The Cordon Bleu Cooking School in Florence is a great place for the tourist, casual cook, or serious chef to get hands on kitchen experience in Italian cooking. Founded over 20 years ago by friends and business partners Gabriella Mari and Cristina Blasi, the school is located in the heart of Florence and has just undergone a complete renovation. Courses start from lessons in bread making, to more serious 4 to 10 week courses like "Italian Techniques I" and "Cooking of The Mediterranean Area" all the way to their 3 month "Professional Program" which is designed for serious cooks who seek work in the trade. They also have single day courses for children, and will be happy to consider any custom courses that you may want - contact them directly for more information. Their website is also brand new - check it out for more details about the school and what they offer.