FAQ

Do you have to be an experienced cook to participate in the cooking courses?

Our courses are for both beginner and experienced cooks. Our authentic Italian menus are easy to prepare and all the recipes can be replicated at home. Most participants are amateur or intermediate cooks and food lovers, who enjoy Italian cuisine and cooking in good company. Over the years we have had different levels from beginners to chefs: it's more about cooking together and having fun during your Italian cookery course in Italy.

What is the maximum number and usual age range of people coming on your cooking holidays?

The maximum group size of our Italian cookery courses is 8, therefore each participant enjoys personalised attention and gets the most out of every cooking session and excursion.The age of our participants ranges from 20 to 75 year olds, with the average age being 35-65 years of age. Plus we have many families attending our One Day and other cooking holidays. We have people from all over the world, mainly British, Americans, Australians and Canadians but we also have many Irish, New Zealanders and English speakers from Scandinavia, Russia and Asia too.

Do I need to hire a car to get around?

There is no need to hire a car to participate to our cooking holidays, unless you want to. All transportation including your free pick-up and return service from and to the local train station, various tours, visits and activities are included. We transport you by car or mini-van. However, if you would like to  stay for additional days, either before or after our cooking programme you may wish to hire a car for this time.

What language is used to teach the classes? Do I need to understand Italian to participate fully in the lessons?

All cooking lessons are taught in English and all participants are usually English speaking. Your head chef Guido is fully bi-lingual (Italian-English) and will act as an interpreter when necessary.  Sally, who is originally from Australia, will also be there to assist with any of your needs.  

Which Airport do I need to fly into and how do I get to Toffia, where the cooking classes are held? Can I come directly from Rome?

You can fly into Rome Fiumicino/Leonardo da Vinci or Rome Ciampino airports.

Rome Fiumicino/Leonardo da Vinci airport is more convenient for getting to us: from inside the terminal you can take a direct train (departures normally every 15 minutes) to Fara Sabina station, where we will meet you and return you to at the end of your holiday. It’s a very easy, direct train journey and we will send you easy-to-follow train directions to help you. This train can also be taken from the following Rome stations: Ostiense, Trastevere, Tuscolana, Tiburtina.

Rome Ciampino airport: You can take a direct bus to Rome Termini station, then take the train at another close by train station, called Roma Tiburtina, where you can take a direct train to our local train station of Fara Sabina, where we can come and collect you. Collection from the local train station is a free service and we will send you easy-to-follow bus to train directions to get you there. OR, we can arrange for a private driver to come and collect you at the airport or from central Rome, and return you at the end of your holiday. This driver service is an additional cost.

Coming directly from the city of Rome: Many of our cooking guests spend a few days in Rome before or after, coming to us. We are very well connected to the city of Rome by a direct train line, FL1, with trains running every 15 minutes. It’s only a 40 minute direct journey. If you are coming to us from Rome, we will send you easy-to-follow directions to get you to our local train station, Fara Sabina, where we will meet you, ready to take you to your destination for your Convivio Rome Italian Cooking Holiday, in the Sabine Hills.

Do I need a train schedule?

No, trains depart regularly from Rome or Fiumicino Airport to our local station Fara Sabina, every 15 minutes (every half an hour on Saturdays and Sundays). We will be sending you all the easy-to-follow train directions you will need, plus the link to the ‘train italia' website, if you would like to double check on exact train times.

When is the best time to visit? 

Of course, this depends on your personal preferences regarding the weather.  We are open all year round and can also organise your cooking holiday outside our calendar dates, no problem at all. Weather wise, the best time to visit is generally from early spring onto early autumn including October, when the weather can still be quite warm and sunny without being too hot. If you enjoy the heat in the Summer months, July to August are also great to visit Italy.

What style of accommodation do you have available? 

Our clients stay in tastefully renovated houses within the medieval hilltop village of Toffia, in the region of Sabina, near Rome. We can cater for singles, couples, and groups of friends or family groups within our apartment (s). You really just need to let us know your needs and what you are looking for. All apartments have views towards the surrounding countryside and terracotta rooftops.  We have selected this style of accommodation so our clients can have a taste of what it's like to 'live as the locals do', for a very authentic experience, in complete comfort. 

Can you tell me a little bit about the head chef, Guido?

Guido is an 8th generation Roman with a passion for cooking. His mother, father and grandmother had a passion for cooking, so he really started to learn to cook and prepare meals in the traditional Italian way, at a very young age. Guido has also 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 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.

What other activities are available when we are not cooking?

Our longer Italian cooking holidays also include a welcome dinner in a friends' 1500's renovated wine cellar, a guided tour of an olive grove and guided visits to other medieval villages and sites. Our 5 night programmes also include a visit to a winery and wine tasting evening with light dinner and a free day to explore the surrounding area or if you wish you can go down to Rome for this day.

In your free time, you can simply relax and do nothing, or take one of the many walks in nature around Toffia, or  perhaps you can try a  massage or have a personal make up lesson (by one of our Convivio Rome team, who is a professional makeup artist). Tours of nearby villages and monasteries and many walks are available.

Are there any extra costs that are not stated in your programme?

There are no extra or ‘hidden’ costs. The cost of your Convivio Rome Italian Cooking holiday, classes and daytime activities and  experiences are clearly stated in the ‘Cooking Holidays’, 'Day Cooking Classes’ and ‘olive tour’ sections of this website.

What if one of us enjoys cooking and the other does not want to take part in the cooking lessons?

Non-cooking partners are very welcome on our holidays, but we do recommend that if the non-cooking partner would like to explore the region further a field, that they hire a car to get around during the times of our cooking lessons, OR they can just go for walks in the countryside and relax around the medieval hilltop village of Toffia. Non-Cooking partners that wish to attend a 3 or 5 night holidays, but not participate in the cooking classes, are welcome to do so for a 10% reduced fee.

Is there a dress code?

Convivio Rome's cooking courses are very informal. We just recommend our guests to wear what makes them feel comfortable. 

Do we cater for guests with special dietary requests or needs?

We always ask our cooking guests, before they arrive, if the have any food allergies or just don’t eat certain foods, so that we can tailor our Italian cooking holiday menus to their needs.

Do I need to take travel insurance?

Although travel insurance is not compulsory, we always recommend that you have travel insurance. Travel insurance will cover your costs if you be unable to attend your Convivio Rome Italian cooking course and thus lose your non-refundable deposit, course and accommodation payments – see our cancellation policy.

You can get travel insurance with your insurance broker, bank or travel agent.

What are the GPS co-ordinates for your location?

Toffia (Ri)

Latitude: 42.212363178510664

Longitude: 12.753758430480957


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