Il Salotto di Penelope: a place where you talk about food, prepare it, taste it and immerse yourself in its aroma ...

At Il Salotto di Penelope, as the sofa in the logo indicates, you can learn how to cook, meet people with different traditions, interests and passions, so that the “Chiacchiere/ chatting” often takes over the “Cucina/cooking”. In 2010, Barbara and a friend of hers decided to embark on this adventure with the idea to create a place where you can meet people, share experiences, and enjoy a familiar and fun environment. They wanted to put their skills into play as well as the years spent cultivating a passion for cooking and traveling in search of different flavors and aromas.

Il Salotto di Penelope has found its natural space in the heart of Bologna “la grassa”, in the same historic premises where in the 70s the Simili sisters were teaching wives-to-be the mandatory skill of rolling pasta.  “We instantly fell in love with the atmosphere that can be immediately felt upon entering the long courtyard of one of the  Bolognese case di ringhiera and through the echoes in the wide arches that characterise the interior space.  It was love at first site so we decided to make that place our living room”.

Today the team has changed, but not its spirit. Alongside Barbara there is Pietro, an engineer with a passion for cooking so deep that he has turned it into his profession.

Over time the services have been expanded and the cooking school has grown and evolved by offering its Italian and foreign customers, catering, home chefs, delivery and an online shop with fresh pasta and products of the Italian eno-gastronomic tradition.

Barbara and Pietro

Cook with us

Sign up and join our courses, events and cooking classes in Bologna.
Unleash your imagination in the kitchen and share your passion with Il Salotto di Penelope.
Discover, chat, let yourself be overwhelmed by a one of a kind experience!


Our activities

Il Salotto di Penelope offers aa varierty of services to meet your needs.
From Team Cooking, to home chef or private cooking lessons live or online all sharing two common feature: fun and food.


Dietary requirements

When we talk about food allergies and dietary restrictions we take our responsibilities seriously. We know some guests have specific requirements and it’s important to be duly informed to properly cater for them.

About Us

Shawn Torres
Shawn Torres
26 Novembre 2023
We had a fantastic time! Pietro walked us through the city market, explaining in detail the importance of different ingredients and their influence on the desired outcome of dish being made. We also walked through the city center and learned about the history of the public market. In the kitchen we created dishes that were delicious and he was very accommodating and patient helping my 9 yr old fully participate as well. Would definitely recommend if you visit the area.
Ginger Brandt
Ginger Brandt
29 Ottobre 2023
We had an incredible experience cooking with Michelle. Great food, wine and conversation. We never thought we would enjoy a cooking class much, but this turned out to be one of the highlights of our trip to Bologna! HIGHLY RECOMMEND!
Katherine C.
Katherine C.
17 Settembre 2023
We were so impressed with our experience at Il Salotto di Penelope! Pietro was a wonderful teacher, explaining not only the steps to achieve great pasta, but also the cultural and historic context behind each type of pasta and dish. I learned so much, and would highly recommend this class to other Bologna visitors!
Oriya Skublevitz Zmora
Oriya Skublevitz Zmora
6 Aprile 2023
We enjoyed our time with Pietro learning, cooking and tasting great bolognese food! Pietro taught us the secrets of how to make the best Tortellinis and classic bolognese sauce and answered our questions in patience and with a lot of knowledge Highly recommended!
Mina Sciessere
Mina Sciessere
31 Marzo 2023
This morning we were greeted by the beautiful Barbara, only to be guided through the culinary streets of “La Grassa”. A world of knowledge, she talked us through the history and evolution of la cucina Bolognese, introduced us to ingredients we’ve never seen and we met with some great characters in the specialty stores. We then meet up with our Maestra for the day- Michelle. We clicked right away- as if we’d known each other for a long time. As we walked towards our “classroom” she took over from Barbara and continued filling us with information. Once we reached Il Salotto di Penelope the magic began. We made two classical pasta sauces and four different types of pastas- the whole class was very hands on. Michelle is an incredibly giving chef, forever sharing her knowledge, game changing tips, and needless to say constantly encouraging even the least experienced home cooks. We ended the class sitting to eat and share the magnificent fruits of our fun filled labour. We are endlessly grateful for the fun and laughter we shared in the amazing kitchen, and our appreciation of hand made Pasta will forever remind us of today’s experience. Thank you Michelle- alla prossima 🍝
11 Ottobre 2022
Just finished our class and it was an amazing time! We learned so much, and had an amazing meal to top it off. Cannot wait to try our new skills again soon! And to come to learn more when we come back to Bologna!
Lior Shor
Lior Shor
9 Ottobre 2022
Very recommended! We took a cooking class with Barbara cooking some local dishes. They responded quickly and accommodated all of our request when we booked the class. The class itself was very enriching and lots of fun. The food came out amazing! Must go!
Jason Russell
Jason Russell
4 Luglio 2022
Highly recommend. I took a private pasta class by myself while in Bologna for a work conference. I’m so glad that I did. Pietro was my instructor and he was great, answering any question I could come up with and giving great explanations for why various techniques or details were important. I’ve been home three days and I’m already planning to surprise my wife with homemade pasta next week.
Sasha L
Sasha L
11 Settembre 2019
This was an awesome experience! We arrived at 10 am and 3 hours flew by! We made 3 different pasta dishes and each of us actually cooked the sauce, kneaded the dough and prepared the dishes. Then, enjoyed the fruits of our labour for lunch with complimentary wine. We learned all sorts of techniques and highly recommend it! Also I am a vegetarian (my partner is not) and they accommodated my restriction but he happily enjoyed the regular menu. For the veggie meal instead of tagiatelle ragu I made a delicious sauce with endives, olives and pistachios. Will be adding this to my recipe repertoire. Also it’s a professional kitchen so they have a big and clean space with lots of tools.
Enda Parker
Enda Parker
4 Ottobre 2018
We had the best time making pasta and traditional Bolognese ragu. Can't wait to get home to fatten up my friends with repeat attempts to emulate today's successful creations! Highly recommend!

Culinary Journeys between Bolognese and International cuisine

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The Bolognese Dough: The Art of Making Fresh Pasta by Hand
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Gastronomic Walk in Bologna: The Dishes You Must Absolutely Try
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Experience gifts

Consider a cooking class as a unique gift for someone you care about!

Book one or more classes

You can book a class or more in English. Check our online calendar for available dates or contacts us by phone or mail.

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