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Discover the treasures of Southern Lazio and the great tastes of Italy! If you are planning your long vacation in Italy and would like to spend a few days in a small oasis of peace and tranquility, between Tuscany and Rome, to the north, and the Amalfi Coast, Naples, Pompeii to the south, this is the place, stop here! You’ll get a full immersion in the traditions of the best Italian cuisine, four cooking classes tailor-made for you, and four exclusive culinary excursions and visits discovering authentic treasures of history, art, culture, nature, that belong to the immense Italian heritage, in short, authentic "goodies".
Dimora Nenà, part of Nena al Borgo Castello, is the main residence. Built on the medieval city walls, the antique country house maintains its historic feeling with its original floors and wood ceilings to rediscover the charm of tradition.
The antique furnishings and decorations bring back the time-honored sensation of a warm welcome and hospitality. The rooms, furnished with care and with antiques, are overlooking the picturesque alleys of the village and you can enjoy a panoramic view over the green hills of the natural park of Aurunci Mountains.
You'll be centrally located in Lecce, steps from Roman Amphitheater and Piazza Sant'Oronzo. Your hotel is within close proximity of Chiesa di San Matteo and Castle of Charles V, located in Lecce’s historical center, near the cathedral.
The cooking classes will take place in the Residenza della Chef, an attic with a large terrace, in the residential area, just a few minutes from the historic center.
The end of the program. After breakfast, transfer by car to Brindisi airport and... arrivederci!
Chef Francesca is originally from Lecce, she is a member of the prestigious Federazione Italiana Professional Personal Chef. Her cuisine has three souls: Salento, Roman and Lazio. Salentine blood flows in her and the recipes of her land are well mixed with those of the Roman and Lazio tradition, after twenty years of life in Rome, she loves sharing with customers how to make the traditional specialties of both Roman and Salento cultures. Her strengths are territoriality, innovation, study and a deep love for cooking. She has been working with Nenà Al Borgo Castello in Pico since 2016.
Pico is only one-hour drive from Rome and Naples! Pico has a strategic position, being easily reachable from Rome, that is just over one-hour drive, and from Naples and the Amalfi Coast. The A1 motorway is 20 minutes drive from Pico, the train station Isoletta-San Giovanni Incarico is just 15 minutes. The beaches of Sperlonga are only a 30 or 40-minute drive. Inland, always in 30 minutes, you can reach the Abbey of Montecassino.
Lecce is the ideal base for exploring the Salento region as it’s located between the Adriatic and Ionian Seas, so you can reach all of the peninsula’s sights within 30–60 minutes.
Lecce is often nicknamed the Florence of the South, the Baroque city, famous for its stunning architectural richness and is stately palazzi, cast as precious gems across the winding old town’s lanes. If you are looking for something different, and wish to experience a less well-known part of Italy, Lecce and Apulia region is an amazing place to visit.
Otranto (40 minutes), is a beautiful seaside town overlooking the turquoise sea. Coast North of Otranto (approximately 35 minutes) has some great beaches including Torre dell’Orso and the unique Cave of Poetry swimming hole.
Gallipoli (35 minutes) is another lovely seaside town with a beach and old olive press to visit. Galantina (25 minutes) is small town with a baroque center that’s often overlooked. Coriglione d’Otranto (25 minutes), meanwhile, is an untouristy town with an interesting medieval castle.
This package includes daily breakfast and lunches. Five dinners will also be included (four with the dishes cooked and prepared during your class), house wine and beverages, tasting of the homemade liqueurs, and coffee. House wine, soft drinks, tea, and coffee are freely available.
The chef is originally from Lecce but has worked for 20 years in Rome, so she will share with you how to make the traditional specialties of both Roman and Salento cultures.
Guess what? If you have flour in your kitchen, you can make pasta. Right now. Got eggs too? You have everything you need to whip up a batch of silky-smooth fettuccine.
The chef will teach you how to make the traditional lasagna with besciamella sauce, mozzarella cheese and the famous ragù bolognese in which certain magic happens as beef and aromatic vegetables slowly cook down with wine, tomato paste, and broth.
The chef will explain the real technique that requires the use of egg yolk mixed with pecorino cheese and cured pork cheek. The local products, the famous Picinisco's pecorino sheep cheese, which boasts a long tradition starting in the 17th century and Salerman cured pork cheek with its spyce and flavorful taste, make Nenà Al Borgo Castello's recipe (as well as Amatriciana and Gricia) a "sensory experience."
Homemade gnocchi recipe is simple, delicious and incredibly fun to make. Once you have learned get your kids involved in making this wonderful family dinner. The secret ingredient? Leonessa potatoes and passion.
Tasty and exquisite, mainly of a yellow color, potatoes from Leonessa are one of the most important typical products of the Sabina area. Their smooth skin and large and robust tubers are the result of ideal climatic conditions and traditional growing techniques. This is why potatoes from Leonessa are a versatile product that can be put to perfect use to make excellent gnocchi; thanks to the fact that they absorb less water during cooking.
You have little time and you don't have potatoes? Nenà Al Borgo Castello has the right recipe for you - homemade gnocchi ricotta cheese. It is easy, authentic and delicious! In order to make it special, they use buffalo ricotta cheese.
Buffalo ricotta is a fresh cheese produced from whey leftover from the production of buffalo’s milk cheese. It is creamier and smoother than cow’s milk ricotta, with white color and a unique delicate sweet citrusy flavor.
A plate of Ciociaria tradition that combines culture and taste, smell and color of the land; thanks to the use of Atina cannellini beans.
Its ingredients: spagnoletta tomato (better known as "casalino" that grows in the Southern Lazio region, from the hills of Itri to the seaside town of Gaeta) which has a slightly acidic flavor and is at its best in early summer. In the past the Casalino was grown in between grapevines and anchovies (that the Nenà Al Borgo Castello team receives fresh daily; thanks to the experienced fishmonger, Tonino) and evoke wisely the flavors of Mediterranean cuisine.
Nenà Al Borgo Castello's recipe is made authentically in the Italian way using only mascarpone cheese, sugar and egg yolk. It's really light, airy, and creamy! Great as a make-ahead dessert!
Orecchiette con le cime di rapa (orecchiette with turnip greens) Ciciri e tria (chickpeas with fried pasta) Fae e Foje (a broad bean purée which is flavored with olive oil and served with boiled chicory: a sublime combination of vegetables and legumes), Salentina lasagna, taralli (salt biscuites), fried pizza, and many others.
There are culinary tours that you can choose:
Visit prestigious cellars, where experts of the houses tell the company's story, the methods of production of wines and talk about the "Art of Wine" and the "secrets" to produce a great wine! Into the wine cellars among the barrels, enjoy a tasting of high-quality local wines served with delicious local produce.
Visit a farm that produces buffalo mozzarella, ricotta and cheeses. The owner will tell and show you how to produce mozzarella. Tasting of products and the possibility to eat cheeses and freshly made products!
Visit a traditional olive oil mill, in Italian "Frantoio", where the owner will explain and show us the oil process. Lunch in the Frantoio and tasting of the extra-virgin olive oil, along with other delicious organic products produced by the farm.
Visit a farm that produces sausages, bacon, ham, salami, and other specialties. An expert will tell you about the meat processing methods and their seasoning. Tasting of products.
Truffles that are harvested in the Val di Comino are of the highest quality. The use of truffles in the gastronomy is very wide: from the simple seasoning used for fettuccine and other fresh pastas, sauces (which are also already prepared) to flavor crostini and dishes, sweets made of the precious tuberous fungus. A savory taste of these dishes with truffles is a taste experience not to be missed!
In Salento, there are culinary tours that you can choose. Salento offers an ideal habitat for a diversity of grape varieties and contributes subtle nuances to the personalities of its various wines (Negramaro, Primitivo, Susumaniello, Verdeca, Fiano).
You may visit prestigious cellars, where experts of the houses tell the company's story, the methods of production of wines and talk about the "art of wine" and the "secrets" to produce a great wine! Into the wine cellars among the barrels, enjoy a tasting of high-quality local wines served with delicious local products.
Visit a farm that produces pecorino cheese. The owner will tell and show you how to produce the cheese. Tasting of products and the possibility to eat cheeses.
Visit a traditional olive oil mill, in Italian "Frantoio", where the owner will explain and show us the oil process. Tasting of the extra-virgin olive oil, along with other delicious organic products produced by the farm.
Small and circular, these crackers make for a wonderful snack, especially alongside a glass of Pugliese wine! They are made with flavors like fennel, black peppercorns or poppy seeds or sweet, with white wine and sugar.
Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino Airport
Transfer available for additional US$216 per person
To get to Pico, please book your flight to arrive at Ciampino-G. B. Pastine International Airport (CIA), Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport (FCO), or Naples International Airport (NAP). Transfer from and to this airport is available upon request. Nenà Al Borgo Castello provides a car with the driver upon request. If you wish to return by plane from Lecce to Rome Fiumicino airport, you can book your flight from Brindisi International Airport (BDS).
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