Join us on Lake Garda for an extraordinary culinary experience with applauded Chef Gianluca while staying at a 3-star boutique hotel overlooking the lake. Enter the city walls and the alleyways of Peschiera, where balconies overflow with pink and red geraniums and church towers peek above rooftops with the hazy blue backdrop of the lake and mountains. During your stay, enjoy hands-on cooking classes, delicious local cuisine, and cultural traditions that enrich the soul in our Verona cooking tour dedicated Romeo and Giulietta.
Lake Garda Cooking Classes
Chef Gianluca and his wife Tina are your hosts during your this hands-on cooking tour. Chef Gianluca guides you throughout each cooking class using high quality farm-to-table seasonal ingredients. He is called, mani d’oro, golden hands, because of his way of cooking. He started his career at the Naples Istituto Alberghiero Ippolito Cavalcanti, and then entered the Association of the Academia Cucina Italiana, followed by opening his own establishment.
During the cooking cooking classes, you will learn how to prepare antipasto, such as cuttlefish with zucchini, mint and balsamic vinegar. You will also learn how to prepare pasta and risotto with seasonal sauces along with main courses such as baked scallop in a creamy béchamel sauce on a half-shell or fresh tuna with cherry tomatoes and black olives. And if you like fish, learn how to prepare Branzino, sea bass, poached with cherry tomatoes, or lavarallo, lavaret, baked in a potato-crust. In every cooking class you will make a dessert whether it be semi-freddo, homemade ice cream, or torta Russa, a famous Veronese cake, and frittelle, sweet flash-fried puffs garnished with sugar. Chef Gianluca’s Neapolitan roots of southern cuisine blend with Venetian fare for delicious cuisine.
Each hands-on cooking class starts at about 9:00am and includes the preparation of an antipasto, a main course and a dessert during three hour course. Lunch follows at about 12 noon and includes the foods that were prepared in the cooking class. Cooking class menus vary accordingly to the seasonal ingredients, and Chef Gianluca accommodates food allergies, diet needs and special menu requests.
Lake Garda Accommodations
Your boutique guest house is set in hamlet of Ottella, a short distance from San Benedetto di Lugana. Its enchanting setting offers a beautiful scenery dominated by vineyards and olive groves and lush green landscape. Check into your guest bedroom which includes fresh linens for your comfort, and a private ensuite bathroom. The furnishings and details reinterpret the most traditional country style with an extremely elegant touch with the warmth of the handmade wooden furniture. Breakfast is served daily including coffee, tea, cappuccino and Italian specialties such as croissants, fruit tarts and homemade cakes, as well as any special requests to satisfy the international clientele including cheeses, salumi, eggs, toast, cereals, and fresh fruit.
Set in a natural Oasis of Lago del Frassino, the guest house and its gardens offern an unforgettable experience unspoilt nature, within one of the most beautiful, and most important, protected sites for flora and fauna in the area. When you arrive you will be welcomed into an ambient with a homely feel, in surroundings that have been skilfully renovated maintaining the charm of a centuries-old farmhouse that has been refurbished keeping its charm. In addition to the guest rooms personalised by the refined taste of Signora Lidia, the breakfast room and the veranda overlook the garden and will be a pleasant surprise when during the warmer months you can enjoy your breakfast out in the open air.
Peschiera Del Garda
Lake Garda is surrounded by small beaches, winding roads with green landscapes, perfumed flowers and a palette of Northern Italian colors. The climate is mild with silvery olive trees, fragrant herbs, fuchsia bougainvillea and citrus trees that are reminiscent of the verdant Mediterranean coasts. One of the prettiest towns is Limone, meaning lemon, and is famous for its lemon groves and northern Italian recipe for lemon liqueur, Limoncello. Numerous pretty towns surround the lake along with harbors and tiny pastel-colored houses and majestic mansions.
Peschiera Del Garda was an important town during the Roman Empire and still today on a clear day, you can see the castle and Roman ruins of Sirmione across the lake. The center of Peschiera is surrounded by 16th century city walls that once protected the city. Narrow streets in the center of town are peppered with small boutiques, restaurants, ice-cream shops and caffés.
This region is also known for wine, called Lugana, which is a crisp white wine and one of the first Italian wines to earn the DOC certification. Legend has it that Lugana wine flowed from Peschiera’s main fountain in celebration of the first stay of King Charles V, who passed through Peschiera after his coronation in Bologna in 1530.
Summer festivals along the lake include sailing regattas, crew races, outdoor music concerts and food festivals. Take a seat on a lakeside bench with a paper cone of fried fish, or enjoy a creamy gelato and soak up beauty that surrounds you.
The shores of Lake Garda are spotted with beautiful towns such as Sirmione on a peninsula that juts into the lake with the Grotte Di Catullo, roman ruins filled with olive trees and perfumed with rosemary hedges throughout. Spend at day at a terme, thermal spring that are just below the villa with its therapeutic sulfur water flowing naturally into the lake. The charming center of Sirmione is filled with gelaterie, gelato shops, the Scaliger Castle surrounded by a swan-filled moat. Make time for a stop at Erica’s tiny shop for an olive oil tasting of Lake Garda’s most famous olive, casaliva.
Other towns along the lake include Salo’, Bardolino and Malcesine. Purchase a ticket and tour the lake and towns which are easily accessible by battello, the ferry boats that circle the lake regularly. You can even bring a bicycle on board!
The lake’s islands include Isola del Garda, Isola di San Biagio and three tiny islands of Isola degli Olivi, Isola di Trimelone, e Isola del Sogno, aptly named the dream land.
Itinerary ~ 4 days, 3 nights
Day 1: Arrival & Chef’s Tasting Dinner
- Arrival and check-in.
- Spend the afternoon at your leisure and explore Peschiera Del Garda, Lake Garda and its surroundings. Staff is at your disposal to suggest some brief excursions or a relaxing treatment at the spa.
- In the evening, enjoy Chef Gianluca’s welcome tasting dinner including an antipasto, pasta, main course and dessert. Wine and beverages not included.
Day 2: Cooking Class 1 & Guided Walking Tour Of Verona
- Breakfast is served.
- In the morning, head into the kitchen with Chef Gianluca for your first hands-on cooking class. You will create an antipasto, pasta and sauce, main course and dessert. Lunch follows and includes the food that were prepared in class. Toast with a glass of local red or white wine.
- In the later afternoon,, take the train on your own to and from Verona – it is about a 15-minute ride on the fast train to meet your guide.
- Meet your English-speaking guide for a walking tour of Verona, the city of Romeo and Giulietta.
- Begin your tour in Piazza Bra, a huge open space dotted with open-air caffes and a colorful bustling atmosphere. The main attraction here is Verona’s amphitheater, the Arena, that was built in the first century AD and is still home to operas, concerts and events in the summer months thanks to its fabulous natural acoustics. Visit Romeo and Giulietta’s famous balcony, the Piazza delle Erbe’s colorful daily market and City Hall’s imposing medieval facade. Continue your walk along the river to Arco dei Gavi, a monumental gate in the city walls. End at the beautiful church of San Zeno, a masterpiece of Romanesque architecture.
- During the tour, your guide will stop in a famous osterie to enjoy the taste of two of the most famous local wines, Recioto and Amarone della Valpolicella, with finger foods called cicchetti.
- Return to Peschiera Del Garda in the evening at your leisure.
- Dinner on your own.
Day 3: Cooking Class 2, Vineyard Visit & Wine Tasting
- Breakfast is served.
- Following breakfast, head into the kitchen with Chef Gianluca for your first hands-on cooking class. You will create an antipasto, pasta and sauce, main course and dessert. Lunch follows and includes the food that were prepared in class. Toast with a glass of local red or white wine.
- In the afternoon, meet your driver for a visit to a local vineyard just a few minutes outside of Peschiera Del Garda. During the tasting tour, you will learn about the local Garda wines, Lugana. Stroll the vineyard and learn about the land that was once under the water of the lake, and now the fertile soil makes wonderfully fragrant white wines with the Trebbiano Di Soave grape. Wine tasting includes six premium wines paired with local cheeses and salumi and baked goods.
- Return to the hotel. Dinner is on your own.
Day 4: Check Out & Arrivederci!
- Breakfast is served.
- Check out and departure on your own. 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 week.
- 4 days, 3 nights accommodations with lake view balcony, based on two guests. Click to view!
- Daily breakfast and maid service included.
- 2 hands-on cooking classes with lunch following including the foods that were prepared in the cooking class. Toast with a glass of local wine, included, additional wine and beverages not included.
- A Chef’s Tasting Menu including an antipasto, fresh pasta and sauce, main course and dessert. Wine & beverages not included.
- Visit to local vineyard with tour and wine tastings with driver to and from the vineyard. The tour includes a tasting of the wine maker’s six premium wines accompanied by selected cold cuts and cheese and baked goods.
- Walking tour of Verona with English speaking guide. Tastings included. *Transport to and from Verona not included, we suggest the train.
$1,395 per person, based on two guests.
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.