Mama Margaret’s Story

Dario Gaetano
Mama Margaret with Chef Gaetano in his restaurant under Mt. Etna in Sicily on our cooking school tour

In brief, Mama Margaret
has been traveling to Italy since 1972, lived there three years, and continues her love affair with Italy on twice a year trips. The longest love affair she’s ever had!From 1996-2001, Mama Margaret wrote, published and sold “Your Guide to 133 Decadent Cooking Holidays in Italy” so she can advise you well on Italian cooking tours.

Mama Margaret’s passions are helping food and wine loving travelers in Italy to:

  • * connect with local people as new friends through cooking, food and wine
  • * re-connect with family and friends they share our Italian cooking school tours with, and/or re-connect with themselves

Why? What’s in it for you? Here’s Mama Margaret’s story…

When I lived and worked in Italy 1977-1980, I felt part of local people’s lives. My Tuscan boyfriend’s family opened their hearts to me as one of them.

After returning to Vancouver, I didn’t keep up with them. I’d made no Italian friends. When I traveled to Italy in the 1980s and early 1990s, I became a tourist again on the outside of local life looking in.

In 1993 a friend asked me to research Italian cooking school holidays. At Vancouver’s Italian consulate, I happened on a brochure about a cooking school in a family’s Chianti country farmhouse. In 1993, with two other “students”, I lived, cooked, ate and laughed in an Italian family’s home with two delightful sisters and their dad. I was back in real Italian life! Cooking and sharing food created heart to heart connections for me with this local family. 

I decided my mission was to create and sell special cooking school tours in Italy that connected food lovers with local people. I’d seen how sharing cooking, food and wine with local people takes you to the heart of Italy.

When our clients tell me things like, “They welcomed us so we felt part of their lives!”, I feel “YES! That’s why I do what I do!

I also saw how if clients took the cooking tour with family or friends, they connected more deeply with them or with themselves. I saw beautiful transformations. Spouses who’d grown apart rekindled their love. A depressed widow traveling with her best friend exclaimed, “I feel my joy of life flowing back through me again. We’ve had so much fun with so many wonderful people!”

Whenever I see these re-connections happen, I feel “YES! That’s why I do what I do!”

To help you enjoy a happier, smoother holiday in Italy, Mama Margaret writes a monthly Italy Travel & Food e-newsletter snd blog with delicious, educational articles and Italian recipes.