Sorry to burst your bubble, Olive Garden fans, but that "cooking school" in Tuscany, the one where the chain's chefs supposedly go to learn the secrets of Italian cuisine from the source? It's pretty much a sham.
This according to a former Olive Garden manager, who's causing a flurry of discussion at Reddit (much of it oddly trading on obscene jokes about breadsticks-you've been warned). The manager, posting as FIDELIA079, claims that he scored a lucky, all-expense-paid (except souvenirs) trip to the chain's Tuscan "culinary institute" in 2007.
It seems the Olive Garden doesn't even own the place. They just book all the rooms at some hotel in the off-season, close the place to the public, and take over the restaurant. Sporadic "classes" lasted "maybe an hour here or there" where they would "talk about spices or fresh produce for a minute" before taking the group site-seeing for the day. Lots of drinking ensued.