culinary dreams come true in tuscany

May 3rd – May 8th 2020




Learn to cook traditional Italian dishes and bake heavenly breads in a wood fired oven on a 6-day Tuscan cooking adventure


Holiday highlights:

Four cooking and baking classes

Breakfast, lunch and dinner at the stunning Villa Boccella in Lucca

Accommodation and use of all facilities at Villa Boccella for 5 nights

Private wine tasting and lunch at a Tuscan vineyard

A Tuscany with Maria apron

Afternoon visit to Lucca with evening meal and wine in a local restaurant serving regional dishes

Pick up from Ponte a Moriano station on the first day of the holiday. Transfers to the Villa from the airport can be arranged at for an extra fee

Holiday Schedule

We have spent a lot of time coming up with the schedule for this holiday. Lots of vineyards have been tested, many recipes have been baked and we now believe we have the right balance of cooking, baking, eating, drinking and relaxing

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Arrive at Villa Boccella
Lunch in the garden with wine, beer and soft drinks
Relax and settle into the rooms
Welcome drinks and dinner


Breakfast with homemade bread, muesli, fruit etc
Cooking class: Baking cakes, pastries and biscotti
Lunch on the terrace by the lemon trees
Optional Tiramisu class
Free afternoon
Dinner in the Villa


Breakfast with homemade bread, muesli, fruit etc
Cooking class: 3 course Italian dinner. This class will start with a knife skill session. Bring your own knife and we will sharpen it and teach you how to use it! 
Trip to a vineyard with wine tasting and lunch
Dinner in the Dependence

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Breakfast with homemade bread, muesli, fruit etc
Cooking class: Baking focaccia, ciabatta and pizza in the wood fired oven
Lunch on the terrace to enjoy our pizzas
Trip to Lucca in the afternoon, including visits to a gelateria, kitchenware store, pastry shop and other great places for foodies
Dinner in a local restaurant.


Breakfast with homemade bread, muesli, fruit etc
Cooking class: Pasta and salads. Learn to make tagliatelle and filled ravioli with delicious sauces
Lunch on the terrace to enjoy your handmade pasta and fantastic salads
Free afternoon
Farewell dinner at the Villa


Breakfast with homemade bread, muesli, fruit etc. After breakfast we will spend some time bottling, wrapping and labelling some homemade (by you!) Italian treats for you to share with friends and family. Lunch on the terrace with a glass of goodbye vino. 
Departure post lunch.


“Bake with Maria in Lucca Tuscany - an experience beyond your dreams!!!”


I have just come back from the most fantastic 6 days baking with Maria in Tuscany. I am addicted to her classes. Villa Boccella is just to die for - everything is authentic - including the instruction in Italian cooking and baking - even down to cooking pizzas in an outside wood burning oven - wow!
The whole week was so well organised by Maria and her fantastic crew, (friends family and all - thank you for the unbelievable hospitality). It was so much fun - all the other students were so easy going and like-minded foodies - but relaxed with it. 
Everyday we had something yummy to make and a new skill to learn - and it culminated in eating what we made - often outside basking in the sun sipping a glass of wine or Prosecco! And all in the fantastic setting of an Italian villa set in a beautiful estate. You even get to pick your own herbs and lemons from the trees outside the well-equipped cooking kitchens.
Thanks Maria - I had an absolute ball...
Alison, UK

Top-notch instruction!



The villa is beautiful, the grounds are perfect and the rooms are just right: simple, cool and quiet.  The baking and cooking instruction is top-notch and the kitchens are so well suited for teaching.

Pete, Scotland

A trip of a life time!

In May, I treated my mother, my teenage daughter and myself to a week of cooking school in Tuscany with Bake with Maria. Three generations of women, all together for a magical week of cooking, learning and laughing at Villa Boccella was more than a dream come true! Maria not only taught us to cook, she brought in friends and family who served us, the students, the meals that we did not prepare ourselves. The entire week was decadent!

In the course, we learned how to make a wide variety of food; fabulous breads, handmade pasta, all sorts of cookies, the best tiramisu I’ve ever eaten, and a risotto that was to die for. Maria has a very calm nature and is extremely encouraging, which made my mom, Annie and me so comfortable as we learned new baking skills.  We had a blast getting our hands “dirty” with all the different doughs!  As a family, we each focused our attention on different recipes to master, so the three of us can come together at home and bake. It was such a fantastic way for all three generations to bond over something so simple and so essential, food!

Beyond the cooking, the villa was spectacular, something you would see in a movie. Our bedrooms were spacious, with excellent views of the country side, and en-suite bathrooms! The grounds were gorgeous to walk during our free time, with a beautiful swimming pool, an herb garden, tons of lemon trees and even a chicken coop. The entire experience exceeded my expectations and was truly a trip of a lifetime for the three of us. Now, I just need to figure out how I can go back next year with some girlfriends!!

Thank you Maria for a once in a lifetime experience for our family!

Jen, USA

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Cost: Euro 1.800 per person. Euro 220 supplement for a single room.

Transfers: Transfers from Pisa airport to Villa Boccella in taxi for 80 Euro each way
The price includes all meals, 4 cooking classes, 5 nights’ accommodation. Flights not included.
We welcome non-participating partners to enjoy the surroundings, including sightseeing in Lucca, Pisa and Viareggio, all within easy reach of Villa Boccella. Bikes are available at the Villa, and exploring the Tuscan countryside by foot or bike is highly recommended. A beautiful green path leads the way from the local town along the river right into Lucca. Non-participating guests are welcome to join the group for dinner, as well as the private wine tasting tour and can use all the facilities of the villa.


Contact us

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About Us



About Maria

Maria Mayerhofer is a professional baker and pastry chef with 8 years’ experience of teaching in London. In London Maria runs her company "Bake with Maria" and she has taught hundreds of aspiring chefs how to manage sticky ciabatta doughs, to overcome their fear of pastry and to produce fluffy and beautiful birthday cakes. Maria has been running the Culinary Holiday in Tuscany for 7 years with the help of an amazing team, including family members and close friends with many years’ experience in working kitchens.



About Villa Boccella

Villa Boccella is a beautiful Villa nestled on a lush Tuscan hillside, 10 km outside the walled city of Lucca. The elegant rooms are beautifully decorated with original period features and furniture. Cooking and baking sessions take place in the Villa’s professional teaching kitchen, and breads and pizzas are baked in an authentic wood-fired oven.


How to get to Villa Boccella

Fly to Pisa International, the nearest airport, and travel to Lucca by car (45 minutes) or by train (1 hour). The Pisa Mover is a shuttle train taking passengers from the airport to Pisa central station. From here take a train to Ponte a Moriano. If you prefer to travel by car we can help arrange a transfer from the airport.