(Option: Customized Itineraries)
Liguria, Italy - 5 nights
Available February to October
Learn more about Ligurian cooking in your own private cooking classes with a trained chef, a native of the area and stay in a beautiful 4 star hotel during your stay. Liguria is one of the loveliest and most picturesque regions of Italy. This northwestern region of Italy is home to captivating seaside villages such as Santa Margherita, Portofino and Camogli and further south to the simply darling Cinque Terre hamlets of Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore, not forgetting beautiful Portovenere just below the Cinque Terre. The coastline is breathtaking, with pastel colored villages crowned with medieval churches and abbeys rising up on dramatic rocky outcrops, and vineyards and olive groves descending vertically down to the turquoise sparkling sea. Lush pine forests hug the coastline, shading many trekking paths between villages. This land so rich in history, culture, natural beauty, perfumes and mouth-watering cuisine will give you an extraordinary Italy experience.
Ligurian cuisine is the true Mediterranean diet and characterized by its use of fresh herbs and vegetables such as basil, bay leaves, fennel, marjoram, zucchini (courgettes), eggplants (aubergines), seafood (anchovies, swordfish, sea bass, etc) and of course extra virgin olive oil and fragrant wines. Local specialties of the area include Focaccia (delicious flatbread), Pesto Genovese (gorgeous sauce made with basil, pine nuts, walnuts, Parmigiano and Pecorino cheese, olive oil and garlic - all served over pasta), vegetable quiches, Pansoti (hand-made pasta).
Santa Margherita Ligure is one of the most charming and elegant seaside towns of the Italian Riviera, located between Portofino and the Cinque Terre. This small town is worldwide famous for its wonderful natural landscape and for the charm of its past centuries villas as well as for its special style of life. Santa Margherita boasts a range of things to see, from local antique shops to beautiful cathedrals. The 4 star hotel, your home during your cooking vacation, is in the heart of the town center, on the “promenade“ facing the sea.
The objective of the cooking lessons is for you to experience the heart and soul of Liguria through food, history and culture. The cooking lessons are about much more than a list of ingredients and how to cook them, but provide a way to learn the culture and the past of these people. Your teacher and chef at the restaurant of the hotel was born and grew up in Liguria and is a professional chef who has been working for many years at many famous 5 star and 4 star hotels in Italy. Your hands-on lessons will feature typical Ligurian cuisine and simple, yet fresh and flavorful ingredients.
Santa Margherita Ligure
Arrival on your own in Santa Margherita Ligure. Accommodation at the hotel and welcome cocktail and tasting of typical Ligurian gastronomic products
(anchovies, focaccia, vegetable quiches, pesto)
Free time to walk to the ancient city center or along the seaside "promenade“.
Dinner in a typical restaurant.
Welcome to Italy!
In the morning, you will attend your first hands-on cooking class. Your chef will teach you how to prepare the most typical Ligurian recipes: focaccia in Genovese style, vegetable quiches, the renowned pesto and more. Lunch will follow.
Afternoon on your own : you can easily reach Portofino by public bus or by public boat and enjoy a walk in this wonderful world famous small village. From Portofino you can reach San Fruttuoso by public boat, a small fishing village in a deep inlet along the coastline of the Portofino promontory, one of the most beautiful places in the Italian Riviera.
In the late afternoon don’t miss the fish market in Santa Margherita where fishermen sell the catch of the day.
Dinner on your own this evening.
Meet your guide for a full day tour of the Cinque Terre : you will visit the villages of Monterosso, Vernazza, Riomaggiore, Corniglia and Manarola which make up this stunning area of shoreline dotted with villages and rocky cliffs. First you will reach Riomaggiore.
In Vernazza enjoy a tasting lunch in the most typical restaurant of the Cinque Terre. Continue by boat or by train to Monterosso, another stunning village, where you will visit an organic farm which produces wines, olive oil and grapefruit.
Back to Santa Margherita Ligure. Dinner on your own this evening.
In the morning you will attend your second cooking lesson. The chef will teach you how to prepare typical first dishes such as minestrone alla Genovese and pansoti. Lunch will follow.
Time at leisure in the afternoon.
Dinner on your own this evening.
In the afternoon meet with your guide at the hotel for an excursion to Camogli by public bus. Camogli is a city of ancient maritime traditions, famous for its colorful, typical Ligurian tower-houses overlooking the bay.
Your guide will let you discover the gastronomic heritage of this village, above all the tasty cheede 'focaccia" (light lunch included)
Dinner in Santa Margherita.
Check out and departure
*The content or order of the itinerary may change depending on dates, availability of services or activities, local festivals/holidays, weather constraints, etc. Menus are samples and may vary according to the season
A minimum of 2 participants is required to run this tour and the tour is limited to a maximum of 12 participants.
(The number of participants refers to how many persons are required to run the tour, not to how many persons you must have in your party. Please inquire.)
HOW TO ARRIVE
Closest train station is Santa Margherita Ligure (just a few steps from the hotel)
Closest airports are Genova and Florence and Milan
*Private transfers by car or minibus can also be arranged
*These details are provided as additional information. Please check below to see if transfers are included in this tour.
*Please inquire about lower pricing based on four or more persons
*Pricing may vary depending on market fluctuation
After availability is confirmed, a 30% per person deposit and the completed and submitted registration form will secure your reservation. Final payment is due in full 75 days before your arrival date.
*Five (5) nights' accommodation at a 4 star hotel on B&B (sea view junior suite)
*Two (2) hands on cooking classes followed by lunch
*Two dinners and one lunch (drinks not included)
*Winery visit and tasting, typical food and wine tasting in Camogli
*English speaking guide where indicated
*Train and boat tickets for the Cinque Terre excursion
Airfare and personal expenses are not included.
For further inquiries or to register, click here.
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Please contact us for cancellation policy information. Travel insurance is highly recommended.
Heather R., Vienna, Virginia"Jo-Ann is very detail-oriented and responsive. We couldn't wait to go on the the tour she planned for us and it was even better than we expected. We felt like VIPs!"