Join us in Venice for food, wine and dreams, along with extraordinary cooking experience in our Renaissance Women Tour. Sail on a gondola, stroll along the majestic Piazza San Marco, and meander through the Rialto Market. Venice’s beauty is infinite. You’ll discover Renaissance Venice in a week filled with cooking, touring and even a boat excursion to an artisan glassblowing workshop on the island Murano to visit an artisan glassblower and Burano to visit an artisan lacemaker.
As featured in June 2012 – Click here to read more!
Venice is a magical destination where where food and culture mesmerise – gondolas skim along narrow canals and festive Carnival masks are everywhere. Venice’s cuisine, which blends centuries and centuries of culture past, is delicious. During your stay, you will visit the Rialto Market which dates back to the ninth century, and bustles with venders selling fish, fruits and vegetables, artisan cheese, herbs, bread and wine. A trip to this market is an experience of Old World tradition and modern innovation. Also during your stay, learn about Venetian art, literature, and opera – and great artists, writers and composers who lived here. Our English-speaking guide welcomes you and shares stories and knowledge of this beautiful city. Get ready to cook, explore and fall in love with Venice.
Venetian Cooking Classes
In the kitchen, Chefs Enzo and Vittorio will teach you the best of Venetian cooking in hands-on cooking classes spanning ingredients from the Renaissance to today. You will learn the traditions and technique using farm-to-table products and produce from the Rialto Market. Fresh fish, meat, fruit, vegetables and produce are used to make antipasto, fresh pasta and sauces, risotto, main courses and desserts. Learn how to make peperonata, a local antipasto with red pepper, capers and olives, creamy risotto, or sea bass and artichokes. You will learn how to make Venetian desserts such as zaletti and bussole, biscotti. Tie on your apron and get ready for a splendid cooking experience with Chef Enzo and Vittorio in their Venetian kitchen!
Cooking Class menus vary by season, a sampler includes:
Seasonal vegetables sautéed and served with sea salt, herbs & olive oil
Risotto with shrimp and artichokes
Fresh sea bass encrusted in a bed of sea salt and slow baked
Venetian flan finished with a creamy cheese sauce
Risotto with mushrooms served with homemade sausage
Tenderloin encrusted with herbs
Creamy warm custard drizzled with Marsala wine and served with Baicoli biscotti
Fresh Pasta Menu
Venetian pasta served in a light tomato sauce with Parmesan cheese
Potato gnocchi with a duck sauce ragù
Fresh hand-made ravioli stuffed with fresh spinach, Ricotta,
Mozzarella, Parmesan cheese, and sautéed in sage butter
Mixed seasonal salad with fresh fruit, walnuts & extra virgin olive oil
Fresh fruit bavaroise
Menus vary using the highest quality ingredients available at the Rialto Market, and can be tailored to accommodate diet requests and allergies.
Live like a Venetian and step back in time at the privately-owned 4 star hotel in the heart of Venice. The hotel, a 17th century villa property nestled on a quiet waterway just off the Grand Canal, is a very short walk from the Accademia Bridge and vaporetto stop. Check in to your lovely and spacious bedroom furnished with Venetian antiques, beautiful linens, and modern comforts such as air conditioning, mini bar, international TV, private ensuite bath, and in-room wireless internet. A friendly and professional staff is at your service and ready to answer any questions and help you during your stay. An expansive daily breakfast with Venetian cakes, biscotti, fresh fruit, eggs, artisan bread, yogurt, ham, cheese, cappuccino, tea and fresh fruit juices is served in the elegant breakfast room overlooking the garden and waterway. Following breakfast, step outside and stroll along the canal where artisan shops, bookshops, wine bars, museums are conveniently located. The 4-star villa hotel is set in one of the most beautiful areas of Venice.
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Venice’s famous Rialto Market is a bustling place starting at dawn. Venders sail up from their barges, unload their products and set up their stands for what becomes a colorful scene of buyers, sellers and spectators – examining and negotiating between crates and stands. Fish is famous in Venice, along with farm-to-table fruit, vegetables and produce, herbs, spices, fruits and more. This is a landmark marketplace that has been in existence since 1097 with the same generation of established merchants shouting out their specials of the day.
The Campo Margherita
The Campo Margherita is a vibrant and welcoming place and the heart of the Dorsoduro district. The Campo takes its name from the Church of Saint Margherita, dating back to the 9th century. Surrounded by ancient buildings, today it is home to caffés, bookshops, wine bars, and artisan shops. The Campo wakes each morning with an outdoor market where locals vie for the best flower, fish, vegetable and fruit vendors. Caffés pepper the piazza where you can dine on breakfast to lunch, afternoon coffee and late night dinner and drinks.
The Accademia Museum
The perfect ending to any day is a visit to the Accademia, home to a collection of Venetian paintings from Veneto, as well as from the Byzantine and Gothic fourteenth century. There is a beautiful collection of Renaissance art from Bellini, Carpaccio, Giorgione, Veronese, Tintoretto and Tiziano to Gianbattista Tiepolo and Vedutisti. A must on every guest’s visit!!!
Murano – Glassmaking & Burano – Lacemaking
Murano, the closest Island to the main land, is the most famous of the Venetian Islands and noted for its artisan hand-blown glass. Venetians have been making crystal and glass here since the 10th Century – when the merchants of Venice brought back the secrets of glass production from the East. Murano is home to several famous glass producers who carry on the tradition of making Murano glass chandeliers, vases and glasses. The Island of Burano, the most picturesque of Venetian Islands, is known for its famous artisan lace makers. Small shops where Venetian woman still produce this precious lace line the canal. It’s a magical island that is also noted for its brightly painted houses built on the lagoon. Take time for lunch in any one of the quaint trattorias.
Food & Shopping Tour
This walking tour combines two experiences that make women happy: shopping and Venetian food specialties. The area between San Polo district and San Marco’s Square offers an elegant artisan shopping experience with a little bit of culture too. Discover traditional handicrafts made with love by locals. During the walk, you will visit boutiques and small shops selling beautiful bags, shoes, foulards, hats, home decor and glass jewels. Women know how demanding a shopping experience can be in terms of energy – and that is why we’ll take a couple of breaks to enjoy some Venetian food specialties. Thanks to the Old World traders and the Merchants of Venice, Venice has always been an interesting and important place for commerce. Spices, textiles, precious stones, are all there in the Rialto area. Learn about the first coffee shop that was opened in Venice and the caffè society that developed because of its creation. Venice is also home to the first cocoa dating back to the 1700s. On this food and shopping tour, our English-speaking guide will take you to the most delicious chocolaterie, Old World chocolate maker, to delight your palate with a sweet treat. Celebrate this glorious day together as we end this tour in a beautiful caffè located in a XIX century greenhouse. You’ll toast to life with a glass of wine Prosecco or spritz, the most popular aperitivi and Venetian bruschette.
Duration: 3 hours
Itinerary ~ 7 days, 6 nights
Day 1: Arrival & Welcome Dinner
- Arrival to Venice at the train station. Meet your Captain for a water taxi transfer to the hotel. Check in, relax and enjoy your welcome Prosecco.
- Later in the evening, enjoy your Chef’s Welcome Dinner featuring local fare of antipasto, pasta, main course and dessert. Wine & beverages are not included.
Day 2: Cooking Class 1 ~ Venetian Food & Shopping Tour
- Breakfast is served.
- Following breakfast, meet your chefs in the kitchen for your hands-on cooking class 1. Tie on your apron and get ready for a morning of slicing, dicing and cooking. The cooking class includes an antipasto, pasta, main course and dessert. Lunch follows and includes the foods that were prepared in the class. Wine and water included.
- In the afternoon, meet your guide for our Campo Santa Margherita Tour. Enjoy our tour that will take you to the best addresses in the most exclusive area. From artisan shops and boutiques, join our English-speaking guide for shopping, culture and caffè society.
- During the tour, we take time out to enjoy the art of tea. Tea Time is still an art in magical Venice, and our next stop is a famous 18th Century caffé serving hand-made pastries, biscotti and gelato. Pen your inspirations in your travel journal and sit back and enjoy your tea and pastry.
- Evening free and dinner on your own. Suggestions provided.
Day 3: Rialto Market Tour & Cooking Class 2
- Breakfast is served.
- Following breakfast, meet our Chef for a tour of the Rialto Market. The Rialto Market is a historic place where venders have been selling their fruits, vegetables, fish, artisan cheese, wine and bread since the 9th century. Learn about the local cuisine as you discover the market’s history and products. After the market visit, head into the kitchen for your hands-on cooking class 2 preparing an antipasto, fresh pasta or risotto, main course and dessert. Following the cooking class, everyone enjoys the food that was prepared in the cooking class. Wine and waters included.
- Later afternoon, free to explore on your own.
- Evening free and dinner on your own, suggestions provided.
Day 4: Cooking Class 3
- Breakfast is served.
- Following breakfast, meet your chefs in the kitchen for your hands-on cooking class 3. Tie on your apron and get ready to prepare an antipasto, pasta and sauce, main course and dessert. Lunch follows and includes the foods that were prepared in cooking class. Wine and water included.
- Afternoon is free. Suggestion: Take a gondola ride along the Grand Canal, visit La Fenice, or stop into Harry’s Bar for a Bellini.
- Dinner is on your own, suggestions provided.
Day 5: Sail To Murano – Artisan Glassblowing & Burano – Artisan Lacemaking
- Breakfast is served.
- This special Murano tour includes a boat trip to Murano for glassblowing and then to Burano for lacemaking. Sail to Murano and visit the world’s most prized glass artisans. Artisan glass blowers transform glass into beautiful art pieces. Meet your host on the island for a tour of a family-owned Venetian glass workshop. Learn the art of glass blowing and see the masters turn glass into art. This tour includes a tour of the workshop and a demonstration of glass making. After your tour, take time to stroll the main waterway, sip a caffè and sambuca, and shop for artisan creations of Murano glass. The tour ends here and you can opt to stay on Murano for lunch, continue on to Burano or Torcello, and or return to Venice on your own aboard the public vaporetto, water bus. Then, continue onto Burano known for the artisan lace, and the local speciality bussolai buranelli, Venetian biscotti. 5 hour tour.
- Take time out to lunch on your own in any one of the quaint restaurants.
- Following your Murano and Burano tour, return to the hotel.
- Dinner on your own, suggestions provided.
Day 6: Bacaro & Cicchetti Tour With Wine & Food Tastings
- Breakfast is served. Morning is free to relax.
- In the afternoon, meet your guide for your Bacaro Tour. This walking tour includes a 2-hour stroll through Venice with stops in historical bacari, the typical Venetian bar, where cicchetti, small bites and ombra, wine, is served, This tour explores the tradition of the aperitivo in Venice in relaxing stroll, with wine and food tastings included.
- Later afternoon, free to explore on your own.
- Dinner is free and on your own.
Day 7: Departure
- Breakfast is served.
- Ciao – Arrivederci!
- 7 days, 6 nights in a 4 star boutique hotel set on a beautiful canal, based on 2 guests in a classic room. Upgrade to a superior room with canal view is available upon request.
- Daily breakfast and maid service.
- Welcome dinner including a Chef’s tasting menu with full course Venetian fair. Wine and beverages not included.
- 3 cooking classes, followed by lunch or dinner including0 the foods that were prepared in class. Wine and water included.
- Tour of the Rialto Market visit with English-speaking guide.
- Tour of Campo Santa Margherita and Tea Talk, including afternoon tea with English-speaking guide.
- Boat excursion to Murano for glassblowing tour and Burano for lacemaking visit. Lunch on your own.
- Arrival and departure transfers from Venice Santa Lucia Train Station by water taxi to the property.
- Cooking Vacations welcome bag with chef’s apron, Prosecco toast, hand-made journal and recipe booklet.
$3,695 per person, based on 2 guests in a 4 star boutique hotel set on a beautiful canal in a classic room. Superior rooms with canal view are available upon request.
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.
Transfers from Venice Marco Polo Airport, including a hostess to meet you and accompany you from the airport to to your hotel, are available at a surcharge. Please call us for pricing, as prices vary depending on the number of guests in your group. Porter service is not included, call us for prices.
*Supplement may apply during fair dates. An Italian visitor tax may apply in some cities and must be paid directly on site at check out.