Step into Genova, Liguria’s capital, set between the Ligurian Sea and the Apennine Mountains for our Genovese hands-on cooking with Chef Stefano! Our hands-on cooking with Chef Stefano takes you full circle from antipasto, pasta, main courses and desserts with wines from the hills of Liguria. While in Genova, you will experience the city’s rich history, culture and culinary traditions, while learning to prepare local his local recipes. When you are not in the kitchen cooking, stroll the centro storico, old part of Genova, and experience its mix of medieval landmarks, 16th-Century & Baroque art and its rich food culture.
Your hands-on cooking classes immerse you into Liguria’s best-loved local products and ingredients under the guidance of Chef Stefano. He will have you rolling out focaccia, making pesto with fresh homemade pasta and desserts too. You will also learn about local garden and local farmer’s market products always used in the class. And after each class you will enjoy the foods that you prepared in the kitchen. When you are not cooking, you will have extraordinary visits to food places and landmarks. You will visit elegant Portofino, one of Italy’s favorite ports with its charming harbor, and cafés spilling on the piazza. Take a front row seat at any one of the cafes and enjoy a gelato or glass of wine and watch the world go by. Stroll to the famous Lighthouse or take your time and shop for typical artisan products. Each day you’ll discover a new taste and new recipe on Italy’s Riviera.
Your cooking classes are lead by Chef Stefano in his home kitchen. In his traditional kitchen you will quickly learn the simplicity in fresh and seasonal products while learning the “how to.” Then he shares with you the family country kitchen on the Riviera, while another class takes you to their villa near Portofino. With Stefano and his team of talented chefs and home cooks you will create a variety of Ligurian specialties like handmade pasta pansoti and ravioli with pesto or walnut sauce, there are gnocchi tossed in butter and sage; la Torta Pasqualina, a savory pie filled with vegetables, herbs, eggs and ricotta that dates back to the 1400s. Fish is abundant in Liguria and the typical local fish include marinata di Morone with herbs, Santa Margherita pink shrimp, spigola, sea bass, but there are also meats. You will sample the area’s excellent olive oil made from Taggiasche olives, and learn about the wild herbs and vegetables of Ligurian cuisine. Chef Stefano shares his story growing up with his grandmother who transformed farm grown products into old world recipes that are simple and healthy. After each class, everyone enjoys the antipasto, pasta, main course and dessert what was made in class with a glass of local wine included.
A visit to Genova is always a treat, both for those who are in town for the first time and for those who’ve already been here. Genova’s Porto Antico is home to Europe’s largest Aquarium with over 800 species from unique Mediterranean fish, dolphins, sharks, turtles and more. There is also the Il Grande Bigo, a monument that was built to commemorate the 500th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’ voyage and includes an elevator brings you sky-high for an incredible view over the entire city and sea.
You will visit Via Garibaldi, known as Strada Nuova (literally “New Street”), where majestic Rolli Palazzos house the most important city museums. The very heart of the historical center is Piazza San Lorenzo with its beautiful Cathedral – the perfect starting point for exploring the city. Then you’ll find Palazzo Ducale, which offers numerous new and interesting exhibitions, and Piazza De Ferrari and the Carlo Felice Theater.
Then there is shopping. Genova, Liguria’s chic city, is a have for shopping of all kinds, including artisan olive oils, pasta and wine. The city also has attractions to satisfy a range of interests, from the Porto Antico area for those traveling with kids, or kids-at-heart, to the Via Garibaldi and its museums for the art-lover. In the delightful old part of town you can wander through the maze of narrow streets filled with arts and craft shops always accompanied by the melodies of local singer-songwriter Fabrizio De Andrè.
Your hotel is strategically set in the center of Genova. The historic palazzo is located just opposite the San Lorenzo cathedral, in the heart of the city center, and close to the main museums of Genova. Built in the 16th century and later restored by the noble De Marie family, the palazzo has recently been updated blending modern additions, while keeping its old word charm. The hotel’s cafe overlooks the sixteenth-century Piazza San Lorenzo, which overlooks Genoa’s Cathedral. The elegant rooms are clean, bright and include all the modern comforts with first floor rooms overlooking the picturesque piazza below. Characterized by high, arched ceilings with rich stucco décor, rooms range in size from 30 to 40 square meters. In addition to all the amenities (private ensuite bathroom, minibar, air conditioning, telephone), guests will also find fax, personal computer, free WiFi internet connection and satellite TV.
Itinerary: 6 Days, 5 Nights
Day One: Arrival & Welcome
- Arrival at Genova airport or Train Station.
- Transfer to hotel and check in.
- Relax and freshen up in the afternoon.
- Welcome Dinner in local restaurant, local wine and water included.
Day Two: Genova’s Old Town & Wine Tasting
- Breakfast is served.
- After breakfast, start with a Guided Tour of Genova’s Historic Center to discover both old and new shops and their products. Enjoy a tasting of focaccia along with regional cheese and olive oil at one of Genova’s traditional artisan bakers.
- Lunch on your own. Pick out one of the many backstreet trattorias, where you can sample some delicious Genova specialties. We provide a long list of our favorite restaurant and café hot picks.
- In the late afternoon, enjoy a Wine Tasting of local white wines.
- Return to hotel.
- Dinner is free and on your own, we provide excellent suggestions.
Day Three: Sestri Levante: Cooking Class 1
- Breakfast is served.
- After breakfast, trip to the Peninsula of Sestri Levante. In the morning, take the train to the magnificent peninsula of Sestri Levante and enjoy exploring on your own.
- Then, on to a beautiful local trattoria for your hands-on Cooking Class 1. Lunch follows on the foods made during class. Local wine included.
- After lunch, meet up with your guide for a short guided tour of Sestri then, together, visit Chiavari with free time on the beach for a gelato from the famous maker, or a glass of wine by the sea. Return to Genova.
- Free for dinner in Genova.
Day Four: Market Visit & Cooking Class 2: Local Fresh Pasta
- Breakfast is served.
- After breakfast, visit one of the richest and oldest local markets: the ‘Mercato Orientale’, full of fresh fruit and vegetables, local fish, meat and cheese.
- Cooking Class 2: in the kitchen of Chef Stefano, prepare local pasta like ‘pansoti’, ravioli, gnocchi, etc., served with pesto, walnut sauce and butter and sage.
- Afternoon free. We suggest a visit to one of the ‘green’ areas of the town: the Urban Park of Nervi. This has long been a favorite spot with local noble families looking to build their villas facing the sea. Stroll in the shade of palms and magnolias or along a seaside promenade facing the cape of Portofino.
- Free for dinner. Suggestion: try out one of the local pizzerias.
Day Five: Cooking Class 3 – Local Fish & Portofino
- Breakfast is served.
- Cooking Class 3: Morning cooking class in the wonderful Portofino where you will learn about the traditional fish of Liguria and how to prepare simple, delicious fish specialties.
- Lunch follows on the foods that were prepared in class, local wine included.
- Afternoon trip by boat or by foot, along a beautiful promenade, to Portofino & the Tigullio Gulf. Visit the town on your own and take a stroll as far as the lighthouse.
- Return to Genova.
- Free for dinner. Suggestion: Da Rina, one of the best fish restaurants in Genova.
Day Six: Departure
- Breakfast is served.
- Check out and departure transfer to Genova Airport or Train Station. Arrivederci!
- 5 nights accommodations in Double Classic Room, based on double occupancy. Click To View Photos!
- Daily breakfast.
- Welcome dinner at local restaurant, local wine included.
- 3 hands-on cooking classes, followed by lunch with the foods prepared in class, local wine included.
- Guided tour of Genova’s historic center, including a tasting of various types of focaccia.
- Wine tasting of local white wines.
- Guided visit of Sestri Levanti & Chiavari. Transport by train included.
- Guided visit of Genova’s Mercato Orientale.
- Trip to the Gulf of Tigullio and Portofino. Transport by bus & train included.
- Arrival & departure transfers from Genova Airport or Train Station.
$2,295 per person, based on double occupancy. All taxes and Italian VAT included.
$985 Single Supplement.
*A surcharge for evenings, Sundays and holidays is applicable for all chauffeured transfers and excursions. Please enquire about surcharges that are applicable for your program dates.