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vacation classes in italy - cooking tours

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Whether you are a hiker, a professional chef, a naturalist or simply a food and wine lover, a culinary vacation is the perfect way to experience a country or region. I am now proposing tours of Italy that offer a variety of ways to learn about Italian cuisine, culture, way of life and nature.

You will experience Italy not only through the exploration of foods and culinary techniques but also observing nature, hiking and walking, learning about ancient Italian history, and the exploration of your own self, depending of the kind of tour you choose. A tour specifically designed for professional chefs is also offered. To enhance your tour experience, this year I am teaming up with renowned professionals - each one of them a master in their area of expertise. Each tour can be conducted in any of the locations described.

Some basic Italian instruction will be provided and you will be able to read a menu or order a meal or shop.

Whenever we have a chance, we will also participate in local seasonal festivals and mix with local people. You will return home with lasting memories and with a feeling of belonging to the places we visited.

The four locations I propose for our cooking adventures are well known for their natural beauty, for their genuine and succulent cuisine, for their historic and artistic importance, and for the warmth of their people.

Sepino (Molise) is my mother’s native village, Mombaruzzo (Piemonte) is my father’s. Genova (Liguria) is the place where I grew up and owned my food stores and restaurant (still active) and Rome is where most of my family now resides. I love each of these places and I believe that sharing the friends and family I have in each one is a key factor that makes this tour and the experience you will have unique.

Customized itineraries are also available. For questions and information on upcoming tours email Nelly


Piemonte Wine Country

The Piemonte region is located in the northwestern corner of Italy at the border with France, Switzerland and Liguria. It is surrounded by the Alps and some of the highest peaks in Europe, such as Gran Paradiso and Monte Rosa. The eastern part is occupied by the Pianura Padana, crossed by the largest river in Italy, the Po, and its many tributaries.

Mombaruzzo, a typical Piemontese village, is situated in the southern part of the region in the hilly area called Monferrato and is renowned for the quality of its wines, among them Moscato d'Asti, Barbera and Dolcetto and for its amaretti factories. White truffle and porcini mushrooms grow all over the area. Piemontese cuisine features an infinite variety of appetizers, fresh pastas, meats, gorgeous vegetables, interesting cheeses and desserts that were invented for kings. Mombaruzzo is the village where my father was born and where I have family and friends and a country house.



Molise Sepino Molise is a narrow strip of hilly terrain situated to the east of Lazio and south of Abbruzzi and is bordered by the Maiella mountain range to the west and the Adriatic sea to the east. Its landscape is characterized by mountainous relief, beautiful valleys, and forests where wild pigs and horses still roam undisturbed. Its forested slopes are dotted with castles, medieval hamlets, glorious ancient ruins dating back to the Samnites, the inhabitants of the area who preceded the Romans.

Molise is known to have one of the most uncontaminated nature in all of Europe - so pristine, in fact, that UNESCO has chosen Molise for two of its four Italian biosphere locations. This beautiful area of Italy, is famous for its genuine hospitality as well as its unique cuisine, wines, olive oils, cheeses (caciocavallo, scamorza, mozzarella), meats, and pasta.

The ancient Saepinum (Altilia) is located at the border with Campania, two hours from Naples, two and a half hours from Rome, 1 hour from the Adriatic Coast. It is one of the gems of Molise. The intact Roman ruins of the ancient town are an archeological site of great interest.

I have been to Italy several times. But, only with Nelly did I feel welcomed into Italy. The real cuisine, the history behind the history, being inside the beauty of all of it, experiencing its passion, rather than being an observer looking in on an exotic world. Julia D.


An Adventure into the Italian Art of Living
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Flavors, Food & Footpaths of Italy
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GENOVA and LIGURIA, an exploration

Genova Liguria

Liguria has the shape of an arch facing the Mediterranean sea and bordering France to the West, Tuscany to the East, and Piemonte to the North. Its coastline is lined with palm and lemon trees, castles covered in bougainvillea, a variety of fishing villages. Vineyards and olive groves cover the steep, terraced hills that rise up from the coast from which the view is breathtaking.


Program Includes:
An exploration of several villages along the East Ligurian coast: Pieve Ligure, Recco, Camogli, Portofino. Mostly transportation will be by train, boat, coach bus (cost included)
All breakfasts and dinners
3 hands-on cooking classes in which participants will learn the techniques that will enable them to reproduce at home Ligurian typical specialties
Visits to markets (Mercato Orientale), typical food shops (pasta fresca, farinata), gelaterie, coffee shops, chocolate factories, museums, fairs.
Tour of the port of Genova by ferry boat and visit to Lanterna (lighthouse), several Genovese picturesque neighborhoods (Castelletto, reachable by cable car, Boccadasse, a tiny fishing village inside Genova, famous for gelato and grappa).
Accommodations: 6 nights in bed & breakfast in a Genovese historical building in the heart of the ancient city, double occupancy.
Visit to Acqui Terme - in the wine country - an hour train ride. Acqui is famous for its hot springs, dolcetto wine, cheeses, truffles, delicious Acquesi, rum soaked cookies.
Possibility of special arrangements for longer stay.
Customized itinerary is also available.
Program does not include:
Airfare to and from USA
Transportation to and from airport of arrival
Lodging before and after tour dates
Personal expenses.
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Explore contemporary and ancient Roman food history and culture while visiting the Eternal City. Classes will be held at the Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies in Rome (ICCS) - located on one of the main streets of the Janiculum, ten minutes by bus from Piazza Venezia and downtown Rome.


Culinary Tours: Why Do Romans Eat the Way they Do? Come to Rome and Find Out!
Cooking Tours for Ancient
Italian History Lovers.

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Program includes:
Touring of the main artistic sites, markets, trattorie, giardini di Tivoli (a favorite holiday resort for the Romans. The Villa d'Este and its Italian garden are deservedly famous for their magic atmosphere).
RomeAll breakfasts and dinners.
5 hands- on cooking classes in which participants will learn the techniques to recreate some of the most popular dishes while exploring the social customs behind those Italian specialties.
Accommodations: Grand Hotel Gianicolo (four stars) - Viale delle Mura Gianicolensi near Porta San Pancrazio. Spectacular views of Rome and the Vatican. Double occupancy.
Visit to Monte San Biagio -  a hilltop village one hour south of Rome, located on the slope of a hill part of the Monti Ausoni and overlooking the Tirrenean sea.
Possibility of special arrangements for longer stay.
Customized itinerary is also available.
Program does not include:
Airfare to and from USA
Transportation to and from airport of arrival
Lodging before and after tour dates
Personal expenses.
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"I come from a country where food is a central part of life. My passion and mission is to share my love of food and cooking with my students. Also to give them the inspiration and tools to create memorable meals and live meaningful experiences in the kitchen." - Nelly Capra