If eating well interests you, take a cooking course with Paolo Monti at his well run and hospitable hotel and restaurant just outside of Lucca. The restaurant is La Cantina di Carignano at the same address.

Chef Monti is a delightful and talented cook and teacher who offers cooking tours throughout Italy, and often in the States but who is also willing to teach special one or two day cooking classes in Lucca, tailor-made to your needs, desires and interests. Recipes are easy and delicious and Chef Monti's fluent English - and often funny- commentary adds insight and great amounts of information about the food and recipes you are preparing.

He does both demonstration and hands on cooking classes, traditional and innovation menus. He is very flexible and can also arrange visits to different and interesting food sites. Watching how Parmigiano is made was absolutely mesmerizing and stunningly beautiful.