Testimonials

Past experiences of Happy Clients


Cooking and Language Classes

Our thanks for a wonderful day last Saturday at the Tuscan cooking class. Both Steve and I had the most fabulous day, learnt so much and have already put some of the tips Renato provided into practice (the chopping onions was a major win for me!).

Would recommend it (and are) to anyone.

Nicole Peake, San Remo

Fantastic Cooking Experience!

Wonderful Friendly Chef – fabulous Food. An encouraging encounter with Renato to see the simplicity and to ‘give it a go’ approach.

Ian Sanders

A fantastic experience. Just a taste of more to come. Renato has a wonderful manner - hospitable and inclusive and highly knowledgeable. Great teaching style.

Georgina Smith

A spectacular day as usual. Great food and great company. We will be back again for the next one!

Lynne & Amanda Lockhead

Relaxed and informative – and very tasty!

Nice blend of participation and demonstration.

Greg Egan

Lots of fun. Recipe for everyday ‘chefs’. Good home cooking. Very enjoyable afternoon had by all.

Julie James

As a non-cook, Tony found the recipes easy to follow and Renato made the transition from raw produce to culinary delight look easy. Loved the making of pasta (hands on) and little techniques such as knifemanship.

Tony & Nina Langley

Throughly enjoyable – I have learnt so much on preparation, taste and great company. Renato is a very good cook and explains his procedure so well.

Dawn Pitman

Tour Experiences

Tuscany! What a place! What an experience!

There were so many great experiences, unbelievable sights, and moving moments, that we have both found it hard to put into a few words what at a dense travel book could barely achieve. However, there are always one's favourite experiences.

Some of these experiences were grand, and impressive aspects of high Italian culture, like visiting the artwork of the Uffizzi, and listening to arias performed over wine and cheese in a medieval manor house. Others were intimate and truly special, like the day four of us walked to the medieval village of Barberino, which still boasts its ancient city walls and gateway adorned with a warning bell. It has an ancient wine cellar beneath the hill top town, and a restaurant with a view that looks out over the rolling Tuscan hills.

Mum and I have both said that the two weeks with Renato in Tuscany, was the trip of a lifetime. The beauty of the country was even further amplified by the hospitality, generosity and friendliness of the Italian people. Simply amazing! While Renato's personal touch made the "Tuscan Experience" very personal and beautiful. Even now, weeks and months later, memories from that holiday have brought both laughter and tears of joy. We both loved it, and would do it again!

Anita Fairney, Traveller on The Tuscan Experience tour

This trip was a “dream come true” for me and it lived up to all my expectations and more! The amazing sights, history, people and culture we all expect to see were all there, but for me the “little things” were my highlights.

Our walks to Tavarnelle for coffee, treats and the market, the fun dinners with lots of laughter, the easy going atmosphere in the kitchen with Marta our cook. Our beautiful villa. A real mix of sightseeing, relaxation, friendship and special treats organized by Renato will always evoke wonderful lasting memories.

Marika Jefferson, Traveller on The Tuscan Experience tour

We had the pleasure of spending two weeks with Renato on our Tuscan Experience holiday. It was truly a memorable experience.

Renato has an intimate knowledge of Tuscany, it's people, customs, history, towns, locals, food, restaurants and its well kept secret gems. This, together with his enthusiasm and love of the region and Italy, made our two week holiday a truly authentic Tuscan experience, not merely a touristy holiday. We truly lived Tuscany as a Tuscan, immersed in it's culture and way of life.

Joyce & Scott McGregor, Travellers on The Tuscan Experience tour
  • Local drivers and guides who know the way and are always on for a chat,
  • beautiful Gregorian chants filling a tiny early morning monastery deep in a wheat field,
  • amazing village after fortified villages along the ridge tops of the pilgrim trail,
  • following Russell Crowe’s footsteps as Maximus returning home to his family down along Cyprus sided driveway,
  • tasting some very high end Brunello wines in a thousand year old cellar,
  • broad vista post card perfect sightseeing, art every where,
  • people watching while eating street food with a frothy ice cold Peroni or champagne to wash it down.

Is this the most interesting and relaxed sight seeing anywhere on earth? Thanks Renato for another great day, how do you make each one better than the last?

Peter Crossley, Traveller on The Tuscan Experience tour

While it may seem like a once in a lifetime opportunity, we have been lucky enough to take part in "The Tuscan Experience" twice. We first went in 2008 & returned in 2012 with friends who had seen our photos and heard our stories and were keen to experience it first hand. The Tuscan Experience, hosted by the very warm, friendly and knowledgeable Renato Di Stefano, is a truly amazing and memorable experience.

It is hard to choose a highlight as everyday brought a new highlight. Day excursions exploring nearby towns such as Siena, San Gimignano, Lucca and Pienza, trips into Florence for a private tour of the Uffizi Art Gallery and for some shopping, a private tour of a local winery followed by a home cooked lunch and wine tasting, a visit to a cheese factory, a tour of the Carrara Marble Quarry where Michelangelo sourced his block of marble to sculpt the statue of David and an overnight stay on the unique Cinque Terre. These are just a few of the many excursions and highlights we were fortunate enough to experience.

Equally enjoyable were the days we spent closer to home just lazing around the pool and the beautiful villa we were lucky enough to call home for two weeks, cooking pasta from scratch and picking up some cooking tips on authentic Italian dishes from Renato who is a wonderful and passionate cook, walking through the picturesque countryside to the nearby towns of Tavarnelle and Barberino for a morning coffee and accompanying a local guide and his dog on a search for truffles.

"The Tuscan Experience" is a truly amazing and unique experience and I would have no hesitation recommending this tour to anyone wanting to experience the real Tuscany.

Annette & John Burkett