Chef Maria's Venice™

Kids Cooking In Venice ~ 5 Days

Venice is a magical place for kids and adults alike. Prisms of color reflect in meandering waterways, gondolas skim along the narrow canals, and festive Carnival masks peer down at your every turn. With your Venetian guide, your family will explore the city’s labyrinth layout, learning while having fun. The children of Venice are the most fortunate – there are no cars, no noise, and lots of gelaterias – ice cream shops! Get ready to cook delicious and authentic meals the whole family will love in your two cooking classes. You will also make your very own Venetian mask, hop on a vaporetto to the Island of Murano to see the ancient art of glassblowing, and meander through the world-famous 11th-century Rialto Market.

Cooking Classes

Join Chefs Enzo and Vittorio in our Kids cooking class in Venice! Learn how to make antipasto, stuffed squash flowers, handmade pasta with sage, seafood risotto, stuffed ravioli with pumpkin, Venetian sea bass, and the local dessert, Baicoli biscotti.  Chefs Enzo and Vittorio lead each hands-on cooking class and has everyone participating, weighing, mixing, kneading rolling out pasta, sautéing, then dining on the foods made in the cooking class!

You will learn Venetian cooking traditions, techniques and style using fresh fruit, vegetables, produce, fish and meat from the ancient Rialto Market, while making new friends and sharing great food and conversation. Classes are fun and educational, each class is geared toward the children’s ages and ability. Children three years old and up will learn facts about healthy “green-light” foods, food groups, food origins and the importance of cooking according to the seasons.

Tie on your aprons and get ready for a splendid authentic experience with the family in our Venetian kitchen!

Groups are kept small, 2, 4, 6 or 8 guests in the kitchen at one time.

Cooking Class menus vary by season. A sample includes:

Seafood Menu

Seasonal vegetables sautéed and served with sea salt, herbs & olive oil
Risotto with shrimp and artichokes
Fresh Sea Bass encrusted in a bed of sea salt and slow baked
Venetian-style Tiramisù

Meat-Based Menu

Venetian flan finished with a creamy cheese sauce
Risotto with mushrooms served with homemade sausage
Tenderloin encrusted with herbs
Creamy warm custard drizzled with Marsala wine and served with Baicoli biscotti

Fresh Pasta Menu

Venetian pasta served in a light tomato sauce with Parmesan cheese
Potato Gnocchi with a duck sauce ragù
Fresh hand-made ravioli stuffed with fresh spinach, Ricotta, Mozzarella, Parmesan cheese, and sautéed in sage butter
Mixed seasonal salad with fresh fruit, walnuts & extra virgin olive oil
Fresh fruit Bavaroise

Menus vary to use the best seasonal ingredients available at the market, and can be tailored to accommodate special requests and/or diet needs, vegetarian and gluten free.


Live like a Venetian and step back in time at the privately owned villa hotel in the heart of Venice. The 17th-century villa, nestled on a quiet waterway just off the Grand Canal, is a very short walk from the Accademia Bridge & vaporetto stop. Check in to your lovely & spacious bedroom; furnished with Venetian antiques, and modern comforts such as ac/heat, mini bar, International TV, private bath, heated towel rack, in-room wireless internet at a surcharge, and a famed Canal view (upon request). A diligent & professional staff is at your service and ready to answer any questions, give suggestions and help you reserve additional excursions. An expansive daily breakfast is served in the elegantly appointed breakfast room that overlooks the garden and waterway. Walk out your door and into the heart of Venice!

The 4-star villa hotel sits in one of the most beautiful areas of Venice, and steps away from the Accademia Museum and Campo St. Margherita. Step outside and pass by small bookshops, tiny trattorias, wine bars, and artisan shops filled with Murano glass. The open-air market on Campo St. Margherita is lined with cafés spilling to its center. The Accademia Bridge, 1 of 3 bridges that cross the Grand Canal, is a 2-minute walk from the hotel.

Rialto Market

Venice’s famous Rialto Market! The infamous outdoor market is a busy scene starting at the crack of dawn as suppliers sail up from their barges, unload and set up their stands for what becomes a boisterous scene of buyers, sellers and spectators passing by, examining, negotiating between crates and stands piled sky high with goods. Fish is famous here, along with vegetables, herbs, spices, fruits and more. And this landmark marketplace has been setting up and doing this daily since 1097. Established merchants shout out their specials of the day. Your children will be dazzled by the constant commotion of the market and will enjoy learning of its storied past.

The Campo

This long courtyard piazza, a vibrant and welcoming place, is the social heart of the Dorsoduro district, named Campo Saint Margherita. It takes its name from the Church of Saint Margherita dating back which to the 9th century. The Campo is enclosed with ancient buildings, dating back to the 14th century and today is home to cafés, bookshops, wine bars, and shops. The main part of the Campo wakes each morning with flower, fish, vegetable and fruit vendors. Cafés sprawl out from early dawn to the wee hours, older women walk hand in hand, mothers push baby carriages, and older men play cards all day long. There is a famous gelateria, an old-world café, an organic grocer who all of Venice shops at, a stand-up fish & wine café, a place to buy your post cards, and several benches to rest your weary traveler’s feet. So sit back, order a café and enjoy.

The Accademia

The perfect ending to any day is a visit to the Accademia, home to very rich collection of Venetian paintings from Veneto as well, from the Bizantine and Gothic fourteenth century to the artists of the Renaissance, Bellini, Carpaccio, Giorgione, Veronese, Tintoretto and Tiziano until Gianbattista Tiepolo and the Vedutisti of the eighteenth century, Canaletto, Guardi, Bellotto, Longhi. Your family will love stepping back in time and seeing the Accademia’s collection, including a score of prized Renaissance masterpieces.

Murano & Burano

Murano, the closest Island to the main land, is the most famous of the Venetian Islands and noted for its artisan hand-blown glass. Venetians have been making crystal and glass since the 10th century, when the Venetian merchants brought back the secrets of production from the East. The Island, which is home to several famous glass producers, carries on the art and continues to make Murano glass chandeliers, wine corks, vases, ornaments, glasses and more.

The Island of Burano, the most picturesque of Venetian Islands, is almost stopped in time. Famous for its lace-making, this quiet fishing village is lined with pastel houses, famous fish restaurants, and charming cafes. A must see!

Itinerary ~ 5 days, 4 nights

Day 1: Arrival & Family Welcome Dinner

  • Arrival transfer by water taxi.
  • Check in to your hotel and relax. In the evening, sit down to a family-friendly Welcome Dinner.
  • Enjoy a Chef’s Tasting Menu of Venetian cuisine at our favorite local restaurant. Wine & beverages not included.

Day 2: Rialto Market Tour & Cooking Class 1

  • Breakfast is served.
  • Explore the best of culinary Venice with your Chefs as your guide. The Rialto Market is a colorful explosion of fruit, vegetables and fish. This old-world food marketplace is an animated center stage for those buying and selling their seasonal vegetables, fruit, produce and fresh fish of the day.
  • After the market visit, your chefs with lead you to the kitchen for your hands-on Cooking Class 1. After class everyone eats the foods prepared in class for lunch. Toast of wine, water and dessert included.
  • Afternoon free. Suggestion: Take a Gondola Ride along the Grand Canal or walk along Venice’s countless winding streets to the Piazza San Marco.
  • Dinner on your own, suggestions provided.

Day 3: Trip to Murano & Glass Blowing Workshop

  • Breakfast is served.
  • Sail to the island of Murano and meet your host for a tour of an artisan glassmaker’s studio.  See how they transform minerals into colorful Murano glass creations.

Venetian Glass Blowing

  • Join us in an artisan glass making class with a family who has been making Venetian glass for centuries. Each guest will see the master Murano glassmakers select glass, blend colors and add threads of gold in the process (the actual glass blowing is done by the artisan, as it takes years of training to master).
  • Following the tour, you will be able to create your own glass piece using over 100 glass beads and elements to create either a necklace, bracelet, mosaic or keyring, with supplies and final handmade piece included in price.  The tour is 2 hours, starting from your pick up, tour and 30 minute glass making workshop.  Following the tour, you are free to explore Murano on your own, have lunch and return to your hotel with a public water taxi.  (Ludovico, our host, can assist you in either private boat or public vaparetto transfer.) Total hours 2, including transfer time to Murano.
  • Dinner on your own, suggestions provided.

Day 4: Cooking Class 2 & Venetian Mask-Making

  • Breakfast is served.
  • Return to the kitchen for hands-on Cooking Class 2 to create a full menu from appetizer to dessert, with lots of lessons in history, techniques and nutrition for the kids. Lunch follows with the foods prepared in class. A toast of wine for the adults, water and dessert included.
  • After the cooking class, learn all about Venetian masks. This incredible experience takes you into the workshop of a renowned Venetian mask-maker for a kid-friendly discussion and historical look at the Venetian mask. Learn how the artisan mask was born, the steps needed to create a mask, and the stories and myths behind the masks of Carnevale and Venetian commedie dell’arte. After your presentation, you will decorate your own mask! Paint and decorate your mask of choice with an amazing selection of ribbons, feathers, crystals, beads and more. This is the perfect keepsake from your family’s Venetian vacation!
  • Dinner on your own, suggestions provided.

Day 5: Departure

  • Breakfast is served.
  • Check out and departure transfer by water taxi.
  • Ciao – Arrivederci!

*Note: This schedule may vary due to inclement weather, saint days or festivals. All activities, in the event of rescheduling, are always included during the program.

Program Includes:

  • 5 days, 4 nights accommodations at a 4-star hotel, based on family occupancy in Standard Room. Upgrade to Superior Room with Canal View at a surcharge.
  • Daily Breakfast.
  • Chef’s Tasting Dinner on first night of arrival. Wine and beverages not included.
  • 2 cooking classes, followed by lunch or dinner on the foods prepared in class; wine, water and dessert included.
  • Rialto Market Tour.
  • Murano artisan glassblowing tour, one-way ticket to the island of Murano, return on your own.
  • Venetian mask-making class and mask decoration.
  • Suggestions and itineraries for Self-Guided tours.
  • Recipe booklet.
  • Arrival & Departure transfers from Santa Lucia Train Station with hostess on arrival.
  • Welcome bag with Chef’s Apron.
Program Prices

Low Season: $2,095 per person, based on double occupancy. (December, January & February, except weekend of Carnevale)

Mid Season: $2,350 per person, based on double occupancy. (March, July, August & November)

High Season: $2,795 per person, based on double occupancy. (April, May, June, September, October and weekend of Carnevale)

Kids under 10 are half price (based on 2 adults in program in family room).

*Supplement may apply during fair dates.

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

Transfers from Venice Marco Polo Airport are available at a supplement of $115 each way including hostess to meet you at the airport and accompany you from Airport to dock and private boat transfer. Portage service not included, and is available on site at a fee per bag.

Check Availability

2021 Dates: These programs is available throughout the year and cooking classes are held every day. 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.