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Italian Gelato Making Holidays

Join a profound course of instruction for the production of the fastest growing confectionery delicacy in the world: Italian artisan gelato. Learn the theoretical and biological constants, indispensable for perfect gelato making followed by the techniques necessary to produce personalized flavors according to taste, client trends, regional availability of raw materials, etc. Held in the beautiful Calabrian region of Italy you'll visit several artisan gelato shops and taste everything before getting to work.

Meet the instructors

John, Leonardo, & Umberto
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  • 5 gelato technique & production classes
  • Visit to gelato makers and gelato tastings
  • Visit Italian open air market Mercatino for tastings
  • Daily breakfast, lunch, dinner with wines
  • Recipe and techniques manual
  • Certificate upon completion
  • 7 nights accommodation


5 days with instruction in English
Spoken languages: Italian, English
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Hotel Baia dell'Est***, Calabria, Italy

Located on a bluff with what may be the most spectacular view in southern Italy, our 3-star hotel offers guests an oasis of stunning Mediterranean beauty and comfort. Guest rooms and private villas all face the seaside are equipped with all modern comforts and amenities including individual climate control, satellite TV, in-room safes, telephone and internet access. Private apartments with kitchen areas are also available.

The Baia dell'Est is located on a two acre plateau just above the bustling resort towns and perfect for a morning run or biking. There are two bars and a restaurant on premises offering the best cuisine from all regions of Italy and Europe. Ideal for ICI's longer programs, the Baia dell'Est is located just steps away from the facilities where most of the lab time for ICI courses are conducted.


  • All-news channel in English
  • Data ports on phone
  • Free WiFi
  • Hairdryer
  • Kitchen area is available in studios
  • Refrigerator
  • Telephone
  • TV with remote control
  • Work desk


Day 1: Arrival, welcome dinner

  • Arrival, check-in and welcome dinner

Day 2: Gelato tour and tasting, free time

  • Visit to gelato makers and gelato tastings
  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Excursion and tasting of gelato.
  • Lunch
  • Afternoon free.
  • Dinner

Day 3: Gelato class

  • Background; Raw Materials; Fundamental Rules and Chemistry
  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Background study, Raw materials study
  • Lunch
  • Fundamental rules study, Chemistry study, Safety and hygine study
  • Dinner at a classic trattoria

Day 4: Gelato class

  • Equilibrating; Mixes & Additives; Machines & Equipment
  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Equilibrating study
  • Lunch
  • Mixes and additives study, Machines and equipment study
  • Dinner at a classic pizzeria

Day 5: Gelato class

  • Recipe Development & Production
  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Recipe development and production study part I: Cream Based, Egg Based
  • Lunch
  • Recipe development and production study part II: Fruit and Cream Based, Sorbet; Production planning study
  • Dinner

Day 6: Gelato class

  • A flavor for every taste: Personalizing flavors
  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Personal production study
  • Lunch
  • Difficult flavors study, Coloring study, Tasting, analysis and critique.
  • Dinner

Day 7: Market visit, gelato class, certificate awarding, farewell dinner

  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Market visit to a traditional Mercatino
  • Personalizing flavors study,Troubleshooting study
  • Lunch
  • Merchandising study, Secondary products study
  • Farewell dinner
  • Awarding of certificates

Day 8

  • Departure

Italian Culinary Institute Ice Cream Making Program

Gelato makers visit and gelato tasting (day 2)

As not all gelato is the same, neither are all gelato shops. Production volume, laboratory dimensions, display space and style, the diversity of audiences and, of course, the philosophy of flavor help make up distinctly different units even in the same town or city.

By visiting several different locations prior to the laboratory phase of this program, participants will gain a keen idea of how and where he/she wishes to place his/her own activity with regards to these special considerations as well as an inside look at how other established professionals have chosen their equipment and designed their shops.

Several special gelato tastings will enable participants to distinguish flavors, textures and balance on the palate at the onset of this program and work toward defining personal tastes, and those of potential patrons, which will be all important in the coming days.

Background study: Gelato yesterday and today (day 3)

Few food products, especially confectionery, have existed with so little change for so much time. This brief background provides a panorama on why gelato remains Italy's favorite dessert while giving an insight to the 'gelato culture' that continues grow and which has contributed to annual sales that even surpass pizza. The benefits and restrictions for the production, display, sale and distribution for the five main types of gelato: Cream based, egg based, fruit and cream based, sorbets, special bases.

Raw material study (day 3)

An examination of the principle raw ingredients used for bases and selecting the best products available according to specific principles followed by a presentation and tasting of many of the flavors used in gelato making internationally: sugars, milks, creams and eggs, flavors.

Chemistry study (day 3)

Chemistry review of the physics involved in production of component recipes, the final product and secondary products relating to the functional characteristics of each element. Understanding how each ingredient reacts within these principles enable participants to create master gelato recipes used as a base for all subsequent recipes: Fats, coloring, stabilizers and tactility, additives.

Safety and hygiene study (day 3)

Gelato production is comprised of several steps all of which include highly perishable products. Proven work habits are introduced that go far beyond standard international HAACP regulations ensuring not only a sanitary production line but, most importantly, a better product. This standard method can be applied to both single operations as well as multiunit establishments. Overview of dangerous microorganisms and how to prevent development through proper handling and sanitation along the production process.

Equilibrating study (day 4)

Structure is what makes gelato so uniquely appealing. Equilibrating is the technique which, once mastered, will deliver perfect gelato every time and everywhere. Based on the chemistry review of the previous day, the techniques are applied for equilibrating liquids and solids for cream, egg, syrup and fruit based artisan gelato offering a clear understanding of the production process and its component recipes as well the nutritional and pricing information for an array of final products.

Ready-made mixes and additives pros and cons (day 4)

This is an artisan gelato program designed to enable participants to produce consistent natural gelato even on an industrial scale. It is imperative, therefore, that there is also a keen knowledge of the scores of ready-made mixes available on the market. Understanding these products let artisans mirror many of the principles for which mixes are so popular especially concerning their role in effortless production and unchanging, albeit unnatural, results. Stabilizers and additives are also addressed.

Machines and equipment (day 4)

Since production requirements are different for everyone, a prospective of several operating models and examples of various gelato making situations are matched with the correct equipment as, even here, selecting the right equipment is based on an exact set of prerequisites. All areas of the necessary apparatus for the production cycle are addressed. Topics: Containers, mixers, small tools and appliances pasteurizes, gelato machines, freezers and flash-freezers, display cases, presentation and serving items, storage and transport equipment.

Recipe development and production of artisan gelato - Part I Cream based and egg based (day 5)

Participants produce the main types of gelato bases alongside the master. Upon completion of production, each gelato is analyzed for structure, texture and aesthetics. A tasting follows to enhance gustatory perception, critical for gelato makers who need to produce several different flavors that are all unique. Tasting and gustatory analysis follow each production.

Recipe development and production of artisan gelato - Part II Fruit and cream based, Sorbet (day 5)

The production complexity of fruit based gelato centers on the mechanics of ingredients which often contain high acidity versus creams whose fats, essential for equilibrium, are subsequently weakened. Commanding this aspect is what separates good gelato from great gelato. Sorbets; Although not part of the gelato family, at least some selection of sorbets should be present in the display case. Therefore, several essential sorbets are produced utilizing natural ingredients interchangeable in all parts of the world. Tasting and gustatory analysis follow each production.

Production planning (day 5)

With the aid of the ICI Recipes and Techniques' manual issued to every participant, a multi-flavor production system is constructed. Flexible parameters enable gelato makers to design ad hoc or custom production systems based on individual needs including regional availability of raw materials, market demand, staff challenges, cost factors and laboratory and display space.

Personalizing flavors (day 6)

Every country has particular tastes that become even more individualized in different towns and cities within the same country. As is the case within cuisine and patisserie, gelato masters must understand how to create a harmony of different flavors while always incorporating the absolute best ingredients available in any given place. This segment combines theory with hands-on application while participants work with the master producing new, personal flavors, and mastering the technique of new recipe development.

Personal production (day 6)

Choosing the types of gelato, selection of ingredients and balancing the choices, Incorporating the ingredients into master recipes, choosing the production process, making the gelato, tasting and critique. All participants will produce product alongside the master. At the end of production, each finished product is tasted and critiqued by the master and other participants.

Difficult flavors (day 6)

Heating and freezing have different effects on ingredients. Some become soft and some hard. Corrective measures and solutions are explained and demonstrated for several primary ingredients considering their placement in all master recipes.

Coloring (day 6)

Perhaps the single element that most distinguishes artisan gelato from industrial products, the development and application of natural colors are as much a science and art as is the rest of the gelato making process. The maestro explain the importance of and demonstrates, how participants can develop a 'personal palettes' comprising only non-synthetic materials.

Market visit (day 7)

Early morning visit to a traditional Mercatino for tastings and shopping. A typical Italian open air market offers culinarians an insight to the country's most traditional aspects as well as an opportunity to browse foods, cheeses, wines and cured meats that are still produced by artisans. Participants compare and taste the difference between these products to those of the industrial sector.

Personal production study - troubleshooting and final production (day 7)

All products made during the last day are analyzed and tasted for eventual alterations including discoloration, separation, running, condensation and crystallization. Defects are addressed and master recipes are adjusted accordingly. Final production: Under the supervision of the master, participants prepare a third round of personal products.

Service (day 7)

The proper methods of serving gelato considers pricing, menu structure, flavor combinations and quantity. As in any other type of eatery, service ware for both in-house and take out gelato is examined. After all are served, a group tasting and a discussion of the final gelato production ensures that master recipes are finely tuned for subsequent productions.

La Vetrina (day 7)

Known in Italy as 'la vetrina', selecting and arranging the display case is considered as important as the quality of gelato it holds. An audio visual tour of the best gelato shops in the country is presented in an interactively giving participants a broad range of concrete ideas for their respective gelato operations.

Overview of accompaniments (day 7)

Cones, toppings and countless other products enhance the gelato experience. An overview of their importance is followed by a tasting. Steps and resources toward in-house production of many of these accompaniments are identified.

Overview of gelato secondary products (day 7)

Traditional and innovative products using gelato as a main ingredient range from the classic ice cream cake to intricate semifreddos, spumoni, cassate, tartufo and fruit filled gelato candies and mignon. Several of these products are tasted accompanied by a brief explanation of assembly.

Gelato menus (day 7)

Menus from several of Italy's most famous gelato shops are presented for consideration with an attachment of production costs for each item and the formulas necessary to apply them in any country.


John Nocita
John is among Europe's leading consultants for menu development, new dining concepts and is a certification specialist for the European Community's Product Authenticity Program. He is an award winning chef, a member of the Italian Olive Oil Masters and a sommelier. John founded the Italian Institute for Advanced Culinary and Pastry Arts to constantly update cooking techniques and menu development for chefs and pâtissier in the world's increasingly competitive environment.
Leonardo Di Carlo
Leonardo Di Carlo, third generation pâtissier and baker, worked in his family's shops from an early age. After finishing school, he traveled, doing apprenticeships throughout Europe. At twenty years old he won the Italian Pastry Championship. Leo eventually went on to win many prestigious world class competitions including gold at the IKA Culinary Olympics in Berlin, Gold and Silver at the Culinary World Cup in Basil, Switzerland and World Champion at the Coupe du Monde in Lyon, France.
Umberto Lupica
Umberto possesses a rare gelato "culture" combining technology, chemistry and cuisine in his products. A disciple of gelato legend Maestro Angelo Grasso, Umberto incorporates the natural accents of old style gelato with the new tastes of modern society. Flavor development is based on chemical principles rather than standard recipes enabling the development of any type of gelato his audience requires.


Uniquely positioned between three azure coastlines - the Tyrrhenian, Ionian, and Mediterranean - Calabria is often referred to as the real Italy. Located in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea, sports enthusiasts and beachgoers delight in the longest and whitest stretches of public beaches in Europe as well as rich jagged mountain systems traversed with rivers and lakes of enchanting beauty.

The mountains of Sila are among the tallest in Italy and their three national parks make up more protected space than anywhere else in the country. Historians and artists are in awe of Calabria's cultural treasures and serenity - its Greek, Roman, Byzantine, and Norman heritage, in outdoor and indoor museum settings as well as living history villages. Gourmets discover Mediterranean cuisine, from the source, and understand why it's become the world's choice.

Our programs are based in Copanella, 5 minutes from the seaside town of Soverato, Calabria. Cultural excursions and travel take place in the surrounding towns, villages and cities including Sicily just 90 minutes to the south. We are conveniently located just 45 minutes from Lamezia Terme International Airport (Airport Code: SUF) where a private motor coach is arranged, at no charge, to take you to our hotel.Lamezia Terme Airport is easily accessible from anywhere in the world.



  • Concierge desk
  • Restaurant


  • Free! Bottled water
  • Free! WiFi
  • Room cleaning

What's included

  • 7 nights accommodations at a 3 star hotel based on double occupancy
  • All meals include wines, bottled water, tax and gratuities
  • Certificate of completion
  • Complete board: all meals and wines included every day of the program
  • ICI recipe and techniques manual
  • Tax and gratuities
  • Theoretical and practical lessons and all related costs at the Italian Culinary Institute. (50+ hours full Immersion over 1 week)
  • Transfer and dinner at a classic pizzeria
  • Transfer and dinner at a classic trattoria
  • Transfer by private motorcoach from Lamezia Terme International Airport to the hotel
  • Transfers to and from Mercatino
  • Transfer, visit and tastings at gelato shops

What's not included

  • Price does not include airfare or other travel during free time.
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