At Cooking Vacations you will learn to cook traditional recipes hands-on with our team of excellent and well-trained chefs. Learn the art of Italian cooking lead by pizzaiolo~pizza-makers, Sfoglina~pasta makers, Panettiere~bread bakers and Pasticciere~ pastry makers in the artisan way. We bring you the ultimate that Italy has to offer along with the passion we share for food, wine, music & culture. For centuries Italians have mastered the art of cooking, eating and sharing at the table, reinforcing family bonds, enjoying precious time together, while sharing the love of food, family & friends. We continue this experience with our unique hands-on cooking programs and welcome you to our table!

Authentic Cooking Vacations In Italy

Cooking Vacations provides authentic vacation programs, all of which are original and personally experienced including cooking classes, food trips, vineyard tours & wine tastings and marketplace visits. Our group of talented chefs, food & wine experts, food-trend researchers and artisans bring you the best of each region. Our programs are hosted at exclusive & beautiful properties selected for their location and charm. Each program includes excursions to well-known and undiscovered areas including outside markets, ancient villages and historical areas that are rich in culture and connected to the local people. We take you back in time to artisans, wine producers, fishermen, truffle hunters, and bread & pastry bakers who follow the “slow food way of living.” Our cooking programs capture the art of Italian cooking, while eating, learning and enjoying “la dolce vita,” the sweet life. In Italy, la dolce vita is not a special occasion; it’s a way of life! Classes are kept small from 2 to 8.  If your group is larger we will be able to accommodate you all together.  For a complete list of cooking programs, click to Italy Tours

Our Family Started The Concept Of Cooking Vacations To Italy

Our family started the concept of cooking vacations in Italy many years ago. It all began when our American and foreign friends visited us in Italy and ended up spending their days in the kitchen with my Mom and Nonna Philomena. Everyone wanted to know how Nonna created her handmade pastas, plump ravioli filled with Ricotta, fresh sea bass with tomatoes and her towering sponge cake soaked in Limoncello. My Nonna and Mom’s beautiful lunches and dinners were set at the table each day accompanied by Nonno’s homemade wine. Everyone followed rolling out pasta, making little meatballs and desserts & gelato filled with seasonal fruits. I then took our Italian culture, way of life and recipes and created Cooking Vacations. By word-of-mouth, friends and clients filled our family kitchen wanting to see, learn & experience our culture, and share the fun we had in the kitchen. We then expanded the concept incorporating other cooking programs in diverse parts of Italy’s regions. Today, we offer the most authentic cooking classes, chefs, recipes, food trips and marketplace visits in Italy. Our relationship with food lovers in Italy, bring us the best in food, wine and travel. We are Italian, and we share our love of cooking with you!

Nonna’s Lucia & Philomena

Nonna Lucia was born in Prata Sannita, Naples Italy. She was a great chef who spent her days in the kitchen. Nonna Philomena her daughter was also a great pastry Chef. As in most Italian families, my Nonnas believed that having their family eating around the table was the most important thing in life. Lucia was a beautiful young girl when she left Naples and set sail for America for a better life. She married Pasquale Scuncio when she was 17, lived a short life and died when she was 25 in America during the period of influenza. She left behind 3 young children and Philomena was her daughter. And today, my family recipes are used in some of your classes. Five generations later and we are still gently turning the pages of her worn-out cookbook smelling the sweet flavors of her Italian recipes. Cooking Vacations is dedicated to Nonna Lucia & Philomena.

A Note From Lauren

“In my family everyone is always in the kitchen before lunch or dinner-conversing and toasting with a good glass of wine- while helping to prepare lunch or dinner. In our kitchen, the preparation of cooking is just as important as the meal. The kitchen has and always will be the center of conversation, laughter and fun in our Italian family. This experience that we share is a family experience and Cooking Vacations gives everyone the opportunity to experience great food, wine, music, and the feeling of being Italian. As they say in Italy, ‘it is not healthy to eat alone.’

My great grandfather Pasquale and my Nonna Lucia were my inspiration for Cooking Vacations. My grandfather left Naples, Italy in the early 1900’s and set sail to New York for a better life. He was alone and did not speak English. He landed in America, married Lucia, had three children and lived to be 93 years old. I remember him well, and while I was growing up, he always kept the traditions of Italian food, wine, music and culture alive in our family. I share this experience with you”

– Lauren

Lauren Birmingham Piscitelli

Lauren Birmingham Piscitelli is creator & Managing Director of Cooking Vacations. She is a published writer, photographer and owner of Birmingham Associates Communications~a public relations & marketing agency. Her passion for food and wine inspired her to pursue the idea of creating Cooking Vacations’ adventures to share her Italian culture and food knowledge with you. She is married to Rino Piscitelli and they live in Positano, Italy and Boston.