A 5 Star rating isn't enough

We ate the the meals we had prepared on the terrace, lingering over the table for hours--laughing, talking and singing

Written By: Davey B
Location: Houston - TX - USA
Review Source: Trip Advisor
Type of Traveler: Couple
Itinerary: Soriano - Cities Lost in Time

Full Review

I found CDV searching for Italian cooking schools since learning how to cook cucina alla nonna was the initial objective of my trip. I also wanted the experience of staying in a small Italian community, since our best Italian vacations have been renting a house in the countryside and living among the locals.

CDV offered this and more from a home base in Soriano del Cimino. All guests actually stay in apartments in town. Everyday starts with an espresso in the piazza where you can rub elbows with a lively and colorful group of locals.

First, the cooking: Paola and Carol took us to the markets in the morning to shop for what we would be making in the afternoon. If you are even a semi-serious home cook, this alone is worth the trip as you are able to enjoy the bounty of small Italian farms. The lessons were conducted at Villa Eddarella, Paola's family home that has been painstakingly restored and kitted out with a large, modern kitchen. The recipes for risotto, pasta all'uovo, brasato al Barolo, etc were all easy to follow ( with much help from Paola, Carol, Pierna and Rita) and included all the techniques that had always eluded me in Italian cooking. The wine, and sometimes the flour, flowed freely during these sessions. We ate the the meals we had prepared on the terrace, lingering over the table for hours--laughing, talking and sometimes, singing. When we weren't cooking we were touring.

We did see several 'marquee' sites like Assisi and Orvieto, which I really enjoyed, but the itinerary went further. Michael, the owner, had arranged for us to have lunches and a couple of wineries, one of which is also an olive press. I would likely had never experienced this on my own. The owners Michael and Paola 'hand-craft' these experiences for there guests. They visit every village, winery, ceramics factory, etc. that they send their guests to. You and your tour -mates arrive at Soriano as strangers and leave as friends and family. It doesn't get any better.

Sample Photo from this Itinerary