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Live a fun activity steeped in culture and customs, in a real-family environment! Get to know the Italian and local culture through its food and wine; chat and have a glass of wine during the cooking lesson and relax while you dine. Learn the secrets of the authentic Italian cuisine and its genuine ingredients through our private hands-on cooking classes in Matera. Mary will welcome you and your friends in her private kitchen where you will cook traditional dishes that you can easily reproduce at home and enjoy the masterpiece you haveve just learned to prepare!
Lo Scorcio is a brand new luxury apartment in the heart of the Sassi and of the historic center. It is a stylish typical dwelling that has undergone a fine renovation and that retains all the charm of the past. It offers breathtaking views of the Sassi and the Murgia park and its the best way to fully enjoy your stay in Matera. Accommodation is in a large, private apartment that can accommodate two to five guests. The apartment has a separate bedroom with a double bed, 2 extra beds and a living room with an additional double bed. That is meant for family groups. Additional private room(s) is available on request. If a group of more than 2 people were to book the experience together but wanted different accommodations, please send your request to Cook'n Fun at Mary's.
Cook'n Fun at Mary's cooking classes will allow you to live a fun activity steeped in culture and customs, in a real-family environment! You will get to know the Italian and local culture through its food and wine. Chat and have a glass of wine during the cooking lesson and relax while you dine. Learn the secrets of the authentic Italian cuisine and its genuine ingredients through our private hands-on cooking classes.
Mary will welcome you and your friends in her private kitchen where you'll cook four traditional dishes that you can easily reproduce at home and enjoy the masterpiece you have just learned to prepare! Once everything is cooked, you will sit around my kitchen table and enjoy your meal paired with a good wine. According to the most typical Italian tradition, an espresso will conclude this adventure. At the end of the classes you will receive your Italian cooking diploma and a gift to remember this special experience.
As part of the club, you will keep receiving Cook'n Fun at Mary's newsletter and updates on recipes, menus, tips and secrets of the Italian cuisine, and you may count on their support if you need help in recreating their recipes. Classes are hands-on: you will not just watch, you will take an active role in making your own meal!
Cook'n Fun at Mary's guided tour of the Sassi will allow you to discover a truly unique town. It is one of the oldest towns in the world and you will be surprised by its original urban pattern mostly unchanged through the centuries and by the merge of man-made rock dwellings and natural caves. As the town expanded, new streets were often constructed on the rooftops of other houses and it is this layering of the Sassi houses that has created the extraordinary images for which Matera has become famous.
These cave dwellings were lived until the 1950s and you will have a chance to understand the misery of these inhabitants and see how their unhealthy homes have now become luxury hotels and restaurants. Cook'n Fun at Mary's excursion to the Murgia Park will take your breath away! The stunning panorama you will enjoy will be hard to forget, and it will also grant you a different point of view over the Sassi district. The unspoiled scenery, the majesty of the Gravina canyon, the beauty of the frescoes in the rupestrian churches, are only a few of the many unique things you will get to admire during this memorable experience.
Mary was born and raised in the beautiful town of Matera. During her childhood she had many times the opportunity to watch her grandmother and her aunts gather around the kitchen table and prepare traditional dishes and ancient family recipes. She gathered knowledge during the years spent in USA, Milan and Parma. She then puts her passion to use and offers a memorable and mind-opening experience to those who visit this unique town and wish to make the best of their stay, by taking part to a fun and relaxing activity steeped in culture and customs, in a real-family environment.
This retreat will take place in Italy, visiting Matera and Sassi.
Matera is a unique and fascinating town steeped in history. Thought to be one of the world’s oldest towns dating back as far as the Paleolithic times, Matera is now a popular tourist destination.
The most famous part of Matera is the Sassi district, designated UNESCO World Heritage Site and the European Capital of Culture for 2019. The simple natural grottoes that dotted the gorge were adapted to become homes. In time, an ingenious system of canals regulated the flow of water and sewage, and small hanging gardens lent splashes of color.
As the town expanded, new streets were often constructed on the rooftops of other houses and it is this ‘layering’ of the Sassi houses that has created the extraordinary images for which Matera has become famous. The cave dwellings were lived in until the 1950’s and are the most extensive example of their kind in the Mediterranean. Here you can see hundreds of troglodyte dwellings and churches dug out of the rock.
Matera has a large selection of churches and monasteries representing virtually the entire history of the Christian church. Some of these are just simple caves with a single altar and fresco and some are more complex cave networks with large underground chambers, thought to have been used for meditation by monastic orders over the years.
Over the past 10 years Sassi has undergone extensive re-development and now hosts some incredible and luxurious cave hotels, private homes and restaurants, lovingly restored to enhance their original features. Explore this complex network of caves, churches, streets, stairways, archways and terraces on foot to experience the best of this atmospheric city.
The delicious local and regional cuisine has been influenced by Basilicata’s colorful history and cultural roots, with healthy and genuine ingredients which make up tasty and wholesome dishes that recall the ancient farming traditions and reflect the principles of the world-known Mediterranean Diet. The key words in the cuisine of Matera are: simplicity, strong flavors, tradition and rustic ingredients.
The rich agricultural traditions and the flocks of sheep, which are common in the area, provide great ingredients that are used in the tasty local cuisine. Olives are grown in the countryside near Matera and are used to make an excellent extra-virgin olive oil that is the pride of local producers. The local wheat is used to make large, long-lasting loaves of bread.
The bread of Matera is considered by many to be the best in Italy and it is now awarded the IGP certification by the European Community. Wheat is also important for the traditional production of homemade pasta. The locally produced milk is used to make excellent fresh cheeses - such as mozzarella, burrata and ricotta - and seasoned cheeses, like pecorino, caciocavallo and cacioricotta. Flavorful vegetables and legumes - fava beans, chickpeas, Sarconi beans - are also cultivated in the region and are very common ingredients for the delicious local dishes.
Garlic, olive oil and peperoncino form the base of most sauces, to which vegetables or meats may be added. Cutturrid is the most traditional and representative meat dish: lamb meat and vegetables cooked in a typical terracotta pignatta for several hours. There are also local wine specialties to match with such great meals: the prized IGP Aglianico (a full-bodied, red wine) and the DOC Matera wines (three red varieties and three white ones).
Below are 7 different menus that Mary suggests for your cooking lesson!
Cook'n Fun at Mary's can arrange special classes and menus for people with food intolerances. Please contact them and let them know your needs and they’ll be glad to meet your requests!
Please book your flight to arrive at Bari Karol Wojtyła Airport (BRI).
Please arrive at Matera train station.
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