Making Biscotti from scratch

Meet Your New Italian Family for The
Italian Cooking Vacation of a Lifetime


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Our guests are guests, not clients. They discover the true Italy that so few fully experience. They live the passion for Italian country cooking and wine that is at the heart of life in Tuscany, Umbria, The Amalfi Coast, Barolo, and Sicily, Italy.

Our small group All-Inclusive Italian Cooking, Wine & Cultural Vacations offer the magical experience of Italian culture like no other vacation. They are personal and intimate, with group sizes that never exceed 18 people so we all become close friends. We live among the locals, shop with the villagers, explore like the Italians, and experience a truly real Italian experience that other tourists completely miss out on. Our vacations are about living the Italian life... while others come to Italy to see the sights, our guests live the lifestyle of those sights.

Each italian cooking vacation is a once in a lifetime experience with a wonderful balance of cooking classes, culinary and wine excursions, sightseeing, and unique cultural experiences.

Unlike most other Italian cooking tours, ours are all inclusive. When you are with us, you become part of our family... visiting friends. After all, no good host would ever ask visiting friends and family to pick up a tab, so we will never ask you for money once you are with us. We will never sell you anything, nor offer additional options. Everything is included in the base price, period.

What we mean by everything will shock you. We always have something going on, and it is always included in the price. If we are not cooking, we are out on sightseeing excursions, Tuscany winery tours, Umbria olive oil mills, Sicilian fishing excursions, etc. All with a balance between off the beaten path hidden treasures, and more popular destinations. We include all cooking classes, excursions, food & wine, transportation, transfers... everything from the moment we meet until the moment we hug our goodbyes. There is nothing else quite like it, because the main ingredients in everything we do are fun, friends, and family. So come and recharge with us as you make some of the most enduring and fantastic memories of your lifetime.

Fun, Family, Friends, Laughter

The most important thing of all... No four words better describe what a cooking vacation in Italy with us is all about. We are constantly laughing together & having nothing but fun. Our groups are small, causing everyone to become friends right away, and by the time you leave, you will have become extended family... not just with us, but with the other guests.

Don't Just Take Our Word For It...

A lot of this can just sound like marketing hype. We get it, but we really are the real deal. We truly operate like a big family and bring you right in, as though we have known you for years. Have a look at all of our reviews on TripAdvisor, Google and Yelp. More than 136 unbiased reviews in all with an average of 5 out of 5 (★★★★★) ratings.

Want more? Have look at scans of actual letters guests have written us. Better yet, if you are on Facebook, join our fan page and talk with us, plus dozens of past guests!

A Balance of Italian Country Cooking, Tuscany, Umbria, Sicily, The Amalfi Coast, Barolo, Sightseeing, Endless Laughter & Amazing Food & Wine...

We offer six base locations in Italy to choose from. Each of these is all about the unique culture and cuisine of the area.

Tuscany & Umbria

Three of our locations are in central Italy, based in, or bringing our guests to Tuscany, Umbria and Lazio. Each offers a a mixture of Cooking, Unique Experiences, and excursions to wonderful destinations. All are 8 day, 7 night all-inclusive vacations. The Soriano and Norcia weeks begin and end at the Rome airport. The Chianti week begins and ends at the Florence airport. Click on the itinerary names for more information about any of them.

A Culture Discovery Immersive Week
8 Days, 7 Nights - $3,595.00 per person
All-Inclusive Cooking Vacation with wineries, olive mill, cheese making & sightseeing in Tuscany, Umbria and Alto Lazio

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A true cooking, culinary & wine experience based out of the village of Soriano nel Cimino, at the border between Tuscany, Umbria and Lazio. You will live in a local village home & shop among the villagers, take part in four hands-on cooking classes in our 18th century country villa, plus sightseeing through Tuscany, Umbria and Alto Lazio. Visits to Pitigliano, Montalcino, Montepulciano, Pienza, Assisi, Orvieto, Deruta, Castelnuovo d'Abate, Civita di Bagnoregio, Viterbo & Castiglione in Teverina. Visits to wineries, a cold press olive oil mill and a Deruta ceramics factory. We will make pecorino & ricotta cheese with a local shepherd, get to know Tuscan wine makers & much more. Read More...

 

A Culture Discovery Luxury Week
8 Days, 7 Nights - $3,895.00 per person
All-Inclusive Cooking Vacation with wineries, olive oil mill. cashmere farm, alabaster artisan, and sightseeing throughout Central & Southern Tuscany

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Right in the heat of Tuscany's Chianti wine country, we will be based out of the village of Radda in Chianti. This week we will have four multi-course hands-on cooking classes, making local Tuscan specialties including Pici, Lasagna, Tuscan Biscotti, Tiramisu, and much more. Visits to many of Tuscany's most beautiful sites, including Siena, Volterra, Montalcino, Montepulciano, Pienza, Greve in Chianti, Castellinuzza, and more. We'll be visiting castles and wineries this week, including Brunello, Vino Nobile and Chianti Classico, plus a Cashmere producer and an Alabaster workshop where we can try our hand at the art. Our day in Siena will be truly exclusive as we become a part of the Onda Contrada and learn about real life in this Tuscan city. We'll get to know local Tuscan wine makers and artisans all week. Read More...

 

A Culture Discovery Luxury Week
8 Days, 7 Nights - $3,595.00 per person
All-Inclusive Cooking Vacation with wineries, and olive oil mill, & sightseeing in Umbria, the "New" Tuscany!... plus a Chocolate Class & Truffle Hunting!

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A week of cooking & culture in luxury as our guests stay at the luxurious Relais & Châteaux Palazzo Seneca Boutique Resort in the breathtaking town of Norcia. We'll have 4 hands-on cooking classes, one of which is an exclusive chocolate making class at the Perugina Chocolate Factory. Beautiful excursions, including Assisi, Spoleto, and Perugia, and much more. We will visit wineries, a traditional cold press olive oil mill, a ricotta cheese producer and a prosciutto producer. We'll even go out on a truffle hunt with a national champion truffle hunting dog! Read More...

Barolo

Click on the itinerary name for more information about it.

A Culture Discovery Luxury Week
8 Days, 7 Nights - $3,895.00 per person
All-Inclusive Cooking Vacation with wineries, a Torrone factory, Truffle Hunting, & sightseeing in Piedmont, including The Alps, Barolo, Asti, Turin and more.

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Also see our special Festival weeks in Barolo by clicking here.

Discover what is arguably the most beautiful area in all of Italy. Barolo, which is located in the region of Piedmont, is much more than a famous Italian wine! It is at the heart of an area of Northern Italy called "Le Langhe", which boasts breathtaking rolling hills full of vineyards and topped with stunning castles. It also happens to be home to Barolo wine, Moscato, Barbera, Asti, the Alba White Truffle, and even Nutella! Just between Milan and Turn, and near the Alps, this part of Italy truly feels like a fairy tale world.

From a culinary perspective, this area is the birthplace of the Slow Food movement, so culinary excellence is even more at the core of local life than the rest of Italy. The dishes here are more of an upscale nature, and we will be dining in places that range from small local trattorias all the way to a Michelin-Starred restaurant in a castle.

Our Barolo itinerary offers a mixture of Cooking, Unique Experiences, and excursions to wonderful destinations in northern Italy and the Alps. The Barolo week is an 8 day, 7 night vacation that begins and ends at the Milan airport., an guests stay in a breathtaking "luxury boutique resort" with stunning panoramic views.

Our four cooking classes will focus on traditional Piedmont cuisine, while our sightseeing will take us to wineries in that feature many of the areas 19 DOC and DOCG wines, up to the Italian Alps, Asti, a Torrone Factory, and in several of the amazing castles that pepper the rolling hills. Read More...

Sicily

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A Culture Discovery Adventure Week
8 Days, 7 Nights - $3,895.00 per person
All-Inclusive Cooking & Adventure Vacation On The Western Islands of Sicily

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Our Sicily itinerary offers a mixture of Cooking, Unique Experiences, and excursions to wonderful destinations in western Sicily. It is a more active trip than our others, including a night fishing excursion, boating, snorkeling, and more, in addition to four cooking classes based on local Sicilian recipes. This all-inclusive vacation is 8 days / 7 nights, and begins and ends at the Palermo airport.

This adventure of a lifetime starts on the tiny Sicilian island of Favignana, where we will stay on our own private peninsula surrounded by crystalline waters and rocky cliffs. Our four cooking classes will focus on traditional Sicilian home cooking, while our sightseeing will take us to wineries in Marsala, the Salt Flats of Trapani, and beautiful Erice. We'll get to know the locals as we explore true Sicilian tradition on days packed with amazing experiences, such as casting nets at sea with local fishermen, harvesting salt, swimming in crystal-clear grottoes, cheese-making with a local shepherd, and much more. Read More...

  Amalfi Coast  

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A Culture Discovery Luxury Week
8 Days, 7 Nights - $4,995.00 per person
All-Inclusive Luxury Cooking Vacation on the Amalfi Coast

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Imagine staying in a villa that surrounds a medieval tower right on the water of the Amalfi Coast -- A private villa that has been home to Kings and Queens, and combine it with an all-inclusive vacation of a lifetime with incredible sightseeing, private boats, cooking classes, parties with the locals and much more. This is the ultimate Amalfi Coast experience unlike any other. We'll be visiting Capri, Pompeii, Positano, Amalfi, Atrani, Minori,and more this week.

Our Amalfi Coast itinerary offers a mixture of Cooking, Unique Experiences, and excursions to wonderful and iconic destinations along the Amalfi Coast. This is one our luxury trips, with a mixture of cooking, adventure and cultural immersion. This all-inclusive vacation is 8 days / 7 nights, and begins and ends at the Naples airport. Read More...

Festival Weeks

At many of our locations, when there is a special event or local festival, we just cannot help but take part in it! In doing so, our standard itinerary is revised to accommodate the event. Following are special events regularly on our calendar:

July:
Wine & Cooking in the Heart of Tuscany + Palio di Siena

On the week that July 2nd falls within each year, we modify our Chianti itinerary so that we can visit the "Palio di Siena" and take part in the festivities.

August:
The Allure of Barolo: Wine, Cooking, Truffles & Castles - Festival Season

On the week that the last Sunday of August falls within, we modify our Barolo itinerary in order to accommodate the "Mangialonga" wine walk through the Barolo vineyards.

September:
Wine Harvest

On all of our itineraries in Soriano, Chianti and Barolo during mid September, we may have an opportunity to harvest grapes at a local vineyard. If this is possible, we will take one of the lesser destinations off of the itinerary so that we can harvest during the week.

The Allure of Barolo: Wine, Cooking, Truffles & Castles - Festival Season

On the week that the second Sunday of September falls within, we modify our Barolo itinerary in order to accommodate the "Festival delle Sagre" culinary festival in Asti.

October:
Wine Harvest

On all of our itineraries in Soriano, Chianti and Barolo during early October, we may have an opportunity to harvest grapes at a local vineyard. If this is possible, we will take one of the lesser destinations off of the itinerary so that we can harvest during the week.

The Allure of Barolo: Wine, Cooking, Truffles & Castles - Festival Season

On the week that the first Sunday of October falls within, we modify our Barolo itinerary in order to accommodate the "Palio degli Asini" donkey race and culinary festival in alba.

Medieval Chestnut Festival

On the weeks that the first two Sundays of October fall within, we modify our Soriano itinerary in order to accommodate the Medieval Chestnut Festival.

November:
Wine, Cooking, & The Olive Oil Harvest

On the first or second week of November, we modify our Soriano and Norcia itineraries in order to spend a day harvesting olives and making our own olive oil at a Cold Press Olive Oil mill.

The Locations
Each of our locations is chosen and developed to give our guests that most authentic experience possible. For example, on our Amalfi Coast weeks, we chose to base ourselves out of the town of Minori. We could have easily chosen a place like Positano, and that would have made our week easier to sell, since it is a headliner name. But there is almost no authenticity left in Positano because of the masses of tourists there. Instead, we chose a base location where real people still live and shop so that our guests can get a real feeling of life here and what makes it so special. This is true of each and every one of our locations.

The Accommodations
As you look at each of our locations, you will find the accommodations to be very unique. Private village homes in Soriano, small boutique hotels, and even private villas in some locations. We choose our accommodations very carefully, because it is important that our guests get a real sense of "home" during their week with us. The sense of family we pride ourselves on would get lost in big and anonymous hotels.

The Cooking
The cooking classes in each of our locations is always based on the regional cuisine of hat location, and some locations are more about home cooking taught by a local "home cook", and some are more upscale, taught by Michelin-starred chefs. But in all cases, our classes are 100% hands-on, full participation. We don't do the "sit and watch a chef cook" thing. We roil up our sleeves and cook the meal we will be eating that day. Our classes are also structured more like cooking events than "academic" classes. They are like a group of friends getting together to cook, with one person being the expert of the group.

The Cultural Experiences
One of our main goals is to get our guests into the lifestyle as much as possible in each location. We believe in doing, rather than just seeing. So we make cheese with shepherds at some locations, we get insider's wine experience at wineries, and even harvest and make wine when it is harvest time. When olives are being harvested, we not only harvest olives, but make our own olive oil. We participate in local festivals as locals, and learn artisan crafts with the artisans themselves.

The Excursions & Culinary Outings
As you look at all of our itineraries, you will see that we always have a mixture of "headliners", as well as places you have never heard of. This is because th traditional tourist guides only mention the well-known places, but Italy is full of hidden treasures. We balance the known and the off the beaten path on our trips so you not only see what you have always wanted to see, but you also discover what you didn't know you didn't know.

Our excursions are also very different than other tour companies. We are all about that sense of friends and family, so we do our excursions like a group of friends... as it would be if you were visiting a friend abroad. So we don't do classic "follow the umbrella" history tours, but rather take a stroll together while we stop and smell the roses.

Real Italian Small-Town Family Experiences
This is without a doubt the single most important thing of all. It is what we are all about. We are constantly laughing together & having nothing but fun. Our groups are small, causing everyone to become friends right away, and by the time you leave, you will have become extended family... not just with us, but with the other guests. Have a look what past guests have written us, or better yet, if you are on Facebook, join our fan page and talk with us, plus dozens of past guests!

Truly All-Inclusive Pricing
All of our cooking and wine vacations are truly all-inclusive in nature. From the moment we meet, all meals, transportation, tours, all expenses... everything is on us. The only thing you will pay for is airfare, personal expenses and any gifts you may wish to bring home. There are no surprises, and no hidden costs.