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“A slice of heaven awaits you at Fontana del Papa.”

Fontana del Papa Cooking School
Ranked #3 of 9 things to do in Tolfa
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Attraction details
Owner description: Cooking School
Reviewed 18 May 2009

We spent 4 days at Fontana del Papa in May 09.
This is a beautifully restored stone farmhouse located just an hour from Rome and 4km from the pretty town of Tolfa which nestles in the hills above.
We booked our 4 night stay to include some cookery lessons and not to mention rest and relaxation.
What a wonderful place to end up after a few hectic days in Rome.
On arrival Assuntina our host showed us to the Junior Suite, and WHAT a suite. This beautifully cooled space had a large bedroom with four poster bed, beautifully decorated in traditional style with paintings and books everywhere. Chocolates on our pillows (and more of the same hidden in little jars around the room - chocolate heaven) Bottled water from their own spring was available at all times.

Next to the bedroom was our personal living room with a seating area and large wardrobe. Off this a very well appointed en suite shower room (with double shower - ooh la la) and toilet ,sink and bidet.

We were in time for lunch on our first day and we joined the other guests for freshly made ravioli and Artichokes. This was served with local with wine chosen by Claudio. It was a delicious and relaxing meal with our new friends.

For the next three days of our stay, we breakfasted and then at 11am the cooking instruction began and lasted until about 1pm. What a fantastic experience to create from the beginning, salsas, pastas, sauces and desserts. Better still we got to eat what we made and we were never disappointed under the expert guidance of Giulia and Matilde in the kitchen. I will never forget helping Giulia to collect courgette flowers from the organic garden, then stuffing them with mozzarella and anchovies but best of all, tasting them after they were cooked in tempura batter.

In the afternoons our time was our own which could be spent snoozing, swimming in the pool at the top of the garden, reading on the terrace or you could take part in any of the activities that were organised by the family.

While we were there we were taken on a fantastic two hour hike over the rolling countryside nearby. Stefano looked after us here and pointed out all the wild edible goodies in the area, it was fascinating.
On another day, a trip to the nearby village of Tolfa and its famous castle was organised. Tolfa is known for it's leather making activities and is worth a visit. There is a lovely square there where you can sit and have an ice cream or cool drink. Views down over the valley are spectacular.
One of the highlights for me was our visit to the ancient city of Tarquinia - about 40 minutes away. Here, Luca took us to see the famous Etruscan tombs and then to the nearby Museum housed in a beautiful building in the centre of Tarquinia.

In the afternoons all guests were invited to a second cooking session for evening dinner. This was optional but was always worth it for those extra cookery tips.

Candlelit dinner was had in the grand dining room every evening and was always a great place to discuss our new culinary skills. Claudio was on hand to get our opinion on the food and wine.

Fontana del Papa was a wonderful holiday for us and I would return tomorrow.
Thank you Assuntina, Claudio, Luca, Emma, Andrea, Stefano, Giulia, Matilde, Adria, Guillermo and Sebastiano.

3  Thank Bryno
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 16 October 2008

Fontana del papa for me was one of the most MEMORABLE experiences in my life that I will always CHERISH. After years of my fascination of this “bell paese” I finally had the opportunity of a lifetime to experience “la dolce vita” that I could only describe as BETTER than the novel/movie “Under the Tuscan Sun”.

After visiting all the must sees in Italy such as the heart of Venice, Florence and Rome I felt more disconnected from Italy than when I was living home in Australia. To be honest after already visiting 17 countries in Europe, Italy only seemed to be another country with many tourists. This was until the 17th of September 2008.

An important day my mum’s 50th Birthday celebration!!! My two sisters and I decided what not a better way to enjoy the day than to be together and experience the life of the TRUEST ITALIANS in a town called Tolfa. This day was like “UN SOGNO” (a dream) I want to thank Assuntina, Claudio, family and the many others who made this place for me “ MY PARADISE”.

At Fontana del Papa you’re not only a guest at their house, you are a part of the family and if you want to experience the TRUE CULTURE of Italy than look no further than HERE. Once it was time to leave I was GLOWING with HAPPINESS, PEACEFULLNESS and WELLNESS. My stomach was completely SATISFIED; my notebook was filled with the simplest DELICIOUS recipes that could never be more APPETIZING. I even gained a TASTE for wine that I must say never tickled my fancy before.

No STAR could possibly RATE what this place is WORTH!!! I experienced everything and even more in this LOVING home and hope to bring at least half of the GREAT energy that was here back to Australia.

With love
Natalie Rumbiolo : )

1  Thank natalie_rumbiolo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 February 2008

Our visit to Fontana was great. The location is so picturesque. The owners are wonderful people. The food is great, and our son loved making pizza. Highly recommend!

2  Thank MexicoSunny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 November 2006

What did we like best about our stay at Fontana Del Papa ? Was it the beautiful farmhouse ? Was it the wonderful scenery ? Was it the fun we had with other guests ?
Was it the terrific cooking lessons with Anna ?
All these were amazing and wonderful but the best thng was the atmosphere created by our hosts Assuntina and Claudio. We felt so well cared for and so at home here. we loved our vacation cooking week so much we plan to return next year.

2  Thank HDA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 2 November 2006

We (a mom and two daughters) booked a cooking class after speaking with a friend of ours. If only we had booked a few days! Fontana del Papa (FdP) was more than we could ever have imagined.

We were picked up at the train station in Civitavecchia by Claudio after a short train ride in from Rome. After a quick car ride through the hills, sprinkled with information and conversation with Claudio, we arrived at the hamlet. The property was absolutely breathtaking. We were immediately welcomed by everyone there, including the current guests. We were invited to sit back and relax for a bit while things were made ready for the class. After a bit of conversation with the current guests, we began our class.

Anna, who lead our experience (class is not the right word, it was really an experience), did not speak much english but we had no problems understanding her. If there were any questions, Claudio or Aussentina were there to translate for us. Anna invited us to get hands on and learn technique from her. THis is not a typical "here is the recipe, measure it out, etc" cooking class. This is a hands on learning experience and should be viewed as such.

Partway through our class, Claudio took us into the dining room and gave us a lesson on wine and wine tasting. This was very helpful and interesting to our group and added to the experience. We then went back and helped to finish the meal preparations.

For our meal, we sat down to eat with the rest of the guests. Claudio and his family and their staff waited on us hand and foot, bringing out course after course which we had helped to prepare. Following the meal, Aussentina was kind enough to pack up leftover crostada and a bottle of limocello to take home with us (thank you again Aussentina). The rest of the afternoon was ours to relax and enjoy the property.

The key takeaway of FdP is to relax. Do not go expecting a large agenda, schedules, rules, organization etc. Take it for what it is, a truly relaxing and enjoyable experience. Simply soak it in.

Would we return to FdP? In a heart beat, and with our husbands in tow. Our observations led us to believe anyone could find happiness at FdP, families, couples, friends, whoever. We loved our experience and only regret not booking more time.

Thank you again to everyone at Fontana del Papa!

4  Thank ItsColdUpHere
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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