Please enjoy some of the amazing pieces of art to be found in the huge Uffizi Gallery in Florence. It has been open to the public since 1765 so really is one of the first modern museums.
This is mostly the legacy of the famous Medici family who regularly collected and commissioned works of art. The last Medici heiress was very specific in her will that all these treasures must remain in Florence – clever woman!
We could just imagine artists such as Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo gathering here to create their masterpieces and relax.
We really enjoyed our Tuscan cooking class with Walkabout Florence. It really could have been a disastrous day: cool and wet, but our guide Mollie (yes, an English art historian immigrant!) led about 30 of us through the back streets of Florence and explained all sorts of interesting social and culinary history. This also required drinking coffee and eating the most exquisite tarts. The seasonal delicacy was a sweet bread dough covered in small black grapes that are only ripe just now…. Yuuuummmy.
After collecting food from the fresh market for our class, we travelled out to a beautiful farmhouse in the hills behind Florence to start cooking. Our lovely chef demonstrated all the techniques e.g. making fresh pasta by hand (Ian made the best tagliatelle in the class!) along with a meat sauce.
Onto the pizza dough and toppings and the best ever bruschetta – we are sure the secret is the quality of the olive oil, all pressed and bottled on the premises.
Next was the Tuscan roast pork and potatoes … And just to top it all off, Tiramisù.
In one way, we were surprised to cook dishes which we already associated with Italy but in fact it was a superb lesson in cooking techniques and creating the correct flavours. We enjoyed sharing our meal and excellent regional wines with our fellow students – a great bunch of people and a wonderful way to spend 10 hours!