La Cucina Romana in the Sabine Hills

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.


Latest Review

We gave this trip 5 stars
John & Marion
CT
Trip taken October 2016
My husband and I were looking for something new and different to do on our thirteenth trip to Italy -- and thanks to International Kitchens, we found it : La Cucina Sabina! What a wonderful experience. The villa, with spectacular views, and the updated and spacious kitchen were beautiful. The owners/hosts, Mike DiGirolamo and Giuseppe Micheletta were always with us, making sure that we had and did everything we wanted to do. They really watched over us and made us feel welcome and comfortable. They came on day trips, looked in on us working in the kitchen and enjoyed meals with us -- providing wonderful food and wines. It was more like being a member of their family than a guest at their home. The staff was attentive and always available. The food and the service were outstanding. It was an all around great experience that we will continue to recommend to family and friends. We enjoyed the learning and hands-on cooking lessons, but we also loved the planned day trips with great sights and wonderful restaurants we visited. Thank you for guiding us to La Cucina Sabina. We would love to return.

Trip Details

You will have 4 wonderful hands-on cooking lessons during your culinary vacation, including a special pizza class. Your guide for your Italian cooking lessons will be Chef Barbara, who studied at the 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.


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Itinerary

Day One

  • Late morning or early afternoon transfer from Rome airport (Fiumicino or Ciampino) or train station (Termini) to the villa.
  • Time to relax and explore the villa and the grounds. Perhaps take a dip in the pool, or relax in the sauna before meeting your hosts and other culinary companions.
  • This evening, a welcome dinner where you will experience real Roman hospitality and discuss the itinerary for the week.
  • Overnight.

Sabine Hills villa


Day Two

  • Breakfast in the dining room or, weather permitting, on one of the outdoor terraces or covered verandas overlooking the surrounding olive groves and countryside.
  • Meet your chef and staff who will guide you through the week.
  • Next, your first hands-on cooking lesson in the beautiful newly designed teaching kitchen. Learn how to prepare a typical Roman meal from start to finish, and then enjoy it afterwards for lunch.
  • In the afternoon, visit the stunning castle of Palombara Sabina, the charming nearby medieval town. You will have a rare chance to visit the castle museum, not normally open to the public, and to enjoy the stunning views of Sabina region at sunset. Following a visit to the castle/museum, enjoy a dinner at medieval castle in Palombara Sabina.
  • Return to the villa and overnight.

Sabine Hills kitchen


Day Three

  • Breakfast.
  • Off to nearby the hilltop village of Tivoli for a visit of the open air market where you will learn to pick the freshest and best local ingredients for your next cooking class.
  • Next, a visit of the amazing Villa d’Este. One of the prime examples of Renaissance architecture and of the Italian Renaissance garden, it is now a UNESCO world heritage site. The villa, although gorgeous, pales in comparison to the extensive and intricate gardens, complete with nymphs, grottos, and the world-famous fountains that have inspired designers, artists, and poets for centuries.
  • Lunch in a local restaurant in Tivoli.
  • Transfer back to the property for your second cooking lesson, this one featuring Tuscan cuisine.
  • Dinner to follow based on your efforts out on the sunset terrace.
  • Overnight.

Rome Italy, San Pietro


Day Four

  • Breakfast, and depart for a special day in Rome!
  • Today you will experience a day-long adventure exploring the secrets of Ancient Rome. Your special guided tour of the city will feature places not normally visited by tourists, the Rome that was dear to the ancients and known by modern-day Romans. Your experienced guide will show you the art, food, history, and culture of the Eternal City. Lunch will be savored in Rome during the course of the day, and dinner will take place in a beautiful private roof top garden apartment overlooking the presidential palace and Trevi fountain.
  • Transfer back to the villa and overnight.

Cooking class in Italy


Day Five

  • A leisurely breakfast after your full day of touring on Wednesday.
  • Take a private transfer to the nearby region of Umbria for a winery visit and tasting. You’ll also get to enjoy lunch at a lovely wine estate.
  • In the afternoon, take a stroll in the walled city of Orvieto, which is known for its stunning views and its impressive cathedral.
  • Return to the villa to take part in a hands-on pizza making class using the property’s outdoor pizza oven. Dinner to follow based on your efforts.
  • Overnight.

Villa bedroom in Lazio, Italy


Day Six

  • Breakfast.
  • This morning, depart for a nearby olive grove and mill to learn about the local olive oil production, which started during ancient Roman times. You might also stop at a local dairy to learn about local cheeses. Return to the villa for an olive oil tasting, along with lunch.
  • This afternoon, your last cooking lesson, in which you will employ all the skills you have learned during your other lessons to create a large graduation dinner, from antipasti to dolci.
  • Overnight

Villa pool in Lazio, Italy


Day Seven

  • Light breakfast and goodbye to your hosts and friends, then transfer to Rome airport or train station.

Trip Details

Included in the 6-Night Trip

Accommodations

6 nights accommodation at private villa

Food & Beverages

  • Daily breakfast
  • 5 lunches
  • 6 dinners
  • Local wine with all included meals

Classes & Instructors

You will have 4 wonderful hands-on cooking lessons during your culinary vacation, including a special pizza class. Your guide for your Italian cooking lessons will be Chef Barbara, who studied at the 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.

Excursions

  • Visit of the Palombara Sabina castle, including its museum
  • Excursion to Tivoli to see the market and the Villa d’Este, a UNESCO world heritage site famed for its extensive and intricate gardens and fountains
  • Insider’s day in Rome
  • Excursion to Umbria including winery visit and Orvieto
  • Visit to local food producers such as an olive oil producer and, when available, a cheese producer

Transfer Details

  • Transfers to and from Rome’s main train station (Termini) or airports (Fiumicino and Ciampino). Transfers will also be made to Rome hotels with central locations, if possible (some driving restrictions may apply).

Not Included

  • Massages, or trips to local Spas
  • Liquor, cocktails, or special requests on wine
  • Additional trips into Rome or to other venues, including shopping excursions (specialty shopping trips for custom tailored clothing can be made)

Accommodation Information

This charming villa in the Sabina region was built as a private summer home in the early 80’s and recently renovated for use as a villa rental and site of a culinary vacation. The house features eight elegant guest suites with en suite baths, a wonderful common living room for gathering, several outdoor verandas and terraces, and a magnificent teaching kitchen with glass walls looking out onto the surrounding countryside. The spacious rooms include air conditioning, free WiFi, and satellite TV. The grounds boast a large outdoor pool and extensive gardens and orchards, including the olive trees that produces the property’s excellent olive oil.

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Pricing & Tour Dates

Looking for tour date information?


2019 Pricing:

6-night Program
US$3400 per person based on double occupancy
  • Add US$500 for single occupancy (use of a double room by 1 person)
  • Subtract US$300 per non-cooking companion
  • Add US$200 per person to upgrade to Upstairs room
  • Add US$400 per person to upgrade to Upstairs suite

30% deposit due to confirm booking.
Balance payment due 90 days prior to tour start date. Questions? Please contact us!

Special 7-Night Itinerary Pricing:
April 7-14

please inquire for details

6-night Program
US$3600 per person based on double occupancy
  • Add US$500 for single occupancy (use of a double room by 1 person)
  • Subtract US$300 per non-cooking companion

30% deposit due to confirm booking.
Balance payment due 90 days prior to tour start date. Questions? Please contact us!


Tour Dates

Available the following weeks.

2019
April 7-14 (special 7-night week, please inquire)
May 5-11
May 19-25
June 2-8
June 23-29 (4 rooms left)
September 22-28
September 29-October 5
October 6-12
October 20-26

Please inquire for other weeks.

Pricing & Dates

Class Pricing

Reviews

We gave this trip 5 stars
John & Marion
CT
Trip taken October 2016
My husband and I were looking for something new and different to do on our thirteenth trip to Italy -- and thanks to International Kitchens, we found it : La Cucina Sabina! What a wonderful experience. The villa, with spectacular views, and the updated and spacious kitchen were beautiful. The owners/hosts, Mike DiGirolamo and Giuseppe Micheletta were always with us, making sure that we had and did everything we wanted to do. They really watched over us and made us feel welcome and comfortable. They came on day trips, looked in on us working in the kitchen and enjoyed meals with us -- providing wonderful food and wines. It was more like being a member of their family than a guest at their home. The staff was attentive and always available. The food and the service were outstanding. It was an all around great experience that we will continue to recommend to family and friends. We enjoyed the learning and hands-on cooking lessons, but we also loved the planned day trips with great sights and wonderful restaurants we visited. Thank you for guiding us to La Cucina Sabina. We would love to return.
I gave this trip 5 stars
Phyllis
California
Trip taken August 2015
Everything was great. The local and visiting chefs were great. Some of the students were already experienced cooks, yet everyone enjoyed the level of instruction and the new techniques and recipes. The local tours (winery, olive oil mill, Tivoli, Palombara Sabina, etc.) added a lot to our understanding of the culture and appreciation of the recipes. The management of the program put together an itinerary which was very well organized - from the airport transfers, to every detail, it was a worry-free vacation. The only downer was the weather, but that's not your fault! Too hot this time of year! YOU THOUGHT OF EVERYTHING ! Staff, especially Adrian Hall, was great. They anticipated every need, and answered questions before I asked them!