Postcards from Italy

Testimonials From Clients Around The World

 

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Dear Lauren and everyone at Cooking Vacations,

I want to thank you for one of the most beautiful vacations I have had.  Positano and all the surrounding area is breathtakingly beautiful.  You put together a perfect mix of everything and each person that I met was lovely and warm and made me feel very welcome and very special.  The Hotel and staff were unbelievable.  I loved each one of them and feel like I now have a new family of friends there.  The cooking was fabulous and the food incredible.  Lauren, the time that you and your wonderful husband spent with me was so special. It was a joy getting to know you both, you are such lovely people.  Melody was a sweet as I imagined her to be from her emails.  Thank you for the phone, and the gift and for everything that you did to make my stay in Positano unforgettable.  I will look forward to coming back and seeing the beauty and all the new friends I made there soon.  I am a bit out of sorts from the travel and time change and I know there is more I want to say but I wanted to at least get a quick thank you off to you today.  I will be thinking of you all with love.

From my heart,
Carmel


Positano ~ Cooking Classes On The Amalfi Coast ~8 Days™

Hi Lauren,

We are back home, and Theresa and I wanted to send a note to thank you and your team for all your help in making our trip to Italy so memorable. Every aspect of our time in Italy that you were involved in was perfect. The cooking class with Filomena and Fortunata was outstanding. Chef Raffaele did a wonderful job cooking for us at the villa. And the tastings and tour of the vineyard and winery was a real highlight of the trip. We are anxiously awaiting the great wines we purchased at the winery. The tour guides in Naples and Venice were super. And your restaurant recommendations were excellent. Da Cammillo in Florence was amazing! And thanks so much for your special anniversary surprises-especially the Positano wine decanter.

Hoping we will see you again soon in Positano,

Thanks so much for every thing,

Tony and Theresa
Michigan


Positano ~ Cooking Classes On The Amalfi Coast ~8 Days™

Hello Lauren,

I had sent Gemma a note today, but I did want to tell you how much we enjoyed yesterday’s tour- it sounded extravagant at first, but it became one of the most memorable days we’ve ever had! Pepe and Ray were exceptional hosts and guides! It really was an amazing day! You were so correct about Capri and the restaurant – i think the lobster we ordered was the best we’ve ever eaten! The Caprese Ravioli was so incredibly stellar! Perfecto! The Blue Grotto- positively worth the time to see. The colors can’t be described until you see it in person.

Thanks for everything- it’s like we have an old friend in Italy we can ask for advice!

Gary
San Diego, CA


Limoncello & Lemon Dessert Making~1 Day

Lauren,

I finished the fourth cooking class today. I learned so much! Very different cooking here than in southern Italy. As you know, they use much rosemary, sage, and nutmeg here. When I get home, I am fixing for my friends the stuffed zucchini, gnudi au gratin, uccellini scappati, mushroom risotto, and string beans cooked with olive oil, garlic, parsley, red pepper, oregano, tomato sauce and water. They are going to be so impressed! And everything but the risotto can be fixed in advance before the guests arrive!

We went to the market in San Gimignano yesterday, where I bought two tablecloths to match dining rooms – one for me, and one for my daughter-in-law, and a small metal olive oil pitcher/dispenser. Then we went to the old town where I bought two ceramic dishes – one for me, and one for my daughter-in-law, and a beautiful water color painting from the artist that has a studio there!

Fabrizio is so fun to talk to and is a wealth of knowledge on all subjects that came up – and his vino is superb – all of it!! The villa is fantastic. I have my own private patio with a marble table and two chairs plus two sun chairs and an umbrella. (Rosa) And I can smell all the wonderful aromas coming from the kitchen! Torture! I am several shades darker from sitting out by the pool reading John Grisham books! Everyone else – Germans, Dutch, etc. seemed to be reading them too!

The chefs and staff here have been SO nice, friendly, and helpful. Simonetta is a gem (sings while cooking!) – as are Laura and Julia and Antonella, Sigrun (sp?), and “Penelope Cruz” (forget her name – starts with a “p” – but she looks just like PC) and all of the others who work the pool, clean the room, and work in the kitchen. They all work so hard and clearly enjoy what they are doing.

Thank you so much for the apron, bag, olive oil, and soap! What a FUN vacation.

Ciao, ciao!!

Molly
Arlington, VA

PS – The couple cooking here today from Senegal was VERY impressed!


Cooking In Florence’s Tuscan Hills ~ 8 Day

To Lauren, Gemma, Irma and our superb driver Rino,

What a fabulous week you provided for us in Positano. We had a wonderful time, enjoyed our cooking experience with Chef Raffaele and his delicious food, and the boat trip to Capri and our trip to Amalfi and Ravello…….the wine was outstanding AND our dinner with the two of you was the BEST……thank you, thank you, thank you. You certainly fulfilled our dream of a perfect Italian vacation. We thank you so very much for a week we will never forget!

We enjoyed our time in Rome but it was so crowded and so was Cinque Terra. The four of us, however, had so much fun together and look forward to another trip to Italy in a year or two.
Please thank Rino for getting us where we needed to be at the train station and helping find Jack when he got separated from us. We couldn’t have done as well as we did without his help.
Our invitation still stands if you want to come to Maryland, just let us know. We would love to have you visit. We look forward to hearing from you.

Our best wishes to you all!
Thanks again,
Ann and Larry


Positano ~ Cooking Classes On The Amalfi Coast ~8 Days™

Dear Lauren, Rino, Melody and All,

Just wanted to let you know Stephanie and I thoroughly enjoyed our Cooking Vacation.  Your staff is wonderful.  The cooking instructors were phenomenal.  They not only taught us us but provided lots of hands on experience and made it such an enjoyable experience.  All of the trips to Amalfi, Capri, Ravello and Pompei were great as well.  We learned a lot about the beautiful region you live in.  I will be recommending Cooking Vacations to everyone I know.  I’d definitely do another one in the future.  Thank you all.

Linda
Littleton, MA


Positano ~ Cooking Classes On The Amalfi Coast ~8 Days™

Dear Lauren,

It is hard to put into words how great I thought our trip to Italy was. Being at the villa and having Giovanni drive us to many towns was so perfect in so many ways. We felt totally immersed in the culture of Tuscany. The cooking was fabulous and we came home with lots of recipes and are dying to try out our new cooking skills. Melina and Julia were wonderfully patient with my “cooking skills” or lack thereof. We are able to help Fabrizio’s daughter, Sophia celebrate her 1st birthday and had such fun. Meeting others who stayed at the villa was great fun too and we had many an adventure. Lauren, you were totally right that we should have stayed at least 2 nights in Positano and will certainly do so the next time! It was a simply amazing city. Would love to do the Amalfi coast in more detail and unfortunately we did not get to do the things we wanted in Rome (Vatican, Sistine Chapel, etc.) so we will just have to come back. Italy was more than I ever expected. Friendly, beautiful and such amazing history.Thank you so much for helping us with this once in a lifetime trip. It was more than I had ever imagined. PS I’ll certainly pass along your name to all of my friends considering visiting!

Sincerely,
Judy Luff


The Tuscan Traveler’s Dream ~ 7 Day

Thank you all at Cooking Vacations!

I have just returned and still getting over the jet lag, but the memories will last forever!The Women Only Tour in Venice was an amazing experience, I met such wonderful new friends, learned some great new recipes and enjoyed Venice so much. Thank you for suggesting the Women Only Culinary Tour –it made my summer vacation!

Helene D.
Cambridge MA


Culinary Tours For Women Travelers Venice™ ~ 7 Day

Barbara and I had an incredible time during the Couples Only Culinary Tour. Thank you for helping us put it all together. We loved Sorrento and the food was just great. We are now enrolling in the local gym. Again grazie mille!

The Steins,
Florida


Villa Ortaglia was more than I ever expected. The rolling hills, the castle, Terenzio our gracious host and the cooking! Pici pasta, wine, and those cantucci! We loved every minute of our Cooking Vacations. Again thank you all for the bella experience.

John and Barbara Clarke
Denver Co


Food & Wine In The Land Of Siena ~ 7 Day

Dear Lauren,

I am writing to tell you how much fun I had with Peter and Brigitt in Santa Margarita. As it turned out, I had 3 five hour private sessions. They were great about moving the time frame around for me as I needed to take the train there. The hotel was only down a short hill. And what a wonderful hotel it was: the lobby was done in all manner of white; they have a very large breakfast area and we were able to eat al fresco all 3 nights. The ingredients were bought that morning at the market and we went from there. Every meal was 5 course. They specialize in dishes and ingredients from Liguria and this was very important for me as my daughter lives in Liguria. We prepared each dish, took it outside and ate it washed down with champagne or wine. In this way we could concentrate on one dish at a time and not wait until the entire meal was cooked. I really like this approach.

I highly recommend these two: knowledgeable and personable. They would be a great addition to your Cooking Vacations.

Linda Manning


Cooking With Chef Maria ~ 1 Day

Hello Lauren,

Thanks for all that you did to make our trip what it was. It was more than I expected. The whole experience was really special. I learned so much and had loads of fun with everyone. Thanks again. I definitely would consider doing this again. You are very fortunate to live where you do. Ciao!!!

Cheryl Hays


Positano ~ 1 Day Cooking Classes & Market Tours™

Dear Lauren and Rino,

Thank you for a wonderful time in Positano. We’ve been to Italy several times, but what made this trip so special was the people.

It started with Maria at our accommodation. She was not just a Innkeeper. She was Nonna Maria welcoming us to stay in a room in her home. Luigi at Le Tre Sorelle showed us how to cook in his Grandmothers kitchen. It was obvious that he enjoyed and was proud of his resturant. Been doing nothing but raving about our time in Positano. I passed on your info to several friends. Hope they get the chance to enjoy Italy like we did soon!

Thanks again,
Michael & Larry


Positano ~ Cooking Classes On The Amalfi Coast ~8 Days™

Hi Everyone-
The week in Sicily was wonderful and I would highly recommend “Siracusa and the Sicilian Signora”. From start to finish, everything was perfect.

Despite the fact that our plane was a bit late, the driver was waiting for us as we exited the customs hall. Upon arrival at the property Fiora greeted us at the front door and escorted us to our first room. The room was lovely. We moved the next day to the twin bedded room, which was our room for the remainder of the week. It was directly off reception but we never heard a noise – in fact the entire hotel was quiet and it was fully booked the entire week. Our second room had a great view and the facilities were great – everything was very clean and was cleaned perfectly on a daily basis.

Our guide for the tour of Siracusa was excellent. She was very knowledgeable and very friendly. We had a very enjoyable day with her. In fact, we asked Fiora to try to book her for a day trip to Noto but she was not available. I would highly recommend her (and unfortunately I forget her name).

The time spent with Fiora visiting the market, cooking and visiting the vineyard was extraordinary. She was so giving of her time and in opening her home to the cooking lessons. Everything we made was excellent and the fish dishes that she cooked for us were first rate. I think the best thing about the cooking lessons is that she encouraged us to try to make everything under her watchful eye. And she knew that I was a bit hesitant about my cooking skills so was very encouraging on getting me to assist. While the classes were scheduled for certain periods of time, we always went over and she never hurried us along to finish within the time allotted. The wines she chose to serve with our dinners were excellent. Following our last class, she joined us for dinner in her home. Our other meals were served on the roof terrace which was just perfect. Fiora is very friendly and warm – her delightful personality added to the experience. I am not sure there are words to express what a unique and individualized vacation this was and how much Fiora added to this experience. I wish I was sitting on the roof terrace right now with a glass of wine and one of Fiora’s cannolis. (and the restaurant her sons own serves the best pizza I have eaten since I moved to London 10 years ago!)

I would highly recommend this vacation and your company to anyone. To me it was the perfect mix of activity and down time. I was not sure what to expect and had done little research on your company prior to booking. Everything was perfect and it is probably the best value for money vacation I have taken in years. I will recommend your company to my friends and I will think about booking again in the future. I am looking forward to holding my first dinner party with fresh pasta as the main course!

Thank you for planning such a lovely vacation – it was perfect.

Best Regards,
Jill L


Lauren and Melody,

I just wanted to say THANK YOU for a wonderful time in Positano. Everything was wonderful and so beautiful. Our time at Albergo California with Maria and her family was a treasure, as was our time in the kitchens of Positano.

It was a perfect balance of cooking and touring, and all of the guides you recommended were excellent and certainly enhanced our experience.

I will highly recommend your service to friends and family, and will definitely be back!

Thanks, again, for a much needed perfect vacation!
Wil Neyland


Positano ~ Cooking Classes On The Amalfi Coast ~8 Days™

“Limoncello Class With Great Ladies!”

We were so impressed with this class! We learned how to make Limoncello – and then enjoyed a wonderful dessert made with it. We loved the kitchen and our teachers. Wish we had taken more classes we just didn’t have time. 🙁

Jennifer B.


Positano ~ 1 Day Cooking Classes & Market Tours™

Good morning Lauren,

I don’t even know where to begin!! Lana has nothing bad to say about her trip! She has beautiful pictures and every time she talks to me about her trip, she gets emotional. She had an amazing time. The only downfall is that she got sick and lost out on a day when she only had 4 days to begin with. Maybe I should have considered a longer one, but financially the 4 day tailored one made the most sense. Non the less, Lana tells me that the Wednesday was amazing… I even got to FaceTime her the first night she was there and she was having dinner and it looked incredible. Made me WISHED that I went with her. The views were spectacular and she said that her room was amazing!! I’m jealous….

Lauren….I can’t thank you enough…. You have been EXTREMELY patient and helpful with me and gave me the peace of mind that I have needed that Lana was in good hands before she even left. Irma was great with her while she was there. For the sounds of it, both you and Irma make a wonderful team. I am serious when I say this, but if you can come up with something budget friendly for both Lana and I, please keep us in mind… Why??? I WANT TO BE THERE TOO!!!!! Maybe more than 4 days though…. lol! I also really wished that Lana got to meet you. Its to bad you both didn’t. That’s why both Lana and I need to go back… to meet you and have dinner together! 🤗

Anyway, everything went VERY well, and I thank you tremendously!!!!

Have a great day!!
Milan and Lana


Country Cooking On The Amalfi Coast~5 Day

Thank you Cooking Vacations

My college friend and I traveled to Furore for an 8 day Cooking Vacation to celebrate our retirement, and what a celebration it was!

We read about Cooking Vacations in a National Geographic review. We had high expectations and they were exceeded. The classes and food were amazing, all the excursions were flawlessly planned, and Irma was a gracious, hospitable host.

I cannot recommend this highly enough.

Kathryn


Country Cooking On The Amalfi Coast~8 Day

Dear Lauren and Irma,

Words can not sufficiently express our thanks to you both for a great experience in Southern Italy! We felt so at home and had the opportunity to enjoy truly great food, wine, and cultural experiences, and make great new friends in you both, plus Rino and Rosa.

We arrived home late Wednesday afternoon and I have already told my husband that I learned great Italian food to prepare for him! 🙂

We will forward photos as soon as we can, and are already telling others that they need to have this same experience with you. We hope to come back for a visit.

Warm regards and again our thanks!

Marvell and Vicky
Sunny California


Country Cooking On The Amalfi Coast~8 Day

Lauren,

Thank you for all your help! We had a wonderful experience! Chef Irma and her mother, Rosa, were terrific. They prepared a delicious, memorable meal for us and I am happy to recommend your company on Trip Advisor. I would love a couple of her recipes. Can we get the Stuffed Zucchini Flowers (both kinds) and the fish preparation with the lemon chips and, of course, the torte recipe? Thank you again! We will look forward to receiving your newsletter and articles.

Best Regards,

Patty and Joal

Private Chef & Cooking Classes in your Villa


Dear Lauren,

Just wanted to tell you how wonderful our olive farm tour was. We truly loved our tour guide at Sicilian Olives™ In The Sicilian Olive Grove ~ Farm Tour & Tasting and found it all very interesting !!

Besides being very educational it was also most enjoyable. And the lunch was excellent !!

Thank you again
Ellen


In The Sicilian Olive Grove ~ Farm Tour & Tasting

Hi Lauren,

I had a great time in Caserta touring the Reggia and grounds. I also attended two musical programs in the Capella in the reggia.

I took a cab to Caserta Vecchia yesterday but I couldn’t get across that I wanted to stay a few hours so I could have lunch. He kept saying 30 minutes in Italian. Maybe he was negotiating because he seemed suprised when I came back after 30 minutes quick walk. Oh well. I went back to the reggia and saw some things I didn’t have time for on Saturday.

On to Roma this morning.

Kind regards,
John


Cooking & Trekking Positano ~ 8 Day Program

Dear Lauren and a Gemma,
This has been the perfect holiday. I can’t thank you enough for organising our trip so perfectly, from personalising our requests and being so flexible, to the attention to detail, at each and every stage.

The accommodation has been delightful, as have the tasting tours, painting by the sea and cookery classes, providing us with the perfect balance of culture, shared experiences and private time.

It’s been an absolute joy and It was also a pleasure to meet you too. I look forward to planning a future adventure soon.

Warmest regards,
Mubina
London, England

Capri www.cooking-vacations.com/tour/cooking-classes-schools-capri/
Positano www.cooking-vacations.com/tour/watercolor-painting-cooking-classes/


Watercolor Painting With Pasquale & Hands-On Cooking ~ 8 Day

Dear Lauren and Rino,

Had a great time with the chef and another couple from Toronto… they did one cooking course with you there on their honeymoon

We cooked… pizza
Chocolate lava cake
Potato croquettes
Eggplant bites

Had a beer, some Vino…. it was awesome and I’m full

I can’t thank you both enough for this incredible week I just having one person I appreciate you accommodating me and working around this as it was one of the best trips I’ve ever been on
In addition to this great trip I’ve made new friends….
We’ll talk soon
Steve G
Toronto


Artisan Cooking Positano On The Amalfi Coast ~ 8 Day

The Jewel In The Crown of a Fabulous Vacations

I took two different cooking classes with Cooking Vacations, one in Amalfi and one in Positano, and they were completely wonderful.

Of all the cooking class options I considered for my holiday, Cooking Vacations was the most obvious choice because the website was very helpful and Lauren was so responsive and informative that it left the competition in the dust. the classes themselves were glorious.

The instruction was very hands-on, very informative and really amazing fun. The dishes we cooked where very worthwhile and the recipes come in very handy.

All in all, this was the best!


Positano ~ 1 Day Cooking Classes & Market Tours™

Lauren,

I’m sorry it’s taken so long to respond to this email and to thank you for all that you did to make our week along the Amalfi Coast so special.

Please know how much we appreciated the care you took to address our concerns when we first arrived, the understanding of some of the difficulties with being away from home when there were medical issues going on in our family, and the lovely small touches that you included. We very much enjoyed our cooking classes with you and with Chef Rafael (please let him know how much fun we had with him and our gratitude for all of the substitutions he made because of our food allergies/sensitivities).

Thank you also for the recipes and other information. We haven’t had a chance to try to recreate any of them, yet, but hope to do so as soon as possible.
I hope you are well and enjoying sunny Italy.

Cindy P
Pennsylvania


Positano ~ Cooking Classes On The Amalfi Coast ~8 Days™

Dear Lauren,

Excellent Cooking Class on the Vegan Side of Sicilian Cuisine”

We had an excellent vegan cooking class with market shopping experience in Palermo with our chef. The organization was flawless and we enjoyed both the time we spent in the kitchen and the time we spent at the table. We were able to learn a lot about Italian and Sicilian culinary tradition while also getting a great deal of new info on healthy eating and the use of seasonal vegetables in cooking.

It was also a top-notch experience for our 6 years old daughter, who was able to participate at times but did not need to get bored during the time when she could not do much in the kitchen.


Palermo Sicily Cooking Classes & Shop With The Chef Food Tour~1 Day

Hi Lauren,

I had a great time in Caserta touring the Reggia and grounds. I also attended two musical programs in the Capella in the reggia.

I took a cab to Caserta Vecchia yesterday but I couldn’t get across that I wanted to stay a few hours so I could have lunch. He kept saying 30 minutes in Italian. Maybe he was negotiating because he seemed suprised when I came back after 30 minutes quick walk. Oh well. I went back to the reggia and saw some things I didn’t have time for on Saturday.

On to Roma this morning.

Kind regards,
John


Chef Eugenio’s Dolce Vita ~ 6 Day

My sister and I took the most wonderful trip!

All planned by Lauren and Gemma! No muss, no fuss. Got there to the most wonderful Inn owned and run by 3 lovely woman- Mother and 2 daughters.

Coffee at my door within 5 min of waking with a chance to sit on the patio overlooking the sea! The hikes planned were exquisite, ending at peaks that overlooked the Amalfi Coast and the food? Oh my! Delicious. I would recommend doing the combination trips. You still have time to shop, visit with the townspeople and are always entertained with all that is planned. The only downer was not being able to take the planned trip to Capri due to the rough waters. There are so many moving parts to get all of the tours, cooking classes, etc.. planned, it’s not easy for the short trips to change. It just made me want to go back!

A must do!


Cooking & Trekking Positano ~ 8 Day Program

I finally got to writing the review.

We had a great trip and felt that Barbara took good care of us.

I would also say the food was lovely! Thank you the experience. I believe our review reflects our wonderful experience.

Thank you, it was a truly wonderful vacation! ddd


Cooking & Touring In Florence, Siena, Pisa ~ 3 Day

Dear Lauren,

We wish to thank you for the delightful, perfectly planned, personalized vacation in Puglia.
The Cooking Vacation offered all the amenities we needed for comfort. The staff made us feel welcome and accommodated all our wishes. The restaurant host was charming and the food great. The hotel was beautifully located in the center of old world treasures. Many beautiful pictures.

Our cooking classes were outstanding. Rita and Victoria provided a look into Adriatic Sea fishing. They brought us to the seashore to buy fresh fish just as it was brought off the boats. The Zuppa de pesce from that experience can’t be topped. The cooking classes at Marina’s masseria was also memorable. They made us feel like family.
Once again, thank you for your professional program.

Can’t wait to do it again.

Brenda and Marsha


Letizia’s Kitchen ~ 8 Day

Hi Lauren,

I just wanted to thank you for your reply to my friend Helga on the Lemon Lifestyles cooking class. That was very kind of you. We received our oregano and cooking class recipes from our driver on the 20th, so thank you.

I did want to say as well that our drivers were both wonderful! We loved them both, and they provided amazing service. They were extremely professional, and just exceptionally good. Absolutely wonderful value for the money. We had Joseph to pick us up, and Alfredo to get us to the airport. They were there on time and really went the extra mile to get us to our villa. We loved both of them and I promised them that I would let you know how happy we were with them and the service they provided. No stress and no worry, and they were both charming. Thank you and please thank them both again!

Thanks so much again Lauren for everything, and all the very best!

Kind regards,
Ms. D. Wadsworth


Positano ~ 1 Day Cooking Classes & Market Tours™

Thank you Lauren,

The experience was amazing and unique. Letizia was kind and helpful.

I really enjoyed cooking experiences and restarant at hotel was amazing. I also enjoyed the excursions, my driver Micaela and Katia (tour guide) were wonderful and fun. I also went into town to the weekly market for the locals and got some great bargains for myself and gifts. Once again another great experience in Italy. I am seriously contemplating trying to move to italy, my heart and soul are so there.

Thanks, Tina
PS Thanks for birthday cake was delicious and for all my Cooking Vacation gifts.


Letizia’s Kitchen ~ 8 Day

Thank you!

Chef Barbara was delightful, professional and friendly. Cooking with her and learning from her was a wonderful experience and I will recommend her to anyone. Her instruction and accommodations for the class were excellent. A complete 180 from the class we took in Rome last year!

Thank you very much for allowing met to take the replacement class and to suggest Chef Barbara. Chef also made a little to-go tin with samples of three of them items we made. i took it back to Florence and my friends thought the samples were wonderful.

I would take another class with her or hire her as a personal chef when I return to Florence.

Gratefully,

Ms. A Hatley


1~Day Tuscan Cooking Class & Market Tours

Lauren,

I also wanted to express my thanks and appreciation for all you did for us!! The ceramic fish is in our kitchen and we love it – what a great memory of you and Positano!

Rino (spelling?) is a delight and we thoroughly enjoyed conversing with him on the drive to Naples – he is a gem. And what a treat to meet your mother and how special that you are able to spend Mother’s Day with her this weekend.

I already gave two couples your website to check out and yesterday two more who were interested after hearing about our trip….satisfied customers really do make a big difference.

Thanks again and hugs to Rino and your mom –

Susan


Positano ~ Cooking Classes On The Amalfi Coast ~8 Days™

Thank you so much for making so many arrangements for our groups Cooking Vacations.

Chef Raphael was wonderful and we enjoyed the variety of things we prepared and ate!  The excursions were top notch also, and Roberto and his boat trip to and around Capri were the best.  The shore trip was not the best due only to it being a bank holiday and the crowds were awful.

The aperitif from you at the villa was such a lovely surprise….thank you, thank you.

Home safely, just a hint of jet lag, and feeling empty nest syndrome without all my friends around , but full of gratitude to you.


Positano ~ Culinary Tours For Women Travelers™
Hi Lauren,
 
I just wanted to say what a great time Andy had on his pizza cooking course last week. It was fantastic!
 
Thank you
 
Jenny

One Day Pizza Making Class

Dear Lauren,

I just wanted to say a very big thank you. Today Giovanni picked me up on time from Florence and then he took me on a wonderful tour on the way to the Fabrizio Estate. He took me to San Miniato, to the markets at Galluzzo where I tried and enjoyed lampredetto and we picked up fresh vegetables to take back for cooking. He also showed me Certaldo and some beautiful vistas of the Tuscan Hills.

Then I was warmly greeted by Valentina and she translated as a family of four and I worked under the watchful eyes of Simonetta and Laura. They were wonderful ladies, warm, happy and patient.
Patricia took over from Valentina as translator and we made gnocchi with vegetable sauce, three types of biscotti, rolled turkey breasts with mortadella, cheese, pork lard, tomato and sage, made 2 pies – onion and zucchini, and focaccia and pizza from scratch.

It was then a real pleasure to sit together and eat the food. Fabrizio chatted and poured wine, other guests ate the food we had helped prepare, and the atmosphere was very convivial.

I had wanted an authentic experience and I definitely got one. I will definitely recommend Cooking vacations to my friends and already they are commenting on Facebook!

Thank you also to you and your team for being so helpful and efficient – the whole process was smooth and everything you promised, you delivered.

Kindest regards from a very happy (and well-fed) Aussie

Fiona


The Tuscan Traveler’s Dream ~ 7 Day

“BEYOND AMAZING!”

My girlfriend and I booked a custom made Cooking Vacation and spent 3 weeks in Positano…there are no words to describe the outstanding experience we had! From the great apartment to the cooking classes and side trips we booked, each day was better than the one before. There is nothing Lauren (or Irma or Gemma) won’t do to make sure you are able to do each and every thing you dream up! This was my first time to Italy and I felt like I was visiting family; that’s how comfortable I felt once I arrived since we were so well taken care of. The cooking classes were fun, exciting and informative as were the day trips we took to Capri, Sorrento, Amalfi, etc. I plan to go back, this time for a month to continue this wonderful adventure, and I wouldn’t think of going without COOKING VACATIONS!


Positano ~ Cooking Classes On The Amalfi Coast ~8 Days™

Buon giorno Lauren
We had a wonderful time Antique Tuscan Castles and Vineyards – 6 Day
The people were very friendly and helpful and made our stay most pleasant.
We also had an unexpected bonus of having just the two of us in the class.
Brian and I would give them the highest praise for their hospitality and friendliness.
Molto Grazie!!!!
Chip


Chef Massimo’s Tuscan Cooking Classes~6 Day

Hi Lauren

I am back in New Zealand and finally have enough access to decent internet to tell you about my experience with cooking vacations. I chose to spend my 30th birthday in Amalfi and wanted to do something completely different – i googled cooking classes and your website was the first to come up. It was highly reputable and I later found out why. I just want to thank you so much for accommodating me at such short notice. She picked me up from the meeting point and took me to her voice- her family was there to give me a warm Italian greeting. We started with entrees mains and desert and the entire time I felt i was with my own family cooking and enjoying the experience with people i knew even though I just met them. Their home was beautiful and they treated me like their own. I enjoyed everything i learned on the day and cannot wait to recreate them at home.

Chef Jeuce is amazing and taught me so much- her secret ingredients and her family recipes have been noted and i felt like i had a traditional italian experience. Her family and the cooking class made my experience unforgettable and I’m so grateful to you ! let me know if i can review the experience on your website.

Regards
Joseph R.
New Zealand


Cooking Vacation to Naples, Italy

Cooking Vacations made sure that every detail of our trip was taken care of before we entered into the country. They gave us details of how the trip would flow and since it was our first time traveling internationally, the detailed sheet about tipping and the differences in cultures was very helpful. The staff were very pleasant and helpful. I look forward to planning another with them.

Kia


Naples Cooking Classes With Chef Tina ~ 4 Days

Fantastic Experience

While my traveling friends have enjoyed Cooking Vacations Italy several times this was my first European trip & I was impressed. 5 cooking days in 3 places & all were wonderful experiences. The cooking, lodging, & excursions could not have been better! Thank you Lauren & Rino for your caring & personal attention.

Pat H
North Carolina

 
The Fabrizio Tuscan Estate ~ The Tuscan Traveler’s Dream  ~  https://www.cooking-vacations.com/tour/tuscany-classes-schools-florence-food-tour/
 
Castle Cooking In Shakespeare’s “Fair Verona”  ~ https://www.cooking-vacations.com/tour/castle-cooking-in-shakespeares-fair-verona/

Positano ~ Cooking Classes On The Amalfi Coast ~8 Days™

Bologna It was like cooking with my mother and grandmother. My husband and I felt right at home. It hit the high note.

If you want to have fun in a relaxed atmosphere while cooking a delicious meal, consider booking a date with cooking vacations.

In addition to the recipes, we picked up simple tips for every-day cooking. Then to top it off, we ate a delicious meal.

Highly recommended.


2 Chefs, 2 Kitchens: City To Country Cooking ~ 6 Day

Buongiorno!

I can’t begin to say how great our experience was with Cooking Vacations. I have written a nice review with pictures for Trip Advisor. All I can say was that is was perfetto in every way from beginning to end. I must give special recognition to our tour guide Naima. She was one of a kind. She was enthusiastic, knowledgable, energetic, and a lot of fun. It was like touring a city and country with an old friend. All the people were warm and friendly. The accommodations were magnificent. The villa is a true gem, as is Federica. Our Chefs were also great, and we loved working in their kitchen. We shared a class with four wonderful people from Israel, which gave the whole experience an international flavor. From our pickup at the train station to our early morning ride to the airport, everything was absolutely perfect. Tutto bellissimo!

We will sing your praises far and wide to anyone interested in learning about cooking, food, farming, and the people behind them. You are doing a wonderful thing.

Grazie mille!

Karen and William
Ciao!


2 Chefs, 2 Kitchens: City To Country Cooking ~ 6 Day

Loved Positano Pasta Making Class,

We had the best time during our cooking vacations cooking class! We enjoyed learning and watching the chefs.

It was one of our favorite experiences while we were in Positano! It was very hands on and we have wonderful memories of making pasta! At the end of the class, the chef even insisted on giving us a ride into town so we didn’t have to take the bus. They really went above and beyond to make our class truly memorable and fun.

The whole process was really seamless and everyone was so great to work with.


Positano ~ 1 Day Cooking Classes & Market Tours™

Dear dear dear Lauren,

I had the BEST day in Amalfi and Ravello and thank you so much for the smooth orchestration of the delightful day!
I must say, I am completely pooped by my day long immersion into the food and wine in these great towns. I so wanted to have a parting drink before I go, but I fear that I cannot make it. I have to leave domain at 5 AM and had better face the reality and prepare accordingly.
I miss you already, Lauren! I will be in touch when I get back to more thoroughly thank you again for how wonderful and generous you have been to me this past week.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Laurel R
Delaware


Writing & Cooking Boot Camp with Germaine Stafford & Lauren Birmingham Piscitelli~7 Day

Ciao Cooking Vacations Positano!

8-day trip to Positano Italy including 3 hands-on cooking lessons with local chefs, with beach time and excursions to nearby sights included. Really enjoyed the B&B I stayed at. The staff were friendly, kind, generous, treated me like family.

The rooms were very clean. Balconies were huge with amazing views. Cooking classes were fast-paced and fun. They give you wine and espresso to your liking while you cook.

The program staff made the trip fantastic, took care of all the transportation and anything you needed. The beaches in Positano are for the most part rocky.

I would recommend this trip to singles or couples, possibly kids too depending on whether or not they are interested in doing kitchen work.

Amanda
Chicago IL


Positano ~ Cooking Classes On The Amalfi Coast ~8 Days™

Hi Lauren

I had a great time in Positano, the cooking classes were really good. I came home and cooked up a feast for the kids they loved it. The excursions were also much appreciated, they were very good particularly with the extra tips with where to eat etc.

I have had a few of my friends that want to come with me October 2017 when Im planning to do another visit. I would love your recomendation about which one would be the best to do next. Im thinking for a 2 week trip.

Thankyou too for the oil and the oregano in my goodbye pack, unfortunately I had it confiscated at customs 🙁 .

Thank you so much again.

Lisa W
Australia


Artisan Cooking Positano On The Amalfi Coast ~ 8 Day

Cooking Vacations ~ Unforgettable Excursion

This trip far exceeded our expectations. My mom and I wanted to do a cooking class for some time and visit southern Italy. From the charming hotel accommodations to the highly accomplished we got to both learn from & observe in his private restaurant- we were blown away. The trip felt so customised. We didn’t know what to expect and hesitant to get stuck with strangers, as we tend to like to do our own thing. They arranged for the perfect balance of cooking, exposure to Amalfi Coast culture, & comfortable arrangements!

Jen


Positano ~ Cooking Classes On The Amalfi Coast ~8 Days™

Dear Lauren & Gemma —
Maria, Linda & I just arrived in Rome — we leave for D.C. tomorrow.

I thought you might appreciate a brief “after report ” on our Ischia cooking interlude.
Chef Pasquale & his entire staff were fabulous! I can’t imagine what they could have done to give us a better experience.
The hotel’s assistant manager, Malio, accompanied us to both lessons & acted as interpreter — he too was fantastic & a delight.

We had two cooking lessons and were excellent — & we loved everything we cooked.
I had cooked with your program many years ago in Positano & think that program was for a week so, compared to Ischia, was much more intense. But for something shorter, this was just fine.

The hotel was lovely & everyone was welcoming & helpful.

Many thanks, Karen


Hands On Cooking Ischia With Executive Chef Pasquale~3 Day

Positano – Bologna – Villa O
A great trip!

Thank you Cooking Vacations,

My mom and I planned our entire two week trip to Italy with Cooking Vacations. It was a once in a lifetime experience! We started in Positano, then went to Bologna, and ended in Tuscany. Cooking Vacations made the travel between places easy. The cooking classes in Positano and Tuscany were great. We really felt like we cooked and tasted foods that were native to each region. Learning the differences in cooking styles and foods in these areas was exactly what we were looking for.

The chefs and hosts at our different locations were all friendly and helpful and truly had a passion for Italy and Italian food and wine. Cooking Vacations even tailored the cooking classes to what we wanted to cook. I don’t think I would change a thing! This truly was an amazing vacation. I highly recommend planning your travel with Cooking Vacations if you are interested in cooking and learning about Italian food, wine, and traditions!

Alex and Mrs. Martella
Canada

Positano, https://www.cooking-vacations.com/tour/positano-cooking-classes-amalfi-coast/

Bologna, https://www.cooking-vacations.com/tour/bologna-cooking-classes-parmesan-balsamic-vinegar/

Villa O, https://www.cooking-vacations.com/tour/food-wine-cooking-classes-in-the-land-of-siena-7-day/


This was an experience of a lifetime! However, at our first chance we will return and take another Italian cooking class. The homemade pesto and pasta were a highlight and something we will cook at our next family gathering. Just the entire experience was delightful and so welcoming. It does not matter your cooking level or even your experience, this hands on class is for everyone. Very friendly staff and very informative. Book this in advance and be ready for some fun!

August 2016
Rob and Roberta
Canada


This is a great way to vacation – with others or on your own!

I wanted a vacation that celebrated my milestone birthday, one that I could do by myself as I wanted to be free to do as I pleased. Cooking Vacations was the exact right company to use, having read rave reviews from other single travelers. I went in July, to Positano for the Secret Gardens program. Yes, it was crazy busy there, but not in a bad way. The town was full of life!

CV was great to work with from start to finish – with Lauren and Gemma always accessible to answer questions, give recommendations and guidance. They really care that you have a terrific time. And unlike some other companies, they don’t mind if you’re traveling solo and you really can pretty much plan your vacation at any time; there are no set dates as other companies have.

I was picked up right on time and took a beautiful ride to Positano. I immediately felt comfortable and excited as I looked through the recipe book, some of which I would be making in classes. The residence I chose was on the lower cost side, which I might rethink next time. But it was very well run by a woman and her two daughters – who could not have been nicer or more helpful. The view from my room was beautiful.

The Chef’s dinner the first night was exceptional. Such fresh, amazing dishes and a great start to my trip, which included a wonderful boat ride to Capri and a hike to the center of the town; a visit to Pompeii and an extra side trip to lovely Sorrento, where I purchased incredible table linens for a great price as well as amazing olive oils; I was also taken to Amalfi and Ravello, both enjoyable, but I lean towards beautiful Positano. On the way back, Lauren’s husband, Reno hooked me up with some wonderful ceramics – a must from Positano.

The classes were terrific – such great things learned and some amazing food to be enjoyed. Be sure to bring your appetite!

The entire trip was as smooth as silk and so much fun; I could not have been happier with the way things turned out. You can absolutely trust CV in every way, which is why I will use them again!

Some tips to keep in mind:
– Bring some Euros w/you. Most restaurants take cards, but tipping is always in cash.
– Dramamine if you’re set up for a boat ride. This product is awesome if you tend to get seasick.
– Don’t expect a lot of salads or fruits. It’s just one of those things in this area.
– SHOP! (and charge it because the exchange rate is better). The area is known for beautiful linens, ceramics, anything/everything lemon, and oil. Some great finds during my stay: Sud Capri Gallery in Capri (great hammered gold bangles, rings, etc. Good pricing, fine quality; In Positano: Idee D’arte (the smaller shop) – amazing handcrafted sterling silver jewelry for every taste (and cheaper than the US); tons of linen shops – I happened to like Pepito’s for quality and price; in Sorrento: The Corner shop for olive oils and salt! For linens: A.Gargiulo & Jannuzzi. And they will haggle a little; A must also is La Secchia Antica Aceto – THE BEST BALSAMIC vinegar ever; and two places where I purchased high-quality leather purses/handbags for amazing prices: one was Carro and the other had the initials CF – one was on the outer rim and one was in the main area of shopping.
– TAXES: trip and negotiate that up front on the price vs at the airport. At the very least try and do only Global blue forms. At the airport it’s a big deal to get someone at the office (I had to have the info desk track them down). For Global Blue, I got my refund right away, the other – I’m still waiting.
– pack light if you’re a shopper! I was 8 lbs over!
– Take notes in cooking class and lots of pictures as you may not remember and they do things differently there.
– Relax and enjoy – it’s so wonderful!

Diane B
New York


Positano ~ Cooking Classes On The Amalfi Coast ~8 Days™

Grazie Cooking Vacations!

I was taking my 13 yr. old granddaughter to celebrate a special birthday.

Through Cooking Vacations we spent a terrific week in Tuscany having hands-on cooking classes along with another family with teens.

Cooking Vacations looked after everything from airport transfers to trips to local markets and to Florence. We stayed at a wonderful spot in the countryside where we met great people from all over the world. We dined together as a group every night, enjoying the fruits of our labours and tastings of the great wine produced on the premises. We were like a large group of friends and it always felt like a party.

With Florence and other beautiful hill towns close by, it made for a perfect holiday.


Kids & Family Cooking School Tuscany ~ 8 Day

Hi Lauren;

I’m telling everyone at home what a great holiday we had. I didn’t know what to expect when we arrived in Tuscany but Fabrizio’s place couldn’t have been better. It worked perfectly for my granddaughter and myself. We really did meet some lovely people from all over and because we ate together each night we really got to be friends!

I also enjoyed the Prosecco you sent — thank you. Thanks also for the offer of herbs

Isabella and I are planning to make a dinner for our family using some of the recipes and expertise we brought home with us and a bottle of wine from the Estate.

Best regards,
Anita S
Canada


The Tuscan Traveler’s Dream ~ 7 Day

What we anticipated was a storefront with a commercialized kitchen for a group of travelers.

What we got was a personalized 1-on-1 Chef experience whom opened their home and showed us how to purchase fresh produce in the markets and then we prepare some fabulous dishes. It was a very personal gathering, so much fun and it was the highlight of our month-long trip in Europe.

We thoroughly enjoyed this experience and will use Cooking Vacations again. We highly recommend them if you want to have a great time and learn to prepare some awesome food!

Dennis & Karen Mansfield
USA


1~Day Tuscan Cooking Class & Market Tours

Dear Cooking Vacations

Well, our wonderful 1-month trip to Europe has ended. Karin and I returned home late last night. One of the most wonderful highlights of our trip was the 1-day Market Tour and Cooking Class with Chef Barbara on July 5th. What we were anticipating was a “very commercialized and Non-personal” storefront with a commercial kitchen in back to hold the class, …To our surprise this was a very 1-on-1 personalized experience. We met Barbara at her residence and she took us to the open market and showed us how to purchase fresh produce and meat for a meal, and then we went back to her residence for the cooking experience of a lifetime. Her garden is amazing and the foods prepared that day will never be forgotten. My wife was amazed at how much I participated and enjoyed myself with this experience…Chef Barbara is a very wonderful host and I can guarantee you when we return to Tuscany, we will contact you for another experience with her. We Highly recommend this experience! Please give Chef Barbara our THANKS!

Dennis & Karin
Oregon


1~Day Tuscan Cooking Class & Market Tours

“Phenomenal! Exciting! Life-changing!”
5 of 5 stars

Cooking Vacations is really a wonderful way to experience the real Italy: the language, the love of food and family, and the pride that chefs take in their work. I could not recommend Cooking Vacations more enthusiastically!


Positano ~ Cooking Classes On The Amalfi Coast ~8 Days™

This is my 2nd cooking vacation through Cooking-Vacations.com. Also did the 6-day class in Bologna and the countryside a couple of years ago.

The course in Siracusa was another phenomenal experience – the chef, market (variety of stalls, info, people, etc.), people in my class and the dishes we made (there were 6 including contorno and dolci). There were 5 of us plus the chef in the class and we all had a wonderful experience making food, learning about it, eating it! and drinking the vino.

Highly recommended. I would even do this same course again when visiting Siracusa in the future.

Lauren and her team at Cooking-Vacations did a wonderful job again at making all of the arrangements for me.
Once again, the course was precisely as advertised!


Market Tour & Cooking With Chef Fiora Angela ~ 1 Day

Yes Sara and I had such a fun time at the cooking class. All of the arrangements we made through Lauren were wonderful!
Thank you.
Best regards,
Patti H
Austin, TX


Chef Salvatore’s Family Kitchen~5 Day

Dear Lauren, Rino, Gemma, Irma and Angela,

I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I found it was just the right amount of cooking and ceramic making to free time. I will certainly leave a recommendation on Trip Advisor.

Thank you so much for everything.

Regards
Mai
Trinidad


Artisan Cooking Positano On The Amalfi Coast ~ 8 Day

Ciao Lauren
Please pass onto Chef Rafaelle that little Luke is cooking supper again. As he is chopping vegetables Luke said “I can chop so much better now that Rafaelle has shown me how.”

There’s not much better a testimony than that!

Linda Gerlach


Positano ~ Cooking Classes On The Amalfi Coast ~8 Days™

Just wanted to tell you that what AN AMAZING EXPERIENCE WE HAD WITH COOKING VACATIONS AND CHEF SALVADOR on Capri. THIS WAS A FANTASTIC EXPERIENCE. CHEF SALVATORE WAS PATIENT, A GREAT TEACHER AND FUN TO BE WITH. WE ARE RECOMMENDING THIS TO ANY ONE AND WOULD HAPPY TO BE A REFERENCE IF SOMEONE WANTED TO TALK ABOUT. WORTH EVERY PENNY WE SPENT ON IT.

THANX SO MUCH

GINO


Chef Salvatore’s Family Kitchen~5 Day

My brother and I went for the full week of the Coastal Living program in Positano in May this year. The staff were wonderful in assisting us during our preparation for the trip after some last minute internal family problems resulted in my brother (not my mother for whom the trip was intended) accompanying me.

We arrived on a Saturday, having no trouble meeting up with our driver in the Naples train station. We spent a wonderful, relaxing week in Positano. The 3 cooking classes were a lot of fun. For a couple of guys on a cooking trip, we had a blast joking with the chef and still learning some great tricks and recipes. And the meals were excellently prepared (if i do say so myself).

The trip itself had many events scheduled. However, we ended up with a lot of unplanned time, including the day going to Amalfi and Ravello (i think guided tours were available but we opted to have free time in the towns instead). We had transportation but the time in the towns was on our own. For us, it was ideal. Positano is small, so it’s easy to see all of it quickly. This allows for relaxation and never feeling like you are missing something. Some people may prefer a more packed itinerary. Just know you will have time to yourself, so you can plan ahead if you want more adventures. Or just relax in a beautiful villa, stroll the streets and steps of Positano, and find some off the beaten path restaurant.

Everything ran smoothly and the Cooking-Vacations representatives in Positano were always around to help! Also, we LOVED the villa where we stayed. The staff was great.

I would definitely recommend the Coastal Living


Luxury Villa Cooking Classes ~ 8 Days

Positano Pizza Fun
My daughter and I had the best experience in Positano, Italy attending the pizza cooking school class. We were part of a small (3 other people) class and it was hands on for every course. This was our first experience with a cooking vacation and both of us agree that it won’t be the last. Great food, great instructions and a really fun experience.

Thank you Cooking Vacations Positano!!!
Cheryl & Erin W


Positano ~ 1 Day Cooking Classes & Market Tours™

Delicious customized meal for a special occasion!

The group came to our rented villa and cooked a delicious multi course meal with wine pairings. The food was fantastic and they made the entire dinner into a restaurant like experience with interactive presentations, tastings and more! They were extremely accommodating and customized the meal to our dietary needs.

They also came to our house beforehand to plan for everything they needed to bring and we’re extremely prepared and professional. Definitely a highlight of our trip and would recommend them to anyone looking for a private chef experience!

Ashim


Luxury Villa Cooking Classes ~ 8 Days

To Lauren and the many others of the Cooking Vacations- Positano,

Betsy was so very eloquent in sharing our experiences and gratitude for your exceptional hospitality. I will just embellish a few areas focusing upon the individualization of our schedules and the personal attention by you, Gemma, and Raffaele. Given, our crazy schedules, we appreciated the welcoming dinner, the amazing cooking classes intermingled with tours of Capri and Amalfi/Ravello, and , of course, the opportunity to relax and enjoy the ambience of Positano and our hotel. Everyone was so very helpful and friendly. I can’t imagine driving to Positano–So, special thanks for Rino and his special driving skills, as well as the other drivers who moved us to and from Naples. The manager and staff at our hotel, who were particularly gracious and helpful throughout our stay, and we did so value the tour guide, Angela, for Amalfi and Ravello…that was a special treat.

As expected, the cooking classes were amazing. We each gained new understandings of skills, foods, and the operations of a working kitchen at a restaurant… what a special treat! All of the restaurant staff were exceptional in their interactions, care for us, and also for helping us experience and learn new information about Italian food and wine. Only wish I could have taken back several bottles of that special wine! And, of course, Raffaele was equally thoughtful and challenging (a times) as we experienced a new way of approach cooking in the metric system, with weighing scales, and with a clear sense of specific skills.

As we were leaving in the dead of night, it was a surprise at 4:00 am to receive a parting gift sack… what a special reminder that you do care about each of your clients and their experiences with your program. I do appreciate your offer to send additional spices from the region (now I only wish it could be the wine and a new fave – Aperol Spritz.

I have already recommended your program to two of my friends… and they were both envious of the opportunities to experience a less intense (not a full day long or several day long cooking experiences). They liked to idea of shorter segments spread across the week. And they so loved seeing the beautiful scenery of Positano.

I will gladly post my comments on Trip Advisor…and thanks for your many efforts in making our vacation a very special one!

Have a great summer.

Carol


Artisan Cooking Positano On The Amalfi Coast ~ 8 Day

Lauren,

Thanks for the nice parting gifts. We made it back to NC without trouble except that somehow Carol’s bag didn’t make the flight from Naples but made it a day or so later.

I want to thank you for a wonderful experience in Positano. I loved the town, our hotel was convenient and our room spacious with a great view. The trips to Capri and to Amalfi and Ravello were a nice opportunity to see more of the region. I found the tasting tour in Amalfi a nice surprise. Angela was expert and made the experience interesting and informative.

Both of us were very pleased with the cooking experiences. Our Chef and the staff seemed like old friends after our five visits. Although I had expected a larger shared class, the opportunity to work in a smaller, more personalized way was a much better experience. Chef’s suggestions taught me many things that I will practice in my own kitchen.

Carol will, I’m sure, send you her thoughts separately. Thanks again for a great experience. Please vie our best to Rino and Gemma.

Betsy


Artisan Cooking Positano On The Amalfi Coast ~ 8 Day

Lauren, Rino, Gemma, Irma, and Angela,

We had a wonderful time with you in Positano. It could not have been better. Thank you for making our trip a fabulous one!

Arlo and Richard
Oregon


Positano ~ Cooking Classes On The Amalfi Coast ~8 Days™

Thanks for a Wonderful Trip!!
Lauren,

Just back from Amsterdam and visiting my husband’s family. Thank goodness I ate so well in Italy….outside of cheese and chocolate, Dutch food leaves a lot to be desired!! 🙂
I wanted to thank you for making my cooking vacation such a special experience. I truly had a wonderful time, and I especially enjoyed our dinner at da Vincenza. Outstanding food, but the company is what made that dinner truly special! I can’t wait to read your book, please do let me know as soon as it’s available and where I can get it!!

If you ever find yourself in Denver, please let me know…I’d love to have you join me & my husband for dinner. In the meantime, I’m actively envisioning a future cooking vacation trip with girlfriends, somewhere in Italy or maybe in Greece just as soon as you start offering one there!! 🙂

All my best,
Julie C
Colorado


Grazie Cooking Vacations
Cooking Class in Cinque Terre

My husband and I took a half day cooking class and it was fantastic. We were picked up and taken to the restaurant where we learned and prepared 4 recipes. We were asked ahead if we had a preference on what we learned so we prepared swordfish two different ways, made pesto and a dessert. The staff was friendly, helpful and fun!

Ms. Mollett
Reno, Nevada

One Day Cooking Classes In Monterosso, Riomaggiore & Levanto ~ 1-Day Cooking Classes

Dear Cooking Vacations,

We had a fantastic morning and early afternoon learning about the history of Italian pizza and the various preparation styles for making pizza. Who would have thought there was so much cultural nuance behind the flat dough morsels.

As for our motivation behind taking the class – we wanted a class that focused on the needs of our 6 year old daughter and allowed her to gain a greater appreciation of Italy cooking. I know – a bit of a bold undertaking; but, I am here to witness – she loved the class. Our chef was awesome and the restaurant, truly off the beaten track, was the perfect place (in the words of our little girl – “we made pizza in Ariel’s grotto;” because the restaurant has an undersea/nautical theme).

The whole experience was just great – from the courteous and practical correspondence and prep we received from Ms. Lauren at Cooking Vacations to the genuine care and compassion the chef brought to teaching us to make a fantastic pizza. It was a wonderful way to spend time in Rome with our daughter. I highly recommend Cooking Vacations for families looking to have an adventure – and learn practical cooking skills at the same time.

Dr. Wayne Centrone


Rome Cooking & Touring For Kids ~ 6 Day

Dear Cooking Vacations!
Taylor and I just wanted to tell you both how much we enjoyed Lucia and all of the cooking skills she taught us.

The atmosphere was authentic (as is the village that she lives in) and the recipes were exactly what we had hoped for.
We hope to come back again soon to continue our food journey in Italy.

Regards
Mr. and Mrs. Buettin
U.S.A


Sorrento Country Cooking Classes ~ 1 Day

“Dream come true Cooking Vacation!”

Cooking Vacations had been on my dream vacation bucket list for at least 6 years….I originally read an article about Cooking Vacations in one of my cooking magazines, and immediately knew i wanted to attend. I inquired, got on the newsletter mailing list, and started asking friends and family if they wanted to join me. Too many years later, after waiting on others to say they wanted to go with me… I decided : I am just going to do this- ALONE! And i am SO GLAD I DID!

Everything lived up to years of anticipation……

I signed up for ‘Country Cooking with Irma’ and from the first email inquiry, to my arrival back home a few days ago, Lauren, Gemma and Irma, were nothing short of incredibly attentive, and immediately responsive to each and every question, concern, and email i sent. The information i was provided about my travel and the program was extensive and timely, and the attention i received made me feel as though i was the one and only client.. (although i know that is not the case)

Cooking Vacations takes all the worry out of travelling in a country you don’t know your way around. Pre Arranged transportation from airport to hotel, etc was not only on time, but early, each and every time. The drivers i had were polite, informative and happy to tell me about the sites we were passing, stopping to allow for photos.

Accommodations were spectacular… Completely comfortable, providing everything any normal person should need, PLUS SPECTACULAR VIEWS!

Arriving at Chef Irma’s B&B, in Furore, I was welcomed by the very lovely and gracious Irma herself, who went above and beyond to ensure i was comfortable and happy throughout my stay.

I feel that Cooking Vacations has partnered with the most professional, reliable, and friendly local business partners in their areas , to provide guests with a truly unique and local experience.

Our first day included a local village market tour of a cheese making business, bakery, salami and liqueur businesses. It was so special to get a taste of ” if i lived here, this is where i would go to get….” And every business we visited, treated us as if we were locals, so friendly and welcoming.

One of the highlights of the whole trip was the pizza making class at one of the local village Pizzerias. Nando, the Pizzaiolo, was so obviously passionate about pizza making, He took extra care and time to teach us his art, and artist he is! Our pizza lunch was amazing and so much fun. (now i just need to convince my hubby to build a wood fire pizza oven at home)

Cooking classes with Chef Irma, and her cute Mamma Rosa, was indeed like cooking with family.
Irma was flexible and accommodating to our little group’s likes and dislikes, needs and desires. She spent as much time, plus more! as we needed, and tailored the menus to what we wanted to try.
Every single ingredient was LOCAL, FRESH, HOME GROWN, or Made from scratch. Truly the way we all should cook everyday.

Cooking Vacations has developed a perfect mix of organized scheduled tours and or cooking classes and free time. Included in my itinerary, was a winery tour and tasting lunch that was out of this world! The winery tour was way more interesting than any tour i have done in Napa, and i was able to hike through the vineyards during my stay! Hiking being a necessity to offset all of the delicious food intake 😉

My week on the Amalfi Coast was a dream come true, and Cooking Vacations made it so….Irma, Lauren and Gemma were the force behind the success, and I hope to make Cooking Vacations a re- a curing dream in my life! So many other places to cook in!
Grazie Mille!

Meg
Utah


Country Cooking On The Amalfi Coast~8 Day

“Dream come true Cooking Vacation!”

Cooking Vacations had been on my dream vacation bucket list for at least 6 years….I originally read an article about Cooking Vacations in one of my cooking magazines, and immediately knew i wanted to attend. I inquired, got on the newsletter mailing list, and started asking friends and family if they wanted to join me. Too many years later ,after waiting on others to say they wanted to go with me… I decided : I am just going to do this- ALONE! And i am SO GLAD I DID!

Everything lived up to years of anticipation……

I signed up for ‘Country Cooking with Irma’ and from the first email inquiry, to my arrival back home a few days ago, Lauren, Gemma and Irma, were nothing short of incredibly attentive, and immediately responsive to each and every question, concern, and email i sent. The information i was provided about my travel and the program was extensive and timely, and the attention i received made me feel as though i was the one and only client.. (although i know that is not the case)

Cooking Vacations takes all the worry out of travelling in a country you don’t know your way around. Pre Arranged transportation from airport to hotel, etc was not only on time, but early, each and every time. The drivers i had were polite, informative and happy to tell me about the sites we were passing, stopping to allow for photos.

Accommodations were spectacular… Completely comfortable, providing everything any normal person should need, PLUS SPECTACULAR VIEWS!

Arriving at Chef Irma’s B&B, in Furore, I was welcomed by the very lovely and gracious Irma herself, who went above and beyond to ensure i was comfortable and happy throughout my stay.

I feel that Cooking Vacations has partnered with the most professional, reliable, and friendly local business partners in their areas , to provide guests with a truly unique and local experience.

Our first day included a local village market tour of a cheese making business, bakery, salami and liqueur businesses. It was so special to get a taste of ” if i lived here, this is where i would go to get….” And every business we visited, treated us as if we were locals, so friendly and welcoming.

One of the highlights of the whole trip was the pizza making class at one of the local village Pizzerias. Nando, the Pizzaiolo, was so obviously passionate about pizza making, He took extra care and time to teach us his art, and artist he is! Our pizza lunch was amazing and so much fun. (now i just need to convince my hubby to build a wood fire pizza oven at home)

Cooking classes with Chef Irma, and her cute Mamma Rosa, was indeed like cooking with family.
Irma was flexible and accommodating to our little group’s likes and dislikes, needs and desires. She spent as much time, plus more! as we needed, and tailored the menus to what we wanted to try.
Every single ingredient was LOCAL, FRESH, HOME GROWN, or Made from scratch. Truly the way we all should cook everyday.

Cooking Vacations has developed a perfect mix of organized scheduled tours and or cooking classes and free time. Included in my itinerary, was a winery tour and tasting lunch that was out of this world! The winery tour was way more interesting than any tour i have done in Napa, and i was able to hike through the vineyards during my stay! Hiking being a necessity to offset all of the delicious food intake 😉

My week on the Amalfi Coast was a dream come true, and Cooking Vacations made it so….Irma, Lauren and Gemma were the force behind the success, and I hope to make Cooking Vacations a re- a curing dream in my life! So many other places to cook in!
Grazie Mille!

Meg
Utah


Positano ~ Cooking Classes On The Amalfi Coast ~8 Days™

Dear Lauren and Rino,

Both of us would like to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for a most memorable Amalfi Coast vacation.

Everything was just perfect, and everyone was so warm and friendly. From the moment we were picked up at Naples Airport to the moment we were dropped off at Naples Airport a week later, we had the best time.

Our accommodations in Positano were first class…very spacious with breath-taking views of The Mediterranean, and everyone at the front desk was very helpful.

The cooking classes were a lot of fun…a lot of learning with just the right amount of humor sprinkled in. Raphael was an enjoyable teacher. And, it was such a treat getting to eat the delicious meals that we helped prepare. We also appreciated your
coming to our first class, which made us feel so at home. And the very special tasting dinner our first night was a wonderful touch.

Our excursions were all terrific, from seeing the ruins in Pompeii to the mountain top views in Ana Capri, to the charming town of Amalfi and the indescribable beauty of Ravello. Rino added a lot to those excursions, pointing
out many interesting sights along the way.

We now realize that having Laurel and Pietro with us on all the excursions was not an accident. We know you made that happen, and that made those excursions even better. Both are very charming, intelligent, talented and friendly.
It was great to get to know them, plus, in Pietro, we had an excellent built-in guide for all of our excursions.

We had just the right amount of time on our own, so we could go to the beach, do some exploring and get in some shopping.

The finishing touch on our final night was over the top and something we will never forget. For you and Rino to open your beautiful home to us and prepare an incredibly delicious dinner for us was beyond our wildest expectations.
The meal (no surprise knowing your talents) you cooked for us was perfect in every way. The only thing that rivaled it was the sincere warmth and graciousness that both you and Rino showed to us.

So, thanks again, and please know it would be an honor for us to recommend this extraordinary vacation to all who are interested.

Sincerely,
Lorraine and Harvey


Positano ~ Cooking Classes On The Amalfi Coast ~8 Days™

Dear Lauren, Rino, Gemma, Irma and Angela,

I have just tried to leave a review on Trip Advisor but seemed to have problems submitting it. I will try again, but I wanted to let you know that I had an amazing time on my Tuscan Traveller’s Cookbook tour in October. Luciana was absolutely wonderful- so knowledgeable and passionate about Tuscan cooking. The market visit was a real highlight. In addition the Villa was simply gorgeous and was the perfect beautiful setting to learn some delicious Italian cooking!

Thank you for providing such a wonderful and unforgettable experience- it was really fantastic! If you have a recipe for the delicious almond cantucci I had with Vin Santo I would love to have it to make some for my family for Xmas.

Many thanks
Karen M


The Tuscan Traveler’s Cookbook™ ~ 7 Days

Dearest Lauren,
I cannot begin to thank you for this glorious week and for the ultimo cena, dinner, last night! My favorite part of it all was when you said that “now we are friends” and I cherish that sentiment and believe that this is the biggest gift of all!
To friendship! Salute!

I shall write again when I touch home base.. And shall be more formal about my thanks… But what could I possibly do to express how grateful I am to you????
I shall ponder….

So…. I sleep now and await a driver at 4 am? Too good to be true…but it seems de rigour for the week. I shall park myself outside in front of the nativity scene…

Thank you Lauren!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Writing & Cooking Boot Camp with Germaine Stafford & Lauren Birmingham Piscitelli~7 Day

“The most fun ever!”
5 of 5 stars

We spent 3 weeks in Europe and we agree the most fun part of the trip was The Cooking Vacation in Positano Italy! It was October in Italy and the crowds were gone and the weather outstanding. The Cooking vacation included a lovely hotel over looking the mediterranium, a day trip to Capri, and a day trip to Almalfi and Ravelo! The cooking part was taught by a excellent chef and we got to eat what we prepared! YUM!
Do bring your camera and walking shoes as you don’t want to miss having the memories when you get home! The vacation was such a nice mix of cooking, sight seeing, and free time to go out on your own!

The Shoos Family
Boston, MA


Artisan Cooking Positano On The Amalfi Coast ~ 8 Day

Dear Lauren,

Thank you again for another lovely trip!!! Everything was Wonderful, and your people in Conversano are outstanding!!!

From Rita, who was so warm and welcoming, and very enthusiastic about cooking, to Angela at the hotel, who was charming and friendly any time that we needed anything throughout our stay, to our wonderful guide, Katia. Really, I can’t say enough.

Once again, top notch.

Kind Regards,

Joan


Letizia’s Kitchen ~ 8 Day

Good morning Lauren and Rino,
We’re finally back home and trying to get over the jet lag!

Thank you sooooo much for the beautiful plate! How very nice and thoughtful of you and a wonderful rememberance of our fabulous time in Positano!
I have to admit it was something I wasn’t excited about doing and it ended up being the highlight of our three week trip! I’ve been raving about The Cooking Vacation to anyone who will listen!
Looking forward to seeing you both in November. Thanks so much for bringing the rings back from Italy for Warren. As I mentioned they have sentimental value and he never takes them off…..except for surgery and Cooking school! 🙂

Let’s plan on dinner in the North End when you come back to the states!
love and peace,
Gail & Warren


Positano ~ Cooking Classes On The Amalfi Coast ~8 Days™

Dear Lauren,

On behalf of Joe, Robert and Silvana, we had the most wonderful time with Cooking Vacations in Montepulicano. Terenzio and Mara were the most gracious and generous hosts! We became one big happy family!!

I would highly recommend your program and I have sent your link to many of my friends interested the visiting Italy through cooking vacations!

Please send me the recipe of how to make “Pici”. It was not in the recipe booklet and I was so distracted taking pictures and learning to roll the dough that I forgot to write it down!

We had such a laugh competing to see who could roll the longest Pici.

I will be pleased to leave a note on Trip Advisor…it is the very least I can do!!

Thanks again Lauren and I hope to visit you again in the near future!
Enza
Toronto, ON


Food & Wine In The Land Of Siena ~ 7 Day

Hi Lauren!

We LOVED our stay in Positano and have raved about it to all our (jealous) friends who lived vicariously through our photos on Facebook 🙂 I just left a review on Trip Advisor and am sharing with you a couple of our favorite cooking pictures from our week (as well as my absolute favorite of Jo relaxing after class!).

We have invited three of our closest couple friends over for dinner Saturday night to show off our new cooking skills with Marinated Salmon with Citrus Fruit, Gnocchi Al Limone, Torta Caprese, and an assortment of Limoncello we purchased in Ravello. Can’t wait for them to enjoy a little taste of our fabulous trip!

Jo & Di


Positano ~ Cooking Classes On The Amalfi Coast ~8 Days™

Learn Chocolate Culinary Secrets in Glorious Italy

Cooking Vacations, a Boston-based travel company that arranges specialty cooking classes in picturesque Italian locations, has created a workshop for chocolate lovers.

The Cooking Chocolate program takes participants through three hands-on classes focusing on chocolate desserts. Classes and accommodations are at the Villa Azzura in the seaside town of Positano. The classes are led by Maria Rosa Scuncio and Executive Chef Tonina, who learned the secrets of Italian cooking from their great-grandmother and worked their way up to the professional kitchen. Cooking Chocolate includes such recipes as Melanzane al Cioccolato, Palline al Cocco, Capri Cake, torrone (nougat), chocolate biscotti and double chocolate gelato.

During the eight-day, seven-night program participants will learn the history of cooking with chocolate. Besides the three hands-on cooking lessons featuring chocolate, there will be excursions to Capri, Ravello and Amafli (to taste eggplant and chocolate ice cream made by a famous artisan). There will also be a wine-tasting visit, featuring Italy’s best wines with desserts, and an outside dinner. Daily breakfast, transfers to and from the airport or train station will be provided.


Cooking Classes In Ravello~1 Day

Hi Gemma, Bernice and Giovanna

I wanted to thank you all for arranging the private ceramic class. From start to finish, the customer service was excellent and heartfelt. It felt truly personalized and it was the highlight of my trip to Italy.

It was such a wonderful afternoon and Giovanna is a truly talented teacher.

Here are some photos. We hope to see you all one day in Australia.

Warmest regards
Chris and Jenna


Ceramic Making & Cooking On The Amalfi Coast ~ 8 Day

Incredible Class Positano

I did a private cooking class with my (brand new!) husband on our honeymoon, and it proved to be a true highlight of our trip to the Amalfi Coast.
It was organized, fun, and the chef was incredible. We will always remember our experience, and hope to go back someday!!

Thank you for such a great class.


Positano~1 Day Cooking Classes & Market Tours™

Grazie Mille to Cooking Vacations!

I just wanted to send you a quick note to say we’re back from Italy (got back to Boston yesterday) and the cooking class in Positano was a true highlight of the trip. Thank you so very much! Here are a few photos. I look forward to catching up with you both.

All the best!
Maggie
Boston


Positano ~ 1 Day Cooking Classes & Market Tours™

My plans were to visit the gorgeous Amalfi Coast and connect with Lauren Birmingham Piscitelli of CookingVacations.com in Positano for a few hours of culinary adventures.

Driving to Positano is one of the most exquisite and blood curdling drives in the world. Passing between mountains and the Mediterranean there is nothing but jaw dropping sites of homes, villas, restaurants built into the vertical cliffs and this 2 lane road winding around and around with not much between it and the sea hundreds of feet below.

I met up with Lauren at her fishmonger’s place right along this twisty road. There was a good selection of that morning’s catches and after getting what she wanted, an amberjack,

Lauren and I walked down the flower lined streets and steep steps to a famous bakery, La Zagara, where we could start our day with a coffee and delicious pastries. Sitting in the garden terrace surrounded by lemon groves and the cliffs all around, the owner chose to give me a sampling of many of their local cakes like cannoli, sfogliatelle, baba au rhum and delizia al limone. A bite of each was enough of a sugar rush for the day even though I could have easily finished them off. (Always good to have the crew around so there’s nothing to waste.)

The rest of my time in Positano was spent at La Taverna del Leone, a family owned restaurant since the 1960’s where the locals like to go. It was first opened as a pizza restaurant and while still having the best pizza around has evolved into a gourmet restaurant with a large variety of dishes using local traditions and products as well as international inspirations. I was brought into the kitchen where Lauren asked Chef Filomena to show me how to make gnocchi. Then, I watched the other chef prepare a dish called fish in “crazy water” or pesce all’Acqua pazza with the amberjack. It’s simply poached white fish with garlic and tomatoes but is said to be incredibly tasty – and it was. Of course I was not going to leave without trying the famous Neopolitan pizza and had a couple of different ones the pizza chef whipped up in less than a couple of minutes. Crispy, salty with fresh mozzarella and basil and not much sauce, the Margharita pizza was perfect and a great finish for the day.

I was definitely quite content and satisfied even with the hair raising ride back to the ship.

Cheers and all the best,
Zita


Positano ~ 2, 3 or 4 Night Cooking Positano

Good morning,

We are at the airport ready to head home and wanted you to know that we take with us the wonderful memories of our stay with you.
We so enjoyed your beautiful accommodations, but more important was your gracious hospitality. Cooking with you and Paola was a true highlight of our trip. We enjoyed getting to know your family and while we arrived as guests, we left as friends.
I am hoping you have the opportunity to host all of cooking vacations clients as we cannot imagine a better experience.

Please thank Paola for us- her baking is divine.

Grazie Mille
June and Ron
NYC


Parma Cooking Classes & Food Lover’s Tour ~ 4 Day

Dear Cooking Vacations,

This is the first time I join cooking class during my vacation.

I enjoyed much during the time with Barbara to learn how to cook Italian foods.

Thank you,
Cherrie
Hong Kong


Cooking & Touring In Florence, Siena, Pisa ~ 7 Day

Hello Cooking Vacations,

The cooking class on Saturday, June 27 in Positano was outstanding! Absolultely well done and incredible.

Mary


Positano ~ Cooking Classes On The Amalfi Coast ~8 Days™

Lauren, Gemma, Angela & Irma,

My experience in May was fabulous and I am planning to do it again next May (for more days this time) at one of your other destinations.

It will be my pleasure to write a comment on Trip Advisor.

Per your request, my mailing address is…

Positano


Positano ~ Cooking Classes On The Amalfi Coast ~8 Days™

A huge “thank you” to “Cooking Vacations” for making our trip to Positano one our family will never forget….the cooking classes, arranged tours, transportation, accommodations, and your suggestions and recommendations went far beyond our expectations. The best part of all , tho, is that you, Gemma, and Rino made us feel so welcome – like a part of your “Positano family”. Thank you again and Best wishes!

Dr. Bud
St Louis MI


Cooking Classes On The Amalfi Coast ~ 1 Week

Great Experience ~ Especially for a group of six

Cooking Vacations provided us with a great week in Positano. The week included great accommodations, first class cooking school and touring.

The highlight were the classes and the food. The chef was very attentive to our needs, spent a great deal of time with us, made our time enjoyable and taught us some great cooking. The food we cooked (with his help) was delicious.

Cooking Vacations also provided tours to Capri, Pompeii and the Amalfi Coast. Something was planned for every day but at the same time we had a great opportunity to relax. If you have a group of six, try to stay at the Villa Azzurra for the greatest view of Positano and a fantastic terrace to enjoy the weather.


Positano ~ Cooking Classes On The Amalfi Coast ~8 Days™

Hi Lauren,

Thanks so much to you and Rino for making our stay in Positano so enjoyable.

We loved cooking with Raphele and all the wonderful food we ate.

We are enjoying our stay on the boat in Croatia and I will do a report on Trip Advisor when back home or at airport.

Regards

Toni and Pandy
South Africa


Positano ~ Cooking Classes On The Amalfi Coast ~8 Days™

Thank you Cooking Vacations Gemma.

It was truly our pleasure also.
Our time spent in Positano was fantastic…. a vacation our family will always treasure. Our sincere thanks and heartfelt appreciation for all that “Cooking Vacations” did to help make this such a memorable time for us.

Connie and Dr Bud


Positano ~ Cooking Classes On The Amalfi Coast ~8 Days™

My partner and I had 5 wonderful days in Positano. We had arranged cooking classes for 2 afternoons. These were held in Positano. Our Chef made the classes interesting and entertaining. The one day we were a group of 4 and the next a group of 6. We cooked a 4 course meal on each day, which we then ate for dinner. Our hotel, was comfortable and well located. Lauren, the Cooking Vacations owner in Positano, was very helpful with various suggestions for excursions and meals. Her husband, Rino, provided the transport and was always reliable and accommodating. Thank you Lauren and Rino for making our stay so enjoyable in spite of Alitalia being 2 days late delivering my luggage!

Mr. T Kerkman
South Africa


Positano ~ Cooking Classes On The Amalfi Coast ~8 Days™

Cooking In The Villa

Thanks for the great job ladies in organizing our dinner in the villa prepared by Chef Irma. It was an extra ordinary experience.
The products were top shelf, our menus were not only delicious, but met our allergy needs and the wines were perfectly paired.
A big thank you for making our stay a memorable one.

Melanie


Positano ~ Cooking Classes On The Amalfi Coast ~8 Days™

Positano Secret Garden
Gemma and Lauren,
We absolutely loved our cooking classes with Filomena. She is a warm, genuine person who enjoyed sharing her love and knowledge of cooking. Her hospitality was extraordinary. We sincerely hope to meet her again in the future, perhaps when Lauren successfully convinces her to visit Boston. Preparing a meal for Filomena in our kitchen would be an honor. We would recommend classes with her to everyone! We would love to have her recipe for eggplant croquettes, which we tasted, but didn’t make.

We enjoyed our pizza making class with Luigi and with chef Antonio and learned a lot of techniques to improve our pizza-making skills at home. Again, the hospitality was warm and generous. Luigi had someone pick up a “spider” cooking tool for us to purchase at cost which was appreciated and we have already used at home.

We thoroughly enjoyed our Chef’s Tasting Dinner at with Chef Raff when we arrived in Positano on Saturday. The food was delicious and the service impeccable and friendly. We liked the vibe and style of the restaurant.

At Chef Raff’s we met Alberto, a server, who also has a kayaking business out of Priano. On Wednesday, we made arrangements with him and kayaked along to coast to Positano and back. He went out of his way to pick us up at the hotel and guide us for four glorious hours along the Amalfi coast. We encouraged him to talk with Lauren about making a connection with Cooking Vacations.

A note of feedback, we would have loved to have had a combination food and outdoor tour (some exercise and activity to balance all the eating!). We would gladly have skipped the Amalfi/Ravello excursion (our least favorite day) for a hike on the Path of the Gods. We met some people who had hiked from Ravello to Amalfi, another possible hike and way to see that area. The kayak tour before the afternoon pizza class was an excellent use of that time.

A note about our drivers, all were on time or early, warm, friendly and professional. Davide, the boat captain to Capri, also was welcoming, fun and informative. The Capri trip was a wonderful first full day on the Amalfi coast.

We enjoyed our vacation and have already recommended Cooking Vacations to friends. Thank-you for your attention to details and creating such a smooth, indescribably wonderful trip.

Sincerely,
Emily and Mark


Positano ~ Cooking Classes On The Amalfi Coast ~8 Days™

Dear Lauren,

We had an excellent time on our cooking vacation. Carlo, Valentina and Giulia were fantastic! They are very good hosts, interesting people, great tour guides, and the classes were a lot of fun. We felt much more like friends received us in their home than paying customers in a hotel. The place is beautiful, the places we toured were amazing and very enjoyable.
We already reviewed it in Trip advisor.

Rocio


Chef Stella’s VIP ~ 6 Day

Dear Lauren and Gemma,

Just wanted to tell you all we had a wonderful time with Umberto!

Thank you!
Morris


Rome – Kosher One Day Cooking Classes & Market Tours

Hi Lauren,

Simonetta was fabulous and the cooking was great. So happy. Got a bit lost but made it. Really good day. Food was delicious to say the least.
Hope all is well and I hope to actually see you soon at some point.
Best always,
Jane


Cooking With Simonetta & Cortona Wine Tour ~ 4 Day

Bucket List Moment
I found Cooking Vacations online and had been dreaming of the moment when I could vacation through Italy, learning to cook and experience food from locals.
This was a great experience, one that will not only remain a memory, but a mission to continue doing these vacations with this company in the future.
The booking was simple, Lauren at Cooking Vacations was accommodating to help tailor some of my requests, and the experience was one of a lifetime.
For any foodie looking to experience a region with locals, this is the way to go.


Cooking Classes & Market Visit Genova~6 Day

My girlfriend and I went to Cooking Vacations in Bologna in March and were treated royally from the moment we landed. Absolutely no complaints and would recommend them to anyone. Every detail was attended to and could not have planned a better experience.
Stayed in the middle of the city which was fun especially since we had a bit of snow surprisingly.
I’ve long had a love affair with all things Italy, from the food to the culture, to the rich history.


Bologna La Grande Cucina ~ 5 Day

“Loved it, I will be back again.”

Arranged trip through Lauren at Cooking Vacations.

I stayed for a week and had classes with Irma. It was lovely, a much needed change from the fast past deadline driven world I have gotten myself into. Was a calm and simple trip. They are both very sweet.

Lauren and Gemma from “Cooking Vacations” are extremely helpful, trust them and their suggestions.


Country Cooking On The Amalfi Coast~8 Day

Had a wonderful time, not only the cooking classes of which I did things I have never done before, or new ideas of butter, and sage and nutmeg, but also the tours and learning the rich history of the valley.
Thank you Chefs!

Mr. Kinsey


Chef Massimo’s Tuscan Cooking Classes~6 Day

Dear Lauren and Gemma,
I am writing to thank you for all of your help planning my cooking adventure.

Every guide, every location, every skilled crafts person we met in Furore, they were all perfect.
Pompeii excursion and our guide, was something almost surreal. Amazing.

Irma (and her mom) were lovely. All the recipes they taught me were delicious. Also, I made a new friend in Jen from Canada, seriously, we became good friends very quickly and we absolutely loved every Italian we met. Anna, Celestino, Michele….all such interesting people. Truly.

I posted a review on Trip Advisor in hopes that other people will be inspired to go on this great food adventure.

I cannot wait to return to Furore someday, as I am certain I will.

Thank you so much!
Grazie mille!

Dana


Country Cooking On The Amalfi Coast~8 Day

What better setting for a cooking class than picturesque and iconic Positano, Italy? My bride and I showed up for a 1-day cooking class with chef Raffaelo and had no idea what to expect. What we did expect was a hands-on experience rather than a “demonstration” class. We rolled up our sleeves and immediately started with prepping (ie: cutting vegetables, cheese) and making dishes from scratch. The whole experience was a lot of fun and we highly recommend it to anyone visiting Positano!


Positano ~ 1 Day Cooking Classes & Market Tours™

Great vacations in Italy
We have been treated to three different Cooking Vacations in Italy and had wonderful experiences on the Amalfi Coast and in Tuscany. This year, we went on a Mediterranean cruise, and booked a shore excursion through Cooking Vacations. We had a driver that picked us up at the port in Naples and took us to the Amalfi Coast to Ravello, Amalfi, and Positano, where we had visited before. We were able to decide how much time to spend in each town, and enjoy free time to do as we wish, at a much more reasonable price than the same type of excursion through the cruise line. Cooking Vacations is a fabulous outfit, and offer both pre-designed tours/vacations, and also the ability to design your own vacation. If you want to visit this area, and enjoy cooking, food, and wine, Cooking Vacations is the way to go!

June K


1~Day Tuscan Cooking Class & Market Tours

Hi Lauren,

Our vacation was wonderful. THe chefs and cooking classes were great. Capri was superb. The accommodations were also great. The B&B in Positano ~ the owners were fantastic. Even the drivers were punctual and friendly. I would repeat the trip in a blink.
Thank you for a flawless execution of details.

Regards,
June


Annarita’s Slow Cooking Food Lover’s Tour~1 Day Tour

Dear Lauren,
I have been wanting to send you a note to thank you for all your efforts in making this trip so very memorable and enjoyable. I returned to crazy, life as normal back here, but the wonderful memories and moments I experienced in Positano and my cooking with Chef Rafaele are planted firmly in my thoughts.
My B&B exceeded my expectations; the family/owners were so lovely and welcoming. I truly felt part of their family. And as you had assured me, I felt very safe where I stayed and walking around the town.
From my perspective, Chef Rafaele’s strictness in the kitchen and preparing of dishes was informative and taken to heart. I appreciated his time spent with me, sharing his kitchen, friends and family. Equally I enjoyed my time in the kitchen as much as my time spent wandering the streets and touring around town.
As you know, I blogged my way through the week and would love to share some of your recipes. I would give credit directly to Cooking Vacations. I have noted that you do list recipes on your website, so I believe they are not “secret”. Please do confirm your approval and thoughts.
I am jealous to think you will be baking Italian Christmas cookies with Rafaele…if that ever becomes a class, I could be so tempted to return! (Regardless, I’m so planning to return!)
Thank you again, Lauren, for all your assistance and support in making this trip such a dream-come-true experience.

With warmest regards,
Linda


Positano ~ Cooking Classes On The Amalfi Coast ~8 Days™

Hi Lauren and Gemma!
Sarah and I are back in Boston, we absolutely loved Positano and our layover in Dublin.

Thank you so much for the writer’s almanac, the opportunity to come to such a beautiful place and for all of your advice and inspiration over our few short days.

We are currently so exhausted from traveling and have some catch up work to do but we will get organized and talk later this week about arranging a Skype session!
We loved the fact that it was so open and flexible. The exercises were very relevant and stimulated our thoughts, allowing us to keep more intimate and detailed pieces of writing for our travel diaries.

We would definitely love to come back and learn more from you both and work with others, guiding them through some of the best lessons we learned! Again, we truly enjoyed meeting you and had the most wonderful experience.

Thank you, also, for the departing gift bag – the small bell and its story behind it are adorable and something we will definitely cherish for years to come.

Hope you both have a great start to the week and we will be talking soon.

Best,
Jillian and Sarah


Positano Writer’s Workshop With Michele McPhee ~ October 11 to 16, 2014

Hi Lauren
Well I’m back here in South Africa after a lovely week in Positano. It was lovely meeting you and Rino and i really had a fun week which i enjoyed very much. The hotel was delightful, and the family so charming and nice.
Thank you for making it all happen.
Keep well and best regards
Brenda


Watercolor Painting With Pasquale & Hands-On Cooking ~ 8 Day

Memories you can Eat!

My mother and I spent an afternoon/evening with cooking vacations on our recent trip to Positano. We were picked up and taken to a beautiful restaurant where we met our instructors and had the run of an amazing kitchen for the next several hours.
We learned a lot of italian basics – gnocchi, ravioli, stuffed zucchini blossoms, “crazy fish”, and a flourless chocolate cake for dessert.
They were extremely sensitive and accommodating to our special dietary restrictions. What more can I say? We had a blast, learned so much and then got to eat it all! Beyond our expectations and then some!!!!

Ms. Menk


Positano ~ 1 Day Cooking Classes & Market Tours™

Dear Cooking Vacations,

My friend and I had a fantastic trip to Tuscany, made doubly pleasurable by the new friends we made at the wonderful cooking classes at our “podere.” The staff was delightful and incredibly helpful and the chefs who instructed our small but enthusiastic crew were knowlegeable and a lot of fun to be with. The side trips included in our vacation package were great, maybe a little too ambitious, but every location we visited was well worth seeing. When our attention-span for scenery flagged on our last day in Tuscany, our good-hearted driver came up with a half-day trip not on the itinerary that was magical, and saved us at least 2 hours in the car before our long flights home the next day. In all, though not an inexpensive trip, we received wonderful value for the money spent and were incredibly happy with the overall experience of working with Cooking Vacations Italy.

Susan


The Tuscan Traveler’s Dream ~ 7 Day

Lauren,

I wanted to tell you that my mother and I had the most WONDERFUL time today. It was truly an experience to remember. Annarita was so sweet this morning. And Chef Salvatore made us a meal to remember. I honestly can’t believe I ate so much amazing food today! Truly memorable.

Thanks, again.
Megan


Chef Salvatore’s Family Kitchen~5 Day

“Cooking with Massimo in Taormina – Fantastic!”

This was a great day. We had chef Massimo in Taormina and he was brilliant! The market tour was fun and pretty informative but the cooking was the best. It was a well thought out menu which I probably will cook again… And will know how! We had a group of about 12 and everyone was involved in all the steps so it’s definitely something I will take away from our trip to Italy. The food tasted delicious and the wine they served us to go with it was also great. Highly reccommend
Ezmay Melbourne
Australia


Our Sicilian Family Cooking Class & Market Tour In Taormina~1 Day

“A must do cooking adventure on the amalfie coast-positano”

I am about to depart for home from a spectacular week-long unbelievable and exciting adventure in cooking in Positano, Italy.
The cooking lessons in all- things lemon and pizza making and pasta making with fortunata and filomena was so much fun and super gustoso and pasta making including vegetable lasagna and sponge-cake parfaits with chef raffaele was scrumptious.

The entire week of cooking with several new friends like mandy and ron and beth really made the week a memory not to be forgotten.

I really appreciated and enjoyed learning more italian language from Rino—–lauren’s super nice husband—that i feel

comfortable traveling throughout italy—thanks Rino.

The side trips that Lauren organized to Capri, Amalfie, Ravello and Pompeii added a complete new dimension to the cooking adventure.

I plan on return to another of Laurens cooking adventures next year.

For those unsure about whether they can perform in a cooking class—whether men or women—young or old——take it from me—-the atmosphere is informal and relaxed and did i say the food you prepare is a 10/10 gourmet quality and extremely abundant——forget about going out for dinner after class—-no restaurant in the entire country of

Italy will serve the fantastic food YOU will create!!!

Going to Italy for sight-seeing is fun BUT adding laurens cooking classes makes it a life-long never-to-be-forgotten memory.

Thanks again Lauren and staff.

John


Positano ~ 2, 3 or 4 Night Cooking Positano

Hello Lauren,
Yes we had a great day today with Massimo in Taormina, thanks!
So sorry we were trying to book at the last minute… And on a Sunday. But thanks for pushing it through. Well worth it, fantastic day.
Regards
Erin


Our Sicilian Family Cooking Class & Market Tour In Taormina~1 Day

Hi Lauren,
On behalf of all of the ladies I would like to thank you for making today unforgetable, and one of our best memories on our trip to Italy.
The staff at the cooking kitchen are wonderful and shared their love of good food with us. We all learned so much and enjoyed every minute. Lorna’s birthday will forever be remembered as one of the best as we were all together enjoying the good company of friends and family, thank you so much.
We ended up going to Antonio for sandals and next door to him for jewellery . Totally missed the Ivy, but we still have a few days to fit that in!
We are off to Ravello in the morning, trying to fit in everything we can before we return to Canada on Saturday.
Once again, thank you so much for all of the care you took with our surprise, we all appreciated it so much!
Please let us know when and were your book will be available… Good luck and GB!
Laurie and the Canadian ladies


Positano ~ 1 Day Cooking Classes & Market Tours™

Ciao Lauren,
I don’t remember if I ever wrote to tell you how much we (husband, granddaughter and I) enjoyed our week with The Fabrizio Tuscan Estate. It was like being home with my Italian family. Everyone was gracious, accommodating and extremely friendly. Fabrizio even introduced me to the owner of the Ceramica down the road who invited me to paint a ceramic plate. Pava and one of the winery workers came to our rescue when we blew a tire a few Ks from the podere. The Chefs and wife’s owner took our granddaughter (12) under their wing during cooking classes. Sigrund bought me a pair of clogs from the market to wear because I had a broken toe (broke it 2 days before we left the states) and couldn’t walk in my own shoes.
A beautiful experience. Lovely Cooking Vacations. Wonderful people.
Migliori saluti. Keep up the good work.

Carol Ann
Virginia


The Tuscan Traveler’s Dream ~ 7 Day

Ciao, Lauren!

Thank you so very much again for all of the work you and Giulia did organizing our 6-day, 5-night Cooking Vacation in Bologna. It really was wonderful and one of the many highlights of our trip to Italy. Sorry, it’s taken me a while to write but we haven’t been back quite 2 weeks yet.

We loved the arrival lunch, making pasta, the winery tour (best I have ever been on, I bought 6 bottles! only 2 of which made it home to Canada) and our stay in the country.

We had a lovely lunch day 1 and really enjoyed making 3 types of pasta with Federica (tortellini, tagliatelle and, oh dear, I forget the name of the 3rd, it started with a ‘g’ like garganelle?).

We went on the best winery tour I have ever been on to Palazzonads. Pia was our guideand she was fabulous also.
When we returned, we began making things again with Federica — sweet breakfast pannini, basic cookies with apricot jam, tigelle and pannecotta — all breads and desserts.

Camilla was a lovely guide, the tours of the parmigiano romano and balsamico (I bought some extra vecchio) places were great. Our lunch in the hills before going to Bologna was over the top and excellent. Our market tour the next day was really good too.

Augustino and Roberto were wonderful hosts. Thank you for arranging for us to stay there. They clearly love what they do. Barbara & Valeria were also wonderful and we thoroughly enjoyed our time with them.
Overall, we loved our cooking vacation and Bologna.

Thank you so very much again.
Leigh


2 Chefs, 2 Kitchens: City To Country Cooking ~ 6 Day

Hi Lauren,

I’m so sorry for the delayed response. I have been meaning to write reviews for all of our activities and hotels while on the trip, but haven’t gotten around to it! We LOVED our experience with Cooking Vacations! It was definitely one of our favorite parts of the trip. Of course, the location of Positano was overwhelmingly beautiful. But, the class itself was very fun, easy, and we learned a lot! It ended up being just the 2 of us in the class so it was a private class experience which was awesome (maybe I was mistaken but I thought it was possible there could be others). The chef was great, the kitchen and overall space was beautiful, the hands-on interaction/participation level was perfect. And the food turned out amazing. We were SO full afterward. Loved this and have recommended Cooking Vacations to several friends since returning.

I just posted the above on Trip Advisor! I will try to send some pictures tonight (and post them to Trip Advisor if I can).

Thanks again……we would love to return to Italy someday for more cooking!

Best regards,
Ashley


Positano ~ Cooking Classes On The Amalfi Coast ~8 Days™

Hi Lauren
Thank you also for giving us the opportunity. We enjoyed our stay very much in Positano, our B&B was great, Francesca, Paula and their mother Celeste were very gracious hosts and made us feel very welcome. We also enjoyed cooking with Chef Emilio and his team work their magic in the kitchen. Wow, what an impressive Cooking Vacations. I have made the lemon almond cake already and got rave reviews. Now I just need to invest in a kitchen machine, still trying to decide which one.

Thanks again
Vanessa


Artisan Cooking Positano On The Amalfi Coast ~ 8 Day

Dear Lauren,

What an absolutely wonderful time l had at Fabrizio’s farmhouse. I cannot thank you enough for recommending this particular cooking vacation as it was exactly what l was looking for.

Fabrizio and his staff made me ( and other guests) immediately feel right at home, and their hospitality, warmth and generosity were genuine and heart felt. I just felt so at home, safe and incredibly well looked after.

Before my arrival, l had a a bit of an idea of what to expect of this experience. I am being honest when l say that this expectation was well surpassed. I loved my accommodation which was comfortable, clean and true to the typical Tuscan style; l couldn’t have dreamt of landscapes so beautiful and breathtaking; l visited a number of charming medieval villages steeped in historical significance with my wonderful driver Giovanni; my cooking classes were so much fun, very hands on and l certainly learnt quite bit from the cooks. I have already cooked for my family since my return, and l think l have impressed.

Suffice to say, it was very hard to say goodbye.

Many thanks for taking such care in matching me with an experience that worked for me ,

Danielle


Cooking In Florence’s Tuscan Hills ~ 8 Day

Dear Lauren, Giulia & Everyone At Cooking Vacations,
I just wanted to make sure to send on our thanks and compliments for our fabulous day in Genoa. Simona was right on time, very knowledgeable and a great guide on our walking tour of the city and visit to the market. Stefano was really great too. We felt privileged to be welcomed to his home. The day was very well planned and the cooking class was exactly what we wanted…informative, hands-on and delicious! It was good that Stefano was married and had a new baby or three American tourists would have kidnapped him and taken him home with them!
All in all, I thought the day was marvelous and the highlight of our trip this year to Italy (and that’s saying something because we had a great time the entire trip.) Thank you so much for arranging it.
Barbara


Fresh Pasta Class & Market Tour ~ 1 Day

Hi Lauren & Giulia,

We are here in Verona on our last night, and have been so delighted with our holiday that we wanted to email a testimonial for your website. See below. Thanks for all you did to arrange our stay!!

We cannot say enough about how wonderful our cooking vacation in Verona has been, expertly arranged by Stefano and coordinated through cooking-vacations.com. We have been on cooking holidays everywhere from Morocco to China, and give this experience our very highest recommendation.

From the moment we arrived, we were treated like foodie royalty– a six course tasting menu for dinner (tailored to our dietary constraints), spectacular breakfasts in the garden, and fresh seasonal lunches in the vineyard terrace — not to mention the beautiful five star accommodations of the villa itself.

As a part of our cooking vacation, we enjoyed a terrific wine tasting in the ancient Roman cellar with a special food pairing from the restaurant, and an intimate cheese tasting of hand crafted cheeses (imported by Michelin star chefs) in town with a local artisan in his gorgeous cheese cellar.

Then there were the cooking lessons — the highlight of our visit! Chef Elia is simply a master. He was a wonderful teacher: patient, willing to let us practice over and over, and totally down to earth. We were also fortunate enough to work with Natasha, our translator extraordinaire. Delightful and always smiling, we credit Natasha and her wonderful sense of humor for much of the fun we had on our holiday. We literally would have been lost without her.

We are leaving the Villa and its incredible staff with fond memories and a sincere hope to come back and visit again. Bravo tutti!

Steven & Diana


Cooking With Executive Chef Massimiliano ~ 4 Day

This is the fourth year I have done a Cooking Vacation with Lauren’s firm. This year, the selection was Liguria – with Chef Antonio. It was amazing! The owners of the villa in Sestri Levanate – Barbara and Marcello – speak very fluent English, and are immensely knowledgable of the history of the region and the many sites. They could not have been nicer and more helpful. Barbara took me to a wine exposition in Catelnuovo Magra – a very old town on top of a very scenic small mountain. The exhibit featured vermentino wine from a large number of producers. Lunch and a wine glass in a bag to hang around the neck were included – the latter was most practical! Barbara also took me by train to Cinque Terre National Park – a UNESCO National Heritage site. The towns along the coast are just beautiful – located in coves between rocky cliffs. The local foods, of course, were wonderful. We also visited Portofino, Santa Margherita (where the wine of the same name originates), San Rocco and Camogli (where part of A Summer in Genoa was filmed). Each was stunning. Another day we visited Borzone high up in the mountains – with an ancient abbey and an ancient face (Megalitich Face) carved in slate on the top of a mountain. We had lunch at an “agriturismo”, which is a type of restaurant in a home where everything served is produced on site. What a great experience!
Then there were the cooking lessons. Chef Antonio is truly remarkable. The taverna restaurant at Barbara and Marcello’s B&B served the most wonderful dinners (five star in my view) – the typical three course Italian meal followed by dolce. The recipes are relatively easy, and quite different and simply delicious. The meals were accompanied by the local wines – my favorite white being the vermentino, with a local red (Bossin) produced nearby.
The last day, Barbara drove me to La Spezia – where most of the exquisite mussels and clams come from. We went to a very large market, including a fish market. We had lunch at a wonderful restaurant and then drove to Portovenere, which has to be one of the most beautiful towns I have ever seen – very small, but with an ancient castle and church overlooking the Mediterranean, and amazing shops and cafes lining the narrow, winding pedestrian streets. The view of the Mediterranean from here was just stunning. The vacation also included a Happy Hour cruise of the “silent bay” in Sestri Levante. Just beautiful!
As with my previous trips (Positano, Ischia, Tuscany), Lauren took care of everything. Marcello picked me up in Genova, where I spent a few days overcoming jet lag, and drove me back there, as I had an early flight the next day.
One of the most interesting aspects of Liguria is the variety of terrain and sites. There are beaches, la citta (Genova), mountains and valleys, national parks along the coast and picturesque villages. I can see why they call this region The Italian Riviera!!


Portofino & Cinque Terre’s Riviera ~ 8 Day

Hi Lauren:
Just a note to say thanks so much for the wonderful vacation accommodations and transport help. The villa was amazing. We all had a fabulous time and are wistfully thinking about when we can return! Our weather was truly picture perfect and Positano so charming. We were able to visit Sorrento and Ravello and enjoyed both as well our visit to Pompeii.
I will be bragging about your company to others!
Thanks again,
Dona


Positano ~ Cooking Classes On The Amalfi Coast ~8 Days™

Lauren – I had the most wonderful time in Liguria with Barbara and Marcello and Chef Antonio. The trip was amazingly rich, I called it “Liguria – Fantastico!” Thanks for all your “behind the scenes” work to make the vacation so much fun.
Grazie!!
Molly


Hi Lauren, Gemma and Guilia
Thank you for a wonderful time. Everything was perfect. We enjoyed every part.
Can’t believe the week is almost done. Enjoying our last day today. Hope to vacation with cooking vacations again in the future.
Grazie mille !
Arrivederci, Maria and Gus


Positano ~ Cooking Classes On The Amalfi Coast ~8 Days™

Dear Cooking Vacations,

Nancy and I want to thank you for the cooking week in Positano. We had so much fun and can’t wait to make the dishes at home. Nancy said she is making the sponge cake today for the tiramisu.
When you have the time, we would love to have the recipe for the Genovese Ragu that was so delicious.

Thanks for a remarkable experience.

Mary and Nancy


Positano ~ Cooking Classes On The Amalfi Coast ~8 Days™

Dear Lauren, Gemma and Company,

Chef Simonetta was an amazing Chef and host. We cooked hands-on all the way, making traditional Tuscan foods like Ribollita, Braciola di Maiale alle Erbe Aromatiche and Castagnaccio.

We toured the Tuscan towns, fell in love with Cortona and all the great restaurant hot picks you gave us. Our tours were well planned, our guide was friendly, well informed and shared with us her knowledge and food history notes as we tasted our way with wonderful local products.

There was just enough time touring, landmark stops, dining and eating!!! It was the trip of a lifetime and Cortona stole my heart.
The itinerary was perfect, we would have not been able to visit all the beautiful places and be welcomed by all the heart warming people in their artisan shops, vineyards, cheese shops, linen and more without this well planned tour.
You certainly know your food, wine and people.

Thanks to all of you.
Rosie
Montreal Canada


Cooking With Simonetta & Cortona Wine Tour ~ 6 Day

Hi Lauren,

We couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day!! Thank you for making all of the last minute arrangements to ensure everything was perfect! Francesca was EXCEPTIONALLY helpful and she did an EXCELLENT job caring for our every need!!

Regards,
Jerrold & Melissa


Fresh Pasta Class & Market Tour ~ 1 Day

Hello Cooking Vacations,

I wanted you to know how much fun we had at our cooking class in Trevi. Everything was fabulous. Our chef, was such a sweet woman, very patient and kind. She helped us to make ravioli, roasted pork tenderloin with potatoes, pasta with truffles, and strawberry jelly roll cake topped with vanilla ice cream.
Our translator, Pamela, made sure we understood all conversation. She was a delight, sharing about living in Italy as well as general conversation.
The hotel manger was wonderful too. She took time away from her busy schedule to come visit with us and have lunch with us too.
Lovely, lovely people.
The experience was a 10 for us.

Karen


One Day Cooking Class & Market Tours In Trevi

Dear Lauren,

I owed you an email.
Thank you for the wonderful time that Mary and I had at il melograno taormina in the cooking with Massimo on Sept 25, 2013. It was the highlight of our vacation. Massimo was such a great host and the food we prepared was so good we went back the next night for dinner. I can see why with sites as great as il melograno taormina you are a sought after firm for these types of events.

I am glad I found you.

Robert


Our Sicilian Family Cooking~3 Day

Dear Lauren,
Thank you and your staff for arranging a wonderful vacation for us in Positano last month. Truly was one of the best vacations we ever had. And, the food was fantastic. Also kudos to Chef Emilio – he is very talented and cooked the best meals.

I just wrote a very positive review on Trip Advisor which hopefully will be beneficial to future clients.

Thanks again and the best to Rino and the rest of your staff.
Jim


Artisan Cooking Positano On The Amalfi Coast ~ 8 Day

Dear Lauren,

I wanted to write and thank you for arranging an amazing trip for me in Positano. I have been traveling to the Positano area now for 13 years and I have never had an experience quite like this one. I cannot express the joy I felt to be in a kitchen with my hands dirty all while hearing Italian. My passion is cooking, baking and Italy and my time in all of the kitchens was so wonderful and rewarding. Filomena especially was so kind and welcoming. She clearly loves what she does and seemed to make everything we were cooking so special. During my time in Positano I was able to reconnect with old friends living there and met some new ones. I will be back in the spring and hope to take another class with Chefs Filomena and Emilio….I will be studying my Italian from now until then 🙂 Thank you again and best wishes.

Kindest Regards,
Sarah


Positano ~ Culinary Tours For Women Travelers™

Hello Lauren…
We have just returned from the most fantastic experience we have ever had. Our class with Chef Massimo in Sicily was nothing short of exceptional. He has such a great personality and is so informative. We cannot say enough wonderful things about the day … Other than telling all of our friends back home !!!
Thanks so much for all your assistance, and most of all your patience in dealing with a slightly frantic customer when our cruise port changed at the last minute.
When you return to Boston – please let me know so we can get together.
Thanks, again…
Jay
Boston, MA


Our Sicilian Family Cooking Class & Market Tour In Taormina~1 Day

Hi Cooking Vacations
Just to let you know, my husband really enjoyed his cooking lesson with Chef Massimo in Sicily. We will be using your services for other trips and plan to recommend it to our friends.
Best,
Ellen


Our Sicilian Family Cooking Class & Market Tour In Taormina~1 Day

Hi Lauren!

I am just returning from my Italian Cooking Vacations and wanted to tell you what a great time we had cooking with Chef Rossi in Roma. What a wonderful experience and he was so great!

Thank you again for your help. I look forward to another trip soon!

Robin


One Day Cooking Class & Testaccio Market Visit

Hello Lauren,

We all wanted you to know how much we enjoyed our experience with Chef Anna! We were welcomed into their home and were made to feel like part of their family. The history of their villa was fascinating to hear about and it was a lovely place to stay. We loved cooking with Anna in her kitchen. It was a real Italian experience – cooking in a home rather than a commercial kitchen. It’s nice to have both options. Anna introduced us to the cuisine of the region and we loved it. We hated to leave so soon, a fourth day with Anna and her family, learning the cuisine of the region would be wonderful.

Patti, Philip, Sue, & Joy


Cooking With Anna On The Lakes Of Lombardy ~ 4 Day

Dear Lauren,
I just wanted you to know how much Brooke and I enjoyed our 2 weeks in Italy participating in the programs we chose. For me the highlight was the 7 night stay in Mare & Monti – Mountains & Sea along with our second program, Lemon Lifestyle Villa Azzurra Maria demonstrate one wonderful dish after another.
Since my cooking days are drawing to a close I did not actively participate but loved seeing Brooke work with Maria and Christina as she learned how to prepare so many delicious recipes. Maria’s son was kind enough to take Brooke and me on several sightseeing excursions during our free time so we had the opportunity to see many of the very beautiful areas such as Amalfi and Ravello. I hated to tell Maria and her family farewell when the time came to leave for Positano.
However Positano was a delight. The Villa is lovely with a caring staff. I was so happy to finally have a chance to meet you and your husband. We enjoyed the tasting dinner our first night there as well as our first class the next day. The tour to Capri went well and Costanzo proved to be an excellent guide.
I very much appreciate your effort to arrange a different time for the wine pairing dinner but by that time I needed to have a leisurely day to pack and rest up before the long flights back.
Again I want you to know how very much both Brooke and I enjoyed our cooking vacations with you and your staff. I shall long remember the spectacularly beautiful Amalfi coast and the warmth and graciousness of the people we met along the way. From time to time I will make some of the recipes here in my own kitchen because I still love to cook. I will enjoy hearing from Brooke as she fixes some of the recipes learned from Maria and will take great joy in knowing that the little girl who so often watched me in the kitchen will have the joy of cooking for her family and friends long after I’ve gone.
Thank you very,very much for arranging this wonderful cooking vacation for us.
With very best wishes,
Mary Lou


Maria’s Country Kitchen~Amalfi Coast~8 Day

Dear Lauren
That lemon olive oil is just delicious!!! If friends think they are getting ANY of it, they’d best think again.
I had a really wonderful time AND have already cooked twice from recipes from the course for family and friends. On the strength of one meal, my son went out and bought a pasta machine, just to make sure I didn’t use the excuse that “it’s too much like hard work to cook for a lot of people rolling by hand” …
Thanks again,
Linda
London, UK


Artisan Cooking Positano On The Amalfi Coast ~ 8 Day

Thank you, Lauren,

I am sorry it took so long for you to receive my thank you message, but I am not always connected to wifi. Devon said she would help me. Thank you for our cute aprons and recipe books…and, the Prosecco!!!! We had a grand time getting acclimated to Positano yesterday, and fun cooking today. Will look forward to tomorrow!! Grazie!!

Jackkie & Sid


Cooking Classes On The Amalfi Coast ~ 1 Week

Good morning Lauren,
I am almost up to date with my reviews on Trip Adviser. I hope you saw the one
i did of your incredible Cooking Vacations. We are hoping you do one in Rome so we cam learn to cook in the Ghetto :(fried artichokes). We loved everything about our trip(except my dehydration/low sodium episode), but I’m ok now.

You do an amazing job Lauren, and Reno is the best chauffeur (despite my white knuckles !).
all best,
Lynn & Michael
NY, NY


Artisan Cooking Positano On The Amalfi Coast ~ 8 Day

Good morning Cooking Vacations
I wanted to let you know that we thoroughly enjoyed our cooking class with Chef Massimo in Sicily. It was a delightful day and Taormina was absolutely beautiful.
We are all anxious to try the recipes at home.
Many thanks,
Monica


Our Sicilian Family Cooking Class & Market Tour In Taormina~1 Day

Good Morning Lauren,
Is  there a place on your website to write a review?  I would like to post something if possible.  You deserve a 5 star rating!
We had a great time in Taormina, Massimo was awesome and our food creations were delicious!
I have attached 2 photos from our fabulous class.

thanks, I hope you are able to open the pictures
Joanne


Our Sicilian Family Cooking Class & Market Tour In Taormina~1 Day

Hi Lauren,
I had such a great vacation! Every day was great and I met some great friends. The cooking classes, bag of goodies, and tours were perfect. It was one of the best vacations I’ve ever had! At home, I cooked ravioli, gnocchi, eggplant bits, and some dessert for my boyfriend. Everything turned out great and he loved it. It was great meeting you and your husband. You and your husband are so nice and warm.
I’ve recommended your cooking vacations to others and I will write a fantastic review on trip advisor.
Sorry for the delay in sending this email.
I’d like to keep in touch with you and thanks for everything.

Ciao,
Dora


Artisan Cooking Positano On The Amalfi Coast ~ 8 Day

Hi Lauren. We are still savoring our trip. This is from Lynn:
We loved Cooking Vacations. It is superbly organized and the venues for cooking are the best. We felt like we were part of the culture, not just seeing the landscape.
I will write all this in my review. It was one of the best vacations we ever took.
Thank you both, Lauren & Rino.
Hugs,
Lynn
NY, NY


Artisan Cooking Positano On The Amalfi Coast ~ 8 Day

Grazie!!! Grazie to the entire team, as well, Lauren. It was a fun cooking adventure. I can’t wait to cook Lemon Pasta and Chocolate Mousse! But, must now wait until I lose 20 lbs from the trip!
Had a great time and will definitely post on TripAdvisor. BTW, I sat in front of a man on the on/off bus in Rome who had taken your northern Italy cooking class last year. So funny, and such a small world in which we live.
It was a great time, well planned and delivered.
Anyhoo…a great time and I look forward to the next adventure with Cooking Vacations!
Cheers to you, the gals, and Rino!
Ciao Ciao and Grazie Miela!
Trish


Positano ~ Cooking Classes On The Amalfi Coast ~8 Days™

Dear Lauren,
We have returned from our Roman trip…and want to report that it was spectacular. We wanted to let you know what a really wonderful experience we had at with Chef Roberto at Farmhouse to Kitchen, South of Rome. Manuela and Carlo have created a paradise and is very well-suited to the cooking experience. Chef Roberto was a wonderful teacher and it was fun to go to the garden to pick the vegetables and create our meals. Everyone at the Relais was so gracious and accommodating. We felt as though we were part of the family–the Royal Family! The staff is impressive. Perfection is alive and well The location with the views of the mountains and the tranquility of the land cultivated all combine, for us, to make a perfect retreat. Their impeccable taste in the architecture and furnishings is without equal. The homegrown crops so beautifully tended into sumptuous gourmet dishes by Chef Roberto and served so professionally by Gianluca, are designed for utlimate pleasure. This is one of the places where Cooking Vacations arranges for their unusual cooking classes. There were fresh-from-the-garden seasonal vegetables and fruits, highlighting pure organic herbs and seasonings. We accompanied Chef Roberto to the garden which he tends on the property and picked everything needed to make our beautiful, delicious culinary creations.
There were so many wonderful spaces for guests to enjoy—the beautiful infinity pool immediately relaxes, the hammocks on the lawn invite, the big round double chairs designed for lounging beckon. Every space has its own character. The breakfast table, filled with beautiful homemade breads and cakes served with homemade jellies and jams from their gardens, were a looked-forward-to treat.
Our room was charming—with its bleached wood, luxurious silk drapes, lavender walls—and its dragonfly theme extended to the sconces and even the water glass in the ultra-modern bathroom. This room also had an additional twin-bedded loft. And we must mention the wonderful shower with the sunflower head .
We so enjoyed our walks among the fruit trees and garden and especially our trip to Alvito, that classic Italian town with stone steps and mysterious alleyways leading to more stone steps and more mysterious alleyways. It was fun being lost there and finding our way again to the charming main street.
Best of all we enjoyed the true hospitality shown by Manuela and Carlo and their entire staff. It was a great pleasure to spend our Roman vacation in such lovely surroundings. We will return and we recommend this very special place to anyone who desires a truly unusual Italian vacation in a tranquil setting.
Baci
Eva e Marion


Cooking With Chef Roberto ~ 5 Day

I just spent an amazing week in Positano with a wonderful group of ladies on the Cooking Vacations Secret Garden tour. The entire week was planned perfectly – with the right mix of hands-on cooking classes and demonstrations, excursions, and free time. From the moment Rino, our trusted driver, picked us up in Naples, we knew we were in for a good time.

Lauren greeted us at our tasting dinner, giving us a flavor for our meal and our week ahead. She was on hand all week for questions, last-minute excursion planning, and recommendations for shopping or dining. The vacation illuminated the beautiful Amalfi Coast for us – we experienced the wonderful food, gracious people, breathtaking views, rich history, sumptuous wines, unique shopping and more. We had too many great dishes or memories to list them all, but I wanted to highlight a few outstanding moments and people. Filomena is such a warm, wonderful woman and chef, who treated us as family. During her class I simply asked how to make a “simple” pasta recipe for my family and before I knew it I was kneading my own batch of pasta, rolling it out, and creating ravioli for our group. The lemon dishes she taught us – such a beautiful fruit and staple in the town – were delightful.

Raffaele was a different kind of chef who really let us get our hands dirty in every dish we tasted. We thoroughly enjoyed his wit and sarcasm and style of cooking – not to mention his tasty proseco cocktails! Peppe was our trusty captain from with our private excursion on the way to Capri. He skilfully led us to all the amazing grottos and views of Capri, gave us a taste of its history, and equally as good a taste of his wonderful homemade limoncello. Angela walked us through Amalfi and Ravello, giving us a real sense of the food lifestyle in the region. All in all, our cooking vacation was an experience of a lifetime – and one that will stay with me as I recreate the delicious recipes in my own kitchen.

I have many fond memories that make me smile, and I would wholeheartedly recommend Cooking Vacations to my friends and family.
I hope one day to do it again!

Kristen R.
Florida


Positano ~ Culinary Tours For Women Travelers™

Hi Ladies,

I wanted to say that we had a great time doing the desserts class with Chef Rafaelle on Saturday night in Positano.  He was a really great sport about our utter lack of savvy in the kitchen.  Our end results were amazingly tasty and we appreciated someone checking-in on us at the start and end of the class.  We felt really taken care of and wanted to pass along a thanks!
Thank you!

Jennifer
Dublin


Positano ~ 1 Day Cooking Classes & Market Tours™

Hi Lauren-
Thank you so much for arranging my cooking class with Chef Raffaele. It was FANTASTIC. I had a great time with him, and it was so interesting seeing the slight differences in techniques between cooking in the United States vs European techniques.

The next time I travel (which hopefully will be soon) I will absolutely contact you to set-up more classes.
Thank you so much again, I had a wonderful experience working with you & your company.

Sincerely,
Nancy
Altadena, CA


Positano ~ 1 Day Cooking Classes & Market Tours™

Buongiorno Lauren and Rino,

Now that we are home and back into our routine, I just wanted to take the time to reach out and say thank you for the incredible experience you provided to our family. We all still look at pictures every day and wish we were back in Positano. This week we are also attempting some of the recipes we experienced in Italy. We’ll let you know how they turn out.

We could not have had a better first experience, and are blessed to have met both of you. We look forward to seeing you again soon.

Warmest Regards,

Jerry and Heidi P.
Pennsylvania


Positano ~ Cooking Classes On The Amalfi Coast ~8 Days™

Dear Lauren,

We have just returned from our cooking-vacation in Puglia with an add on in Otranto. I just wanted to thank you for a wonderful experience! The 2 weeks were fantastic. Everyone involved from the hotel and masseria in Conversano, to the lovely B&B were very helpful and friendly.

We want to express a special thanks to Marra and Marina. They were wonderful hostesses, and we felt like we were at the home of friends rather than a cooking lesson. Just one thing and this is not a criticism but a compliment, these 3 lessons should be advertised as an EATING VACATION. These are two very accommodating women and my wife and I will always enjoy the memory of the time we spent in their kitchen and with their family and friends.

The view from the B&B and the location were great.

This was our second cooking-vacation and the experience was just as good as the first if not better!

We hope that we will be able do another cook-vacation in a different part of Italy in the future.

Grazie mille for arranging an unforgettable vacation.

Joe & Terri F.


Letizia’s Kitchen ~ 8 Day

Hi Lauren,

I just wanted to let you know what a wonderful experience my husband and his brother had at their cooking class in Positano! They mentioned that you were there at the beginning – I wish we could have met. They learned a lot, but more importantly, had so much fun. As for the luncheon, my sister-in-law and I can’t say enough. It was so beautiful, not to mention that we had the whole class to ourselves. So I am so glad that I found “Cooking Vacations” and if/when I am in Italy again, you will be my choice.

Thanks again!

Donna C.
Staatsburg, NY


Positano~1 Day Cooking Classes & Market Tours™

Dear Lauren:

Thank you so much – for the olive oil and for everything else! It was a truly memorable trip for all of us and we loved every minute of it. Please give your team a hug for the wonderful preparations and effort they put into the making of this program. We were completely blown away – by the views, the food and the wonderful people of Positano. I really look forward to coming back soon – and staying longer. I will also keep you posted on friends who would like to travel and be a part of the cooking vacation trails.

God bless and much love!

Gina L
India


Artisan Cooking Positano On The Amalfi Coast ~ 8 Day

Dear Cooking Vacations

On behalf of myself, Mr and Mrs Pretorius and Mrs Burger, thank you so much for a wonderful stay at the lovely villa in Positano and the very efficient and well organized programme we worked through during our week-long stay.

The cooking classes were not only a cultural adventure to us and the food sometimes new to our taste buds, but we also learned so much new cooking techniques and exciting recipes, which we could test back home!

The trips we explored to Amalfi, Ravello and Pompeii, we not only educational, but also exciting in experiencing it from a tourist’s point of view.

My personal thanks also to Melody, who saw to it that everything ran smoothly, on time and without any hitches.

Lynette
Swakopmund, Namibia


Positano ~ Cooking Classes On The Amalfi Coast ~8 Days™

Thanks!  We really had a wonderful time.  We’ll be sure to send you some pictures and also write a review.

We’re glad everyone from your office was ok in Boston today!

Maggie


Positano ~ Cooking Classes On The Amalfi Coast ~8 Days™

Hi Lauren,

I just wanted to thank you for helping us find Maria and her husband for our vacation. They were absolutely wonderful and everything worked out perfectly. Their meals were a highlight of the trip for me and my husband. It was such a treat to be served dinner that neither of us had to plan or prepare after putting the kids to bed.

Thank you again!

Best regards,
Katie


Ciao Cooking Vacations

We had a FANTASTIC time! with an amazing family especially Maria in Naples who went out of her way to make this an unforgettable Cooking holiday – even teaching us more than what was part of the original cooking schedule. I would recommend her and her family’s expertise any day to anyone wanting a cooking experience with a warm friendly family.

Ann
Pietermaritzburg, South Africa


Cooking Classes & Culinary Tour Naples ~ 4 Day

Ciao Cooking Vacations!

I just wanted to thank you both so much for all your help and correspondence arranging  Katie’s cooking experience in Capri!  She is on a “gap year” between high school and college and is experimenting with many different things (right now is in Costa Rica studying Spanish and scuba diving!).  She had a simply marvelous time in Capri, loved Maria and her family (who as you suggested would take her under their wing as a family member!), learned so much about cooking (had a one on one experience with Maria and I’ve been the beneficiary having her cook so many wonderful things for us at home!), thought Capri itself absolutely beautiful (I’ve never been!), and also learned some life lessons about being alone in Italy at age 17 (I think Maria and her family were a little surprised by how young she was when she showed up!).  Anyway, she’s not very good herself on writing thank you notes (what teenager is?!) so I just wanted to say thanks myself!  Would you please do me a favor and write Maria for me to thank her as well as I have no Italian language skills but just wanted her to know how grateful I am for her great care of Katie!

THANKS!

John


Chef Salvatore’s Family Kitchen~5 Day

Ciao Lauren,

This experience is spectacular! In fact, is a bit of a joke, that I am always saying, perfetto and spettacolo to everything here.
Okay, so yes I am only one of two or three other rooms at the Sicilian Cooking Between Palermo & Trapani and it is very quiet around here, but it has even enhanced my experience. All of the staff at the hotel has welcomed me as part of the family here. They have something very special together here.
I am not a typical American, I know, but I try to share what I can with them.
So far, every evening I start in the kitchen with them at 6:30 and because they do not really open until 8pm, all of the staff is in the kitchen with me, cooking so many dishes together.  And everyone is accommodating with suggestions for visiting and train schedules and even rides to wherever I need to go. In down time here, it’s probably better to rent a car, but for me it is not necessary, as they drive me everywhere!
Today they arranged a private tour guide to take me to vineyard and spectacular tour of the vineyard and wine making and tasting. The guide then even drove me to some shopping suggestions nearby for this afternoon.  Seriously, I can’t say enough about the hospitality of everyone.  Okay, we’ll maybe that was not quick feedback, but I am feeling very passionate about it all!  So, again, everyone is fantastic, but for organizing, Nancy, Mariangela and Alessandro – there is no one better! And in the kitchen, the chefs, Rosario, Salvatore and another Salvatore are just so wonderful. Even the wait staff, Francesco and another Francesco are accommodating always.

I really am sad to be leaving them tomorrow!

Ciao ciao
Lisa J.


Chef Rosario’s Cooking Week ~ 6 Day

Dear Cooking Vacations,

In a quick moment it was spectacular and beyond our imagination of perfection and an addition to an already fabulous Italian excursion. We all loved every moment and Morsal.

A big wow!!
Alice, Susan, Michael, and Victor


Positano ~ Cooking Classes On The Amalfi Coast ~8 Days™

How do I describe being in an intimate group of writers, with an author whose work I’ve long admired, in a place of incredible beauty? I can’t. You’ll just have to experience it for yourself. From the first moment I arrived, to my last sad goodbye, I felt joy, camaraderie and validation. Elizabeth is a fantastic teacher, sharing her knowledge, experience and personal observations. She is kind and thoughtful in her critiques as she gently guides you. One additional highlight was the fun cooking class we had at the hotel. I had an amazing time in beautiful Positano. Highly recommended!

Kay R
MA

 


Elizabeth Berg’s Writing & Cooking Positano ~ Dates To Be Announced

Lauren, Melody and all,

We had a wonderful time on our Cooking Vacation.  We are enjoying making many of the recipes at home already, and hope that Christmas brings a pasta maker so that we can share Filomena and Fortunata’s wonderful ravioli and tagliolini recipes with our family.

It has been very busy since we have been home, but I will write a Trip Advisor review soon.  It is definitely on my list of things to do!  In the meantime, we have shared details of our trip and your school with many of our friends.  Perhaps some of them will be heading your way one day!

Best to all in sunny Positano!

Nancy W.
Norfolk, VA


Positano ~ Cooking Classes On The Amalfi Coast ~8 Days™

Lauren,

Thank you again for providing us a wonderful cooking experience in beautiful Positano.  We are still talking about it and dreaming of our return.  We shared some of our spices with our friends, they told us aromatics and taste was mouthwatering.

Best Regards,

Rhea R.
Florissant, MO


Positano ~ Cooking Classes On The Amalfi Coast ~8 Days™

Chef Massimo & Eleanor,

Thank you so much for a lovely vegan Italian cooking experience and resulting meal!  I’m so excited to return home to Colorado and make wonderful pasta with kamut flour and pesto with wine.  While I typically do not bake pastries, the peach, apple and ginger pastries were easy and fabulous.  I can’t wait to cook and bake for family and friends.  Thank you so much for an enjoyable day.  If you come to Colorado, you are welcome to our home.

Janell and Dan
Colorado


Cooking In Rapallo With Chef Maria ~ 1 Day

Just wanted to say thank you to Cooking-Vacations for a great day!  I took the Food Lover’s Tour in Positano on 9/4/2012 followed by a cooking class with Chef Raffaele.  Melody was a great guide and I had a great time with her.  The places we visited on the tour were fantastic!  I especially enjoyed Giovanni’s market and actually went back later that day and had some wine and cheese shipped back home.  The cooking class was fun and enjoyed tasting our creations.

When I travel back to Italy in a few years, I will be sure to look you guys up and do another class!

Thanks Again!

R.A. Labar
Parsippany, NJ


Positano ~ 1 Day Cooking Classes & Market Tours™

Hi Lauren and Melody,

Please don’t let the lateness of this note be any measure of how much I enjoyed my cooking vacation in Positano. I had high expectations before I got there, and they were exceeded in every single way. The accommodations were superb; the excursions were well-planned and added just the right amount of adventure; the town itself (Positano) was so comfortable, so friendly, sooooo beautiful; and of course, the cooking experience was AMAZING! Not only did I learn a lot about Italian cooking, I learned even more about the Italian way of being in the kitchen, and I loved every minute of it. Thank you so much!! The week is structured with just the right balance of adventure, cooking, and on-your own time. I wouldn’t change a single thing. And who could ever ask for a better chauffeur/ guide than Rino.

Elaine
Burlington, VT


Positano ~ Cooking Classes On The Amalfi Coast ~8 Days™

Lauren,

I just wanted you to know that Andrew and I had a brilliant time Italy with Chef Anna Maria, Maria Emelia and Antonio at the Luxe Villa Faenza!  What a wonderful family.  They welcomed us into their home and made us feel like part of the family.  Thank you sooo very much for arranging this vacation at the last minute!

Kimberly and Andrius
Germany


Artisan Cooking in Tuscany & Ravenna~6 Day

Dear Lauren, Rino & Melody

I don’t know how to even begin to thank you for the wonderful time I had with my daughters.  I wanted to give them something special for their birthday and a cooking vacation sounded great. This however, exceeded all of our expectations.   Every detail went was planned and executed so smoothly and Lucia is incredible.  We not only learned so much more than we hoped in cooking class, but had excellent trips to the markets, and factories, shops and excursions. We felt like part of an Italian familia and it was wonderful. We hope to do this again in a few years. Again, my deepest gratitude and appreciation for a wonderful time we will never forget.

Best Regards
Connie


Sorrento Cooking Classes & Market Tour~5 Day

Lauren + Rino,

We can’t thank you enough for looking out our family this past week. I’m so happy to hear that you fun on the boat last evening and that you’re getting away for some R&R in Capri. The driver was great this morning, everything went smoothly, we’re actually just unpacking now, (this place is a trip). Please tell Vito we said thank you and that I accidentally took the extra set of keys, I’ll put them in the mail on Monday and finally we look forward to spending time when you get back to the States and have some free time.
Ciao,

Mitch, Lisa + kids
Boston, Massachusetts


Positano ~ Cooking Classes On The Amalfi Coast ~8 Days™

Lauren and Melody,

I am back in Napoli ready to head back to DC at a very ugly hour in the morning!!
I had the most wonderful time in Ischia.  I learned so much from Chef Nino – different things from what I learned in Positano. Very complementary.
As I may have noted before, I need more equipment and utensils!  I already ordered a mandolin from Crate and Barrel that should arrive next week, and am looking at a food mill and other items on the Sur La Table website. I do not think I have ever seen or tasted such exquisite appetizers.  These things are not in recipe books or on websites.
When I told Chef Nino that I was impressed with the appetizers the pool bar brought with drinks, he dedicated the first lesson to such.  He asked me what else I liked, and the answer was pasta and seafood.  So the next two lessons were devoted to pasta and seafood!  He even asked what ingredients I disliked – the only one being anchovies, although I am allergic to eggplant/aubergine.  (Allergy developed later in life – very regrettable, as I loved eggplant.  Maybe ate too much! Same with coconut. Thanks to you, the hotel was already aware of this.)
Thank you so much for arranging all the transport and the island tours and for making me feel at home in a foreign country in a region I had not been to.  (Bella!). You picked a great hotel and people there to fill out your program.  They were so helpful and friendly, and very much on top of everything.  I know this did not happen without considerable effort on your part behind the scenes.  Very seamless!!  Grazie, grazie!!
Most of all, thank you for making all of this so fun.  I will now start planning for next July!!
Ciao!

Molly
Washington, DC


Ischia Island~Mediterranean Cooking & Spa Week~8 Day

The week in Tuscany at the Fabrizio Estate cooking school was a highlight of my life.  I enjoyed every moment.  Being a “country boy” the format of being included as a member of the farm and kitchen was terrific.  Everyone was so kind and I learned a lot about Italy without even leaving the farm.  The vineyard and olive groves were interesting to tour.  Horseback was a great morning expedition.  The farmer’s market in Florence was exciting and educational.  However the most outstanding part was the friendship of the kitchen crew.  We were welcomed with an outstanding lunch and bottle of estate bottled wine.  The weather lent itself to dining al fresco.  Abundant fresh herbs and unobtainable flours MADE the experience even better.  I can barely wait for my shipment of wine and olive oil to arrive.

Paul Eleazer


The Tuscan Traveler’s Dream ~ 7 Day

Ciao Cooking Vacations,

Antique Tuscany Castles & Vineyards
Cooking Classes, Horseback Riding & Spa With Chef Claudio!

We had our 3rd day of cooking today. Claudio is amazing. The staff here can’t do enough for us. And we are learning lots and eating like queens.
Thank you so much for leading us here. The place is beyond expectations.

Tobe Marmorstein & Family

Florida


Chef Massimo’s Tuscan Cooking Classes~6 Day

Dear Lauren and Rino,

Well Barbara and I have made it back to our home and are getting close to recovering from a most wonderful and pleasure filled vacation.  We just wanted to send a quick note thanking you and Rino (he’s numbero uno) for all of the hospitality and enjoyment from our trip and giving us the opportunity to make new North American and Italian friends.

If you are thinking about a USA trip please put a side trip on your schedule to our home.  We would love to re-pay all the pleasure you brought us.

As Rino said when he dropped us at the hotel in Naples no “good-byes”, just Ciao.

Dan and Barbara Lawrence


Artisan Cooking Positano On The Amalfi Coast ~ 8 Day

Hands-on with Chef Guiseppe all the way, excellent products, traditional Umbrian food, and I loved the staff.  The hotel, the cooking classes and every detail included was fabulous.  I learned so much and ate even more!!!  Chef Giuseppe loves his craft and it shows.  Thanks everyone at Cooking Vacations.

Coco Paige
Canada


Cooking With Chefs Giuseppe & Vincenza~7 Day

Hello Lauren!!

I cannot thank you enough for steering us towards our cooking experience in Pico !!! We had the most amazing magical few days. Carlo and his crew … Agnese , Valentina , and Frederique were all wonderful and made our experience there beyond great! Before we left Toronto my daughter was questioning where Pico was as she could not find ANY info about it in any of the travel books. We landed and were whisked away from the airport by Francesco and transported to a beautiful medieval village in the Aurunci mountains that way exceeded our expectations. The accommodations were beautiful , the town was beautiful and so peaceful, the kitchen we cooked our wonderful food in was fantastic. As you can see we were extremely pleased with everything … The only thing we are not too happy about was the few pounds we put on from eating all the pastries we made!!! I would highly recommend this experience and will definitely try to go back with my husband some day to explore the surrounding areas. My daughter was in heaven in the kitchen with Valentina and what a wonderful memory for her on her 25th. birthday. After two days we were beginning to understand some Italian and Valentina was understanding some English! We will try to make some of the meals at home for our family! They are in for a treat.
So grazie grazie!!!  And once again thank you for all you did for us. We miss Pico!!!

Susan and Dara Sutin
Ontario, Canada


Chef Stella’s Countryside Rome ~ 6 Day

Lauren —

Thank you again for all of your help. Mary was concerned about traveling alone and the confidence she gained will allow her to meet me on some of my International travels. She loved the program and has told all of her friends about the experiences.
You run a great program and a high-quality operation. Please pass my thanks to Melody!!!

Best regards,
Doug R.


Positano ~ Cooking Classes On The Amalfi Coast ~8 Days™

Hello Lauren!!
I cannot thank you enough for steering us towards our cooking experience in Pico !!! We had the most amazing magical few days . Carlo and his crew … Agnese , Valentina , and Frederique were all wonderful and made our experience there beyond great! Before we left Toronto my daughter was questioning where Pico was as she could not find ANY info about it in any of the travel books. We landed and were whisked away from the airport by Francesco and transported to a beautiful medieval village in the Aurunci mountains that way exceeded our expectations. The accommodations were beautiful , the town was beautiful and so peaceful, the kitchen we cooked our wonderful food in was fantastic. As you can see we were extremely pleased with everything … The only thing we are not too happy about was the few pounds we put on from eating all the pastries we made !!! I would highly recommend this experience and will definitely try to go back with my husband some day to explore the surrounding areas. My daughter was in heaven in the kitchen with Valentina and what a wonderful memory for her on her 25 th. birthday. After two days we were beginning to understand some Italian and Valentina was understanding some English ! We will try to make some of the meals at home for our family ! They are in for a treat .

So grazie grazie !!! And once again thank you for all you did for us. We miss Pico !!!
Sue and Dara S.
Ontario , Canada


Chef Stella’s Mini Retreat~4 Day

Lauren,

Thanks so much to Melody and you for all the work you did for our cooking vacation trip to Positano this month. I had been dreaming about this trip for so many years, and it met all my expectations. I didn’t want to leave and want to return to Positano as soon as I can. I loved the cooking classes, and there was also enough time to go sightseeing, shop and relax. Salvatore’s classes were so much fun! Mi amore Salvatore!!! I want to marry him and move to Positano!

Positano is indescribable, and the people are warm and friendly. We met new friends in our classes and locals we could call out by name as we saw them throughout the week. Because my job is so stressful, one of my most favorite things was just sitting/relaxing on my terrace each morning having breakfast overlooking the deep blue Mediterranean.

I was flipping around channels on my TV last night, and the movie Under the Tuscan Sun was on. (Of course, I have 2 DVDs of the movie.) Anyway, I caught it just when she and Marcello were driving down the curvy highway to Positano. I saw the beach where we went a couple of time. I cried wishing I was still there.

Keeping doing what you are doing – it was a fabulous experience, and my sister and I made memories we will cherish for a lifetime.

All the best,
D. Jones


Positano ~ Culinary Tours For Women Travelers™

Hi Lauren,

Thanks for your email…….Andy and Shawn went to NYC for a three day stint as soon as we got back and I stayed with the three darlings……Andy then flew to Canada and California, so we have not had a chance to share wine or stories or pictures as yet……
Our week in the Villa and the cooking experience was awesome…….I have made several of the recipes…..the lemon/almond dessert for my neighborhood bookclub and another for the kids while I was with them……ALL yummy…….And we look forward to making many more……we have 6 coming for a six-course dinner end of June. We offered it to our Church’s Auction Event for bidding……We will be making some recipes from our wonderful time with you….Those coming are looking forward to some dishes from Italy…
The rest of our traveling in Italy was fabulous………We loved Florence and Venice, and of course, Rome, but we were there prior to our week with you, so you know about that……
EVERYTHING about our time in Positano was truly amazing…..a trip of a lifetime and our memories will remain with us always……Thanks to you for all your generosity and lovely spirit……Please send our best to Rino and Melody……was such a pleasure to meet, spend time and get to know you all…..
Hope you are feeling better. Please know you always have a place to stay in the Phila area….Perhaps we can get to see you in the Boston area….Scott got his doctorate at UMASS and we do get to that wonderful city from time to time…..
We are busy working in the garden getting flowers and vegetables “off and growing”…….did nothing before we left and now it is crunch time…….Memorial Day Weekend is upon us, so time for picnic fare and gatherings with family and friends…..not too much Italian food, except putting Balsamic vinegar on our amazingly sweet “first of the season” strawberries……wish we could share some with you……
I got your newsletter yesterday and enjoyed reading it immensely…..

Grazie for everything once again and CIAO,
Marti


Cooking Classes On The Amalfi Coast ~ 1 Week

Lauren and Melody,

I want to thank you for one of the best weeks of my life!!! You both were amazing and made this trip go smoothly and enchanting.
Every person we were in contact with was pleasant and helpful. I was impressed with how everyone we talked to there was proud of their home and Italy as a whole. With as many tourists as you all see, I felt like you wanted to make my stay the best. Thank you.
I will have to come back and make up my pizza day!

Thank you a million times!!
V. James
Dallas, Texas


Positano ~ Culinary Tours For Women Travelers™

Dear Lauren and Melody

This is just to say thank you to you two as well as Reno, Raffaele, Luigi and his sister, Berenice and Giovanna and all the other people who made our holiday so wonderful and entertaining. Everything was organised so well and the personal touches made it very special.
Our accommodation was also just perfect and Positano (and the area) must be one of the prettiest places on earth.
Please convey our gratitude to everybody – hopefully we did not leave anybody out – but just give everybody a big hug from us.

Warm regards
Nientie N & Karin F

 


Ceramic Making & Cooking On The Amalfi Coast ~ 8 Day

Lauren & Rino-

Thanks for being flexible and touring us around the Amalfi coast.  My friends were quite happy to visit their father’s family home in Minori.  And, enjoyed shopping in Amalfi.  They were sorry not to get to Positano.  I told them they’d just have to come back!

Rino was an excellent driver in some terrible weather.  And we really enjoyed the route back to Napoli through the valley.  Some beautiful sights!

Arrivederci – until the next trip,
Julie


Positano ~ 1 Day Cooking Classes & Market Tours™

Lauren

First, I want to say that we thoroughly enjoyed our stay with you and must commend you on your efforts to work around the weather.  That alone saved the day.  The cooking experiences were the best part of the trip, we truly loved them.  We are already recommending Cooking Vacations to our friends.  GREAT JOB.

Charles and Robbie
Lafayette, LA


Positano ~ Cooking Classes On The Amalfi Coast ~8 Days™

We enjoyed ourselves very much and learned a lot. Chef Luciana was wonderful and so was everyone else connected with either the actual classes
or the Villa. Thanks! Audrey


Dear Lauren Birmingham Piscitelli,

I am remiss for not writing sooner, but I wanted to let you know, better late than ever, that my wife and I had an absolute blast with Chef Angelo in Toarmina September 30th (or so). He was delightful. We enjoyed the trip to market and the cooking and meal was superb. Staff was great. Really kicked off our week long visit to Sicily. A great value, and the individual attention paid to us was special, as there were four in our morning class. (me, my wife and another mother/daughter.) The class met all my expectations, and exceeded my wife’s expectations, and due to the resultant good will that the class earned me with my wife, we went to Italy as two persons, and returned as three.

Ciao!

R. Woodburn


Hello Lauren.

I LOVED my vacation. You were wonderful, Elizabeth was so sweet, and Positano was magical. It was perfect and still feels a little like a dream.

I would love to come back some day.

Thank you so much for all of your efforts to make it such a memorable week.

In gratitude,

Cheryl


Elizabeth Berg’s Writing & Cooking Positano ~ Dates To Be Announced

Thanks, Lauren, and the experience in Ravello with Chef Raffaelle was terrific and we had a fantastic time. Everyone was so kind and very prepared for us and the choice of menus to cook were terrific. If I had one suggestion…it would be that it was too short and I would have loved a whole days of cooking. But, all in all, it was terrific and thank you for the experience. I very much enjoy receiving your newsletter and many thanks for a terrific experience.

D. McGinn


Lauren,

Sadly our cooking vacation has come to its’ conclusion and life is back to its’ normal rhythm. The experience in Ischia far exceeded my expectations. When I travel I typically organize everything myself and as a result there are often hic-cups along the way not to mention spots worth seeing that I had completely overlooked.

Cooking Vacations in hand with the highly professional and efficient staff made this trip one of the most memorable holidays ever! From the moment Susan and I arrived in Naples we were made to feel comfortable…..a car waiting to whisk us to the port…..luggage looked after….a shuttle bus waiting in Ischia Porto….and then a warm welcome from Beatriz at the Hotel. Beatriz was not only professional…she was efficient, attentive and extremely knowledgeable…..and I must say an excellent translator!

Then there was the food……Mama Mia! Beatriz recommended Dinner at the Chef’s Table on the night of our arrival…..I could never have anticipated what was to come! Susan and I had the opportunity to watch Chef Nino and the kitchen staff at work and what a performance…..on the plate and in the kitchen! Italian food at a whole new level. It was like watching the maestro conduct a symphony from front row seats!

For the cooking lessons Chef Massimo and his team were passionate, generous and inspiring in the kitchen and made me feel right at home. From Gnocci ..to risotto..to pizza….to limoncello… to stuffed lobster ….to fish in crazy water….I left Italy with a new appreciation for Italian cooking.

Susan and I were able to focus on having a fun and relaxing time…all the sites worth seeing were organized in advance with nothing left to chance.

Finally having travelled alone in the past personal safety is always a consideration…..in this instance I never gave it a second thought. I felt as though I had an extended family looking after my best interests….and that is really what made it so difficult to say Arrivederci. Italy is truly about the people and the food…..a part of my heart will always remain in Ischia!

Thank you to all of the staff at Cooking Vacations for making this such a special holiday! As wonderful as everything was I must now really go on a diet!

Ciao!
S. Zimmermann


Hello Lauren

Thank you so much for contacting me. There is not enough words to
express the wonderful time I had on this vacation. Good times always
start with the people your with and then continue on to the places and
experiences. While being with my sisters and cousins was such fun, we
made new enjoyable fun friends in our group and have exchanged emails.

The chefs are great
teachers all the while not making us feel like we were in the way of
their business.
Our accommodations in Rome were clean and friendly. We
talked and laughed with the girls at the front desk every day. They
shared good shopping tips and were helpful with recommending where to
eat and walking directions Then we got to Positano where
Maria is everyone’s grandmom. It was the best place for our group to be as it is
central to everything. We sat every morning and late nights on the
patio laughing and always out of breath from climbing the steps around
town. Maria would come out share a glass of wine, laugh and take many
pictures with us. WE ABSOLUTELY LOVED HER!

Now Lauren and Melody, finally let me gives you thanks for all your help
planning this wonderful experience, your patience with our many
emails and questions, hooking us up with tours and your
drivers and for our welcome package. As you can tell, there
isn’t one single thing I could think about changing or complaining
about. You give enough cooking and eating time, touring and shopping
and then free time to explore, we even got to the beach . I will
always recommend Cooking Vacations, hoping someday to return to
Positano.
It is my intention to write reviews on trip advisor and your website is
there anywhere else you would like?.

P.S. – Already signed up for your newsletter and subscribed to Taste
of Italia.
Thank you so much. Wishing you both luck, love and happy cooking.

Sharon DeMatteo
The Triolo Group member


Dear Lauren and Cooking Vacations Co.

My daughters and I had a wonderful time.  The cooking classes were excellent and we were made to feel very comfortable plus they were lots of fun.  Everyone was friendly.  Rino was a very attentive driver.   The villa was lovely.  Overall we had a great vacation.

Louise Little


Dear Lauren,

We had a great time- Antonella, Valeria and Barbara were accomplished professionals, hospitable, charming and helpful. Our first impression upon entering our Bologna Cooking Vacations program was of a clean professional facility. They exceeded our expectations, and we would recommend them to others, and we hope to return to learn more!

Our day tour was informative and interesting – our guide very knowledgeable and the locations interesting.

Accommodations at the B&B owned and managed by Augustino and Roberto were clean with modern amenities. They run an excellent B&B and we would recommend them as well. Morning coffee and breakfasts were plentiful and delicious. They offered recommendations for local dining, and we were never disappointed.

We very much enjoyed your services and recommendations. Thank you for the Prosecco and aprons upon arrival. We did not receive a recipe book, but we did receive the recipes we prepared at Amici di Babette. We’ are happy with our cooking vacation.

K Maier and D Starliper


Dear Lauren & Melody,

I just wanted to take a minute to thank you for the wonderful vacation we had in Italy!   We were blown away by our experience in Positano last year, but this year was even better!

We thoroughly enjoyed our weekend in Positano — is there a more beautiful place?  It was fun to be back at the Hotel with Maria, and to cook with Chef Raffaele again.  And then our week in Tuscany was just amazing!  The entire staff at the villa was warm and inviting, and ready to make sure we were able to experience as much as possible in the area.  We were made to feel so at home by everyone:  from our driver Giovanni to Julia and Laura and Melina and Simonetta, and then our perfect host Fabrizio (and his beautiful wife and children)!  By the way, we did a hot air balloon ride one morning which was  breathtaking, and we also went to Volterra one day, and loved that as well.  Thanks so much for putting this all together for us.  I know you work so hard to make all of these vacations special, and we really appreciate all you do! We are already thinking of options for next year!  If you have any suggestions, please pass them along!

Best,

Vicki


Lauren, I wanted to tell you that my cooking class with Maria in Venice was wonderful!!!  She is terrific and knowledgeable, and I’ve actually been able to recreate what she taught us myself!  Thank you so much for arranging this!

Peg Molloy


Hi Lauren!

Justin and I had a wonderful time in Rome doing cooking classes with Chef Eugenio and his staff.  We also had a great time with Stefano and Francesca!!

Thank you for organizing our trip!

Truly a wonderful time

Jillian and Justin


Our cooking vacation was wonderful again.  We enjoyed our short stay and lesson in Positano with Chef Rafaelle — very nice to see Maria at the Hotel and to cook with Rafaelle once again.  We also loved the week in Tuscany with Fabrizio and team.  What a wonderful place, incredible countryside, lovely people, great sights — just perfect!   We will hopefully be back again next year for another cooking adventure!

Penny Reynolds


Hi Lauren and Melody!  I had great time at the Pastry Is Your Passion Program Positano ….the hotel and the restaurants where I had the cooking classes were great..especially Chef Filomina!  I was totally satisfied and have passed that along to Linda at Malone travel agency.  Did you get my inquiry re: my order of wine and olive oil…along with the stuff I left at the hotel…has it been shipped?  Thanks again for a fun and educational week!!!!!

Dianne Burns


Thanks To All of you at Cooking Vacations for a fabulous experience.
I did not think I could make the ride up that steep hill, but I did it and did not want to leave. The cooking experience with Chef Raffaele and being in a family owned and managed hotel made all the difference with my experience. Mamma, Barbara and all the brothers treated me like I was part of the family. It was great to see a family care so much about their property. Your program Lauren pointed out all the must sees in Ravello and beyond. Thanks Melody for your assistance. Thank you Guiseppe for the great translation and hope to see you all soon.

Austin Lewis
London, England


From Garden To Kitchen ~ 5 Day

Hi Girls and guys,
Wanted to write and share my photos of the greatest cooking experience of my life. Venturing to Ischia and learning the cuisine of a non tourist place was a great idea. I ate, cooked, relaxed and relaxed more! It was just what the doctor ordered. I met a sweet man too and will be coming back to Italy sooner than planned. The vacation and all your assistance on restaurants, shopping, and activities changed my life.

Roseanne Davis
Dallas, TX


Hands On Cooking Ischia With Executive Chef Pasquale~3 Day

Thank you for a great time on Ischia. Visiting a new destination after traveling all of Italy was a great recommendation-thanks to all at Cooking. Lauren keep the recipes coming, I love the newsletter each month. I will be ordering more of that delicious olive oil of yours as well. Happy cooking!

Philly Astet
Newport, RI


Ischia Island~Mediterranean Cooking & Spa Week~8 Day

Thanks to everyone at Cooking Vacations for a superb Grand Tour of Sorrento!
AnnaMaria and her family were just like being at home! The cooking classes, the tours with AnnaMaria and her daughter were so insightful. I could have never done any of it on my own. Thank you!

Anna Torti
Perth, Australia


Sorrento Cooking Classes & Market Tour~5 Day

A big thanks to all of you at Cooking Vacations.
Experiencing Naples and La Bella Cucina Napoletana was a dream of a lifetime. You assistance and patience in helping me plan and suggesting all the right things was amazing. A big thanks from Alaska.

Jenny, Blake, Sidney and Joe Jr.
Alaska


NOT VALID Cooking Classes & Culinary Tour Naples ~ 5 Day

To Lauren and Cooking Vacations Family
I cannot tell you how much I truly enjoyed my Italian Cooking Vacations! Traveling alone as a single woman was a challenge, but as soon as I arrived and Rino met me at the Airport, I knew I was in great hands. From the hands-on cooking classes to each and every tour, my Ravello experience was a most memorable one. I hope to come back soon and visit another part of beautiful Italy with Cooking Vacations.

Rhonda Jilbert
Ontario, Canada


Cooking with Chef Antonio and staying at their family Villa on the Amalfi Coast had me living a dream.
I want to thank Lauren, Melody, Giuseppe, Chef Antonio and Rino too-who drove me all over during the week for a great time and fun experience. I feel like I made a new family there with you all. Grazie grazie to all of you and hope to come back soon.

Kisses!
Sue Labrey
Detroit MI


Amalfi Coast Wine Tour & Cooking Class~1 Day

Mamma Mia! Cooking Vacations & Company
Lauren, Melody, Guiseppe and Co.
I truly enjoyed the in-depth and expertise Pastry classes in Positano. I cannot tell you how I dreamed to make all of those wonderful sweets and already have recreated some of them at home. My husband is overwhelmed. The hands-on approach and excellent farm fresh ingredients also helped me understand the importance of simple fresh products. The photos from the market too were a blast! I will share them will you all soon, as soon as I come back to reality. Thank you all for making my visit to Italy a most memorable one. Kisses to Philomena-she has hands of gold!

Jane Brady
LA CA


La Dolce Vita, Dessert & Pastry Making Positano~5 Day

Lauren, Melody, Rino, Giuseppe and Chef Maria!
Grazie mille for everything! Seeing Capri with a local and experiencing her kitchen in AnaCapri was an experience I will never forget. This cooking experience taught me the back to nature basics with a pro! Baci a tutti. I will keep cooking my Capri recipes from home.

Charlene Tillie
Switzerland


Chef Salvatore’s Family Kitchen~5 Day

Dear Lauren and Company,
I cannot thank you enough for your patience and help in planning my trip of a lifetime. The Don Alfonso program was more than I would have ever imagined. Great food, people and classes. Grazie!

Georgie Hall
Tampa, FL


Don Alfonso Cooking Classes~7 Day

Ciao To Everyone at Cooking Vacations,
Thanks for a great experience in the Art & Cooking program! I loved every sunny Italian second of it!

Don Wong
New York, NY


Ceramic Making & Cooking On The Amalfi Coast ~ 8 Day

Hi Lauren, Melody, Rino and Staff at Cooking Vacations,
Just back from my Slow Cooking Positano tour, what a week and cannot thank you enough. I loved the concept of cooking and visiting all the artisan Slow food sites! I learned and improved my cooking now to great heights. Thanks to everyone!

Becky P
Chicago


Artisan Cooking Positano On The Amalfi Coast ~ 8 Day

Hi Everyone at Cooking Vacations!
It was great to meet you and Lauren. We had a blast and I was actually thinking that only one week ago I was on the beach in 80 degree weather. Today it was 38 degrees F when I woke up. Blah! Think we might be in for a long winter (sadly).
I’ll pass the note along to Amy. I know she had a ton of fun and talked about returning someday. I do have photos (4.5 Gig worth) but had to narrow it down to some of my “best” photos – 136 of them to be exact. If you like any just let me know and I’d be happy to send them along 🙂


Positano ~ Cooking Classes On The Amalfi Coast ~8 Days™

Thank you!
My friend and i thoroughly enjoyed cooking with Eugene Rossi in Rome! this past July. He was very full of local culinary information for generations back– going to the ancient Testaccio Market was really exciting and great shopping too. I found a great pair of shoes for my daughter she adored! We will definately do it again!
Ciao! and Mille grazie for all your help!

Nancy Nickerson
FLA


One Day Cooking Class & Testaccio Market Visit

Buon Giorno friends and family,
I miss all of you! I am still in a dream state. My Cooking Tour in Positano left an indelible memory of new friends, delicious cuisine wrapped in beauty, laughter and abundant joy.

Hugs,
Kimballi


Positano ~ Cooking Classes On The Amalfi Coast ~8 Days™

Hi Lauren and Melody
Yes I thoroughly enjoyed the cooking session at Tre Sorella in Positano and I must say the lady owner was very hospitable, explaining the steps taken. My daughter (who was sunning herself whilst dad cooked) joined us for the meal. Here is a picture below. My daughter works in Rome so I hope to make another visit and hopefully can attend a longer cooking session.

With Best Wishes
Keith


Positano ~ 1 Day Cooking Classes & Market Tours™

Lauren & Melody:
Thank you so much for everything! We had an amazing vacation, it was all I dreamed it would be and more. I have been telling all my co-workers about your program and of course showing off our photos of the delicious foodsJ Everyone involved were so nice and helpful from our cleaning girls to the drivers. We really appreciate that. I know the wedding had to be spectacular, I am sure you were a beautiful bride. I am excited to see any photos you might post. Yes, I have started a diet, I gained 7 pounds…LOL! We learned so much and will definitely use all the recipes when possible. As we say in Texas….”you guys got it going on!” LOL!

Best wishes and thanks for the experience of “La Dolce Vita”.
Glenda Burrell, Texas


Cooking Classes On The Amalfi Coast ~ 1 Week

Dear Lauren, Melody, Rino, Fabrizio and troupe:
I just wanted to take a few minutes and say thank you again for the wonderful trip. As summer progresses, I find myself thinking often of the great memories of my time in Positano and Tuscany as well as the breathtaking landscapes. It was fun meeting all of you and sharing a moment in your lives there. I especially loved the wonder, beauty and charm of Positano and the people there. As well, the peace and comfort of the Tuscany countryside was complemented by the friendliness and openness of the people at Podre del Anselmo and will always have a special place in my heart. I am including some photos for you. If meet anyone who is contemplating going to Italy, I will be sending them your way! Best wishes to everyone in the future and I hope I might see you all again some day!

Rebecca Schimelfenig
USA


Positano ~ Cooking Classes On The Amalfi Coast ~8 Days™

Lauren,
Thank you very much for sending the Cookbook, it looks fabulous – Janet has gone inter-state with work for the day – you should hear from her by the end of the week. We loved the course and spending the time with you. Janet has already made the Italian Meatballs and it has our sons’ nod of appreciation.

K. McDonald
Sydney Australia


Positano ~ Cooking Classes On The Amalfi Coast ~8 Days™

Hi Lauren Thank you so much for a wonderful time in Positano, we would love to come back and visit again soon. We are getting our pictures together now and if they turn out well, will send you some.

Many Thanks,
Kathy and Rick Blomquist


Positano ~ Cooking Classes On The Amalfi Coast ~8 Days™

Dear Lauren and Melody,

We attended one of your organized cooking lessons in Positano on 20 October at the restaurant “Le tre sorelle”. It was excellent and the staff in the restaurant was great, all of them !!! We got many more recipes that what we thought!!! Everything was outstanding. Thank you so much and I will let you know when we are back in Italy so that we might attend another course in another city.
Merry Christmas and best wishes for 2011!!!

M. Taraborelli, Switzerland


Positano ~ Cooking Classes On The Amalfi Coast ~8 Days™

Hi Melody and Lauren:
Thank you for an incredible AND unforgettable Italian cooking vacation. From the waiters, to the chefs, to Giovanna, Melody and Lauren, and the drivers, thank you from the bottom of our hearts. We learned some small samplings of the hows and whys Italian cooking is so famous at the great restaurant Tre Sorelle. As an added treat, Giovanna, the granddaughter of the original owner, taught us a bit of the history of the restaurant where we worked. Giovanna narrated the chef’s work, as we eagerly took our turns making delectable fish dishes, pasta dishes, and amazing desserts! Also, the side tours, such as Lauren’s educational tour of Italy’s local foods at Positano’s delis, the tour of Michaelangelo’s Mozzarella production company in Sorrento, and finally the excursions to Pompei, Amalfi and Ravello were an added treat, and not to miss! Thank you again, for an unforgettable cooking vacation in Bella Italia. We cannot wait to return and learn some Italian along with the cooking on our next trip!

A Cooking Friend Always,
Kathy Steinhause


Positano ~ Cooking Classes On The Amalfi Coast ~8 Days™

Hi Lauren and Melody,

Want to THANK YOU both for a memorable vacation. I had a great time and it was wonderful meeting you both. The dinner on Friday at Valle dei Mulini was amazing. Each course was as delicious as the next. And the finale was the trio of desserts each bite was delectable. I know we started off on a sour note, but you can be assured it all ended sweet. Reached home safe and now trying to get back into the rut. I’m sure you both are enjoying the cool mornings and nights and hot sunny days in beautiful Positano. Will keep in touch and send you pictures soon.

Thank you once again!
Warm regards,
Imelda


Positano ~ Culinary Tours For Women Travelers™

Dear Lauren,

I started a note to you all last night as well but I was so tired I wasn’t making any sense so I deleted it until this morning. I just wanted to express to you (the creative force/ mission/attender of details), Rino (without a doubt “the best Italian boyfriend/husband” in all of Italy not to mention navigator and driver through the twists and turns of the coast) and Melody (who was like a joyful song in her eloquent descriptions). You all have such a gift of welcoming and hospitality and love for your Italy. You made it come alive through the experiences, the classes, the tours, the amazing people we met which bonded our special group. Our pictures are not of beautiful ancient faraway places but are vibrant and alive because we got to be a part of the current culture. I take away the passion for living connected now in whatever I am doing whether it be pizza/ravioli making, treating my patients or just being with friends and family fully present. I remember one morning as I was sitting on the balcony watching a nearby very old lady still tending her garden vigorously stopping to have an animated conversation with a passing friend. As she said goodbye, she paused watching her friend leave down the path, she yelled at her and blew her a kiss before she started back on the weeds. These are the snapshots I will treasure. Also, a special thanks for opening your beautiful terrace and Positano vistas to Steve and I for the vow renewal ceremony and making sure we got priceless pictures to remember. I think this trip will live on as we give it away to others. Thank you for this unique experience!

Arrivederci

Kay and Steve


Positano ~ Cooking Classes On The Amalfi Coast ~8 Days™

Dear Lauren, Melody and Everyone At Cooking Vacations,

Venice was magic and the cooking classes were more than we could imagine.

Grazie a million times over! Venice was everything and more. Having never been to Italy before your customer service and organized information and hands-on cooking classes were more than we could have imagined. Thank you again.

From the first night’s welcome dinner to the market walks with Sara we were just overwhelmed with the details and cooking classes. Looking forward to returning soon.

Grazie!
Todd, Cecilia and family
South Carolina


Venice’s V.I.P. ~ 7 Day

I wanted to write you all and tell you how much I learned to enjoy life while with everyone during the wine tour and cooking classes. Great job to the entire staff, Lauren, Melody, Giuseppe and Rino. The chefs and folks along the way made it so beautiful. Will send photos soon.

Thank you all,
Bob and Barbara
Burlington, MA


Vesuvio Vineyard Tour & Wine Tasting Lunch

Thanks for a great off the track experience in Lucca with Chef Mauro. The antipasto, pasta, risotto, chicken, fish and desserts were gorgeous. This little town is a perfect spot to see all things Tuscan without the big crowds. I cannot stop looking at my cooking photos, I want to come back soon. Thanks again to everyone, it was a well planned and excellent way to spend my vacation.

Elizabeth Boward
Montana


Kosher Italian Cooking By Maestro Mauro~4 Day

We had a fabulous time at the villa with Fabrizio. Fabrizio and his staff were so welcoming and warm. Regarding the cooking classes, not only did my husband and I learn a lot but the classes were friendly and fun. The setting of the podere is beautiful with the olive groves, the rolling vineyards and the horses adding to what was a wonderful experience for our 10th wedding anniversary. I will be sharing a few photos with you soon.

Barbara & Mike Colter
San Juan Capistrano, CA


The Tuscan Traveler’s Dream ~ 7 Day

My hands-on cooking class with the family at the vineyard was a great cooking class. I cannot believe how fascinating the wine making process is. The food we prepared with simple ingredients from the farm, we outstanding. I loved walking barefoot through the vineyard, I felt like a kid again. My photos do not begin to tell the beauty of the place, I will just have to come back soon with my husband.

Judy Eddleman
Australia


Amalfi Coast Wine Tour & Cooking Class~1 Day

Top Chef cooking with a 5 star staff, and a great gang at Cooking Vacations headquartered in Positano! What a combination. Great recipe for the greatest vacation I ever had.

Tara Lee
Atlanta, Georgia


Praiano Blue Sky, Starry Nights & Cerulean Sea ~ 6 Day

Chef Eugenio was the most amazing Chef! His market tour, cooking classes and expertise in Italian cuisine made my classes so very interesting. Thanks to everyone at Cooking Vacations for turning an ordinary trip into an insightful and interesting vacation that put me in the hands of locals who cared and shared. Many thanks Lauren, Melody and Chef Eugenio.

Sam, Gloria, and our children, Jack, Jen and Julia.
Stanford, CT


Chef Eugenio’s Dolce Vita ~ 6 Day

The Vatican Tour was so interesting with Stephano our guide. We walked, learned and gained insight into things we could have never done on our own. Having a local lead us around Rome was worth every cent. Great stuff Stephano, Lauren and Melody.

The Brodwells
Pittsberg PN


One Day Rome City Tours, The Vatican, St. Peter’s, Trevi Fountain & Colosseum

Chef Fabio thank you. You taught me things even my grandmother did not know. Your 14th century castle and the itinerary were just gorgeous. Thank you all for a wonderful time while visiting Italy.

Ellen Berger
NY, NY


Cooking With Chef Carmen Rome’s Countryside~4 Day

Lauren, Melody, Carlo and company, A big thanks to everyone in Italy who made our family dream come true. Visiting the homeland of my family and being with all of you who are locals to this beautiful area of Italy where my great grand father came from brings tears to my eyes. So refreshing to see that so life has not changed in this beautiful part of Italy and the cheese still tastes the delicious same way as it did when my bis nonno made it.

Ciao a tutti!
Giovanna, Marco and family
Johnston, RI


Chef Stella’s VIP ~ 6 Day

My husband loved his 50th birthday gift. Thanks for the cake, the cooking and the Ferrari ride.

Liz Cohen
Paris, France


Rome To The Amalfi Coast, Cooking & Driving A Ferrari ~ 5 Day

Just a blast, we ate, drank and cooked our way through Tuscany, thanks Cooking Vacations for an extraordinary time!

The Blake Family


Cooking In Florence’s Tuscan Hills ~ 8 Day

Thanks Cooking Vacation for turning a visit to Florence with Chef Monica into a family experience of cooking and fun. I cooked new dishes, visited Florence like a local and made new friends. A refreshing vacation that renewed my soul. Many thanks to all of you at Cooking Vacations who helped me make this happen.

Penny White
London, England


Florence Food Lover & Cooking Tour ~ 4 Day

Chef Massimo in Montepulciano taught us the best Tuscan pasta I ever ate. In a short weekend, I learned, laughed and enjoyed life Italian style. Thanks everyone for a great time.

Tom and Leeah Turk
San Diego, CA


Tuscan Food & Wine Trails Tour ~ 3 Day

I miss you all already at the Villa Florentine. Thanks Benedetta and everyone who held my hand and embraced me like one of the family. The Villa was made for a Queen! It was well worth every euro! Loved it.

Ida Applegate
Hawaii


The Tuscan Traveler’s Cookbook™ ~ 7 Days

Ciao Simonetta and family. Wanted to write sooner but getting back to real life was not an easy thing to do after a week with you. Thanks for sharing your home and knowledge in Cortona. Thanks for great cooking classes that really showed me hands-on what to do, and thanks for being so passionate and kind in your endeavor. Many thanks and I will be back soon. Miss Cortona so much.

Mary Townsfeld
Sydney, Australia


Simonetta’s Kitchen & Herb Garden ~ 8 Day

Hi Lauren,
What a fantastic trip! There just aren’t enough adjectives to describe it! It’s the best thing I have ever done for myself. Everyone I met was so lovely. Please say thank you from me to Rino, Maria and everyone at the property, and everyone at the cooking class. Giovanna is an angel! Susan and I have spoken since our return and will hopefully keep in touch.
We really got along well and had many exciting adventures together. I have already tried some of the recipes I learned and everything turned out great. Family and friends were especially impressed by the limoncello tiramisu!! I’ve made it twice:) I’m anxiously awaiting the boxes of goodies I had shipped from the delicatessen and the wine store downstairs. I also met a very nice man while in Positano and we are planning to see each other again in November when things get a little quieter there and he is able to take some time off. I met him on my first night in Positano, on the steps of the little church in the piazza. If all goes well, we will have quite a story to tell someday! Thank you to all again for a life-changing experience. I plan to hold on to the ‘Positano Glow’ I’m feeling for a long time!

Ciao,
Michele


Positano ~ Culinary Tours For Women Travelers™

Chef Claudio was the best, I can finally make great Tuscan classics. Thanks to Claudio and his wonderful family and staff.

Tess Camidge
Newton, MA


Chef Massimo’s Tuscan Cooking & Spa~6 Day

Lauren & Melody,

I do want to let you both know that the Secret Garden trip was absolutely fabulous. You guys opened up a world to me and Diane that we would not have experienced without the insights and the people we met. We learned a lot…including how to live life! It’s a treasured memory and I’m sad it went so fast.

Thanks,
Aliza
California


Positano ~ Cooking Classes On The Amalfi Coast ~8 Days™

Hi Lauren/Melody,
I am back in India after a busy schedule at london.Thank you both for a wonderful stay at Positano- My husband insists that I must take him there and experience all the joy and fun we had.He promises to even quietly watch my cooking classes,ha! ha!. Will send you someof the pictures soon.Take care.

A big Hi to Rino.
Rama


Artisan Cooking Positano On The Amalfi Coast ~ 8 Day

Rigatoni with rib sausage and meatballs at La Tre Sorelle, on the beach at Positano. Glass of Prosecco while watching the boats and the sunset on the Tyrrhennian Sea.

I enjoyed the bustle and pace of the kitchen, the clanging of pots and pans, the efficiency of the heavy-duty burners and grinders and boilers and ovens, the incredible raw material – fresh seafood, marinated seafood, San Marzano tomatoes, pastas of various shapes, olive oils and herbs – the smell of which stayed with me for days -, the meticulous ‘prep’, the fast explosive action of cooking, the careful plating, and of course the colours and aroma and tastes of a mediterranean kitchen.

Chef made a classic Ragu Bolognese, starting with minced onions, carrots and celery and bay leaf, adding tomato sauce and red wine and beef and simmering for hours. I observed closely and stirred, and stirred and stirred.

Making Octopus salad with fresh Octopus from the Bay of Naples was a breeze.

Making my own Limoncello with Sorrentine lemons was fun and satisfying.

And pasta, pasta, glorious pasta

Rigatoni, Spaghetti, Vermicelli cooked in huge pasta boilers with the pasta water acting as a sauce starter. Always al dente. Sauces made with clams or squid or porcini, and tomatoes, olive oil, garlic and pepper flakes. Tossed together just before plating and topped with parmigiano, cracked pepper and olive oil. Simple and delicious.

We made Orange Caramel, with oranges steeped in caramelised sugar and Cointreau.

Eating what we cooked. Pasta with clams and ‘white fish’, crepes with porcini, cheese and lots of Aglianico, Campania’s most famous wine. With Chef Vincenzo, Lorenzo, Fiorenzo and Emanuel at Ristorante Mediterraneo, Positano.

We all ate together: Vincenzo, Lorenzo, Fiorenzo, Emanuel and I Ate what we cooked, always with lots of wine

Chef Vincenzo and I made a good team And I gained lots of new friends. Grazie and Ciao to Vincenzo, Lorenzo, Enzo, Fiorenzo, Rodrigo and Emanuel. And thank you Lauren Birmingham of Cooking Vacations for making this happen.

Argha
Hong Kong


Artisan Cooking Positano On The Amalfi Coast ~ 8 Day

Hello Melody and Lauren,

I adored Italy and loved the class with Cooking Vacations. Positano is magical! Perhaps we’ll visit Northern Italy next year and will incoroporate a fews days with your school at that time.

Thank you so very much for the wonderful recipes…can’t wait to “lovingly inflict” them upon my friends and family! I’m attaching a few pics from the class.

Give my best to everyone and again, THANK YOU, (profusely)

Ciao,
Regina


Positano ~ 1 Day Cooking Classes & Market Tours™

Grazie mille to Filippo, Matteo and Andrea for an excellent week of cooking and eating, and yes drinking that great wine. Our teeth are now purple! Many thanks again from our entire family.


Cooking With Chef Trio Brothers~4 Day

Thanks to Chef Elena, the family and staff for making our experience in Siena most memorable. Our cookery classes, the wine, the new recipes were so inspiring and the property was just gorgeous. Many, many thanks to everyone for the wonderful time we all shared during our anniversary.

Phil and Bee Jackson
Colorado


Tuscan Cooking, Wine Tour & Spa~6 Day

Chef Totti you are the best. Thanks for being patient with my cooking skills, I am proud to say I have recreated most of the recipes at home. The property, the service the passion was just more than I could ever have imagined. Grazie!

C. Newman and Family
Vermont


Cooking In The Villa With Chef Salvatore ~ 8 Day

Thanks Carla and family for opening up your heart and kitchen to our group. The food, cooking, wine and side trips were beautiful. We loved it and will be back.

George, Mat, Penny and the Ohio Gang!


Tuscan Cooking With Carla~5 Day

Lauren and Melody
Thanks for the greatest time of my life. Going to a cooking class and forgetting about the rest was a good idea. I learned a lot and enjoyed my time with Chef Guisy in the kitchen. Her family embraced me and I cannot thank you all enough. I have already emailed all the new friends from my trip. Excellent suggestion.

James Turner
Montreal Canada


The Family’s Kitchen & Wine Cellar ~ 8 Days

Chef Accursio thank you! Thanks for taking time to show me how, our group loved the experience and I want you to know how we all enjoyed and learned. The property was A+ and the experience itself was magical. Thank you all.

John and Lilly White
LA, CA


Touring & Tasting With Rising Star Chef ~ 6 Day

Thanks Chef Antonia for opening up your home, kitchen and cook book. We loved the experience. I learned so much about Sicilian cooking with Chef Antonia and her team. The garden fresh produce, old world recipes, visit to the Catania fish market and wine maker were a food lovers’ dream. Thanks for your help Lauren and Melody for putting this most interesting culinary trip together for me. Seeing Etna from the garden was like a page in a romance novel. Thank you so very much Chef Antonia. Kisses to all.

Bertie Esposito,
Vermont


Mamma Antonia’s V.I.P. Premium ~ 8 Day

Thanks for a great hands on cookery class, the wine was great, the planning superb. Chef Fiora Angela spent her whole day with us, in the kitchen and around the property. It was way better than staying in any hotel. Thanks for sharing, inviting us into your kitchen and sharing your family recipe book with us all. I cannot make the cassata as good as you yet, but will send you photos of what I did create. My family loved it and I am so very proud, thanks to you Chef. We really had a wonderful time and our women’s group want to return soon.

Mary Blake and the Wine Women’s Club, CT


Cooking With Chef Fiora Angela ~ 8 Day

Sicily is so beautiful and spending my week in a real olive garden with Chef Natalie was the best. Learning to make antipasto, fresh pasta, chicken with almonds and those Sicilian cannoli were the highlight of our trip. The visit to the fish market too was so colorful. Sicily is so spicy and we loved every moment. I have tons of photos I will send, but first need to try out my newly added Sicilian recipes to my kitchen. Chef Natalia and staff a big round of applause. Thanks Lauren for suggesting the perfect culinary vacation in Sicily.

Gabriella Berkshire
Casper, Wyoming


Farm Tour & Olive Oil Tasting – 3 Days

Grazie mille for the most extra ordinary experience in the culinary world ever. I have taken cooking classes all over the world and this one ranks up to one of the top three. Chef Luigi was hands on all the way, had us working and shared with us his technique and ways for authentic cooking. Our itinerary was just perfect and included just the right amount of tours, visits and meetings with local artisans. We truly enjoyed our experience and cannot wait to return. As soon as I settle down to reality will send some photos along. Thanks Chef Luigi for sharing, teaching and being with us in perfect cooking week.

Martha Clarke
West Chester, NY


Cooking & Wine In Barolo’s Cuneo ~ 4 Day

What a great way to see and experience Venice! Thanks Lauren and Melody for suggesting the perfect cooking vacation in Venice for myself and family. The classes, market visits, city tours and excursions really put us with the locals. We learned so much, met new friends and felt like family with Maria in her kitchen. A big round of thanks to all of your for your perfection and professionalism.

Dr. Ellie Fairbanks and Family


Venice’s V.I.P. ~ 7 Day

Thank you for a wonderful time, words cannot express our appreciation. Chef Rosy your are an amazing lady. The food, the prosecco and all the tasty foods of the Veneto region was a food explosion for our group. All 8 of us are joining Weight Watchers now that we returned. It was worth every bite. Thank you all. Lauren and Melody thank you as well, great planning and professional service all the way.

Jack Sullivan and Family
Boston, MA


Cooking With Chef Donato In Veneto ~ 4 Day

Chef Giorgio and his team in Verona were excellent. The foods we made we so delicious and most of all we enjoyed while we learned. Verona was such a romantic city for us and our Couples Cooking, which was tailor made based on your own interests was the perfect way to celebrate our 25th Anniversary. Our Anniversary cake that Chef Giorgio made was too beautiful to eat. Thank you for your generous gift and offering us the cake as well. We will remember it forever.

Ceceila and Jack Thompson
Springfield, CT


Cooking With Chef Gianluca ~ 4 Day

Hi Melody and Lauren. First, let me tell you that we had a tremendous time on our vacation in Positano. Everything ran smoothly and Angela and Constantino were the best hosts. Such a charming B&B. I’m still working on pictures, but will be away for a long weekend. As soon as I get back, I’ll send some to you. Elinor, Marty, Nancy and me are all exchanging photos so we have quite an assortment.

Melody, thanks too for taking the time to say goodbye as we headed to the airport – we appreciated your kindness. Although it was hard to leave Italy, we were surprised by being bumped up to First Class Club World on our flight from London to Chicago! Made going home a bit easier.

Take care ~
Maryellen


Positano ~ Cooking Classes On The Amalfi Coast ~8 Days™

Hi Lauren, My daughter Gervaise and I had a great time with Chef Eugenio Rossi. I didn’t write down the names of the dishes but I have pictures and can describe the ingredients.  One really helpful hint:  Always put garlic into “cold” olive oil and then bring up the heat.  This way the garlic infuses the oil and it doesn’t burn and make your dishes taste bitter.  Thanks Lauren.

Toni Estrada
USA


One Day Pasta Making Class

Dear Lauren,

Thank you so much for setting up a wonderful trip to Positano and the Amalfi Coast.

I so much enjoyed my cooking experience. Please thank Chef Roberto and Pietro for a fun time with lots of laughs, and of course all the new cooking techniques I learned. My time with Mamma Rosa was great, now everyone wants me to make homemade mozzerella for them.

Unfortunately the marinated eggplant I purchased from Emilia was taken from me at the Naples airport, too much liquid. I begged with the security guards to eat it and not throw it out, but…..Anyway if she can ship me a small jar it would be greatly appreciated. Send my best to Mario, and Melody

Once again Thank you so much for a memorable trip and a great time.
Arden Ginsberg


Positano ~ Cooking Classes On The Amalfi Coast ~8 Days™

Dear Lauren,

Thanks for setting up all the classes and the custom tour for me during my trip to Capri and the Amalfi Coast. I had a great time!

The class on Capri with Roberto and Mama Rosa was great. Roberto was excited to share with me all aspects of their zero-waste and organic farm. I really enjoyed the hands-on and personal cooking experience. The simple high-quality courses were perfect and were well complimented by the setting and hosts.

I really enjoyed the pizza and cheese making class too. Antonio delivered the tour with passion and excitement. I think it is every guys ream to make pizza in a real wood fired pizza oven. It was nice touring the family property and seeing the family participate in the cooking and upkeep.
Thanks for setting up the private tour of the factories around Sorrento. I got to see the large scale and small scale production of Limoncello first hand.

Fred Groth
Boulder, CO


1 Day Cooking Class ~ Capri

I came back a little fatter, but considering all I cooked and ate, I am not surprised. Those tomatoes from the marketplace and the fresh organic herbs really made that pici pasta a hit. Many thanks to you and your staff for wonderful experience at the Forconi Estate. Cannot wait to go back.

Mr. C. Rogers London,
England


Cooking In Florence’s Tuscan Hills ~ 8 Day

The Secret Garden program in Positano was a wonderful cooking experience. Chefs Rosa and Antonio are amazing cooks and we really learned a lot. I will never forget the size of those beautiful yellow lemons. Our Lemon Cake was really a hit when we came back and created the menu for our friends. Happy Cooking.

M.L.B
New York, NY


Positano ~ Cooking Classes On The Amalfi Coast ~8 Days™

Dear Lauren, Just returned from beautiful Italy. Our last ‘adventure’ just before we left for our trip home was the cooking class with Chef Rosa. What a fantastic experience! The entire family was wonderful–so charming, so welcoming, so well-prepared. Loved the people, the up-to-our-elbows cooking, the eating, and the tour of their family property. We would recommend this to everyone!!!! The family was phenomenal! And we would not hesitate to recommend it to everyone! Thank you for all your patience and assistance in arranging this excellent ‘farewell-to Italy” for us!

Best, Sandy Rothschild


Positano ~ 1 Day Cooking Classes & Market Tours™

Dear Lauren

We arrived back from Roma today and had a wonderful cooking experience! Thank you for organising this wonderful experience for us.

C. Coyne
Ireland


We so enjoyed our stay at the Secret Garden in Positano and meeting Rachel was a delight.

Smoki Bacon and Dick Concannon,
Boston


Positano ~ Cooking Classes On The Amalfi Coast ~8 Days™

Hello Lauren,

I am finally getting around to sending along some pictures from our trip to the Foconi Estate, The Podere del Ansellmo in Montespertoli. Liz and I had a wonderful time. We learned alot and had so much fun. The entire staff was great and fun to cook with.

Thanks again!
Mark and Liz Kurowski


Cooking In Florence’s Tuscan Hills ~ 8 Day

Hi Lauren,

Griffin and I so very much loved our cooking class.The chefs were so incredibly nice and warm. It was really a pleasure to meet them. The recipes were great. Our taxi driver was so enjoyable as well. Positano was beautiful and our boat trip to Capri was superb. So as you can see, we loved the cooking class (the people were so great), we loved the boat trip and we really liked Poitano. Will be in touch for future travel

Karen Brill
Boston, MA


Positano ~ Kids Cooking ~ Pasta, Pizza & Gelato

WOW! What an amazing trip I had, Positano and Venice were the highlights
but all parts of it were fantastic.

I wanted to thank you so much for the cooking experience in Positano, it
really was fantastic, The market tour and meeting the locals was great as
was cooking with Roberto & Pietro.

I was hoping you could please forward me the recipes from the pasta making
class w Roberto? Everyone is keen experience my wonderful cooking and I
can’t bare to let them down 😉

Sally McMann
Australia


Venice’s V.I.P. ~ 7 Day

Lauren, I thoroughly enjoyed the cooking experience, especially the time spent with Antonio and Mama Rosa. Feel free to use me as a reference for future clients. As soon as I download my photos, I will send the cooking ones on to you for your website. Let me know if you ever get down to the Atlanta area as I would be glad to host you for a few days. Safe travel back to Italy this week and give my best to Melody and the cooking chefs.

Debbe


Positano ~ Cooking Classes On The Amalfi Coast ~8 Days™

We had an excellent time at Villa Ortaglia. Terenzo and his wife were very gracious hosts. The villa was beautiful. What a wonderful experience. We are already talking about going back and have recommended to friends.

N. Tarini USA


Food & Wine In The Land Of Siena ~ 7 Day

Hi Lauren,

We had a great time in Italy, thank you for everything you did to make our vacation so wonderful. We did receive the recipes and we will enjoy making everything for our friends and family.

Kath & Mike Forbord
Wayzata, Minnesota


Cooking Classes On The Amalfi Coast ~ 1 Week

I just wanted to send you a note to let you know how wonderful the cheese-making demo with Mamma Rosa was. It was a big hit with everyone. As soon as we walked into the kitchen, we knew that this was a great call. It is really tough to plan an itinerary that will appeal to everyone, but this excursion did.

I was a little concerned because I am the only foodie in the group, but everyone had a blast. It was very authentic.

Anyway, thanks again and I will be in touch for my next trip.

Best Regards
B. Bereznak


Positano ~ 1 Day Cooking Classes & Market Tours™

Lauren, I can’t tell you how much we enjoyed our cooking experience with Fabrizio. He and his staff were simply delightful and we spent all day preparing and eating a fabulous feast. He properly paired the wines to go with the appropriate courses. Afterward, we toured his horse stable, olive grove and vineyard. He went through the process of turning grapes into wine which we found very interesting. He then invited us to swim in his pool but we decided to further tour the region on our own. I highly recommend his cooking school whenever you have reason to send people there. I would love to return one day and we can’t wait to try some of the recipes we learned that day.

Best, Dale Finn


Cooking In Florence’s Tuscan Hills ~ 8 Day

I just want to reiterate the tremendous time we had as your guests in April..I cannot tell you how many times I think about the incredible hospitality of the people of Positano, the great cooks and the ease in planning that is your trademark! I am so happy that we found you and I certainly am coming back in April again for an adventure…Your friends, cooks and all the people that made it happen will never be forgotten..Especially you..I truly miss Positano….Regards to the family

Deb Gray
New York, NY


Positano ~ Cooking Classes On The Amalfi Coast ~8 Days™

Dear Lauren, Caitlin and I had a wonderful time at the Secret Garden Positano. All the planned activities were perfect and we met such wonderful interesting and warm people. The B & B, the cooking lessons, Mario, Enzo etcall made our trip one to remember. Caitlin returned to Florida and I to Michigan so all is well.

Keep in touch! Love, Carol


Positano ~ Kids Cooking ~ Pasta, Pizza & Gelato

We just came back from lunch where Jack was delighted to impress our guests (who ordered gnocchi) with the story of how he actually MADE gnocchi. Lexie wanted everyone to know that she went on the ROOF of our hotel. I think you are in the business of making beautiful memories there!

Best- Michele Switzerland


Positano ~ Kids Cooking ~ Pasta, Pizza & Gelato

Dear Lauren, As promised, attached is a link to photos (probably more than you would like – sorry!) from our week in Positano. As we told you when we left, we had a really terrific time – the program was perfectly suited to our family – indeed, it would be hard to imagine something better if it had been designed just for us.

Thanks for everything. Good luck with your business – this is a great idea – and we hope to have another opportunity to cook again with you in Italy soon.

Best, Chris and Leah Tahbaz
NY, NY


Positano ~ Kids Cooking ~ Pasta, Pizza & Gelato

Dear Lauren,

I just returned from my trip to Italy and I have to say the cooking school at Villa Ortaglia was the highlight of my trip. Wonderful people ( the owners) and a beautiful house and pool. It was all that I wished for and more.

Thank you for all the hard work you did to help me.

Sincerely,
Ray Lucchetti


Tuscan Cookout! Cooking, Spa & Scenic Tours ~ 6 Day

Hi Lauren,

Thanks so much for making my dream happen – I had a wonderful time & Fabrizio & his cooking “family” were wonderful. I’m looking forward to my next cooking adventure & will contact you soon.

Regards, G.A.


Cooking In Florence’s Tuscan Hills ~ 8 Day

Hi Lauren:
We had a great time with Fabrizio and at the Forconi Estate. Food, people, cooking couldn’t have been better and the location is just beautiful. I will email you photos when Victoria sends them to me.

Regards,
Gayle


Cooking & Wine Tuscany ~ 4 Day

Dear Lauren –

We truly enjoyed our vacation and all the activities you scheduled for us! Thank you and Melody for all your efforts. I will send you some photos as soon as I get them downloaded.

Thanks again – Miles and Alison


Just wanted to let you know that we enjoyed Villa Ortaglia immensely. Terenzio and his wife Mara were very gracious hosts. My wife, daughter, sister , my son’s fiancee and her sister enjoyed the cooking classes very much. We also had ample time to take trips to Cortona, Sienna, San Giamonao, and Assissi. Also, the tour Terenzio took us on was extemely enjoyable and interesting.

Dennis,
Colorado


Food & Wine In The Land Of Siena ~ 7 Day

We had a wonderful time in Italy and loved Villa Ortaglia.

Mr. Mrs. Ross


Tuscan Cookout! Cooking, Spa & Scenic Tours ~ 6 Day

Lauren , I just want to thank you on the two trips I booked with you. The Forconi Estate cooking weekend was just fabuolous. The food was great , it’s amazing how they make the recipes look so easy and taste so good. Fabrizio is a man that displays a great passion for his wine and the food that accompanies it. The stay at the estate was topped of with a midnite trip to the wine cellar where we sampled his next release of wines.

The palazzo which we stayed in Venice was far more beautiful than I ever could have imagined, made more delightful by the host and owner Maria Grace. Her restaurant recomendations were excellant which were only topped by the delicous breakfasts served in the classical dinning room.

With your help you made me look good. Eileen and I now have memories which will last a lifetime.

ciao and grazie
Chris P., MA


Cooking & Wine Tuscany ~ 4 Day

Hi Lauren – and Melody!!

Bryn and I have returned to the chilly Northwest, and miss Constantine, Angela and beautiful Positano!! Thank you for a wonderful cultural experience, it really was impressive. Thanks again for a lifetime experience!!

Kristin Joyner, Washington


Positano ~ Culinary Tours For Women Travelers™

Dear Lauren & Melody, I just wanted to send you a note to let you know how wonderful the cheese-making demo with Mamma Rosa was. It was a big hit with everyone. As soon as we walked into the kitchen, we knew that this was a great call. It is really tough to plan an itinerary that will appeal to everyone, but this excursion did.

I was a little concerned because I am the only foodie in the group, but everyone had a blast. It was very authentic.

Anyway, thanks again and I will be in touch for my next trip.

Best Regards,
Brian B. PA


Positano ~ 1 Day Cooking Classes & Market Tours™

What a way to learn and we did learn. Chef Antonella and Anna were just great. The 2 Chefs, 2 Kitchens: City To Country Cooking gave us an insightful view into both the city and country of Bologna. Far from the tourists, Bologna is a beautiful well-kept city with elegant people and excellent cuisine. No wonder why it is called la citta grasse-we ate our way through every food hall, cooking class and restaurant. And the best chocolate too.

Glen and Sara
Atlanta


2 Chefs, 2 Kitchens: City To Country Cooking ~ 6 Day

Chef Antonella we still are amazed at how fast you fold over those tortellini. Thanks for your warm welcome, excellent classes and great food. Anna our Food Lover guide was amazing and knew both food stops and landmarks with notes on both. We just loved, loved our Bologna program with you. Lauren and Melody will send photos soon.

Maryann Bartell
New Zealand


Bologna La Grande Cucina ~ 5 Day

Discovering Bologna and the hills that produce so many of the rich products was an experience that put us in the hands of master artisans. We could have never done this on our own. Great rustic cooking with our team of Chefs. We spent time in the kitchen working hands-on, visiting the farmhouse and ranch where the kitchen’s produce comes from each day and we learned with locals. Great experience. Bologna and its countryside has so much to offer. Thanks Lauren and Melody for the suggestion and your professionalism throughout our planning.

Dr. D and Anna
Portland, OR


Truffles & Tortellini With a Michelin Star Chef ~ 4 Day

Thanks Chef Giuseppe and everyone at the Castle for a wonderful cookery school experience. We enjoyed how Italians do it. The food was so fresh and the care that went into each cookery class was clearly seen. Our excursions took us to places we would have never found on our own. Thanks to everyone in Stressa on Lake MAggiore for making our culinary vacation most memorable.

Elizabeth and John Austin
England


5 Star Cooking On Lake Maggiore ~ 4 Day

Chef Francesco I did it, I finally were able to recreate those wonderful recipes in my own kitchen. Thanks for your patience and help during each class. Our Cooking Vacations tour to the Italian Riviera was most splendid. Our cookery program was a total immersion and we loved each day of it. Thank God England is so close and we can return again soon. Many thanks to all who welcomed us into their culture.

Mary and Dick Bacon,
London


Cooking In Cinque Terre ~ Weeklong

Many thanks to hostess Barbara and Chef Alessandro in Sestri Levante for the great cooking classes in traditional Ligurian cooking. Your staff, precision in planning and the fun made the experience just perfect. Chef Alessandro you are the best Chef ever. We loved everything we made. Now we have to work it all off back home. Thanks again for a truly fantastic time in Portofino. I promised Barbara I would send photos of the recipes I prepared at home, because I did not do such a bad job after all. Take care and photos on the way.

Gene and Mary Gaglione
Stanford CT


Portofino & Cinque Terre’s Riviera ~ 4 Day

Excellent cooking and compliments to the Chef! I never thought I would have been able to do that recipe for wild mint soufflé with passion fruit and Piedmont hazelnut ice- cream. Thanks Chef Salvatore for your patience and encouragement. Best of all we learned, made new friends and ate our way through your kitchen. Grazie.

Elyse and Tom Riley
Scottsdate, AZ


Executive Chef Cooking & Museum Tour ~ 3 Day

Our All Women’s Cooking Week was so much fun and such a great culinary experience. Traveling as a single woman at first was a little bit scary but Lauren and Melody really made me feel secure and listened to all my needs and they guided me to the program that turned out just perfect. I not only cooked great new recipes, but relaxed, and made new friends. I never felt alone. Villa D’Este was superb and I felt like a princess. Thanks again for a vacation I almost did not take. Glad I did it.

Patricia Jacobson
Fort Worth, TX


Culinary Tours For Women Travelers Lake Como ~ 4 Day

It was more than I ever had expected, the classes and food knowledge and market visits-wow! So nice to see how tradition remains the same and works. Many thanks to our wonderful Chef Pina. The fresh pasta with the spring vegetables was the best.

Sally Bennet
Chicago IL


One Day Cooking Class On Lake Maggiore

Grazie to Chef Matteo and everyone who made our trip so special. We loved your recipe for Pesto. The tours were so insightful, the herb garden, Cinque Terre and the market visits were so pretty. We loved every minute of it. Genoa was a beautiful city in contrast to Cinque Terre, and the planning and help from Lauren and Melody who were so detailed oriented helped to make for a streamline stress free vacation. For our first time in Italy, we were so pleased and hope to return soon.

Jack and Ellie Conners
San Fran, CA


Pasta & Portofino

Ciao Chef, Chiara and everyone in Genoa who made our trip so memorable. The cooking classes were hands on, so important, the food, the market visits and the group we traveled with as well were just fantastic. Great detail from Cooking Vacations on every aspect of our trip, and great restaurant and shopping tips as well. Lauren and Melody, thank you kindly.

Nick and Leah Delbono
North Dakota


On The Italian Riviera

Puglia & Positano… Lauren – I am so excited and really want to thank you because without you and Cooking Vacations I would never have ventured out on my own and I really love it now.

M. Lewandowski
Philly Penn.


Culinary Tours For Women Travelers Puglia ~ 8 Day

Grazie Chef Giuseppe and the entire family in Umbria, thanks for teaching us how to make the delicious stringozzi and most of all thanks for your hospitality. We had a great time and are telling all our family and friends about it. Thanks to Lauren and Melody who helped us choose the right program and see another side of Italy with an excellent Chef, somewhere where we would have never dreamed of traveling to. Grazie, and we have even recreated the recipes back home in our own kitchen.

Damian and Tammy Aloe
Salt Lake City


Cooking With Chefs Giuseppe & Vincenza~7 Day

Thanks Letzia for teaching me how to make Taralli, and I made them just like you. Being in the kitchen with such a great team and learning how to make authentic dishes was just amazing. It is one thing to be a good cook another to teach so well. Great job and we loved everything we made. I learned the true meaning of cooking simple, fresh and local, what a joy. From Conversano to the trulli, we loved every step and will come back soon. Great job and we will send photos.

Gretta Simone
Washington DC


Letizia’s Kitchen ~ 8 Day

Melody and Lauren
Thanks for a wonderful time cooking, exploring and visiting artisan markers of all thing tasty in Umbria. Learning the philosophy of Slow Cooking and all things from nature was so refreshing, and staying at John and Liliana’s with Anna in the kitchen was as real as real can get. Anna was amazing how she worked the pasta and turned fresh veggies into tasty sauces. Our tours were perfectly planned and the local artisans were so kind and welcoming. Thank you a million more it was the vacation of our dream.

Tara & Sam Jones
Australia


Slow Cooking Umbria With Chef Anna ~ 4 Day

Perugia was more than I imagined. Chef Giuseppe and Elga were such great hosts and Lauren and Melody were so helpful in planning all the details of my trip. The classes were so well taught, the foods were fantastic and I learned so much. I came home and fresh pasta and sauce for my whole family. I still can remember waking up in total silence and feeling like I was in paradise. Thanks for a great time, Mary and I really enjoyed every minute of it. We both cried when we left. Bravo.

Marion and Mary Horst
Concord, MA


Chef Peppe’s Family Kitchen ~ 8 Day

Lauren and Melody thank you for your assistance in planning my dream vacation. Everyone was so helpful, Chef Luciana was more than I could have imagined her patience with us in the kitchen, excellent food and now I have to join weight watchers to get back on track. It was well worth it. Ciao e grazie.

Mary and the gang from CT


Cooking & Truffles With Chef Lucia ~ 7 Day

Cannot express our thanks enough to everyone at Cooking Vacations for a grande time. Diamonte and Saclea were so interesting and Chef Antonio was a great teacher and cook. The food was such an experience as well.

Betsy and Mike Kelly
Calgary


Chef Antonio’s Old World Calabria ~ 8 Day

Chef Giovanni and family-thank you! We enjoyed our time with you in the kitchen, our day trips to Scalea, Maratea and Diamante, the cantina, the lemon farm and those chili peppers. Great cooking and we had a blast. Mario our driver was so kind, he drove us over 1 hour away to see where our family came from. Cannot thank you all enough. Will send photos soon. Thank you all again.

John Merante
Pennsylvania


Trattoria Cooking With Chef Giovanni ~ 8 Day

Calabria was a dream come true and Chef Rosa was just wonderful. Off the beaten tourist track, I loved this quiet side of Italy. Mike and I came home and prepared all the recipes, they almost tasted like Rosa’s. Thanks again to Chef Rosa, her family and staff for a memorable week in Calabria.

Mike and Fabia Testoni
New York


Cooking With Chef Tony, Fabrizio & Family 6 Days

A big thanks to everyone in Rosanna’s kitchen, our kids truly enjoyed the experience from the tours to Pizza, Tropea and more to the cooking classes, we really enjoyed it all. Thanks.

Mike, Jenny and Brady Family
Florida


A Culinary Adventure with Chef Mary ~ 8 Day

Lauren, You taught me more in a week about how to live life than I’ve learned in 59 years!

E.B.


Positano ~ Culinary Tours For Women Travelers™

Thanks for such a great trip. We had an excellent time and the cooking classes and chefs were great, as were the excursions. I thought the program was well organized, all encompassing and even when the weather didn’t cooperate, they still made sure we fit everything in. It was a good balance of free time and organized events and I liked that we were put in groups to meet new people, as well as have free time on our own. I thought it was good value for the price as well.

We loved it and would definately consider booking another vacation with you in the future. Please ask Melody to send me the price list for ordering olive oil and wine from you, I would like to make an order soon.

Thanks!

Sara Skalley


Positano ~ Cooking Classes On The Amalfi Coast ~8 Days™

Ravello…
A 4-hour cooking class this morning with Chefs Ranier and Franca — AMAZING!

Rebecca
Toranto


From Garden To Kitchen ~ 5 Day

Thank you! We had a fabulous time. The agroturismo, Montechiaro, was the very best – Carla and her daughter Cristina, together with Nicholas and Teresa, were wonderful teachers and generous to a fault. The rooms were terrific, the meals great, their flexibility and customization very helpful, and we were very happy there.

Anna, our guide for the tour of the cheese factory and balsamic vinegar maker and in Bologna, was also wonderful – tremendously knowledgeable, kind, and generous. The tours were wonderful – far more informative and special than we had imagined before! And her introduction to Bologna was also very good, giving us an excellent orientation to the city, the food market and to restaurants that we enjoyed as well. Your clients should know how lucky they will be if she is available for their visits… and the bed and breakfast was just perfect. Charming, pretty, comfortable, air conditioned, and very well located for all that we wanted to do. Paula, the hostess at the bed and breakfast, was also wonderfully helpful, and made us feel very well taken care of.

The entire trip exceeded my expectations, and I would be more than glad to be a reference for both the Bologna and Montechiaro parts of the itinerary. Please let them know for us how happy we were with our time in both places.

Warm thanks – Molly


2 Chefs, 2 Kitchens: City To Country Cooking ~ 6 Day

Dear Mara and Terenzio,

We are at home enjoying the beauty of a vividly colorful New England autumn, but yet recalling the wonderful memories of our week of Villa Ortaglia’s Cooking Vacation in and around Montepulciano.

Our vacation with you exceeded our expectations–something that rarely happens in life. The Villa Ortaglia is beautiful and the views of the surrounding vineyards and San Biagio are breathtaking. You are attentive hosts who paced our week so well, routed our daily excursions with such care, shepherded us through Valdorcia, and even stayed up like a parent to make sure we were home at night. Dinner at Le Logge del Vignola and La Grotta were beautiful and delicious, and we would probably not have found them or eaten there, if they hadn’t been part of our package. Our spa treatments at Terme Montepulciano were “just what the doctor ordered” to relax us after our twenty-four hour trip NYC/Frankfurt/Pisa/Montepulciano and several days of sightseeing. The cooking school aspect of our week was what really made it special. Learning about your vineyards, winemaking, your labels, and your business in the US–and especially drinking your wonderful wines both from Tuscany and Verona were highpoints. Two evenings of cooking with both of you and Maria and then eating and drinking together in the beautiful Villa Ortaglia kitchen was like living in a movie set. And best of all, we enjoyed your company.

We have wonderful photos (which we will share when we get them organized) which will remind us of our Villa Ortaglia VIP Premium Cooking Vacation.

We send you our best wishes and hope that Mara has had a good trip to Verona.

Fondly and sincerely,

Cheryl (and Bill) Edelen


V.I.P. Tuscan Cooking At The Villa ~ 8 Day

Our trip to Cinque Terre, Italy was a wonderful success. We enjoyed our stay in beautiful Rapallo. We especially enjoyed our cooking classes as well as our trip to Cinque Terre. Our guides were AMAZING!! Thank you for ALL your hard work.

Jane Hanratty & Joan Barry


On The Italian Riviera

Bella Laurena~

We really experienced it all! We returned to Los Angeles last evening and are moping around this morning wishing we were back in Positano! You have picked a cherry from life!

Thank you for all you assistance in our trip. We missed you in Venezia, it was fairytale beauty – sun, good food, wine (of course) gondolas, water taxis, sight seeing boat tour, walking tours, and an incredible hotel.

Roma was also awesome. I wanted to call you from Venezia and Roma – and mentioned it many times – but did not want to deal with the purchase of a calling card, etc. You were on our minds. Roma was nice, on Via Veneto, and some sightseeing. Sam and I were to do up the city at night, but I was exhausted!

Lots of love and soon lots of pictures. We are home safely.

Gary D
Los Angeles CA


Positano ~ Cooking Classes On The Amalfi Coast ~8 Days™

To the staff of Cooking Vacations:
My husband & I thoroughly enjoyed our Cooking Vacation in Trevi with Chef Giuseppe.
Chef Giuseppe was a great teacher and helped us learn so much during our three sessions in his kitchen! We really enjoyed the variety of foods we prepared, and the dinners in his restaurant were outstanding. His wine recommendations and selections were excellent! We’ve tried some of the techniques we learned, and are anxious to try the recipes as well. It was a unique experience, and a very memorable vacation. It came at the end of our 2 weeks in London & Italy, and it was the perfect way to wrap it up.
We will never forget!

Ann & Dave Mertes
Urbandale Iowa


Cooking With Chefs Giuseppe & Vincenza~7 Day

My Dear Positano Pals,

It was so much fun reading all your emails when we got home. That was on Saturday, 9-20 around 3:00 p.m. pacific time, midnight Italy time. We had been up since 4 a.m. to catch our flight out of Rome. Needless to say,

Sunday was a no brain day. We could hardly function even after sleeping almost 12 hours. Our coffee maker decided to give it up that morning so we had no coffee!!!. Yikes!!! I had to get to the store pronto and buy a new coffee maker and food. The cupboards were bare!

Spending time with all of you made my trip to Positano extra special and so much fun. Amanda and I are going to enjoy our laughs together for years. Jenny, I was so sorry to hear of the losses suffered by your friends and family, and am glad all escaped with life and limb in tact. If there is any way I can be of help please let me know. Kathleen, kudos to you for getting your pics in order so fast and sending them to us. I really enjoyed seeing them. I will send mine as soon as I can get them into my system. I haven’t even looked at them yet.

Our time in Tuscany was wonderful and relaxing. Our little apartment in Sinalunga was a real treasure. If any of you plan a trip to Tuscany, contact me for info. We spent our days driving through the countryside and hill towns relishing the fine food, views and historical sights.

I hope all of you are well and settling back into your daily grinds a little more relaxed.

Ciao, ciao for now.
Fondly, Bonnie


Positano ~ Cooking Classes On The Amalfi Coast ~8 Days™

Dear Melody and Lauren,

We thoroughly enjoyed our Cooking Vacation. As Mom said on the way home, it was all we hope it would be and more. The cooking was a wonderful opportunity for a mother/ daughter vacation. We’re eager to try our recipes with our family and are planning to do meatballs for a family reunion on Mom’s birthday the first of August. I have plans for the shrimp pasta and a pizza for my family this week. Please give our thanks to all our wonderful hosts who taught us Amalfi Coast cooking. I’m already enjoying our olive oil from Mama Rosa’s.


Thank you Lauren,

I always love your recipes and thoughts! I miss Positano! We are in the process of adopting a child from China, so our next trip will be there to get her. I am so glad we went through your agency to Italy! It will be a memory for our lifetime!

Joy Carter


Positano ~ Culinary Tours For Women Travelers™

Puglia!

I enjoyed it immensely. Another wonderful trip to Italy under my belt thanks to cooking vacations. What a fabulous area. I really enjoyed Conversano, while it was not Positano with the beautiful sea there were many endearing qualities. The people, the food, the landscape, the wonderful towns, the produce, the wine, the tour guides – all things beautiful. I really enjoyed the diversity of the trip since we cooked three days, spa three days, toured and had a bit of time to ourselves. It was really action packed.

One of the most interesting things is that when I was in Positano I purchased a black and white framed photo from one of the Galleries of an older (old) couple walking down a cobblestone lane/street holding hands. The photo was taken in Matera. So when we got to visit Matera I felt like I was connected to it. What a wonderful town and such great history.

I loved the two young ladies that we had as our tour guides. Annalisa and Catia were so informative. And since they were both born and raised in the area there were lots of inside things they knew about which got us right in with the locals. Most enjoyable. I have been in touch with them since the trip. Me and Catia just got along so wonderfully I almost felt related to her. Annalisa introduced us to Italian music and made me a cd of Italian singers that included Mia, Vinucio Cappasello, etc.

Maritza and her daughter were also fun to be with. I felt like I was with relatives. We laughed, ate and cooked. I also got a minute to meet Litiza’s dad who was wonderful – I got a few pictures with him.

The spa was also a crazy and wonderful experience. I enjoyed it so much – it was so relaxing. Although the women only spoke Italian and there was a bit of translation issues I was just fine with the experience. When in Conversano do as the Conversanians do is my policy.

The Villa was beautiful the staff great.

All in all in was a total submersion into the culture and I felt like I was at a study abroad program. I felt like I learned so many things with the language, food, wine and people.

I would travel again and again with cooking vacations.

Thanks ladies.
p.s. still working on photo album but once completed I will send so you can view.

Marie Lewandowski
Philly, PN


Culinary Tours For Women Travelers Puglia ~ 8 Day

Dear Lauren,

Secret Garden Positano-
We just wanted to take the time to say grazie!! Our trip once again was amazing and well planned. Spending time with you and your family was a feeling of family. We feel a special bond has formed with Gina, Adam, Siena, and Chloe, and for this we feel blessed.

The trip to Sorriento with Antonio and Mama Rosa’s family was our favorite day. Antonio was extremely knowledgeable and has such a passion for the foods and culture in Italy. Your expertise and love for Italy shows and we thank you.We miss Positano so much and are already planning our next visit.Our travels were enriching and enhanced through the eyes of family. The whole experience was filled with lemons and olives, smiles and hugs, and colors only dreamed of.

What cooking vacations is not ? It is NOT getting up with the birds, it is NOT being herded on and off a bus, NOT being led by an umbrella or flag, and it is NOT eating tourist menus! It is a true lifestyle…

Ciao!
Susanne, Steve, and Liam Shand
New York


Positano ~ Cooking Classes On The Amalfi Coast ~8 Days™

Greetings Melody and Lauren:

Many thanks for all your work in organizing our terrific Secret Garden cooking vacation in Positano. Nancy and I had a terrific time and have been trying out all the recipes for our families and friends! I hope all is well with both of you and all in Positano.

Elinor Ginzler
USA


Positano ~ Cooking Classes On The Amalfi Coast ~8 Days™

Lauren,

We had a very nice time on the trip in Puglia. The accommodations were beautiful and the staff very helpful and kind.

The cooking instructor, Patrizia, was equally wonderful and pleasant. We would thoroughly recommend her to others.

The excursions were great with the highlights being Matera and Alberobello. We even had a few added surprises such as the trip to Martina Franca with a visit to a horse farm and also to Altamura for their famous bread.

Thank you for all of your organization for this trip.

Donatella


Letizia’s Kitchen ~ 8 Day

Dear Lauren,

Nancy and myself want to thank you for helping us book our Cooking School trip in Venice. We just returned yesterday and everything from the accommodations, cooking school, tours and transportation were first class. We want to specially say that Linda and her partner Martina were most helpful in showing us around Venice and all the areas that most visitors do not get to see. Linda was most helpful in enlightening us about the history of the lovely city of Venice with her knowledge and perfect English…We really felt at home in the “Palace” and Maria Grazie was the perfect host .

The cooking lessons given by Maria and Sebastiane Molani were not only fun, but delicious! We certainly will be contacting you next year to visit some of the other cities that you have to offer.

Regards,
Kathleen Salata


Venice’s V.I.P. ~ 7 Day

Lauren,
I echo Molly’s sentiments on a wonderful cooking vacation. It hit the perfect notes for us both at Montechiaro and in Bologna. I, too, would be happy to be a reference. Thank you for your wonderful assistance in putting our trip together.

Kathy Turner


2 Chefs, 2 Kitchens: City To Country Cooking ~ 6 Day

Hi Lauren Our trip to Italy was fantastic thanks to you-the most memorable part was the special occasions you set up-namely the cooking class and tasting dinner at Tre Sorelle-wonderful experiences not to mention the aprons we have for lasting memories-thanks a million for all your efforts and splendid hospitality

– Best Regards
Dr. P.E. and wife Barb
Boston, MA


Positano ~ 1 Day Cooking Classes & Market Tours™

Dear Lauren,

Bob and I had a wonderful time with Mamma Rosa and Antonio! It was a very special experience for us and we look forward to taking more classes someday. Since it was my husband’s birthday, I stepped back from the kitchen and let him be the student and I, the photographer.

Many thanks for making the arrangements for us to have this special cooking experience! My husband was thrilled with his present!

Cheers,
Blair R.
Seattle, WA


Positano ~ 1 Day Cooking Classes & Market Tours™

Lauren, our cooking vacation was a wonderful and rich experience that we would recommend to friends, family and strangers alike. Both of the classes were excellent in their own unique ways and were terrific compliments to each other. The logistics and lodging were perfectly thought out and coordinated and that made us able to relax and just get in the spirit of the Amalfi coast. And Positano was indeed perfect, thanks for that suggestion. Wonderful! Molto bene!

Regards,
Barbara Doyle
USA


Positano ~ Cooking Classes On The Amalfi Coast ~8 Days™

Cooking Vacations provided me with the perfect solo getaway. Everything from the accommodations to the cooking classes to the excursions were so well planned. Having stayed in beautiful Positano, I was also grateful for Gianluca’s exceptional driving abilities on the narrow winding roads that would have otherwise terrified me (and did scare me, when I was other drivers!). Of course, the highlights of my trip were the cooking lessons. To cook on the beach with the gracious staff of Le Tre Sorelle was so much fun. Chef Salvatore an amazing teacher as well; he was clearly passionate about his food, and his hospitality was amazing. Cooking in his kitchen with his fresh produce and eggs right out of his own garden was truly a wonderful experience. This is one vacation I hope to repeat again someday in the future.

Aimme
sunny California


Victoria had a wonderful time. Fabrizio, Melina, Simonetta and the rest of the staff made such a fuss over her. We met a lovely German family with a son and daughter 13 and 15 years old (Victoria is 14) and an Irish family who had younger children, so she wasn’t the only adolescent. She had never met people from other countries so it was a wonderful experience for her. She loved the pool and went to visit the horses several times a day and Kristen took her for an advanced hour and a half ride. And of course, Fabrizio is Fabrizio….!!

G. A. Damiano
NY, NY


Lauren, I cannot thank you enough for this fabulously fun and interesting trip. I loved the fact that there were only 7 of us in the group—smaller is so much better for these things! Fabrizio and his wonderful, warm family were a joy, as was the entire staff at his podere—I so loved every minute. And you, my dear, are a gem! How can every endeavor that you undertake NOT be a huge success—you’re so caring, conscientious, and attentive, Lauren—how could you not succeed? I forwarded the agenda of this Tuscany experience to a woman that I met at a wine tasting last night because she’s very interested, as well as having told tons of people about this super trip. Even though we had previously visited almost all of the sites that we toured, it was still great because Fabrizio pointed out things that we had previously missed—always better through a native’s eyes, of course.

B. Morris
Cranston, Rhode Island


Cooking & Wine Tuscany ~ 4 Day

Lauren & Melody –
Thank you for all of your assistance — my trip was fabulous – Rocco was a very amiable and gracious host — His wife and sister were wonderful teachers — I learned a lot and had quite a bit of fun in the process. They made me feel so welcome in their kitchen and their love for and knowledge of Ischia is evident and really enhanced the experience.

Didn’t take a lot of pictures and since I got back late last night haven’t had a chance to upload them yet — if there’s anything worth sharing I will certainly pass it to you. I’m afraid I’m going to have to focus on work for a bit (banking — yikes!!) before planning my next trip, but I would love to explore more cooking vacations in the future and will certainly keep your offer in mind.

Ciao and mille grazie!

Susan


Ischia Island~Mediterranean Cooking & Spa Week~8 Day

Hello Melody & Lauren,
Before I went to Italy, I tried not to get too excited about my Cooking Vacations trip. I didn’t want to get my hopes too high, and then be disappointed.

From the moment I first stepped into my room at the property, till the last glimpse of Positano as I looked back from the road to Naples, my Cooking Vacation was a delightful adventure!

The chefs were informative, patient and fun to work with. The staff at the Hotel were always helpful and gave us many good ideas on places to go in our free time and how to get there. (Maria was like an adopted Italian grandmother, who always made us feel at home).

It was fun to get on the bus for a tour and find some other people from the classes that you had not yet met. The tour guides (especially the lady in Ravello) was so full of information that sometimes I would turn on the video camera just so I could record what she was saying!

Please keep me informed of other vacations that you arrange. (I’m in the process of putting pictures from my trip on a Shutterfly site, so let me know if you’d like to see those.)

Thanks,
Barb


Positano ~ Cooking Classes On The Amalfi Coast ~8 Days™

Dear Lauren

Firstly a very big thank you to you and your staff for making my cooking experience in Italy such a memorable one.

The chefs and staff – especially Fortunata and Philomena who were absolutely outstanding as teachers – willing to impart their love and knowledge of food and recipes to me, where I learned to make such delicious regional dishes such as Torte Caprese, Torta Di Formaggio, fresh squid ink pasta, wood fire pane, Profiteroles al Limone and panna cotta with strawberry sauce amongst many other wonderous and delectable recipes.

This was truly a major highlight of my travels through Italy and I would not hesitate to use Cooking Vacations again and again to learn to create beautiful food, first hand, from chefs around the world.

With kind regards

Laura Gluckman


Dear Lauren & Melody,
Helen & I arrived at Naples airport in time to catch our flight thanks to expert driving by Rino !! We made it home to US safely. I had a wonderful time in Positano. We had a great room and they couldn’t have been nicer. Loved all the cooking!! And eating of course. I enjoyed everything you include in the week; would have liked a little more time in Ravello. Positano is truly a special place, for me a magical vacation that I will remember the rest of my life.

Thank you both for everything,
Liz Blake


Positano ~ Cooking Classes On The Amalfi Coast ~8 Days™

Secret Garden – Positano – was just the perfect trip for me! It had a balance of cooking and opportunities to explore the treasures of the Amalfi Coast. Since I have never traveled outside the United States, I was thrilled that this opportunity was available. The cooking classes were so enjoyable — and I liked the fact that everyone got a chance to do everything Salvatore and Giovanna demonstrated. It was “hands on” with a great deal of laughter. (As a former second grade teacher, I can vouch that this philosophy is the best way to learn.) The foods were so fresh! It was as if my taste buds “woke up”. The flexibility of your programs was as impressive as well: I had wanted to learn how to bake artisan breads, and you were very willing to accomodate my interest. However, since this was my first time traveling, I wasn’t sure about the time factor, so I decided to save it for a future trip. The accomodations at the Albergo were everything I had hoped an Italian vacation spot would be. To be able to go to sleep listening to the waves break on shore in Positano was relaxing. Our driver, Reno, was so conscientious and polite. Usually I am extemely nervous when someone else is driving — especially on steep, winding roads, however, I had no anxiety, and felt very calm with him at the wheel. Please be sure to thank him for me. (I had hoped to thank him when he took us to the airport, but Reno wasn’t our driver.) I was very pleased with the availability of the Cooking Vacations staff. When our flight was delayed in Dusseldorf, a phone call to you was all it took to relieve two very worried travelers from Illinois, USA. The wine and olive oil tasting was fun and educational as well – I appreciate the fact Cooking Vacations support local businesses, and tell their stories. (It would have been fun to tour a winery and visit an oil grove to learn more, and get a first hand look. Maybe include a lunch and tasting at a real vineyard and olive grove?) My experience was so enjoyable that Peg and I are considering another Cooking Vacation — we are thinking perhaps the Tuscany region would be a culinary delight with many things to see and do. Until then… Grazie e Ciao!

Cheryl & Peggy


Positano ~ Cooking Classes On The Amalfi Coast ~8 Days™

Hi Giuseppe (and Lauren and Melody)!
I had the most amazing time on our cooking vacation with you in Positano. I really appreciated all the tours, classes and wonderful food you packed into our too few days there. I already have four people who have said to me, “If you go again, I want to go with you.” When we went through customs the man ask me why I was in Italy. I answered for a cooking vacation and I am ruined for life–I will never have food that wonderful again. Thank you for all the details you put together so that I could just enjoy every minute..and I did! I’m going to try to attach some photos.

Sandy


Positano ~ Cooking Classes On The Amalfi Coast ~8 Days™

We had a wonderful time. All our friends are envious and are now trying to figure out when they can visit Positano. As you know, our only disappointment was not being able to enjoy Ravello, but we really can’t hold you responsible for freak weather events. What we can do is praise Rino for his patience, sense of humor, courage and driving skills. I’ll be writing a review for TripAdvisor later this week. It will definitely be a very positive one. (Jessica made the lemon cake and brought it in to work today.) We look forward to reading future issues of the journal and seeing new recipes.

Ciao,
Bruce


Positano ~ Cooking Classes On The Amalfi Coast ~8 Days™

Lauren and Melody,

Just a short note to thank you for providing us with a memorable week in Positano. I was looking forward to our trip for some time always with some fear of over anticipating. In fact our visit was everything we hoped for and more. Positano is one of our favorite places after many many visits to Italy and Europe. Staying at the Hotel was a joy. The location is perfect with an incredible view every morning of Positano and the Mediterranean sea, and Maria and her family just made us feel at home. Maria is a very special lady.

Cooking with Chef Salvatore was really fun, and then getting to eat what we cooked plus what Salvatore cooked for us was amazing. Our cooking classes with Salvatore allowed us to get a good feeling of the people and village life up on top of the hills overlooking Positano, something I really enjoyed.

Thanks for making everything happen just as it was supposed to happen, our side trips were great and perfectly arranged. We did not feel like we were being herded around. The flexibility and free time allowed us to enjoy Positano at our own pace, and yet there was enough structure so that we were able to enjoy many of the beautiful things the Almalfi coast area has to offer. We could interface with the people who live and work in Positano, who are so gracious, warm and interesting. We will remember the views, roads, beauty, lemons, but what we will remember most are the people we were fortunate to meet.

As I am writing this, my wife just said to me “we are going back again – right?”. It would be pretty hard not to.

Thanks again,

Glenn and Joanne Dethloff


Positano ~ Cooking Classes On The Amalfi Coast ~8 Days™

Dear Lauren,
We were very pleased with our cooking classes with chefs Massimo and Andrea in our Food & Wine In Medieval Montepulciano experience. The meals we prepared were exactly we wanted to learn. They were both easy to prepare and will be elegant enough for us to serve to our friends back home. In the two plus days we were their we we experienced three fantastic meals plus the the two tastings of what we had prepared. The accommodations were outstanding. The view at the top of Montepulciano needs to be seen to be appreciated, the room had all the amenities and our hostess more than willing to accomodate all our questions and requests.

Thank You,
Nancy & Bob

Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada


Good day Lauren!

After a 30 hour (yes that’s 30!) flight home we are safely back.
I just wanted to thank you so so much for all the hard work in planning and making sure that the trip was a HUGE success! Everyone is immensely satisfied. We all just recounted the days and the events of our week probably for about 29 of the hours that we were travelling home.

Lauren, I know that you realize how important these experiences are to people. Some of the group had never been in italy and, for example, Shirley and Bill are SEASONED travellers. I believe and I know that you all do too that is so essential that every type of client is happy–you can be sure that this group is thrilled to way over the top! Then of course, there are all my great goodies! How very kind of you to chooses the “sponzapane” bowl for me! You know how much I loved the piece at the vineyard and every time I use it (and you know I will!) I will think of that perfect day but especially of you! The cruets are fun and I know the pastas will all be delicious! I think you were way too generous and appreciate all the treasures!

Finally, I am thankful for our friendship and the blessing of being able to work with you! All of you–Rino and Melody and Giuseppe (how wonderful is he?!?!?!) have always been so kind and we are truly truly thankful!!!

I could ramble on more and more –but i think you get it! Mario and I (and the group too!) love you all very much and can’t wait to plan another “adventure” in italy–please know that you are ALL always welcome in Pittsburgh. We’ll be in touch for some spices and some oil. I hope the summer continues to busy and happy and easy for all of you and if I can do anything on this end —just holler! Enough!

I’ll talk to you soon.
BIG BIG hugs all around,

Maria Merante
Pittsburgh PA


Chef Monica in her private home kitchen in that gorgeous city of Florence was the highlight of my trip! It was so interesting to be at home with Monica and learn about how the real people shop, cooking & eat. The classes were hands-on, the foods spectacular and the experience was one of a life time! I met a great chef and made a friend!T.C., San Francisco


Lauren and Rino,

Just a quick note to thank you once again for creating the perfect trip to celebrate Carrie and my 25Th anniversary. We had a fantastic time and the memories will be with us forever. We couldn’t have asked for anything more from you.

I did leave a review on Trip Adviser and feel free to use us as a reference if you would like.

Please let us know if you are ever in Chicago. Hopefully our paths will cross again!

Best,

Mike Donahue


Positano ~ Cooking Classes On The Amalfi Coast ~8 Days™

Lauren & Melody

Thank You Very Much – for the recipes and the picture! It brings back excellent memories.

You girls rock… and does Raffaele, too!Barb


Dear Melody and Lauren,
At last I’m sitting down to say a very big thank you for the lovely time that Alice and I had with Cooking Vacations in August. We had such fun and absolutely loved the cooking experience we had in Positano, especially in the hands-on approach we had in the restaurants with the two chefs we met.

We loved our hotel and Maria and her entire family were unbelievably friendly, helpful and generous in their attitude to their guests. We loved returning to the hotel everyday and felt so welcome. Thank you for arranging such wonderful accommodation for us. Our room was perfect for the two of us and we loved our beautiful view from our balcony. And yes, I do brag to my friends that that is where Under the Tuscan sun was filmed!!

The last cooking experience was the most memorable when you filmed the lesson of mozzarella making and the ravioli (which was so delicious) etc up at the restaurant on the hill.(I’ve forgotten the name of the restaurant and the chefs names.) Is there any possibility of us receiving a copy of the DVD you made? We would so love it as an instructive tool as well as a fantastic memory of our wonderful time we spent in Positano. I notice that you Melody were taking notes that day and wondered if it would be possible to have more detailed recipes for that lesson? ( for example the ravioli recipe needs more detail.If you would supply us with edited recipes that would be so great.Thank you.)

I so enjoyed you article on cooking with Maria in Anacapri, Lauren, well done. It’s especially special as you had just been there before we went over for our day in Capri. We had so much fun with all the other people we met during the cooking week and have kept in contact with them which is nice.

And lastly thank you to Rino for his patient and helpfulness everytime he took us out on excursions. It was so nice to get to know you all a little more after the week we spent in Positano, and it makes such a difference when you recognise and have the same person to deal with everyday. We really felt like we wanted to return again to experience some more of that winderful La Dolce Vita that Italy is so famous for. Thank you for helping to make our time in Positano rich with memories and we look forward to returning to the beautiful Amalfi coast oneday soon.

Fond regards,
Tricia and Alice Kay


Positano ~ Cooking Classes On The Amalfi Coast ~8 Days™

Lauren,
How wonderful! I saw this just before I left for Italy on March 20th. I had a rewarding cooking experience and I was also able to see much of the Amalfi/Positano/Sorrento/Ravello area and I plan to return next year. I loved being in Italy during the “off season”. It was valuable to see these areas for myself and I’m so glad that I took your advice and stayed in Positano. The views and ambience was much more enjoyable than the hustle and bustle of Sorrento. I liked being in Sorrento . . . but only for a few hours. 🙂

Congratulations on the article. I am a fan of Elizabeth Berg’s work!

Julie


Lauren, Melody and the rest of the Cooking Vacation Staff,

My trip was fabulous much credit given to the friendliness of your staff, the chefs and the Italian people I met.

I came home with a new lease on life in my kitchen. Today I went to the market and purchased fresh fish. Amazing what Italian olive oil adds to its taste. Unfortunately I can’t find a decent tomato at my market. One would think I ate enough tomatoes in Italy to last a lifetime. I added tomatoes to every meal I ordered. I’m hooked and am on a mission to find comparable tomoatoes.

Probably most memorable was the experience Chef Salvatore. The staff invited us back for dinner and provided transportation to and from our residence. They had even kept the wine we hadn’t finished at lunch.

Lauren your home is beautiful; the views unmatched. The afternoon spent there will be remember as time spent with new friends in a foreign country in which I felt totally at home.

Took Joyce to Giovanni’s. He was hosting a wine, cheese and olive tasting and insisted we join in. We both ordered wine to be shipped home. My close friends are anxious to attend my wine tasting.

I am hoping to return.

Melody I would like my pastry now. I didn’t want to bore you at the time but I have a lung disease that impedes my ability to eat occasionally. It was such an occasion the morning I met you and walked through the markets. What lousy timing. Although I did have several occasions to imbibe in Italian treats.

Also, I have duplicated your Amaretto Sours.

Thank you for a memorable experience.

Should any of you chance to visit MI know that my home is open and I would relish the opportunity to show you around Ann Arbor and our wonderful fresh water beaches.

Please keep me on your mailing list I enjoy your newsletter.

Fondly,
Patrecia


Positano ~ Cooking Classes On The Amalfi Coast ~8 Days™

Lauren,

You always make my day when I get our little updates. I never told you how much I enjoyed my time with you in July, it was WONDERFUL!!


Positano ~ Cooking Classes On The Amalfi Coast ~8 Days™

Dear Lauren and Melody,
Mille grazie for a truly spectacular week. What really blew me away was the depth of the cooking lessons. I thought we might do one or two recipes each time, but the wonderful chefs gave us in-depth instructions on an entire menu from appetizers to desserts. The ceramics class was another delightful experience, where we were welcomed like family and instructed by charming and experienced teachers. I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed it all–and especially the warmth and caring from the family at our villa property. I feel as though I have another extended family in Positano. Thank you both for making it all possible.

Eve


Watercolor Painting With Pasquale & Hands-On Cooking ~ 8 Day

Please accept my sincere thanks for a very lovely week in Positano. We enjoyed our cooking experiences and hope to make some of those wonderful recipes at home. Tell Melody the same. We especially enjoyed Antonio and Mama Rosa so you can tell them how terrific they are.

Sincerely, Helen
NY, NY


Positano ~ Cooking Classes On The Amalfi Coast ~8 Days™

I had a WONDERFUL time on my Cooking Vacation with you all. Thank you for everything. I will forward photos once I get caught up with my “real life” here at home. I hope I can return for another Cooking Vacation with you all soon. Thank you for the Acqua Pazza recipe. It was the best fish dish I can recall eating!

Mary Beth


Positano ~ Cooking Classes On The Amalfi Coast ~8 Days™

Dear All,

It was so great to spend time with you in one of the world’s most beautiful spots. I had such a lovely vacation and you all were an important part of what made it so much fun.

I hope that those of you who had the great pleasure of visiting other cities after Positano, had lots of adventures and I look forward to hearing about them. For myself, I am back to work and trying to adjust my sleep pattern. I’m hanging on to my vacation as much as I can, even to the extent of cooking a dinner last night. Lauren and Melody, please extend my heartfelt thanks to all those who welcomed us into their kitchens. It was a unique experience and a great privilege.

Pictures to follow as soon as I upload them.

Best to you all,
Liz NYNY


Positano ~ Cooking Classes On The Amalfi Coast ~8 Days™

Marissa thoroughly enjoyed all of her cooking classes ( and I thoroughly enjoyed eating all the great meals ). Marissa said she would love to come back to the Amalfi coast to live some day. We can see why both of you live there… it is a magnificent place. We actually looked forward to all the bus rides between Amalfi and Positano to see the wonderful views. Please feel free to count on us as references as satisfied customers for your cooking vacations. It was a great experince for both of us.

Best Regards,

Tim and Marissa Nechvatal


Positano ~ 1 Day Cooking Classes & Market Tours™

The holiday was one of the best I’ve had. Would highly recommend it to anyone. If i had the choice of Tuscany or Cuneo – I would return to Cuneo. Not only is the cuisine interesting, but Cuneo being less of a tourist destination is more authentic. Giorgio and Stefania were brillliant. They even invited me to their home for champagne. And the chef’s, Marc and his wife Amy were a real delight. I will keep in touch with all these people. I have very high standards and have dined and stayed in a lot of the best restaurants/hotels around the world, and as an overall experience vs value for money, the programme Giorgio put together was terrific.

Thanks again Lauren for all your help.
Cheers Julie-Ann New York, NY


Cooking & Wine In Barolo’s Cuneo ~ 4 Day

The cooking class was incredible in Tusany–Fabrizio, Simonetta and the whole crew are fantastic! Loved it. Thank you for taking such good care of him, we look forward to working with you for future trips.

Thanks again,
Sue Twin Travel


Cooking & Wine Tuscany ~ 4 Day

Hi, Lauren. Thanks for keeping in touch. We had such a good time that we’re still talking about it to all our friends. I’ll figure out how to EMAIL you a picture of me and Fabrizio drinking Belinis.

R. Morrell


Cooking In Florence’s Tuscan Hills ~ 8 Day

I am back, a week goes by so fast.

How lucky you are to be such a magical place –Positano-, your enthusiasm is contagious.

I hope to hear from you. Also, I would love the biscotti, cookie and swordfish recipes.

All my best,
Susie J Carolina


Positano ~ Cooking Classes On The Amalfi Coast ~8 Days™

I had a wonderful evening with Fabrizio and Sandra! What a beautiful property, and of course the surrounding countryside was “to die for.” Tasting the fresh olive oil and wines was a great experience.

Dinner was excellent – I will have lots of good material, and photos, to work with as I prepare articles for the Packet. Fabrizio and Sandra were wonderful hosts, and you were so kind to arrange this for me and my nephew – he loved making gnocchi with pumpkin suace.

With thanks, and deep appreciation, Faith

Faith Bahadurian
Food Ink


Cooking In Florence’s Tuscan Hills ~ 8 Day

Even though I am back in my office, my heart is in Positano. The villa is amazing…great location, the view was amazing..and the suites are fully equipped with lush furniture, a fully stocked kitchen, marble baths, and a wide terrace. Once I have my vacation time set-I am coming back to your lovely little town.

I made nice friends in the classes and everyone had the chance to roll out gnocchi and stuff ravioli. We had a special cooking class with a visiting Ex. Chef who showed us his technique for stuffing giant orange Italian squash flowers. He was an artist in his preparation. We ate a basket of the golden fried treasures with great Fiorduva. A great local white wine~thanks for your recommendation. The wonderful restaurant you took us too in the small cove was so characteristic,…cannot stop thinking about that famous pastry shop- that special Amalfi dessert-eggplant drenched in chocolate and orange was a treat. The chef came rolling out with the just-made desserts and passed around samples for all. I must say, I had taken another cooking program years ago, but your personal touch and presence on site made a big difference.

Gina C. NY, NY


Positano ~ Cooking Classes On The Amalfi Coast ~8 Days™

THANKS, we had a great time. Chef Rossi was very nice, we and our daughter had a great time with him. The location was great and the apt fine so all worked out very well.

We went to the same little restaurant place every morning (since 1836) I think and it was great to be able to get to everything in no time. We cooked our favorite saltimbocca,,, Siggy our daughter said she couldn’t care less about the Vatican, and the other old rusty buildings, but she loved the cooking and couldn’t get enough of that. hopefully we get to do this again sometime.

Thanks a lot, all the best Sigga


Chef Eugenio’s Dolce Vita ~ 6 Day

We had a good time making pizza. The evening started with Chef Eugenio giving us a little history on pizza at the table of his restaurant. We then watched as his pizza-maker made a pizza while we watched and Chef Eugenio explained the process. When the example pizza was made, we went back to the table and ate it. It was delicious. As a family, we all sat down and enjoyed our pizzas with soft drinks and wine. The kitchen also provided us with some nice grilled vegetables sent from the “boss”. After dinner, we got to pose for a picture with the chef. We finished our meal with ice cream.

It was a fun experience and a nice change from all of the busy sightseeing in Rome. The pizza was great and the chef was very hospitable.

Mike H


One Day Pizza Making Class

Hi Lauren,

Just a quick note on my trip–it was fantastic and Fabrizio made my birthday truly special. I will never forget it. He really is a little treasure of a person and went above and beyond for me. I am e-mailing the English couple, Nigel and Sarah (what a HOOT they were!) who were on their honeymoon to try to get photos; they were the ones with the dig. camera. They told me they’re on this trip for nine weeks (must be nice!), so it might be some time before they got anything to me. Thanks again Lauren, and if you have dates or anything for Positano, PLEASE let me know…

Angela


Cooking In Florence’s Tuscan Hills ~ 8 Day

Hi,

Yes Lauren we loved the cooking class and will recommend the experience to anyone vacationing in Rome. We have some shots I will forward. I’ve already incorporated some of what he taught us to tweak the dishes I’m used to making. Now we must redo the kitchen so I can safely set food on fire. That is great fun.

Eugenio is such a nice man and a total joy to be around.

Thank you and Eugenio so much.
Sincerely, Patricia


One Day Cooking Class – Roman Traditions

We thoroughly enjoyed our visit with Fabrizio at the Forconi Estate in Tuscany and thank you again!

G. Pizzaro
C.A.


Cooking In Florence’s Tuscan Hills ~ 8 Day

This is the best trip I have been on in a long long time. The weather is beautiful, and Letizia has done such a wonderful job on the hotel. Really, she has made it so that it seems you are living here like the local people. I will come back here again definitely.

Her cook is amazing! She has no formal chef training, but has been cooking recipes in the traditional way, and learned from her grandmother and mother, etc. I highly recommend this vacation to anyone who wants a true experience of how it is done in a traditional southern Italian home! So far, I have had 3 cooking lessons and another one this evening in a Trullo at Letizia’s home. The whole cooking experience has been perfect! I need to learn Italian!

I have many pictures and will definitely send them to you soon. I will be staying here an extra day until the 12th of September. The old town Conversano is beautiful, so many churches and history. The town is quiet, which is exactly what I was looking for.

The staff is so nice and helpful, it is like being with family or good friends every day. I cannot say enough about how wonderful Mari Elena is. To sound selfish, I hope Corte in Puglia does not get too touristic. I could stay here and be quite comfortable for the rest of the time I am in Europe …Thank you so much for recommending this place

P. D’Alesio
CT, USA


Letizia’s Kitchen ~ 8 Day

Thank you for the pasta class in Rome, Mum was incredibly happy with her birthday present, as was I. Thanks very much,

A. Bradley
London, England


One Day Pasta Making Class

We really enjoyed our stay here at Ortaglia. The way you treat us like one of the family. We wish we could spend more time here.

God Bless… M. & E.
Santiago Fort Lee, New Jersey, USA


Tuscan Cookout! Cooking, Spa & Scenic Tours ~ 6 Day

Ciao! I had a wonderful time here at Ortaglia. Because of your warm hospitality, great cooking and beautiful home you made my first trip in Tuscany a memorable one. Hope to be able to visit Ortaglia again in the future. I wish you more happiness and success.

Cheers, D. Pacho Manila,
Philippines


Food & Wine In The Land Of Siena ~ 7 Day

Thank you so much for your hospitality at Villa Ortaglia. You have a beautiful home & we will treasure the memories of our stay here. You made us feel like we never left home. Mille Grazie!

From E. & A. Pacho Manila,
Philippines


Food & Wine In The Land Of Siena ~ 7 Day

Your beautiful home at Villa Ortaglia & the Tuscany landscape beauty are surpassed only by your wonderful and sincere hospitality! Thank you for your kindness!

Sincerely, A. & E. Banez Electra,
Texas


Food & Wine In The Land Of Siena ~ 7 Day

Ciao! Lauren we had the best vacation of our lives! We can’t wait to go back next year, we of course would visit Venice first and then go to Positano. The cooking was unbelievable.

Steve and I have traveled through Europe and the U.S. and have been afforded many beautiful sights, people, and customs. However, we have never felt this way about any place except for Martha’s Vineyard. Our Lemon Life-Styles experience was magical! I was so sad to leave, kinda like taking the Islander and pulling away from Vineyard Haven. We have already recommended this trip to a few friends.

S. Shands,
NY.


Cooking Classes On The Amalfi Coast ~ 1 Week

I just wanted to let you know that we had a wonderful time in Sicily, the highlight of which was my two days at Villa Siciliana. Donna Antonia Giuliano (Natoli) is an absolute sweetheart. Thank you for your kind assistance in helping me organize my own “cooking vacation,” particularly on relatively short notice. The villa is a gem.

Pete Rosanthal
New York, New York


Mamma Antonia’s V.I.P. Premium ~ 8 Day

Staying at Villa Ortaglia was dream-like. Maria the chef, and Terenzio, the villa’s owner took care of our every need. The cooking classes, set in their Tuscan kitchen were excellent. We learned how to make Crostini Toscani, Fegatini (liver pâté), Pici all’Aglione, Ribollita, Fiorentina, a unique Tuscan meat, and wonderful desserts. Her Tiramisu and Cantucci recipes are the best. Cannot wait to go back.

Corinne Preteur
New York, New York


Food & Wine In The Land Of Siena ~ 7 Day

Our Lemon Lifestyles program with you in Positano was incredible. It was wonderful. We did not want to leave. The villa is perched high above the pastel city, with a panoramic view of the Amalfi Coast. The cooking classes were well organized, fun and best of all we have been able to make them all at home.

Charles Cohen
Boston, Massachusetts


Cooking Classes On The Amalfi Coast ~ 1 Week

Lauren; Last week my husband and I were in Rome and he had his cooking class w/Eugenio Rossi and I wanted to let you know he had a wonderful day!!! He really enjoyed himself and I wanted to share this with you. Everything went beautifully.

Thanks so much!


One Day Pasta Making Class

Becky and I really enjoyed our stay at Villa Ortaglia! The Villa and surrounding vineyards were just fantastic! The hospitability and warmth extended by Mara and Terenzio would be hard to exceed. The cooking classes with Maria and Mara were a lot of fun and most rewarding in that we dinned on the results, and what a reward that was! Thanks again for the wonderful vacation package the Villa and the area were like a little piece of Heaven.

B. Wallace
Arlington, Texas


Food & Wine In The Land Of Siena ~ 7 Day

We had such a great time at Ortaglia – it was truly an experience I will remember for ever. I have told everyone I know about your incredible kindness and hospitality and that I enjoyed the experience so much more because of the passion for all things Italian, but especially Tuscany. We would have never seen the monks chanting, or had wine at LePresi in Montalcino; no one can believe that grand mom made us lunch and brought the grandchildren to visit – amazing, or learned the history of Pienza! Could not believe the wine tastings we were treated to!!! I learned so much about Italian wine. THANK YOU!! It's supposed to be a beautiful weekend here, but nowhere near as beautiful as Southern Tuscany and Ortaglia in September, I am sure. I will just think about all the stars in the beautiful sky and hope to visit again soon.

M. Moncaco
New Jersey


Food & Wine In The Land Of Siena ~ 7 Day

Lauren – Italy was a fabulous adventure that met every expectation. Thanks for all your help in arranging good places with good people. The Forconi Estate was tremendous and the excursion to Venice was a great adventure. Alessandra was such a gracious host. My travels the first week went well also – each of our concerts were well received and very fun to do. Made international travel feel more like we had something to give back and a special way to connect – rather than just 'taking' like a tourist. Just wanted you to know my time was just terrific

 J. Warner
USA


Cooking In Florence’s Tuscan Hills ~ 8 Day

It was a lovely weekend thank-you.  We thoroughly enjoyed the cooking lessons which were also very useful.  Our Cooking Vacations program in Cinque Terre was in a lovely location and you were right to advise that weekend as we felt as though we were waited upon hand and foot by Marco and Giovanna. All in all we were both very impressed and were very happy with our Cooking Vacation!

A. Edwards
London, England


Chef Stella’s VIP ~ 6 Day

Hi Lauren,

Just to let you know how much we enjoyed the day at the cooking school and the vineyard. The food was magic and we were treated so well. We appreciate all the organizing you did and would recommend the day to anyone who wants a typical Italian experience.

B. Sheards
Australia


Cooking In Florence’s Tuscan Hills ~ 8 Day