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Kitchen On The Sea ~ Diamante To Scalea™

Red Hot Chili Pepper Festival

Cooking Tours
Prices & Dates

Diamante Peperoncino Festival: 8 Days, 7 Nights
Festival Date, September 7 to 14, 2014

 

Diamante, a name that inspires dreams of flashing seas and crystal clear skies, is a precious gem of a town where each year, the locals celebrate their famed red-hot chili peppers. The Diamante Peperoncino Festival is one of the most popular festivals in Calabria with people coming from all over Italy and further afield to partake in this unique celebration of the area’s chili peppers. From the countless different varieties of peperoncini to wonderful traditional hot cuisine, from theater and satire to cinema and literature, medicine and folklore… not only will you find over 500 different types of chili pepper on display, discover who wins the chili pepper eating contest and see a collection of ‘live statues’, you will also be able to take part in gastronomic workshops, catch some films and perhaps even be a winner in the ‘lotteria del peperoncino’. This year, a team will also attempt to break the world record for the longest ever peperoncino garland, the record for which is presently held by a team in Pisa whose garland measured in at an incredible 200 meters. The festival will also be attended by many chili pepper experts, including David DeWitt from New Mexico, widely held to be the world’s greatest authority on peperoncini. And all of this is held in the open air, in the town’s historic center and along Diamante’s panoramic sea front.

Cooking Class & Food and Wine

Just like its people, Calabria’s cuisine is hot and fiery and exciting. Learn more about the region’s typical products – red onions from Tropea, chili peppers from Diamante, fresh anchovies, spicy sausage and citrons from the Riviera dei Cedri, and spend a morning in the kitchen with Chef Antonio and Elsa who will soon have your tongue tingling as they teach you how to create some local delicacies: spaghetti with hot chili pepper jam; roasted hot chili peppers; and roasted chili peppers stuffed with spicy sauce. Enjoy an excursion to a hot chili pepper farm where you’ll discover more about the process of how these hot peppers are conserved and made into garlands. And spend four afternoons at the Peperoncino Festival in Diamante’s town center sampling countless varieties of chili pepper and devouring a delicious selection of local specialties.

Calabria

“…nothing breaks the stillness save the rhythmic breathing of the waves, and a solitary cricket that has yet to finish his daily task of instrumental music, far away, in some warm crevice of the hills.” Norman Douglas, Old Calabria

Luckily for us, many of the wonderful qualities of Calabria that delighted Norman Douglas back in 1915 are still there to be enjoyed by visitors today: the enviable climate, the beautiful beaches, magnificent, untamed countryside, hillside villages and every so often a Norman church or a Greek ruin to remind us of Calabria’s eclectic past. Add to that, the fact that many parts of Calabria are far from the well worn tourist track and this area of Italy becomes utterly irresistible to travelers who wish to discover the other face of Italy and immerse themselves in a culture rich in traditions and history.

Diamante

Aquamarine waters, Dresden blue skies, ruby red chili peppers and gaily painted houses all make Diamante a very striking town, its vibrancy and colors irresistibly cheerful. Diamante is a real Calabrian gem, a fishing village set on the rocks immediately above the sea and offering breathtaking panoramas for miles around. Wander through its maze of narrow streets and alleyways and admire the many walls painted with murals; even today renowned artists turn up to leave their mark on the village walls. And of course, no visitor to Diamante could fail to notice the town’s other consuming passion – red-hot chili peppers. As well as finding these peppers in many local dishes, you’ll see them on sale in every shop and market stall, hung outside doorways and even strung across alleyways on clothes lines, drying alongside the household linen! Chili pepper fans should think of visiting in September when the town holds its annual peperoncino festival complete with numerous tastings, concerts, demonstrations and musical events.

Accommodation

Enjoying a choice location surrounded by lush countryside and just a stone’s throw from the sea, your hotel is a comfortable 4-star residence equipped with all modern amenities. Rooms and apartments are simply but prettily furnished and have en-suite bathrooms, satellite TV, hairdryers and air conditioning. Wander around the attractive grounds to admire the old olive trees and enjoy the ocean view, or laze by the pool, drink in hand, the warmth of the sun helping you relax and unwind.

 

Itinerary: 8 days and 7 nights

Day 1: Arrival and Check In

  • Morning: arrival at your residence, check into your rooms.
  • Lunch at residence.
  • Afternoon free to relax and unwind or do some exploring.
  • Evening: enjoy a welcome ‘Diamante’ aperitivo and find out how to prepare your own Diamante cocktail. The animation team will present the structure and its staff introducing the weekly program and opening the welcome buffet.
  • Dinner buffet with music, dance and shows.

Day 2: Cooking Class

  • 9:00 – Breakfast is served.
  • After breakfast, morning gymnastics with animation team (optional).
  • 11:00 – Cooking class: Chef Antonio and Elsa will let you into their spicy secrets and soon have you cooking up spaghetti with hot chili pepper jam; roasted hot chili peppers; and roasted chili peppers stuffed with spicy sauce.
  • Enjoy lunching on the foods you prepared in class. The meal will be served with a good local wine from a Verbicaro producer and seasonal fruit.
  • Afternoon free to relax and enjoy some sun or venture further afield to explore your surroundings.
  • Dinner buffet.
  • After dinner, enjoy the show put on by the animation team.

Day 3: Excursion to Peperoncino Farm

  • Breakfast is served.
  • In the morning, a visit to a peperoncino farm to discover more about how local hot chili peppers are cultivated, conserved and transformed into scarlet garlands.
  • Return to residence for lunch.
  • In the afternoon, the animation team organizes playing card competitions and water games in the swimming pool (aquagym).
  • Dinner buffet.

Day 4: Peperoncino Festival, Day 1

  • Breakfast is served.
  • Morning free to relax or take part in some of the activities arranged by the animation team.
  • Lunch at residence.
  • Afternoon transfer to Diamante for the first day of festival.
  • Snack or dinner on your own in Diamante.
  • Return transfer to residence.

Day 5: Peperoncino Festival, Day 2

  • Breakfast is served.
  • Morning free to relax or take part in some of the activities arranged by the animation team.
  • Lunch at residence.
  • Afternoon transfer to Diamante for the second day of festival.
  • Snack or dinner on your own in Diamante.
  • Return transfer to residence.

Day 6: Peperoncino Festival, Day 3

  • Breakfast is served.
  • Morning free to relax or take part in some of the activities arranged by the animation team.
  • Lunch at residence.
  • Afternoon transfer to Diamante for the third day of festival.
  • Snack or dinner on your own in Diamante.
  • Return transfer to residence.

Day 7: Peperoncino Festival, Day 4

  • Breakfast is served.
  • Morning free to relax or take part in some of the activities arranged by the animation team.
  • Lunch at residence.
  • Afternoon transfer to Diamante for the fourth day of festival.
  • Snack or dinner on your own in Diamante.
  • Return transfer to residence.

Day 8: Check out and Arrivederci

  • Breakfast is served.
  • Check out & Arrivederci Diamante!

 

Program includes:

  • 8 days, 7 nights accommodation in a 4 star residence, based on double occupancy.
  • Daily breakfast.
  • 1 cooking lesson, followed by lunch or dinner on the foods prepared in the class, wine included.
  • 1 half-day excursion to a peperoncino farm as described in the program.
  • English speaking guide during the excursion.
  • Welcome aperitivo.
  • Three days full-board (8th, 9th, 10th Sep).
  • Four days half-board (11th, 12th, 13th, 14th Sep).
  • Daily transfer to and from Diamante during Festival.
  • Assistance during tour.
  • Medical assistance.
  • Maps and itineraries of the region for self-guided tours.
  • Animation team.
Program Prices

$2100 per person, based on double occupancy.  Includes all taxes and Italian VAT.

Please Note: Additional transfers, entrance fees, tips and anything not specifically mentioned in the program are not included.

Check Availability

2019 Dates: This program is available throughout the year. You can check in and start your cooking program any day of the week. Rates are subject to change based on currency exchange. Call for updated rates. Airfare not included. Group transfers for any cooking tour or tours that include transfers, are for the group and are not private. Transfers before, after or to another destination outside of your cooking tour are not included in the program price. If you would like to add on a private transfer or transfers, let us know and we will send you pricing.