Please see below for what past guests have said about Culinary Interludes.


Our first trip to Italy started at Novedieci with Culinary Interludes. Our hosts Julie and Chef Tony Carter provided an amazing mix of fun, cooking, eating and relaxing. The well planned excursions showed us the most interesting local sights and tastes. We can't rave enough about the experience! It's a bucket list must!!

Lea-Ann Suzor   

The chance to see Tuscany like you have never seen it, an opportunity not to be missed. A stunning, luxury villa in the Tuscan countryside close to Lucca. A mix of cooking, sight seeing and relaxing by the pool, just perfect. Fantastic meals with great company in the Villa, at nearby restaurants in the Tuscan hills and by the beach. Visits to a blacksmiths forge in a 1000 year old mill building deep in the hills, a wine tasting in a two thousand year old wine cellar under Lucca or a visit to a Puccini recital where he started his career as organist in the local church in Lucca. More than just a cooking school, an experience to be savoured. You hosts, chef Antonio and the always helpful Julie ensure that everything runs smoothly for the week. Want more information, just ask Culinary Interludes. Or ask me, I haven't stopped talking about it......good food, good wine, beautiful countryside and newly made friends from around the world, just perfect.


In the picturesque foothills behind the ancient walled city of Lucca, there is a special treasure to be found…so do yourself a favour and book into the 15th century Villa Novedieci for the ultimate sensory experience that is Culinary Interludes!
As lovers of good food, wine, travel and people, you would be hard pressed to find two more passionate and fun loving hosts than Chef Antonio (Tony Carter) and his charming wife Julie. Tony is an inspiration – his professional expertise in the kitchen is patently obvious, and he not only makes everything look easy, but his calm, patient and fun loving personality ensures a relaxed atmosphere as you learn some of the secrets of his delicious recipes.
Julie’s in-depth knowledge of culture and talent for meticulous research coupled with Tony’s extensive knowledge of food and wine ensures that a trip to the local markets for fresh produce is sheer delight. On top of this, visiting local artisans, wine makers and nearby sights such as beautiful Lucca (where you can also attend a magnificent Puccini concert!), a fascinating traditional blacksmith’s forge, scenic drive to Devil’s Bridge, or lunch high in the hills at the authentic Ristorante Ceru overlooking breathtaking Tuscan views, completes the whole package in a way that exceeds all expectations.
This is not just about cooking and eating. We are talking about an unforgettable experience here, combining relaxation, comfort, sightseeing, laughter, and excellent wines to complement the superb cuisine. It is all about long, leisurely meals with new friends in gorgeous surroundings, while Tony and Julie’s inherent gift of warm hospitality is such that by the time you leave, you feel as if you’ve known everyone your entire life…We took away new recipes, new friendships, and memories to last a lifetime – and we will definitely return!

Catherine Lee   

What a fantastic experience we had with Chef Antonio and Julie. We had such fun in the kitchen learning new recipes and techniques and Antonio made it all so simple to follow. One of the highlights for us was visiting the market and choosing the fresh produce and ingredients for the meals we were making later that day. To sit down and eat the beautiful food that we had created with such good company was a joy. Villa Novedieci was stunning and pure luxury, what a beautiful setting to enjoy such great company, amazing food and of course fantastic Italian wines. Bellissimo! Thanks Chef Tony and Julie. Hope to see you both again later this year.

Matt & Julie   

When the outdoor oven opens to reveal those fabulous italian ribs you know you’re in for a good night!!! Wonderful, generous hosts – I’d recommend spending time with Julie and Tony anywhere.

Jude and Tom   

The villa was breathtaking, the view magical, the hosts gracious and the food was magnificent. Chef Antonio taught us to prepare a number of delicious dishes, made from fresh local produce. The lessons were very hands-on and a lot of fun. We were given the opportunity to experience things that the “average” tourist would not. It was an unforgettable holiday which I would highly recommend.


A true feast for the senses! The Villa and surrounds were magical. Our hosts were warm, welcoming, and spared no effort in ensuring that all guests were well catered for. The food was abundant and magnificent, and the wine flowed freely. Chef Antonio was a patient and inspirational instructor, and many mouthwatering dishes were prepared and consumed with gusto! Day trips to surrounding places of interest were readily available and cheerfully organised by our hosts. All in all a fantastic experience that we hope to repeat, and would highly recommend.

Denise and Scott   

Please pass on our appreciation to Tony and the whole team for a very enjoyable day. I for one have never done anything like that before and was amazed we produced such a yummy feast from the midst of rampant chaos! Each of us received some tips and help along the way and the best part was to all pitch in, spread the load and most of all enjoy the food, wine AND each other’s company – a success all round by any measure!


Culinary Interludes and their Italian cooking classes in Tuscany provided the most awesome holiday – be it the cooking lessons with Chef Tony; the subsequent eating of what we were taught to cook (another slice of pizza anyone?); lazing by the infinity pool; wandering the windy Italian small town roads; watching the birds, bees and butterflies – all of it sensational and a must do holiday for anyone who loves all things Italian


Well, what can I say! The week that we had with Culinary Interludes was without a doubt the most amazing adventure of our Italian getaway. The view from the Villa was surreal, it took us about 3 days just to come down to Earth!!! The food that we prepared with Chef Antonio was absolutely delicious, the day trips were so much fun, we always felt as though we were part of one big happy family! Wouldn’t hesitate to join the Culinary Interludes eam again SOON!

Jules McCarten   

Wow what a wonderful time we had at Culinary Interludes, a fabulous Tuscan cooking experience. The Villa and infinity pool are just gorgeous and it was a perfect balance of cooking time – with Chef Antonio, relaxation, exploring Lucca & its beautiful surroundings, and kicking back to enjoy the rustic Italian food we’d made. An experience to remember and to reflect on with every new dish we prepare at home.

Sands and Nick   

A wonderful experience was had, new friends were made, many glasses of vino consumed, many yummy italian dishes tucked away in our tummies, cooking was so much fun….Loved it all. Thank you again Chef Antonio & Chef Simeon and our wonderful hostess Julie.


A really wonderful experience and a very balanced week. The cooking classes were exceptional and lots of fun – mixed with an array of interesting activities. The location was peaceful and relaxing.


I was invited to an evening with Chef Antonio in 2006, at one of his fantastic pizza nights. I still remember it well — lots of fun and laughter, and I learned two recipes which I have used ever since. Recommended!


I had a delightful time seeing Chef Antonio in action. He demonstrated skillful techniques with ease, used the freshest ingredients, and presented an amazing array of delectable dishes.

Chef Antonio and the magnificent dishes he created were truly amazing. It was a most memorable experience.


Testimonial Form:

* Required

One thought on “Testimonials

  1. Pingback: Testimonials - Culinary Interludes