Join Chef Carla and her husband for a delightful hands-on cooking experience in Cinque Terre, and discover the secrets of authentic Ligurian cuisine. Learn the art of preparing regional recipes using the freshest seasonal ingredients that you will be able to recreate in your home kitchen. Menus vary based on the season and include seafood to meat, vegetables, pasta, risotto and desserts. Our Chefs share their kitchen and cooking techniques with each guest sharing passion, creativity, and attention to detail!
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.
Along with Chef Carla, learn how to transform Liguria’s best-loved ingredients into delicate dishes that reflect the unique tastes and perfumes of this wonderful stretch of coast. Under her expert direction, create sheets of handmade pasta that become ravioli with ragù, pansoti – light pillows of pasta stuffed with local herbs and cheese, or trofie with fragrant pesto. Prepare local fish for light antipasti or use local vegetables to create tasty fillings, pies and sauces. Local desserts make the perfect end to every Ligurian meal and include Amaretti, almond cookies, castagnaccio made with local ricotta or the classic torta della nonna. After class, sit down to enjoy the foods made during class, water and local wine included. Chef Carla has a way of making every guest feel right at home and her passion is contagious. Everyone loves Chef Carla!
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 excellent restaurants, café and artisan shops. The harbor is host to luxury yachts and the 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, statues and winding footpaths.
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 dolphins who lived in the Tigullian Gulf. Then the sleepy fishing town became an international attraction with jetsetters from around the world. The small harbor, however, still holds its charm. 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 or palaces stand tall around the piazza that has not changed over time. Small cafes, family owned trattorias cooking up fresh seafood and hand-made pasta, and artisan shops still producing the famous Ligurian olive oil, line alongside the center.
Check in and relax at one of two charming accommodations in the Cinque Terre. The first option is a beautiful host property set in Levanto, with old-world charm and 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. If you choose to stay at this three-star Levanto property, complimentary train tickets are included to and from the cooking tour.
If you would prefer to stay in a smaller and quieter location, choose our 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. Wake up to the sound of waves – and a spectacular vista – as each tastefully decorated room has a window overlooking the Ligurian Sea. Every room also includes a private en-suite bathroom, air conditioning, a refrigerator, free wireless internet, a telephone and television. Wander the quaint, old-world streets of the village and soak up the sun on the postcard-perfect sandy beach.
Itinerary: 4 days – 3 nights
Day One: Arrival & Welcome
- Welcome to Levanto. Check in and relax.
- Your Chef’s Tasting Dinner follows featuring a full tasting menu with local wine and water included. Additional wines/beverages at a surcharge.
Day Two: Cinque Terre & Cooking Class 1
- Breakfast is served.
- In the morning, head to Chef Carla’s kitchen for your Cooking Class 1. After class, sit down to enjoy the foods made during class, water and local wine included.
- Afternoon – meet up with your guide for your half-day tour of the Cinque Terre National Park where the medieval villages of Monterosso, Vernazza & Riomaggiore provide a stunning backdrop. English-speaking guide & train tickets included.
- Free for dinner. Suggestion: check out your Restaurant Hot Picks list for our top choices.
Day Three: Portofino & Cooking Class 2
- Breakfast is served.
- In the morning, head to Chef Carla’s kitchen for your Market Tour & Cooking Class 2. After class, sit down to enjoy the foods made during class, water and local wine included.
- In the afternoon, meet up with your guide and transfer to the Park of Portofino. As soon as you reach Portofino, you’ll see the small port that attracts tourists from around the world. Small cafes spill out onto the cobblestone Piazzetta, setting of the film La Dolce Vita.
- Then your guide will bring you back to Santa Margherita. Stroll to the Paraggi beach for a taste of local flavor or do a spot of shopping.
- Return on your own to Levanto. English-speaking guide & train tickets included. Free for Dinner, Suggestion: check out your Restaurant Hot Picks list for our top choices.
Day Four: Departure & Arrivederci!
- Breakfast is served.
- Check out and departure. Arrivederci!
- 4 days, 3 nights in 3-Star accommodations in Levanto, based on double occupancy. Click to View!
- Daily Breakfast and maid service.
- Chef’s Tasting dinner including tasting menu, local wine and water. Additional wines/beverages at a surcharge.
- 2 hands-on cooking classes, followed by lunch with the foods prepared in class, local wine included. Additional wines/beverages at a surcharge.
- Market Tour with the Chef.
- Half-day tour with local guide to the Cinque Terre National Park. Includes English speaking guide and train tickets for the park.
- Half day tour with local guide to Portofino Park including Santa Margherita and Portofino. Train tickets from Levanto to Santa Margherita, and boat tickets to Portofino included.
- Welcome Bags with Chef’s Apron
$1,495 per person, based on double occupancy. Includes all taxes and Italian VAT.
$2,395 per person, based on single occupancy. Includes all taxes and Italian VAT.
2020 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.
Optional Add-On Excursion
Portovenere & Corniglia Full-Day Tour
The excursion can be added on to your program at an extra cost. We are always at your service to answer questions, and add on extra cooking classes & tours.
Take a boat trip to Portovenere and Corniglia fantastic rocky coastline. Portovenere is a village that become a Unesco Heritage in 1997 and is located in the Gulf of La Spezia. Visit Portovenere and Corniglia with your full-day private tour guide.