Starry Skies Over Roman Castles™

Chef Maria’s Rome’s Countryside ~ 5 Day

Join Chef Maria in the Roman countryside for traditional Roman cooking, and learn how to prepare elegant traditions with a new interpretation!

Journey off the beaten path and into the land of Ciociaria for an extraordinary hands-on cooking and delicious culinary adventure! It is just a short ride from Rome to the countryside and into a region that is steeped in tradition, culture and culinary heritage. Since ancient times, this region has been an integral part of history, agriculture and production. Chef Maria will take you on this culinary experience from Ciociaria to the medieval town of San Donato Comino and shares her love of cooking, tasting and exploring local food and wine. Tradition blends with a contemporary touch in this one-of-a-kind food lover‘s cooking tour.

Your accommodation is an country villa which extends over 40,000 sqm with 550 assorted fruit trees.  The property offers a vegetable garden and a beekeeping farm, which make for the best local, organic, in season ingredients for your Cooking Classes.

Traditional Roman Cooking Classes

Join Signora Manuela, your host, and Chef Maria in the kitchen for hands-on traditional cooking classes each afternoon.  You will be preparing fresh fettuccine, gnocchi and polenta! While the menus vary seasonally to provide the best fresh ingredients that are in the garden, each menu is as appetizing as the next. The garden and green land surrounding the property are abundant with fresh fruits, vegetables, mushrooms, forest berries and flowers. During your cooking adventure, Maria will show you how to use such delectable ingredients such as tartufo di Campoli-local truffles, fagioli cannellini di Atina – fresh white beans from the nearby town of Atina, daily made artisan cheese from the town of Villa Latina, extra virgin olive oil and precious wine from San Donato Val di Comino. Follow the seasons and turn your hand to jam-making using gorgeous black cherries and lavender in June and apricots, peaches, plums and apples in the autumn. Chef Maria leads each guest in the kitchen making pizza, pasta, pastry and desserts!

Sample program menus:

Classic Favorites
Day One: The art of fresh handmade pasta.
Day Two: Pizza & focaccia – mixing, kneading and baking fresh dough into crispy delectable baked breads.
Day Three: Dolce & more – traditional desserts, cakes and biscotti.

Seasonal Themes
Day One: Cooking with lavender – creating syrups, cookies and jams.
Day Two: Apricots galore – from apricot glazes laced on meat and pork roasts to tarts and sorbets.
Day Three: Eggplants – learn the art of cooking with eggplant including eggplant parmigiana, marinated eggplant and irresistible eggplant balls.

Ciociaria & The Val di Comino

Ciociaria was the name adopted by a fascist movement for the province of Frosinone when it was created in 1927, some say that the name comes from the primitive footwear of its inhabitants called ciocie. The shoes still remain a traditional symbol of this area and are worn by folk group members or on historical feast days. Ciociaria has s full calendar of food fairs, entertainment events and music festivals, as well as a variety of traditional feasts. Religious, country and rural traditions are still strong and alive. The celebrations of the patron saints with the processions, the performance of bands and groups, the illuminations and fireworks, the fairs and popular games, the palios and tournaments among the towns quarters witness the desire of the Ciociarian people to preserve the authenticity of their peasant culture with their typical costumes, music, rituals and gastronomy. The Val di Comino, also known as the Via Romantica della Ciociaria, the Romantic Way of Ciociaria, offers something very special. Guests join Chef Maria in Ciociaria, immerse themselves in the fine cuisine, festive fun, and discovering history.


Rome in the region of Lazio is the heart of the Roman Empire offers a great cross section of cuisine with influences from both north and south. The Romans take their traditions very seriously. With a common saying, “Bread and water are fit only for a dog”, every home proudly serves the very best, fully confident that their tradition truly is the best. With knowing skills, the Romans do indeed select the best from north and south and create from it a distinctive regional cuisine. Discover a region with incomparable cooking and fascinating nature and environment; wide beaches, great pinewoods, gentle hills and expansive plains. A land rich in artistic monuments brings to mind the long and extraordinary history of this region including in its environs, Villa Adriana in Tivoli, the seventeenth-century Palazzo Barberini in Palestrina and the cathedral in Anagni. The same grandiose style is reflected outside of Rome too in the Abbeys of Montecassino and Fossanova, and the monasteries of Subiaco.


Manuela welcomes you to an oasis of harmony and serenity in the heart of Ciociaria. Delicate colors, Provence style furniture and natural textiles decorate every room to make it a warm and relaxing atmosphere. Each room also has a name, Bee, Ladybird, Butterfly and Dragonfly boasting private terraces with a splendid view over the orchards. Amenities include a mini-bar, TV-LCD, Sky TV, PayPerView, high frequency Wi-Fi, telephone, safety deposit box and hair dryer. Splendid views, surrounding green gardens and outdoor swimming pool are just a few of the beautifies that you will have during your stay. Chef Maria’s traditional cooking with an innovative interpretation follows the seasons turning out healthy, colorful foods from his farm and nearby artisans.

Traditional Cooking Classes Itinerary – 5 days, 4 nights

Day 1: Arrival and Welcome Dinner

  • Arrival transfer and Check in
  • In the evening enjoy a welcoming dinner, wine not included.

Day 2: Cooking Class 1

  • Breakfast is served
  • Morning free. Suggestion: add on an excursion to a the local vineyard (an extra cost) and learn about the production and making of local wine. Discussion and tasting included.
  • Lunch is on your own. Suggestions provided.
  • Later in the afternoon, roll up your sleeves, tie on your apron and get cooking in your Cooking Class 1. Everyone enjoys the foods that were made in class with local wine, selected by the sommelier, included.

Day 3: Cooking Class 2

  • Breakfast is served.
  • Morning free. Suggestion: add on a visit to the truffle field and learn about the truffle hunt process along with how to use them in cooking. The white and black truffles that grow in the Campoli Appenino area proudly compete with truffles from more famous areas of Italy and the world.
  • Lunch is on your own. Suggestions provided.
  • Return in the afternoon for Cooking Class 2. Dinner follows and everyone enjoys the foods that were prepared in class. Wine selected by the sommelier is included.

Day 4: Cooking Class 3

  • Breakfast is served
  • Free morning. Suggestion: visit to an organic health and beauty workshop (at additional cost) and have the chance to mix a pure natural cream that is made just for you.
  • Return in the afternoon your Cooking Class 3. Dinner follows and everyone enjoys the foods that were prepared in class. Wine selected by the sommelier is included.

Day 5: Departure & Arrivederci

  • Breakfast is served.
  • Check Out and departure transfer.
  • Arrivederci e a presto!

Note: This sample itinerary schedule may vary due to inclement weather, saints days; festivals. All activities, in the event of rescheduling, are always included during the week.

Program Includes:

  • 5 days, 4 nights accommodations, based on double occupancy.
  • Welcome dinner.
  • 3 cooking Classes followed by lunch or dinner with the foods that were made in class. Wine selected by the sommelier are included.
  • Transfer on Arrival/Departure to and from Cassino Train Station.
  • Cooking Vacations welcome bag with chef’s apron, Prosecco toast and recipe booklet.
Program Prices

$1,695 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.

*Add-On transfers from Rome Airport/Train Station or Naples Airport/Train Station are available at a supplement.  Please call for pricing based on your group size.

Check Availability

2024 Dates: This program is available April, May, June & September. 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.


Add On Tours Available Upon Request

  • Visit to olive grove in San Donato Val Comino and to local vineyard. Minimum 2 people, $75 per person.
  • Visit to truffle ground in Alvito, tasting included. Minimum 2 people, $75 per person.
  • Visit to artisan confectioners, tastings included. Minimum 2 people, $75 per person.
  • Visit to organic cosmetics producer. Minimum 2 people, $75 per person.
  • Horseback riding in the nearby National Park, lunch included. Minimum 2 people. Half-day $135 per person; full-day $195 per person.