Italian Mamma Liguria!™

Cooking Classes, Market & Wine Visit Genova With Chef Chetta ~ 5 Day


Tie on your apron in Genova, Liguria’s food capital, set between the Ligurian Sea and the Apennine Mountains, for a week of hands-on cooking and touring!  Chef Chetta welcomes you to her private home kitchen where she shares family recipes preparing pesto, pasta and focaccia paired with Ligurian wine.  You’ll Shop With the Chef in a market and tasting tour, participate in a Farm To Table Cooking Class, and an Italian Riviera Cooking Class making pesto in a mortar the Old World way.  Small group classes guided by our chef will have you not only learning regional recipes and techniques, but will also introduce you to Liguria’s food history.  Following the market tour, return to the kitchen for your cooking class.  Following each cooking class, everyone enjoys the food that was prepared in the cooking class with wine included.

While in Genova, you will experience the city’s rich history, culture and culinary traditions.  Stroll the centro storico, historic center and the old part of Genova, and experience the Oriental outdoor market brimming with artisan products, produce, cheese, bread, spices and wine.  Visit Medieval landmarks- 16th-century churches, Baroque art, galleries and artisan shops.

When you are not cooking, you’ll visit extraordinary food places and landmarks- an Old-World chocolate maker who has been making chocolate with vintage machines and molds since 1871.  The tastings are endless.  The narrow winding street from here, leads you to the Palazzi dei Rolli, where a collections of ornate 16th and 17th century palaces where guests of the State were once hosted.  A short drive away brings you to Portofino, one of Italy’s favorite ports with its charming harbor, and caffés spilling on the piazza. Take a front row seat at any one of the caffés and enjoy a gelato or glass of wine and watch the world go by.  Continue to Santa Margherita, part of the Italian Riveria with a world-famous port, artisan shopping and dining options.

Liguria Cooking Classes

Your cooking classes are lead by Chef Chetta in her professional home kitchen. You will learn the simplicity in fresh and seasonal products learning new recipes of the Italian Riviera.  Roll out handmade pasta pansoti and ravioli with pesto and walnut sauce.  Mix and make gnocchi prepared in a butter and sage sauce.  From antipasto, to fresh pasta and seasonal sauces to fish and desserts, you’ll prepare local fare paired with excellent Ligurian wine.

Fish is abundant in Liguria and the typical local fish include marinata di Morone with herbs, Santa Margherita pink shrimp and spigola, sea bass.  Meats from the local butchers are on the menu or vegetarian options too.  You will sample the area’s excellent olive oil made from Taggiasche olives, and learn about the many wild herbs and vegetables of Ligurian cuisine.


A visit to Genova is a full-circle experience of food, wine and history.  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 meaning New Street, where majestic Rolli Palazzos house and 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.  There’s Palazzo Ducale, which offers numerous new and interesting exhibitions, and Piazza De Ferrari and the Carlo Felice Theater.

Genova is a chic city – from artisan products – think olive olive oils, pasta and Ligurian wine – to art and fashion. The city also has attractions to satisfy a range of interests, from the Porto Antico area for those traveling with children; the Via Garibaldi with museums for the art-lover.

Genova Oriental Market

The Mercato Orientale is a busy market where venders sell vibrantly delicious fruits and vegetables of  the seasons.  Stalls are abundant with broccoli, pumpkin, dark green Swiss chard, dried figs, and artichokes and D.O.P. basil.  Artisan cheeses like Pecorino and Parmigiano are available throughout for making Ligurian pesto.  It’s a culinary haven with its endless spices, fennel, anise, cinnamon sticks, and vanilla beans venders shouting our their wares.  Brilliant colors are mesmerising and the scents intense.  Also discover venders selling Ligurian olive oil, and where you can always try a sample.  You will be able to taste and purchase Taggiasca olives in shades of green and purple.

Genova Accommodations

Your charming boutique 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 caffé overlooks the sixteenth-century Piazza San Lorenzo and Genoa’s Cathedral. The elegant rooms are clean, bright and include all the modern comforts with first floor rooms overlooking the picturesque piazza below.  Characterised by high, arched ceilings with rich stucco décor, rooms range in size from 30 to 40 square meters. Comfortable beds and beautiful lines make your stay relaxing.  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 Dinner

Arrival at Genova airport or Train Station.Transfer to hotel and check in.

Check into your property in the heart of Genova.  Refresh, relax, enjoy an aperitivo or explore the town and get acquainted with this gorgeous city on the sea.

Later, enjoy your Welcome Dinner featuring a Chef’s Tasting menu of local fare:  antipasto, pasta with sauce, main course and dessert with wine included.

Day Two: Shop With the Chef Market Tour & Tasting & Traditional Cooking Class

Breakfast is served.  After breakfast, join our chef for a tour of the Oriental Market in the heart of Genoa.  Discover this ancient marketplace and learn to shop like a chef selecting in-season local produce and products at this Old World market.  From beginning to end, sellers’ stalls are brimming with farm-to-table fruits, vegetables, fish, meats, artisan cheese, spices and wine.  Local purveyors showcase their best picks, meat cuts, catches and selections of the day.  While you shop, learn about cooking styles, herbs and spices of this beautiful part of Italy – including pesto!  This tour starts with a caffe and ends with a glass of wine, before heading to the kitchen for your hands-on cooking experience.  Following the cooking class, everyone enjoys the food that was made in the class with local wine included.

Afternoon is free.  Explore any one of Genova’s landmarks, exhibits or events.

Dinner is free with suggestions provided.

Day Three:  Genova Guided Tour-Landmarks & Piazzas With Food & Wine Tasting 

Breakfast is served.

Meet your English-speaking guide at the hotel for a tour blending landmarks, piazzas and shops- and wine!  Discover Genova and all of the specialities it has to offer.  During the tour, you will sample focaccia, artisan cheese and olive oil.  Your tour continues with a Ligurian wine tasting where you will sip and swirl wines such as Vermentino, Pigato and to delicious reds, Rosses and Cinque Terre.

Liguria has several regions with the most notable being Cinque Terre – from cliff side vineyards situated among the five fishing villages of of La Spezia.  The DOC produces light white wines made from Bosco, Albarola and Vermentino.  In the west, there is the region of Dolceacqua producing rosses variety of wine.  Following the tour, you can lunch on your own or take time to discover Genova.

Suggestion:  In the afternoon, Italian lesson 1 with Signora Francesca.  Francesca is our English-speaking guide and official Italian teacher.  The class will include a combination of conversation and grammar.

Following the tour, the afternoon is free and on your own.

Dinner is free with suggestions provided.

Day Four:  The Gulf of Paradise, Nervi, Camogi Artisan Cheese Tour  

Breakfast is served.

Following breakfast, meet your English-speaking guide at the hotel.  Together, take the scenic train to the Golfo Paradiso, the gulf of Paradise.  Starting with a visit to Nervi in the morning with its beautiful gardens – in May and June the rose gardens are heavenly – and the sea side promenade.  Visit to an artisan cheese shop where you will learn about the process of making local cheese with tastings included.  Next, you will visit Reccio, where you will discover the birthplace of Focaccia al Formaggio.  Learn the story of this delicious focaccia and how it was first made. Following the tastings, continue by train to Camogi for a stroll through the amazing fishing town and to a special gelato shop. Following your tour, return to Genova by train in 30 minutes taking in the beautiful landscapes of Liguria and the coast along the way.

Dinner is free with suggestions provided.

Day Five:  Cooking Class – Ligurian Italian Riveria

Breakfast is served.

Tie on your apron for an incredible cooking class where you will be making the traditions of the Ligurian Coast.  Sample menus include:

Antipasti:  Farinata, a Genoa chickpea flat bread served with artisan cheese and salumi board or butter and salted anchovies on bruschetta and focaccia Genovese.

Fresh Pasta:  Hand-made tagliatelle or mandilli de sea, or corzetti, or potato gnocchi with pesto in the  mortar or pansotti, a plump pocket of pasta stuffed with vegetables and served in walnut sauce.

Main Course:  Liguiran savory pie; focaccia al formaggio di Recco, meat rolls, tomaxelle, meat balls, polpette or pork roasted, arrosto di maiale.

Italian Riviera braised chicken, pollo alla ligure, stuffed anchovies, acciughe ripiene, stewed cuttlefish, seppie in zimino, green bean and potato meatloaf, polpettone or stewed stockfish, stoccafisso accomodato.  In addition, enjoy making traditional tomato salad, condigiun, or seasonal stuffed and vegetables.

Desserts:  canestrelli, biscotti, baked peaches, sciumette, Italian Riviera floating islands, pandolce, Genova cake, quaresimali, almond cookies, stroscia di pietrabruna, extra virgin olive oil cake or stroscia di pietrabruna, chestnut pie, castagnaccio.

Following your cooking class, everyone enjoys the food that was prepared in the class together with wine included.

Later in the afternoon, visit one of the green areas such as the Urban Park of Nervi. This has long been a favorite destination with local noble families who have built villas on the sea.  Stroll in the shade of swaying palms and walk along magnolias or along a seaside promenade facing the cape of Portofino.  You can opt to visit any one of the museums, the aquarium or special event and exhibits.

Suggestion:  In the early evening, Italian lesson 2 with Signora Francesca.  Francesca is our English-speaking guide and official Italian teacher.  The class will include a combination of conversation and grammar.

Dinner is free with suggestions provided.

Day Five:  Breakfast & Departure

Breakfast is served.

Check out and private transfer to Genova Train Station or Airport  Arrivederci!

Program Includes:

  • 4  nights and 5 days in a boutique hotel accommodation in the heart of Genova. Click To View Photos!
  • Daily breakfast and maid service included
  • Welcome dinner featuring a Chef’s Tasting menu of local fare with wine included.
  • 2 hands-on cooking classes,  Tradtional, farm-to-table, Riviera Cooking Class and Pesto and Pasta Cooking Class.  Following the cooking class everyone enjoys the food that was prepared in the cooking class with wine included.
  • Guided tour of Genova’s historic center with food and wine tasting included.
  • Guided visit of Genova’s Mercato Orientale Shop With the Chef, Market Tour with tastings.
  • Excursion to the Gulf of Paradise, the town of Nervi, Camogi with artisan cheese tasting and lunch included.
  • Arrival and departure transfers from Genova Airport or Train Station.
  • Cooking Vacations welcome bag with chef’s apron, Prosecco and recipe booklet.
Program Prices

$3,095 per person, based on 2 guests.

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.

Check Availability

2024 Dates: This program is available throughout the year. 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.