Italian Cooking School & Amarone Wine Adventure Tour in the Veneto
If you love Amarone wine (one of Italy’s top reds) and its relatives, Valpolicella, Ripasso and Recioto, this is the Italian cooking school and wine tour for you! Drink these and other wines with three quite different producers in wineries small and big and learn first hand how they make them.
Cook Veneto and Italian dishes with one great home cook and two chefs. Examples: variety of risotto (ex. with radicchio), pasta with finferli mushrooms, variety of breads, braised veal with Amarone sauce, lake trout with sour sauce of onions, raisins and pinenuts. At Lake Garda, where they make excellent olive oil, visit an olive oil museum and an olive oil mill.
Meet a delightful variety of Veneto locals like: a slightly goofy restaurant owner, your very joyful, attentive hotel manager, a world famous risotto chef/promoter, a bread making cook at her home with amazing Lake Garda views, winery owners/experts. You’ll feel part of real Italian life in the Veneto!
Your well travelled, multi-lingual guide was born in Verona and loves showing people her region. You visit her family’s beautiful wine estate where she lives and works with Soave, rose Dindarella, Valpolicella and Amarone. They also produce olive oil. You feel like a local friend is taking you to her favourite people and places!
Read about our “Italians you will meet” on this Italian cooking school tour.
- 6 nights at a 3 star style hotel in San Giorgio with buffet breakfast
- Private transport from/to Verona train station or airport
- Local minivan driver throughout, except in free time
- Local bilingual guide with you throughout, except in free time
- 3 hands-on, private cooking classes
- 3 dinners
- 3 lunches
- 3 private visits at a variety of wineries with tours and tastings
- Lake Garda guided walk
- Rice mill tour
- Olive oil museum tour
- Olive oil mill visit with tasting
- Half day guided walking tour of Verona including wine bar tour
- Guided walk in Valeggio sul Mincio
- Wines with meals so you can choose the wines you want
- 2 lunches, 3 dinners
6 Night Italian Cooking School Tour Itinerary
Arrive at Verona airport or train station by mid afternoon for one group transfer. Private transport to our hotel in a scenic village, San Giorgio, about 30 minutes by car. If you’d like private transport from Venice or elsewhere, we’re happy to arrange it for an extra charge.
Get settled. The very hospitable manager welcomes you with a big smile. You’ll enjoy his thoughtful, friendly service and chats. Sit back with a welcome drink on the terrace with spectacular views all the way to Lake Garda.
Welcome dinner at the hotel’s fine restaurant with great local wines like Amarone or Valpolicella.
Monday. San Giorgio Valpolicella area
Drive to a casual restaurant in a nearby town, Sant’Ambrogio for a full menu, hands-on cooking class with the outgoing owner. The restaurant kitchen is open to his deli counter and small shop so you’ll meet some of the neighbours as you’re cooking. Lunch of your creations there.
Take a short walk with your guide to explore the picturesque hill top village of San Giorgio. Siesta if you wish.
Drive across a valley to your tour guide’s family’s winery on a lovely country estate with a villa and hill views for a tour and wine tasting of their fine wines from Valpolicella to Ripasso to Amarone. Optional walk in their vineyards and among olive trees and up short slopes.
After your multi-course lunch, you’ll want to eat light. Dinner on your own. San Giorgio has two good restaurants, two small coffee bars as well as the hotel’s restaurant. The walk from the hotel to the village is about 10 minutes up gradual slopes.
Your Verona born tour guide will stroll with you for the morning to tell you about Verona’s history and local life. She’ll show you main sights you may want to visit on your own in the afternoon: the Roman arena, Piazza delle Erbe with a tower you can climb for amazing city views, Juliet’s house, a less touristed historic area near the pretty Adige River, river walks, wine bars and shopping areas.
Enjoy a light lunch and great Veneto wines at sidewalk restaurants overlooking the Roman arena or where you wish. (not included)
Free afternoon to explore Verona.
In the evening your guide will take you on a walking tour of typical wine bars in Verona’s historic centre to drink good wines and graze on light local snacks. (included)
Wednesday. Lake Garda
Drive about 30 minutes through the hills to Lake Garda, famous for its stunning beauty. Drive up in the scenic hills above Bardolino to the home and agriturismo (where everything grown is organic) of an accomplished cook with a vast bread making knowledge. Make a variety of breads from all over Italy with different flours, seeds etc. Enjoy lunch in her home and take in the panoramas or walk in the woods from her property.
With your guide, take a leisurely walk and stroll along Lake Garda.
Drive to a large, well known winery in the same family for five generations and near Bardolino, overlooking Lake Garda. Taste their Bardolino, Valpolicella, Amarone, Bianco di Custoza wines and more. Tour their informative wine museum with their excellent guide before your private tasting in their elegant tasting room in their cellars.
Near Bardolino visit an interesting olive oil museum to learn all about the light Lake Garda olive oil.
Drive back to San Giorgio. Dinner on your own in San Giorgio.
Thursday. Isola della Scala – Rice!
Drive to the town of Isola della Scala on the flat plain south of Verona, world famous for its fine rice and risottos and the ancient rice mill in operation since the 1650s. The rice producing Ferron family has owned it since 1921. You’ll learn how they make rice, see their rice mill, walk in their rice fields and learn more in their rice museum.
Gabriele Ferron is world renowned as the enthusiastic ambassador of the Vialone Nano Veronese rice and travels the world giving cooking classes and seminars. You’ll learn the secrets of making the perfect risotto from Gabriele or his excellent chef in a hands-on, private class. Afterwards, dine on an appetizer, three risottos and a dessert.
Relax for a bit in the Ferron park, before driving to the famous Allegrini winery estate and villa. Visit the villa and its beautiful formal gardens with the Allegrini guide. In their well appointed tasting room, their guide takes you through a tasting of a range of their fine wines including Amarones, of course.
Drive back to San Giorgio. Dinner on your own.
Friday. Tortellini, quaint village and Lake Garda fish
Drive to the charming, quaint town of Valeggio sul Mincio. Enjoy a stroll from a castle on a hill top down to the little town and time to just hang out in this pretty town set on a river.
Enjoy melt in your mouth tortellini for lunch in a restaurant in town famous for its delicate tortellini and trout from Lake Garda. (not included)
Drive to a town on nearby Lake Garda to an olive oil mill for a tasting of their olive oils.
Free time to take a stroll along the shores of beautiful Lake Garda.
Arrivederci dinner at a great fish restaurant by Lake Garda to celebrate your week of discovering this beautiful, varied region and its welcoming people, fine wines and great food. (included)
After breakfast, reluctantly depart with our private transport to Verona’s train station or airport. If you’d like private transport to Venice or elsewhere, we’re happy to arrange it for an extra charge.
Going to Venice before or after this Italian cooking school tour?
Mama Margaret has personally inspected and selected some four and five star hotels in Venice, so you feel assured your hotel is excellent. Let us reserve a hotel for you at a better price than you’ll find online.
Mama Margaret dined with a Venice resident, sommelier, gourmet and travel consultant who helps you enjoy Venice the ways you want to. In a private, in person 90 minute consultation, she asks you about your interests and time line, puts dots on your Venice map for her recommended restaurants, wine bars and events, and orients you to Venice.
She also offers personalized, private Venice tours with specially selected local guides so you feel a Venetian friend is showing you the city. Ask us to arrange a consultation appointment or tours for you.