There are so many reasons to come to Rome, from the art to the scenery to the architecture. However, if you have a discerning palate, there’s hardly a better city to be in. While you might be rightfully anticipating the pasta, pizza, and seafood you’ll find at restaurants around Rome, your Roman culinary journey shouldn’t end there.
Productivity on vacation doesn’t have to be at the expense of your pleasure. Taking a cooking class can fill you with confidence by teaching you new skills that could wow your friends back home. These are the best cooking classes in Rome.
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You may be surprised when you order pizza in Italy and see that it’s not brought out sliced up. But as long as you can operate a knife and fork or have the means to get it cut, you’ll be good.
Your notion of pizza might also be shaken up. A pizza ordered from a fast-food chain, smothered in sauce and covered with every kind of topping imaginable might garner gasps and glares if seen in Rome. Considering that Italians gave us pizza in the first place, it’s worth trusting their judgment.
Pizza in Italy takes a “less is more” and a “fresher is better” approach, and that’s what makes it so good. Every ingredient counts and harmonizes each other. Learning how to make one from scratch can grow your appreciation for it even further. This immersive pizza-making class takes you on a tour of the Mercato Trionfale near the Vatican for some preliminary tasting and info followed by pizza making with a private chef, and of course, eating up your culinary creation afterward.
Otherwise, head to this cooking school for a 2-3 hour lesson where you learn about pizza-making tradition, roll up your sleeves to do it yourself, and then eat your pizza along with some gelato. For a quicker workshop to simply master the basics (and then devour the basics) consider this one-hour pizza-making workshop with a Roman chef in the city center.
In a group setting, you’ll learn just how easy and fun it is to make a pizza. The biggest learning curve comes with getting the dough just right. Once you’ve taken care of that, you can find out how to get your ingredients properly arranged before you get it all in the oven. With the knowledge of how easy and affordable it is to make a great pizza, you might not be ordering delivery much longer.
If you’ve ever had an empty stomach and an emptier wallet, you likely know how much a box of pasta can do in a pinch. However, dry pasta can get a little stale. No matter how you prep it, enriched with other ingredients, it’s never as good as pasta made fresh. In Rome, you can both eat and make amazing pasta made from scratch.
There are pasta-making classes all over the city. Some of these are focused on specific types of pasta, such as this fettuccine making class in Trastevere. First the teachers walk you through the steps of making handmade fettuccine and then you get to sit down to a lovely four-course meal included in the price. There’s nothing quite like doing a little learning and then a little eating.
For a fully immersive experience, take this Private Cooking Class with Marilee, who will first take you to the market so you can experience the Italian act of buying fresh, local ingredients. Then you’ll head back to her home and sip on some wine while she teaches you about Italian food culture and shows you how to hand make pasta and other dishes which you will later get to enjoy.
If the thought of being inside for too long during your visit to the Eternal City deters your culinary ambitions, this Rooftop Pasta Making Class is a great experience to consider.
The ingredients you need to make pasta are likely all in your kitchen. It only requires eggs, flour, water, salt, and perhaps some olive oil to keep the dough as moist as possible. If you don’t eat gluten, you can use a gluten-free flour. Eggs can also be left out, should your diet restrict them. Be advised, the classes you find might not adhere to your restrictions.
Using a pasta maker may seem a little intimidating, but it’s pretty forgiving when it comes to new users. While it’s not essential for rolling your dough, it definitely makes it a lot easier. Pay close attention to your teacher’s instructions, and make sure your pasta is looking as beautiful as possible.
If you’re not able to travel to Rome in person quite yet, you can also take this fabulous online pasta making class to learn from a virtual instructor.
Gelato is not only absolutely delicious, but it also refutes the idea that desserts have to be uncomfortably rich and filling. You’ll find plenty of gelato shops all over Rome, but taking a gelato-making class can make a sweet thing even sweeter.
In just a few hours, you can whip up your first batch of gelato. The kind you make can vary based on the season. You may want to find one that offers a good number of flavors, as you wouldn’t want to be stuck with a class that only offers flavors you’re not terribly fond-of.
This two-hour class with In Rome Cooking takes place in a 17th century palazzo near Piazza Navona. You’ll learn how to make gelato and biscotti or tiramisu depending on what sparks your interest. This Gelato Lovers Workshop is another great option which teaches you to make three different flavors with different bases (egg, milk, and fruit).
With the guidance of the instructor and all your ingredients, your gelato can be absolutely stunning. It takes more effort and time than just going up to a shop and ordering a cup, but it’s also a lot more satisfying. If you’re looking to do your sweet tooth justice while in Rome, you should absolutely take a gelato-making class.
Brody Kenny is a writer from Cincinnati, Ohio.