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Pesto, Pasta & Focaccia™

Cooking On The Italian Riviera ~ 7 Days

Liguria!  Genova!  The Cinque Terre!  Words that sing food, wine, sea and sun!  Enjoy your stay in a beautiful seaside town of nestled between Cinque Terre and Portofino, cooking along with Chefs Elisa and Edu while enjoying the local wine.  Join us for hands-on cooking classes, food and wine tours, Old-World pesto, and delightfully smooth olive oil in the land of Liguria!   

Our Cooking Vacations tour takes you to pastel villages of the Cinque Terre (a protected UNESCO World Heritage Site), Genova and the Mercato Orientale.  Visit Portofino, where locals and celebrities alike – Armani and Dolce & Gabbana live here and can be seen around town, on aboard mega yachts or enjoying lunch in a quaint trattoria.  It’s a lively vibe as caffés, trattorias and wine bars spill onto the piazza, making it a great place for people watching or simply sitting back with a book and an aperitivo.  Explore Santa Marghertia, also on the Ligurian Coast, a world-class yachting port and small town filled with trattorias, culture, shopping and beaches.

You’ll visit the breathtaking and colorful city of Genova – the capital city of Liguria that is steeped in maritime history and pride. Take a guided tour through the city’s historic Mercato Orientale with tastings of regional foods along the way and wander through winding streets steeped in history. Visit the Palazzi dei Rolli, a group of incredibly ornate 16th and 17th century palaces where guests of the State were once hosted and take a step back in time as you daydream and stroll along these stunning streets.

Liguria’s cuisine is subtle and delicate, and makes the very best use of super-fresh local ingredients. This is a region where land meets sea and the salty sea breezes ensure local crops that are especially healthful and tasty. Here, nonnas still collect wild herbs and borage to make their beloved ravioli and pansoti, and cheese artisans produces prescinseua.  When you are not cooking, you’ll be touring and tasting!

Cinque Terre ~ The 5 Villages

Between Portovenere and Levanto is the 15 km stretch of land called the Cinque Terre, which 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! This area is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The first village (when coming from Genoa) is called Monterosso al Mare. 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 surrounding towns. Arrive by train or boat and stroll along the footpaths that offer breathtaking panoramas over a beautiful blue sea, enjoying the views and breathing in la dolce vita.

Santa Margherita

Santa Margherita is the elegant seaside town set on the Italian Riviera just 35km south of Genova.  Close to Portofino and Rapallo, Santa Margherita is a little gem with an enchanting coastline with sea views and a backdrop of rolling green hills!  Originally a quiet fishing village, the town is now a charming beachfront destination with excellent restaurants, caffés and artisan shops. The harbor is host to luxury yachts and small local fishing boats that keep the tradition. For the sports- minded, there’s sailing, water-skiing and scuba diving in the turquoise Golfo di Tigullio. Santa Margherita is the perfect size town for walking and discovering the Parco Comunale di Villa Durazzo, a lush Italian garden with Mediterranean flowers, plants, ancient statues and winding footpaths.

Portofino

Portofino is the famous Italian fishing village on the Italian Riviera.  It was first discovered by the Romans, who had named it Portus Delphini, Port of the Dolphins, because of the dolphins who swim in the Tigullian Gulf.  Then, the sleepy fishing village became an international destination with visitors from around the world.  The small harbor is peppered with trattorias and wine bars and is a great spot for people watching.  The gulf of Portofino is filled with small wooden boats that are owned by the local fishermen who continue to make their living on the sea.  Pastel palazzos line the piazza and small family-owned trattorias serving seafood, pasta with clams, and handmade pasta make for a beautiful stay.  There’s also small artisan shops that sell handmade goods, olives and the famous Ligurian olive oil.

Moneglia

Moneglia is a peaceful and picturesque seaside village bordered by verdant rolling hills and dark rocky cliffs, silvery-green olive trees, and shimmering clear-blue sea. Known for its sandy beaches, Moneglia is the perfect Ligurian home base to relax and unwind surrounded by natural beauty. Wander the historic town center with marvelously preserved Medieval buildings, stop in local artisan shops and enjoy a cappuccino in the pleasant shade of palm trees. Visit the 14th century Church of San Giorgio, which stands out in the pastel town with its black-and-white striped exterior; inside are many precious works of art.  Enjoy the fresh-caught fish from the Moneglian Bay drizzled with precious Ligurian olive oil and sip and swirl some local wine with a seaside view.

Liguria Accommodations

Moneglia is a peaceful and picturesque seaside village bordered by verdant rolling hills and dark rocky cliffs, silvery-green olive trees, and shimmering clear-blue sea. Known for its sandy beaches, Moneglia is the perfect Ligurian home base to relax and unwind surrounded by natural beauty. Wander the historic town center with marvelously preserved Medieval buildings, stop in local artisan shops and enjoy a cappuccino in the pleasant shade of palm trees. Visit the 14th century Church of San Giorgio, which stands out in the pastel town with its black-and-white striped exterior; inside are many precious works of art.  Enjoy the fresh-caught fish from the Moneglian Bay drizzled with precious Ligurian olive oil and sip and swirl some local wine with a seaside view.

Liguria Cooking Classes

Tie on your aprons and join Chef Edu for your first hands-on cooking class overlooking the sea. With unparalleled views, you will slice and chop, sauté and swirl your way through a full-course traditional menu, learning about Liguria and its cuisine along the way. Dinner follows and includes the foods that were prepared in the cooking class with wine included. Enjoy dinner from this hilltop location on the dreamy Italian Riviera.

Your second hands-on cooking class is with Chef Elisa.  Her menu will include farm-to-table local ingredients and working with healthy recipes. You will start with an introduction accompanied by Ligurian finger foods prepared by the Chef with local wine.  You will also learn how to prepare her special recipe for Ligurian focaccia and traditional Ligurian vegetable tarts in different versions, handmade pasta with fresh local anchovies sauce, and a tiramisu with different suggestions. Following the cooking class, you will enjoy the food that was prepared in the cooking class with local wine, bread and focaccia, caffe and Ligurian spirits included.

Itinerary ~ 7 Days, 6 Nights

Day 1 – Check in and Welcome Dinner

  • Arrival & Check in.
  • Sip your welcome Prosecco.
  • Enjoy your welcome dinner including a Chef’s tasting featuring a full course menu of Ligurian fare with one bottle of wine included.

Day 2 – Morning free & Cooking Class 1

  • Arrival & Check in.
  • Sip your welcome Prosecco.
  • Enjoy your welcome dinner including a Chef’s tasting featuring a full course menu of Ligurian fare with one bottle of wine included.

Day 3 – Cinque Terre National Park

  • Breakfast is served.
  • Meet your English-speaking guide at the property for a half-day tour to Cinque Terre National Park. After your tour, you may either continue on your own exploring the Cinque Terre Villages or take the day to relax, shop and soak in the local culture.
  • Return to the property.
  • Dinner on your own.  Suggestions provided.

Day 4 – Genova Food Lover’s Walk & Tasting Tour

  • Breakfast is served.
  • Your English-speaking driver picks you up a full-day excursion to Genova.  Meet your English-speaking guide for a Food Lover’s Tour discovering the Oriental Market, the famous focaccia maker and historical chocolate shop with tastings along the way. Following the tour, there is free time on your own to shop, visit and enjoy.
  • Following the tour, meet your driver and return to the property.
  • Evening is free and on your own.  Restaurant suggestions provided.

Day 5 – Cooking Class 2

  • Breakfast is served.
  • It’s time to return to the kitchen for hands-on Cooking Class 2!  Meet Chef Elisa in her home kitchen where you will prepare a full course Ligurian menu with wine and conversation along the way.  Not only will you prepare a delicious lunch, but experience life as a local with farm-to-table ingredients from her garden.  Following the cooking class, you will enjoy the food that was prepared in the cooking class with local wine, focaccia, caffè and Ligurian spirits included.
  • Evening is free and on your own.  Restaurant suggestions provided.

Day 6 – Wine Tour & Lunch, Olive Oil Tour & Pesto Experience

  • Breakfast is served.
  • Morning free to visit the local artisan shops or cafes.
  • Meet your driver for our Wine Tour at a famous Ligurian cantina and winery.  Learn about the wine of this region, sip and swirl and enjoy a specially prepared Chef’s tasting lunch paired with wine from the cantina. Enjoy your visit, tour and lunch with wine included.
  • Following the wine tour, continue on to a Ligurian frantoio, olive oil mill, for a tour and olive oil tasting made with the precious Ligurian olives.  Following the tour, return to the property with your driver.
  • In the late afternoon, relax at the property.
  • Later in the evening, enjoy our unique Pesto Experience where you will learn the art of making pesto the Old-World way by hand in a traditional mortar using local basil and fresh ingredients.  A pesto-themed dinner follows featuring a full course menu paired with a bottle of Prosecco

Day 7 – Departure & Arrivederci

  • Breakfast is served.
  • Check out and arrivederci Liguria!
Program Includes:
  • 6 nights accommodation based on two guests.
  • Daily breakfast and maid service.
  • Prosecco welcome.
  • Chef’s Tasting Dinner featuring a full course regional cuisine with a bottle of Ligurian wine included.
  • 2 hands-on cooking classes with lunch and dinner including the food that was prepared in the cooking class with wine included.
  • A half-day Cinque Terre National Park tour with English-speaking guide.
  • Train tickets to the Cinque Terre and Cinque Terre pass included.
  • Full-day excursion to Genova with an English-speaking guide including a Genova Food Lover’s Walk & Tastings Tour with tastings.  Time left on your own to visit.
  • Wine tour with tastings and lunch at a famous Ligurian winery.
  • Olive oil tour and tasting at a Ligurian olive oil mill.
  • Pesto Making Experience using the traditional mortar and fresh garden basil.  A pesto- themed dinner featuring a full course tasting menu to follow with one bottle of Prosecco included.

Round trip transfers from Milan to the property are available. Depending on the size of your group, prices vary. Please call Cooking Vacations for pricing information.

Program Prices:

$3,995 per person, based on 2 guests.

Check Availability

2021 Dates: This program is available 12 months per 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 groups 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.

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