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 famous Genovese pesto.

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 famous Genovese pesto.


Latest Review

We gave this trip 5 stars
Richard & Charla
Ohio
We were totally satisfied with the location of the classes. The villa (Villanova) was beautiful and the grounds were perfect. The little Church really set the place apart from other places in Italy! Cant say enough about the owners and staff, so friendly and helpful and wonderful English. The mix of cooking, eating and hiking the villages was perfect for us, we have hiked there before but the additional of a guide was a great idea. The weather was perfect so hiking was exceptional. Levanto was a great little seaside village with a low tourist crowd, we were there at the end of the season so not sure about high season. Having car service included in package was a big plus!! We could not get the hang of the trains. Breakfast at Villanova was perfect and the terrace was fabulous. The rooms were very nice with a kitchen so you can bring back simple food to eat there, we bought all our wine from the villa. We ate the food from the classes or restaurants, there are many, in Levanto all but one night. Lunches were enjoyed in the villages. The International Kitchen staff: Chicago office was very helpful and we were happy with everything they did for us,, especially advising us the day before we left that the contact in Italy had notified them of a train strike that was to occur the day we were to go to Levanto. The car service in Levanto met us at our Hotel in Milan and drove us down. In fact we used a car and driver to go to Bologna at the end of our 5 days in Levanto then to Ravenna for Mosaic school for 5 days and on to Milan airport, we were gone 18 days in all. Thank you Chicago.

Trip Details

During your 2 hands-on cooking classes you will learn about Ligurian cuisine traditions with Chef Alberto, who grew up in the area and previously owned and operated restaurants of his own. Each of 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.


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