cooking holiday in Italy? Will you need your own set of knives, a tall white hat and checked chef’s trousers?
The good news is ‘no, you won’t’. All cooking equipment, from pasta cutters to aprons, will be provided. There’s no need to worry about any of the fancy stuff, as Flavours Holidays will make sure you have everything you need.
And whereas a few sets of shorts, t-shirts and trousers will suffice, thinking a bit more carefully about what goes in your bag will help you to really make the most of your experience. Here’s a few tips on what to bring:
Comfortable shoes – You’ll be standing on your feet for hours at a time on a cooking holiday, so comfortable shoes are a must. For many, this may mean a pair of trainers, but any sensible, closed-toe shoe is fine. Try to choose something breathable that will still protect your toes from splashes – tripping around the kitchen in a pair of flip-flops, with your toes at the mercy of boiling water and hot sauces is a recipe for disaster.
Old T-shirts – Bring a range of breathable tops that will allow you to enjoy your time in the kitchen without overheating. Avoid long sleeves that might dangle in sauces and save your favourite tops for the evening, when you won’t have to worry about grease stains seeping through your pinny.
Loose trousers or long shorts – Your legs will be protected by your pinafore, but it’s often more comfortable to wear loose trousers than tight shorts. The choice, however, is up to you, but we recommend prioritising comfort and breathability for kitchen wear.
Plenty of hairbands – Avoid getting hairs in your bolognaise sauce and keep yourself cooler by tying or clipping long hair back. This will also stop you from getting pasta flour is your ‘do’.
Something for the evening – Evenings tend be casual and congenial affairs on Flavours holidays, enjoying long meals and drinking wine around the table as a group. There’s no need to bring formal eveningwear, but you’ll no doubt want to change out of your kitchen clothes and into something fresh. Bring whatever you feel happy with.
For a cooking holiday in the northern and central areas of Tuscany or Umbria, expect hot, dry summers, with temperatures peaking around 28°C in July and August, and winter temperatures below 7°C in January. Most of our cooking holidays take place in the warmer months, so lightweight summer clothes, wide brimmed hats, sun cream and sandals will be top of your list for spring and summer trips to the north but, if joining one of our autumn breaks, bring a few warm tops and a lightweight rain-proof, in case of showers.
Further south, in Sicily and Puglia, the weather is notably warmer - even January can be mild (around 13°C). Temperatures rise steadily from February onwards, with July and August seeing peak temperatures in the mid-30s. The long southern summer can last until October, when temperatures still hover around 20°C. Protection from the sun will be essential if you book a summer cooking holiday in the south and, if you suffer in the heat, come prepared with a higher than normal factor sun-cream and hand-held fan. For autumn breaks, bring a warm jumper for the evening and a pac-a-mac – just in case!