Cooking Lessons In Tuscany

One of the most fabulous things to do when traveling in Italy, is to learn how to prepare and cook the amazing local food.

It is so much fun to get off the beaten track, away from the touristy T shirt shops, and go somewhere really beautiful, like a private villa, a winery or a farmhouse, and have a lesson with a local chef.

Marcello makin fresh pasta at Podere Cunina in Tuscany

 Typically you will learn magical recipes that have been in the chef’s family quite literally for hundreds of years, passed down through the generations.

My very dear friend Silvana Freddi and her husband Piergiorgio own a beautiful Agriturismo in Tuscany, outside of Siena, not far from Montalcino.

Podere Cunina perched on it’s mountain in Tuscany

I have written about it before – the lovely Podere Cunina, perched on a mountain, with views that would make you weep.
An Agriturismo is a boutique farm (agricultural  – not an animal farm) with apartments or houses for tourists to rent and live in for their vacation. See my post from last year, Where To Stay Under The Tuscan Sun to look at pictures and read about lovely Cunina.

After first reading Frances Mayes “Under The Tuscan Sun back in the late 90’s I became obsessed with Frances’ recipes and the idea of spending a day cooking in Tuscany.
Fast forward a few years and I wound up renting an apartment in Tuscany from Silvana every summer, and building one of those wonderful friendships that will last forever.

Silvana’s son Marcello is a master chef who was running a boutique restaurant on Lake Garda, but has since moved to Podere Cunina to work in the family business and teach Tuscan cooking lessons to tourists, both those staying at Cunina and also those who just want to spend a day cooking and eating and drinking the glorious local wine.

A gorgeous group of Russian tourists spending the day cooking, eating and drinking wine with Marcello at Podere Cunina in Tuscany

People from all around the world come to stay at Cunina and to learn to cook with Marcello. His recipes are divine, and he is fun, charming and engaging.
Everyone wants to come back and cook with him again!

making homemade pasta with Marcello at Podere Cunina in Tuscany

If you have never rolled out fresh, homemade pasta before, it is an experience you won’t forget anytime soon. And no pasta tastes like homemade pasta!

There is much more to Tuscan cooking than just pasta. (although the pasta is spectacular!) There are so many wonderful dishes to experience, so many fantastic recipes to bring home and wow your friends and family with.

Marcello wanted to improve his cooking English and his tourist English, so last December he came out to Phoenix to live with us for a couple of months.
We cooked together every day, and Marcello even filled our freezer with homemade pasta meals and gnocchi before he left.
So I can personally vouch for his amazing cooking!

You can find out about staying at Podere Cunina, or just booking cooking lessons with Marcello by clicking here

If you are having a lesson with Marcello and are completely wowed with his cooking English have him do a little Kid Rock for you. We not only taught him how to use words like “whisk” and “sprinkle” and “bring it to a boil”, but we also taught him to rap his way through “Cowboy” – after all you never know when it might come in handy 🙂

Prepare For International Travel In Style

“I will prepare, and someday my chance will come…”

Abraham Lincoln

One of my mantras.
I believe in it to my core.
So I like to be prepared at all times for any excitement or adventure that may come my way. 

In my book that means having a valid passport and a valid International Drivers Permit at all times. Should an impromptu trip to somewhere exciting or an international makeup job land in my lap, I am always ready to go.

You can organize a passport through the USPS, but it normally takes a few weeks, so don’t leave it too late. You can pick up an International Driving Permit through AAA, each one is valid for a year.

While traveling overseas you are required to keep your passport with you pretty much all the time. I like to keep mine in a stylish passport holder, such as this new one I just received from Stephanie Johnson, purveyor of luxe makeup bags, luggage accoutrements and iPad covers. Her products are coveted and adored by celebrities (that’s how I first found her fabulous makeup bags – actresses I  work with have them).

Pashmina, Gucci Aviators, Stephanie Johnson Passport Cover and Luggage Tag.
Ready to board my flight…

This year I am traveling with my new Malibu Lemon passport holder and matching luggage tags. Although my luggage is pretty easily identifiable I do like my accessories to match one another. The passport holder not only stops my passport from getting beaten up in my handbag, but it makes it easy to locate, and more difficult to leave behind anywhere.
And its beautiful and sunny.
The Stephanie Johnson Passport Cover comes in several fabulous colors, check them all out at
In addition to the lovely Malibu Lemon (which makes me think of the Amalfi Coast and Capri, two of the fabulous locations the Corinna B’s World Glam Italia 2014 Tour will be hitting this September), I especially love the Malibu Aqua and Malibu Orange.
Order yours before they sell out!

Oribe The Collection Travel Set

This September I am leading a little group of ladies from the south on a personal tour around Italy.

We will be drinking win here at the spectacular Hotel San Pietro in Positano

Not the tour bus trip of Italy, not the Italy you see from a cruise ship, but Corinna B’s World’s Italy – essentially some of my favorite off the beaten track places combined with a few of the main places a first timer in Italy has to see.

None of the ladies have traveled internationally before, so although the trip is still 3 months out, I’m making them lists of travel essentials. Being that it’s summertime now and plenty of you will be traveling too, I’m going to share some of it with you via the blog.

If you follow this blog you’ll know that I am obsessed with Oribe hair care products.
The main hairstylist I shoot with, Drew Noreen, uses Oribe products exclusively, and is always giving me the lowdown on how to get the best out of my hair with Oribe.

Last year he turned me onto Gold Lust. 

This exquisite, light as air hair oil not only protected my color from the fierce sun and days spent in the ocean both in Sicily and on the Italian Riviera, but it also kept the condition of my hair silky, smooth and soft.
Normally after one week at the beach my hair is trashed. Last summer I was in Italy for 6 weeks, and not only was my hair easy to manage and style while I was away, but I came home with my hair still shining and looking gorgeous.

This year I already have a travel size Gold Lust Nourishing Hair Oil ready to go.
Actually I have everything I need for my hair in travel sizes from Oribe.

Yesterday while we were shooting a fashion story for a national magazine, Drew hooked me up with the Oribe The Collection Travel Set. (and the ladies on the Corinna B’s World Glam Italia 2014 tour are buying theirs this week!)

The Oribe The Collection Travel Set is a set of 7 single use shampoos, conditioners and masques. This gives you the opportunity to try them if you haven’t already, or for the traveler they are the ideal luxury companion, enabling you to maintain glorious locks without weighing down your travel bags.
For those of you who haven’t yet crossed over into the decadence of Oribe hair products, they not only are unparalleled in performance ( nothing makes your hair look more beautiful than Oribe!) but the smell of them is just heaven!

I will be blogging and posting pictures on Instagram from the Corinna B’s World Glam Italia 2014 Tour.
Are you already following me on Instagram (Instagram/Corinnamakeup)? If not, join me here

Do you follow me on facebook? Join my facebook page, Corinna B, here

I’m thinking about running some giveaways with fun items from the Corinna B’s World Glam Italia 2014 Tour, picked up along the way. 
Make sure you are following me on all my social media so that you can see the giveaway announcements and win!

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