“I wanna go back…again.”
Definitely the #1 thing to do in Puglia. Planning a trip with Artisans of Taste Tours is a MUST. Local food, wine, olive oil, history, and cooking with a native ambassador of the region is more than anyone could ask for. Plus, she’s a ton of fun!
Jeff Montana USA
A few years ago, I had the delightful experience of making with orecchiette pasta with Cinzia and her mother (see my review August 2012). I knew from that moment on that I wanted to return to learn more about food and life in Puglia and of course, cook with Cinzia again. This past September, my husband and I spent a week with Cinzia touring Puglia, eating fantastic food, drinking great wine and cooking with her and her wonderful mother Dina. We had the delight of doing this with a great group of others too. I can’t say enough about the experience- so personal, so informative, so utterly organized and so,so much fun. I know I will return for a third and probably fourth time! Simply the best experience one can have in Puglia. Can’t wait to see my friend Cinzia again……
Pat Montana USA
“Great experience in Lecce”
My wife and I had the distinct pleasure of our chance finding of Artisans of Taste Tours. Wanting to know more about Italian cooking that was healthy and tasted good led us to the three women who run this seven day excursion. We left with great friends and full appreciation for the food, wine and above all olive oil that forms the bases for the Mediterranean Diet associated with longevity. The accommodations were top grade but the true accolades are reserved for Cinzia and her kind Mother. The ease with which they imparted the wisdom of the region can only come from their true love for Puglia and to wish that others can feel s this too. They met their goal…
Philip NYC, USA
“Wow…What a Memorable Experience”
A friend invited me to join her on a trip to Southern Italy for cooking classes and a chance to check out the great things we”d heard about Puglia. Another friend joined in and we had a great trip in everyway imaginable and especially in developing our senses to savor the culinary delights of the region. We were not disappointed one moment from the time we arrived and very reluctantly had to leave. We stayed in Lecce, a most charming and beautiful city, full of history, beautiful architecture and wonderful food. At the recommendation of our guide, Cinzia of the Stile Mediterraneio Cooking and Wine School, we stayed at a beautiful B&B just outside the gates of the old town center of Lecce. We we immersed in the history of Olive Oil production from the region and sat beneath 1000 year old olive trees in a old olive grove. What a treat to be exposed to the art of olive oil tasting, wine tasting, and to have the opportunity to cook along side of Cinzia and her mother who was a total charmer. Recipes had been handed down from the women of this family for generations. The inspiration to cook simply, nutririonally, and to make it fun, will last me for a lifetime. I haven’t even mentioned the local wines which we found spectacular. This is truly an amazing part of Italy and the school is excellent in every respect. Cinzia is vivacious, fun and extremely knowledgeable about Puglia and it’s amazing qualities and resources and she is a gifted teacher and guide. I would love to return and learn more and more.
Allie Virginia USA
“Mary Kay’s Birthday trip to Puglia”
HI…I can only say that this has been a most memorable travel experience…I planned a birthday trip to italy, and hoped some friends would join me….but after a time, no one seemed to want to do the same things as me..so i went SOLO. and what a wonderful experience I had. From the start, booking the tour was easy ..using Pay Pal. All the information was sent to me regularly about the trip updates. We stayed in a fabulous hotel, and our schedule of activities was very clear. Then the reality began..from cooking, shopping, touring, and learning about Puglia and the fabulous, healthy Mediterranean diet…what an incredible experience. Cinzia is fabulous..very educated but humble and has the ability to share her culture and cooking techniques with us..and that is the greatest gift that we can take with us from Puglia. Have i said that I recommend this to everyone…? If not, I am amiss..for it has been a wonderful, educational, fabulous experience for me…
Mary Kay Florida USA
Our family recently had an unforgettable get-together in Puglia, the highlight of which was the private cooking class we had with Cinzia and her mother Dina from Stile Mediterraneo Cooking School. My husband, son and son-in-law participated, as well as our 3 1/2 year old granddaughter along with myself, our 2 daughters and the German girlfriend of my son. What a unique and amazing experience! We gained so much knowledge about Salento, authentic local cuisine, wine and olive oil in such a truly authentic and convivial setting. The hands-on experience of our family kneading, cutting, and shaping (or perhaps I should say misshaping at times!) traditional Puglian orechiette and stuffing and preparing calamari alongside a traditional Puglian family and then dining together on our handiwork is one we will forever cherish. The bonding among ourselves, and with this warm and hospitable family, set the tone for the rest of our time together. Following Cinzia’s advice, we found other gems in the Salento area and even took part in her wine tour, another amazing learning experience which my youngest daughter found to be especially informative and useful as she works in an Italian restaurant in NYC and intends to go into hospitality management. Since we live so far from each other, Boston, NYC, Rome, Jerusalem and Germany these family get togethers are extremely dear to us. So we sincerely thank Cinzia and Dina for their role in creating an extraordinary family experience for us all. We hope to have the opportunity to get together with these newly found dear friends again in the future!
Carmen, Rome, Italy
“Perfection in Puglia”
I first read about Cinzia and her sister in the New York Times travel section (April 2014). I was intrigued so I signed up for the five day itinerary, and I am so glad I did.
Two friends went with me, but anyone could feel safe to go solo.
The cooking classes, the olive oil tasting, the wine tasting were fabulous. We were in heaven.
Cinzia is very knowledgeable, personable, delightful and fun. She and her sister are committed to promoting local businesses and educating women, in particular, to live healthy, happy lives, starting with their diet.
Cinzia’s mom was present during the cooking classes and I felt as though I was adopted into another family.
I learned a lot; we laughed a lot, and I can’t wait to return.
Sandra, Virginia USA
“Perfect Lecce Experience”
My wife and I just spent a week with Cinzia Rascazzo taking cooking classes and, from Cinzia, lessons on the history and culture of the area. This had been a birthday gift for my wife, but part of the gift was for me to participate. It could not have been better! She is very accomplished and expert at imparting the lessons of cooking to even the worst of us (like me). That said, she was also good at giving more detailed and useful information to really good cooks (like my wife). She delivered the lessons with grace, humor and warmth. She is flexible, even displaying grace under pressure. These were not classes about recipes – those we were given. Rather they were classes about techniques and the interplay of complex carbohydrates, good fats (e.g., EVOO) and proteins. And the lessons on the history and culture were also outstanding. We would do this again in a New York minute.
Jim Indiana USA