Famed for its superb cuisine and the huge diversity of regional recipes there are few better places to study and learn the culinary arts at the highest level than Italy. There are hundreds of excellent culinary schools and programs on offer in Italy although there are fewer that teach primarily in English, something you may need to keep in mind if you’re an Expat or tourist.
Learning to cook authentic Italian cuisine is a skill that you can translate into a lucrative career in hospitality or simply employ to make food at home that will really wow dinner party guests!
What Kind Of Cooking Courses Can You Enroll On In Italy?
There’s many different types of culinary courses to suit all skill levels, experience and professional ambitions. From casual weekend courses for tourists to comprehensive 6 month courses there’s something for everyone.
This is why it’s important to do some research to find out what options are available if you want to learn to cook authentic Italian cuisine while you’re in the country.
When you’re making a decision about which course is right for you it’s important to consider the following to help narrow down your search:
- Your financial means and how much you’re prepared to spend on a course.
- How long do you want to study cooking for?
- What are the potential returns, both professional and personal, of taking a given course?
- What are your overall culinary goals? Do you want to set up a restaurant, work in a hotel as a chef or simply expand your own skill set?
- Do you need to enroll on an English language course or do you have the necessary Italian language skills to study at an Italian only school?
- What kind of qualifications do you want to earn from the course? You can do a course to get a Bachelors or a Masters culinary degree, study for 6 months, 3 months or just for a weekend.
Once you’ve answered these questions you’ll be able to quickly narrow down your search for the perfect culinary experience in Italy.
Great Benefits Of Enrolling At A Culinary School In Italy.
There are several benefits to enrolling in a culinary school in Italy:
- World Famous Cuisine: Italian culinary schools are famous around the world for their superb training, excellent chefs and beautiful settings. All of this makes learning to cook in Italy a highly appealing option; whether you want to become a professional chef or just to improve your home cooking skills.
- Use The Best Local Ingredients: Culinary schools in Italy always go to great efforts to source the very highest quality local ingredients for their cooking classes. Ingredients are sourced, as much as possible, from local producers, markets and farms. This helps to bolster the local economy and maintains a sustainable regional food industry but it also guarantees the freshest and tastiest ingredients for the recipes they are teaching you to make.
- Experiment And Try New Things: While you’re attending cooking classes, at any level of expertise, you’ll have the chance to try out new recipes and ingredients under the tutelage of an experienced Italian chef. You will also have the opportunity to add your own flair to the dishes you’re preparing to see how you can add your own unique twist to the Italian classics.
- Discover Amazing New Recipes: There’s much more to Italian cuisine than pasta and pizza! If you enroll for culinary school you’ll be able to discover the authentic diversity that Italian cuisine really has to offer. Remember, that if you have a particular preference for a certain regional cuisine then studying in that province will give you the best insights into the ways that you can reproduce your favorite dishes at home or in a restaurant of your own.
- Unearth The History And Culture Of Italian Food: Most culinary schools don’t only focus on the practical side of cooking Italian food. The traditions, culture and history of the food are also important. While you’re at culinary school you’ll be introduced to the enriching background of the dishes, ingredients and recipes. Culinary schools run guided excursions to local food producers and sites of cultural significance so in your down time you’ll still be learning fascinating new things about Italian cuisine as you embrace the local culture.
- Culinary School Is Open To All Ages And Abilities: No matter what your age or culinary experience you can find the right course to suit your requirements and future ambitions. From classes that provide a week long course for tourists to full time year long programs that train professional chefs, Italy has a wealth of incredible options for both Italian and English speakers. Course leaders provide an open and friendly environment to learn in so even if you’re a little shy you’ll soon be made to feel at home!
- Make New Friends: Whatever type of course or program you decide to enroll in, you’ll make new friends for life! If you’re looking to become a professional chef it’s always useful to build up a network of friendly professional contacts and as an Expat or tourist who wants to brush up on their cooking skills you’ll meet other people with similar interests.
The Best Culinary Schools In Italy.
The following are the best culinary schools:
The Florence Culinary Arts School (FCAS).
Italian Cuisine Professional Chef Training at the FCAS is one of the best options in Italy. With almost 30 years experience in teaching foreign students, the Florence Culinary Arts School provides intensive Italian chef courses that last anything from a single day to seasonal summer courses and longer programs that include internships. Not only do classes teach you all you need to know about professional cooking techniques and methods but you’ll also discover the Tuscan traditions behind the dishes you’re making.
You’ll learn about all the various aspects of traditional Italian cuisine as well as modern fusion recipes. These courses are ideal for restaurant owners and aspiring chefs who want to master the Italian culinary arts and you’ll get practical tips on the best ways to make your professional vision a reality. As part of their courses the school runs guided excursions to visit local cheese and ham factories as well as wineries and other local hubs of food production.
The courses are taught in Italian but the school provides free translators for English and Spanish speakers; so there’s nothing to worry about if you don’t speak Italian. The school also runs a parallel Italian language course with the cooking program. However, if you do speak Italian you’ll be able to network and make connections with local chefs and professionals in a more meaningful way from day one.
Courses begin in January, April and September and the packages include accommodation and plenty of free food!
Italian Chef Academy In Rome.
If you want to launch a career as a professional chef then there’s few better culinary schools than the Italian Chef Academy in Rome. The school runs classes that are open to Italian and international students with lessons being held in either English or Italian.
The culinary academy runs programs and Master’s degrees for serious cooks who aspire to a career in hospitality. Consequently, the programs are intensive, in-depth training courses that start from the fundamentals and work right up to the highest levels of the culinary arts.
The courses run by the Italian Chef Academy are not suitable for amateurs or those with a casual interest in learning some Italian cooking since they are really aimed at providing the training required to work as a chef at the top of the industry.
Programs are run by established and highly qualified chefs, academics, technicians and sommeliers so although this culinary school is not for the faint hearted if you want to propel yourself to the peak of the hospitality industry this is an excellent place to start your journey!
Umbra Institute in Perugia.
Located in the beautiful ancient city of Perugia, the Umbra Institute runs a study abroad program that covers food, sustainability, cultural studies, anthropology, agriculture and business. As well as this fascinating range of topics you can also choose from an excellent selection of elective classes as part of your three main subjects.
The semester-long program also offers intensive Italian language classes so you can dive deep into the culture of the country. You can enroll for the program in any one of the academic semesters so you can fit it in with other commitments you may have.
Although this program is not primarily focused on hands-on cooking lessons you will learn about sustainable management and the business aspects of hospitality and food production in Italy. Therefore, the program is ideal if you want to launch a career in the food industry with an emphasis on environmental sustainability and management.
The program includes visits to local cultural sites and you easily complement the broad range of food and sustainability classes on offer at the Umbra Institute with cooking classes. On completing the program you will receive a Certificate in Food Studies and a Certificate in Sustainability and Environment Studies.
Vesuvio International School Of Hospitality In Naples.
Located in Naples, the Vesuvio International School of Hospitality (VISH) runs a superb range of programs that offers students Certificates, Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees. The culinary school also runs shorter intensive courses so you can fit the training around your other life commitments, such as college or work.
VISH runs its courses in English and they can also arrange for you to intern with professional chefs and other commercial operations as part of your overall program.
Some of the most popular courses include the one year course in Culinary Arts; an internationally recognized certificate in Pizza Making or Pastry Making and the Bachelor’s Degree in Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management.
There’s a fantastic diversity of courses available at the VISH and although they are primarily focused on delivering the level of training required for a career in hospitality people of all levels and experience are welcome to enroll.
Cordon Bleu In Florence.
If you want to study the culinary arts at the very highest level then the Cordon Bleu school is one of Italy’s best institutions to learn cooking at any level. Located in the heart of Florence, in a stunning 16th century building, the Cordon Bleu runs programs for both professionals and amateurs in a friendly, welcoming atmosphere.
So whether you’re a student, a housewife, a budding chef or hospitality manager they have programs that are perfectly tailored to your needs.
The Cordon Bleu offers programs in Basic Cuisine, Pastry Cooking and a range of world renowned professional courses. With over 30 years experience, the culinary school also provides Bachelor Degrees in the Italian Culinary Arts if you want to take a really deep dive into Italy’s cuisine.
Founded by Gabriella Mari and Cristina Blasi, the Cordon Bleu goes from strength to strength as it continues to evolve its courses to stay ahead of modern hospitality industry trends.
Italy’s Culinary Tradition Has Lots To Offer.
Studying and learning about Italian cuisine will help you to better understand the culture of this amazing country and its ancient history. Every province has its own regional specialities which makes the patchwork quilt of Italian cuisine a truly fascinating field to learn about in depth.
No matter what your age, experience or skills in the kitchen there are schools and programs in Italy that can help you achieve your dreams of mastering Italian cuisine. You can also study courses in English or with translators provided by the school, so don’t let the language barrier hold you back!
Once you learn the authentic techniques and methods of Italian cooking you’ll be able to wow your dinner party guests with astounding recipes or embark on a career as a professional chef or hospitality manager.