Stroll the grounds of your 15th-century castle and pick fragrant sage, lavender, and rosemary from the castle garden for Chef Michele’s masterful cooking lessons. Experience sublime local wines, traditional Veronese dishes and a delicate, sweet ham so beloved they throw a festival just to celebrate it. Join us for a romantic culinary adventure in the land of Romeo and Juliet, the place Shakespeare called “fair Verona.”
Cooking Classes with Chef Michele
Under master Chef Michele’s expert guidance, you’ll learn hands-on how to create a complete menu – appetizer, first course, main course and dessert. Michele’s style marries traditional recipes of Veneto with modern touches, using local and traditional products including sweet Montagnana ham, renowned Fassona Piemontese beef, and tastasale (a salami paste).
During your in-depth hands-on cooking class, you’ll prepare intriguing courses such as Michele’s take on Risotto alla Veneta, a risotto that features beef, pork and a cinnamon sauce, and Baccalà alla Vicentina, a dish of traditional salt cod with polenta. Learn the deep Italian respect for the natural perfection of fresh fish with a simple-yet-sublime preparation of sea bass in foil. If you like, sip a glass of fragrant Valpolicella or refreshing Bardolino as you prepare appetizers using fresh local ingredients like crisp asparagus, just-picked peas and beans, homemade pickles, and locally-cured meats. Taste local and regional cheeses including robust Grana Padano, full-flavored and Brie-like Bastardo del Grappa, nutty and piquant Monte Veronese, and Il Brillo di Treviso, which derives its pleasing sweetness from being aged in red wine. Desserts add to the pleasure and may include a fabulously romantic rose cake, Italian jam tart or panna cotta with mint and chocolate.
A sumptuous lunch is the reward for your labor, beautifully laid out and enjoyed in the castle or on the storybook grounds. You’ll head out for the day’s explorations energized and ready to discover centuries of Verona’s history and romance and the unforgettable food and wine of the region.
Exploring Verona & The Region
After your day cooking in the castle, you’ll spend the morning of your second day touring the world-famous viniculture districts of Soave Classico and Valpolicella. Visit a local winery that has been run by the same family for more than a century. Take a winery tour, visit an eno-museum and learn how the family was instrumental in improving the quality of the Corvina, Cornivone and Rondinella grapes that make up the fresh, fruity Soaves and fragrant Valpolicellas produced here. You’ll taste the wines in variety of styles, from light and refreshing to intense and powerful, and even bubbly sparkling and sweet dessert versions.
In the afternoon, why not take in the sights of fair Verona on your own. Experience the romantic Piazza Bra, with its cafés and restaurants where you can have a drink or an espresso and soak in the ornate Veronese architecture and the pink stone Verona Arena. Visit the bustling market at Piazza delle Erbe and view the 14th-century Madonna Verona fountain (which is actually topped by a Roman statue dating to 380 AD). Visit the Casa di Giulietta and have your picture taken atop the ornate stone Juliet Balcony, a 20th-century addition to a historic house that nonetheless conjures images of inflamed passion and endless love. See a panoramic landscape of Verona from San Pietro Castle and visit other sites such as the Church of San Zeno Maggiore, a stunning 9th-century basilica.
After the day’s adventures, return to the castle for a quiet evening or explore the nightlife in the surrounding region. After a satisfying breakfast the next morning, it’s arrivederci and off to your next adventure.
Ancient stone battlements stand protectively over the land they have guarded for centuries. Hillside villages seem frozen in time, transporting visitors back to the 14th century. Agriculturally rich valleys provide local chefs and artisan bakers with the bountiful fruits of the land. A land of castles and romance, delight and mystery, it’s little wonder that Verona and its surroundings inspired Shakespeare to write his epic tale of star-crossed lovers.
It’s easy to imagine yourself a duke or a duchess here – especially when your accommodations are in a beautifully restored 14th-century castle. Feel like royalty when you wake in the canopy bed of your elegant suite, with its magnificent handpainted clawfoot tub, luxurious furnishings, and spectacular high ceilings with hand-hewn beams. Enjoy a traditional Italian breakfast of espresso and fresh baked delights (or something more substantial, the staff are happy to indulge) before strolling the grounds, where you can pick fragrant herbs from the gardens for your cooking classes in the castle kitchen.
Itinerary ~ 3 Days, 2 Nights
Day 1: Arrival
- Arrival & Check in.
- Take time to freshen up and settle into your Junior Suite.
- Late afternoon – tie on your aprons for your first cooking class with Chef Michaele!
- Dinner with foods prepared in class.
Day 2: Wine Tasting
- Breakfast is served.
- Morning – Visit to wine producer’s, wine tastings included.
- Explore the property, walk the gardens or add on a tour to town !
- Dinner on your own
Day Three ~ Ciao!
- Breakfast is served.
- After breakfast, check-out and arrivederci! A presto!
- 3 days/2 nights accommodations, based on double occupancy in Junior Suite with private bath
- Daily breakfast.
- Hands-on Cooking Class (antipasto, pasta, second dish & dolce) followed by dinner with the foods prepared in class. Local wine and water included.
- Visit to winery, transfers and tastings included.
$750 per person, based on double occupancy in Junior Suite.
$1,160 per person, based on single occupancy in Junior Suite.