This week-long vacation will consist of a very small and intimate group of no more than 18 people. It is an 8 day, 7 night all-inclusive experience that offers a wonderful mixture of some of Central Italy’s highlights with some truly off-the-beaten-path treasures unique to our area. It is a week that embraces Italian cooking, culinary and artistic tradition with some of the most wonderful locations in Tuscany, Umbria and Alto Lazio. It is a week of discovery as you integrate into Italian village life, living among the villagers, shopping with them, and getting to know them. Most of all, it is a week of fun, family and laughter as we share what makes Italy so special in a very personal way.
We'll have four half-day completely hands-on cooking classes this week, Our cooking classes are not demonstrations. They are 100% hands-on. We structure them so that you can be as involved as you wish in every stage of every course we prepare. With every class, we roll up our sleeves and get wrist deep in making everything fresh, from scratch.
Two of the classes are complete five-course meals, during which you are completely involved in everything. Another class focuses on Italian Liqueurs such as Limoncello, plus Biscotti and Gelato. Yet another is all about Italian Country Wood-Fired Pizza! During two of our classes, we will also make fresh pecorino and ricotta cheese, and even distill a batch of Grappa in our cellar.
Depending on the week you come, we may make fresh pappardelle pasta with home-made Bolognese sauce, Home-Made Ravioli, Tuscan Herb-Roasted Chicken in our wood-fired oven, Country Wood-Fired Pizza, Eggplant Parmesan, Chicken Cacciatore, Fresh Ricotta Cheese, Home-Made Biscotti, Gelato, and much more. To see exactly what we will be making on a given week, click here.
For those would rather eat than cook, there is always something to entertain you. All of our classes take place at our beautiful 18th century country villa. Take control of our 90-bottle wine rack, relax, take a stroll, or just enjoy the wonderful Italian countryside. Whether you are cooking or not, the time we spend during the cooking classes is always a highlight.
When we are not cooking, we are heading out on some truly incredible excursions. We'll visit some amazing wineries, including small family-run places where we will meet the owners and dine with them. We'll have dinner where the wine cellar is widely-considered to be the most beautiful cellar in the world. We'll have lunch at a small home-based olive mill that makes arguably, the best Extra-Virgin Umbrian Olive Oil you will ever have! We'll visit a generations old, operational Deruta ceramics factory where we try our hand at the potter's wheel. We'll see many other beautiful-beyond-description Italian gems such as Assisi, Orvieto, Pienza and more.
Italians love their food. And why wouldn't they? It's delicious! We love it too and so much of what we do revolves around meal planning! We're talking about lunch at breakfast and then talking about dinner during lunch! One thing you never hear during one of our vacation weeks is, "I'm hungry" - What we do hear is..."I can't eat another bite!" But they still find some room!
The wine is always flowing at lunch and dinner. We take a lot of pride in making sure that we're pairing the right dish with one of the fantastic local wines. Everyone has their preferences. Find out which ones you like best!
Additionally, the meals at our cooking classes are not little "learn to make pasta" classes like many others. Instead, the classes are traditional Italian 'Sunday Family Meals'... Some are 5 courses, all done to the max. Other classes highlight Italian Desserts and Pizza!
When the week is over, you will have experienced the real Italy that few tourists have ever experienced. You will have made new friends, and you will have learned why Italian culture is so amazing... because you will have lived it.
Home cooking...Away from home. Welcome to the Real Italy. Several of our meals will be home-cooked, home-served. That is, we are dining with local residents in their homes, villas or "taverne", truly sharing in their lives, and being part of everyday family life in an Italian village.
It doesn't stop there. Each morning when you "take" breakfast at the cafe in the main piazza, you will be welcomed with friendly smiles and a Buongiorno from the baristas. Don't be surprised when they know your specialty drink or pastry by the next day!
Your daily encounters with locals will leave a lasting impression not only on yourselves, but also with the locals as they really love our guests and the interaction that takes place. They are as genuine as it comes and you will feel it from the moment you arrive until the time to say goodbye.
It's not just in town where you will have this opportunity. Down at the villa, we have visitors come often to join us for lunch or pizza night. When we go to the wineries and the olive mill, we are at their personal homes and not some touristy stop where mainstream companies go.
This will most-likely be unlike anything you have experienced when traveling. You are invited into people's homes and lives and will be welcomed in as if you have known them for years.
In Tuscany, we will visit the villages of Montalcino, Montepulciano, Pienza, and Castelnuovo d'Abate. We will visit small family-run wineries and have an amazing home-made lunch in Montalcino at the home of our dear friend (and Brunello Winemaker),and dinner in what has been labeled as "The Most Beautiful Wine Cellar in the World" in Montepulciano.
Umbria...Figuratively and literally, sits in Tuscany's shadow, yet evokes emotions of what Tuscany was like before all of the tourists arrived.
Your journey to Umbria will bring you to some incredible towns with unforgettable experiences. One of the true gems and remarkable places in all of Italy is the Basilica of St. Francis in Assisi. You will have plenty of time to stroll through the picturesque walkways in this beautiful, historical town and marvel in the magnificence of the basilica.
When we go to Deruta, we have an exclusive experience at the factory and showroom of a family-run studio. You can take your turn at the potter's wheel at this generations-old Italian ceramics factory. Deruta is known around the world as home to some of Italy's most iconic and recognized designs.
One of Umbria's best-kept secrets isOrvieto. Along with a renaissance-inspired interior, the remarkable, gold-laden facade is recognized as one of the most beautiful examples of gothic design and architecture. We have a fantastic visit for shopping and lunch in this historic town.
Alto Lazio...Where Italian Traditions Still Prevail...
We find many of Central Italy's hidden treasures in the area of Alto Lazio - locally known as Tuscia. This is a mostly Roman area, yet borders parts of Umbria and Tuscany and has influences from all three regions. Our home base of Soriano nel Cimino which lies in the foothills above the Tiber Valley, was a strategic outpost beginning in Etruscan times and over the years has built a very storied history.
In Civita di Bagnoregio we visit the remarkable, Dying City, named that for its history of having most of the town crumble away leaving it nearly abandoned for decades.
We'll visit the beautifully preserved medieval quarters of the City of Popes in Viterbo, which was also an historic seat of the Vatican.
We spend a fantastic day at a winery and olive oil mill in the rolling hills of Castiglione in Teverina.
Another local gem is the Palazzo Farnese, a Renaissance-inspired artistic and architectural masterpiece in nearby Caprarola.
At Our Villa Eddarella Cooking Classes in Soriano, Our Recipes and Menus Rotate.
Depending on which week you come, our Sunday Family-Meals will be one of the following:
|#||Appetizer||First Course||Second Course||Side||Dessert|
|1||Tuscan Panzanella||Ravioli - From scratch with Home-made Ricotta & Spinach||Tuscan Roasted Chicken (Made in our Wood-Fired Oven||Tuscan Roasted Potatoes (Made in our Wood-Fired Oven)||Our special recipe for Tiramisu|
|2||Eggplant Parmesan made from scratch||Pici Pasta w/ Fennel Ragu made from scratch||Saltimbocca alla Romana||Frascati Sautéed Porcini Mushrooms (from our local hills)||Our special recipe for Tiramisu|
|3||Umbrian Farro Salad||Ravioli made from scratch with Homemade Ricotta & Spinach||Tuscan Roasted Chicken (Made in our wood-fired oven)||Tuscan Roasted Potatoes (Made in our wood-fired oven)||Our special recipe for Tiramisu|
Our Second Cooking Class Features More Regional Favorites
Today's class we'll be cooking one of the following menus:
|#||Appetizer||First Course||Second Course||Side||Dessert|
|1||Pancetta & Stracchino Cheese Bruschetta||Pappardelle Pasta from scratch w/ Bolognese sauce made from scratch||Brasato al Barolo Wine Roast||Sautéed Zucchini from our garden||Panna Cotta with berry sauce (or wine sauce in season)|
|2||Sausage & Stracchino Cheese Bruschetta||Gnocchi made from scratch with Sorrentina sauce||Chicken Cacciatore||Sautéed Bell Peppers from our garden||Crostata - Filled with Home-Made preserves.|
|3||Pancetta & Stracchino Cheese Bruschetta||Pappardelle Pasta from scratch w/ Bolognese sauce made from scratch||Porchetta (Roasted Pork in our wood-fired oven)||Tuscan Beans||Panna Cotta with berry sauce (or wine sauce in season)|
Tonight's Class Highlights Classic Italian Desserts, Limoncello and Grappa
We'll use our family's regional recipes with locally-sourced, farm-to-table ingredients to make these traditional Italian favorites!
Dinner tonight will be family-style tapas plates along with Chef Carla's delicious Pasta Carbonara, which you are encouraged to help her with! Dessert will be what we've made in class.
In addition, during class today, we will be revisiting an Italian tradition that is nearly lost to generations gone by. We will spend some time in the wine cellar, where we have a copper still to distill our own Grappa. This Grappa is the base for many of the liqueurs our guests enjoy while at the villa.
Class 4 Is Our Traditional Pizza Night at the Villa!
We prepare the dough together, as well as all of the toppings as we fire up our 500 year old wood-fired brick oven! Each guests will have the chance to make their own individual pizza with toppings of your choice.
And that's not all...
It's a regional and Roman tradition to make pan-pizzas. We'll help Carla prepare several types of them. Such as...Margherita Pizza, Sausage & Porcini Mushroom Pizza, Caramelized Onion Pizza, Cherry Tomato Pizza, Zucchini Flower and Cream Pizza. Even a dessert pizza made with the fresh ricotta cheese we've made and also includes a home-made, Nutella-style, hazelnut and chocolate spread.