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Originally published Sunday, April 19, 2009 at 12:00 AM

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Cooking schools in Italy cater to travelers

An overview of six cooking schools in Italy.

Newsday

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There are hundreds of cooking schools in Italy geared toward vacationing Americans. Here is a sampling of reputable ones:

Cook at Seliano, www.thefoodmaven.com/seliano

Arthur Schwartz is one of this country's foremost teachers of Italian cooking. Four times a year he conducts a cooking school at Tenuta Seliano, an agriturismo (farm-inn) that belongs to his friend Baronessa Cecilia Bellelli Bartta. It's located near the Amalfi coast in the Campania region in central-south Italy.

Awaiting Table Cooking School, www.awaitingtable.com Silvestro Sivestori is the owner, instructor, chef and sommelier of this well-run school in the gorgeous Baroque city of Lecce, a vibrant city in the Puglia region of southern Italy.

Cooking with Giuliano Hazan, www.giulianohazan.com

Hazan is the son of the great Italian cooking teacher and author Marcella Hazan, and he has established himself as an authority in his own right. The school, held at a Renaissance villa near Verona in northern Italy, is run by Hazan and Marilisa Allegrini, one of the region's best winemakers.

Maureen Fant, www.maureenbfant.com Maureent Fant runs half-day cooking programs in Rome. Participants "join my life for part of a day, and in a few hours I try to teach them everything it took me more than 20 years to learn the hard way." After a morning of shopping, "we take the bus back home to cook lunch in my apartment kitchen. I never plan a menu. Instead, I always hope people will find things at the market they've never tasted, or even seen, and will be curious enough to want to try them."

Giuliano Bugialli's Foods of Italy, www.bugialli.com

The granddaddy of Italian cooking schools geared to Americans: In 1973, cookbook author Giuliano Bugialli founded the first cooking school in Italy to be taught in English. Guests stay at a hotel in Florence and are transported by bus to the school, in a 15th-century farmhouse in Tuscany's Chianti Classico region.

La Cucina del Garga, www.garga.it Trattoria Garga is one of Florence's most acclaimed restaurants. Proprietor Sharon Oddson runs one-day cooking classes as well as four-day and eight-day gastronomic excursions in southern Tuscany.

Copyright © 2009 The Seattle Times Company

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