05/08/2015 02:34 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Eating in Florence

Bobo runs one of my favorite Florence restaurants, Antica Trattoria da Tito, with attitude. And sometimes that attitude puts off my readers. But once you embrace Bobo's devil-may-care flair for fun and dining, you'll enjoy an unforgettable meal.

This is Bobo and these are his rules. As you can see, don't try to get your meat cooked well and forget about cappuccino after lunch or dinner.

With so many travelers into food these days, food tours and cooking classes have become a big deal all over Europe. And a cooking class is a perfect example of how we, as part of our bus tours, encourage our travelers to roll up their sleeves and dig into the local culture through real experiences. I love to bump into our tours while in Europe doing my research. And just the other day I met one of our Venice/Florence/Rome tour groups and joined them for lunch. But first, we had to cook the meal. Fun and enthusiastic Fabrizio (of the In Tavola cooking school) had five mini-kitchens set up for our group where he and his staff led us through a marvelous 90 minutes of cooking fun.

Of course, after cooking our meal, we got to eat it. And, I swear, the food was as good as anything you might expect in a fine restaurant. Plus, knowing that we had made the bruschetta, pasta, sauce, chicken, and even the tiramisu ourselves, made it taste even better.