A passion for Cookery Courses.
Guido and Sally have been sharing their passion for gourmet Italian food by organising Italian cooking courses and holidays in Rome and Maremma, Tuscany before moving to the beautiful region of Sabina. Guido’s enthusiasm for promoting Italian regional cuisine has also lead him to conduct cooking workshops in Cambridge, England and Sydney, Australia.
Slow Food members: supporting local farmers to reduce our carbon footprint.
Convivio Rome Italian Cooking Classes and Holidays are members of the Slow Food movement and share their philosophy on local farming, quality food and bio-diversity. We support our local farmers and food producers and we do this to source the freshest, highest quality seasonal ingredients and olive oil for our Italian cookery classes. This also helps keep our Italian cooking school's carbon footprint to a minimum.
Sustainable, responsible cooking holidays.
We believe in the importance of our local community and not only support local small businesses and cultural events, but also involve as many local residents as we can in our Convivio Rome Italian Cooking Holiday activities. We promote a form of environmentally sustainable and socially responsible culinary tourism, by only bringing small numbers of people at one time to experience the natural and very unspoilt beauty of our region, Sabina.
Sally, originally from Australia, first moved to Italy over 17 years ago. She soon became captivated by the warmth of the people, the beauty of the landscape, the culture and history, plus the amazing food and wine. 'Amore' when Sally met Guido, led her to stay. They now live with their daughter, in the Sabine Hills (Sabina), just north of Rome. “This is a very special area of Italy not only because of its rough natural beauty and magnificent views but for me it is truly authentic. There is nothing commercial, no neon signs, no foreign newspapers and definitely no tourist buses. It is not uncommon for our neighbours to knock on our door offering us a paper bag filled with fruit or vegetables that have just been picked from their fields”.
Sally's background is in social anthropology, natural therapies, teaching and tourism and she has been running her own business in Australia and Italy for over 20 years. Sally founded 'Convivio Rome' with Guido to enable them to share the magic of Italy, Sabina and its fantastic food and wine.
Guido is an 8th generation Roman with a passion for cooking. “Every evening, I prepare food for my wife and daughter that has come from my grandmother’s family”, says Guido. “The secrets of these recipes have been passed down from my grandmother to my mother and now onto me. I want to share this love and passion that my family has always had for good food and wine with you. When I was young, my father used to take me around the Roman countryside on weekend excursions to locate the finest cheeses and wines. Baskets of fresh ricotta were prepared in front of us by the local shepherd and loaves of wood-fired sour dough bread were bought hot from the bakery. It was an incredible education. I still remember learning to recognise the different scents of wild herbs during our leisurely walks through the fields. To me, rosemary, sage, fennel and roman mint are the distinctive scents of the Roman countryside, especially when the sun comes out after a summer storm”.
Guido has been a food editor for many years, during which he had the chance to meet the most celebrated Italian chefs and learn their secrets. He is fully bilingual and has previously been running cooking classes in Italy (Tuscany), England (Cambridge) and Australia (Sydney).
At Convivio Rome, Guido is in charge of our cooking classes, olive oil tours and wine-tasting sessions, with an emphasis on the freshest food available in season, the balance of flavours and ease of preparation. His classes are relaxed, fun and creative. In fact, Guido believes that inspired cooking always comes from a little bit of fun.
Dear Sally & Guido, I know it seems a long time since we came to learn how to 'cook Italian', but I did want to let you know how much we enjoyed our time with you. We so appreciated your thoughtfulness and attention to our every need, and it was this welcoming feeling which made our time with you so very special. You are exceptional hosts.
Meet our local friends!
Signora Lina is one of the fresh pasta experts in town. She has been living in the hilltop village of Toffia all her life. If you happen to pass by her home you will be amazed at the marvellous smells that come from her kitchen. “Every time I watch Lina creating the most beautiful egg tagliatelle simply out of flour and eggs, I know that a very ancient secret is being revealed right before my eyes”, says Guido.
Signora Lucia is also a great pasta and gnocchi maker. Her helpful advice contributes to our Italian cooking holidays and vacations. Originally from Trevi, Umbria (where the oldest olive tree is found), Lucia now lives here in the historic centre of Toffia (close to the largest olive tree in Europe), where our Italian cooking classes are held. She has always been a 'casalinga' (housewife) who has taken great pride in her cooking. Some say that fresh pasta making is a 'dying art' but Signora Lucia keeps this 'skilled art' alive by passing on her knowledge and techniques through us, during our fresh pasta cooking lessons. Like many other Signore in Toffia she continues to make fresh pasta on Sundays for her children and grandchildren when they come to visit.
Ruggero You will enjoy his gentle sense of humour and understand his love for history and nature, when you meet him during your Italian Cooking Holiday. Ruggero began to learn about olives and the properties of extra virgin olive oil when he was a boy in his mother's kitchen. His passion for olives grew when he moved to Toffia and walked among the many olive groves that surround this beautiful and unspoilt region of Sabina, where our Italian cooking holidays and cookery classes are based.
Meet some authentic Italians. During our longer holidays you will have many opportunities to meet 'the locals' every day of the week, and especially on Market Days when the travelling market farmers & vendors come to Toffia and Farfa to sell their locally grown produce and wares. We buy fruit and vegetables for our Italian cooking holidays, short break vacations, and our Italian cookery classes from Alfio or Roberto as we know they are local, in season, and have just been picked from the fields we can see in the valley. Our fresh herbs are always from Tebaldo who sells a large variety of flowers, herbs and plants from his nearby nursery. When you are enjoying your morning Italian style breakfast or a relaxing afternoon glass of wine at the local bar/cafe you are sure to meet Sara or her brother. During your evenings at a local restaurant/trattoria you will not only enjoy the wonderful food and the waiters good sense of humour, but also be treated like 'long lost friends'.