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“Perfetto!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Ecco La Cucina

Ecco La Cucina
Loc. Palazzo a Merse, 53010 Siena, Italy
039 338 7745487
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Ranked #5 of 54 Attractions in Siena
Type: Educational Sites, Cultural
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Owner description: The cooking classes are held in a 900 year old stone mill, lunch is under the pergola in the garden.
Austin, Texas
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Perfetto!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 18, 2013

When this vacation was no more than imagination, we surfed trip advisor and found Gina. The rest of the trip evolved from there, and it has been amazing. We spent Monday with gina, her sister, Mary, and three other couples learning, chopping, whisking, eating and drinking in 900 year old mill that has become a warm and roomy kitchen and then under an arbor in the garden on a perfect autumn day. We made sformata with roasted pears and shallots, spaghetti (handmade by us on a guitarra) arrabiata, rabbit with clementines and oil cured olives, and fresh apple cake. We did not eat dinner that night. Gina and Mary are both adorable, and we can't wait to see them again. We are grateful for a memorable day and the cookbook, which will inspire many more delicious meals once we get home. Grazie Mille!

Visited October 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ginastipo, Owner at Ecco La Cucina, responded to this review, October 19, 2013
Thanks M and J for the great review! Mary and I had fun cooking with you both, I hope you enjoyed the wine day tasting Brunello! travel safe and come back and see us again in Tuscany! Gina
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58 reviews from our community

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English first
St. Louis
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“Gina and Ecco La Cucina: The Highlight of our Vacation!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 16, 2013

We spent 4 days with Gina last October at Ecco La Cucina, and we have such wonderful memories of our tour. It was the highlight of our vacation (and this was a vacation that included Pompeii and a stay in Positano!). While there were other people who had signed up for the cooking class portion of the tour, it turned out that my husband and I were the only ones who had signed up for the full 4-day tour, and we were worried that it would be awkward with just the three of us on the tour. What if we didn't "click"? I'm not the most socially adept person, and I was worried that the dynamic would suffer with a dork like me as one third of the group, so I was definitely nervous. As it happens, we had nothing to worry about. Gina was the warmest, most gracious host - except she gave us grief for liking "Chopped" :). She took us to wonderful restaurants and wineries, and showed us around San Gimignano and Siena (we had visited both places on a prior trip to Tuscany, but didn't get nearly as much out of it on our own as we did with Gina). Her enthusiasm was contagious. We had two days of tours and two days of cooking class. The classes were so much fun, and I never knew I could make such delicious meals. During the class, we all participated in making a meal, with each of us trying our hand at making pasta, cantucci, and other wonderful foods. Maybe it was the wine, or maybe it was the location, but this was a tour that we will never forget. My only regret is that it took me so long to leave this review and tell everybody how awesome Gina's tour is. Thank you, Gina for being the highlight of our vacation! Eric and I are looking forward to the next time we can catch your tour - possibly Sonoma!

Visited November 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ginastipo, Owner at Ecco La Cucina, responded to this review, October 18, 2013
D! Thanks for such a lovely review! I thoroughly enjoyed the week with you and E.! Remember when I tried to get everyone to sing along to "That's Amore!" at the wine dinner but no one knew the words?! Was thinking of you guys the other day, hope all is well and you think of me when you're in Missouri wine country this fall! God bless!
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Marietta, Georgia
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Wonderful day in Tuscany!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 6, 2013

Three of us participated in the one day cooking class on Sept. 13th. It was definitely time and money well spent. There were 12 of us in the class, all wonderful to get to know. Eleanor taught the class as Gina was on culinary tour in Bologna. Eleanor did a wonderful job....very personable and a wealth of detailed cooking instructions. Also wanted to mention Sira, the cute little lady behind the scenes.....she was wonderful, prepping, cleaning and helping. Everything we made that day was incredible, from the panzanella (Bread Salad), roasted rabbit with veggies, homemade pasta and the plum cake! We received Gina's cook book in the mail last week and cannot wait to try some of the recipes. I would highly recommend a visit here, just a short drive outside of Sienna. Definitely one of the highlights of our vacation!

Visited September 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Murphys, Ca
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
“Must do this!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 5, 2013

I just returned home from a two week Tuscany vacation which included a one day cooking class with Gina at Ecco La Cucina. I cannot stress enough what a wonderful time I had participating in this class! I am a chef and caterer in California and was a bit skeptical about what I might learn from Gina but went along with two friends just for the fun of it. Gina made me feel like a beginner in the kitchen ( in a good way!) showing me things I have never done and dishes I have never prepared. We had a wonderful time and it turns out that it was one of the highlights of my vacation! Thanks Gina for such an incredible day! Perhaps we will cross paths in our culinary future! Ciao!

Visited September 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ginastipo, Owner at Ecco La Cucina, responded to this review, October 6, 2013
It was such a pleasure having a professional like you in the class and my biggest thanks for such a great review! I'm sure we will meet in California, remember we'll be in Sonoma in april and would love to have your input for excursions in the area! Big hugs and buon appetito, Gina
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Chattanooga, TN
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
16 attraction reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“An incredible day in Tuscany!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 23, 2013

My wife and I participated in the Ecco La Cucina one day cooking class on September 13th. It was time and money very well spent. Eleanor taught the class as Gina was Bologna for the week and she did a wonderful job...very detailed instructions, provided a good deal of background information regarding the mill that we were cooking in and she was very personable.

There were about 8 others who participated in the class and they were all wonderful to get to know. The group worked well as a team and took turns with preparing the meal. We made homemade pasta and learned a simple, but delicious sauce to accompany the spaghetti. The main course was roasted rabbit with olives and oranges...it too was delicious. First time my wife and I had ever tried rabbit.

Have to give a shout-out to the wonderful lady behind the scenes (Sera)...always behind us prepping, cleaning and helping...she was wonderful...if I could only have taken her home with us!!

Lastly, we received Gina's cookbook in the mail the other day and I look forward to trying many of the recipes and start making my own pasta. Thanks to Eleanor and Sera (spelling?) for a wonderful day just outside of Siena....that memory will stay with us for years to come.

Visited September 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ginastipo, Owner at Ecco La Cucina, responded to this review, September 24, 2013
Thank you so much for letting us know how much you enjoyed your day at Ecco La Cucina! Eleanor and Sira are terrific and I'm so glad that you recognized that! I'm sorry i wasn't there but hope to be able to cook with you someday when you come back to Italy. Buon Appetito, Gina
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