Roman Countryside Discovery
About the location: This 1797 villa is located in the heart of Ciociaria and the historic center of a small town. In 1964, the Ministry of Education proclaimed this an area of particular interest for its panoramas of extraordinary beauty. From the slopes of the ancient tower (where, according to popular tradition, the legendary queen Camilla and her father Metabus took refuge in a cave), it is a wonderful view of arches, towers and bare stone walls, giving the appearance of a medieval hamlet, built close around the fortress.
Your host is an American-born Italian who grew up in a close-knit Italian family of three generations in the Midwest, where he was lucky to have learned fluent Italian at a young age from his beloved “Nonna.” He owned a very successful interior design firm in Boca Raton, Florida, but always spent time in Italy. He was continually drawn to the village of his father’s birth and in 2005, when the adjacent property to where his father was born was put up for sale, it was a forgone conclusion that this would become his opportunity to fulfill his dream.
An old traditional olive oil mill dating back to the 16th century is located on the ground floor of your accommodations and welcomes you to the property. The seven bedrooms (photo gallery) have been lovingly renovated, and tastefully decorated with wrought-iron beds and antique furniture. All guest rooms have reading lights, heating and air conditioning, beautifully tiled ensuite bathrooms, Jacuzzi bathtubs, heated towel bars and hair dryers. Wi-fi is also available in the public areas. Luxury has not been sacrificed for authenticity! This is a beautiful, welcoming property, where you can relax and enjoy not only your culinary activities but the scenic surroundings.
About the cooking lessons: The local chefs create mouth-watering specialties such as zuppa di pane, sagne e fagioli, fettuccine by hand with various meat sauces, gnocchi with pork ribs, salsiccia patate e peperoni with casereccio bread and ciambelle di vino, only to name a few. Those who travel to this area soon learn that in Ciociaria “Si mangia e si mangia bene” (you eat and eat well). This area is also known for its marzoline (goat cheese), fresh ricotta, bufala mozzarella and prosciutto di Guarcino.
Your host immerses his guests into cooking in an Italian family environment and offers small hands-on cooking classes taught by various professionals. Your host during your stay is an Italian-American, self-taught cook following the traditions passed down from his bisnonna, nonna and mother. His move to Italy brought him to the true source of these delicious meals. He has combined his family recipes with those of a professional chef and assistant, the villa’s local cooks, and resident pizza maker to give to you an “assaggio completo” (authentic sampling) of Ciociara traditions. Of course your experience here would not be complete without a toast from the Valle de Comino area’s famous Cabernet di Atina or perhaps a glass of a fine Cesanese.