Check back for 2014 tour dates
I just found the most spectacular new location-- the Italian Riviera and the Cinque Terre. The Cinque Terre (“Five Lands”) is made up of five small hillside fishing villages: Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, Riomaggiore, linked by a coastal footpath. This landscape is so unique that it was named a World Heritage site by UNESCO and it is also protected as a National Park and National Marine Sanctuary. If you haven’t been there, you have to put it on your “must do” list. The steep slopes are planted with vineyards and olive groves, and it is said that the salty sea air makes the grapes sweet and the olives and lemons so succulent and delicious! Plus the basil grows wild! We’ll prepare local specialties like Lasagne with Pesto, Focaccia al Formaggio, Farinata (think thin pizza made from chickpea flour and topped with sausage and cheese), and of course Fritto Misto (fried mixed seafood) prepared using the freshest just-caught fish from the Mediterranean. We’ll explore all five villages and we take a boat trip to the world-famous resort town of Portofino. Pack your sun glasses and suntan lotion for the trip of a lifetime!
Our hands-on classes will be held in the professional restaurant kitchen at the Hotel Pasquale, our home for the week. The Hotel Pasquale is right on the main street of Monterosso al Mare, directly in front of the fishermen’s beach. Talk about the freshest seafood!
The tour will include several hands-on cooking classes that focus on the best of Ligurian and Italian coastal cuisine, using organically-grown vegetables and herbs from the villa's garden, the outdoor market and local fishmongers. Some of my favorite recipes from this region include: Focaccia al Formaggio (delicious warm focaccia with creamy melted cheese), Homemade "Butterfly" Pasta with Peas, Ham and Parmigiano, Fritto Misto, Lasagne with Pesto, Insalata di Frutti di Mare con Salsa Verde (Seafood Salad with Garden Herb Sauce), Lamb Chops with Artichokes, Baked Stuffed Peaches, and Warm Walnut Cake with Mascarpone, just to name a few.
And of course there are wonderful Ligurian wines! Given the terraced hillsides, winemaking is a task undertaken by the most passionate of winemakers. There are so many incredible, indigenous grape varietals which grow in this region, and we’ll have a chance to sample all of them. Liguria is also known for its dessert wine and of course limoncino made from the fragrant lemons that grow all over the region.
We'll stay at the beautiful Hotel Pasquale on the main street in Monterosso al Mare, in the heart of the historic town of Monterosso, just steps from the Mediterranean Sea and pristine Monterosso beach. The villa is surrounded by a huge garden of lemon, orange, and olive trees and our breakfast buffet each morning includes freshly baked focaccia and homemade organic jams from the fruit trees on the property. Hotel Pasquale is owned by the wonderful Pasini family, and we’ll have our hands-on cooking classes in their professional restaurant kitchen which faces the beach.
The beautifully renovated rooms at Hotel Pasquale have gorgeous views of the historic village of Monterosso and the clear blue waters of the Ligurian Sea. The views are spectacular from every room!
During this exciting week we’ll visit the five breathtaking villages of the Cinque Terre: Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, Riomaggiore, and stroll the “Via dell’Amore”, one of the many walking paths with dramatic views of the Mediterranean and the vineyard slopes of the Ligurian coastline. We’ll visit a bakery to see how authentic focaccia al formaggio is made, and make fisherman’s soup along the docks. And of course we’ll take a boat tour and spend a day in the stunning resort town of Portofino.
Group meeting point in Pisa for pick-up and drop-off is: Pisa Centrale train station.
Questions? Contact us.