Cortina ~ Trekking & Relax™

Cooking & Trekking in Cortina in the Italian Dolomites

bergamo-1-day-cooking-class_hands-on bergamo-1-day-cooking-class_lesson bergamo cooking class - spaghetti   bergamo cooking class - dolce

Join us in Cortina d’Ampezzo, the gem of the Italian Alps, with this 6-day, 5-night food, wine and outdoor trekking tour.  Cortina is nestled in the heart of the Dolomites in the Veneto region of Northern Italy, just a few hours’ drive from Venice. The Boite River cuts through the gorgeous town, while imposing breathtaking mountain peaks surround it, including Tofane, Cinque Torre, Cristalo, and Marmolada—the Queen of the Dolomites. Cortina is a summer and winter vacation destination, as well as a multicultural hotspot; the region is home to the Ladin people, who have combined their Italian and Tyrolean heritages into their own unique culture, language, traditions, architecture, and cuisine.

While Cortina has more than a thousand years of history, it was not until 1956 when the Olympic Winter Games thrusted Cortina’s small-town charm and idyllic setting into the spotlight.  Since then, Cortina has become a must-visit locale year-round.

The breathtaking Natural Park of the Ampezzo Dolomites spans nearly 30,000 acres north of the center of town. Visitors who come during the warmer months can hike, bike, and climb on hundreds of kilometers of marked trails and via ferrata routes, taking in the area’s luscious green valleys, high mountain pastures, alpine lakes, streams, and waterfalls, along with the wide variety of plants and animals that call the Dolomites home.  During the winter months, Cortina’s first-class ski resorts, downhill slopes, and cross-country trails take center stage.

Cortina is also famous for its popular shopping center. Corso Italia is the most well-known and prestigious pedestrian street in the Dolomites and the center of Cortina’s social life. There you will find trendy boutiques side-by-side with local artisans creating handmade decorative crafts, art galleries, jewelers, bars, and restaurants. While the stores are constantly changing to follow the hot trends of the day, the town’s majestic bell tower made of Dolomite stone remains the pillar of the community.

Cortina Cooking Classes

Tie on your aprons and join us in the kitchen for 2 hands-on cooking classes where you will be preparing farm-to-table ingredients into local fare.  Traditional Cortina cuisine combines the influences of Italian and Tyrolean ingredients flavors into its recipes. Corn, potatoes, barley, pumpkins, mushrooms, and beans are typical elements of Cortina dishes. Cortina also boasts an ample production of high-altitude pasture cheese like Contrin, Fodòm, Renàz, Schiz, Tosela, Zumelle and Zigher.  During your cooking program, you’ll visit a local farm for an experience to learn and taste one of Cortina’s finest cheeses.


During your hands-on cooking classes, you will prepare antipasto such as chenedi, breadcrumb dumplings filled with speck, lard, spinach, and cheese, then served in a hot broth or with butter.  Learn how to mix and roll pestarei, a flour and water dough that is boiled in salted milk.  Using fava beans from the nearby fields, prepare faariesa, a fava beans and barley soup.  Mix and roll out Cortina’s signature pasta casunziei,beet-filled ravioli served with melted butter, cheese, and poppy seeds.  Main dishes like gröstl, a potato and meat pie of Austrian origin, and gulasch süppe, a meat-based soup originally from Hungary, will wow!  Desserts, sweet and buttery, include: krapfen, small jelly-filled donuts, brazora, sweet focaccia bread sprinkled with sugar, and apple strudel.


You will also sip and swirl a selection of Cortina’s finest wines at a rifugio, one of the many mountain huts that populate the hiking trails on the Dolemites.  During your visit to this rifugio, in the stunning Cinque Torre area, you will enjoy four prized wines from the Veneto region—the sparkling Adami Bosco di Gica Prosecco Superiore DOCG, the white Pieropan Souave classic DOCG, and the red Masi Campofiorin Rossi di Verona IGT and Zenato Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG—or the Trentino region from South Tyrol—the sparkling Ferrari Maximum Brut Trento DOC, the white Colterenzio Lafoa Chardonnay Alto Adige DOC, and the red Girlan Shiava Alto Adige Fall 9 DOC and Girlan Blauburgunder Patricia Alto Adige DOC.

Cortina Accommodations

Your inviting 4-star accommodation is just a few minutes from Cortina’s pedestrian center, located in a panoramic and quiet part of the town. The hotel provides modern comforts with cozy wooden architecture that seamlessly blends with the surrounding alpine region. The in-house restaurant offers traditional Ampezzo, Italian, and international cuisine, while the wellness area provides a heated swimming pool, sauna, Jacuzzi, and massages. Rooms are warm, spacious, and elegant, with soft Ampezzo fabrics on each comfy bed with Italian linens, and a balcony. There is also free Wi-Fi, a private ensuite bathroom, hairdryer, minibar, and LCD TV. Daily maid service and traditional rich breakfast are also included.


Day 1:Benvenuto, Check-In, Spa Massage 1 and Chef’s Tasting Denner

  • Arrive in Cortina d’Ampezzo and check-in to the hotel with a Prosecco and Cooking Vacations welcome bag.
  • After your check-in, relax with a 50 minute massage in the hotel’s spa.
  • Following the massage, enjoy a Welcome Dinner at a Michelin-Starred restaurant with a Chef’s full course tasting menu.  Transportation from and to the hotel. Wine not included.

Day 2: Cheese Tasting and Cooking Class 1

  • Breakfast is served.
  • Following breakfast, transfer to a cheese tasting at a famous cheese farm and maker – a short15 minutes south of Cortina. Tour and discussion with the farm’s young owner Enrico as he tends to his goat farm, where he and his family make and sell their own organic cheese, milk, yoghurt, ice cream, and preserves.
  • Following your tour, return to the hotel for a transfer to your first hands-on cooking class. Learn to prepare traditional full course menu including such traditions as barley soup with fried Tirtlan, round fried treats filled with potatoes, spinach, or risotto, casunziei pasta, venison goulash, and krapfen.Lunch follows with the food prepared in the cooking class with a toast of local red or white wine.
  • Transfer back to the hotel.
  • In the evening, enjoy free time in Cortina d’Ampezzo and dinner on your own with dinner provided.

Day 3: Trekking 1 and Sunset Aperitivo

  • Breakfast is served.
  • Following breakfast, embark on a hiking trek or easy via ferrata rock climbing route with a professional local mountain guide. Transfer to/from the hotel by the guide and via ferrata climbing kit included.
  • After the trek, return to the hotel for lunch on your own.
  • In the evening, transfer for a hike to Rifugio Mietres for an aperitivo at sunset in a hot tub on a panoramic terrace.
  • Following the aperitivo, enjoy dinner at the famous Rifugio Mietres. Wine not included.
  • Transfer back to the hotel after dinner.

Day 4: Massage 2 and Wine Tasting

  • Breakfast is served.
  • Following breakfast, relax with a 50 minute massage in the hotel’s spa.
  • After the massage, transfer to Rifugio Averau in the Cinque Torri area, which can be reached by a short hike or chairlift. Meet with the chef and sommelier for a wine tasting of four wines from the Veneto or Trentino region.
  • Enjoy lunch at Rifugio Averau, included.
  • Transfer back to the hotel for free time in Cortina d’Ampezzo in the evening and dinner on your own.


Day 5: Trek 2 and Cooking Class 2

  • Breakfast is served.
  • After breakfast, embark on a second hiking trek or easy via ferrata rock climbing route with a professional local mountain guide. Transfer to/from the hotel by the guide and via ferrata climbing kit included.
  • Following the trek, return to the hotel for a transfer to your second hands-on cooking class. Learn to prepare a traditional full menu lunch including schenedi, tagliatelle with venison ragu, Cortina polenta, and Torta di Noci, a walnut cake. Lunch follows and includes the food prepared in the cooking class with a toast of local red or white wine.
  • Transfer back to the hotel.
  • In the evening, enjoy free time in Cortina d’Ampezzo and dinner on your own with suggestions provided.

Day 6: Arrivederci

  • Breakfast is served.
  • Check out of the accommodation.
  • Arrivederci!

Program Includes:

    • 5 night and 6 days in a luxury 4-star hotel in Cortina d’Ampezzo.
    • Daily breakfast and maid service included.
    • Welcome Dinner at a Michelin-starred restaurant featuring a Chef’s full course tasting menu and transportation to/from the hotel.  Wine not included.
    • 2 Hands-on cooking classes, preparing a full course traditional menu.  Everyone enjoys the food prepared in the cooking class with a toast of local red or white wine to follow.  Transportation to/from the hotel included.
    • 2 Trekking or via ferrata route experiences with a professional local mountain guide, including pick to and from the hotel by the guide and via ferrata kit
    • 2 – 50-minute massages in the hotel’s wellness spa.
    • 1 Excursion to a famous goat farm and cheese maker including a tour, discussion and local food tasting.
    • 1 Excursion to Rifugio Averau for a wine tasting and traditional lunch.
    • 1 Sunset aperitivo in a hot tub on the panoramic terrace at Rifugio Mietres, with a full course dinner to follow.
    • Unlimited access to the hotel’s wellness spa-
    • Cooking Vacations welcome bags with chef’s apron and welcome Prosecco.
    • A copy of Lauren’s cookbook, It’s A Dream Place – Stories & Recipes of Food, Love and the Amalfi Coast

    Program Price:

$5,595 based on two guests in a classic luxury 4-star accommodation.

For Single Guests: If you are traveling on your own, please call us for the best group price. We are happy to welcome you into an already scheduled group.
Prices starting at.

*Please note: One-day cooking classes do not include transportation, accommodations, or any other excursions. If you would like to add on transfers to and from your hotel or cruise ship port ~ please let us know your group size and we will be happy to reserve transfers for you. Transfers are an extra cost.