Join us in a hidden part of Italy, South of Rome, in a hilltop town with your hosts Chef Stella and Signore Carlo. The village was home to my great grandfather, Costanzo who left Italy and sailed to New York for a new life. We invite you to our kitchen here to share our traditions with our family. In the heart of the Ciociaria Region, this charming Medieval town is known for their famous cheese Marzolina, Porcini mushrooms, artisan made salami, and hearty foods of the land.
The quaint ancient village looks out for miles over rolling green mountains, with the Roman boarder to its left and the hills of Monte Cassino to its right. A 10th century castle, an ancient church to the patron saint, San Antonino, a stone tower to protect against invaders, along with artisan food makers, and wild olive trees are a sampling of the old world treasures that you will find in our Nonna’s Cucina In The Roman Countryside program. Artisan products produced the Slow Food way are the main ingredients in our Nonna’s Cucina program.
The village lies in the breast of the Aurunci Mountains, next to Abbeys of Montecassino, Casamari, and near the grottos of Pastena, making its convenient location for treking, hiking and visiting nearby Sperlonga and Gaeta. Just one hour south of Rome and one hour north of Naples, this location is perfect for any day trip. Enjoy history, art, culture and great food and wine in this unforgettable cooking adventure in Rome’s beautiful hinterland.
Enjoy history, art, culture and great food and wine in this unforgettable cooking adventure set in Pico, Rome’s beautiful hinterland.
Our program, with your hosts Chef Stella and Signore Carlo, includes four hands-on cooking classes using seasonal local products with regional recipes.
They welcome you into their kitchen with four hands-on cooking classes that use seasonal, local products with regional recipes. You will make an antipasto, pasta or risotto, a secondo, and dessert. She will lead you through her favorite Ciociaria menus, turning local seasonal ingredients into hearty regional lunches and dinners. Learn how to make hearty soups, homemade pastas & gnocchi, delicious vegetables, fish, meat, vegetarian alternatives and desserts!
Her classes are hands-on and use a mix of seasonal vegetables from the garden and the local market. Mushrooms are gathered in the nearby hills, Marzoline cheeses are produced by the local artisans and olive oil is made in the hills. You will learn that simple is best in Italian cooking, and maybe even discover why the locals here look so good and live so long!
Her recipes are derived from age-old peasant dishes and include her special personal interpretation like mezze maniche pasta with eggplant, olives, cherry tomatoes with our home produced olive oil; light potato gnocchi with locally gathered porcini mushrooms; and easy to create veal involtini with carrot velouté. Homemade desserts such as hazelnut biscotti, apple cake and tarts made with a selection of homemade preserves and fruit in wine are some of the precious recipes you will learn to make. Everyone enjoys the foods made together in class following around the table with Chef Stella, Signore Carlo and the family,- local wine included.
The property sits on a cobblestone footpath that dates back to the 11th century. Step in to this cozy palazzo that is elegantly decorated with country antiques that your host, Signore Carlo has collected over time. Each room reflects well-thought planning as modern comforts blend with old world treasures, original tile floors pave the way, wood beam ceilings add a country touch and family carefully decorate each part of the property. Each bedroom is furnished with pristine furnishings, comfy bedding and all the modern amenities one could imagine. Each bedroom, complete with private bath has been named accordingly, Bellavista, La Fornacelle, L’Antico Portale, and the Bishop’s Rooms even boast original frescoes and watercolors. Breakfast is served daily. Step out your door onto the worn cobblestones of bygones past and wander through this hillside town which is a quiet retreat for the soul.
Nonno’s Homeland & The Ancient Villages of Gaeta, Sperlonga, Veroli & Aprino
Pico takes great pride in its Medieval heritage, carefully preserving its remarkable antique walls and towers, and you’ll be able to visit its castle, antique churches, and admire the stone archways which are among the many treasures to be discovered while strolling though the village’s alleyways. There are many fascinating day trips to be taken: visit Arpino, the motherland of the great orator Cicero; the medieval village of Veroli, famous for its street artists and artisans; and Boville with its precious Giotto mosaics. Visit local castles and monasteries, take trips to ancient villages within the National Park of Monte Aurunci and soak up the beauty of the seaside towns of Gaeta and Sperlonga. You may also visit Collepardo, Arpino, Anangi and the famous Montecassino all nearby.
Itinerary: 6 Days, 5 Nights
Day 1: Arrival & Cooking Class 1
• Morning – arrive at property.
• Enjoy a Welcome Cocktail while your host, Signore Carlo explains your itinerary.
• Lunch at the property: introduction to Local & Typical Products. Additional wines and beverages at a surcharge.
• Walking Tour of Pico: the medieval village, the Farnese Castle, the Churches, Brief History of Second World War in Pico and the Battle of Monte Cassino, the arrival of the American troops and the Liberation, food and Gastronomic Traditions.
• Later afternoon: Meet the Chef and tie on your apron for your Cooking Class 1 in the kitchen to learn and prepare a full menu. Dinner follows and everyone joins together to eat the foods prepared in class together.
Day 2: Cooking Class 2.
• Breakfast is served
• Morning free & lunch on your own. Suggestion: visit the town of Veroli and its pretty historic center, and Isola del Liri with its waterfalls.
• Afternoon: Tie on your apron and get ready for your Cooking Class 2. Dinner follows and everyone eats the foods prepared in class together. Wine available at a surcharge.
Day 3: Free Day & Dinner Served In The Evening
• Breakfast is served.
• Morning free & lunch on your own. Suggestion: visit Anagni and the town’s Cathedral, its crypt and the historic center, continue on to Lago di Canterno and Fumone to visit the castle.
• Dinner is included at the Hotel. Enjoy a special Introduction To Local Products– with local wine pairings, cheeses, salumi, and Extra Virgin first cold pressed olive oil.
Day 4: Cooking Class 3
• Breakfast is served
• Morning free & lunch on your own. Suggestion: depart for Montecassino to visit its famous Abbey and archeological site and continue on to Pastena with its wonderful caves.
• Afternoon: Tie on your apron and get ready for your Cooking Class 3. Dinner follows and everyone eats the foods prepared in class together. Wine available at a surcharge.
Day 5: Cooking Class 4
• Breakfast is served
• Morning free & dinner on your own. Suggestion: visit Terracina and the Temple of Giove Anxur (Jupiter) and the town’s historic center, continue on to the beautiful town of Sperlonga and visit the Roman Museum and Tiberius’ Cave.
• Afternoon: Roll up your sleeves for your Cooking Class 4. Dinner follows and everyone eats the foods prepared in class together. Wine available at a surcharge.
Day 6: Check Out & Arrivederci!
• Breakfast is served.
• Check out.
• Arrivederci e a presto!
Note: This sample itinerary schedule may vary due to inclement weather, saints days; festivals. All activities, in the event of rescheduling, are always included during the week.
- 6 days, 5 nights accommodations in a charming double room with private en-suite bath, based on double occupancy.
- Daily breakfast.
- Lunch at the property on your first day.
- Walking Tour of Pico: the medieval village, the Farnese Castle, the Churches, Brief History of Second World War in Pico and the Battle of Monte Cassino, the arrival of the American troops and the Liberation, food and Gastronomic Traditions.
- 1 Chef’s Tasting dinner with typical products and wine tasting included. Additional wines and beverages at a surcharge.
- 4 cooking classes with lunch or dinner following on the foods prepared in class. Wine available at a surcharge.
$2,250 per person, based on double occupancy.
If you are a single traveler and would like to join a small group, please call us for best pricing.
All taxes and Italian VAT included. Driver and guide are not included. A rental car is needed. Itineraries and maps provided.
Self-Guided-A rental car is needed for this tour if you want to explore on your own and we have lots of suggestions for area landmarks, outside markets, wineries, and national parks that we can help you with.
Transfer Price: 255E each way from Rome or Rome Fuimicina Airport to the property.