Italian Mamma Sicily! Cooking In Her Private Home Kitchen™

Cooking With Our Italian Mamma ~ 8 Day

Join Our Italian Mamma in the historic center of Siracusa for hands-on traditional Sicilian cooking and a true food lover’s experience. Your week includes three hands-on cooking classes with Our Italian Mamma, as well as excursions to the market, a local prized vineyard and olive oil maker.  This program is perfect for those of Italian origin, looking to learn more about Sicily’s flavors, perhaps to bring back the perfumes that floated from nonna’s kitchen, or those just looking for an incredible cooking style in a beautiful and historic seaside setting.  No matter what your interest, Our Italian Mamma is in one of the most beautiful parts of Siracusa is sure to inspire your cooking skills. Though there are many artisan-made products, wines, and olive oils that your friends and family would love, the best souvenir you can bring back to those at home is the promise of lunches and dinners with your new Sicilian recipes learned in class.

Sicily Cooking Classes

Our Italian Mamma is your teacher and her traditional kitchen is your classroom for your hands-on cooking classes. A member of the Accademia Italiana Della Cucina, Italian Cooking Academy, Our Italian Mamma provides a fun, informal environment in which to learn fresh and healthy recipes of the region.  Her passion is cooking and she teaches the history and culture behind each recipe, reflecting the many different influences on Sicilian cuisine.

After each cooking class, participants sit down and enjoy the foods they made in class for a full-course lunch or dinner, wine and beverages included.  A recipe booklet is provided with the recipes made in class.

Menus vary based on the season, and may include: fried pizzette with tuna & anchovies, Sicilian cheese with pepper, beccafico fish, cherry tomatoes, olives, impanate and caponata.  First courses include couscous with fresh fish or eggplant timbale, or perhaps a fresh tuna fish with mint caponatina.  One of Our Italian Mamma’s specialties is a local fennel & orange salad as a contorno, or side dish, and for dessert, cornucopia with ricotta.  These are just a sample of foods you may make in class; all menus vary depending on the season and can accommodate special dietary needs and/or menu requests.


Your base for your cooking week is in southeastern Sicily, in Siracusa.  Dating back in time from the once Greek rule of this land, Siracusa is steeped with ancient traditions of cuisine, history and folklore.  During your stay, you can also visit a most interesting part of Siracusa, a straight which is divided into nine neighborhoods (each with a name also in Sicilian dialect): Graziella (Razziedda), Bottari (‘Uttari), Mastrarua (Masciarrò), Spirduta (Spidduta), Maestranza (Mascianza), Duomo (Domu), Giudecca (Jureca), Turba (Tubba), and Castello Maniace (Casteddu).

The Piazza Duomo offers a great place to have a caffè and do a little people-watching, or simply admire the incredible architecture around you, presided over by the impressive Baroque-faced Duomo dedicated to Santa Lucia, the patron saint of Siracusa. The Duomo was originally a Greek temple dedicated to the goddess Athena, and the Doric columns can still be seen along the sides of the Duomo, though now built into the walls after two major earthquakes shook the ancient frame.

The island’s picturesque alleyways make for wonderful evening passeggiate, strolls, and the area around the Castello Maniace at the southern tip of the island, and the seafront promenade along the western shore is the center of local nightlife and is lined with cafés, bars and restaurants. The Castello was originally built in 1038 AD as a fort, but was transformed into a castle in the 13th century. Today, events and exhibitions are held in the parade ground inside the fortress walls.

The Fonte Aretusa, is the freshwater spring on the western shore of the island, named after the nymph Arethusa, who, according to Greek mythology, was transformed into this spring that flowed underground from Greece to Sicily while trying to flee from the river god, Alpheus. Papyrus plants grow in the spring today, and legend says that Greek flowers appear in the fountain, whose waters, they claim, flow directly from Greece.

Sicily Accommodations

Enchanting B&B

Nestled against the backdrop of a natural harbor, this enchanting B&B radiates the quintessential charm of Sicilian hospitality. The B&B prides itself on offering guests detailed and thoughtful recommendations for exploring the beautiful city of Syracuse, with its myriad stunning destinations. The neighborhood of Ortigia, beloved for its vibrant atmosphere, fine dining, and rich architecture, makes for an ideal base for travelers seeking an immersive experience. Each air-conditioned room boasts elegant parquet flooring and modern amenities, including a personal computer with complimentary Wi-Fi and an LCD TV. Comfy bedding and Italian linens adorn each room – complete with an ensuite private bath. Rooms feature a balcony overlooking the ancient temple of Apollo. Guests can enjoy a breakfast buffet on a terrace overlooking the sea, where both sweet and savory Sicilian delights are served. Breakfast is served daily, including homemade Italian cakes, breads, and biscotti made by the host, along with fresh fruit from the garden, coffee, tea, juices and jams.

Luxury 5 Star Siracusa

Nestled in the heart of historical Ortygia, the extravagant 5 star property stands as a testament to architectural grace since its construction in the late nineteenth century. The hotel maintains its original Liberty style and charm, offering an ambiance of subtle luxury. Each room features breathtaking views Syracuse over city rooftops, ensuring a stay that is as unforgettable as it is comfortable. Guests can easily reach key attractions, enjoy artisan to high-end shopping, and walk through layers of ancient history. Guests are treated to spacious and elegantly appointed rooms that provide comfort and serenity after a day spent exploring the city’s rich tapestry of sights and sounds. Comfy bedding and Italian linens adorn each room – complete with an ensuite private bath. Breakfast is served daily, including homemade Italian cakes, breads, and biscotti made by the host, along with fresh fruit from the garden, coffee, tea, juices and jams.

Itinerary: 8 days, 7 nights

This program is available 12 months per year. You can check in and start your program on any day of the week.

Day 1: Arrival and Check in

  • Arrival transfer from Catania Airport.
  • Check in and relax.
  • Dinner is on your own. Suggestions provided at the hotel.

Day 2: Fish Market & Cooking Class 1

  • Breakfast is served.
  • Head out with Our Italian Mamma to the fish market of Ortigia to see the fresh catches of the day and the many different types of seafood on offer, and learn how to choose the best fresh fish for every menu.
  • Lunch on your own. Suggestion: Try the street foods available at the marketplace – such as arancini, fried rice balls, suppli’, fried potato and mozzarella, and more. Though perhaps not the most health-conscious options, they are a traditional treat, and certainly something to try.
  • Cooking Class 1 with Our Italian Mamma in the afternoon, dinner follows with the foods prepared in class. Wine and drinks included.

Day 3: Siracusa Tour

  • Breakfast is served.
  • Spend the day discovering Siracusa, one of the most historic cities in Sicily. Your guide will lead you on a journey through Greek times in the Neapolis Archeological Park, which boasts monuments such as its Greek Theater, the Amphitheater and Dionysius’ Ear.
  • Lunch included at a local Sicilian trattoria with various courses.
  • Your full-day tour continues in the afternoon, visiting in particular the historic island of Ortigia, the oldest neighborhood in Siracusa. Visit the piazzas, churches, palazzos and temples that make this incredible part of Sicily famous throughout the world.
  • Return to the hotel in the late afternoon. Dinner on your own, suggestions provided upon request.

Day 4: Lunch & Vineyard Visit

  • Breakfast is served.
  • Morning free to relax or go for a stroll on your own.
  • In the early afternoon, visit a local vineyard with light lunch and tasting included. This vineyard has been owned by the same family since 1908 and offers wines unique in flavor, color and aroma.
  • Return to the hotel in the late afternoon. Dinner on your own, suggestions provided upon request.

Day 5: Cooking Class 2

  • Breakfast is served.
  • The morning is free to explore or do some shopping on your own.
  • Return to the hotel in the afternoon for your Cooking Class 2, your second hands-on cooking lesson with Our Italian Mamma.
  • Dinner follows with the foods prepared in class. Wine and beverages included.

Day 6: Free Day

  • Breakfast is served
  • Free Day to wander, stroll by the waterfront or visit local sites.
  • Evening is free and dinner on your own. Suggestions provided upon request.

Day 7: Cooking Class 3

  • Breakfast is served.
  • The morning is free to return to some of the sites you have glimpsed in your days in Siracusa, or pick up some last souvenirs for those back at home.
  • Lunch on your own.
  • In the afternoon, meet Our Italian Mamma for Cooking Class 3. Farewell Dinner follows on the foods prepared in class. Wine and beverages included.

Day 8: Check Out & Departure

  • Breakfast is served.
  • Check out and departure.
  • Transfer to Catania airport.


Program Includes:

  • 8 days and 7 nights accommodations, based on 2 guests. Click to View!
  • Daily breakfast and maid service.
  • 3 hands-on cooking classes, followed by lunch or dinner including the foods that were prepared in class with a toast of wine included.
  • Full-day tour of Siracusa with guide, lunch at a local trattoria included.
  • Wine Tasting and olive oil tasting followed by light lunch at award-winning local vineyard.
  • Shop with the Chef and visit the fish market.
  • Round-trip transfers on arrival & departure from Catania Airport or Train Station to the property.
  • Cooking Vacations welcome bag with chef’s apron, Prosecco and recipe booklet.
  • A copy of Lauren’s book, It’s A Dream Place – Stories & Recipes of Food, Love and the Amalfi Coast.
Program Prices

$3,595 per person, based on 2 guests in the Enchanting B&B

$3,895 per person, based on 2 guests in the Luxury 5-Star Hotel

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. 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.