Tie on your apron in sunny Positano and join Chefs Filomena, Fortunata and Giuseppe as they lead you through authentic hands-on cooking classes using farm-to-table seasonal ingredients. Our talented chefs share their Neapolitan recipes in each cooking class showing you how to prepare pizza, fresh hand-made pasta, antipasti, local and freshly caught fish, farm-raised meat and traditional desserts. This program features the healthy Mediterranean diet which originates from the Amalfi Coast. This one-of-a-kind cooking experience, set in a luxurious private Villa set on the Amalfi Coast, overlooks the pastel village of Positano and the sea.
Villa Azzurra – Super Luxurious & Exclusively Private
Check into the Contessa’s Villa which was once part of the Grand Tour and continues to carry on its tradition with luxurious and elegant accommodations. Experience where her noble ancestors once cooked and entertained lavishly. Recreate her Sette Sapori, Seven herb pasta recipe – fit for a Queen! The Villa is a luxurious accommodation with a concierge available for your every need and a convenient location – open your door and step out into the heart of Positano! This property has a beautiful view and is close walking distance to the restaurants, restaurants, the beach and Positano port.
Cooking Classes Positano
~ Featuring Our Neapolitan and Amalfi Coast Lemon Menu
The hands-on cooking classes are set in a professional Mediterranean kitchen and include the preparation of traditional Neapolitan recipes made with seasonal produce and ingredients. Farmers and purveyors deliver the best farm-to-table products daily – organic vegetables, fresh caught fish and delicate farm-raised meat. Each class includes step-by-step guidance by the chefs with attention to questions and detail. Following each cooking class, everyone enjoys the food that was prepared in the cooking class with a toast of wine – Aglianico, red or Falanghina, white wine and dessert. The Lemon Lifestyles™ program also includes a cooking class infused with the local lemon and citrus. Learn how to make lemon infused antipasto, hand-made pasta with a special lemon sauce, a lemon torta Caprese, flourless almond flour cake, or lemon profiterals – an exclusive at Cooking Vacations.
In each cooking classes you will make regional recipes starting with antipasto including: fiori di zucca ripieni – stuffed squash flowers, arancini, rice balls, patate crochette, Neapolitan potato bites, involtini di melanzane, stuffed eggplant, polpettini di melanzane, eggplant bites. Fresh pasta is endless and includes: gnocchi, ravioli Caprese and scialatielli, a special local hand-made pasta served in a tomato sauce. Main courses are delicious and include: spigola limone, sword fish with lemon, pesce all’acqua pazza, local fish in crazy water – a fishermen’s classic; vitello Positanese, Positano-style veal, and pollo con erbe e sfusato imone, chicken with Positano lemon, Desserts in this region of Italy include: torta Caprese, torta Vesuvio, babà soaked in limoncello, gelato and crostate, to name a few.
During the week, you will also learn the technique of making authentic Neapolitan pizza with our award-winning pizzaiolo, pizza-maker, who learned to make la vera pizza Neapolitana, authentic Neapolitan pizza in Naples. This pizza making class shares the secret recipe for making the perfect pizza dough and shows you how to properly mix, knead and stretch the dough. You will discover the many Italian toppings including: rosemary and fresh cherry tomatoes, grilled vegetables, ham, sausage, broccoli and more! You will also experience baking the pizza at a high temperature in a wood-burning oven for the perfect crispy crust.
If pasta is your favorite, you can choose to add on our Pasta Making Workshop where you will make additional fresh, hand-made pasta with seasonal sauces. Fresh pasta making is an art in Italy, and in Positano you will learn to make it step-by-step! Believe it or not, Italy boasts over 1,000 different types of pasta, including tortellini, cannelloni, orecchiette, casarecci, and garganelli, to name a few.
If you are an advanced cooker or chef, we can offer the same Lemon Lifestyle Tour with advanced cooking classes, please let us know.
Cooking Classes Positano Sample Menus
Fiori di zucca – delicate Italian squash flowers stuffed with ricotta cheese and basil.
Arancini – handmade rice balls, stuffed with cheese, peas, meat and flash-fried to a golden crisp.
Focaccia and Pizza – fresh handmade dough baked in a wood-burning oven topped with rosemary and fresh cherry tomatoes, grilled vegetables, ham, sausage, broccoli and more!
Fresh Pasta and Ravioli– learn how to mix ingredients for fresh pasta, a seasonal or cheese stuffing, such as Ricotta and pumpkin or smoked Mozzarella, basil and eggplant.
Fresh Orata and Foglie di Limone – fresh caught-sea bass grilled on lemon leaves.
Pasta con le Vongole – pasta with sea clams.
Pasta e Zucca – fresh country pumpkin sautéed with pasta.
Melanzane Ripiene – stuffed eggplant filled with meat or vegetables and herbs.
Pesce all’Acqua Pazza – Fish in “Crazy Water” with fresh tomato, white wine, garlic and parsley.
Totani e Patate – local calamari sautéed with potato and fresh cherry tomato.
Risotto al Limone – slow cooked rice in a creamy lemon sauce.
Torta Caprese – flour-less chocolate almond cake created on the island of Capri.
Torta di Limone – tasty lemon cake made with almonds and lemons.
Zeppole – light fried dough filled with cooked yellow cream and garnished with powdered sugar.
Biscotti – Italian cookies scented with almond, orange and lemon.
*This is a sample of recipes that you will prepare in our hands-on cooking classes.
Positano is a Moorish-style village that was settled by the ancient Romans, then discovered by curious sea explorers. American and British troops at the end of World War II came and went making it their summer resort destination. Excavations have uncovered an ancient Roman villa that today guests can visit.
Throughout its history, Positano has attracted a renowned celebrities, artists, musicians and writers including writer John Steinbeck. Steinbeck put Positano on the map when he wrote, ‘Positano bites deep, it’s a dream place.’ His story went round the world and was loved by all who read it making Positano a popular destination. And through the years, Positano has kept its charm with fnarrow winding streets are lined with tiny cafés, terraces, and family-owned artisan shops selling ceramics, linens, limoncello, and the Positano moda, fashion.
Walk the cobblestone footpath, the one street that leads to the Spiaggia Grande, main beach, and walk in the footsteps of Steinbeck. The village is peppered with local artists selling their crafts. welcoming cafes and trattorias serving local cuisine. Visit the church of Santa Maria Assunta – with the black Madonna inside. The church is a Romanesque structure that was completely rebuilt in 1700. The locals of Positano celebrate the feast day of the church every August 15th, as locals carry the statue of Maria Assunta along the beach accompanied by a parade of musicians. A spectacular fireworks display follows – with boats arriving in hundreds to watch and celebrate from the sea. Stroll the beach and visit the famous L’Incanto Ristorante and beach club dotted with straight lines of orange beach chairs and umbrellas or hop on a boat along the coast. Spring, summer and fall months are most beautiful in this seaside town, however the off-season months still have a quiet charm all of their own.
The Amalfi Coast
The Amalfi region and the Sorrento Peninsula have attracted travellers, explorers, emperors, artists and poets for centuries as well. The Mediterranean colors, dramatic coastlines, year-round warm climate and hospitable people combine to make the region a heavenly seaside destination. This tour also includes a full day tour to Amalfi and Ravello, transporting each guest along the Amalfi Coast and past villages and vineyards that are nestled among jagged cliffs. Discover the food, wine and culture while cooking and sipping local wine.
The Villa Azzurra
Villa Azzurra is a luxurious one-of-its-kind villa offering private oversized suites overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea. Set in the heart of Positano, the villa offers not only the best views but the perfect and convenient location. There are 1, 2, and 3-bedroom suites that are each decorated with Mediterranean artwork and style, offering all of the most modern amenities and comforts. Beautiful furniture and comfortable modern bedding with Italian linens is included in each room. Each suite has a fully equipped kitchen with dinnerware, glasses, linens and cookware. Cool, pastel ceramic tiles line the floors, a collection of rare art and paintings decorate each suite, and high, vaulted white ceilings give a lofty feel with lots of light. Each suite features modern amenities including a private bathroom, living room, in-room safe, air conditioning and outdoor terrace offering breathtaking sea views. Spacious floor-to-ceiling windows spill out on to the terrace and showcase a panoramic view that spans to Li Galli Islands to the Bay of Salerno. Centuries-old charm and modern accents make you feel like you are living in a dream. The villa offers an unmatched setting of sea and sun making it the most desirable luxury villa on the Amalfi Coast.
Itinerary: 8 days, 7 nights
~ Saturday to Saturday
Saturday: Benvenuto and Chef’s Tasting Dinner
- Group transfers from Naples airport or train station to the property.
- Arrival and check-in to your Villa suite. Meet the concierge manager who will explain the features of your suite overlooking the sea and with private terrace.
- Refresh and relax on your terrace with an aperitivo.
- Read over the contents of your Cooking Vacations welcome bag.
- Later in the evening, enjoy a welcome dinner including our Chef’s Tasting Dinner featuring Amalfi Coast fare. (Wine, drinks, grappa and an assortment of after dinner digestives are not included, and are available at a surcharge).
Sunday: Discover Positano ~ Cooking Class 1
- Cooking Class 1 Tie on your aprons and get cooking! You will be slicing, dicing and preparing, antipasti, fresh handmade pasta, a main course and dessert. Follow your chef, step by step, and create authentic Neapolitan fare. Lunch follows and everyone enjoys the foods that were prepared in class. Toast with a glass of local red or white wine.
- After lunch, take a walk to the beach and watch the sun set. Soak up the culture and beauty of Positano.
- In the piazza at the beach, see our friend and local artist Pasquale Volpe, who paints the people and landscapes of Positano in delicate watercolor.
- In the evening, dinner is on your own.
Monday:Capri, Italy’s Glamorous Seaside Island
- Set sail for Capri for a full-day excursion to discover its landmarks, cuisine, shopping and beauty. Spend the day soaking up the magic of the isola azzurra – blue island – while enjoying a beautiful 30-minute boat ride along the way.
- Capri is Italy’s most popular and well-known seaside island and is just twenty minutes away. Once in the port of Capri, you can choose to take the funicular up to the famous Piazza Umberto. The square, better known as la piazzetta, is perched high above the sea and offers a panoramic view of the Bay of Naples and Ischia. At the main piazza, you will find many designer shops and luxury boutiques, or you can simply sit at a caffé and enjoy a gelato or Prosecco Mimosa.
- You can choose to see the Blue Grotto, the “Eighth Wonder of the World,” or stroll along the port. The Blue Grotto has a special cavern entrance where the sunlight reflects on the water in the cave, turning it a dramatic Mediterranean cerulean shade of blue.
- Visit Anacapri – the Old World village that once captured the hearts of writers, artists and poets is dainty, delicate and quiet. Anacapri, the highest point on the island, virtually carries you back in time. Walk through narrow streets lined with Grecian-style whitewashed villas, ancient churches, and small bookshops. From Anacapri, take the chair lift up to Monte Solaro; pass the castle of Barbarosso, fields of Capri flowers and marvel at a clear blue sky that seems to turn 360 degrees above you.
- This full-day excursion departs from Positano port (Marina Grande) in the morning and returns to Positano in the later afternoon. If you have questions for the return meeting point, just ask your Captain. Please be on time for your departure.
- Evening free and dinner is on your own.
Add-On A Driver:
While on land in Capri, if you want to see all the sites with ease, we suggest that you reserve a private car tour with Signor Costanzo, our driver. Costanzo will drive and guide you to each point of interest, while pointing out fascinating historical sites and facts along the way. He will drive to the highest peak in Anacapri, and to hidden gardens and villas where emperors once reigned. A 4-hour excursion in the driver’s sporty Capri Car is available from 1 to up to 6 people, upon request (the Capri Car driver’s fee is extra).
Tuesday: Soak Up The Local Culture & Cooking Class 2
- Cooking Class 2: Lemon Lifestyles™. The Lemon Lifestyles™ Cooking Class starts out with a little history on the zesty sfusato lemons that grow in terraced gardens on the Amalfi Coast. You will learn about the characteristics of the Amalfi lemon and all of its uses in cooking. Our chef will guide each guest learning how to prepare a lemon-scented menu including an antipasto, fresh handmade lemon pasta, local fish or chicken and an Amalfi lemon scented cake.
- Lunch follows and everyone enjoys the food that was made in the cooking class accompanied by a toast of red wine or white wine. Additional wines, beverages and after-dinner digestives available at a surcharge.
- In the afternoon either relax or if you would like, visit Sorrento, the city of song, poets and the Tarantella makes for a perfect visit where you can tour and shop. Visit typical Neapolitan shops that line the cobblestone walkways where you’ll stroll past artisan limoncello makers, ice-cream makers, and wine bars. Visiting Sorrento is a suggestion and is not included in the tour. You can reserve one of our drivers to take you to Sorrento or you can take any one of the buses that run between Positano and Sorrento.
- If you love Limoncello, add on the Limoncello Making & Dessert Class – You can also choose to add on a Limoncello Making Class in Positano. Limoncello is the famous after dinner drink of the Amalfi Coast. Learn the secret recipe for making delicious limoncello. The sfusato lemons that are used in making authentic DOP Limoncello are precious lemons grown only on the Amalfi Coast and bloom four times per year. Our chef explains the history behind the lemons and how they made their way on the Amalfi Coast. Learn our secrets of cooking with the Amalfi Coast lemons – a tasting of limoncello. You will also make two lemon-inspired desserts. You can recreate the limoncello recipe in your home kitchen. A Lemon Lifestyle recipe booklet is included, along with a small bottle of limoncello that meets carry on requirements to take home with you.
Wednesday: Cooking Class 3, Neapolitan Pizza
- Cooking Class 3: Tie on your apron and get ready for your third hands-on cooking class, learning the secrets of making authentic Neapolitan pizza in a wood-burning oven. Dessert making is included too – making any one of the classic Neapolitan sweets. Lunch or dinner follows on the food that was prepared in the pizza making class. Toast with a glass of red or white local wine, and end with a sweet dessert, included. (Additional wines, beverages, after dinner drinks and more are available at a surcharge).
- Olive Oil Tasting: Join us for a tasting of our locally produced Cooking Vacations extra virgin olive oil. At Cooking Vacations, we make our own first-cold pressed extra virgin olive oil from healthy olives that have been tended and cared for all summer long. Made in first cold press, the oil is virgin meaning that it was pressed one time, bottled immediately and not mixed with any other oils. It is also DOP-Denominazione di Origine Protetta, origin protected domain of production. Our olives are grown with care under the warm Mediterranean sun, in rich volcanic soil and with salt sea winds, making it the perfect olive oil. We follow the Old World process of picking the olives just at the right time in October – not too late in the season, and pressing them on cold stones immediately after picking guaranteeing a low acidity. Always organic, our olive oil is made with no chemicals, preservatives or additives.
Thursday: Amalfi Coast and Ravello
- Meet your driver for a tour along the famed Amalfi Coast to Amalfi and Ravello. Along the way, you will stop for a visit to an artisan ceramic maker. Platters, plates, vases and ceramic tables made from volcanic rock hand-painted in Mediterranean colors and patterns are just a sampling of artwork you will see.
- The town of Amalfi is rich in culture and history, food, wine and festivals. This small town, perched on the coastline, is dominated by Amalfi’s Cathedral and its main streets are lined with small shops and elegant bars. Merchants display their wares outside and nothing could be more pleasant than browsing through small shops with herbs and spices, artisan leather shoes, handmade Amalfi paper, and local lemon specialties such as soaps and local lemon liqueurs. Take time out to shop or enjoy a cappuccino and along with people watching.
- If you have a sweet tooth we suggest a stop at the famous café that has been creating dolci since the 1800’s- get ready for a dessert like you have never tasted. This famous pastry shop bakes a one-of-a-kind Amalfi dessert with chocolate-drenched eggplant and pine nuts, liqueur and orange. There is also the traditional ricotta cheese and pear pie.
- After visiting Amalfi, you will continue on to Ravello. This quaint town, often called the city between ‘sea & sky,’ is suspended high above the coast, with sweeping views that span the Tyrrhenian Sea, Salerno and Amalfi. Ravello is often called, the ‘International City of Music;’ known for its spectacular panoramic view from the gardens of Villa Cimbrone and its international summer music concerts. The town is set 350 meters over the rocky spur of the Amalfi Coast separating the Valle del Dragone from the Valle del Regina. When in Ravello, we suggest to visit the Villa Cimbrone, once the residence of Greta Garbo. Wander through the lush gardens and the Terrazza Della Rosa, or stroll down the path that leads to the Terrazzo dell’Infinito, Terrace of Infinity. This natural balcony is adorned with imposing marble busts and an almost 360 view of sea. From this unique vantage point you can see the distant Cilento Mountains and Licosa, the lush Amalfi Coast, its distinctive terraces of colorful lemon trees, and the typical whitewashed houses that cling to the rugged coastline.
- Stroll along the streets and alleyways and discover little gems of churches, chapels, and noblemen’s residences. Also see the Cathedral, Villa Rufolo, San Giovanni del Toro, and Santa Maria.
Add-On The Amalfi Food Lover’s Walk and Ravello Landmark Tour With English-Speaking Guide
- You may also reserve our English-speaking guide and local resident, who will take you on an Amalfi Food Walk & Ravello Landmark Tour where you will learn about the local food, history and culture with delicious tastings along the way. If you want to see the towns of Amalfi and Ravello like a local, while tasting traditional foods, add on our tasty food tour.
You will visit a famous artisan food shop which showcases local cheeses, salumi, bread, pastas, olives, spices and wine with tastings included. Your guide will explain the different foods and how they are used in cooking. Next stop the limoncello maker with Amalfi Coast sfumato limone with tastings.
- Stroll to the fish market and discover the many local fish available. Also included is a stop at one of Amalfi’s most historic pastry, chocolate and gelato maker. Tastings are included.
- After Amalfi, your guide continues on to Ravello, with a visit to Villa Rufolo or Villa Cimbrone and the Terrazza dell’Infinito. *Entrance fees not included if you opt to enter the gardens or museums. Stroll through Medieval gardens, piazza, pathways and ancient landmarks while learning about the invaders, kings and queens, writers and movie stars who lived here. End in the piazza with a toast of Prosecco. A 3-hour tour with English speaking, tastings are included. The guide’s fee is extra, please reserve in advance.
- Return to Positano in the afternoon.
- Evening is free and dinner is on your own.
Friday: Pompeii Excursion
- Your morning will begin with an unforgettable early morning drive along the Amalfi Coast and Bay of Naples for your excursion to Pompeii. You will visit this famous seat of ancient Rome whose ruins date back to 79AD. Discover and explore the ancient city that was covered by the eruption of Vesuvius almost 2,000 years ago, and unravel the ancient mystery of the Roman Empire. Visit Pompeii’s open-air museum and explore the labyrinth of paths that leads you through the ruins of this famous buried city.
- Return to Positano.
- Entrance tickets are not included and must be pre-purchased by each guest online.
- Following Pompeii, return to Positano with your driver and enjoy a light lunch including Caprese salad or pesto pasta or pomodoro pasta. (Wines, drinks, not included).
- Relax, walk to the beach and enjoy a gelato.
- The evening is free and dinner is on your own.
- Departure and transfer to the Naples Airport or Train Station.
- Ciao a presto!
*Note: This sample itinerary schedule may vary due to inclement weather, saint days; festivals. All activities, in the event of rescheduling, are always included during the week. Please note that museum tickets are not included in program price. The villa does not have a restaurant or caffe and breakfast is not included.
- 8 days/7 nights in the luxury villa with sea view and private terrace.
- Chefs Welcome Dinner with antipasto, fresh pasta, main course and dessert. *Wines and drinks not included.
- 3 hands-on cooking classes, with lunch or dinner following. A toast of wine included. (Additional wine and drinks available at a surcharge).
- Olive Oil Tasting with discussion and tastings.
- Excursion to Amalfi and Ravello with driver. (Add on the Food Lover’s Tour).
- Full day excursion to Capri.
- Excursion to Pompeii with driver. (Private tour guide available on request).
- Light Lunch featuring including Caprese salad or pesto pasta or pomodoro pasta. (Wines, drinks, not included).
- Round trip group transfers from Naples Airport or Naples Train station to Positano.*
- * Wi-Fi internet connection available.
- Cooking Vacations welcome bag with chef’s apron, Prosecco toast and recipe booklet.
Pricing starting at $3,595 in luxury private villa with sea view overlooking Positano!
2023 Dates: This program is available throughout the year. Check in is Saturday to check out on Saturday. Rates are subject to change based on currency exchange and rate increases. Call for updated rates. Itinerary can change due to weather conditions. 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.
The villa offers individual private suites with ensuite private bath, kitchen with stove, all utensils (plates, cookware, dishes, glasses) and a private terrace and sea view. Each suite has its own layout and is decorated uniquely in Mediterranean style. This is a private villa, however, a concierge is available during office hours. We are on site to provide information for your stay, including maps, tour books and booklets. Positano has many stairs throughout, but the villa is at street level with minimum stairs for Positano. The villa has 3 flights of stairs throughout. People who do not like to walk or have health problems are advised to read up on the landscape of Positano. Breakfast is not served at the Villa (there is a full service grocery store just next door where you can stock up on breakfast items, wine, cheese and groceries, or have goods delivered~ask for Emilia). A refundable security deposit is required at check-in for each suite, check in between 2pm and 7pm. Check-ins after 7pm are subject to a surcharge.
ROUND TRIP TRANSFERS
*Round trip group transfers from Naples Airport/Train to Positano and from Positano to Naples Airport or Train Station are included in your program. 1 transfer per group each way.
ARRIVAL-Arrival transfers from Naples Airport going to Positano are at scheduled 1:00pm and 4:00pm; and from Naples train station to Positano at 3:00pm, in consideration of international arrivals. Middle of the night supplements will apply. Departures leave promptly at the scheduled time. If you cannot make the scheduled group transfer time, a special transfer can be reserved for you, please call for pricing.
DEPARTURE-Departure from the property in Positano to Naples Airport or Train Station are at 4am and 10am (in heavy traffic conditions, departures may start 30 minutes prior). 10am is the official property check out time on the morning of your departure. If you would like a private transfer, please call for pricing.
City taxes, which vary, are not included and must be paid by each guest on site at the time of check out. Please call us if you have any questions.
*Even though Positano has many stairs throughout, our properties are located with minimum stairs. Going to the beach offers handicap access. People who do not like to walk or have health problems are advised to read up on the landscape of Positano. We suggest walking shoes, sun block, and a hat for Capri and Pompeii.
Additional Cooking Classes
Additional cooking classes and tours can be added on to your program in addition to those that are already included. Call or email us for add ons, prices and any questions.