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“The Cooking Class”

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Tenuta Gangivecchio
Reviewed 19 June 2013

We did not stay at this residence. We only attended the cooking lesson and lunch experience.
I bought my foodie loving wife the cooking lesson and lunch experience at Gangivecchio as part of her birthday present while touring Sicily. She was enthralled by the experience. Our host, Giovanna Tornabene is a delightful and dignified lady who speaks English very well and certainly knows how to cook. On arrival we were taken on a tour of part of the un-renovated 14th centrury Benedictine abbey. Then to the kitchen where Giovanna showed us how to make the perfect carbonara, a baked pasta dish and a sweet chicken dish served with couscous. The meal was served with wine and all the dishes were stand-outs. My wife now wants to return when we tour Italy in the next couple of years. The cost of 50 euro each may seem like an expensive lunch but we don't regret a penny of it.
It is not easy to get to but, for us, that only added to the charm of this experience.

  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank Yani51
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 1 January 2013

I have been in the restaurant in Gangivecchio 5 times. I have eated 4 times in the rooms inside the old abbay (wonderful!) and once in the new B&B.
The old abbay is the most beautiful location where I have eaten. All the place is very nice, especially the ancient trees and plants of the farm.
The food was always very, very good. Inspired by the old sicilian tradition, but with a very personal touch by the cooks of Gangivecchio, one of which has written a known book on cousine.
I have always paied 25 euros, which was a very good price for the beauty of the place and the quality of the food.
I cannot say nothing about the B&B because I never get accommodation there.

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled with friends
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3  Thank giannix
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 October 2012

I really wanted to like Gangivecchio. The setting looked fabulous, the idea of a rural culinary hotspot was appealing.

The setting is glorious and it is fascinating to hear the history of the property from the owners. If the weather is warm, strolling through the grounds is delightful.

The rooms were basic, the common room not partcularly welcoming or cozy. Dinner was OK -- the pasta very unexceptional, the chicken with prunes fabulous, the dessert so-so, as was the wine.

Overall, I had the impression of a great idea that either has not hit its stride, or has passed its prime, unfortunately. This is a pleasant stop in the interior, but not a highlight compared to our other Sicilian experiences.

  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled with friends
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7  Thank banff
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 November 2010

what a quirky, out there, wonderful sicilian experience. This place is hard to describe but so worth a visit. Lonely planet features it well, mentioning the sister, Giovanna Tornabene who runs the lunch restaurant....but neglects to mention the brother; Pietro Tornabene and his dinners.
wow, we came away kilos heavier I'm sure.
the family has had this 13th century abbey in the sicilian hills near Gangi and the Madonie Mountains for generations and generations.
the sister is renowned for the lunches. ridiculous value and about 2 courses too many!!
but the dinners cooked by the brother (an ex architect) are even better.
it is basic but comfortable accommodation...but its just part of the dinner deal...you pay for dinner and get accommodation as part of it.
no tv's in rooms or anything like that...you sit around a fire and tak to the other guests until dinner is ready and explore the region during the day.
we LOVED it, but our tummies are still recovring from all the great food (and good wine!).
the 13th century abbey building is amazing, ramshackle and run down but so awe inspiring.
it's not luxurious....it's just a great experience.

  • Stayed: October 2010, travelled with family
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3  Thank sharonafraser
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 November 2009

Like everything in life, know what you want and do your research before you set out on a trip. I would like to say one thing to the negative reviewers, "you don't get it". Try to smell the roses or just stay home next time. The prices are very reasonable. The service was more than adequate. We took a cooking class with Giovanna and she was amazingly gracious and informative, sometimes cooking classes in Italy are mundane. We learned so much else about Sicily and its traditions from her. We had arranged a lunch upon arrival, appetizers before dinner and wine tasting of local wines. We then took day trips from Gangivecchio to small interior villages, visited Roman villas and enjoyed the still quiet of the countryside. The other part of our trip was very busy and bustling to the outer islands of Sicily and Greek Ruins of Segesta, Syrcuse, Sellinunte, and Agrigento. We were happy to relax and catch our breath at Gangivecchio.

  • Stayed: May 2006, travelled with friends
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3  Thank WorldwalkAdventures
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 December 2008

Disappointing is an understatement. Perhaps this establishment was once highly regarded but if so its best days are long gone. Gate locked on arrival, room was dirty, hot (no cooling at all even in summer with plus 35 Celsius temperatures), swimming pool empty, no drinks price list available (you find out the price at checkout time!), very poor standard of breakfast even with no other guests in the house.
Beware the "cooking class" which is not a class but an observation ("buy my book if you want to know any recipes"). To our dismay we found out after the "class" that there was an additional and hefty charge for eating the food, little of which had been prepared during the "class".
Overall a very disappointing Sicilian "Fawlty" Monastery experience and not recommended.

Stayed: July 2008
9  Thank fraudster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 May 2007

We stayed here for one night of our 2-week stay in Sicily. Although clearly past its heyday (faded flowered bedspreads and guidebooks from the 1990s on display in the lobby) we were delighted to have happened upon this special place. Our meal was super and inspired us to return later in the week to the famous restaurant next door run by a sister (which was a mistake, but not the subject of this review). I could see how you might be disappointed if you owned the cookbooks and had been eagerly anticipating a visit here, but as a chance discovery for a remote spot of Sicily, we were pleased.

  • Stayed: April 2007, travelled with family
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4  Thank ithacadoodle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Tenuta Gangivecchio

Address: Contrada Gangi Vecchio SNC, 90024 Gangi, Sicily, Italy
Region: Italy > Sicily > Province of Palermo > Gangi
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 4 Speciality Lodging in Gangi
Number of rooms: 10
Also Known As:
Tenuta Gangivecchio Gangi, Sicily, Italy

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