Culinary Tours and Workshops in Italy

In 2018 I’ll be offering three special culinary events in Italy: an Italian Riviera Tour, a Preserving Italy workshop in Tuscany, and ~ of course ~ my Abruzzo Culinary Tour in collaboration with Abruzzo Presto. Please consider joining us, and share these events with family and friends who love Italy and travel! Scroll down for details:


Liguria, on Italy’s northern Mediterranean coast, is home to the famed Italian Riviera, ritzy Portofino, and the five color-splashed fishing villages collectively known as Cinque Terre. It is the region of pesto Genovese (and other nut sauces), cheese-stuffed focaccia, savory tortes filled with vegetables, anchovies and salt cod, buttery olive oil, and the delicious spoonable cheese known as prescinseua.

I’ve teamed up with my friends at Beautiful Liguria to create a custom culinary tour here. In May, I’ll be taking a small group on a week-long itinerary that will include visits to all the aforementioned places. We’ll spend time in the city and in the countryside. We’ll meet food artisans and wine producers and learn how to make authentic Ligurian food.

HIGHLIGHTS: The historic Hotel Bristol Palace in Genoa’s historic center will be our home base for the first half of the tour. For the latter half we’ll move to a beautiful agriturismo in the hills above Levanto.

  • We’ll have a private lesson on making traditional pesto with a mortar and pestle;
  • dinner at Il Genovese, owned by Genoa’s pesto “ambassador” himself, Roberto Panizza (you can read my essay about him on p. 169 of Preserving Italy)
  • A tour of Genoa’s historic center and a street food “crawl”;
  • A visit to a chinotto farm to learn about this rare bitter citrus used to produce one of Italy’s favorite drinks;
  • A tour of the painted palaces of Santa Margherita Ligure, and posh Portofino;
  • A tour and tasting at one of Liguria’s UNESCO-proteched terraced vineyards;
  • A private focaccia cooking class!

PRICE per person double occupancy for 8 days/7 nights: $3,990, includes transfers and most meals. Single supplement: $530. Read more details about the tour here and please feel free to contact me with any questions or for more information.



Come learn how to preserve the Italian way, in a spectacular setting in the hills of Tuscany.  I’m excited to be teaching my first Preserving Italy Workshop, in collaboration with Annette Joseph Style, at La Fortezza, Annette’s beautiful, restored fortress in northern Tuscany.

In this one-of-a-kind workshop, we will spend five days in the glorious Tuscan countryside harvesting fruit and vegetables from La Fortezza’s own organic garden and transforming them into jams, pickles, and other preserved foods. We will also hit the road and visit Parma for culinary inspiration and ingredients (think Parmigiano-Reggiano and balsamic vinegar). And we’ll meet a local food artisan who makes chestnut honey. We’ll learn how to make and store fresh pasta, and to make and bottle homemade sauce.

PRICE: $3,400 shared rooms (nonrefundable initial deposit: $1,700 + remaining deposit due one month prior).

Fee includes breakfast, all lunches (excluding free day), some dinners, all instruction, and excursions. accommodations included preserving supplies will be provided. You will be taking your jars home so leave a little room in your suitcase; we will provide the packing materials for you.

Note: Airfare is not included. Students fly into nearest airport which is Pisa, Italy. you are responsible for transportation to and from the workshop to La Fortezza.

This is a small workshop, limited to only 6 people. Please feel free to contact me for more information.




Join us for a magical week of food, wine, culture and friendship. This tour has a special place in my heart. Abruzzo is one of Italy’s last undiscovered regions, a place of ancient castles and medieval villages, of green hills and olive groves, and of incomparable food and wine. It’s also where my mother was born and raised and where I spent my summers growing up.

Abruzzo Presto!I’m thrilled to be teaming up once more with stellar hosts and guides Nancy and Michael Morizio of Abruzzo Presto for this deep dive into the food, wine, and culture of this beautiful region. We offer this tour just once a year, and I promise you there is nothing like it. It’s a chance to immerse yourself in local Italian living.

culinary tour collage

Our days are filled with exploring the countryside around the Maiella and Gran Sasso mountain ranges, and along Abruzzo’s Adriatic coast. We learn about and sample the region’s best sheep’s milk cheeses and we spend an afternoon picnicking at Campo Imperatore, near the summit of the Gran Sasso.We sample local olive oil, truffles, and saffron, and taste wines from Abruzzo’s best vineyards. On the coast we dine on freshly caught fish. And in the mountains we feast on porchetta, and wood-fired pizza. Along the way we tour medieval towns and hike to castles high in the Apennine mountains.

The beautiful medieval city of Sulmona, birthplace of the poet Ovid, and also famous for the delicious candy-coated almonds known as confetti, is our home base for the first half of the tour. For the second half, we move to Torre Mannella, a family-owned and run agriturismo in the hills near Città Sant’Angelo. We also spend some time in professional kitchens, where I teach two hands-on cooking classes, together with local Abruzzese cooks. For our Market-to-Table class we shop at the farmers’ market in Sulmona for ingredients, and then head to the kitchen to turn what we buy into a meal. In our pasta class, we learn how to make Abruzzo’s most famous pasta dishes, such as ricotta-stuffed ravioli, spaghetti alla chitarra and maccheroni alla molinara. And, on our final evening, we fire up a communal oven at Torre Mannella and make wood-fired pizza. Our meals are always be accompanied by Abruzzo’s finest wines. It’s an unforgettable week.

Read reviews of our tours here.


To hear more about Abruzzo and the tours, listen to this podcast I recorded with Lora of Savoring Italy.

Abruzzo Presto and I want this to be a memorable experience, so the number of guests is limited to 10 people.

Dates and Details:

September 23-30, 2018

Tour includes:

  • Transfers to and from Rome’s Fiumicino Airport in a private air-conditioned van.
  • All lodgings and meals, with courses designed to highlight the exquisite cuisine of Abruzzo.
  • Private vineyard and winery tours, with accompanied wine tastings.
  • Personalized guided tour excursions with artisan cheese makers, bakers, and producers of saffron and extra-virgin olive oil.
  • Preparing wood-fired pizza in the Abruzzo countryside.
  • Hands-on cooking classes, including a market-to-table class and a pasta-making class.
  • Personalized recipes from Domenica Cooks for you to take home.

Along the way we tour Abruzzo’s stunning cultural gems, including medieval castles, churches, mountain villages, hermitages and more.

All-inclusive price per person double-occupancy for 8 days/7 nights: $4,950
($150 per day single supplement).

Book your tour directly at Abruzzo Presto.

For more information or to check availability, contact


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