Cooking Program in Italy

Hi RS community! I'm embarking on a 6 month journey in western Europe next May. Along the way I'd like to plan a few cultural immersion programs, such as a cooking program in Italy or a Spanish language immersion program in Spain. Or maybe other ideas based on your suggestions! A few of these mutli-week, focused programs will not only add a focus to my trip but will also give me a sense of community, which as a solo traveler will be important to me. Does anyone here have recommendations on cooking immersion program? The ideal program would be 2-3 weeks long, give me an opportunity to learn not only how to make local favorites but experience local food, wine, heritage but also the culture, and share an experience with a community of people. Thanks! Mary

Posted by Zoe
Toledo, Ohio, US
2522 posts

Mary, I love the idea, but are you sure that your planned trip doesn't violate Schengen rules (not more than 90 days total in participating countries)?

Posted by Norma
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
3409 posts

I was hoping someone would mention Schengen. I didn't want to be the one to do it.

Posted by Gail
Downingtown, USA
1562 posts

You guys beat me to it, was going to mention it too. Mary, are you aware of these rules?

Posted by Mary
Portland, OR
20 posts

Thank you everyone for clueing me into this rule. I was not aware of it, but will look into this right away! Thanks for taking the time to let me know! Mary

Posted by Nigel
East Midlands, England
8760 posts

Mary, it is really quite simple - when boiled down or reduced. When travelling to a foreign country you need permission from that country to go there. Most countries do that by means of a Visa. The visa will allow you entry for a specified length of time and the conditions under which you may remain. Many of the countries of the European Union, and at least one from the EEA, have signed a treaty named for where it was signed, Schengen. Assuming you are a US citizen, (or of various other specified countries) the provisions can save you obtaining a formal visa for travel to those countries in Europe. If you are not coming to work but only as a tourist you can go to the following countries: Austria Belgium Czech Republic Denmark (excluding Greenland and the Faroe Islands) Estonia Finland France (excluding overseas departments and territories) Germany Greece Hungary Iceland (EEA) Italy Latvia Liechtenstein (EEA) Lithuania Luxembourg Malta Netherlands (excluding Aruba, CuraƧao, Sint Maarten and the Caribbean Netherlands) Norway (excluding Svalbard)(but including Jan Mayen) (EEA) Poland Portugal Slovakia Slovenia Spain (excluding Ceuta and Melilla) Sweden Switzerland (not EEA but Council of Europe) and three micro-states not members but allowing free travel over borders:
Monaco San Marino Vatican. ... more ...

Posted by Nigel
East Midlands, England
8760 posts

... continued ... Entry into one of these allows entry into all of those. The restriction is quite key: Being admitted into the Schengen area is only for 90 days in any 180. If you overstay a Schengen visa waiver there can be high fines and other penalties. The 90 day clock will pause if you leave the Schengen area to a country such as UK or Ireland, and the 180 day clock keeps running. If you are going for 6 months half of that time would need to be outside the above list. To go 6 months you will probably need a long term visa from a specific country which are hard to get, and the process is slow and expensive.

Posted by Zoe
Toledo, Ohio, US
2522 posts

Nigel, a cooking class question "boiled down or reduced" - you kill me!

Posted by Mary
Portland, OR
20 posts

Nigel, there are no words to express how thankful I am for your reply! Thank you for sharing this explanation in a fashion that is easy to digest and understand! Mary

Posted by Karen
Fort Wayne, IN, USA
1521 posts

Nicely served on a platter. Great presentation, Nigel.