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7 Days Culture and Culinary Vacations in Italy

  • La Cucina Sabina, Strada Provinciale Pascolare, 164, 00018 Palombara Sabina, Roma, Italia

Cooking Vacations in Italy

Enjoy a relaxing lifestyle and discover the joy of authentic Italian cooking on this wonderful holiday which combines food, culture, fun, and friendships into an experience of a lifetime! Begin each morning with a delicious breakfast under one of the covered verandas or outdoor terraces overlooking the olive trees and countryside, as you relax your senses and prepare for the rewarding activities, carefully planned to give you an adventure you will never forget.

Highlights

  • Visits to markets to get fresh ingredients
  • Visits to wineries, cheese farms and a local mill
  • Four hands-on cooking lessons, focusing on authentic Italian cuisine
  • Professional guided tour of Rome and other local attractions
  • Enjoy authentic gourmet Italian meals and wines
  • 6 nights accommodation in a luxurious villa
  • 6 days with instruction
  • English
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The trip will be hosted by Villa La Tartaruga Sabina, a beautiful modern villa nestled in the gorgeous Sabina region. Lovely sliding glass doors line the villa's ground floor so that the Sabina region's majestic rolling landscape never ceases to beckon. Here, the interior provides an atmosphere of art, culture, and appreciation for the finest that modern design has to offer, both stimulating the intellect and giving pause to reflect and relax in an environment made warm by the richness and elegance of its design details.

The kitchen is specially designed to inspire you with the natural beauty and wholesomeness of olive trees, rosemary and pomegranate bushes, lemon and fig trees and of course the surrounding hilltops and castles. It has floor to ceiling glass on three sides so you cook as part of the environment. The villa also offers 8 elegant guest suites with newly renovated bathrooms, two of which have in-room bath tubs.

La Cucina Sabina offers a six day culinary and cultural program which combines food, culture, fun and friendships into an experience of a lifetime! Cooking will focus on authentic Italian cuisine, including regional recipes using only the freshest, seasonal and authentic farm-to-table ingredients. Lessons will include antipasto (appetizers), pastas, vegetarian dishes, meat and seafood dishes, cooking pizza on an outdoor oven, dolci (desserts) and gelato, etc. Lessons can be customized depending on the group. The villa is near a local train that runs directly into Rome throughout the day.

Sunday

Enjoy a light welcome lunch or brunch followed by relaxation around the villa, gardens, pool, etc. An evening welcome dinner is provided so that guests may get acquainted and learn about the exciting week ahead.

Monday

Begin each morning with a relaxed buffet breakfast under one of the covered verandas or outdoor terraces overlooking the olive trees and countryside with mountain views or in the dining room.

Normally they serve a buffet style breakfast between 8:00 and 9:30. The first cooking lesson begins mid-morning with Chef Barbara. You will begin your cooking lesson learning how to prepare some of the best of Italian regional cuisine. Because they are hands-on, you get to prepare your lunch and several other meals you will enjoy.

Late afternoon you will head to the castle of Palombara Sabina, a medieval town near the villa, for a private tour and sunset reception overlooking the Sabine hills and valley. This is a rare opportunity to visit the castle and museum which is not normally open to the public and experience the same stunning views of Sabina that Margaret Thatcher and her husband saw on their many visits to their "secret getaway". Dinner is a few steps down the cobblestone ancient path to the 600 year old Antique Restaurant.

Tuesday

After breakfast, you will visit the ancient hilltop town of Tivoli for a guided tour of the beautiful gardens of Villa d'Este, where you will be amazed at the ancient villa, gardens and fountains. Along the way, you will visit the morning farmers market as the locals do. After lunch at a historic restaurant in Tivoli, you will return to La Cucina Sabina for your afternoon lesson followed by dinner on the sunset terrace overlooking the olive groves and Monte Serrate (weather permitting).

Wednesday

Late morning depart for “Discover The Secrets of Ancient Rome” tour. In a special, guided tour of the city, you will visit places not normally seen by tourists, making your visit very special and unique. Experience the Rome that the ancients and locals know, with a rare combination of art, food, culture and history in a very full day experiencing "la dolce vita”. Both lunch and dinner will be enjoyed in Rome. Dinner is at a private luxurious rooftop apartment in the historic center of Rome overlooking the ancient skyline and a magical sunset.

Thursday

After a very full day of touring Wednesday, you will enjoy a more leisurely day and so begin with a drive toward Umbria for a winery visit and a tasting followed by lunch with the winery owners overlooking their beautiful estate. To complement the winery, you will visit a thermal spa in the region for a little pampering Italian style. Access to spa, including thermal baths, pools, dry and wet saunas, robes, slippers, etc. is included. Any additional therapy sessions and wines are your responsibility. In the evening, you will have your pizza party dinner at the villa! (Depending on the season, a pizza lesson at the villa will be substituted for spa visit).

Friday

Depart late morning for a visit to a local artisanal cheese dairy for a tour and tasting followed by a visit to an ancient Roman olive grove and mill. Learn what the Romans knew about growing olives 2000 years ago. Back at the villa, you will have a tasting of olive oils and come to understand not just how they are made but what makes an olive oil great. After some R & R, you will begin your fourth lesson with Chef Barbara. You will use all your skills learned during the week for your big graduation dinner, cooking everything from antipasto to dolce!

Saturday

After a light breakfast and goodbyes, transfers are provided to Rome Ciampino Airport (CIA) or Fiumicino Airport (FCO) for return trips or extended travel in Italy.

  • A guided tour of Ancient Rome
  • Discover the castle of Palombara Sabina
  • See the oldest and largest olive tree in all of Europe and visit the local olive oil mill
  • Visit a regional winery that produces the typical wines of Lazio
  • Visit the amazing gardens of Villa d'Este
  • Visit to a local cheese farm
  • Visit to a market in Tivoli
  • Barbara Borasio

    Barbara is young and dynamic, a true volcano of ideas. She is already an accomplished creative culinary talent. After a long period of practice she has become a teacher in the most Famous Italian cooking school : Il Gambero Rosso and now collaborates with us offering our guests cooking lessons that are always creative original and fun.

  • Valeria Vocaturo

    Valeria is the owner and director of a cooking school in the center of Rome: Cuoche Per Caso. Valeria has been teaching for more then ten years. She is very experienced and through her lessons never fails to pass on her knowledge and love for the food and a variety of Italian culinary traditions.

This holiday will take place in Palombara Sabina, a quite rural area, located just thirty minutes away from Rome.

Nearby places

  • Farfa Abbey - 30 minutes
  • Monterotondo - 10 minutes
  • Monti Lucretili Regional Natural Park - 30 minutes
  • Mount Terminillo - 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Nazzano Regional Natural Reserve - 40 minutes
  • Palombara Sabina - 10 minutes
  • Rome - 35 minutes
  • Sanctuary of Santa Maria in Vescovio - 40 minutes
  • Tivoli - 30 minutes
  • Train station of Pianabella di Montelibretti - 3 minutes
Activities
  • Boating nearby
  • Cooking classes
  • Cycling
  • Driving nearby
  • Fishing nearby
  • Fitness center nearby
  • Hiking nearby
  • Massage
  • Mountain biking
  • Sauna
  • Shopping nearby
  • Swimming pool
  • Table tennis
  • Tennis court
General
  • Air-conditioned rooms
  • Dining area
  • Garden
  • Kitchen
  • Lake nearby
  • Lounge
  • Multilingual staff
  • Terrace
Services
  • Free bicycle
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Internet access
  • Tour assistance
  • Wedding

All meals are provided during your stay. Cooking will focus on authentic Italian cuisine, including regional recipes using only the freshest, seasonal and authentic farm-to-table ingredients. Wine is provided at each lunch and dinner with house or selected varieties from the villa or restaurants. Coffee and tea are also provided at each meal.

  • Climb Mount Terminillo
  • Discover the castle of Palombara Sabina
  • Explore Monti Lucretili Regional Natural Park
  • See the local mill, wineries, and cheese farms
  • Sightseeing in Tivoli
  • Spend a day at the Nazzano Regional Natural Reserve
  • Stop by the Sanctuary of Santa Maria in Vescovio
  • Take advantage of the fitness center
  • Visit the amazing gardens of Villa d'Este
  • Visit the Farfa Abbey
  • 4 hands-on cooking lessons, including one with a Tuscan Chef
  • 6 nights accommodation
  • A professional, multilingual tour guide provided on Rome excursions
  • Daily breakfast, lunch, and dinner
  • Entry costs to all venues, museums and sites visited
  • Fresh herbs to be used in the cooking lessons from the villa's vegetable gardens
  • Hands on lesson using an outdoor pizza oven
  • Transfers to and from Rome Ciampino Airport (CIA), Fiumicino Airport (FCO) or Rome main train stations
  • Wine, coffee, and tea provided with each meal
  • Additional, non-scheduled trips into Rome or other venues
  • Cocktails, liquor, or special requests on wine
  • Massage therapy
  • Shopping excursions
  • Trips to local spas

Driving directions from Fiumicino Airport (FCO)

  • Go towards Rome
  • On the road to Rome, take the exit for Firenze and follow the signs for Via Salaria (SS 4)
  • Take the exit for Via Salaria (SS 4) heading for Rieti
  • Continue until kilometer 29 of the Via Salaria and turn right towards Palombara Sabina
  • Continue along that road until kilometer 3, where you will find Resort Gran Paradiso
  • Take the private road for Resort Gran Paradiso
  • Villa La Tartaruga is right next to Resort Gran Paradiso

Driving directions from Rome City center

  • Take Via Salaria (SS 4) heading for Rieti
  • Continue until kilometer 29 of the Via Salaria and turn right towards Palombara Sabina
  • Continue along that road until kilometer 3, where you will find Resort Gran Paradiso
  • Take the private road for Resort Gran Paradiso
  • Villa La Tartaruga is right next to Resort Gran Paradiso

Arrival by airplane

You can arrive at either Leonardo da Vinci - Fiumicino Airport (FCO) or Ciampino - G. B. Pastine International Airport (CIA). La Cucina Sabina will pick you up from the airport. The pick-up is included in the price.