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7 Days "La Dolce Vita" Cooking Holidays in Italy

  • Casa Gregorio, Via Civita 67, 03020 Castro dei Volsci, Italy

7 Days "La Dolce Vita" Cooking Holidays in Italy

  • Casa Gregorio, Via Civita 67, 03020 Castro dei Volsci, Italy

Cooking Vacations in Italy

A taste of la dolce vita culinary is a new culinary program offered by Casa Gregorio for the guests of our newly redesigned Villa Marcello. Each cooking class you will make a complete four- course menu with your chef to further the gourmet culinary experience of being in the Roman countryside. You will have the opportunity to savor the best of local Italian food and wine tradition the area has to offer.


  • Cooking classes
  • Olive oil culinary tour
  • Wine tour and tasting
  • Limoncello factory visit
  • Traditional family dinner
  • Mozzarella and prosciutto fabricator
  • Historical city guided tours
  • 6 nights accommodation
  • 6 days with instruction
  • Italian, English
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Monday - "La dolce vita" begins

Your culinary vacation begins with transfers from the Rome Fiumicino airport to Casa Gregorio's Villa Marcello, where a welcome aperitivo is followed by a "benvenuto" lunch.

Following lunch you will enjoy a short guided tour of the medieval town of Castro dei Volsci.

Unwind and unpack, in the early evening, you will set off to the lovely town of Pofi and the ristorante Borgo Antico where you will gather for your first-night welcome dinner: a special luxury menu designed by our host Fabio accompanied by a selection of the best local wines sets you off on your journey of "la dolce vita".

Tuesday - 1st dolce vita menu, olive oil culinary tour, and traditional family dinner

Breakfast is at the newly renovated bar of Casa Gregorio.

After breakfast you will set off to the family-run mozzarella factory "Ponte di Legno". Here you will watch the making of Buffallo mozzarella.

On the way back you will have time to visit the local towns farmers market.

Upon return, your first cooking lesson begins at the Casa Gregorios culinary kitchen, where you will prepare your first complete "dolce vita" menu.

With your chef you'll create a perfect antipasto, a sumptuous primo piatto, a delicious secondo with the proper contorni and a fabulous dessert.

You will enjoy the food prepared with our chef at one of the Casa Gregorio dining facilities with some of the best local wines selected to enhance and highlight the quality of the food.

After you will enjoy a perfect espresso, or cappuccino to close our lunch and you will have some time to relax.

Departure to your olive oil tour in the town of Arpino, birthplace of Cicero and land of the olives. You will visit a traditional olive oil mill and are explained the process of how to make extra virgin olive oil. Proceed to a local estate and taste the fresh olive oil.

Tonight you will be hosted by a local family: la famiglia di Falco will prepare a traditional Italian family dinner in their farmhouse.

Wednesday - 2nd dolce vita menu, mozzarella making, and Tyrrhenian seaside

La dolce vita continues with a traditional Italian breakfast at Casa Gregorio bar.

After breakfast its time to visit Patrizios family farm to watch and assist the making of fresh sausages and authentic italian goat-cheese at the local cheese Caseificio "la pastorella" having a sample of dried sausage.

Upon return it's time to start your second menu prepared together with your chef and enjoyed with a special selection of wines in one of the charming Casa Gregorio's dining rooms.

In the afternoon its time for your journey to the Tyrrhenian seaside town of Sperlonga. A view of the sea and a stroll by a few shops with a delicious gelato.

Today you will dine by the beach at the local trattoria Centosedici, located in the seaside town of Terracina.

Thursday - Dolce vita dinner in the olive mill, prosciuttificio Erzinio, and Amaretti cookies

Today after breakfast at Casa Gregorio you have a free morning to enjoy a walk in the hills around or just relax.

In the late morning you will continue our dolce vita experience at Casa Gregorio's kitchen where with our chef you will prepare yet another 4-course meal and enjoy the dining ambiance of our 16th century Frantoio, savoring your culinary delights accompanied by yet another selection of local wines.

After lunch its time to set off for Guarcino, the Parma of Ciociaria, where youll visit prosciuttificio Erzinio (a prosciutto factory) and also have a sample of authentic Amaretti cookies.

After a walking tour of the historical town of Alatri, your host Gregory has organized for you a special dinner at a local "ristorante" to introduce you to an authentic "cucina italiana" and the wines that complement.

Friday - Pizza class, limoncello making, and shopping in Frosinone

Breakfast today is served at Casa Gregorio.

Soon after breakfast you will discover how to make a perfect pizza dough.

While our dough is rising it's time for you to discover that the making of limoncello and other typical liqueurs is much easier than you thought at the artisan factory Bonitempi.

Upon return at Casa Gregorio you will enjoy making and topping your pizza, cooking it in our pizza oven and savoring it at lunch.

After lunch you have a couple of hours to relax or have a walk on the hills around.

Now is time for some shopping in Frosinone.

You will complete our program with a multi-course dinner at ristorante Il Frantoio, in the historical town of Boville Ernica.

Saturday - Wine tour and special farewell dinner

Breakfast at Casa Gregorio.

The experience continues to one of the best wineries of Ciociaria, Villa la Ferriera in Atina, where you visit the cantina and our host will introduce you to the making and testing of wine.

Your lunch today is at the old cantina Visocchi now totally restored with antique winery relics into a sophisticated restaurant called le Cannardizie.

Your host Patrizia Patini, a sommelier, will give you a taste and sampling of yet another fantastic wine of the region, followed by lunch.

Go back to Castro dei Volsci with some time to relax.

Your final-night farewell dinner is in our towns local restaurant Il Ditirambo, where a special menu, created by its chef, to mix up local traditions and new suggestions- a way we think is the best to conclude your "la dolce vita" dining experience and to extend to you our arrivederci.

Sunday - Departure

Breakfast and departure.

Casa Gregorio hope you enjoyed your culinary vacation in the Roman countryside.

  • Limoncello artisan factory Bonitempi
  • Local towns farmers market
  • Mozzarella factory "Ponte di Legno"
  • Oil tour in the town of Arpino
  • Patrizios family farm
  • Sausage and Italian goat-cheese factory
  • Tyrrhenian seaside town of Sperlonga
  • Visit of historical town of Boville Ernica
  • Visit prosciuttificio Erzinio in Guarcino
  • Walking tour of the historical town of Alatri
  • Winery visit and tasting
  • Gregory Tesolin Aulensi

    My name is Gregory Aulensi and I was born and raised in Michigan. In my mid twenties I moved to sunny South Florida where I established and carried on my interior design business for several years. Upon a family trip to the Roman Countryside of Italy called "Ciociaria" I took a leap of fate and now find myself now living the "Under the Tuscan Sun" dream in Lazio, Italy.

This retreat will take place in Ciociaria, a traditional region of Central Italy without a defined border and historical identity. In the middle ages, this region was referred to as Campagna. The local dialect, now known as Ciociaro, was earlier referred to as Campanino. In more recent times, the term Campagna Romana, or Roman Campagna, a favorite subject of countless painters from all over Europe, has referred to the adjoining region to the north of Ciociaria, but part of the province of Rome. The name Ciociaria comes from the primitive footwear of its inhabitants called "ciocie". These "sandals" were put on by the Latins, that will be identified with the appellative of Ciociari in the following centuries, hence "Ciociaria"; now that kind of shoes are not used in everyday life, but remain as a traditional symbol. They are worn by folk groups members of the province of Frosinone or on the historical feasts.

The ciocia is an ancient kind of shoe, with a simple and primitive form, that doesn't wrap completely the foot, because the upper part is open. The foot is anchored to the ciocia by an interlacement of leather laces, inserted in special side holes; so the foot sticks to this special "sandal", making it sure and comfortable. Ciociaria has a full calendar of food fairs, entertainment events and music festivals, as well as a variety of traditional feasts. Religious, country and rural traditions are still strong and alive. The celebrations of the patron saints with the processions, the performance of bands, singers and groups, the illuminations and fireworks, the fairs and popular games, the palios and tournaments among the towns quarters witness the desire of the Ciociarian people to preserve the authenticity of their peasant culture with their typical costumes, music, rites, and gastronomy.

During your cooking classes Marco and Pasqualina will share with you all the secrets to cook authentic Italian recipes using all the key ingredients of Italian cooking. You will learn how to make a perfect sauce, homemade pasta, gnocchi, and many others Italian delicacies. Anna, the pizza maker specialist, will teach you how to make a great real Italian pizza in the Palazzo Gregorio gourmet kitchen facility with an authentic wood burning pizza oven.

The Casa Gregorio fully equipped kitchen with an amazing view on the hill-top around will be the unique set of informal and friendly Italian cooking classes, where you will learn how to make a perfect Italian menu sipping on a glass of great regional wine, listening to background music and experiencing many laughs. After cooking classes you will enjoy the fruits of your efforts. Daily breakfast, lunch and dinner is included in this package, many of them accompanied by the best selection if regional wines.

  • 6 nights accommodation at Villa Marcello, Casa Gregorio
  • Food and beverages
  • Hands-on culinary classes
  • Roundtrip airport transfers
  • Tours of local culinary related locations
  • Airfare is not included in the price.

Arrival by airplane

Leonardo Da Vinci Fiumicino International Airport (FCO) is the closet airport at 1.5 hours away.


  • Review by Travelers

    "Wow! Where do I begin.....Casa is over the top, located on a gorgeous mountain but also in every detail you could imagine. From Gregorio to Peter to the amazing staff, food, lessons, passion, love, joy, great wine, the Palazzo, the rooms, I could go on and on. My good friend Donna and I had no idea what to expect and we were blown away. We spent 1 week with 7 other spectacular women and had a great time. I highly recommend Casa Gregorio!!"

    TripAdvisor site, edited

  • Review by a traveler from United States
    8 out of 10

    "If I could give Casa Gregorio 10 stars I would! Gregory and his team were fabulous and exceeded All of our expectations. My daughter and I wanted a cooking experience with a little sightseeing. We ended up with the trip of a lifetime with the memories to keep."

    "The cooking piece exceeded our hopes, but the daily excursions were more than I would have ever imagined! It is quite clear that Gregory has an intimate knowledge of the region. Because of that knowledge, Gregory was able to take us places and introduce us to so many interesting people. Talk about getting to know the real Italy and not the touristy side. Every detail was meticulously addressed."

    "The palazzo has such a wonderful old world feel with the olive mill, stone walls, and spectacular views. But don't worry, the old world meets today's world with the accommodations. Gregory's designer background are displayed with warmth and marry the generations flawlessly."

    "His team is knowledgeable, courteous, energetic and so much fun! They add to the daily excursions with the history of the area, tidbits of local information and a true love of their home. In the kitchen, they make things not only taste delicious but fill you with the confidence that you'll be able to cook when you're back home. It's easy to see that everyone loves their job. And how refreshing is that..."

    "If you are evening considering a trip off the beaten path, take this trip. If you want to learn to cook the Italian way, take this trip. I guess I'm saying, take this trip!"

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by a traveler from United States
    8 out of 10

    "When I booked my trip to Italy, the experience I was looking for was authentic, and getting expose to the real Italian lifestyle, while trying as much Italian food as possible. Every expectation, dream, and desire I had were surpassed at Casa Gregorio. The staff at Casa Gregorio truly make the experience memorable. Everyone was so friendly and accommodating. The cooking instructors are truly passionate about the food they make, and make cooking fun! The accommodations at Casa Gregorio are incredible, with every detail having been purposeful creating an atmosphere feel homey, and chic all at the same time. The daily tours and dining out experiences are incredible and expose the tourists to the real Italy. This holiday feeds your appetite and soul. I feel as if I left a part of my heart in Castro."

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by Roger W

    "This was our first return to Italy since living there 25 years ago. I gave this to my wife as a Christmas present, plus it was also my birthday. Let me simply say this - the entire week at Casa Gregorio exceeded our expectations in all areas. It is truly "Italian" in every sense of the word - off the tourist beaten track. A wonderfully varied week of excursions with excellent meals, outstanding venues, friendly people... we could just go on and on. And oh yes... the cooking classes. There is a reason I went on a diet before going, and enjoyed every bite! Gregory and his entire staff were wonderful. His attention to detail in every aspect of the week was Fantastic. And the food... Molto Grazie Gregory! We will be back again!"

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by Amiede H

    "Thank you for an amazing experience. I have travelled many places and have been to different areas of Italy. This experience makes the top two experiences in my book. Truly an authentic Italian experience. Never before I have felt at home, with each detail taken care of. What a great time learning many different cooking techniques and tasting many foods. I could not have asked for more. Special thanks to Peter, who made the trip even more memorable with stories and explanations for everything. Thank you again."

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  • Review by traveler from United States

    "Words can't describe what an amazing vacation we had at Casa Gregorio. Gregorio has managed to capture and give an authentic and personalized experience of the real Italian countryside to his guests. Cooking, eating and participating in the culture through field trips to local producers of Italian staples like prosciutto, olive oil, wine, cheese and olives to learn about how these foods are made add to the authentic immersion into Italy. The staff is top notch and attentive to your every need. Five star accommodations and service. The Casa Gregorio team is now like family."

    Trip Advisor website, edited

  • Review by Jorgeann S

    "Casa Gregorio exceeded my expectations in every way. The staff are knowledgeable, friendly, and very accommodating. The Casa is absolutely beautiful, the surrounding village is Italy at its finest. The classes and tours were both fun and informative. Then there is the food, delicious, plentiful, and beautifully presented."

    Trip Advisor website, edited

  • Review by Yajaira from Costa Rica

    "We had a marvelous stay at Casa Gregorio. Excellent service and dining. The culinary classes were both educational and entertaining. Chef Marco was extremely knowledgeable and passionate. For sure, one of the best experiences of my life."

    Trip Advisor website, edited

  • Review by a traveler from United States

    "The moment you step into Casa Gregorio (more like Villa Gregorio) you begin a journey that will remain forever in your heart. It is not just a culinary experience, but it's a travel into the past. Casa Gregorio is the jewel of Castro dei Volsci, a postcard medieval town, tucked away on top of a hill, a mountain.When you walk on the cobblestone, narrow streets, you feel its history all around you. The dcor in this house reflects the impeccable taste of its owner and host Gregorio. The staff is outstanding: very friendly and professional.You don't only learn how to prepare delicious meals, but you get to experience the nearby towns, the places where they make prosciutto, cheeses, oil, wine, a farmer's market. At the end of the day, you return to the "casa" where you gather with the chef in the most incredible kitchen, put on your apron and begin another culinary experience.The meals are served in a different room every night. I won't give you any more details. I would like you to be surprised when you go there. This vacation in the countryside of Rome, will forever be remembered by my husband and I as a very special moment; a very rare, special moment that we were lucky to experience in our lives. We stayed in the Saffron room and it was amazing."

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  • Review by a traveler from United States

    "This was a truly extraordinary experience. My mother, three sisters and two friends spent a week at Casa Gregorio in May of this year. The location is beautiful; the school is located in a hill village with seemingly no other tourists around. The town is picturesque and gives you the experience of being in a medieval village looking down on a gorgeous valley.As many others have commented, Gregorio and has staff are absolutely wonderful - friendly, accommodating and highly efficient.Its the first time I've ever been on vacation and wanted for absolutely nothing. We were traveling with my 82 year old Mom who has some ambulatory issues and Greg and the staff took wonderful care of her.The Casa has been totally updated, is decorated exquisitely and was both beautiful and comfortable. The cooking was fun and the lessons easy to understand for someone like me, who has never really cooked Italian food before.Although we were kept relatively busy, the pace was not frenetic and the week was pretty relaxing. I can't recommend the Casa Gregorio highly enough if you want a cooking experience. I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity and look forward to going back!"

    Trip Advisor website, edited