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The Cinque Terre™

Cooking in Cinque Terre ~ Portofino & Santa Margherita ~ 6 Day

Tie on your aprons in Liguria for delightful hands-on cooking experience in Cinque Terre, and discover the secrets of authentic Ligurian cuisine.  Learn the art of preparing regional recipes using farm-to–table produce and ingredients that you will be able to recreate in your home kitchen.  Menus vary based on the season and include seafood, fish, poultry, beef, vegetables, fruits; making fresh pasta, risotto and desserts.  Our Chefs share their kitchen, family recipes and cooking techniques with each guest immersed into the local food culture and beauty of Liguria.

Cinque Terre~The 5 Villages

Between Portovenere and Levanto is the 15 km stretch of land called the Cinque Terre, it translates to the five lands.  The Cinque Terre brings you into Nature’s wonder of winding green paths, the sound of the sea, and the intense perfumes of myrtle, oleander and lemons.  Step into the five villages and discover a treasure of culture and cuisine.  The entire area, hailed the Parco Nazionale delle Cinque Terre, or the National Park of Cinque Terre, is a little corner of Paradise! In Medieval times, the word terra or land meant village, and from this word came the name Cinque Terre, literally meaning five lands.  This area is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The first village is called Monterosso al Mare (when coming from Genoa).  It is the only village with a large beach and promenade connecting its historical center to the new Fegina quarter. Then there is Vernazza, located at the mouth of the river, and naturally protected from the sea by a rocky cape.  Next, onto Corniglia, which is nestled on a hill surrounded by vineyards with its own sweet country appeal. We continue on to Manarola and Riomaggiore, both clinging to rocky cliffs with multi-colored houses overlooking the sea. Visit the Via dell’Amore, Lover’s Lane, a panoramic walk that links Monterosso to Riomaggiore or the famous, Sentiero Azzurra, the blue light trail!  Both villages are the most typical and unspoiled villages of the five.  Words cannot describe the beauty and magic of  Cinque Terre and its area towns!  Arrive by train or boat and stroll along the footpaths that offer breathtaking panoramas over a beautiful blue sea.

Cooking Classes

Learn how to select and prepare farm-to-table ingredients from the nearby Ligurian farms into antipasto, fresh pasta, main courses and desserts. Under the guidance of our chef, Stephanie, you’ll rollout handmade pasta, trofie– the classic Ligurian pasta, ravioli with ragù, and pansoti – light pillows of pasta stuffed with local herbs and cheese.  Prepare fresh local fish and vegetables – stuffed and baked.  Learn how to prepare the traditional acqua pazza – fish in crazy water – a traditional fishermen favorite and Ligurian pollo limon – chicken and lemon.  Delicious desserts on the menu are:  amaretti, almond cookies, castagnaccio, chestnut cake and torta della nonna, ricotta pie scented with citrus.  Following each cooking class, everyone enjoys the food that was prepared in the class with a toast of wine included.

Santa Margherita

Santa Margherita is the elegant seaside town set on the Riviera and is just 35km south of Genova. Close to Portofino and Rapallo, Santa Margherita is a little gem with an enchanting coastline boasting sea views and a backdrop of rolling green hills! Originally a fishing village, the town is now a charming beachfront destination with award-winning restaurants and trattorias, caffes and artisan shops. The beautiful harbor, part of the Italian Riveria, is a host to luxury yachts and  small local fishing boats.   For the active minded, there is sailing, water-skiing and scuba diving, all in the turquoise Golfo di Tigullio. Santa Margherita is the perfect size town for exploring on foot, so there’s ample opportunity to take in one of the historic villa visits or stroll around the Parco Comunale di Villa Durazzo, a lavish Italian garden with colorful exotic flowers, plants, presitine statues and winding footpaths.

Portofino

Portofino is the famous Italian fishing village on the Riviera.  It was first discovered by the Romans, who had named it Portus Delphini, or Port of the Dolphins because of the dolfins that lived in the Tigullian Gulf.  Then the sleepy fishing town became an international attraction with jet-setters from around the world.  The Gulf is filled with small wooden boats that are owned by the local fishermen who still make a living with their daily catch.  Pastel palazzos line the piazza in colors of butter yellow, orche and rose pink.  Small caffés, family-owned trattorias serve local seasonal menus boasting seafood and hand-made pasta, while artisan shops showcase and offer samples of Ligurian olive oil, pesto, and artisan cheese.

Cinque Terre Accommodations

Guests may select to stay in Levanto or Monterosso.  Check in and relax at the charming accommodations in the Cinque Terre.  The first option, in Levanto, offers a beautiful old-world charm property set in a lush private gardens. This Art Nouveau villa boasts a long list of modern comforts including private en-suite bathrooms, internet access, air conditioning, Smart TV, free mobile phone, and private parking, while offering rooms with traditional tile floors and period charm. The villa’s friendly staff is completely at your service. The property also features three gardens set on different terraces with sun beds, chairs and tables where you can relax or soak up the sun. Daily breakfast and maid service are included. This three-star deluxe property in Levanto is a great location for day trips to the Cinque Terre, Portofino and San Margherita. When you choose the Levanto accommodation three-star Levanto property.  Daily breakfast and maid service included along with a professional staff who is there to assist with any question

Or

Select to stay in the enchanting Monterosso property with a view, in the heart of the Cinque Terre.  Monterosso is an ancient fisherman’s village set on a gorgeous beach and this property offers breathtaking views of the cliffs of the Cinque Terre. A perfect location with artisan shops, trattorias and winding walkways to soak up the local culture.  Each room tastefully decorated with modern comforts including bedding, linens and private insuite bathrooms, air conditioning, a refrigerator, free wireless internet, a telephone and television.  Daily breakfast and maid service included along with a professional staff who is there to assist with any questions.

Itinerary: 6 days – 5 nights

Day One: Arrival & Welcome

  • Welcome to Cinque Terre. Check in and relax.
  • Enjoy your Welcome Dinner featuring a Chef’s Tasting menu featuring local fare with a toast of local wine included.  Additional wines and beverages at a surcharge.

Day Two: Discover Cinque Terre & Cooking Class 1

  • Breakfast is served.
  • Following breakfast, tie on your apron for cooking class 1.
  • Our chef offers, a food talk about the local ingredients and how to choose the proper produce for each menu.  Prepare a traditional menu including farm-to-table ingredients.  Following the cooking class, everyone enjoys the food that was prepared in the class with local wine included.
  • In the afternoon, meet our English-speaking guide for your half-day tour of the Cinque Terre National Park.  Wear comfortable shoes as you will explore the beautiful five villages of this natural wonder.
  • Later in the evening, enjoy dinner on your own with suggestions provided.

Day Three: Chiavari, Sestri Levante & Cooking Class 2

  • Breakfast is served.
  • Following breakfast, tie on your apron for cooking class 1.  Our chef offers, a food talk about the local ingredients and how to choose the proper produce for each menu.  Prepare a traditional menu including farm-to-table ingredients.  Following the cooking class, everyone enjoys the food that was prepared in the class with local wine included.
  • In the afternoon, meet your English-speaking and tour Chiavari and Sestri Levante for a train ride and tour to the two beautiful villages of Chiavari and Sestri.
  • Later in the evening, enjoy dinner on your own with suggestions provided.

Day Four: Portofino

  • Breakfast is served.
  • Following breakfast, discover Portofino.  Meet our English-speaking guide via the coastal train and discover the small port of Portofino where small caffés spill out onto the cobblestone Piazzetta, setting of the film La Dolce Vita.  
  • Following Portofino, continue on to Santa Margherita via train and with your guide.  Stroll to the Paraggi beach for a taste of local flavor, enjoy shopping in any one of the artisan shops or sit back and enjoy a caffé or gelato.
  • Return to the property via train.
  • Later in the evening, enjoy dinner on your own with suggestions provided.

Day Five: Cooking Class 3

  • Breakfast is served.
  • Following breakfast, tie on your apron for cooking class 1.
  • Our chef offers, a food talk about the local ingredients and how to choose the proper produce for each menu.  Prepare a traditional menu including farm-to-table ingredients.  Following the cooking class, everyone enjoys the food that was prepared in the class with local wine included.
  • Afternoon is free.  Enjoy a relaxing afternoon on the beach or enjoy a boat ride along the Italian Riveria coast.
  • Later in the evening, enjoy dinner on your own with suggestions provided.

Day Six: Departure & Arrivederci!

  • Breakfast is served.
  • Following breakfast, check out and departure.  Arrivederci!

Program Includes:

  • 6 days, 5 nights in 3-star accommodations in Levanto or Monterosso. Click to View!
  • Daily Breakfast and maid service.
  • Welcome Dinner including our Chef’s Tasting menu featuring local fare with wine included.  Additional wines and beverages at a surcharge.
  • 3 hands-on cooking classes, followed by lunch including the food that was prepared in the class with wine included.  Additional wine and beverages at a surcharge.
  • Our chef offers, a food talk about the local ingredients and how to choose the proper produce for each menu.
  • Half-day tour to the Cinque Terre National Park with English – speaking guide.
  • Half-day tour to Chiavari and Sestri Levante with English-speaking guide.
  • Half day tour to Portofino and Santa Margherita with English-speaking guide.
  • Cooking Vacations welcome bag with chef’s apron, Prosecco and recipe book.
Program Prices

$2,695 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

2022 Dates: This program is available throughout the year.  You can check in and start your cooking program 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.