Pesto, Pasta, and the Cinque Terre
Liguria may be known best for the Cinque Terre, but travel up the coast and you'll discover a hidden gem: the charming surf town of Levanto, also known as "the northern door of the Cinque Terre." Similar to the Cinque Terre — or "five lands" — Levanto is populated with colorful houses, 20th-century villas overlooking the sea, and small vineyards producing Sciacchetrà wine. The cuisine here too hails from the garden, sea, and woods, making any local dish a veritable feast of the senses. From seafood to honey, marmalades, and olive patés, delicacies abound. But don't forget about the herbs — rosemary, sage, thyme, and most importantly basil — as they play an integral role in the regional cuisine, such as the infamous Genovese pesto.
Discover the flavors of Levanto while staying at a charming agriturimso located just a few miles from the Ligurian coast. Once the summer home of an aristocratic family, today this renovated 17th-century estate welcomes guests like family. Situated on 15 hectares of olive groves and vineyards, the estate's products are still cultivated manually, due to the surrounding steep terrain, and organically. But that hard work is worth it, as the fruits of their labor yield delicious olives and grapes as well as a plethora of other vegetables and fruits. As for your accommodations, every one of the junior suites has their own private terrace or garden with their own panoramic views of the beautiful land.
About the cooking class: Learn about Ligurian cuisine traditions with Chef Alberto, who grew up in the area and previously owned and operated restaurants of his own. Your two hands-on cookery courses will focus on typical Ligurian dishes featuring fresh and flavorful ingredients, many of which come straight from the agriturismo's property.