Positano, once a sleepy fishing village is every artist’s dream place. From afar it looks like a surreal palette of pink, yellow, and white-whitewashed houses built on a vertical cliff. The houses line up like rings on a paper chain and are horizontally perfect. Narrow winding stairways, ancient stone archways, lemons growing laterally and old wooden fishermen’s boats on the shore are the images of Positano. Let this dreamlike magic inspire your creativity in our Watercolor Painting & Hands-On Cooking Class program.
Whether you are a beginner, an experienced artist or just want to brush up, this watercolor painting and cooking class is fun, educational & relaxing. You will have 3 days painting, (classes are very small – 1 to 3 painters in one class – and Pasquale pays careful attention to each person’s experience and level accordingly) and 3 hands-on cooking classes in the heart of Positano.
Positano Cooking Classes
When you are not painting, you will be in the kitchen with our team of professional Chefs Filomena, Fortunata, Carmine, Guiseppe & Raffael. Learn the local recipes and the principles of the healthy Mediterranean diet, using fresh seasonal fruit and vegetables, fish and meat, in hands-on classes that are educational and informative. In each class alongside our Chefs, you will prepare an antipasto, main dish and dessert. Learn how to make hand-made gnocchi with a steamy tomato sauce and baked with creamy Mozzarella, or lemon Risotto, Insalata di Mare-a fisherman’s fresh catch of baby fish slowly sautéed, or Neapolitan Pizza Margherita, Foccacia and Calzone. And always desserts, Semifreddo, a caramel half-frozen ice cream topped with a raspberry sauce, Caprese, or Tiramisu. Learn to cook classic recipes of the Amalfi Coast that you will be able to recreate at home with our local professional Chefs. Toast with a glass of local red or white wine and enjoy the view. End with a sweet dessert.
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 gnocchi, ravioli, tortellini, cannelloni, orecchiette, casarecci, and garganelli, to name but a few.
If you are an advanced cooker or chef, we can offer the same Watercoloring and Cooking with advanced cooking classes and make it a tailor made menu for you. Just let us know.
Pasquale, a professional and applauded artist who captures the ever-changing colors of the land, sea and sky, is your instructor. He has a natural talent for instructing, and leads each individual according to his or her level. With an array of accolades and awards, and several international exhibitions on his résumé, he shares technique and sentiments with each participant. Set your easel facing the sea, let the Mediterranean colors be your backdrop, and your creativity will soar. Pasquale leads you through your hands-on classes, giving time for questions & answers along the way. Pasquale, a graduate of the Galileo Galilei College of Naples, continues to paint, travel and teach.
His list of credits includes:
- 1980 2nd Prize Winner ~Premio Casciano Naples. Landscapes dedicated to Cezanne.
- 1983 3rd prize Winner~ CISL & VISL Neapolitan Riviera.
- 1984 1st Prize Winner ~Tourist Board Of Calabria Competition.
- 1985 Worked with painters Anthos Faccincani & Vincenzo Stinga Antonio Asturi (Marinetti Futurist Group), Eddy Witstein, cinematographer
- 1988 Mural Restoration for the Carlmetan Monastery of Santa Maria Del Toro, Sorrento, Naples.
- 1989 Member of Amalfitan Watercolorists
Your accommodation is a privately-owned B&B style property, formerly the family’s villa which now has been refurbished keeping the old-world charm with modern amenities. The property is conveniently located in town, minutes from the piazza and bus stop, and facing the sea. Each bedroom has a private terrace and sea view and is surrounded by a flowered pergola with greenery. Each bedroom has private bathroom and shower with hairdryer, safe, refrigerator, and air conditioning. Breakfast is served each morning, and daily maid service is provided for your convenience.
Positano has forever attracted artists, writers, photographers, moviemakers and musicians; they all came to capture its magic. The architecture is Moresque and Byzantine style with its main Church, the Santa Maria Assunta, built on Roman ruins. Positano was settled by the Romans, invaded by the Arabs, and discovered by American and British soldiers centuries later at the end of World War II. This discovery put Positano on the map and it has remained there ever since.
Small shops still making hand-made goods, sandals, shoes, linen skirts and gold, line the winding streets. Cafés, restaurants & wine bars spill out onto the small streets making it a friendly and lively place to be. Its beaches are most famous and its water transportation system with boats leaving for Capri, Sorrento and Amalfi several times per day, make it a desirable location on the Amalfi Coast. Capri is a 20-minute water jet ride away, while Amalfi & Ravello, by land or sea, are 40 minutes south.
The majolica dome, Positano’s landmark, is the Chiesa Madre or the parish church of Santa Maria Assunta. It has a green and yellow majolica dome, topped by a cupola and has been painted and repainted on canvases around the world. The iconic landmark can be seen from just about every point in Positano. It was built on the site of the former Benedictine Abbey of Saint Vito, a 13th-century Romanesque structure. A marvel of a 13th-century Byzantine painting on wood with the Madonna and Child, known as the Black Virgin, is on the alter-a Masterpiece of Byzantine Art.
Artists Past & Present
Positano’s VIP list of artists range from John Steinbeck, Kurt Craemer, Han Harloff, Carlo Belli, Franco Zeffirelli, Raffaele La Capria, Stefan Anders, Bruno Marquardt, Randy Morgan, Arroyo Schifano, Cremonini, Rudolf Nureyev, Andy Warhol, Coco Chanel, Matisse & Picasso and Peter Ruta. They were drawn in by the Mediterranean light.
In fact, Positano has been a haven for artists for decades, with its Art Workshop founded in 1952 by Edna Lewis. Lewis’s school of painting and sculpture hosted artists from around the world until her death in the early 1970s. Former students and teachers of the Positano Art Workshop return to Positano regularly with exhibitions at the local galleries.
Itinerary: 8 days, 7 nights
~ Saturday to Saturday available all year long.
This program is scheduled from Saturday to Saturday, however you may check in and start your program on any day of the week, all year long. If you do start on a day other than Saturday, you will start your activities on that day, and all activities described will be included during your program.
Saturday: Welcome To Positano & Full Course Chef’s Tasting Dinner
- Pick-up and transfer from Naples airport or train station to the property. Arrival and check-in. Relax on your terrace, sit back enjoy an aperitivo.
- A full course Chef’s Tasting Dinner is included; antipasto, pasta, main dish and dessert. (Wine not included. Wine, drinks, Grappa and an assortment of after dinner digestives are available at a surcharge).
Sunday: Free Day
- Breakfast is served.
- Take the morning to explore Positano, stroll through the main square-the Piazza Mulini, get acquainted, stop for a café at the Bar Mulini, and make your way to the main beach. Throughout the town you will see many types and styles of ceramics, and not only in the beautiful shops that carry them. Oversize ceramic flower pots welcome you at doorways, Virgin Marys, in blue and white, seem to guide you at every turn and lanterns and signs show you the way through the colorful town.
- Take time out for lunch at Da Ferdinando’s. Order a seafood salad, a pasta of the day, or an oversized panino, and enjoy the family atmosphere with Mamma, Guido, chef Nando at the kitchen’s helm and Marco at the bar. Bellinis, proseccos, or peaches and white wine make for a perfecting ending as aperitivo time kicks in and the sun slowly makes it way setting. Notice Mamma’s colorful ceramic, -aside from the award-winning food, the foods served in her Vietri ceramics will inspire a world of ideas.
- If you like the mountains more than the sea, pack a picnic lunch and hike along the Sentiero Degli Dei, Path Of The Gods, that overlooks the whole Amalfi Coast.
- The evening is free and dinner is on your own. Suggestion: Mediterraneo, where good food and music will sweep you away. Tell Enzo you were recommended by Cooking Vacations.
Monday: Watercolor Painting Class 1 & Cooking Class 1
- Breakfast is served.
- Join Pasquale “en plein air” for your Watercolor Painting Class 1. He will start the morning with a short introduction, and together you will decide the direction of your classes together.
- Technique, application and conversation blend with informal discussion, questions and answers. Class lasts 2 hours.
- Take time for lunch on your own and absorb the new material you learned in class.
- Later, we step into the kitchen for your Cooking Class 1. Classes are held in our professional Mediterranean kitchen. Start with an introduction and time for question & answers; and then head into the kitchen. Our Chefs take you step-by-step through traditional recipes of southern Italian cuisine with an accent on the healthy Mediterranean diet. Learn how to make an antipasto, main dish and dessert. After the class, everyone enjoys dinner by the sea with the foods prepared in class. Toast with a great glass of red or white wine, included. (Additional wine, beverages, after dinner drinks and more are available at a surcharge).
Tuesday: Watercolor Painting Class 2, Olive Oil Discussion & Tasting & Cooking Class 2
- Breakfast is served.
- Begin your Watercolor Painting Class 2, and continue with Pasquale with technique, practice, application, and questions & answers. Watercolor painting class is 2 hours.
- Take time out for lunch on your own.
- 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.
- Cooking Class 2: Hand-on cooking class. Learn to make seasonal specialities such as zucca, pumpkin ravioli, or pesce azzurro, a sweet local blue fish grilled between lemon leaves, and a torta Caprese, traditional Capri cake. Everyone eats the foods made in classes following. Toast with a glass of wine, included. (Extra wine, beverages, after dinner drinks are not included).
Wednesday: Cooking Class 3
- Breakfast is served and enjoy a morning on your own to sketch or practice what you have learned to far with Pasquale.
- Lunch on your own, try the Gourmet Tasting Lunch with wine pairings at our hot pick Restaurant. Just when you thought the food could not get any better, the Gourmet Lunch with local wine pairing prepared in the open kitchen will have you thinking different. From the antipasto, pasta, main course and dessert, taste and learn as our host will inform and lead you through a new experience in cooking styles.
- Cooking Class 3: Your third cooking class is hands-on in the kitchen and includes making an antipasto, main course and dessert. Lunch or dinner follows with the foods prepared in class. Toast with a glass of wine and your meal includes the foods that were prepared in class. Always a sweet dessert included.
Thursday: Amalfi Coast & Ravello Excursion
- Breakfast is served.
- Drive along the famed Amalfi Coast to Amalfi and on to Ravello. At the half way, we stop to visit an artisan ceramic maker. A colorful array of the most beautiful Vietri ceramics and hand-painted volcanic tables in a variety of sizes. After a short break, take the Coast to Amalfi.
- The town of Amalfi is rich in culture and history. The small town, which was once a strong hold during the Maritime era sits on the low part of the coastline, is dominated by Amalfi’s Cathedral with its main streets lined with small shops and elegant bars. Artisans sell their herbs and spices, jewelry, shoes, and the beautiful handmade Amalfi paper. Ravello follows.
- Ravello is 1,198 feet/365 meters high and is known for its international music festival. Filled with villas & noblemen’s residences, it is a quiet kind of place. High on our list of things to see is the Villa Cimbrone, it was once the residence of Greta Garbo. In its garden is the Terrazza Della Rosa, and the Terrazzo dell’Infinito (Terrace of Infinity). The Terrace’s balcony hangs vertically also 1,198 high and is lined with marble busts that have been weathered away by the elements. You can see forever on a clear day.
- As you stroll along the streets and alleyways of Ravello, see the many churches, chapels, and gardens; and noted places where great Hollywood types filmed. Other important places to see are the Cathedral, Villa Rufolo, San Giovanni del Toro, and Santa Maria
Add-On The Amalfi & Ravello Food Lover’s Tour
- You may also reserve our private English guided tour with Anna and Alessio, professional guides and local residents, 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 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 and 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 our guide Anna or Alessio, tastings are included. (Guide’s fee is extra, please reserve in advance.)
- Return to Positano in the afternoon.
- Dinner on your own. Choose from our Restaurant Hot Pick List.
Friday: Watercolor Painting Class 3
- Breakfast is served.
- At this time you will be painting like a pro in your 3rd Watercolor Painting Class with Pasquale. Your final class will include a recap of technique, application, with questions & answers.
- Afternoon free and dinner on your own. Pick up some last minute gifts or ship a case of your favorite local wine home, to enjoy flavors of Italy long after you have returned home!
Saturday: Check Out & Departure
- Breakfast is served.
- Departure transfer to airport or train station. Ciao e a presto!
*Note: This schedule may vary due to inclement weather, saint days or 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 accommodations, based on double occupancy, at villa-style B&B, with private bathroom and sea view-in Positano. Click to view Accommodations Options & Upgrades!
- Daily breakfast.
- Welcome Aperitivo.
- Dinner including full course Chef’s Tasting Menu. Beverages not included.
- 3 hands-on cooking classes with lunch or dinner following. Toast with a glass of local wine, included, additional wine/beverages at a surcharge.
- 3 hands-on watercolor painting classes. Bring your own materials (brushes, paper, paints) or Pasquale has materials available at a surcharge.
- Amalfi Coast & Ravello excursion with private driver. (Private tour guide available on request).
- Olive Oil tasting with informal discussion.
- Cooking Vacations Chef’s apron and recipe booklet.
- Round trip group transfers from Naples Airport or Naples Train station to Positano.*
- * Wi-Fi internet connection available.
$3,195 per person, based on double occupancy with sea view. Includes all taxes and Italian VAT.
Click to view Accommodations Options & Upgrades!
$695 starting price for single supplement**
$2,895 per person, based on double occupancy with mountain view. Italian VAT included.
Click to view Mountain View Option!
$300 starting price for single supplement.
2019 Dates: This program is available throughout the year. Check in and start your 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.
ROUND TRIP TRANSFERS
*Round trip 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. 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. For single travelers not arriving on a Saturday, an additional transfer fee will apply. 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.
For single travelers not arriving/departing on a Saturday, an additional transfer fee will apply. All extra add on transfer fees are payable directly to the car service. 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.
The Cooking & Watercolor Painting program is set at an Italian villa-style Bed & Breakfast located in the center of town and overlooking the sea. Each bedroom has its own private terrace and sea view, a private bathroom & shower, hairdryer, safe, refrigerator and air conditioning. Breakfast is served each morning, and daily maid service is provided for your convenience.
Positano has many stairs throughout. People who do not like to walk or have health problems are advised to read up on the landscape of Positano and reserve the 3-Star~By The Piazza or 4-Star option. We suggest walking shoes, sun block, and a hat for excursions to Capri and Pompeii.
**Single supplement prices starting at, please call for more information.
Optional Add-On Classes & Tours:
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 & tours.
We suggest these add-on elements to your program to inspire your creativity in your painting classes. Please call us for pricing.
Capri Full Day Excursion
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.
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, re-embark on board with your 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.
Pompeii ~ Ancient Ruins
After breakfast, begin your day with an early morning excursion to Pompeii. Take inspiration for your own ceramic work from the ancient pottery you can see in these famous ruins. Visit the famous seat of this 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, and unravel the ancient mystery of the Roman Empire. Visit Pompeii’s open-air museum and explore the labyrinth of paths that lead you through the ruins of the buried city. Take time out for a panino in the café near the forum.
Our professional guide is available for the Pompeii tour. Please reserve in advance. (The guide’s fee is not included in the excursion).
Gourmet Lunch & Wine Tasting
Head to our favorite Ristorante for a Gourmet Tasting Lunch with Wine Tasting. Your four-course lunch includes appetizer, first course, second course & dessert with a glass of wine paired with each course. Additional wines/beverages at a surcharge.
Paestum ~ Greek Ruins In Italy
Your driver whisks you along the full stretch of the picturesque Amalfi Coast. Many regard the Amalfi Coast as Europe’s most beautiful stretch of land. The Amalfi Coast, or la Costiera Amalfitana, is a beautiful 50 kilometer stretch of mountainous coastline situated on the Sorrento peninsula between Sorrento and Salerno, just south of Naples, in the region of Campania. It has been a world-class destination for centuries with its dazzling white cliffs and stunning coastline.
Then explore the fascinating ruins of Paestum, dating from 500 BC. Amazingly similar to the Acropolis in Athens, these Greek ruins are off the beaten tourist track and you may be one of only a few visitors in the site. The complete tranquility will inspire you to take out a pencil, a paintbrush or even just collect a wildflower to dry in your journal.