Riviera Cooking & the Cinque Terre
• Levanto • Cooking Classes • Cinque Terre Villages
Ligurian cuisine is traditionally known for its natural and pure ingredients composed of fresh products from the garden, the sea, and the woods. Most characteristic is the abundant use of wild herbs, such as the aromatic rosemary, thyme, sage and borage. Fresh basil is not only used for the famous Genovese pesto sauce but adds flavour to many Italian dishes. Stay in a 17th century estate only a few minutes away from the most picturesque coastal villages of the Cinque Terre. The aristocratic family who owns the estate formerly spent their summer holidays in this ancient agricultural estate where tenacious farmers work hard to produce the particularly fragrant olive oil and the quality wine of the Ligurian Riviera.
Olive groves and vineyards are skillfully cultivated thanks to the experience of the old farmers and the enthusiasm of the youngest descendant of the noble family. Olives, grapes, vegetables and fruit (which are used to prepare the delicious jams and preserves) are cultivated without the use of pesticide or chemicals, thus guests will be able to taste 100% natural products. Fresh herbs are grown in the gardens for guests to pick and use in their meals to get a true taste of Italy. The estate offers accommodation in the elegantly furnished Baron's Villa and in the charmingly restored historic stone farmhouse. All junior suites have private terraces or gardens with panoramic views, private bathroom, air-conditioning, satellite TV, mini bar, in room safe, and telephone.
Your teacher for the cooking lessons will be a chef who was born in and grew up in this area. Your hands-on lessons will feature typical Ligurian cuisine and simple, yet fresh and flavourful ingredients, most of which will be picked from the garden of the farmhouse.
Day 1: Levanto Private transfer from Levanto rail station to the farmhouse and your accommodation. Meet the owner of the farmhouse who will lead you on a discovery of the estate and its organic products, olive groves and vineyards. A welcome cocktail and tasting of typical Ligurian gastronomic products (anchovies, focaccia with cheese and olives, pesto), local extra virgin olive oil and wines will follow.
Day 2: Levanto and cooking class Enjoy your breakfast on the enchanting flower filled terraces, tasting organic and local products. Then a private car will transfer you to Levanto where you will meet your private guide. Levanto is a small village called "the northern door of the Cinque Terre", famous for its 20th century villas overlooking the sea, typical colourful houses, narrow roads and the small vineyards on the mountains behind the village, producing the famous "Sciacchetra wine" (a dessert wine). You will visit the village, the ancient church of Sant'Andrea (the symbol of the village with its black and white striped facade) and a local shop, where you will learn about local wines, extra virgin oil and typical products (honey, marmalades, olive pates and sauces). Later in the afternoon following a light lunch, you will attend your first hands-on cooking class with the chef of your relais. He will teach you how to prepare classic Ligurian recipes such as focaccia in Genovese style, vegetable quiches and the renowned pesto. Then an aperitivo will be served on the panoramic terrace and a candlelight dinner will follow.
Day 3: Cinque Terre After a private transfer to Levanto, meet your guide for a full day tour of the Cinque Terre. You will visit the villages of Monterosso, Riomaggiore, Corniglia and Manarola, situated along this stunning area of shoreline dotted with villages and rocky cliffs. In Manarola enjoy a lunch in the most typical restaurant of the Cinque Terre with a wonderful terrace overlooking the sea. Dinner on your own, with return transfers by private car from the Levanto station to your accommodation included.
Day 4: Cinque Terre hiking and cooking class After a private transfer to Levanto, meet your guide and then take the train to Corniglia, where you will hike the Volastra's Ring to Manarola. Walk through the typical Ligurian vineyards - the ones that produce Sciacchetra wine - until you reach Manarola. After free time for lunch on your own, return to Levanto by train and transfer back to your accommodation. In the afternoon, attend your second hands-on cooking class with the chef. He will teach you how to prepare classic Ligurian recipes including pansoti and pesce alla ligure. Dinner will follow.
Day 5: Portofino and San Fruttuoso Today you will have a private guided excursion to Portofino and San Fruttuoso. Meet your private guide in Levanto, then travel to Santa Margherita Ligure by train. Walk to the ancient city centre of Santa Margherita and along the elegant seaside promenade, where you will learn more about this village - one of the most elegant seaside resorts in Italy. Next, head to Portofino by public bus or public boat and enjoy a walk in this wonderful small village. From Portofino you can travel by public boat to San Fruttuoso, a small fishing village in a deep inlet along the coastline of the Portofino promontory, one of the most evocative places in Italian Riviera. After a private transfer to Levanto, enjoy dinner in a gourmet restaurant and then transfer back to the farmhouse.
Day 6: Levanto Private transfer to Levanto train station.
• Tailor-made journey • 5 nights' farmhouse accommodation • 2 hands-on cooking classes • Guided visits as per itinerary • Private transfers by car and English speaking driver as per itinerary • 5 breakfasts, 2 light lunches, 1 lunch, 3 dinners
Pricing (per person) $NZD
Departs April to October - Monday to Saturday
April to October - Monday to Saturday
Booking conditions • World Journeys can arrange onward travel throughout Italy on request
• World Journeys can arrange onward travel throughout Italy on request
Not included • Train/boat tickets in the Cinque Terre
• Train/boat tickets in the Cinque Terre