Italian Cooking Classes in Rome image of fresh pizette

Italian Cooking Classes in Rome: Review of the BEST ONE (2024)

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On a hot Italian day, I awoke with anticipation for the experience ahead. Having spent a solid week eating my way through some of the most delicious carbs I’d ever encountered, this was the day I’d learn to cook up my own. In all of my trips to Italy, I’d never once participated in any Italian cooking classes in Rome, which seems absurd to me now.

This Private Market and Cooking Class was the highlight of my two weeks abroad at the time. But even more impressive, it remains at the top of my best things to do in Rome list after 5 repeat visits to the eternal city. If you’re wondering whether to take Italian cooking classes in Rome, let this review of my experience convince you!

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Cooking Class in Rome

Italian Cooking Classes in Rome: The ONE You Need to Take

Is a cooking class worth it?

Ever since I took this Italian cooking class in Rome, taking cooking classes has become one of my favorite things to do whenever I travel somewhere new. It’s such a unique experience to be able to learn how to cook local dishes alongside a local resident of a new destination.

And cooking classes offer lasting benefits! You’ll often leave with recipe guides, tips and new knowledge that’ll equip you to recreate the deliciousness over and over again for many years to come.

Using your knowledge from a cooking class in Rome allows you to share homemade Italian food with your loved ones back home, and to relive your Italy adventures in memory every time you recreate a meal.

So, is a cooking class worth it when you’re traveling? Absolutely yes!

What makes this one of the best cooking classes in Rome?

There are a few reasons I’m so confidently rating this particular Rome cooking class as the best in town:

  • The hostess, Marilee, truly adds such a personal touch by sharing her own stories and inviting participants into her actual home to cook a meal together

  • You’ll be exploring a market and cooking in a town that’s on the outskirts of Rome. This tour gets you out of the touristic city center and into a more residential neighborhood to see a different side of the area

  • Marilee will escort you to one of the more authentic markets that still caters to locals, while so many have started catering more to tourists

  • Along the way, Marilee shares expert tips for how to shop for the right ingredients and what steps to follow to recreate the recipes on your own at home, so the experience can live on

  • The dishes themselves are delicious, and you’ll enjoy a relaxing day of cooking, drinking and eating

Private Cooking Class Rome | The Teacher

My teacher was Marilee, an American expat who calls the eternal city home. I met her one sunny morning at Piazza Sempione, a little outside of Rome’s bustling city center.

As we walked through the local market stalls for our ingredients, Marilee shared the story of how she met her Italian husband. She’s been living in Italy and cooking Italian food for 36 years now! I loved learning about her life and some of her favorite local shops.

A Visit to the Market

Marilee shared the sad tale of how the markets are dying down, and the ones that seem to be prospering are in fact simply catering to tourists. The authentic market we went to, while not completely bereft of stalls, clearly had seen quite a few shut downs.

Still, Marilee is loyal to the vendors she’s been frequenting for years. We visited her favorite butcher stand and I listened in on their sweet Italian exchanges. Doesn’t everything sound so much more beautiful in a foreign language?

Italian cooking

Wanting to ensure I could recreate the meals we were going to cook with her, Marilee was full of ingredient recommendations along the way.

She showed off the many types of ricotta and variation of meats available in Italian markets, suggesting what I could substitute for my own Italian cooking efforts in the states.

Surprisingly, she recommended I visit Eataly for my Italian cooking ingredients! Supposing that I now have a better idea of what types of products to look for, this may not be a bad idea.

Italian Cooking
Italian Cooking

Italian Home Cooking

After we shopped, Marilee invited me into her home and thus commenced the loveliest afternoon I could have dreamed of spending in Rome. Over the next several hours we cooked, swapped stories and ate to our hearts’ content.

We made pizette, spinach ricotta ravioli, fettucine with ragu sauce, and bresaola with artichokes. I picked up some great tips over the course of the day — one of my favorites being her recommendation of Pomì sauce, which tends to be more flavorful and less acidic than a lot of the other pasta sauces out there.

Marilee was the perfect teacher and host in one, keeping up the merriment as we kneaded pasta dough, made ravioli filling and navigated tricky artichoke shells. In between all the cooking, we paused to sit and eat each course while it was hot and fresh. Pure bliss!

Italian cooking
Italian cooking
Italian cooking
Italian cooking

We capped the best pasta making class in Rome off with some coffee (she allowed me cappuccino even though it’s a big no-no after 11 a.m.), Marilee’s handmade biscotti and a sampling of her husband’s homemade limoncello.

Before I knew it, it was time to leave to catch my train for Naples. Marilee sent me off with a thoughtful parting gift, plenty of tips to help me make my own pasta at home and fond memories of an afternoon well-spent in Roma.

Italian cooking

The Lesson Lives On

Since Marilee’s Italian cooking class in Rome, I’ve put what I learned that afternoon into action and made my own fettuccine from scratch (using cake flour — another Marilee tip). Next, I’ll be recreating the ravioli!

Thank you, Marilee, for the experience that continues to give.

Italian cooking

Conclusion: Italian Cooking Classes in Rome

Still debating where Italian cooking classes in Rome are a worthwhile experience? Didn’t think so! If you’re looking for a private cooking class in Rome for families, couples or even solo travelers don’t hesitate to book this tour.

When it comes to choosing between the many options for cooking classes in Rome for tourists, this is the best one for sure.

Bon Appétit!

Looking for more tips as you plan your Rome trip? Read the following guides for more:

Italian Cooking in Rome
Italian Cooking in Rome
Italian Cooking in Rome
Best Cooking Class in Rome
Can't miss cooking class in Rome. Make homemade pasta in Rome, Italy. Recreate it when home for National Pasta Day, World Pasta Day or any day of the year!