To say that it was beyond my expectations wouldn't be saying enough. When I first emailed and explained that I was a solo traveler coming in from Tuscany and could only spend one day in your beautiful city, you went out of your way to accommodate me -- offering the independent apartment next to your own for the night, picking me up from the train station and then having wonderful Marcello drive me back to the station the next day, help me buy my ticket and get me to the platform just in time.
And the day itself was spectacular. I've traveled to my share of wonderful places worldwide and taken many tours related to food and wine. What made this truly special was that it wasn't just another tour or a class, it was like being adopted into an Italian family for a day and beyond. I understand now why so many of your previous clients have walked away calling you "friends." You all have such a passion for food and for life, and it is a true gift to be able to experience that joy and to learn from you.
I also appreciated how extensive the day was. Because I love to cook, I didn't want to spend my money on some quickie tour and food "demonstration," but rather a true, hands-on experience -- and that is exactly what I got, and more. I learned so much during the tour of the food market -- from how to select the most authentic balsamic to which tomatoes produce the best sauce -- and even more from Raffaella and Francesca in the kitchen when we got down to work making our multi-course feast. Before your class, I'd never attempted to make fresh pasta at home. It always seemed too time-consuming and overwhelming, despite my love of cooking. Now I know I can do it. The one thing I most relished was your commitment to "homemade": The homemade limoncello and hazelnut liquors you brought out at the end of the meal; the homemade cherry jam Raffaella had made just the day before and insisted we try with some fresh ricotta (still warm from the market. I can still taste it!!); the homemade strawberry preserves Francesca had made and which I was able to share with you over breakfast the next morning.
All of it: That's not just some "tour" -- they are memories I'll cherish always. This was, as you know, my second trip to Italy, and I was really looking this time to get away from all of the crowds and tourists and do something special. You all gave me "my true Italian experience," the one I'd always dreamed of. I just can't thank you enough.
Warmest regards always.