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The Unplugged Collection - Ischia™

Ischia Island~Mediterranean Cooking & Spa ~ 8 Day

Join Executive Chef Giò for our Cooking Vacations Ischia tour experiencing hands-on cooking classes and a thermal spa week.  Learn the simplicity and technique from Chef Giò in small group cooking classes on Ischia where you will be preparing antipasto, fresh pasta, risotto, main courses and desserts.  Learn to prepare local fish, farm-to–table recipes and the Island’s signature wild rabbit recipe!

During your stay, you will also visit an award-winning winery and cantina for a wine tour and discussion with tastings. Ischia is a volcanic island noted for its natural springs and medicinal treatments. Visit the natural spa, Negombo where you may indulge in temperature-controlled swimming pools, saunas and ud baths.  The wonderful micro-climate of Ischia makes for the perfect recipe for cherry red tomatoes, basil, lush vegetables & fruits, fish and wine!

Ischia Cooking Classes

Experience the culinary delights of Executive Chef Giò and his team of sous chefs while learning how to prepare traditional local cuisine.  His philosophy is based on simplicity, “You must taste the flavor of each ingredient on its own,” he says.

Traditional recipes are prepared with farm-to-table island products and a modern interpretation by this young, dynamic Executive Chef team.  On the menu is coniglio all’ischitana, a wild Ischia rabbit recipe, the island’s most famous prepared with white wine, cherry tomatoes, garlic, and chilli pepper.  There’s sgombro, local and wild mackerel; calamari, squid, stuffed, flash-fried, grilled and in a salad and alici, small white bait fish, grilled on lemon leaves.

Chef Giò use aromatic herbs, basil, oregano, sage, parsley, rosemary, and chilli peppers, along with fresh fruits and vegetables grown in his garden.  He uses  lemons zested on fresh pasta, fish and meats and made into marmalade, baked in biscotti, and used in limoncello.  Local cuisine is always paired with Epomeo wine whose grapes grow in the rich volcanic soil.  There’s also Forastera and Biancolella, and the reds, Piedirosso and Guarnaccia.  Following each cooking class, everyone enjoys the food that was prepared in the class with a toast of local wine included.

Ischia

First impressions of Ischia generally fall somewhere between awe and wonderment. While Capri, just across the Bay of Naples, wows you with its charm, Ischia gently casts its spell over you. Ischia, volcanic in origin, has a hidden reservoir of seething molten matter from which come the famous thermal springs, said to cure all that ails. As early as 1580, Dr. Giulio Iasolino had discovered the mineral wells of Ischia and wrote a book about it to tell the world.

As you arrive by ferry, the island quickly comes into view offering its splendor of rolling green hills that line the craggy shore. As you sail closer to the port, see the bustling port filled with yachts large and small. Lush greenery dotted by ancient ruins gives Ischia its nickname, “Italy’s emerald isle.” Located just 17 miles off the coast of Naples, Ischia was first settled by the Greeks in the 8th century BC, and later became a favorite of the Emperor Augustus. Known for its natural luxuriant landscapes, it has remained largely untouched.

The island architecture has a strong Greek influence, rightfully so as it was first settled by the Greeks. Ancient villas in pearly whites dot the green landscape.  The locals, warm and welcoming, welcome travellers with open arms.

The island’s thermal spas attract travellers from around the world.  Each property offers luxurious swimming pools built on natural hot water springs with salt water and thermal pools, natural holistic baths and natural beauty treatments.  This Ischia island tour & thermal spa visit will have you feeling relaxed, rejuvenated and healthy.

From sprawling beaches outlining the coast to vineyards blanketing the lush volcanic slopes of Mount Epomeo, Ischia is the perfect vacation cooking get-away!!!

Ischia Accommodations

Your luxurious five-star hotel is located at the Casamicciola Terme, a convenient location and just a few minutes away from the town center. Casamicciola is lined with boutiques, caffès and restaurants and strategically located between the main Port and Lacco Ameno. The hotel which has been recently restored, maintains its classic architecture while blending modern accents. The interior reflects the history of the island showcasing the dominant cultures throughout the ages – from the Greek to the Aragonese, the Romans to the Saracens – in a masterful blend of styles that create a welcoming and intimate atmosphere.

Rooms are elegant, based on classic Mediterranean design; each decorated in Vietri tiles and ceramics with charming pastel colors overlooking the garden. Each room offers comfortable bedding, fine Italian linens and a private ensuite bath.  There’s including satellite TV, Wi-Fi internet access, air conditioning, free daily newspaper, minibar and safe.  Built directly on the historical Gurgitiello spring, renowned since ancient times for its healing waters, the hotel also boasts a state of the art spa where guests can enjoy any number of treatments. Enjoy the views from the scenic terraces and the roof garden pool.

 

Itinerary ~ 8 Days, 7 Nights

Saturday: Arrival & Welcome

  • Arrival at the Naples airport or port of Naples.
  • Transfer to hotel and Check in.
  • Later in the evening, enjoy our Welcome Dinner featuring a full course Chef’s Tasting menu with local fare.  Wine is not included.

Sunday: Sorgeto Baths

  • Breakfast is served.
  • Following breakfast, travel to the Bay of Sorgeto for a relaxing experience in the soothing thermal springs, where the volcanic minerals cure all ailments.
  • Later in the afternoon, return to the hotel and enjoy the spa at the property.
  • In the evening, dinner is served at the hotel.

Monday: Ischia Vineyard Tour & Wine Tasting & Cooking Class 1

  • Breakfast is served.
  • Following breakfast, enjoy a visit to winery for a tour and tasting.
  • After the wine tour, return to the hotel for  your hands-on Cooking Class 1.  Meet Chef Giò for your hands on cooking class which includes preparing local fare under the guidance of our chef.  Following the cooking class, everyone enjoys the food that was prepared in class with a toast of local wine.

Tuesday: La Mortella Botanic Gardens

  • Breakfast is served.
  • Enjoy a morning visit to the beautiful La Mortella Botanic Gardens, created by Susana Walton, the wife of the British composer Sir William Walton.  This garden is known as the most beautiful private gardens in Italy.
  • Afternoon is free to sit by the pool, enjoy the spa or shop.
  • In the evening, dinner is served at the hotel.

Wednesday: Negombo Thermal Baths

  • Breakfast is served.
  • Take the morning to walk the beach, relax or visit the island on your own.
  • Lunch is on  your own.
  • Following lunch, enjoy the excursion to the exclusive Negombo Thermal Baths for an afternoon of hot springs, thermal baths and spa services.
  • Return to the hotel in the early evening.
  • In the evening, dinner is served at the hotel.

Thursday: Cooking Class 2

  • Breakfast is served.
  • Following breakfast, meet Chef Giò for your hands on cooking class which includes preparing local fare under the guidance of our chef.  Following the cooking class, everyone enjoys the food that was prepared in class with a toast of local wine.
  • In the afternoon, relax, explore the island or shop.
  • In the evening, dinner is served at the hotel.

Friday: Cooking Class 3

  • Breakfast is served.
  • Following breakfast, meet Chef Giò for your hands on cooking class which includes preparing local fare under the guidance of our chef.  Following the cooking class, everyone enjoys the food that was prepared in class with a toast of local wine.
  • Afternoon, experience the spa for rest, relaxation and rejuvenation.
  • In the evening, dinner is served at the hotel.

Saturday: Departure

  • Breakfast is served.
  • Check out and departure transfer to Naples airport or Train Station. Arrivederci!

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.

Program Includes:

  • 8 days, 7 nights 5-Star luxury property.
  • Daily breakfast and dinner served at the hotel.
  • 3 hands-on cooking classes, preparing local fare under the guidance of our chef.  Following the cooking class, everyone enjoys the food that was prepared in class with a toast of local wine.
  • Island Tour by land with a visit to an award-winning vineyard with tastings included.
  • Visit to Sorgeto bath and thermal springs.
  • Visit to La Mortella Botanic Gardens.
  • Half-day visit to the Negombo Thermal Park, entrance included.
  • Round trip transfers to Naples Airport or Naples Train station.
  • Cooking Vacations welcome bag with chef’s apron, Prosecco and recipe booklet.
Program Prices

$3,995 per person, based on 2 guests in a classic room.  Starting price.

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.

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

Check Availability

2022 Dates: This program is available April 20 to October 19. 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.