More millennials are spending money on travel experiences over buying things, and research shows these experiences bring more happiness.
So what is the best travel experience in the world? It offers fresh pasta, an apron and a stunning view of the Tuscan countryside, according to TripAdvisor.
TripAdvisor recently released its Travelers’ Choice Awards for Experiences, which ranks the world’s best tours and travel activities. Out of 345 global activities, experiences and tours, Tuscan Farmhouse Cooking Class ranked no. 1 worldwide.
Only two experiences in the U.S. made the list: New York in One Day Guided Sightseeing Tour (no. 3) and New Orleans Cooking Class (no. 6).
For its methodology, TripAdvisor used an algorithm that looked at a product’s reviews, opinions and popularity with travelers over the last year. Millions of reviews and ratings from travelers around the world were analyzed.
The Tuscan farmhouse cooking class and lunch, led by Walkabout Florence Tours in Florence, Italy, is about seven hours long and costs €98 ($115) per person.
The hands-on cooking class includes a food tour through a food market, creating a menu at the farmhouse, cooking and learning secrets of traditional dishes, like bruschetta, homemade pasta, Tuscan roast pork with potatoes and tiramisu, which is suitable for beginners and those who already cook, then dining on the food prepared with views over the Tuscan hills.
“We have two chefs plus assistants to help out participants,” owner and CEO Mauro Bramante tells CNBC Make It. “One is a typical, Italian-style grandma who trained here in Italy and speaks hardly any English! The other chef was actually born in America, so there is no language barrier but he trained as a chef in different parts of the world, mostly Italy.
“Our largest clientele is American but we do get a mix of different nationalities too.”
Guests go to San Lorenzo’s Mercato Centrale, a historic, central food market, to buy tomatoes and basil, Tuscan bread, different types of cheese, pine nut, roast pork, sausages and minced beef, which is a highlight, according to Bramante. Then they prepare and cook recipes in the renovated farmhouse in a rustic, Tuscan setting.
“The views from where you make the pasta and eat has glass windows and doors all the way around with incredible views over the countryside,” he says.
Guests who take the cooking class receive the recipes via e-mail at the end of the course.
Here is the full list of TripAdvisor’s top 10 experiences in the world:
1. Cooking Class and Lunch at a Tuscan Farmhouse with Local Market Tour from Florence — Florence, Italy
2. Berlin Bike Tour — Berlin, Germany
3. New York in One Day Guided Sightseeing Tour — New York City, New York
4. Sydney BridgeClimb — Sydney, Australia
5. Vatican VIP Experience: Exclusive Breakfast at the Vatican with Early Access to Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel — Rome, Italy
6. New Orleans Cooking Class — New Orleans, Louisiana
7. Rotorua Maori Hangi Dinner and Performance — Rotorua, New Zealand
8. Best of Niagara Falls Tour from Niagara Falls, Ontario — Niagara Falls, Canada
9. Vancouver to Victoria and Butchart Gardens Tour by Bus — Vancouver, Canada
10. Wild Wicklow Tour including Glenadalough from Dublin — Dublin, Ireland