Roman Holiday™

Chef Barbara’s Dolce Vita ~ 6 Day

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Join Chef Barbara for six days in the Eternal City for hands-on cooking and culture in her private palazzo in the magical and historic city. Learn classic Roman cooking in your chef’s kitchen. Walk through ancient Roma with our English-speaking guide Maria, who takes you through the Eternal City and leads you in a private tour of the Vatican and Saint Peter’s Basilica. Rome, the largest city in Italy, boasts a spectacular beauty, robust flavors, and romance. Three thousand years of history are on display in this open-air museum, featuring ancient ruins – the Forum, Colosseum, Renaissance palaces, Baroque fountains and the Vatican.

Visitors can’t help but be swept up in the Eternal City’s vibrant energy. Modern Rome blends in with the city’s centuries-old architecture, as Vespas hurry by and busy Italians of all ages chatter on their cell phones.

Life has always been lived passionately here. Passion has inspired world-renowned treasures like Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel, Bernini’s fountains, and timeless culinary Roman traditions. A traveler who experiences Rome experiences La Dolce Vita (the sweet life) – whether they are admiring the view from one of its Seven Hills, discovering a trattoria in a quiet alley, rubbing elbows with the fashion set on Via Condotti, lingering in a cafe near a gushing Baroque fountain, standing awestruck before a masterpiece in a church, or enjoying a delicious gelato.

Rome Cooking Classes

Chef Barbara welcomes each guest to her private palazzo and kitchen in the heart of Rome.  You’ll learn to cook traditional Roman classics from antipasto to fresh pasta and sauces, main courses and desserts with farm-to-table ingredients from the nearby outdoor market.

Chef Barbara shares her family recipes in making delicious Roman recipes with experience and technique that Chef Barbara has gained through years of experience.  She shares her knowledge of selecting the finest local seasonal ingredients at the market, then transforming them into Roman antipasto, fresh pasta, sauces, main courses and desserts.

During your hands-on cooking classes, you will learn how to mix and roll out fresh pasta that will be used to make lasagne, ravioli and gnocchi with seasonal sauces.  You’ll also learn the history and technique of ancient Roman foods as you slice, dice and cook with Chef Barbara.  Learn to cook delicious Roman cuisine while immersing yourself in the food, wine and culture of Rome.

If you love pizza, the pizza-making has guests mixing, rolling, then baking in a brick-oven with the official pizzaiolo, pizza chef.  Top your pizza with fresh tomatoes, tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, grilled vegetables, salumi, ham, olives or artichokes!

In the traditional cooking class, you will create a full course menu featuring Roman fare with delicious stuffed artichokes and eggplant, carbonara – pasta served in a sauce with crispy guanciale, cured pork cheeks, tangy pecorino Romanocheese and eggs; griciacarbonara without eggs; amatriciana pasta with tomatoes and cream; cacio e pepe, pasta served in a creamy pecorino and spicy black pepper sauce; and coda alla vaccinara, oxtail stew cooked in tomatoes and wine with cloves, black pepper, pine nuts and raisins.  Roman desserts are always delightful and include crostata ricotta e visciole, an open pie filled with a cherry filling, tiramisu and creamy gelato.

Following each class, everyone enjoys the food that was prepared in the kitchen with a toast of wine included, and soft drinks for children.  Weather permitting, everyone dines on the terrace for a beautiful view overlooking the city of Rome.

Chef Barbara’s unique cooking style is hands-on while offering tips and techniques that will have you cooking like a Roman!  A recipe book is included.  Recipes  vary depending on the seasons, so we encourage each guest to bring a notebook to the kitchen.

Also included is a trip to the outside Marketplace with Chef Barbara.  Visit rows of stands selling prized vegetables, fruits, fish, meat and artisan cheese, and experience the bustling marketplace that is the heart of Italian daily life. Meet Chef Barbara at the market and get ready as she leads the way shopping over baskets piled high with fruits, vegetable, fish, meat and cheese. She knows just where to go for the freshest and best ingredients. Shop with the Chef and learn about the regional products along with food notes on Rome’s past. After the market visit, return to her kitchen for a hands-on cooking class creating delicious Roman fare.  Transfers to the kitchen not included.  In each cooking class, food allergies are carefully respected and gluten free menus are available upon request.

Rome Accommodations

Rome 3-Star Boutique Deluxe

Our charming 3-star deluxe hotel is set between the 18th-century Spanish Steps and the beautiful Via Veneto.  It has been been newly renovated, while preserving its old world charm offering elegant rooms, charming decor and the perfect location in the heart of Rome.  The hotel is privately owned and has a professional staff to help you with any questions during your stay.  The hotel is bright, white and clean with archeological treasures on display in the spacious hall.  Elegantly furnished rooms, a reading room near the bar and a rooftop deck offering a spectacular view of Rome make this home-away-from-home a haven of relaxation in bustling Rome.  Each room offers a private ensuite bathroom, air conditioning/heat, minibar, Satellite TV, hair dryer & Wi-Fi internet.

Rome 4-Star Luxury 

Our welcoming 4-star hotel is located between the 18th-century Spanish Steps and Piazza Del Popolo. The hotel is conveniently located in the heart of Rome, with its atmospheric streets full of history and surrounded by the most elegant shops, making it the perfect haven after a day of sightseeing or shopping. Here, the owners have succeeded in perfectly blending the timeless style of the old Fellini films with modern-day comfort. An intimate atmosphere, refined in every detail, combines the warmth of wood and gold in a contemporary and sophisticated design. Rooms are unique – each one with private ensuite bathrooms, air conditioning/heat, minibar, personal safe, satellite TV, hair dryer & wi-fi internet. Enjoy an aperitivo at the hotel’s piano bar or dine in the restaurant.

Itinerary ~ 6 days, 5 nights

Day 1: Arrival & Chef’s Tasting Dinner

  • Arrival and check in.  A Cooking Vacations’ welcome bag is waiting for you with Prosecco and a chef’s apron.
  • In the evening, a Chef’s tasting dinner featuring a full course Roman fare.  Wine not included.

Day 2: Roman Market Tour & Cooking Class 1

  • Breakfast is served.
  • Join Chef Barbara for an early morning visit to the colorful outside marketplace in Rome. Your morning starts off with a one-hour tour of Rome’s historic and colorful Roman marketplace. You will visit rows of stands selling prized vegetables, fruits, fish, meat, and cheese.
  • Roman Market: Rome’s fresh-produce markets are treasured reminders of a more traditional way of life. There’s a dazzling array of fresh fruit and vegetables, fresh meat and fish. The Roman Market  is the most Roman of all the city’s markets, and is noted for its excellent quality and good prices. The Market market is where you’ll find baby chicory shoots, broad beans, and Roman artichokes.
  • Following the market tour, Chef Barbara heads to kitchen for Cooking Class 1 where you will prepare primi piatti, first courses and two secondi piatti, second courses.  Lunch follows and includes the foods that were prepared in cooking class with a toast of local red or white wine.
  • Afternoon is on your own. Walk through the heart of Rome from the Pantheon, San Luigi dei Francesi church – featuring Caravaggio masterpieces – to Piazza Navona.  Visit the Trevi Fountain. Throw a coin in, make a wish that you’ll return to Rome!
  • Dinner on your own. Suggestions provided.

Day 3: Cooking Class 2: Pasta Making & Food Lover’s Tour

  • Breakfast is served.
  • Cooking Class 2: Pasta Making. The morning class starts at 10:00am with a welcome and introduction. There is a brief historical and cultural introduction on the traditions of the Italian Mediterranean kitchen. Chef Barbara hails Italy as the “the great kitchen” and discusses the historical and social evolutions of food, followed by instructions and the preparation of hand-made pasta all’uovo, egg pasta.
  • Two types of homemade sauces are included. Lunch follows and includes the foods that were prepared in the cooking class with a toast of local red or white wine.
  • In the afternoon, meet your English-speaking guide for a Rome Food Lover’s Tour. This unique walking tour of Roma includes visits to the famous landmarks and monuments such as the Trevi fountain, Piazza Navona, and the Pantheon, and to the Campo Dei Fiori – including the best caffé serving creamy cappuccinos to the artisan cheese maker and wine enoteca – to name a few. Our Rome Food Lover’s Tour takes you to family-owned shops that have been in business for centuries.
  • Dinner on your own. Suggestions provided.

Day 4: Vatican & Saint Peter’s Tour

  • Breakfast is served.
  • Meet our English-speaking guide for an exclusive tour of the Vatican and Saint Peter’s Basilica. Visit the Vatican museum, featuring classical sculpture – the Lacoon, the Belvedere Torso, and Apollo Belvedere, the Stanzas of Raphael and Sistine Chapel.
  • Continue on to Saint Peter’s Basilica, featuring Michelangelo’s Pieta, Bernini’s altar, and the Pope’s tombs.  You may also opt to climb to the top of the dome for a panoramic view of the Eternal City!
  • Lunch is on your own and not included.
  • Afternoon free.  Stroll through the Trastevere neighborhood featuring artisan shops, caffés, and the majestic Santa Maria In Trastevere church and soak up the culture.
  • Dinner on your own. Suggestions provided.

Day 5: Cooking Class 3 ~ Pizza Making

  • Breakfast is served.
  • Cooking Class 3 includes a Neapolitan pizza making class. Chef Barbara ’s pizza class shows you how to mix, knead, and roll dough for a delicious pizza. Pizza, also one of Italy’s most celebrated food, is served with tomatoes, fish, grilled vegetables, artisan cheese, artichokes, eggplant and even potato. The pizza class starts with a brief historical and cultural introduction on the traditions of the Italian Mediterranean kitchen and the history of pizza.  Join Chef Barbara as she takes you through the technical steps of making perfect pizza. Lunch follows on the foods prepared in the cooking class with a toast of local red or white wine.
  • In the afternoon, visit to the Barberini Gallery, Doria Pamphilj, or Palazzo Altemps. Head to Termini and hop on the Red Bus for a complete tour of Rome. Your excursion ticket allows you to get off all day long and re-enter at your leisure. Tickets can be purchased at the Termini Station.
  • Dinner on your own. Suggestions provided.

    Day 6: Departure & Arrivederci!

  • Breakfast is served.
  • Departure & arrivederci Roma – until you return!!!

*Note: This schedule may vary due to inclement weather, saint days or festivals. All activities, in the event of rescheduling, are always included during the program.


Program Includes:

  • 6 days, 5 nights, based on 2 guests with private bathroom. Click to View!
  • Daily breakfast and maid service.
  • 3 cooking classes with lunch or dinner following with a toast of local red or white wine.  Cooking classes are at 10am in the morning.  Afternoon classes are available upon request.
  • A Roman Market and Shopping with our Chef tour.
  • Food Lover’s Tour with private English-speaking guide. Lunch, public transport tickets, entrance fees and other extras not included.
  • Vatican and Saint Peter’s Tour with private English-speaking guide.  Museum tickets included.
  • Welcome Dinner featuring Chef’s Tasting menu with a full course menu of local Roman fare.  Beverages not included and are available at a surcharge.
  • Recipe book with compilation of Barbara’s creations; recipes may vary depending on the seasons, so we encourage each guest to bring a notebook and camera into the kitchen.
  • Cooking Vacations welcome bag with chef’s apron and Prosecco.
  • A copy of Lauren’s cookbook, It’s A Dream Place – Stories & Recipes of Food, Love and the Amalfi Coast.
Program Prices

$3,195 per person, based on 2 guests in the 3-star boutique hotel.

$3,695 per person, based on 2 guests in the 4-star luxury hotel.

If you would like private transfer from the Rome Airport or Train Station, please call for pricing.

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.

*An Italian visitor tax may apply in some cities and must be paid directly on site at check out.

Check Availability

2024 Dates: This program is available throughout the year. Check in and start your program on 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.