Liguria is one of the loveliest and most picturesque regions of Italy.
This region is home to captivating seaside villages such as Santa Margherita, Portofino and Camogli and further south to the simply darling Cinque Terre hamlets of Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore, not forgetting beautiful Portovenere just below the Cinque Terre. The coastline is breathtaking, with pastel colored villages crowned with medieval churches and abbeys rising up on dramatic rocky outcrops, and vineyards and olive groves descending vertically down to the turquoise sparkling sea.
Lush pine forests hug the coastline, shading many trekking paths between villages. This land so rich in history, culture, natural beauty, perfumes and mouth-watering cuisine will give you an extraordinary Italy experience. Ligurian cuisine is the true Mediterranean diet and characterized by its use of fresh herbs and vegetables such as basil, bay leaves, fennel, marjoram, zucchini (courgettes), eggplants (aubergines), seafood (anchovies, swordfish, sea bass, etc) and of course extra virgin olive oil and fragrant wines. Local specialties of the area include Focaccia (delicious flatbread), Pesto Genovese (gorgeous sauce made with basil, pine nuts, walnuts, Parmigiano and Pecorino cheese, and ample olive oil and garlic- all served over pasta), Vegetable quiches, Pansoti (hand-made pasta).
Learn more about Ligurian cooking in your own private cooking classes.
COOKING PROGRAM IN THE CINQUE TERRE
A cooking program based in the Cinque Terre area, famous for the five small fisherman villages and breathtaking views. You will stay in a 17th century estate only few minutes away from the most picturesque coastal villages of the Cinque Terre producing also the particularly fragrant olive oil and the quality wine of the Ligurian Riviera. The estate is surrounded by 15 hectars of silver green olive groves and bright green vineyards, only few minutes away from the beautiful Ligurian sea. The view from the estate is unique, in the distance one can see several small villages nestled in the valleys, a scene that becomes especially appealing by night when the ochre-colored church towers are bathed in a soft light. Olive groves and vineyards are skillfully cultivated thanks to the experience of the old farmers and the enthusiasm of the youngest descendent of the noble family. Olives, grapes, vegetables and fruit (which are used to prepare the delicious jams and preserves) are cultivated without the use of pesticide or chemicals, thus the guests will be able to taste 100% natural products. Fresh herbs are grown in the gardens for the guests to pick and use in their meals to get a true taste of Italy.
Alberto, the chef and your teacher for the cooking lessons, was born and grew up in this area, he formerly owned some restaurants in Liguria. Your hands-on lessons will feature typical Ligurian cuisine and simple, yet fresh and flavorful ingredients, most of them will be picked up from the garden of the Farmhouse.
COOKING PROGRAM IN PORTOFINO
Portofino is the gem of the Italian Riviera and this program will allow you to experience the daily life of that enchanting fishing village and to discover it from a different perspective. Your cooking classes will take place both in a cooking school in the heart of Portofino and in a small Villa, up on the hill, just few steps away from the centre. The Villa features a splendid garden terraced on three levels while the vineyard, olive trees and lemon trees are the framework to a spectacular view of Portofino bay. You will start your cooking class picking up vegetables and aromatic herbs from the vegetable garden of the cooking school, up the hill overlooking Portofino, where you enjoy the breathtaking panorama of the bay, then you will prepare together will the chef many typical Ligurian dishes.
After your lesson you will have time at leisure to discover the village.