.

    Rabbi Larry Siedman, USA, October 2010

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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 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 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • It was a great and inspiring experience.

    Raven Burns, pastry chef, Blackbird Bakery, BC, Canada, 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

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

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

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.
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  • 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.
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  • 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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