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I have just returned from Convivio Rome's fantastic 3 night cooking school. Unpretentious, hands-on cooking heaven! Two days of preparing and feasting on 3 courses each day which are also easy to make at home - recipes are provided. Sally and Guido make a great team, plus you experience an authentic, unspoilt Italian medieval village. The programme also included an olive oil tour and tasting - in an olive grove - and a visit to Farfa, another beautiful village nearby. A highlight of my recent European trip and I recommend it to anyone who enjoys Italian food and cooking.
Meredith - Melbourne, Australia
My Husband and I signed up for the half day cooking class. We loved it so much we both wish now we had planned for the 3 day or week. We had so much fun and the food we made was delicious and inspiring. Sally and Guido were very friendly and inviting. They picked us up at the train station and took us on a tour of the medieval town near their home. When we arrived at their home we didn’t feel rushed and were welcomed like old friends. We cooked a pasta and desert and kept it uncomplicated and delicious, they catered to our skill level. My husband really liked that the town and excursion was quiet and not” touristy”. We spent a week in Rome and it was nice to get out from the busy city and 40 minutes later be in a nice little town.
We thoroughly enjoyed our day with you both. You live in a blessed place. I appreciate local and fresh and there is an abundance in your community. Great class, tour, lunch and company!! hope to see you again.
I just wanted to tell you what a wonderful time I had at the cooking classes and tour. I love to cook and the hands on pasta making and other delicious dishes will be part of my memories and will be shared with family and friends.
Hello Sally and Guido (and Gemma),
Thank you for an outstanding day, one we will always remember, not only for the fabulous cooking lessons, but also for your warm and generous hospitality.
Thanks again for a perfectly wonderful day.
Hello Sally and Guido!! We had the BEST TIME!!!! I wanted to formally write to you when we are home to really tell you! We will review you on trip advisor , if they had a 10, we would give the experience a 10!!
It was wonderful meeting you, Guido and Gemma! We feel like we made great friends. We cannot wait to make the dishes for our friends and family and try all the techiniques we learned from Guido.
Shana, New York
Dear Sally and Guido, we made it back to Rome safely. Many thanks for taking such good care of us the last two days. What memories you have given us this weekend - we cannot thank you enough. Hugs, Bee.
Sally, Just a note, w had SUCH a wonderful time with you and Guido, Fritz has not stopped talking about it-to EVERYONE! He was so impressed, He has talked about returning for a three day session, should we return to the area. WOW! Our goal is to invite some VERY foodie friends. And make the recipes together. Once again, thank you both for making our vacation memorable.
Fritz and Mary Lou G. CT. USA
Hi Sally, Guido, Gemma, It was great to finally attend one of your (5 night) cooking holidays. It was a lot of fun - I met some great friends, ate some delicious food, and - most importantly - I learnt some proper Italian cooking! I now have stronger arm muscles from rolling out all of that pasta :)
Toffia is such a beautiful town - I am very jealous that you get to wake up to such panoramic views - filled with wonderful people. I particular like the fact that the locals stop to talk to you even though we know we are unlikely to understand each other and that they also make sure everyone gets back home safely at night. You'll be pleased to know that I've already tried out some of the recipes on some willing friends - and the dishes went down like a treat!
I hope you had a well-deserved break over the summer. Looking at the photos on Facebook, it looks like the Toffia music festival was a huge success! Thanks once again for a lovely holiday. Photos are to follow soon! Take care
Meenakhi- London, England
Hello Guido and Sally, On behalf of our cooking class today, I want to thank you for a wonderful, memorable, and delicious day. Sally, the train directions you gave us were great...no problems arriving. And the area tour and mini history lesson were so interesting. It was a nice addition to the cooking class. Guido, we all had such a good time watching, participating, learning. You are a master in the kitchen! The food was delicious, and we delighted in being able to participate in the preparation. Of course the lovely meal was a culmination of the day. Thank you for sharing your charming home with us, and for your warm hospitality. Your cooking class will be a happy memory for all of us. Best wishes,
Carol J . Fl USA
Hi Sally and Guido. I wanted to thank you for such a fantastic time during my visit to your home while we were in Italy. My sister April and I cannot stop talking about how much fun we had and we’ve already booked a dinner party for our friends in November to share with them the wonderful dishes we learned how to create!
I’ve been writing about our travels in Italy during our month-long visit and thought you might be interested in reading my blog post about your class:" Sherry’s Blogspot site is called Shertology and the article is called ‘Our Idyllic Escape from Tourists in Toffia, Italy”
Sherry, Seattle, USA
Hey Sally and Guido! I just wanted to say thank you again! I think you both are doing a fantastic job running your business as you do and I loved as we said yesterday the balance between doing things and relaxing time. It really was a special weekend for me, being able to do this on my own again plus meeting all you lovely people! So all the best to you and I will visit you again some day for more cooking and relaxing in Toffia :-) Have a good week!
Josanne, Amsterdam, Holland
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.
Guido, I have not as yet attempted to make pasta, but keep threatening to do so! We have only been home about 3 weeks, and all the family are waiting for an Italian meal! And Sally, I just love the linen runner I bought at Farfa. You may remember that Ruggero took me back especially to the Linen Shop, and I am delighted to have it every day on my dining table. So you are all in my thoughts constantly! We send our thanks and very best wishes, and hope to see you in Australia some time,
Judy, David, and Stephen S. - Sydney, Australia
Hi Sally and Guido, We just wanted to say Thank-you so much for such an amazing day and for opening up your home to us. It was truly the highlight of our trip to take the cooking class and I have been telling everyone about it and the amazing food. We also look forward to returning to Rome in the future and stopping by for another cooking class.
I truly can't wait to try making the dishes we made at the cooking class at home. And with basil being in season at home, I think that is the first one I am going to try. Thank-you so much for the tour as well, we got some fantastic pictures of your town and Farfa. Thank-you for so many wonderful memories.
Melissa and Ryan. - Ontario, Canada
Dear Guido and Sally, It has been almost two months since I attended your cookery course and want to say thanks, again, for a terrific time. I have made the dishes I learned from Guido a number of times. In fact the first thing I did when I got home was plant sage so I could make the saltimbocca at the drop of a hat.
I am very proud to show off the pumpkin risotto using the simple method Guido showed me. I have learned that I can not skimp on plenty of freshly chopped rosemary so I have planted several more rosemary bushes.
It is amazing that Guido could alter my approach to cooking and my garden after such a short time. But it was all about passion and love of fresh ingredients, prepared so simply and with focus on depth of flavour. I will never forget Sally and her little daughter walking out the door to search the village roadsides for 'Roman mint' and bringing us back that delightful herb within minutes.
I have recommended your cooking paradise to a number of family and friends and look forward to returning to a week of Roman cuisine bliss with you both. Staying in medieval Toffia will be a special priviledge. Grazie.
Lynn F., Perth, W.A. Australia
Dear Sally and Guido, thank you for a wonderful day in tuscany. it was a pleasure to meet both of you, and to get a glimpse into the window of your beautiful country and your village. the food was delicious. I did share the dessert with Esmeralda, as well as, other friends! it was a delight to visit the textile shop, and meet the mother and daughter.
If you do come to ny, you have my email address. ciao,
Leonie, New York, USA
Dear Sally and Guido, We just wanted to say thank you for a truly wonderful holiday. We had the most fantastic time and it reminded us that a good life is all about good food, wine and company! What a beautiful location and a trip we will remember forever. I'm sure we'll be back at some point to re-visit the place we got engaged!
I've been recommending the cooking holiday to all our friends and family. Thank you for your warm hospitality, especially inviting us into your home for dinner. I've been trying to re-create the pasta Guido made! Thank you so much, Best wishes
Kay & Jeff, London England, UK
Hi Sally, Guido and Gemma, Thanks for your email. We had a fantastic time yesterday! It has been a definite highlight of our trip. I posted a review on trip adviser last night, they said they will email me once it has been posted online. If there is anything else we can do to support you, just let us know. We will certainly be raving to all our friends and family about your holidays. We would love to come back one day and stay for one of your longer experiences.
It was truly a pleasure meeting you all, and we will treasure the experience always. Thanks again,
Greg and Jess, Sydney, Australia
Dear Guido and Sally, Wanted to thank both of you for a fantastic class and tour on May 29th for my friends and me. We had a fantastic time and I learned a lot. I love to cook and find that I truly experience a country through food! I have had the opportunity to take cooking classes in several countries and your's was superb. I only wish we could have taken a 3 day or longer class but I guess that means we will have to come back. When we returned to our villa all of the men wanted to know what we were cooking for them and we promptly told them nothing! We had completed our cooking for the day! Again, I thank you for sharing your home, your knowledge, and above all your kindness
Lisa T. USA
Hello Sally: My husband Dan, myself, and our daughter Molly spent the day with you and Guido while visiting our son in Rome. We can't tell you enough how much we enjoyed that day - by far the highlight of our Italy trip. I have probably bored everyone to tears with details of our time - but nonetheless it was something truly special and memorable. (We sent in a nice review on TripAdvisor...not that you need any more glowing reports...but we too wanted to get our opinion on record). I will say again, what you two create, from the pick up at the train, walking around the village, cooking...it all made for such a great time - and you offer SO much more than others we had looked into!
Thank you again for your kindness and Molly says hello to Gemma. She has told all her friends that she met a girl in Italy who gets a 3 course school lunch. Pales in comparison to the 15-20 minutes they get here!!! Regards,
Julie S.- M.A, U.S.A.
Hi Sally! I hope you and Guido are doing well. Niral and I had such a wonderful time in our day-long cooking class with you in July! I just wanted to share all of the photos I posted of our class, as well as the recipes (which I have credited to you in each post!) Here are the posts & photos: ....(Anjali has a blog site filled with amazing photos, dedicated to food, recipes and her travels called ‘pickyeater.com’). Thanks again for a great experience! I hope you like the photos! Best,
Anjali, San Francisco, USA
Hi Guido, Hope you, Sally and Gemma are well. I am making your torta di mele this morning for my sons and remembering the wonderful time I had in Toffia last year! Best wishes,
Sue V. - England
Dear Sally, Thank you for those email addresses. And thank you again for a lovely time in Toffia. We so much enjoyed catching up with you after such a long time. And the (5 night/ 6 day ) cooking course was fantastic - I have learnt such a lot, and in such a relaxed and pleasant setting. I have uploaded a few pictures of our cooking lessons and the beautiful setting of Toffia. You should be able to access them using this link (....), but let me know if any problems. I'd love to see your photos too. I hope to see you all again soon.
Rachel and John, Perth, Australia
Dear Sally and Guido, Thank you very much for the wonderful day we spent in your beautiful village. We enjoyed every minute of it. We hope to be able to visit again. We will certainly recommend Convivio Rome to our friends. Ciao,
Esmeralda, New York, USA
Dear Sally and Guido- Thank you for the wonderful day spent with you and your other guests (students) last Saturday. While I’m certain that an Aussie and Roman living in that tiny town presents some challenges, I admire your sense of adventure and appreciation for traditional ways. I’m certain I profited from the cooking lesson, will certainly attempt the pasta, ragu, and carciofo, and I even have some oil from Farfa to use in the preparation. I wish you both and Gemma every good fortune!
James C. Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Had a fabulous one day class with Convivio Rome. Thanks for such a fabulous day filled with food, history and hospitality. A wonderful retreat from the fast-paced tour of Rome.
Rebecca O, Ca USA
Hello Sally and Guido- Just thought of you as we were eating some fresh bread and olive oil! We have been practicing our pasta making and so enjoyed the class we took back in spring. There are many things we can’t copy since we do not have access to the Toffia butcher, mill or yummy olive oil, but we have enjoyed recreating the recipes and eating the wonderful fresh pasta noodles!!! We have been looking for some Olive oil that’s close to what you served. Do you know if we can get that yummy grassy olive oil shipped to the US?
Mariann Tjugum, USA
Sally and Guido, I wanted to take the second and thank you for the amazing day we had today. We loved every moment of the day, from pick up to drop off everything was a blast. We loved cooking all the different dishes and left today stuffed as can be. Thank you for making Tracey's birthday so special. I know it is a day she will never forget - and neither will I. It really was one of the highlights we have had in our entire stay in Europe. We cannot wait to tell people of our experiences and of how generous the two of you were.
Again, thanks so much. Hopefully we will be able to join you again for another Convivio Rome cooking class.
Best, Micah, U.S.A.
Hi Sally and Guido, One of the highlights of our Italy trip was your cooking class. First, to be introduced to the charming 1000 year old town of Toffia was a bonus. The setting and the views from your 500 year old home just adds to the entire experience. The class was better than expected with the hands on instruction of each recipe we made. Making a complete meal and sitting in your taverna sharing was so nice. Your personalities and patience are ideal for the classes you provide. An additional thanks for the food you sent with us on the train. The guys feasted on the Tagliatelle Fresche con Ragu al Pomodoro and the Torta di Ricotta alla Romana. You made it so easy to take the train from Rome and pick us up for the scenic drive to Toffia. After cooking, providing the the little village of Farfa was also fun. We highly recommend the experience for anyone considering taking a cooking class. Thank you so much,
Cindy and Marilyn, USA, Minnesota
Dear Guido and Sally, Patty and I would like to thank you for such a great cooking experience. It was one of the highlights of our trip to beautiful Italy. Toffia is especially beautiful and full of history and wonder. We had so much fun and met wonderful people from all over the world. Patty and I would also like to thank you so much for being such gracious hosts by inviting us into your home. I would love to return to Toffia for a week long cooking vacation and spend more time in such a perfect town. Thank you again for your hospitality!
Additional feedback, followed: Hello Sally, It was great to meet you, Guido and your adorable daughter, Gemma. I know that I am repeating myself, but we had such a wonderful time. It was a priceless experience and an honor to cook with Guido (an 8th generation Roman) and learn many helpful cooking tips. I plan on making the veal saltimbocca (with the orange twist) this coming weekend for a dinner party I am having. I am very excited to try a new recipe! Again, thank you for an experience of a lifetime! I do hope to see you in the future, possibly for a week stay. All the best! Julie
Julie and Patty, RI, USA
Dear Guido and Sally, I want you to know that our time spent with you was the highlight of our trip as a family. Two days after we left your company, Judd wanted to go back. "See if they have room for us to cook with them for another day, Mom." That made me so happy.... that we found something so special for three different generations; myself, my son, my mom. I would love for you to go on my web site and select a print of my mother's artwork and I would like to send it to you as a thank you for the joy, culinary guidance and information, and touring that you provided for us.
Claudia L. Moro Bay, CA. U.S.A.
We had a great day and a wonderful overall experience of Italian life when we attended a one day Cooking class. The cooking with Guido was fun and was real hands on. But the attention paid to us by Sally was a real bonus. She took us on a walk around the village of Toffia and explained its history. After the cooking we went to Farfa, a nearby village for some more interesting insights into this part of Italy.
Having someone from an Australian background who was married to an Italian made the experience all the better, as the insights into Italian life and cooking were very much what we were looking for. A great day!
Warren and Sue - Sydney Australia
Dear Sally and Guido, Thank you so much for a wonderful experience in Toffia and Fara Sabina! Dennis and I had a wonderful day, and we can't wait to make the gnocchi and veal cacciatore for our family! We loved getting out of the city of Rome for a day, meeting your lovely guests, and enjoying a delicious home-made meal. I love the pictures of the 2,500 year old olive tree! Thanks again for adding a touch of country to our Rome vacation. All the best,
Dennis and Carol M.- CT. USA
Hello Sally and Guido - I just wanted to let you know that I really enjoyed the cooking class on Tuesday (28th). And eating the results of our efforts as well !! The whole day was an entertaining and informative experience. I was most impressed with your little town and also with Farfa. What a beautiful area, up in those hills. If my husband and I get around to renting a car I'd love to take him up there (though not sure I'd be able to find it!!).
By the way, Tuesday night I went on Google to try to show Preston (my husband) where I'd been (I put in Farfa) - we ended up watching Jamie Oliver's video clips on his trip to the Abbey there, and his stay with the monks. It was quite cute to watch and to show Preston where I'd been. Ciao for now.......
(Wendy then returned for another one day programme during one of our longer week long Italian cooking holidays and wrote): Hi Sally and Guido - thank you for the great day on Monday. I really enjoyed it. The pasta making was a lot of fun as well as helpful/informative and it was even more so by having Lucia there to show us how. I'm sure that as soon as I get home I will be making fresh pasta! In fact, I don't think I'll be buying dried pasta again. The sauce was delicious too, and what I really liked was that it was only a small amount of meat per person - who needs more than that?
And Toffia/Farfa, the hills around, are most beautiful. Say hello to Filly, Sally, and Alan - I'm sure they are enjoying the rest of their week. Cheers - Wendy
Wendy M. - Canada
Dear Guido and Sally, Thank you for making my holiday truly memorable. I have loved living in Toffia's old medieval walls surrounded by beautiful olive groves and stunning scenery. What a charming unspoilt village full of character. To spend a week learning about traditional Roman food and wine has been wonderful, and the trips around the old hilltop villages have been mind blowing- Absolutely perfect bellisimo!!!!! Sally and Guido you have been fantastic hosts.
Ruth - London, England
Thank you for such an amazing day back in February. Convivio Rome Cooking is best in class!
Eli & Lisa - N.Y. USA
Dear Guido and Sally, Thank you so much for opening your home to us for our cooking day with you. That you, and Ruggero, were so willing to share a small piece of your world with us was quite a treat. We enjoyed hearing about Toffia and the surrounding villages as we traveled about before and after the cooking class. It was fascinating to learn about the history and the rich traditions that are so dear to your culture. It was wonderful to slow down a bit and take in some of those things that we often overlook in the midst of our harried lives.
And then of course there was cooking…..and oh how wonderful that was! Guido is an excellent teacher and made sure we and our 4 adult children (and 1 son-in-law) all had an opportunity to participate in the preparation. The dishes we prepared under his watchful eye were absolutely delicious! We are eager to try them ourselves at home. I will add too that Guido has inspired me to start an herb garden. Surely there's nothing better than opening the window and grabbing the herbs needed for the freshest dish! I look forward to doing the same now that we're back home.
I struggle to find sufficient words to describe the day. It was perfect, and the highlight of our 8 days in Rome. We do hope to visit you again the next time we are in Italy. Meanwhile, we will tell all our friends who travel there to be sure and plan a day with you.
Thank you again for your kindness, your hospitality, and all that you shared with us that day. It has burned fond memories into our hearts that will last a lifetime.
Dave, Martha, Kira, Lauren, Joel, Evan, & Jenna -Chicago, IL, USA
Thank you so much for providing me a wonderful cooking vacation. As a cooking beginner as me, I never image I can learn how to cook several kinds of pastas, meats and desserts in a week long course. Every morning we started the courses within a relax mood and a happy atmosphere in a full of soft Jazz music kitchen. For me, it's not only to learn Italian cooking but also to enjoy life. Guido not only taught me the recipes step by step, he always taught me how to use some tricks to make the food taste better. And I like your attitude to the foods. Always select the fresh and nature foods from the local market and try to buy the material from those merchants who are more balance to the earth.
It's hard to write down my appreciation for your kindness during my stay in Toffia. I am more than happy to introduce your web-site (and Guido's blog) and share my fantastic experience to my family and friends. I think we won't wait too long to see each others.
I have not showing my cooking skill to my family yet. After all the things set down, I will make them impressed of my amazing performance of Italy food. Best wishes to all of your family, from Cecily.
*Additional Feedback sent by Cecily at a later time:
Dear Sally and Guido, Life is so different now back at home and some times I feel that week in Toffia with you is a dream. Living in a crowded and noizy city like Taipei, it's really a treasure when I think of the calm and peace life there in Toffia.
I tried to write down my Toffia experience and send to Taiwan's biggest newspaper (they had a weekend column to introduce the readers' special travel experience)........you know what, they really published my Toffia experience on the New Year's special travel column. "The Liberty Times" is Taiwan's biggest newspaper! I know you can't read the story (as it is written in Chinese). Sorry I can't translate all of the story. I described the beautiful small town -Toffia and my one week living experience there. I really wanted to share my fantastic experience with all of the readers. In the story I included the familiar photo of Toffia. That small area is my beautiful memories of Toffia and you all. Best Wishes, Cecily - Taipei, Taiwan
Dear Guido, Sally and Gemma, Claire and I wanted to let you know we are back home safe and sound. We have shown the family our 350 photos and the video I made while in Toffia ! Having seen it all it made us realise what a truly fantastic time we had, made all the more special by the personal touch that you add. We opened the olive oil and balsamic vinegar at supper tonight and ended the meal with the sweet dessert wine!! It was a very memorable week and have filled the family in on all our activities. Thanks so much once again.
Fiona and Claire, Kent, England
Dear Sally & Guido, I am back home in Australia after an amazing month in Italy and France. I just wanted to drop you a line to say thank you so much for our wonderful day of cooking, learning, tasting and sightseeing. You were both so welcoming and accommodating. Thank you Sally for taking the time to show us around your beautiful village and the surrounding region and Guido you were a marvellous & patient teacher.
It was the most perfect start to what turned out to be an exceptional holiday. Our day with you was definitely one of the highlights and you certainly set the benchmark high for all our other activities! I am now looking forward to cooking a special meal for friends and family using your recipes (can't wait until artichokes are in season here!).
Thank you once again. I will certainly let people know what an excellent experience we had with Convivio Rome. Best wishes for your continued success. Kindest regards
Lyn C. - Bathurst, NSW. Australia
My daughter and I spent a wonderful day with Guido and Sally last week on a special cooking day. The instruction was terrific and my daughter and I were both thrilled with the food and the real fellowship that we shared that day. What a wonderful environment that Sally and Guido have created. You feel so welcomed and feel like you never want to leave. We have been on an extended holiday and seen many sites, but this day will be one of the highlights of our trip. Thank you ConvivioRome!
Initial email:Guido and Sally, Thank you again for an amazing day. What wonderful instruction, food, conversation and touring. We chattered all the way back to Rome about how much we loved our day with you. We wish you all the best and will highly recommend you to friends and fellow travelers. Best regards,
Nola - Atlanta, U.S.A.
Dear Sally and Guido, We arrived home on Monday 27 July happily exhausted after having a fantastic holiday, one of the high lights being our day with you. I'll be posting rave reviews this week.. We're dying to try it all out. Brigid's friends want her to cook up a great dinner party. There rest of our time in Roma was great and Sorrento was more than we'd imagined it to be. How lucky are you guys to live in such a beautiful country! Thank you again for your hospitality and for making us, in one day, feel like we were old friends - you all have a special gift. Ciao,
Leanne, J. & B. - Australia.
Dear Sally and Guido, First, Merry Christmas to you and your family and a Happy New Year!
Second, this is a very belated 'Thank you' for the wonderful time we had with you in November. We both really enjoyed the cooking with Guido and the guided tour with Sally, and especially the warm welcome from you both. Thank you once, again.
Charlotte and Andy- Madrid, Spain
Guido and Sally, We'll now have 2 Italian cooks in our kitchen, which could lead to some disputes ;-) But there is no disputing that we've had a fantastic week not only gaining skills and knowledge of Italian cooking, food, wine and culture but also enjoying Toffia and the almost -as-amazing other villages in beautiful countryside so near Rome. Very many thanks to both of you.
Carole and Colin F.- Cambridge, England
Dear Guido and Sally, Thanks so much for the recipes, we are now home and back to the grind stone sadly! Our time in Toffia was certainly one of the high lights of our trip so thank you both very much for the time and effort you put into it for us. Thank Ruggero also, we very much enjoyed our trip to the olive groves. Say hi to Theresa and Gemma.
Please remember you are always welcome to stay with us in Cape Town! All the best.
Judy and Stuart, Cape Town, South Africa
Dear Sally & Guido, Of course I intended to write the minute we got home and here it is, a month later! We had such a wonderful time in Toffia and our experience with the food and wine at Convivio Rome was certainly the highlight. Your attentiveness to each person’s need combined with the fun and informative cooking classes was absolutely wonderful! Thank you for an experience we will never forget. Best regards to both of you and Gemma,
Rod and Margaret, WA, USA
Sally and Guido, What a pleasure it was to be hosted at your home. The food was delicious and the conversation was even better. It is rare in life to find and connect to people who are so kind, thoughtful and considerate. Thank you for hosting us and please make sure you look us up in the US or Canada or Japan. (R.)
Sally and Guido, Thank you very very much for a wonderful Sunday. Everything was more than I expected and each food was excellent. All the chat we had with you made our trip in Rome very memorable and I would love to come back and learn more! I can't wait to serve the 'real' Italian meal to our kids and show off to my friends. Thank you very much! (N.)
Rob & Noriko W. Atlanta. USA
Guido and Sally, Thanks a ton for opening your house up to us for a fabulous day of culture, cooking and laughter. It was a fabulous experience. Can't wait to return!!
Elizabeth - Providence RI. USA
Ciao, Sally and Guido, I am back in the beautiful southwest of Santa Fe and finally caught up with my life here, but I wanted to drop you a line to say how much I enjoyed my time with you both in your beautiful part of the world (aren't we lucky!). I must confess I haven't yet tried my hand making fresh pasta or any of the other delicious goodies you taught us, but will get to it eventually. Keep me posted on any news of exciting classes and trips in our beloved Italy that you're cooking up! I'm ready to go back to La Bella Italia. tanti auguri,
Sally, Thanks so much for the pictures. We will never forget our visit with you and your family!!! We were gone only seven days, and our lives have been changed forever. I wish I, too, could live in your medieval village. My imagination runs wild with possibilities. It is almost impossible for me to fully describe how unusual and all encompassing our experience with Convivio Rome Italian Cooking Holidays truly was. Perhaps the most unexpected aspect was the village itself, but the girls thought it was the fact we shared a perfect time with a welcoming and warm family of which we are now belong. P. S. Hug your little girl for all of us.
Anna L. - Miami. U.S.A.
Hi Sally & Guido, Thanks for the e-mail, It was a pleasure to meet you both and enjoy such good company. As I said to Guido, I feel like I've know you both for a long time. I would like to thank you once again. I've tested some of the recipes on Pam and Jesamine - and both really enjoyed the Risotto and 'Torta di mele' (Well - Chocolate / Pera cake!). I even managed to find some Pecorino (Not Di Fossa but very nice).
I would certainly recommend the location, the cooking and your warm and friendly hospitality to anyone interested in an authentic taste of Roman cuisine. Even a relative novice like me found the recipes easy to follow and the background information about locality, regional variations and history of both the region and the food both and interesting inspiring.
As for how you could improve the service - I really wouldn't touch it - it's just right! not too corporate or intimidating or exclusive, anyone can enjoy it. The hospitality in the village is very nice as well - the visit to the local restaurant again I found a warm welcome and even stretched my basic Italian in conversation with the owner, Sandro.
The visit to the Olive grove was beautiful and Valerio and family again were great hosts, his knowledge and enthusiasm is infectious.
I've uploaded some pics and a small review on my blog! I would love to bring Pam and the kids over when Jode is a little older - and will definitely come and say hello - likewise, when you are in UK please visit us - you will all be very welcome. Best Wishes
Anthony- Birmingham. England
Hi Guido,Sally and Gemma, lovely to hear from you and thanks for the photos. The meal for my friends on Saturday went brilliantly,we even had Italian weather and we were still sitting outside at 1am a very rare thing in the UK. Guido you would have been proud of me,we started with parma ham,fresh ripe figs,gala melon and cheese with honey,then pasta with pesto just as Lena taught us no machine,then the tuna dish with cucumber salad and finally the maize cakes with red currants. We took our time and no one dish was too heavy. I found some good Italian wines and we ate and drank happily all evening. I hardly had to leave my guests and everything seemed to flow very easily,they even came round with a thank you present the next day, so it must have been good. Keith and I had a very long chat on the phone after I got back and when I saw Teresa last week she said we were comparing our experiences for an hour and a half!..... I'm off to the Cotswolds with my Mum and Sister today and they are eager to try some Italian food,hopefully there will be some good farmers markets nearby for fresh ingredients. Thanks for lovely holiday and your influence on my cooking. Best Wishes
Margaret- Leicestershire, England
Hi Guido and Sally, Thanks for the photos. We both had a super time and have spread the word since our return to family and friends. We had a great time and Mark and Nickie (our children) did well on their research, it was just A1 as far as we both were concerned. Thank you both for looking after us so well. I am looking forward to the (Guido's) recipe book and have it listed for my Christmas present list. So keep writing "no rest for the wicked".
Again many thanks.
David & Fiona - Dublin, Ireland
Hello Guido, Sally, & Gemma -- Greetings from your friends in Texas! Your Christmas newsletter was so kind and brought back so many wonderful memories for us. The time we spent with you all in Toffia was the jewel of our 16 day trip to Italy. Ande cannot wait to return and spend more time there with you once the children are in school. We thank you so much for welcoming us into your home and giving us a glimpse of the beautiful life you spend there in the Italian countryside. We have attached some pictures of our visit for you to have. We hope this letter finds you all well. McKenna sends a special Hello to Gemma!
Thank you again for a wonderful time on Toffia. It is truly a place of dreams.
Wendy & Mike B, Ande, McKenna & Callum. Laura T., Mark E. - Texas - USA
Dear Sally and Guido, thank you so much for your e-mail and the photos. We are not very organised with our photos yet (Christina alone took over 1000!) but I have attached a few of our day with you that I think capture what a lovely day we had. We enjoyed the cooking, the food, the company and of course the setting immensely and will certainly recommend Convivio Rome to family and friends. We have great memories of our trip and our day in Toffia just about tops the list. Thanks again for a wonderful day, best wishes,
Suzanne, Peter, Stephanie and Christina- Central Coast, NSW Australia
Dear Sally and Guido, We thoroughly enjoyed our stay with you. We can not say enough how enjoyable, relaxing and pleasurable the stay was in Sabina. Toffia, the village that we stayed in, was not a regular tourist attraction – which was nice in itself. Sally and Guido are the definition of hosts – engaging – offering the best and warmest hospitality – beautiful relaxing setting – so very helpful. The cooking classes were wonderful – traditional Italian cooking – easy to follow recipes cooked to perfection accompanied by some very good local wines. The wine tasting and making fresh pasta were special treats. The accommodations in the medieval village were a once in a lifetime experience. The local tours to the oldest living olive tree in Europe, a working monastery, oldest local operating bakery oven and a local working olive grove (with olive oil tasting) were outstanding. Our favorite was the olive grove tour – you are allowed to purchase fresh olive oil that is unlike any you have ever tasted. Thanks again for all your hospitality during our stay. We would love to come again very soon (actually we did not want to leave)!
Mark & Jony H., Casey & Brian G. - USA
Dear Sally and Guido, I had just the best time with both of you, Suzy and Margaret. You were both more than caring, accommodation was brilliant and Guido’s culinary brilliance outstanding. The latter has definitely lifted my game! That was the BEST pesto! I loved the slow pace, so appropriate for the mediaeval atmosphere we lived in.
I am telling everyone about you as you deserve to have many clients! I am e-mailing Nettie right now to tell her how good it all was. Warmest wishes (from a very chilly Sydney – the minute the Pope left here the weather turned freezing, even sleet!)
Margaret N.- Sydney, Australia
Thanks Sally. We had a wonderful time. The food was terrific, the town beautiful and the excursions very interesting. But most of all we enjoyed our conversations with you and Guido. We spent the rest of that day driving around the area, then headed back in the evening to Florence. Thanks again for a wonderful time. I hope we see you again when we are down your way.
Sorry I did not write earlier - where does all the time go? I had a fabulous time during our Italian cookery holiday - you looked after us so well. Thank you. It only sinks in when I show the photos - what a gorgeous part of the world you live in. And to stay in Farfa, part of the old abbey was something special; I keep telling people about the Roman columns used as bollards in the street - the casual Italian attitude to living with antiquities..... A wonderful long weekend with a proper insight into the enviable Italian way of living......the atmosphere was so relaxed I never felt rushed.
I learnt so much about cooking in your kitchen - and eating too thanks to Guido's knowledge and passion for food. As someone who cooks every day for six, I have been reminded me that cooking can be fun, not just a chore. I would love to return with Will (my husband) one day. Put it on our to-do list. Look forward to seeing you again soon and I will certainly keep recommending you!
By the way my mum also loved it all. It was great to see her so relaxed and not running around after husband/ demanding children/ grandchildren etc.
Frances - Cambridgeshire, England
Thanks so much for the recipes and the pictures, Sally!! We had such a great time at the cooking class. Liz and I have talked about it many times as just being a great day. Thank you so much!!! We've also talked it up to our family and friends through e mail already and will definitely post on trip advisor. We'll be sure to be in touch if/when we are next in Italy! All the best,
Chris - Richmond, V.A.- USA
Hello guys, thanx for everything. It was unforgettable! I have made my own pasta - with truffles and mushrooms and I am half way down the olive oil-bottle! Hugs for lovely Jemma & for you both as well. Have a great day. PS: Tell Guido that here up in cold Norway we have found evidence that the Mascarpone actually was discovered in the 16th century.
Anne B. - Oslo, Norway
Hello Guido & Sally (and Gemma), I just wanted to say "thank-you" I have quite a few nice digital photos, I'll put smaller versions of the best ones up on my new web pages soon and you can let me know if you would like hi-resolution copies... Many thanks,
Richard & Juliet- Wales U.K.
Guido and Sally, Thank you for the delicious food & wonderful tour of your home and village. We particularly enjoyed the grappa & sweet wine taste test! The cooing lesson was wonderful & the company was even better. We stayed a day....... & wished it could have been a week.
Meredith & Jason F- New York, USA.
Dear Sally & Guido, Thank you so much for a wonderful day! We appreciate being welcomed into your home and experiencing a small slice of life in your village. The food was delicious, we learnt a lot & very much enjoyed visiting and cooking with you. We will happily direct you around Chicago when you come to the States. Thank you! (M. & D.S.)
Guido, Sally & Gemma, This was such a wonderful experience! We loved seeing the Roman countryside, it's beautiful. Learning about the history was also so fascinating. Thank you for opening your home to us and sharing some authentic recipes with us. The food was amazing and your company fun. Thank you for a wonderful day and experience! (L.& J).
Guido, Sally & Gemma, Than you so much for your hospitality. This has been a great experience and a great way to learn about the Italian culture. The town has such a great history and the food was outstanding! I will remember this experience as a highlight of our trip! Thanks so much, ( K.).
Dear Guido and Sally, I have really enjoyed coming to your town, learning about the history and learning some great cooking skills. It is truly great to meet such welcoming people who are will to answer questions and share their knowledge. Thank you so much! I appreciate and enjoyed the entire day with you. Sincerely (J.)
Sally, Guido & Gemma, Thank you very much for allowing us to experience your wonderful home, town & kitchen. The town is beautiful, the food was great & your hospitality was best of all. I have a deep admiration for what y'all do and I wish the best for you in the future. On a side note, the view from your bathroom window truly made my trip.Grazie(E.G.)
S and G Families - Chicago & Missouri USA
A delightful day trip into the Italian countryside. thanks so much for the delicious recipes and cooking tips.
Jeremy, London, U.K.
Many thanks for the lovely pictures, looking at them brings back fond memoirs which seems already like a month ago. I really did enjoy myself on your cooking experience, and as you both know fell in love with the village and its kind and generous folk. I have been cooking Italian every day since leaving you, and perfecting some dishes now I have a basic knowledge of the Italian technique.....Hope you are all ok and the sun is still shining there, we have rain here. Once more thank you for such a wonderful time and a lovely holiday.
Keith- The Midlands, England
Sally and Guido, Everyone in the G. family had a wonderful experience with you yesterday. We want to thank you, and Gemma (as well as Ruggero) for providing us with one of the biggest highlights of our trip to Rome. I'm very much looking forward to trying my hand at pasta making at home. We'll be sure to send you pictures from the experience. All best wishes,
Mark, Karyn, Jamie, Drew and Simone G. - Il., USA
Sally & Guido, Thank you for the photos and for arranging everything so well last weekend. The photos bring back happy memories, but do make sitting here at work more painful!
I thought the weekend was excellent. It's also difficult to think of how you could improve, which is a big compliment! You have the perfect balance of activities v's relaxation. And I think you are both very honest and genuine with a real passion for Italian food and life. Have a fantastic summer and all the best for the future. Thanks again,
Paul R. London, England
Thank you for a fantastic time and a great Italian cooking holiday. Kim and I thought that you were perfect hosts. We really learnt a lot with the Italian cooking lessons and was taken back with the stunning setting of Toffia and Farfa. It's sad to be in London with the rain and clouds.
Wish us luck as I'll be doing pasta this weekend for some guests. If successful will send photos of the result! All the best
James & Kim - London, England.
Thank you so much for making us feel so welcomed at your Italian cookery school! We had such a wonderful time. We learned many new Italian recipes and not only about Italian cooking, but the history of the surrounding areas, making olive oil, and the Italian culture. Toffia and the nearby towns are enchanting and a wonderful escape from the craziness of Rome! It was a very unique experience to see such a small Medieval village in the countryside and to have the opportunity to learn how to cook traditional 3 course meals. The food and wine we had at the end of the cooking lessons were unbelievable. I will definitely try out the recipes at home with my friends and family. I look forward to showing off the cooking skills that I learned from Guido! He was also a great tour guide when he took us around the area. We were able to purchase some of the new olive oil in Farfa that they just harvested so that will be a real treat to taste and share. The views of Sabina at sunset were absolutely breathtaking. Thanks again for everything - we will definitely highly recommend your Italian cooking vacations to anyone we know that will be visiting the area! Take care,
Susie - Chicago, U.S.A.
It was lovely to hear from you, thanks so much for the pics..very happy memories indeed! It was hideous trying to get back to normal working life last week, I kept on day dreaming about being back in Sabina for our wonderful Italian cooking holiday. You will be pleased to note that I made a cassata for a dinner party on Saturday night and it was a huge success plus I keep 'boring everybody senseless' about my holiday!
It really was the most fantastic experience, mainly due to the attention you gave all of us, both in the cookery lessons and with the evening entertainment. It was nice to have a slice of true Italian country life indeed. I learnt a lot from the lessons and above all it was such a relaxing time, the landscape and tranquillity were the perfect antidote to hectic working life! Not forgetting your perfect shiatsu massage, Sally.
I miss you both and send a great big cuddle to Gemma. Please return the 'hello' to my friend at Quattro Monaci, isn't he a sweetie! Also say hi to Ruggero, such a nice guy, I really enjoyed our wine tasting evening.
All the very best to you both and look after yourselves. I shall keep up the good work by promoting you wherever I go!! Best Wishes,
Tracy - London, England
Thank you for a truly memorable Italian cooking and cultural experience, Guido and Sally are the most fantastic hosts, Guido's cooking lessons are brilliant, his knowledge of history excellent and his sense of humour great. Sally is charming and welcoming, and not forgetting little Gemma.
Learning Italian cookery in your kitchen, with Signora Lina from next door teaching us the art of making fresh pasta, made it all the more intimate and special.
The trips to nearby villages (Farfa and Castel San Pietro) for dinner were terrific and the food delicious, and we thoroughly enjoyed the trip to Rome, seen through true Roman eyes.
Also learning about olive oil production with Valerio and Linnea couldn't have been more delightful, they are such an enthusiastic young couple.
Finally staying in La Casa di Campagna was super, we enjoyed the pool hugely and the walks in the surrounding countryside, Laura's warmth and her cooking!
Shelagh and Sophie - Dublin, Ireland.
Thanks for a great holiday in lovely Sabina. We've both been trying out some of the recipes since we got home - and very successfully!! It was a wonderful week and we loved casual but hugely informative and enjoyable cooking sessions which were great fun and provided loads of insight into real Italian cooking. The Olive tour was extremely good - the information interesting and valuable, the tasting delicious, and the whole thing a very welcoming experience.
All in all, you gave us a great balance of cooking, sight-seeing, tours and leisure. Thank you both very much indeed for a great week filled with warmth, personal care, refreshing simplicity and a huge helping of inspiration. Say hello to Gemma!
Judy and Amelia - England
In beautiful surroundings, this cooking experience is one I'll never forget! Easy enough to make at home, but dishes that will impress everyone. Thanks for a wonderful day! (M.)
When in Rome.....Cook like the Romans cook....at least learn to! What a great day learning about Italian dishes that are easy enough to cook at home. An experience well worth the time even on a short holiday to the region. Thanks so much for a truly memorable experience. (T.)
Melaina & Tony - Boston, (MA) USA.
We had a great one day cooking experience with Guido and Sally. It was a hands on practical session and I particularly enjoyed learning how to prepare artichokes the Italian way. I loved Guido’s approach to food; his passion for local fresh produce, low food miles and his attitude to the environment. I am seriously thinking about doing the one week cooking course with Convivio next year, as based on our one day experience, I think it would be a practical, quality week and well worth the investment. Living in the village would be a magical experience.
Stephanie - Perth, W.A. Australia
Sally,Guido and Gemma,Thank you very much for the pictures and some flashback memories of our time in Toffia. We truly enjoyed ourselves during your classes and the free time tours. Our time (after we left you) in Rome was great also - not as good as our time with you in Toffia in our opinion. The visit to Valeria's olive grove was fantastic - the visit to Farfa also fantastic - the Abbey and the Bakery were great - thanks to Guido for the day trip to Roma - very interesting and nice to see part of the town that you would not see as a tourist with a great lunch in Rome....then gelato - can't say enough good things about that trip!
Having never been on a cooking holiday before I found the food classes a lot of fun and especially liked the one for fresh pasta making with Signora Lina. We will make most of the recipes that we received in the very near future.
The wine tasting was outstanding and we really enjoyed this - the buffet meal and the great wines were very nicely done. Our visit to the oldest olive tree was fabulous- what a national treasure and so nice to be able to take people to enjoy it.Thanks again for a wonderful time and we loved Toffia - it is and would be a great place to live and enjoy life. May our paths cross again sometime in the future.
M. & J. - Texas, U.S.A.
I just want to say that we had a really nice time on Saturday on your One Day cooking-touring course! I will definitely be making those dishes for sure. If anyone is looking for a nice cooking holiday, I will give them your names. Thanks for the pics, Cheers,
Leighla - U.S.A.
Just a line to thank you both, Sally and Guido, for all your kind attention on our holiday last week. I made the spaghetti ischietana the first night I got home (with tomatoes from my own greenhouse!) and it was "yummety of all scrumetties", to quote Tracy.
You are so lucky to live in such a beautiful area and I have tried to describe the little hilltop villages and Farfa to my husband, but nothing I can say does it justice. He will understand better once I have my photos developed. Once again, thanks for giving us so much time, enthusiasm, expertise, patience and fun. With love,
Lyn- Wales, U.K.
Thanks so much Guido and Sally for a very fun and unique cooking experience and tour of the countryside. Maureen and I enjoyed being in your kitchen for a day and are very thankful you could be flexible to allow just a one day sampling of your class. We also enjoyed the tour of the olive farm, and now we really appreciate the labor of love that goes into top quality olive oil. It would be great to help harvest the olives.
After we left Rome on Monday we travelled to an apartment in Venice. As luck would have it, we found veal, prosciutto and blood oranges in the local store. That night we cooked risotto and saltimbocca, without the sage leaf. Even without the sage, it was Delicious. Our risotto did not have enough Speck so it not as good as Guido's. Unfortunately we made so much risotto that we had it for breakfast and dinner for the next 3 days.
In all I think you have a great concept, and your warm hospitality was truly genuine. Coming to your class is like visiting friends in Italy. We have already started giving your cards to our friends. We wish you all the success in the world. Looking forward to returning soon.
Betty N- Seattle, U.S.A.
Thanks Sally... Betty and I loved cooking with you and your family. We cannot wait to share our recipes and new techniques with family here in Seattle. We did cook the same meal: saltimbocca and risotto for our husbands when we were in our Venice apartment and they loved it. Our experience with you all was amazing and will stay in my heart for a very long time.The pictures from our magical day were really nice and fun to share with others.
Maureen D.- Seattle, U.S.A.
It is almost the end of summer here in Chicago and we have shared our Italy vacation stories with everyone we come across. Our day with you however was the most memorable for us. We have taken your fabulous recipes and tried to recreate them here in Chicago. They were great but not the same. Your special touch made our meals magical.
Our trips to the monasteries and through the villages were a unique experience. We would never had taken that opportunity had you not offered. It made our day with you special. I would highly recommend a day trip from Rome to any one who would like to truly see the riches of a day in the country with Guido.
Kim, Scott, Nicole, Lauren, Alex - Chicago, U.S.A.
Thank you so much for the additional recipes, I will give them a go and no doubt have a variation on them! Thank you also for being such fantastic hosts - I really enjoyed my holiday.
Guido, I have to say you are the master of pasta - yours is to die for!! I have not tasted any better than yours. Thank you once again for making my holiday so pleasurable. Please thank Laura & Sylvia for being such attentive hosts and give them my regards.
Anu - London, England
I received your email with the photos.I have already shown everyone at home. Thank you so much! Your course was definitely the highlight of my travels. Being able to experience the monastic villages, while learning to cook the best meals I have ever had is something I will always remember. I cannot thank you (Sally) and Guido enough for accommodating me.
I am missing Italy already and am looking forward to coming back. I will be sure to post comments on online food sites recommending your course! ...and to send your contact details to friends and family at home. Ciao,
Laura - Calgary, Alberta in Canada
We had a wonderful time on your week long cooking course and we would certainly recommend it to others coming to Italy for the first time. It worked out well that we had a part of the holiday that was guided and a part in Rome where we wandered about independently. Everything in Toffia was fantastic and the scenery was great. I didn't realise when I booked the course that on the 'free day' you would make yourselves available to show us around and take us places. That really added value to the holiday. We are safely back in Malaysia after a few days of wandering about Rome. We continued to enjoy good food in Rome and I tried Cannoli! Best wishes,
Emile and Natalie - K. L., Malaysia
We had a wonderful day on March 15th and thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience. From the incredibly beautiful countryside, the great company and the delicious pasta and ragu it was certainly a day to remember. I will be sure to pass on your information to any of my friends coming to Rome who are looking for a lively culinary and cultural experience not found in the city. Thanks again and we wish you continued success. With best wishes,
Gary K. - Indiana, USA
After spending a weekend with Guido and Sally following their great course I really understand what makes Italian cooking taste so good. I loved it and my confidence in Italian cooking has improved so much. The atmosphere is really relaxed and informal and it was a lovely way to spend a long weekend. I want to go back and learn more!!
Thank you again for a lovely day -- and the photos. We really enjoyed the class, the fabulous meal, good wine and nice company. The visits to Toffia and Fara Sabina and the monastery were fantastic, and we appreciated the introduction to another area of Italy. You were wonderful hosts and guides. I will definitely pass on your course information to friends here in Rome and I might be in touch in the spring when I have more visitors in town. Best of luck. Take good care and hope to see you again. regards,
Sara B- Washington D.C. USA
Thank you so much for a wonderful long week-end. I learnt so much and I have returned home with renewed vigour. I will try all the recipes on my husband,Ted. I’m sure he will love them…. It really was a great experience. Thank you. Please contact us when you come to England, if you have time. I’d love to meet you all again, and introduce to the history of this area. Best wishes,
Elizabeth C. - Stowmarket, England
Thank you for a lovely and very interesting weekend. As well as learning how to make delicious Italian food I fell in love with the beautiful part of Italy in which you live. My excuse for not having made the fresh pasta is that I have been staying in Manchester with my grandchildren but I am home now and tomorrow is another day..
I would recommend your cookery classes as a great experience, tasting the local wine together with trying different sorts of food was educational in a fun way.
We were all made to feel very welcome and I wouldn't hesitate to return to enjoy the week long course. Thanks and best wishes to you all
Judith A. - England
My thanks to you for a wonderful and memorable holiday. I've come back to work feeling relaxed and refreshed which is exactly what I'd been looking for and since being back I have been cooking and eating in a very different way, having been inspired. Kind Regards,
Ariane - Bristol - England
Dear Sally and Guido, It was such a pleasure to do the 1 day cooking lesson with you two. Toffia is a fabulous hilltop town that took our breath away and combined with Guidio's cooking lesson, made our day! The apartment you held the cooking lesson was beautifully decorated and modern. And the tour to the monastery was extremely interesting. Everytime we hear friends planning on visiting Rome, we tell them to look you up. Perhaps one day, we can be back for a longer tour!
Rosa & Siavash, New York, U.S.A.