Sorrento ~ Amalfi & Ravello & Food Lover’s Tours
Program Available from November 23 to December 29, 2018
Join Irma La Dolce and her family for a fun week in her Christmas Kitchen cooking, baking and celebrating the holiday season. Learn how to create delicious holiday recipes, like risotto, gnocchi, spaghetti with shrimps and lemon, gently steamed baccalà with chickpea cream and crispy rosemary, ravioli Caprese, zeppole, struffoli and mustacciuoli desserts, while learning the traditions of southern Italian cuisine.
Stroll around to see the many presepi, outdoor artisan managers, decorated with twinkling lights, hand-made dolls and Christmas ornaments; visit an old-world pastry shop and learn the history of these ancient pastries that were first created by the nuns and monks with a food tour with tastings in Amalfi, and have the chance to choose from concerts and Christmas markets.
Check in and relax with Chef Irma at her country B&B overlooking the beautiful sea and Amalfi. Within a few steps from your room, you will be served daily breakfast, steamy cappuccinos, caffè and tea, with all of Irma’s homemade cakes and cookies, and fruits from her garden too. With infinite views of sky and sea, the property enjoys a breathtaking position that showcases the Amalfi Coast in all its splendor. Wild birds glide on the hot air currents in the valley, church bells ring out in the village below and the scent oflemon blossoms on the breeze invite you to explore the trails that lead down to the nearby Church of San Michele or out and along the mountainside.
When it’s time for cooking and baking, Chef Irma shares her grandmother’s Christmas recipes, working her magic in the kitchen showing you how. You will prepare two hands-on cooking traditional classes, each including a local Christmas dessert, and one special Christmas dessert class.
A Note On Chef Irma
Named after her maternal grandmother, Irma runs her country inn just like her nonna would want, with passion, enthusiasm and an enormous love of all things culinary. She still makes all her nonna’s favorites: including slow cooked braciole with garlic, parsley and few pine nuts tucked up inside, simmered in tomato sauce until they’re tender as can be, the eggplant parmesan, homemade gnocchi and ravioli with cherry tomatoes and local Provolone del Monaco cheese and local desserts such as torta Caprese, roccocò and susamieli.
When you are not cooking, you will be discovering quaint villages decked in Christmas splendor, tasting limoncello, salumi and formaggi with extra virgin olive oil, while sipping the delicious local wines – both red and white – of the region.
Irma’s Christmas Kitchen program transports each guest into the heart of Southern Italy’s cuisine and culture during the holiday season, where sun, sea and the volcanic soil from nearby Vesuvius play a vital part making produce here extraordinary and make locals happy 365 days a year!
During the week, you will be driven in our private touring van to Sorrento for a visit to Sorrento’s famous Christmas tree set in the piazza with music and song; along with a tour to Amalfi and Ravello for a Food Lover’s Tour with a food tasting stop at one of the most important pastry shops on the Amalfi Coast followed by lunch in Ravello at our favorite trattoria.
Irma leads in hands-on cooking classes sharing her grandmother’s Christmas recipes. Her kitchen is warm and homey. Copper pans hang from up high, wooden shelves are lined with jars of homemade jams and jarred tomatoes, and a bouquet of dried thyme tied tight in twine dangles on a golden hook.
Before you start cooking, visit her garden and pick fresh sage, rosemary and winter herbs. Our Christmas menus are regional and seasonal and based on the freshest of what is in season. You will even learn how to make the famous pizze fritte, a traditional holiday favorite, topped with red sauce or given a twist and garnished with sugar. From antipasto to fresh pasta, your main course and and desserts too, you will be able to recreate all of the recipes at home in your kitchen!
Like a town from a storybook, Furore is suspended between the sky and the sea – there are to-die-for views wherever you turn. Behind you, the craggy, limestone rockface of the Monti Lattari; before you, an infinite expanse of sea that slowly changes color and takes on the hues of the sky. Furore is a paese dipinto, a painted village, where artists have used the sides of houses and walls as their canvas and turned Furore into an outdoor art gallery. Many years ago, the famous Italian actress Anna Magnani and film director Roberto Rossellini met here, and fell madly in love, and it remained one of their favorite places for years to come.
Our country inn offers guests the best of both worlds: the characteristic perfumes and sounds of the wild, unspoiled beauty of this stretch of Coast as well as the area’s tradition of warm hospitality. As you stroll around the garden, you’ll see snatches of countryside, from Conca Dei Marini to Praiano, revealed in frames through windows and balconies facing the sea.
Inside, every room is decorated and furnished in typical Amalfi style, with a unique touch lent by artisan hand-painted Vietri ceramics, and has all modern comforts to ensure your holiday on the Amalfi Coast is as relaxing as possible. In the breakfast room you’ll see Irma’s grandmother’s antique display cabinet still decked out with her Sunday best china. And in the garden, there’s a dreamy Mediterranean atmosphere where lemon and orange trees grow next to wild herbs, and roses flourish among the rosemary, mint, verbena, lemon balm and lavender. On sunny days you can choose to have breakfast outside on the terrace overlooking the blue sea of the Divina Costiera, or enjoy a limoncello in the afternoon in the shade of a lemon tree.
Itinerary ~ 6 Days, 5 Nights
Check in and start your program on any day of the week
Day One: Arrival & Welcome Dinner
- Pick up and transfer from Naples airport/train station to Property.
- Check in. Meet Irma and enjoy a Welcome aperitivo.
- Welcome tasting dinner, a full course traditional menu with local wine & water included.
Day Two: Amalfi & Ravello ~ Christmas Food Lover’s Tour & Cooking Class 1
- Breakfast is Served.
- Morning: Excursion to Amalfi & Ravello with private driver.
Tie on your scarf, bring your camera and discover Amalfi and Ravello in our Christmas Food Lover’s tour with tastings at a famous pastry shop. Your guide will lead the way with food notes and history along the cobblestone piazza and narrow streets of Amalfi.
The small town of Amalfi, perched on the coastline, is dominated by the Cathedral of Sant’Andrea, and its main streets are lined with small shops and elegant bars. Merchants display their wares outside and nothing could be more pleasant than browsing through stalls of herbs and spices, jewelry, shoes, the beautiful handmade Amalfi paper, and local lemon specialties such lemon soap and lemon liqueurs. Suggested is a stop in at one of the oldest and most famous pastry makers in southern Italy which dates back to the 1800’s. A look inside reveals a sweet showcase of chocolate-drenched eggplant flavored with pine nuts, liqueur and orange; fragrant ricotta pear tarts; candied lemon and orange dragged in dark chocolate; or festive pastries of the day! Whatever you decide to order, take a seat outside in the piazza at one of the small café tables that overlook the greatest people-watching site on the Coast.The Christmas Tour continues to Ravello, a small yet powerful village and a land of churches, steeples and bell towers; and of course, music! Your guide will continue your tour in Ravello – ending with a Prosecco and lunch at our famous trattoria.
- Ravello follows. This quaint town, often called the city between ‘Sea & Sky’, is suspended high above the coast, with sweeping views that span everything from the Tyrrhenian Sea to the mountains inland.
- Return to your accommodations.
- Afternoon: Cooking Class 1: Tie on your apron and get cooking in your first hands-on traditional Neapolitan cooking class with Irma. Start with an antipasto, then get busy creating pasta, a main course and dessert. Dinner follows and includes the foods made in the cooking class. Everyone enjoys the foods together at the table. Local wine, caffè and water included (After dinner drinks and liqueurs are available at a surcharge).
Day Three: Shop with the Chef & Cooking Class 2
- Breakfast is served.
- Irma takes you on a market tour of the nearby town of Agerola for a Christmas Shopping with the Chef Tour. We will visit the artisan shops and experience the special foods of Christmas, panettone and biscotti di Natale and limoncello, a little pane~bread, salumi and prosciutto and formaggio.
- Food discussions and tastings included along the way.
- Return to accommodations.
- Afternoon: Cooking Class 2: Tie on your apron for your second traditional Neapolitan cooking class. Start with an antipasto, followed by pasta, a main course and dessert. Dinner follows and includes the foods made in the cooking class. Everyone enjoys the foods together at the table. Local wine, caffè and water included (After dinner drinks and liqueurs are available at a surcharge).
Day Four: Sorrento & Christmas Lunch at a Michelin Star Restaurant
- Breakfast is served
- Following breakfast there is a morning departure to the city of Sorrento for a Christmas visit filled with food, shopping and arts and, a special lunch at a Michelin-star restaurant!
Arrive in Piazza Tasso for a winter wonderland of sights and scents. Sorrento, nicknamed the city of song and tarantella, the traditional folk dance, is a bustling town filled with beauty. There’s Pizza Tasso, named after the famous Sorrentino poet, Torquato Tasso, ancient churches, Mediterraneans gardens, endless trattorias and also a museum. It is a walking town lined with alleyways and cobblestone streets with caffès spilling on to the town’s many piazzas.
You’ll visit the Sorrento Christmas tree, walk the Corso Italia, do some shopping, and end with a holiday lunch at our favorite Michelin-star restaurant with a special tasting menu with wine.
Day 5: Amalfi Coast Award-Winning Winery Visit With Lunch & Dessert Cooking Class
- Breakfast is served
- Join Italy’s award-winning wine maker for an up close vineyard tour and cantina visit where you will learn about the famous family of winemakers, the grape varieties and history that dates back to Tiberio, the Roman Emperor who came to this land to make his wine!
Our tour starts out through the vineyard perched on a hill and overlooking the sea. You will discover the wine makers’ special way of growing and harvesting grapes on vertical slopes, while walking along the rocky volcanic soil. Sea and mountains blend in this magical landscape filled with vineyards and farmers.
The winemakers here grows ancient grape varieties such as Fenile, Piedirosso, Ginestra, Pepella, Ripolo, Tintore, Tronto and Sciascinoso. Thanks to their passion and tenacity, these ancient grape varieties are pressed then aged into exceptional award-winning wines. After the tour, enjoy lunch with a wine tasting included. When these wines are paired with the the Amalfi Coast’s fresh fish, organic vegetables, grass-fed meats and artisan cheeses, it’s a combination only nature has to offer.
- Return to accommodations.
- Cooking Class 3~ Christmas Dolce
Roll up your sleeves and tie on your apron for a dessert workshop in making and baking holiday dolci and biscotti! Flour, sugar, farm fresh eggs and cinnamon and candied orange are a few of the ingredients that you will transform into Christmas sweets. Learn the art of making struffoli, susamielli, zeppole and biscotti with Irma. Following the cooking class, a tasting of desserts with tea are served.
- Check out & arrivederci
- Transfer to Naples
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.
- Six days/five nights accommodations, based on double occupancy in a villa-style Bed & Breakfast with private bath
- Daily breakfast.
- Welcome Aperitivo & Welcome Dinner on your first night.
- 2 Hands-on Christmas Cooking Classes (antipasto, pasta, second dish & dolce) followed by lunch/dinner with the foods prepared in class. (Includes cheese-making.) Local wine and water included.
- 1 Dessert Workshop preparing and baking holiday desserts with tea time following.
- Excursion to Amalfi & Ravello with private driver.
- Amalfi & Ravello Christmas Food Lover’s Tour
- Market trip to Agerola with Irma, including a Christmas Food Lover’s Tour. Visits to the artisan shops of limoncello, pane~bread, salumi and prosciutto, cheese and holiday treats. Food discussions and tastings included along the way.
- Wine Tasting Lunch at an award-winning restaurant and wine maker. Tastings and lunch included.
- Full day excursion with private driver to Sorrento with lunch at a Michelin-star restaurant including wine pairings.
- Gift of Panettone cake.
- Welcome Bag, Chef’s apron, Prosecco, and recipe book.
$3,195 per person, based on double occupancy. Italian VAT included.
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