On a cooking holiday, you escape to a simpler, life of times past filled with real joys: food cooked slowly, lovingly by a cozy group, sampling rich regional wines, and savoring genuine local dishes. Later, you share experiences heart to heart, sitting around the table for hours with friends; feeling at peace. In Italy, you fall in love with a sweeter, slower life. You’re far away from your world and all its demands.
You love the sensuality of it all. In Tuscany Italy, you savor fresh sage, oregano, basil, lemon, wine, and rose perfumes wafting on the breeze in the kitchen and garden.
In Piedmont, you admire a delicate asparagus flan garnished with purple wildflowers, grated black truffles, and a fresh green oak leaf on a white plate.
In Sicily, your taste buds go wild over roast figs with honey and orange. With Diana in Position, you use your hands to crush tomatoes for sauce, tear up fresh basil, peel skins off roasted peppers and flatten chicken breasts. Great childlike Italian fun!
It goes without saying you fall for Italian food and wines. The Italians use fresh ingredients in season. Spring means artichoke, asparagus, sweet pea, and seafood dishes in Venice. Fall is mushrooms, game, truffles in Umbria and Emilia-Romagna: duck with vin santo, pasta with porcini mushrooms and truffles.
Wines range from classic full reds like Barolo and Brunello in Piedmont and Tuscany to more rustic reds such as Primitivo in southern Puglia. You enjoy dessert wines from dry vin santo in Tuscany to sweet, intense Passito in Sicily.
You fall in love with hauntingly beautiful landscapes. Cook with chefs in Piedmont’s Barolo wine country in northwest Italy, and look out over waves of gentle hills fading into the distance, little valleys, patchwork green hills blanketed in vineyards, forests, and fields full of fruit and nut trees, hills crowned with imposing medieval castles.
On a Sicily cooking tour, you fall in love with the art all around you. Art in everyday life; survey pyramids of smaller and smaller jars of green and black olives and hot red sauces piled high in the Palermo market. The art of ancient architects… remains of Greek temples stand battered but tall on a lonely field, staring out to sea in the golden light of sunset.
Is it any wonder you fall in love with people too, in such a relaxed, sensual environment where your heart and soul can roam free?
In the Barolo wine country in northwest Italy, you cook with chefs in their restaurants, explore medieval towns, and taste fine wines with winery owners who treat you like old friends.
At the start of another cooking tour, one couple seemed a little distant. The husband had been very reluctant to go. By the end of the week, they were dancing and holding hands. They fell in love all over again. Who can resist the romance of Italy!
Of course, you fall in love with the Italian people. They talk about life, about feelings, with no pretenses. Italians lead busy, full lives, yet somehow find time for heart-to-heart talks over food and wine.
Rediscover the person you were before you got so busy with obligations and things. Was it you who piled so much marzipan fruit on top of your dessert you won a prize for the worst decoration or were you always first up dancing when the music started?
So go ahead, indulge in a sensual, hedonistic cooking tour in Italy, fall in love, bring some of that joy home with you!