Join Chefs Filomena, Fortunata and Giuseppe as they lead you through their wonderful hands-on cooking classes in Positano for a week of food, wine and sun-filled days. Our chefs share their Neapolitan recipes with you for making pizza, fresh pasta, antipasto, fish, meat and desserts. This program features the healthy Mediterranean diet. This one-of-a-kind cooking experience is set in a luxurious private Villa perched on the Amalfi Coast overlooking the pastel village of Positano with direct sea views.
Stay in the Contessa’s Villa which was once part of the Grand Tour and carries on tradition with luxurious and elegant accommodations. Experience where her noble ancestors cooked and entertained lavishly and where she continues her family tradition. Recreate her Sette Sapori, Seven herb pasta dish-fit for any Queen! A personal concierge is at your service for your every need. Open your door and step out into the heart of Positano!
Cooking Classes Positano
~ Featuring our Amalfi Coast Lemon Menu
The hands-on cooking classes take place in a professional Mediterranean kitchen and include traditional Neapolitan recipes made with delicious seasonal produce. Following each lesson, cooking class participants enjoy the fruits of their labor by the sea. Toast with a glass of Aglianico, red or Falanghina, white wine and end with a sweet dessert. The Lemon Lifestyles™ program also includes one cooking class during the week that features an ‘all lemon menu’ from the first course to the dessert. Learn how to make lemon infused antipasto, lemon pasta or risotto, and lemon torte or local lemon delicacy – an exclusive at Cooking Vacations.
In each cooking classes you will make regional recipes starting with antipasto: fiori di zucca ripieni – stuffed squash flowers, aranci, patate crochette, involtini di melanzane, polpettini di melanzane, pasta: gnocchi, ravioli Caprese and scialatielli, a main course: spigola limone, pesce all’acqua pazza, vitello Positanese, pollo con erbe, and limone and dessert: 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, real Neapolitan pizza, in Naples. This authentic pizza making class shares the secret recipe for mixing, kneading and stretching delicate pizza dough and baking it at a high temperature in a wood-burning oven for a 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 and make it a tailor made menu for you. Just let us know.
Cooking Classes Positano Sample Menus
Fiori di zucca-delicate Italian squash flowers stuffed with Ricotta 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.
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.
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 – chocolate almond cake from Capri.
Torta di Limone – tasty lemon cake made with almonds and lemons.
Zeppole – light fried pastries filled with cream and dusted with powdered sugar.
Biscotti – Italian cookies flavored with almond, orange or lemon.
*This is just a sample of dishes prepared in class.
Positano is a Moorish-style village, discovered first by curious sea explorers, then by American and British troops at the end of World War II. Throughout its history, Positano has attracted a plethora of renowned celebrities, artists and writers including the famous writer John Steinbeck. Steinbeck wrote, ‘Positano bites deep, it’s a dream place’, an opinion shared by many of the town’s modern day visitors. Positano’s narrow winding streets are lined with tiny cafés, terraces, and artisan shops selling ceramics, limoncello, antiques and the distinctive Positano-style handmade clothes.
Walk the cobblestone footpath, the one street that leads down to the Spiaggia Grande, main beach, peppered with local artists selling their crafts. Visit the parish church of Santa Maria Assunta – the art alone will have you feel like you are in a museum. 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 they carry the statue of Maria Assunta along the beach accompanied by a parade of musicians. A spectacular fireworks display follows under the stars, with boats arriving in hundreds to watch and celebrate from the sea. Stroll the beach and visit the famous L’Incanto Ristorante 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 colorful in this seaside town, however the off-season months still have a moody, quiet charm all of their own.
The Amalfi Coast
The Amalfi region and the Sorrento Peninsula have attracted travelers, explorers, emperors, artists and poets for centuries. The mesmerizing colors, dramatic coastlines, year-round warm climate and hospitable people combine to make the region a heavenly seaside destination. One of our adventurous excursions takes you from a private villa to the cobblestone streets of ancient Ravello, driving you through the winding Amalfi Coast past villages and vineyards that are nestled among the jagged cliffs. Each turn on the road is a treasure to behold, and the beginning of a memory that will last a lifetime.
The Villa Azzurra
Villa Azzurra is a luxurious one-of-its-kind villa offering oversized suites and total privacy overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea. Set in the heart of Positano, the villa offers the perfect location. There are 1, 2, and 3-bedroom suites each decorated with a Mediterranean style and offering modern comforts. Furnature and bedding are comfortable and modern. Each suite has a fully equipped kitchen with dinnerware, glasses, linens and pans – complete – to fulfil all your needs. 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. 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 of kings, queens and royalty past who lived here. 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 and meet the property manager who explains the features of your Suite. Each suite overlooks the sea and has private terrace. Refresh and relax on your private terrace with an aperitivo.
- Read over the contents of your Welcome Bag including helpful information that will acquaint you with the area, and go over your itinerary for your cooking program. Also included is your Chef’s apron and general information and notes on landmarks, and our “Hot Pick list.”
- Later in the evening, you will be served the full course Chef’s Tasting Dinner at our favorite local restaurant. Dine on award-winning southern regional Italian food set in charming surroundings that overlook the panoramic Amalfi Coast. (Wine, drinks, grappa and an assortment of after dinner digestives are not included, and are available at a surcharge).
Sunday: Capri, Italy’s Glamorous Seaside Island and The Blue Grotto
- A full-day visit to the Isle of Capri, where 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, tingeing it a dramatic Mediterranean cerulean shade of blue. 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 café and enjoy a gelato or Prosecco Mimosa.
- A favorite place on Capri is Anacapri. This 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 at 9:00am, the boat continues around the island and you will be able to see the Natural Arch, White, Green and Blue Grotto lasting approximately 3 hours, and then docks in Marina Grande approximately at 12noon and you have 4 hours on the island to explore on your own. Your Captain will explain your meeting point, please be on time for your departure. (If you suffer from sea sickness let us know and we will put you on the Positano Jet which takes 25 to 30 minutes each way, without the Capri Island tour by boat).
Add-On A Driver:
While on land in Capri and if you want to see all the sites with ease, we suggest that you reserve a private car tour with Signor Costanzo our favorite 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).
- After your stay on the island, we re-embark on board with our Captain for a sail around the island. The boat tour includes a stop at the Blue Grotto (if open and weather permitting), and a swim by the White Grotto. Return to Positano in the later afternoon.
- Evening free and dinner is on your own. Suggestion: Da Vincenzo. Tell Enzo and Marcella you are with Cooking Vacations.
Monday: Discover Positano ~ Cooking Class 1
- Cooking Class 1 Tie on your aprons and get ready to cook! You will be slicing, dicing and preparing, hands-on antipasto, pasta, main course and dessert. Follow your chef, step by step, and create your first delicious, authentic Italian meal. Lunch follows and everyone enjoys the foods that were prepared in class. Toast with a glass of local red or white wine and end with a sweet dessert, included.? Additional wines, beverages and after-dinner digestives available at a surcharge.
- After lunch, take a walk to the beach and watch the sun sets Discover Positano, and stroll through the cobblestone streets, visit the 18th-century courtyard of the Palazzo Murat.
- In the piazza at the beach, see our friend and local artist Pasquale Volpe, who paints the people and landscapes of Positano in delicate watercolors.
- In the evening, we suggest dine at Rada and then visit Music On The Rocks, a unique cafe and bar carved in the natural rock formation of the limestone coast, and dance under the stars!
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 lemons that grow in abundance on the Amalfi Coast. You will learn about the characteristics of the Amalfi lemon and all of its uses in cooking. Our chef will lead the way in this hands-on cooking class with a lemon-infused antipasto, fresh handmade lemon pasta, local fish or chicken seasoned with lemon, and Amalfi lemon cake.
- Lunch follows and everyone eats the fruits of their labor with a glass of local Aglianico, red wine, or Falanghina, white wine and end with a sweet dessert, included. Additional wines, beverages and after-dinner digestives available at a surcharge.
- In the afternoon we suggest to visit Sorrento, the city of song, poets and the Tarantella makes for a perfect visit where you can tour, shop and we suggest you find time for a bite in a street-side café, or even Il Buco. You may want to opt and treat yourself to an unforgettable Michelin Star dinner at the beautiful restaurant Il Buco, where host Giuseppe Aversa will guide you through some of the area’s most delicious specialties and suggest the perfect glass of wine as an accompaniment. A truly memorable experience! Visit typical Neapolitan shops that line the old cobblestone walkways where you stroll past the town’s delicious limoncello makers, an applauded ice-cream maker, and wine enoteca. This is a suggestion and is not included in the tour. You can reserve one of our drivers to take you to Sorrento for surcharge or you can hop on one of the many city buses that run between the two towns.
- Limoncello Making Class
- You can also choose to add on a Limoncello Making Class in Positano as an add on option. Limoncello is the famous drink of the Amalfi Coast, and you too will learn to make perfect, fragrant, yellow Limoncello. Step-by-step, you will pick up all the tricks and turn out your very own lemon liqueur. (Suggestion optional add on). Our limoncello making class is held on the villa terrace overlooking the sea. The Positano lemons used in making authentic DOP Limoncello, blossom and bloom four times per year. We start off the class with an informal discussion on 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. Get peeling and watch the famous lemon liqueur come alive before your eyes. As the lemons bathe in the magic mixture, we fill your glass with an ice cold Limoncello. Tasting of limoncello included.
Wednesday: Cooking Class 3, Fresh Artisan Cheese~Cooking with Mozzarella
- Mozzarella, Fresh Artisan Cheese: Italian Cheese, made by artisan hands, is always an important part of our Regional cooking. Learn how to use local regional mozzarella and caciotta uniquely in appetizers, pasta and main courses with your chef who has learned the art of cheese making from their family business for many generations. Cheese making on the Amalfi Coast, where the focus is on fresh cheese made daily, is an ancient art and is used in the local regional cooking in many ways.
- Cooking Class 3: Tie on your apron and get ready for your third hands-on cooking class. Alongside the chefs, create a traditional antipasto, first course, second course and dessert. Lunch or dinner follows on the foods prepared in class after the cooking class. Toast with a glass of red or white local wine, and end with a sweet dessert, both 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 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. We use only the first cold press Virgin olive oil. It means that the oil we bottle is pressed only one time giving it a clean fresh taste. Virgin means it is pure and not mixed with anything else. It is DOP-Denominazione di Origine Protetta, ‘origin protected’ domain of production-and “made on site in Italy.” Grown under the warm Mediterranean sun, in rich volcanic soil, and with salt sea winds, our olives make perfect olive oil. We respect the old world process of picking just at the right time, just in October and not too late in the season. Always organic. Our olive oil it is made without chemicals or preservatives, we promise. The informal tasting provides a bit of insight into tasting, buying and using olive oil.
Thursday: Amalfi Coast and Visit To Ravello
- Drive along the famed Amalfi Coast headed with a stop at the artisan ceramic maker. Colors, patterns, and old-world ceramics including tabletops made of volcanic rock are a sample of the unique artisan crafts you will see. This family-owned producer of ceramics also ships worldwide.
- The town of Amalfi is rich in culture and history. 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 stalls of herbs and spices, jewelry, shoes, handmade Amalfi paper, and local lemon specialties such as soaps and local lemon liqueurs. Take time out to shop or stop for a cappuccino and enjoy a few minutes of 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 flavored with pine nuts, liqueur and orange, or you can try the fragrant ricotta & pear tart.
- Ravello follows. This quaint town, often called the city between ‘Sea & Sky’, is suspended high above the coast, with sweeping views that span everything from the Tyrrhenian Sea to the mountains inland. Ravello is hailed the ‘International City of Music’ and is known for its precious panoramic view from the gardens of Villa Cimbrone. The town is perched 350 meters over the rocky spur of the Amalfi Coast separating the Valle del Dragone from the Valle del Regina. Today, Ravello is world-famous for its outdoor music concerts. Visit 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. From this unique vantage point you can see the distant Cilento Mountains and the Licosa beyond the sparkling sea, 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 Our Guide For The Amalfi Food Lover’s Walk and Ravello Landmark Tour
- You may also reserve our professional English-speaking guide and local resident, who will take you on an Amalfi Food Walk & Ravello Landmark Tour, learning about the local food, history and culture. If you want to see the towns of Amalfi & Ravello like a local, while tasting great foods, add on this tasty food tour. Stroll to the fish market, cheese artisan and bread baker. Also included is a stop at one of Amalfi’s most historic pastry, chocolate and gelato makers. Tastings are included. After Amalfi, your guide continues her tour in Ravello, with a visit to Villa Rufolo or Villa Cimbrone and the Terrazza dell’Infinito. (*Entrance fees not included.) Stroll through Medieval Gardens, piazzas, pathways and by 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. (Guide’s fee is extra, please reserve in advance.)
You will visit a famous boutique food shop which showcases local and artisan foods including an assortment of cheeses, salumi, bread, pastas,olives, spices and wines, 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. We continue through Amalfi and end with a visit to the most famous pastry shop with tastings. We continue onto Ravello where we tour the gardens then take a seat in the piazza for a Prosecco.
- Return to Positano in the afternoon.
- Evening is free and dinner is on your own. Suggestion Chez Black tell Mr. Black Cooking Vacations sent you.
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 Roman civilization near Naples 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.
- Take time out during your visit for a panino in the café near the forum. A private tour guide is available upon request at an extra charge.
- Return to Positano.
- Head to Fornillo on the beach in Positano for lunch with Mamma Celeste & family. Join in and order one of the local daily speciale. After lunch, go for a swim in the sea, or stroll the promenade. Walk the footpath that overlooks Positano and take in the panoramic view that spans the nearby islands and the Coast. Lunch included, beverages at a surcharge.
- The evening is free and dinner is on your own. Suggestion: Next 2.
- Departure and transfer to the Naples Airport or Train Station.
- Ciao e 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.
- 8 days/7 nights in a luxury villa with sea view; private bath and terrace, based on double occupancy.
- Chefs Welcome Dinner with antipasto, 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 informal discussion and tastings.
- Excursion to Amalfi and Ravello with driver. (Private tour guide available on request).
- Full day excursion to Capri. (Private tour guide while on the island available on request).
- Excursion to Pompeii with driver. (Private tour guide available on request).
- Tasting lunch featuring Mediterranean cuisine. (Wines, drinks, not included).
- Cooking Vacations’ Welcome Bag with Chef Apron & recipe booklet.
- Round trip group transfers from Naples Airport or Naples Train station to Positano.*
- * Wi-Fi internet connection available.
City taxes must be paid by each guest to the property on site at the time of check out.
2020 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. 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 within its structure, complete with private bath, full kitchen with stove, all utensils (plates, pans, 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/Train are included in your program. 1 transfer per group each way. Extra private transfers are available at an additional cost.
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. Departures leave promptly at the scheduled time. Please call us if you have any questions about your airline and train itinerary.
If you cannot make the scheduled group transfer time, a special transfer can be reserved and the cost is 130€ per car; 165€ if after 6pm. All transfer fees are payable directly to the car service. Please call us if you have any questions.
DEPARTURE-Departure from the property in Positano to Naples Airport/Train 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 an earlier or later departure transfer, a special transfer departure can be reserved and the cost is 130€ per car; 165€ if before 8:00am. All extra add on transfer fees are payable directly to the car service. Please call us if you have any questions. For single travelers not arriving/departing on a Saturday, an additional transfer fee will apply.
Additional Cooking Classes
Classes can be added on to your program at an extra cost. You can add on additional classes during the week to the 3 that are already scheduled. We are always at your service to answer questions, and add on extra cooking classes.