5 DAYS COOKING LESSON TOUR AT CINQUE TERRE
Prices from 700 pounds
Available all year around
- Enjoy 4 nights in the family friendly luxury accommodation in La Spezia
- Discover Porto Venere’s stunning Gulf of the Poets bay
- Spend a day between the Unesco World Heritage fishing villages of the Cinque Terre
- Enjoy Lerici, a beautiful Mediterranean seaside corner
- Two hands-on, three-course cooking lessons guided by a professional chef
- One hands-on, three course ‘cooking on a budget’ lesson or themed meal or meal designed for youngsters
Two hands-on cooking lessons of three-course meals guided by a professional chef.
- Wine taste with local wines and traditional food
- Four breakfasts
- Fully escorted by a friendly, experienced, English speaker tour manager
- Train and ferry tickets
- Italian lessons
Not included: transfer to and from the airport
“Her passion for food is amply demonstrated by the awards she and her restaurant have received, including a mention from the Michelin guide.”
You will have three cooking lessons in five days. All our cooking lessons can cater for vegetarians.
Two lessons will be conducted by Silvia, a qualified and experienced chef and owner of one of the most popular restaurants in La Spezia. She was born in the countryside in this part of Italy into an extended family. Her family would prepare fresh pasta and sauces every day, using home-grown produce, herbs collected from the fields hereabouts and mushrooms, nuts and berries from nearby woods. All these ingredients, and the cooking skills she learned at home, are still at the core of Silvia’s way of cooking and an endless source of inspiration to her for new recipes. As an aspiring chef, she worked in various restaurants before opening her own in La Spezia.
Lessons with Silvia
The lessons with Silvia start in the morning. After a visit to the nearby open-markets to buy fresh fish, vegetables, fruit, meat and cheese, you’ll head back to the restaurant to begin preparing your dishes under Silvia’s expert guidance. In the course of preparing the three-course meals, you’ll learn different cooking techniques and culinary secrets while being encouraged to express yourself in the preparation of the available ingredients, according to the season of the year. Remember that Italian cuisine is strongly linked to the seasons and that all the ingredients are fresh either from the earth or sea so you will need to be very flexible and receptive towards the reality of Italian cooking: ‘Go to the market and see what is available, fresh and inspiring’.
“Silvia’s restaurant is passionate and welcoming. The food is growing every year and it is always more personal and more modern”
All the dishes that you prepare will become your own meals and you’ll be able to enjoy them in the restaurant, accompanied by quality, local wines.
Cooking lesson in Lerici
The third cooking lesson is based in Lerici, a beautiful sea side resort with lots of history, overlooking Porto Venere and Poets Bay.
In this lesson you will prepare either a themed meal, according to the ingredients available at the time of the year, or a “cooking on a budget” meal; alternatively, you can prepare a meal for younger guests.
Cooking on a budget with Nicoletta
For the “cooking on a budget” meal, for less than 14 pounds, you will cook a three-course meal under the guidance of our chef, Nicoletta. She will teach and demonstrate how to prepare a remarkable meal that doesn’t cost the Earth. Nicoletta owns a beautiful restaurant in the old part of Lerici, from which you can hear the sea. Nicoletta comes from a family of chefs and she and her brother started to serve customers in her parents’ restaurant when she was six years’ old. She told us that when the dishes were too heavy to carry they used to carry them together. So, since she was a little girl, she has been exposed to traditional Italian cuisine and learned how to cook beautiful recipes. Now, in her own restaurant, she enjoys creating food based on regional specialities from all over Italy. She is proud to pass her cooking knowledge and skills on to her own students. She will amaze and teach you with some very spectacular cooking skills such as ‘la fiammata’ (flambé). You will cook with Nicoletta and she will guide you throughout the process, giving you important tips on how to properly execute various cooking techniques, how to choose the right ingredients and how to create a special meal within your budget. Being a mother as well, Nicoletta can give you some good ideas on encouraging children to eat more healthily and how to prepare an impressive and enticing food party for younger guests.
After you have finished preparing dinner, you can go for a refreshing stroll around beautiful Lerici while Nicoletta and her staff set up the restaurant, ready for you. You will enjoy your meal with the local vino.
During this culinary adventure, you will have the chance to enjoy the Cinque Terre, a stunning and unforgettable part of Italy.
Cinque terre, five fishing villages, has been recognised by Unesco World Heritage since 1997. The villages are nestled between the Mediterranean Sea and the Appennine mountains. The tall, narrow houses are colourful and they reproduce the colour of the nature around them. No cars are allowed here, only boats, train and pedestrians. The landscape is characterised by olive trees, grape vines and classic Mediterranean vegetation. The typical ‘muri a secco’ (dry stone walls) run all around this area and the total length is popularly believed to be longer than the Great Wall of China.
Linked by stunning, cliff-top paths
The villages are linked by stunning, cliff-top paths. Some paths have names of their own, such as the ‘la via dell’amore’ (the path of love) or sentiero azzurro (the blue path).
Each village has its own special features and beauty
Riomaggiore is the start of the via dell’amore, Manarola hosts the museum of the Schiacchetra’, the typical wine from this area, the sleepy Corniglia seems to be a snapshot of times past, unaffected by modern times, Vernazza has a fascinating history, built by slaves during the Roman period, while Monterosso has inviting beaches and centuries-old towers.
Each village starts at the seashore before ascending the cliffs through small carrugi (paths), packed full of traditional restaurants, shops and coffee places.
All five villages have their own Santuario (Sanctuary) on one of the hills above the village. Years ago, the sanctuaries were used as places for socialising and trading by the people living in the fishing villages, because they were easy to access from the roads.
Discover the ‘Golfo dei Poeti’ (Bay of the Poets)
During this tour, we will discover the ‘Golfo dei Poeti’ (Bay of the Poets), a special place loved by the English poets Byron and Shelly and by the Italians Petrarca and Montale. Only when you are there can you understand the magic and beauty that attracted these fine minds to this breath-taking location.
You will see the bay where Byron swan in 1822 for 7 km to meet his friend Shelly and if you are brave enough you can join the ‘Coppa Byron’, a swimming race held in August every year to commemorate Lord Byron’s legendary swim.
You will taste a wine called Sciacchetrà from le Cinque Terre and you will understand why its nickname is ‘Brave’.
You will taste traditional foods such as the pizza Farinata, made from chick pea flour, that was a typical street food for the stevedores or the ‘mesciua’ (“mix” in dialect) soup made from a mix of different ingredients for the fishermen and you will cook food such as pasta al pesto, bucatini alla matriciana, minestrone soup, aubergine parmigiana, tiramisu’ and much more.
The accommodation comprises “Affittacamere” – family owned and run accommodation.
The Affittacamere is a typical Italian type of accommodation, that could be compared with a B&B. Our affittacamere is on the 16th floor of the highest building in La spezia and the location and the view are spectacular. All the ensuite room have a sea view, feature air-conditioning, parquet floors, free Wi-Fi and satellite TV. One of them has a spa as well.
Many artists who loved this place
The bay is a very wide and deep inlet at the eastern end of Liguria. Among the many artists who loved this place, David Herbert Lawrence, George Sand, Lord Byron and Percy Shelley are remembered here. Shelley had his last residence in Lerici: in 1822, on July 8th, he was drowned in rough seas while trying to reach San Terenzo with his schooner. The Gulf also hosts one of the most important Italian naval ports and arsenals, which has made La Spezia a site of considerable historical significance since the mid-19th century.
Language, traditions and culture
Every day you will be exposed to the Italian language, traditions and culture. You will cook for three days and you will take home the recipes and instructions you have learned with our chefs. The chefs will guide you in English and Italian, so you will learn not only how to cook, but how to speak some Italian s as well.