Calabria Cooking Between Tropea & Capo Vaticano™

Chef Mario’s Cooking & Spa Week 6 Day

Tie on your apron and get cooking in Calabria, the land of red hot chili peppers, red onions and a warm southern climate.  Experience the beautiful colors of the sea, rocky coast and sandy beaches in a unique destination both summer and winter.

Take a culinary journey to Calabria – Southern Italy’s less-traveled destination. Your 6-day, 5-night cooking tour is set in Capo Rizzuto in a luxury property just a few steps from the beach.  You’ll be immersed in the local culture – visiting gorgeous landmarks such as the Castello Aragonese or the Temple of Juno Lacinia – all while learning to prepare authentic fare under the guidance of our Chef.


“…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.  Calabria boasts a mild climate all year round,  long beautiful beaches – including the Spiagge Rosse –  rolling green countryside, quaint villages and with Norman churches and Greek ruins peppering the landscape reminding us of its ancient past. Add to that, the diverse landscape of Calabria which is far from the worn tourist track and this area of Italy becomes utterly irresistible.

Calabrian Cuisine

Calabria’s cuisine reflects its mixed history, the meeting of past and present represented by the region’s typical products: red onions from Tropea, chili peppers, red potatoes and porcini mushrooms from the Sila plateau, clementines from Corigliano, bergamot from the Reggio Calabria area, citrons from the Riviera dei Cedri, liquorice from Rossano, and olives from the Piana di Gioia.

Produce of all kinds, vegetables, fruit, meat and fish, endless salami, and the most famous nduja, a creamy pork salami that is red-chili-pepper-hot and extremely delicious.  Artisan cheese is plentiful, with pecorino, abbespata, a smoked ricotta, and Caciocavallo Silano DOP, a cow’s milk cheese aged for a good length of time.

Fish is also popular: swordfish in the Reggio Calabria area is an age-old tradition and it is still not uncommon to see men out on the typical boat used for fishing swordfish, felucca or lustro, characterized by a sighting platform and an extended deck.

The most typical and flavorsome fish that can be tasted in Calabria has several different names, all of which mean the same thing: neonata, nudilla, rosamarina, nannata, bianchetti: newly born fish (sardines) preserved in oil and spiced up with scarlet flakes of chili pepper. These tiny fish aren’t always available because the fishing season is limited to a specific short time in winter, so they are often conserved, and are so delicious they are known as the caviar of Calabria.

There’s even a licorice museum, dedicated to the plant, showcasing the traditional liquirizia, which comes from Rossano Calabro and has been used since 1700.

Cooking Classes

Tie on your apron with Chef Mario and get ready to cook southern Italian favorites.  From antipasto to primos, main course and desserts, you’ll be cooking like a local.  Let’s start with eggplant meatballs made with herbs and a bread stuffing – a Calabrian favorite.  Pastas include durum wheat tagliolini prepared with Caporizzuto prawn crudité and, in season, truffles from Pollino.  Also on the menu are raviolini, stuffed with smoked mozzarella in a cherry tomato sauce.  Calabria lasagna always temps with its secret ingredient of chickpeas.  Swordfish in lemon sauce is everyone’s favorite along with a delectable fish and shallot soup.  Desserts include figs and chocolate specialties or the torta al limone, lemon cake!

Everyone enjoys the foods that were made following together at the table.  Three regional wines are included.

Calabria Accommodation

Check in to the 4 Star beach front property, complete with all modern amenities, including a spa.  Set directly on the beach with chairs, umbrellas and soft sand, this property has all of the comforts for a relaxing vacation.  A stunning panorama surrounded by Mediterranean flowers, greenery, myrtle and mastic trees welcomes you.  Rooms are large, bright and refined with Mediterranean decor, along with wood, terracotta, and wrought iron trim.  Each suite has an ensuite private bathrooms.  Satellite TV, hairdryers and air conditioning are included.

Itinerary 6 days, 5 nights

Day 1:  Welcome Aperitivo & Chef’s Welcome Dinner

  • Arrival and transfer to your property.
  • Check in relax.
  • Welcome aperitivo and overview of the cooking program.
  • A special ten-course Michelin-star tasting menu paired with five glasses of wine.

Day 2:  Guided Tour to Capo Colonna Archeological Park & Cooking Class 1

  • Breakfast is served.
  • After breakfast you will have a guided tour of Capo Colonna Archeological Park with English-speaking guide.
  • Return to the property.
  • In the afternoon, get ready for Cooking Class 1. Along with your chef and his team, you will learn to whip up delicious Calabrian recipes including fresh made pasta, main course and dessert, and wine pairing.
  • Everyone dines together on the foods prepared in the cooking class with wine pairing included.

Day 3:  Tour to Le Castella e Crotone

  • Breakfast is served
  • Excursion to Le Castella and Crotone.  Restaurants suggestions included along with the area’s most famous restaurant, for lunch.  (Lunch not included).
  • Return to property.  Dinner on your own

Day 4:  Wellness Spa & Relax

  • Breakfast is served
  • Morning relax and rejuvenate in our Wellness Spa. Let your professional staff pamper you with a relaxing massage.
  • Take the afternoon to relax in the swimming pool or on the beach, and soak up the sun.
  • Dinner is on your own.

Day 5:  Cooking Class 2

  • Breakfast is served
  • Cooking Class 2.  Enjoy your second day in the kitchen with your chef where you will create your next local menu with a fresh made pasta, main course and dessert, and wine pairing.
  • Everyone dines together on the foods prepared in the cooking class Farewell lunch included with wine pairing.
  • Evening free & dinner on your own.

Day 6: Arrivederci Calabria

  • Breakfast is served
  • Check out and transfer to airport.  Arrivederci e a presto!

Program Includes:

  • 6 days, 5 nights in a charming 5-Star residence with swimming pool and wellness area in Capo Rizzuto.
  • Welcome aperitivo.
  • Breakfast each morning and daily maid service.
  • Chef’s Welcome Dinner featuring ten-course Michelin-star menu with five wines.
  • Two cooking classes with a fresh made pasta, main course and dessert, and wine pairing.
  • Excursion to Capo Colonna Archeological Park, English-speaking guide and tickets included.
  • Excursion to Le Castella & Crotone, English-speaking guide and tickets included.
  • Free access to swimming pool and private beach for the duration of your stay.
  • 1-hour Relaxing Massage.
  • Round trip transfers from Lamezia Terme Airport to hotel.
  • Cooking Vacations’ welcome bag with chef’s apron and recipe booklet.
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

2021 Dates: This program is available throughout the year. You will have all your activities included. This program is available 12 months per year. 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.