Kitchen On The Sea ~ Diamante To Scalea™

Chef Antonio’s Old World Calabria ~ 8 Day


Diamante, a name that inspires dreams of turquoise seas and crystal clear skies, is a precious gem of a town where Chef Antonio and his team host hands-on cooking at the seaside. The proximity of southern seas and the colorful artists’ paintings decorating many of the town’s walls make Diamante a charming place to spend a week of cooking, eating and drinking and provides the perfect base for exploring the nearby countryside.

Calabria’s climate is warm and sunny and local produce is positively bursting with flavor as you’ll discover when you get into the kitchen and turn your hand to simple but delicious regional specialties like spicy tomato sauces, eggplant and olive parmesan, and Pipi e Patane, a dish of pepper and potatoes. Visit the singular Riviera dei Cedri with its fragrant citrons, take a trip to a local Calabria pasta artisan, taste local wines and discover all you could ever wish to know about the area’s deliciously hot chili peppers. Calabria’s cuisine is nourishing and familiar: thousands of immigrants left Calabria years ago for the United States and for many visitors, a trip to Calabria is like coming home…

Calabrian Cooking Classes

Just like it’s people, Calabria’s cuisine is hot and fiery and exciting. Chef Antonio gets cooking showing and telling the history of Calabrian food and its tradtions throughout your hands-on class. Learn more about the region’s typical products – red onions from Tropea, chilli peppers from Diamante, fresh anchovies, spicy sausage and citrons from the Riviera dei Cedri – that you’ll learn about and utilize during your cooking program. In the kitchen, Chef Antonio and Elsa will soon have you creating handmade pasta with spicy sausage sauce and delicious Crespelle, crepes filled with anchovies spiked with hot chili pepper; and on your excursions, where you’ll visit the Riviera dei Cedri to sample the famous fragrant Diamante citrons, and the local Chili Pepper Museum which will leave your tongue tingling! Enjoy an evening learning how to make the perfect pizza along with pizzaiolo, Enzo who will help you twirl and toss your dough into the right shape and top it with just the right combination of ingredients. Soon you’ll feel like a pro!


“…nothing breaks the stillness save the rhythmic breathing of the waves, and a solitary cricket that has yet to finish his daily task of instrumental music, far away, in some warm crevice of the hills.” Norman Douglas, Old Calabria

Luckily for us, many of the wonderful qualities of Calabria that delighted Norman Douglas back in 1915 are still there to be enjoyed by visitors today: the enviable climate, the beautiful beaches, magnificent, untamed countryside, hillside villages and every so often a Norman church or a Greek ruin to remind us of Calabria’s eclectic past. Add to that, the fact that many parts of Calabria are far from the well worn tourist track, and this area of Italy becomes utterly irresistible to travelers who wish to discover the other face of Italy and immerse themselves in a culture rich in traditions and history.


Aquamarine waters, Dresden blue skies, ruby red chili peppers and gaily painted houses all make Diamante a very striking town, it’s vibrancy and colors irresistibly cheerful. Diamante is a real Calabrian gem, a fishing village set on the rocks immediately above the sea and offering breathtaking panoramas for miles around. Wander through its maze of narrow streets and alleyways and admire the many walls painted with murals; even today renowned artists turn up to leave their mark on the village walls. And of course, no visitor to Diamante could fail to notice the town’s other consuming passion – red hot chili peppers. As well as finding these peppers in many local dishes, you’ll see them on sale in every shop and market stall, hung outside doorways and even strung across alleyways on clothes lines, drying alongside the household linen! Chili pepper fans should think of visiting in September when the town holds its annual Peperoncino festival complete with numerous tastings, concerts, demonstrations and musical events.

Calabria Accommodations

Enjoying a choice location surrounded by lush countryside and just a stone’s throw from the sea, your hotel is a comfortable 4-star residence equipped with all modern amenities. Rooms and apartments are simply and prettily furnished and have en-suite bathrooms, satellite TV, hairdryers and air conditioning. Wander around the attractive grounds to admire the old olive trees and enjoy the ocean view, or laze by the pool, drink in hand, the warmth of the sun helping you relax and unwind.

Itinerary: 8 Days, 7 Nights

This program is available in May, June, July, September & October; other dates may be available upon request.

Day 1: Arrival & Check In

  • Arrival at your residence, check into your rooms.
  • Enjoy a welcome ‘Diamante’ aperitivo and find out how to prepare your own Diamante cocktail. Introduction to your week and opening the welcome buffet.
  • Afternoon & evening free to relax or do some exploring
  • Welcome Dinner buffet is served with music, dancing and show.

Day 2: Cooking Class 1 & Visit Diamante

  • Breakfast is served.
  • After breakfast, morning gymnastics with gym team (optional).
  • In the morning, head into the kitchen for your Cooking Class 1 : Our chef introduces the first typical Calabrian dish with home made pasta, Fusilli, and a tomato sauce with Calabrian sausage. Next prepare a barbecue of mixed grilled meat (pork, chicken, lamb) with a side dish of Pipi e Patane – peppers and potatoes.
  • Enjoy lunch on the foods you prepared in class. The meal will be served with a good local wine from a Verbicaro producer, and seasonal fruit.
  • In the afternoon, Excursion to Diamante with its 200 plus murals painted by artists from all over the world, each of which is carefully restored every year. A long walk on the seafront, free time to have a coffee in the famous Caffè Ninì (included) and time out for shopping.
  • Dinner buffet is served.

Day 3: Riviera Dei Cedri Excursion

  • Breakfast is served.
  • In the morning, visit to the Citron Museum in Santa Maria del Cedro, with tastings of the various products made with the famous fragrant Diamante citron.
  • Return to residence for a Chef’s tasting lunch with antipasto, pasta, main and dessert.  Wine and beverages, not included.
  • In the afternoon, free time to relax or join any of the many games and activities on site, or head for the swimming pool  and aquagym.
  • Dinner buffet is served.

Day 4: Cooking Class 2 & Excursion To Buonvicino Pasta Producer

  • Breakfast is served.
  • Meet in the kitchen for your Cooking Class 2 and prepare Bruschette with tiny white fishes neonata rosamarina, as a starter; followed by calamarata pasta with Neonata – Rosamarina with hot chili pepper and Pachino tomatoes; then fritters with Neonata-Rosamarina and delicious eggplant Parmigiana with home produced olives stored in our own olive oil; and lastly some seasonal fruit to finish.
  • Enjoy lunch with the foods that were prepared in class. The meal will be served with a good local wine from a Verbicaro producer.
  • In the afternoon, excursion to a Local Pasta Producer (even pasta here has hot chili pepper!) in Buonvicino.
  • Return to the property in the late afternoon.
  • Dinner buffet is served.

Day 5: Wine Tasting, Hot Chili Pepper Crowns & Cooking Class 3

  • Breakfast is served.
  • Enjoy a Wine Tasting of Verbicaro wine with explanation of how the wine is produced.
  • Next, try your hand and making the beautiful chili pepper garlands you’ll have seen on your trip to Diamante. This art of threading the chili peppers to make crowns, garlands, strings and more is a very traditional craft and helps preserve the chili peppers for the winter. Guests receive their own garland.
  • Lunch at the property with Orecchiette Pasta with broccoli and a main dish of meat and potatoes.
  • In the evening get ready to create your own delicious pizza alongside expert Pizzaiolo Enzo for your Cooking Class 3. Roll and stretch your dough into a thin round, sprinkle it with your favorite toppings and pop it into the wood burning brick oven for a pizza you’ll never forget! Beverages not included.

Day 6: Cooking Class 4 & Chili Pepper Museum

  • Breakfast is served
  • After breakfast, visit to the Hot Chili Pepper Museum in Maierà, a small hilltop village facing the sea. Tastings of hot chili peppers are included.
  • Lunch in a typical restaurant in Maierà. Beverages not included.
  • Return to the residence and take a little time to relax then it’s back into the kitchen for your Cooking Class 4 on how to prepare traditional ‘crespelle’, crepes filled with anchovies stored with hot chili pepper, and a rich dish with codfish with the typical side dish of Pepperoni Abbruschati.
  • Enjoy dining on the foods you prepared in class. The meal will be served with a good local wine from a Verbicaro producer.

Day 7: Farewell, Dancing & Fireworks

  • Breakfast is served.
  • Free morning to do some exploring on foot or relax by the pool.
  • Chef’s tasting lunch at the property.
  • Free afternoon.
  • Dinner buffet is served along with a fun farewell night show with sparkling wine, folkloristic dancing and fireworks.

Day 8: Check Out & Arrivederci!

  • Breakfast is served
  • Check out & Arrivederci Diamante!

Program Includes:

  • 8 days, 7 nights accommodation in 4 star residence, based on double occupancy
  • Daily breakfast and maid service
  • 4 hands-on cooking lessons, followed by lunch or dinner on the foods prepared in the class, wine included.
  • 4 half-day excursions as described in the daily program with tastings where noted, with English speaking guide during all the excursions.
  • Welcome aperitivo.
  • Welcome dinner with music and dancing.
  • Traditional dinner included each night.
  • Chef’s Tasting lunch on last day.
  • Farewell night show with music and fireworks.
  • Maps and itineraries of the region for self-guided tours
  • Activities includes:  Aquagym, aerobics, card tournaments, dancing at the property.
Program Prices

$3,195 per person, based on 2 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.

Check Availability

2022 Dates: This program is available in May, June, July, September & October. Other periods may be available upon request. 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.