White Chef’s aprons neatly pressed, a talented charming Roman Chef greets you in the kitchen, and an elegant 16th-century villa set deep in the green hills overlooking Rome. Our Starry Skies Over Roman Castles cooking program is a magical mix of hands-on cooking classes, excellent food and a storybook setting overlooking the City of Rome.
Step into the kitchen and Chef Carmen will take you on a fascinating trip through the local gastronomy of the Roman countryside, divulging her secrets on how to make the area’s best-loved specialties and introducing you to her favorite local ingredients. Your cooking classes will include the following cuisine themes: classic Italian, traditional Roman cuisine, or creative. Learn how to create Spaghetti Carbonara and Rigatoni all’Amatriciana; have fun creating Vitello Milanese spiked with saffron risotto; and try your hand at something a little more sophisticated like a delicious Mille-Feuille of potatoes and porcini with gorgonzola cream. After class, enjoy lunch or dinner at the villa’s restaurant that spills out onto the magnificent garden and offers with spectacular view over Rome. Visit the nearby Castelli Romani district, the Roman Castle area which is renowned for its food and wine culture, and admire the beauty of its wonderfully untouched nature. Stop off at the countryside vineyard and sample some of the area’s delicious wines. It won’t take you long to realize why this part of Italy has long been such a favorite with the country’s popes and noblemen!
Rome Cooking Courses
Chef Carmen opens up her kitchen and leads you through preparing foods of the Roman countryside that transform into creative works of art. Chef Carmen has trained under some of Italy’s most notable chefs and her skill and enthusiasm and know-how show! Her passion will soon rub off on you too, and your cooking lessons will have you whipping, stirring, kneading and cooking just like a pro. Stop to appreciate the tang of local Pecorino cheese served with sweet, ripe pears, get ready to try Spaghetti alla Chitarra with squid and zucchini and for a perfect ending, it is the classic Panna Cotta. Lunch follows and includes the foods cooked in class served in the villa’s stylish dining room.
The Castelli Romani area has long been famous as a place of rest and regeneration. Centuries ago, Roman nobles came here and built second homes; later, those traveling on the Grand Tour were sure to stop off on their way to and from Rome; and to this day, the Pope has a residence here in the town of Castel Gandolfo which he visits during the summer. With Rome a mere 20 kilometers away, these gentle hills make the perfect day trip, and each weekend, Romans flock here to enjoy the area’s exceptional food and sip some of the high-quality wines produced here that perfectly combine with the local specialties.
This splendid villa property is a stylish retreat high above Rome’s urban hustle and bustle. Built in the 16th century by a Cardinal, the property is situated on a hill overlooking the city of Rome, the sea and Tivoli. It is a true masterpiece of 16th-century art, history and culture, and is brimming with magnificent works of art painted by Italian masters like Ciampelli, Carracci and Pannini. And also equipped with every possible modern convenience, meaning that guests can experience the typical atmosphere of an old aristocratic villa rich in art, while enjoying the comfort and technology of a modern hotel. All rooms are a picture of elegance, and are furnished to a very high standard. All have a private bathroom and shower and full amenities. Breakfast is served each morning, and daily maid service is provided for your convenience. Of particular interest, are the villa’s magnificent Italian gardens filled with fruit & lemon trees, holm oaks and flowers. And of course the villa’s dramatic rooftop terrace, the ultimate spot from which to enjoy spectacular views of the Eternal City, as well as superb cuisine at the hotel’s restaurant.
Itinerary: 4 Days, 3 Nights
Day 1: Arrival & Welcome Dinner
- Arrival at Frascati train station & transfer to Hotel.
- Relax & settle in.
- Welcome Dinner is served. Local wine included.
Day 2: Tour The Castelli Romani & Local Winery & Cooking Class 1
- Breakfast is served.
- After lunch, guided excursion to the Castelli Romani area with private driver, with stops at The Tuscolo Hill with its ancient Acropolis and breathtaking view; Grottaferrata including a visit to the Abbey of San Nilo; and Castelgandolfo, the picturesque village that is now the Pope’s summer residence.
- Visit to a Local Winery, including tasting of local wines and oils served with a small selection of cheese, salamis and bruschetta.
- Return to the villa in the afternoon.
- Meet in the kitchen for your Cooking Class 1 with Chef Carmen. Dinner follows on the foods prepared in class. Local wine & water included.
Day 3: Cooking Class 2
- Breakfast is served.
- Morning is free to stroll around the verdant parkland or relax in the shade of a tree with a good book.
- Lunch on your own.
- In the afternoon, head into the kitchen with Chef Carmen for your Cooking Class 2 with dinner following on the foods prepared in class. Local wine & water included.
Day 4: Departure
- Breakfast is served.
- Check out and arrivederci!
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.
- 4 Days, 3 Nights accommodations in double room at 4-star villa property, based on double occupancy.
- Daily Breakfast.
- 2 hands-on cooking classes with Chef Carmen, with lunch or dinner following on the foods prepared in class. Local wine and water included.
- Chef’s Welcome Tasting Dinner, local wine and water included.
- Half day excursion to the Castelli Romani district – Tuscolo Hill, Grottaferrata, Castelgondolfo – including visit to winery for wine and olive oil tasting.
- Transfers on arrival & departure from Frascati train station to hotel.**
$1,450 per person, based on double occupancy. All taxes and Italian VAT included.
$995 single supplement.
2023 Dates: Check in and start your cooking program on any day of the week. 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.
**Arrival Transfers from Frascati Train Station: 08:10, 09:20, 10:25, 12:25, 13:25, 17:25, 18:25, 19:25, 20:25; 21:25.
**Departure Transfers to Frascati Train Station: 08:00, 09:10, 10:10, 12:15, 13:15, 17:15, 18:15, 19:15, 20:15, 21:15.
Cooking Class times may vary from morning or afternoon, due to feast days, weather, excursions or guests day of arrival.