Unique Italian Culinary Vacation Experiences
Our Culinary and Experiential Vacations in Italy are about much more than just food and cooking. Our goal every week is to provide you with the experience of a lifetime. We do this by immersing you into the culture while giving you the sense of having found your home away from home. You will truly feel like family when you are with us. We don’t do the traditional ‘tour’ thing. When we cook, we are a group of friends cooking. When we are on excursions, we are a group of friends on an outing. It is a unique experience like none other, such that time and time again our guests tell us it was the experience of a lifetime… the best vacation they had ever taken… far exceeding expectations… and that after spending time with us, we had completely changed the way they will travel forever.
A Truly Authentic Italian Family Experience
It all started with a simple idea. We had our own friends and family visit us regularly, and they always said they had the experience of their lifetimes visiting us. They said we had shown them the culture of food, family and friends in a way they could not imagine, and our parting was always in tears. So one day we thought that this simple idea was missing in tourism. We would do exactly what we do with our own friends and family… and it worked.
It starts with location. There is nothing quite like small town hospitality when you get away from the areas infected with mass tourism.
The people are warm and welcoming, and the more you eat their food and drink their wine, the more they fill with joy. That sense of Italian hospitality is our number one priority with every guest. When it is all said and done, our goal with each guest is not to simply show you Italy and offer Italian culinary experiences. It is to bring you into our family. Everything we do revolves around that premise. It is all so relaxed and fun. Our guests quickly find that we don’t treat them like customers. We treat them like visiting relatives (The kind we enjoy having, that is!). Of course, this sounds like marketing mumbo jumbo, but it simply isn’t. It is one of the reasons our guests so regularly tell us we far exceeded their expectations. None of them could fully imagine that this family feeling could be possible, but it is… week after week.
“Be” The View
People often talk about what they “saw” when they went on vacation. Our guests talk about what they “experienced”. While tourists are busy taking pictures of the beautiful sights they see, our guests are travelers. They are the sights. That is because we integrate into the lifestyle as we fully immerse ourselves into the culture. We are doing... not just seeing. So as every opportunity presents itself, we are right there. During the wine harvest, while others are wine tasting, we are harvesting grapes and making wine. During the olive harvest, while others are buying new oil, we are making it. While others are just buying and eating fresh Italian cheese, we are making it. Every week with us is a new and unique life experience that our guests cherish for the rest of their lives.
Hands-On Cooking of Traditional Local Cuisine
All of our cooking classes are 100% full-participation, hands on, and done completely from scratch. Our classes are not academic, they are real-world home cooking. Most of our classes result in amazing 4 and 5 course meals, and you will be fully involved in every stage along the way. The food is always based on local recipes, so at each of our locations, you will get an entirely different style of cooking. Since we focus on home style cooking, you will be able to take what you learned home and use it. Each cooking class is structured in a very casual way, such that those that really want to learn will get the knowledge they seek, while those that just want to causally cook will feel at home, and those not interested in cooking will still have an amazing time. We dance, we sing, we have a wonderful time no matter what you are looking to get out of it.
Small & Intimate Groups
We need to get to know one another and all become friends, so our groups are big enough to make sure we have compatible personalities, but small enough that we never feel like a crowd. Beyond that, we eat in small town restaurants that don't handle large groups, and we want to always make sure we have the best of the best. Add to that the fact that the cooking classes should be big enough to feel like a fun party, but small enough to get one on one learning. So our vacations usually consist of around 14 to 18 guests, during which we bring you a wonderful balance of hands-on cooking experiences, culinary outings, excursions to major sightseeing destinations, as well as some of Italy's most wonderful hidden treasures.
All-Inclusive.. All the Time
The family feel of our vacations would go away quickly if you suddenly found us asking you to pay extra for something, so we don’t… never. Unlike other tour companies, we won’t offer any optional add-ons... it is all just included. From the moment we meet, we take care of all transportation, all classes, all excursions, all meals, etc. Because of this, we also make sure our schedule has something going on all day, from morning to night. Of course, you don’t have to do everything. If you prefer, you can always stay back and take it easy until you want to rejoin us, but you will always know we have something going on… and it is always included in the base price. In other words, if you were visiting friends and family, they would show you the time of your life... they wouldn't start hitting you up for money at every turn.
We’ve Got Your Back
When you visit friends and family, they always make sure you are always treated fairly. They have your interests in mind. But most tour companies make back end deals with stores and restaurants so that they profit from your spending.
In a Nutshell...
All of these things make our vacations an amazing experience like none other. Just look at the scores of letters written by our guests, and you will see the common themes: "I felt like I was part of your family" and "It was the experience of a lifetime". It may all sound like marketing as you read this, but here is a little secret: We learned early on that working like this makes it all feel like a vacation for us, too.