A trip overseas can include more than a tour of museums and churches, you can come home with hands-on culinary training from the best cooking schools in Europe. Language barriers should not limit you from attending one of these schools, which offer short courses for visitors. Most of the schools teach classes in English or make an interpreter available. These top schools, praised by international travel and food writers, offer a variety of cuisines and class schedules.

Casa Ombuto, Italy

According to Travel and Leisure Magazine, you can choose from two types cooking classes at Casa Ombuto's cooking vacation class in Italy. In one class instructors teach a combination of French, Italian, Moroccan and Spanish Mediterranean-style cuisine and in the other the menu is strictly Tuscan. The school is overseen by Paola Baccetti and located approximately 35 miles south of Florence.

Casa Ombuto Larniano 21 52014 Poppi (AR) Italy 011-44-8715041501 italiancookerycourse.com

Finca Buen Vino-Spain

This bed and breakfast runs cooking classes of four to eight people throughout the year and hosts students on the premises. There are classes that last four to six days and feature Andalucian and Catalan dishes and include visiting local restaurants. Spanish cuisine consisting of the rice dish of paella, pinchos (skewered meats and chicken) and flan are taught. Huelva is near to the town of Jerez in Andalucia, famous for its sherry.

Finca Buenvino Los Marines 21208 Huelva Spain 011-01 732750174 fincabuenvino.com

Gualtiero Marchesi's Gourmet Cookery School-Italy

Considered the most famous chef in Italy according to The International Kitchen, a culinary travel company, Gualtiero Marchesi is a three-star Michelin rated chef. To partake in the three- or four-day cooking course, you will need an interpreter as it is taught in Italian. The classes take place in a restored 19th century villa resort near Lake Iseo now part of the Relais & Chateaux Hotel Group.

Gualtiero Marchesi's Gourmet Cookery School Via Vittorio Emanuele, 11 Erbusco (Brescia), 25030 Italy 011-39-307760562 albereta.it/en

Maxine Clark at Ravida-Italy

Become a Sicilian gourmet with award-winning cooking author Maxine Clark. Clark teaches in Menfi, Sicily, where you will learn to prepare dough from scratch for focaccia as well as learn more elaborate Sicilian specialties. The weeklong course takes place in a private 18th-century villa. London's The Guardian newspaper ranked this as the top cookery school in Europe. Reservations for classes can only be secured through the Tasting Places cooking and travel website based in England.

Maxine Clark at Ravida c/o Tasting Places Ltd P.O. Box 38174 London W10 5ZP UK 011-44 02089645333 tastingplaces.com

Nick Nairn Cook School-Scotland

Celebrity TV chef Nick Nairn founded the school guided by his philosophy of allowing students to pick and choose classes with their own interests in mind. Classes specialize in cooking with meats, vegetables or seafood, or focus on global and special occasion menus. The school is situated 29 miles from Edinburgh Airport. Classes are held daily with a limit of eight people per class.

Nick Nairn Cook School Port of Menteith Stirling FK8 3JZ Scotland 011-01-877389900 nicknairncookschool.com

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