Liguria stirs up images of nature’s landscape of Cinque Terre, zesty pesto pasta and picturesque Portofino. This area of Italy, referred to as the Italian Riveria of Levante, stretches 110 miles of coast and to the hills in Northern Italy. Chef Antonio brings you into the heart of the Riviera di Levante for a hands-on cooking experience that reveals the secrets behind authentic Ligurian cuisine. In this charming location, enjoy hosts Barbara and Marcello’s hospitality and prepare foods accompanied by local wine sipped in their beautiful Mediterranean garden. Explore the history of Ligurian cuisine and learn how to prepare it under the guidance of our skillful Chef. Basil pesto sauce, oven baked focaccia farinata, and homemade pastas-trofie and pansoti. Discover Ligurian cuisine and visit Cinque Terre & Portofino during your cooking class on the Italian Riviera.
Join Chef Antonio and hosts Barbara and Marcello in Sestri Levante for traditional Ligurian cooking. The cuisine is based on the extremely simple concept including oven baked focaccia, farinata and testaieu; homemade pasta-trofie, pansoti, mandilli, and corzetti served with the zesty basil pesto or a light seafood sauce. Fish indigenous to the area, such as Bagnun, Cappon Magro and Burrida are delicious whether baked or broiled. Cooking classes are hands-on, as Chef Antonio will soon have you turning out fabulous Ligurian foods, perfect for recreating back at home. Lunch or dinner follows each cooking class on the foods prepared in class with local wines included. Menus vary based on the season to use the best fresh ingredients from the market each day, and can be tailored to accommodate food allergies and diet needs.
The world famous Italian Riviera is situated in Liguria; this crescent-shaped strip of land is the most famed and visited area of the Italian coastline. With its capital city of Genoa, it is sometimes referred to as il Golfo dei Poeti, or the Gulf of Poets. Liguria beckoned such literary greats as Lord Byron and Percy Shelley, who found inspiration in its lemon groves, almond blossoms, and turquoise seas. The region’s claim to fame is undoubtedly the Cinque Terre, which translates to the Five Lands. Hidden in tiny coves along the Ligurian Riviera, five small, charming towns are connected by a breathtakingly scenic hiking path, and are also accessible by train or boat. In addition to the Cinque Terre, Liguria is a veritable treasure trove of hidden gems-from Portofino to the less-touristy Portovenere and Moneglia, but wherever you are, you can be sure it will take your breath away.
Sestri Levante is a beautiful town on the Italian Riviera, just 50 km from Genova. A short trip from the famous Cinque Terre, Sestri Levante is fast becoming a favorite with visitors and tourists eager to spend time in this once quiet fishing village set on a striking promontory. Sestri is best known for the beauty of its surroundings, its gorgeous bays, Baia delle Favole, Bay of Fairytales, named in honor of Hans Christian Anderson who lived in Sestri for a short time in 1835, and Baia del Silenzio, Bay of Silence, and its charming historic center. The Baia delle Favole is in the more animated part of town with its port, fashionable bathing establishments and shops lining the promenade, while the Baia del Silenzio is quieter and less modern, its small port full of the fishing boats that still play an important part in the local economy. The town’s historic center is a maze of narrow streets and alleys, and is packed with beautiful antique buildings, often complete with pretty balconies and hidden gardens. Many of these villas were once the holiday homes of Genova’s ruling class, and are surrounded by lush Mediterranean shrubbery, with vines, olive trees, palms and bougainvillea.
Your accommodations and cooking are held in a family owned and managed B&B with five elegantly appointed rooms in the Sestri Levante countryside. Originally an ancient road inspector’s house, the building was restored and opened as an Inn with restaurant in 2004. Each Maritime-style room has a private bathroom, satellite TV, safe, telephone and wi-fi Internet access free of charge. Two of the rooms are furnished with four-poster beds in wrought iron reminiscent of old style Ligurian houses. Two of the larger rooms have Provençal style wooden roofs and are situated in the park with private garden, while the Superior Suite with more than 30 square meters of space, has a balcony and can accommodate up to 4 people.
Itinerary: 4 days, 3 nights
Day 1: Arrival & Welcome Dinner
- Transfer from Genova or Pisa airport or train station and check-in with welcome drink.
- Guided visit to Sestri Levante, with tasting of the local focaccia at lunch.
- Welcome Dinner is served. Wines and liqueurs included.
Day 2: Excursion To Cinque Terre National Park
- Breakfast is served in the Mediterranean garden.
- After breakfast, trip to the Cinque Terre National Park.
- Afternoon, visit to local wine cellar and vineyards.
- Late afternoon, return to the kitchen for your Cooking Class 1. Chef Antonio leads you in making the area’s famous pesto sauce using sweet basil, garlic, pine nuts, Ligurian olive oil and Parmesan cheese.
- Dinner follows with foods that were prepared in the cooking class. Local wine included.
Day 3: Portofino By Boat & Camogli
- Breakfast is served in the Mediterranean garden.
- After breakfast, boat trip to the beautiful town of Portofino with a visit to the Abbey of San Fruttuoso.
- Visit to Camogli, known as the town of tall ships and Recco, to taste the ‘focaccia col formaggio.’
- Dinner is served including with wine tasting & discussion, including 10 different varieties of Ligurian wine.
Day 4: Departure & Arrivederci!
- Breakfast is served.
- Departure transfer and 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.
- 4 days/ 3 nights accommodations, based on double occupancy.
- Arrival and departure transfers from Genova or Pisa airport or train station.
- Daily breakfast served in the Mediterranean garden.
- Welcome drink at check-in.
- Welcome dinner first night.
- 1 Hands-on Cooking Class followed by a typical Ligurian dinner and include foods that were prepared in the cooking class, wines included.
- Guided excursion to the Cinque Terre National Park with visit to wine cellar and vineyards.
- Trip to Portofino by boat, with visit to the Abbey of San Fruttuoso and to Camogli and Recco with tasting of focaccia.
- Final dinner with wine tasting.
$1,350 per person, based on double occupancy. All taxes and Italian VAT included.