Family travel: cooking classes in Italy with the kids

By Jessica Benavides Canepa, Jan 2020

Pizza-making in Italian cooking class

Italy's cultural contributions are countless, but its cuisine is definitely the most celebrated. Cooking classes in Italy are certain to be a hit with the whole family, and the options are plentiful. You could learn the art of pizza in Milan, play with pasta in Venice or make decadent gelato in Rome. Whatever you decide, the kids will be entertained and, best of all, remember your family vacation for years to come.

Here are three of the most scrumptious family-friendly cooking classes in the country.


A Private Pizza and Tiramisu Class at a Cesarina's home with tasting in Milan will offer families well-rounded cooking classes hosted in the home of a Le Cordon Bleu graduate. The informative, hands-on experience starts with either an early morning ingredient run to a nearby market or straight to chef Clara Raimondi's home to review the day's preparations. After everything gets sorted, aprons are tied and everyone is given step-by-step instructions accompanied by warm and friendly banter.

The children's three-course menu includes basic recipes that can be enhanced at home: thin-crust pizza margherita with tomatoes and mozzarella cheese; gnocchi pomodoro, a helping of potato dumplings in a tomato and basil sauce; and a traditional tiramisu prepared with coffee and mascarpone.

After two and a half hours spent preparing and cooking your meal, your group (up to six participants) will sit down together to enjoy your creations. Afterward, Raimondi awards everyone with a certificate and recipe booklet.

Two types of handmade italian tagliatelle pasta: classical one and green one with spinach on wooden cutting board

Try your hand at making different variations of tagliatelle pasta from scratch at a Venetian cooking class.


Mama Isa opens up her home, which sits a short train ride from central Venice, to amateur and experienced cooks looking to create and sample traditional Italian cuisine for a Small Group Market tour and cooking class in Venice. The chef offers a wide array of classes, but the most interesting for families might be making fresh pasta from scratch. Isa is a sfoglina, meaning she makes pasta without the use of motorized tools.

Class begins at one of ten individual work stations, where you'll divide your ingredients, and then you follow the chef as she demonstrates each step. On some occasions, you'll use a manual pasta maker to cut some individual strands, but for the more adventurous, the whole process can be done entirely by hand. No matter how you make it, your pasta is topped with kid-friendly sauces such as marinara, carbonara or alfredo.

Although there are several pasta-making classes to choose from, the class making tagliatelle pasta (from either eggs or spinach) is the most basic, and at only two or two and a half hours long, it should hold the attention of your little ones from start to finish.

Homemade pistachio and cranberry biscotti.

Bake your own biscotti in Rome and take the recipe home to relive the memories.


If you're looking for exceptional cooking classes in Italy that entertain as much as they educate, then InRome's gelato- and biscotti-making classes are the answer. Families can participate in a fun-filled, two-hour culinary adventure focused on Italy's sweetest treats at one of two locations in the heart of the city: one near Piazza Navona, the other near the Pantheon.

Enjoy a welcome snack on arrival before you're introduced to the instructor and, if you're taking a group class, the other participating families. One of InRome's knowledgeable, local chefs leads the detailed cooking demonstration, and it's immediately followed by an interactive student participation session. Along the way, the host chef will make lighthearted and easy-to-understand references to Italian culture and cuisine.

The highlight of the experience comes when children are given the opportunity to select and make their favorite gelato flavors. After the class, parents are emailed all the recipes to recreate holiday memories at home.

No matter the city and dishes you choose, Italy's culinary delights and authentic chefs are sure to capture the whole family's attention.

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