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Food, Wine & Truffles In Le Marche™

Cooking & Touring from the Adriatic Sea to the Apennine Mountains

Cooking & Touring from the Adriatic Sea to the Apennine Mountains
Tie on your apron with Chef Elena!  Learn how to prepare traditional recipes from the heartland of Le March.

Le Marche cuisine is a blend of sea and mountains combining fresh treasures of seafood from the Adriatic to gifts of the land – black and white truffles, olives and olive oil.  Organic seasonal ingredients are transformed into breads, stews, fresh pastas, salumi, cheese and wine.  Discover the authentic flavors and foods while participating in hands-on cooking classes during your stay.  When you are not cooking, discover the nearby towns and landmarks with our guide and driver.  It truly feels like a dream place in the gorgeous 18th century villa where each room is adorned with fresco ceilings and windows pour over the natural green landscape of Le Marche.

Le Marche Cooking Classes

Our Le Marche cooking program includes 3 hands-on cooking classes where you will learn about traditional cuisine made with organic products from the region. You will prepare a full course menu including antipasto, such as olive all-Ascolona, savory, bite-sized olives that are deep fried and stuffed with a meat mixture of pork, veal, and chicken, fritto misto all’Ascolona, grass-fed lamb deep fried and served with artichokes and zucchini, or ciauscolo, a soft pork salumi. Mix and roll out handmade pasta such as maccheroncini di Campofilone, thin strands of pasta typically served with a creamy sauce or rich, meaty ragù, gnocchi di patate, Italian dumplings made with flour and potatoes served with fresh tomato sauce, basil and mozzarella, and passatelli, strands of homemade pasta prepared with parmesan, breadcrumbs and egg cooked in a broth.

Main courses wow!  Learn to prepare vincisgrassi, a lasagna made with ground pork, mushrooms and bechamel garnished with local truffles.  Prepare coniglio in porchetta, rabbit stuffed with wild fennel sausage or brodetto, a slow-cooked fish stew prepared with the fresh treasures from the Adriatic Coast served with traditional fried or toasted bread.  Desserts are creamy, delicious and always included.  Mix and bake calcioni, a shortcrust pastry filled with ricotta and lemon zest and frustenga, a traditional cake made with figs, walnuts and almonds.  Everyone enjoys the foods prepared in the cooking class to follow with a toast of local red or white wine – sip and swirl Verdicchio and Pecorino, white wine varieties from the region, or Morro d’Alba’s Lacrima and black Vernaccia, red wine varieties from the region.

Le Marche – from the Adriatic Sea to the Apennine Mountains

Nestled between the Adriatic Sea and the Apennine mountains, Le Marche is a hidden gem in the Italian countryside combining breathtaking beaches with rolling green hills, medieval hilltop towns, and miles of vineyards and olive trees. The region is comprised of five provinces and is largely untouched by the hustle and bustle of tourism. Ascoli Piceno is its southernmost province and is the central location of this tour, specifically the capital city of Ascoli Piceno. You will explore this precious city with our English-speaking guide on a Food Lovers’ tour with tasting along the way.  The tour takes you to the central Renaissance square, the Piazza del Popolo, considered one of the most beautiful in Italy and along historic streets and walkways highlighted with the Ascoli Piceno Cathedral and 17th century Palazzo Comunale.  There are also artisan stores, caffès, wine bars and trattorias.

Discover the coastal town of San Benedetto del Tronto and Grottammare, where you will enjoy the beautiful sea landscapes with your driver and English-speaking guide, and enjoy a traditional seafood lunch, included. San Benedetto is the province’s largest city and its port is also one of the biggest on the Adriatic Sea. San Benedetto’s promenade and beaches are ideal for strolling, while its Museum of the Sea is a tribute to the city’s longstanding fishing history. Neighboring Grottammare, called the “the Pearl of the Adriatic,” has a perfectly preserved historical center and an intense cultural life.  The town also celebrates the Festival Liszt, a music event saluting the Hungarian composer Franz Liszt who held Grottammare in high regard.

Travel to Mount Sibillini National Park, which covers 70,000 hectares of nature’s most beautiful landscapes. The park is a treasure trove of biodiversity due to the presence of wetlands, thick forests, plateaus, and mountains, including Monte Sibilla, the site of the Cave of Sibilla, the supposed refuge of the prophetess Sybil. In addition to its natural beauties, the park is peppered with many picturesque villages, such as Norcia, the birthplace of St. Benedict.  Enjoy a traditional lunch featuring local products, included.

Visit Offida and experience a precious wine maker with your English-speaking guide and driver.  Tour the cantina, taste the wine, then sip and swirl with discussions, a wine tasting paired with local bites.  Visit Montemonaco along the Aso Valley.  Montemonaco is set on a plateau facing Mount Zampa and Mount Sibilla. Nearby, take in the beauty of Mount Vector and the Pilatus Lake.  A note of history – Montemonaco takes its name from a Benedictine monastery founded here around the 8th century.  Also included is Montegallo, born from the centennial history of straw processing dating back to 1300.  It is also an important agricultural area and very well-known for its truffles.

The Villa, Le Marche Accommodations

Check into the 18th century villa, elegant, charming, and steeped in history of those who lived in it, loved it and cared for it over the years.  Antique style remains while blended with modern comforts to make your stay comfortable and relaxing.  Set in the countryside and yet a few minutes away from the historic center of Ascoli Piceno, rooms are elegantly decorated with hues of pale peach, while antique frescos adorn the ceilings.  Comfortable bedding, fine Italian linens, private ensuite bathroom, air conditioning, free Wi-Fi, TV, and a safe make your stay perfect.  Daily breakfast and maid service are included, while the property’s full service restaurant will cater to your every need. Enjoy the property’s gardens and swimming pool after a tour or early in the morning soaking in the natural beauty that surrounds the grounds.  Open your window onto beautiful views that overlook the vineyard, vegetable garden and belltower.  The property produces its own fruits and vegetables following the zero kilometer rule in Italy – meaning grown less than a half mile away.  The chef’s organic ingredient philosophy is a kiss from the culinary Gods.

Itinerary – 8 Days, 7 Nights

Day 1: Arrival, Check In and Chef’s Tasting Dinner

  • Pick up from the train station and transfer to the property.
  • Check in and relax.  Enjoy your Cooking Vacations Welcome Bag and Prosecco toast.
  • Later in the evening, enjoy your Welcome Dinner with a Chef’s Tasting Menu featuring traditional and local fare.

Day 2: Visit to Ascoli Piceno with Food Lovers’ Tour and Tastings

  • Breakfast is served.
  • Following breakfast, meet your English-speaking guide/driver for an excursion to Ascoli Piceno.  Enjoy a Food Lover’s Landmark Tour of the quaint city center with food tastings along the way.  Experience the culture and history while enjoying traditional food tastings of Ascoli Piceno.
  • Take time out for lunch on your own with suggestions provided.
  • Later in the afternoon, your guide/driver will continue to the medieval village of Castel Trosino. Enjoy a visit and walk in the natural area of the Ascensione Mountain.
  • Following the tour, return to the property.
  • Dinner is on your own with suggestions provided, or dine at the property in the restaurant.

Day 3: Cooking Class and Visit to Offida with Wine Tour and Tasting

  • Breakfast is served.  Following breakfast, tie on your aprons and get cooking!  You will learn how to prepare farm-to-table ingredients with Chef Elena including antipasto, fresh pasta and sauce, a main course, and dessert.  Lunch follows and includes the food that was prepared in the cooking class with a toast of local red or white wine.
  • Later in the afternoon, join your guide/driver for a visit to Offida.  During your excursion you will visit a prized winery, tour the cantina and property, and enjoy wine tastings paired with local bites, included.
  • Following the tour, return to the property.
  • Dinner is on your own with suggestions provided, or dine at the property in the restaurant.

Day 4: Cooking Class and Visit to Castel di Luco Paggese

  • Breakfast is served.
  • Following breakfast, tie on your aprons and get cooking.  You will learn how to prepare farm-to-table ingredients with Chef Elena including antipasto, fresh pasta and sauce, a main and dessert.  Lunch follows and includes the food that was prepared in the cooking class with a toast of local red or white wine.
  • Later in the afternoon, join your English-speaking guide and driver and visit Castel di Luco Paggese, a precious land know for its natural springs of Le Marche with entrance tickets included.
  • Later in the afternoon, relax by the swimming pool, walk the gardens or stroll the park.
  • Dinner is on your own with suggestions provided, or dine at the property in the restaurant.

Day 5: Cooking Class

  • Breakfast is served.  Following breakfast, tie on your aprons and get cooking.  You will learn how to prepare farm-to-table ingredients with Chef Elena including antipasto, fresh pasta and sauce, a main and dessert.  Lunch follows and includes the food that was prepared in the cooking class with a toast of local red or white wine.
  • Later in the afternoon, relax by the swimming, walk the gardens or stroll the park.
  • Dinner is on your own with suggestions provided, or dine at the property in the restaurant.

Day 6: San Benedetto del Tronto and Grottammare

  • Breakfast is served.
  • Following breakfast, meet your guide and driver for a full day excursion to San Benedetto del Tronto and Grottammare.  During your visit you will tour the seafront and stop for a seafood lunch included.  Additional menus are available.
  • Later in the afternoon, relax by the swimming, walk the gardens or stroll the park.
  • Dinner is on your own with suggestions provided, or dine at the property in the restaurant.

Day 7: Monti Sibillini, Montemonaco and Montegallo

  • Breakfast is served.
  • Following breakfast, meet your English-speaking guide and driver for a full day tour of Monti Sibillini, Montemonaco and Montegallo.  Explore the area and discover.
  • Lunch follows including traditional cuisine of the region.
  • Following the tour, return to the property.
  • Dinner is on your own with suggestions provided, or dine at the property in the restaurant.

Day 8: Checkout and Ciao! 

  • Breakfast is served.
  • Checkout and arrivederci! 

Program Includes:

  • 8 days, 7 nights accommodation in a charming villa with private ensuite bath.
  • Daily breakfast and maid service included.
  • 3 Hands-on cooking classes preparing a full course menu of local cuisine.  Everyone enjoys the food that was prepared in the cooking class to follow with a toast of local red or white wine.
  • 1 Welcome dinner, including a Chef’s tasting menu with wine included.
  • 1 Food Lovers’ Tour with English-speaking driver and guide to Ascoli Piceno with tastings included.
  • Excursion to Offida and a Wine Tour Tasting with English-speaking driver and guide.  Wine tour, wine tasting with local bites included.
  • Excursion to Castel di Luco Paggese with English-speaking driver and guide.
  • Excursion to San Benedetto del Tronto and Grottammare with English-speaking driver and guide.  Seaside lunch included.
  • Excursion to Monti Sibillini, Montemonaco and Montegallo with English-speaking driver and guide.
  • Cooking Vacations Welcome Bag with Prosecco, chef’s aprons and recipes.
  • A copy of Lauren’s cookbook, It’s A Dream Place – Stories & Recipes of Food, Love and the Amalfi Coast.
Program Prices

$4,195 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. Check in and start your cooking program on Sunday. 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.