Culinary Experience on the Amalfi Coast Reviews
Linda & Matthew
Trip taken June 2018
Transfers were very professional and in new condition, they treated us like royalty.
Overall communication needs improvement as we did not have any details on what to expect. [Note from TIK: Thank you for your feedback, in future we'll make sure to include a more detailed account of what to expect for each day's activities!]
Trip taken August 2018
The trip was everything and more! From the Hotel Mediterraneo staff, the drivers (especially Giulio) and chefs everyone was very professional and attentive. I think the itinerary provided the right amount of scheduled events and free time.
Trip taken August 2018
The whole experience from our first encounter with coordination of the tour itinerary with the Chicago staff to each encounter with hotel staff, restaurant chef and staff, drivers, tour guides exceeded expectations. Folks asked me what city and meal were the best. Neither can I rate Sorrento over Ravello over Pompeii etc. Nor the diverse Italian meals from soup to nuts. I am still living the experience two weeks later. It left an indelible mark. Amalfi Coast is beautiful and incredibly enticing to my heart and soul as a traveler.
Trip taken August 2018
My experience with TIK was a wonderful adventure that I will talk about for a long time. The ease of planning, the variety of things to do and the attention to detail in our classes/tours was impressive. The information packet we recieved prior to the trip was quite helpful. We didn't have any issues because we were so prepared by the staff. We knew there would be lots of walking and we were ready for every step. We were well advised about euros, tipping,safety measures, etc.and reminded to just have a good time. We even caught a quick glimps of the Pope in Rome, what a surprise!
Kathryn & Linda
Trip taken May 2018
Stayed at the Hotel Mediterreano in Sorrento. Details are below. Everything was excellent (with one exception below). From the arrival and pick up at the airport to the delivery back to the airport for our return home...Our driver, Baldo, was absolutely fantastic and was our driver on most days. He was personable and was always on time. The car was perfect. Trip to Pompeii was good. No lines, private tour guide, Andrew. Also really liked the tour of the vineyard and lunch. The very best excursion was the yacht trip to Capri on the Hotel Mediterraneo boat. The driver was great, served little appetizers and wine/beer. Showed us all of the grottos. It was my favorite thing about the trip...tied with the Il Retrovo cooking class. All of the excursions and cooking events were wonderful and the people were engaging and delightful. All of the lunches were great as was the breakfast each day at the hotel. The 2 cooking classes were great, on time, fun and educational.
The only complaint I had was the quality of the "included meals"... we had to order from the limited "special" menu. For a vacation focusing on food, this was disappointing as the food and choices were mediocre at best...This was the only negative about the trip. [Note from TIK: Thanks for your comments - we'll make sure to talk to our partners about increasing the variety and quality of the food for these meals!]
First, the info was very general, so we were delightfully surprise with our pick up at the airport, the wonderful hotel and all their services. The ride to Positano, as rainy as it was, we really enjoyed it, the driver, Max, was excellent. He was also available the day for Pompeii. Our tour with Rosa was great too, very cultural, homey, friendly. Up to this point all on this tour was exceptional. Our last cooking class was not consistent with the quality of this tour. The chef was late, disorganized, did not have all her supplies...
William & Sara G.
I had a great time during my cooking vacation. It was really organized and well planned out. Our hotel was beautiful, the staff was amazing, and our room had a gorgeous view. I loved our cooking class at Mami Camilla. We learned to make a lot of different dishes and it was very hands-on. I didn't enjoy our cooking class at Sorrento Cooking School as much because it wasn't hands-on enough and the dishes we made were a bit too simple. Other than that, there really wasn't anything to complain about. Even when we ran into a small snafu where our driver didn't know he had to pick up our tour guide for Pompeii and we hired one at Pompeii, the local travel agency reimbursed us immediately the following morning.
Jessie L., CA
I loved the cooking class at Mami Camilla....it was fun and delicious. They were gracious and fun to work with. Palmera was a wonderful instructor and so much fun to work with. We had a great time telling all the diners that we mad the entire meal ! The side trips were wonderful and our guide was great....and great looking:) the mozzarella factory was fascinating.
Rosalie L., FL
The hotel in Sorrento was beautiful, the front desk was wonderful, our guide, Salvatore was excellent. He not only drive us, but we got a history lesson, and a wonderful lunch spot during our tour of Positano, Amalfi and Revello. Our cooking class with the Sorrento Cooking School was good..but the class on our last day with Camilla was wonderful. We cooked all day, and then feasted on our work! Our tour of the cheese factory and light lunch also was very informative and again we had a great light lunch there.
Joy A., NC
The overall trip as scheduled was excellent. Your choices for the full dinner preparations provided us with a very good understanding of S. Italian cooking. As there were only the two of us signed up for this package we had the full attention of our guides and for a majority of the cooking class. The hands on experience was great and my wife who does not cook got a lot out of it and is now ready to help prepare some of these recipes. On the second full cooking class they had a total of 10 or 12 participants so it was not as intense but we still were able to be hands on for a majority of the items that were prepared. A smaller class would have been much preferred. No more than 6 participants would give a better experience. Our only criticism is that some of our drivers did not speak english very well and we had some minor problems. Once we informed the Hotel about this they called the driver service and the remaining drivers spoke English. The quality of the Hotel cooking was not very good. I would rate it as a 3 star at the most. The presentations were good but the cooking was marginal. We would preferred to go out to local restaurants and get a better meal.
[Regarding The International Kitchen staff:] Your staff was very good and accommodating.
Charles and Marian O., MD
On the whole, the trip was fabulous. The tours, hotel accommodations and staff, far exceeded our expectations to the point of being luxurious. The cooking classes were well run, fun and valuable learning experiences. We were surprised that there was no one to "greet" us but hotel staff handled all situations expertly and warmly. One suggestion I would make is that you do NOT include a dinner on the days that we cook a full meal. Some days dinner was superfluous and therefore wasted. There was a good balance between learning about Italian cuisine and wine and enjoying the tourist sites and beautiful countryside. Had a more in-depth experieience by interacting with the Italian people than we would have had on the usual tour. I think that they appreciated our wanting to learn about their cuisine. Can't say enough good words about the inclusion of the tour of Pompeii, visits to the postcard hillside villages, boat trip around Capri and swimming through the Emerald Grotto, and the vineyard visit during which I ordered cases of wine that I am enjoying at this moment. Even the drivers were well informed and eager to make our trip most enjoyable.
Adrian-- he was great-- answered all questions and kept us apprised of schedule changes, etc. He gave us some good suggestions such as making train reservations in advance rather than taking a chance on getting a seat at the last minute.
Nancy W. and Melissa S., FL
We really enjoyed all of the cooking classes, restaurant in Positano was amazing (we had Chef Sal's Aunt teach us how to make pasta), she was amazing. We loved Villa Ida too, they were so gracious with their hospitality!!! Loved Charlie's wine! Sargento Farm was great too! (Driver was not exactly sure where the farm was located but he got us there.) Gelato and pizza making classes were fun too. Tour guide in Pompei was wonderful!
[Regarding the cooking vacation packet:] I would suggest that you note in the final itinerary that guests will receive a final itinerary at the hotel upon check in to confirm pick up times, our itinerary changed a bit from the one we had received in the mail, it was not a problem but a good item to note.
[Regarding The International Kitchen staff:] Yes, The International Kitchen staff were great to work with and I enjoyed the opportunity to speak with the owner too. We had a wonderful trip and will definitely consider booking a future trip with The International Kitchen.
The Mediterraneo Hotel in Sorrento is fabulous, great location, great staff. All of our drivers for this trip were wonderful!!!
Laurel R. and Joseph M., IL
Thank you, thank you, thank you for making my dream come true!!!
Our recent Culinary Experience on the Amalfi Coast was everything you promised and so much more! From the wonderful driver who met us in Naples, to the warm and friendly reception we had at the Hotel Mediterraneo to the personal cooking classes and tours, and on and on, we were spoiled from day one!
Each day, the four of us agreed- if this was the last day of the trip- today was perfect and we would be happy- and then we would wake up to another perfect day! The pace and schedule was full, but never too much or too little. We had time to relax and shop, but we were never left wanting more classes or more free time. A beautiful balance!
Highlights for me were: Every minute at Il Ritrovo, Bouganville Gelato Class and our evening at Villa Ida with Grandpa Charlie's homemade wine.
The Hotel Mediterraneo was above expectations! The staff, the accommodations, the view from our room, the restaurant, the pool and pool bar and rooftop bar were just wonderful! The rooftop bar view of the sunset over Capri is something I will never, ever forget. The private yacht trip to Capri was another highlight- Marco, the captain was the absolute perfect addition to our beautiful trip that day. He made every part of the day easy and wonderful. Sipping prosecco on the deck of a yacht circling Capri- how do you top that??
I had been watching your website for years and hoping that one day I would be able to join a tour. How grateful I am that this year it happened! I was able to travel with my sister, Jen and a dear friend from high school, also Jen and her daughter, Molly. We are already planning another tour with International Kitchen- hopefully in two years!
Cathy P., CT
I loved the region we visited. The Amalfi Coast is stunning. All of our chef instructors were very good and the demonstrations were great. I enjoyed the cooking classes at Il Ritrovo and in Sorrento the most because the instructors were excellent but also because they were the most hands-on. The gelato demonstration was also beautifully done (Theresa is wonderful!). The hotel staff kept us fully informed and organized about our itinerary and when to be ready for pick up and return to the hotel. The day trips to Capri and Pompei were some of the best experiences I have ever had while on vacation. The region is so rich in history, art, beautiful vistas, and friendly people! Out captain on our boat to Capri (Marco) was really wonderful, he showed us many sights, he made us feel really welcome on the boat, and he allowed us to have extra swimming time! What a magical day! Cant say enough good things about Hotel Mediteranno, wonderful staff, clean and comfortable rooms, really wonderful breakfast buffet, and truly awesome views and drinks from roof top bar!
[Regarding the cooking vacation packet:] There was plenty of good information.
[Regarding The International Kitchen staff:] All email information was prompt and helpful.
Jennifer H., CT
We loved the hands on experience of learning to cook, and also experiencing the wonderful people and food and local produce in their own environment. we loved every minute of it. The accommodation, hotel, and view from the hotel was wonderful. It was very hard to leave. We were looked after extremely well. The three ladies that joined us were wonderful company. Sad to part with them as well.
Janet and Geoffrey M., Australia
It was a perfect blend of cooking and touring. I don't think the term "cooking classes" adequately describes the authentic experience of the Italian culture. When we arrived at the beautiful Villa for our cooking class, we sat underneath lemon trees in the villa sipping cappuccino and homemade cake before our class began. The teachers are so engaging, friendly and we learned the art of how to make gnocchi, tiramisu with limoncello and all the accompaniments. then Carlo brought us to his wine cellar for his tasting of his 5 different wines! Perfecto! I can't choose my favorite day, because they were all my favorite!