La Cucina Romana in the Sabine Hills
About the location: Rome needs no introduction: as one of the former great Empires of the western world, it left behind a cultural heritage that spans Europe and parts of Africa and Asia, and today it is still one of the most visited cities in the world. Lying just outside of Rome, to the northeast, lies the Sabina region. A place of rustic tranquility, fertile lands, and stunning views, it offers the culinary traveler a way to experience authentic Italian life and enjoy the best of of an enchanting and unspoiled land. From the small medieval towns and monasteries nestled in the Appenine hills, to the stunning gardens and fountains of the Villa d'Este, to the wonders of the local cuisine, the Sabine region offers a plethora of culture, beauty, and cuisine to the savvy traveler.
Your home for the week will be at a beautiful villa, a luxury country house nestled in the Sabine Hills, just 30 minutes north of Rome. The villa was built by your hosts, the Micheletta family, in the 80's as a summer retreat, and was recently renovated into a lovely vacation home. It is surrounded by vast olive orchards (the family produces fine DOP olive oils), and the unparalleled views of the encircling countryside, readily seen from the many verandas, gardens, and windowed galleries of the house. The spacious rooms all feature air conditioning, en suite bath, free wifi, and satellite TV, and the property boasts a large, stunning outdoor pool. The kitchen, redesigned specifically with hands-on cooking lessons in mind, offers glass-walled views of the gardens, the olive, lemon, and fig trees, and the nearby castles and hilltops. Today the Michelettas partner with their friend Mike and sister-in-law Nanci to create a warm, authentic experience in the heart of the Roman countryside that you will remember forever.
About the cooking lessons: Your guide for your Italian cooking lessons will be Chef Barbara, who studied at Gambero Rosso cooking school and now teaches there; she also has appeared on an Italian cooking show. While you will of course learn the secrets of "la cucina romana," Roman cuisine, you will also enjoy a special Tuscan cooking class. The cooking classes will take place in the villa's wonderful teaching kitchen, which boasts individual work stations, multiple cooking tops and ovens, and amazing views of the countryside on three sides so you will feel one with the land whose bounty you will be exploring. The classes will focus on recipes from professional chefs, "nonnas" (grandmas), and special visiting chefs. You will use only the freshest ingredients, including the property's own DOP-certified olive oil, and will learn to make everything from appetizers and pastas, to meat and fish dishes, to pizzas and desserts.