** This is a sample itinerary to give you ideas for your custom designed tour so prices are approximate only.
Immerse yourself in cooking, food, Amarone wine and local life in the Veneto: the scenic Valpolicella wine hills, rice fields, magnificent Lake Garda and romantic Verona. An extraordinary variety of authentic, insider experiences so you truly connect with local people and feel part of their lives.
Cook and eat the food to match the wines with excellent home cooks and restaurant chefs in places off the tourist path like a beautiful country home overlooking Lake Garda. Savour dishes like radicchio risotto or braised veal with Amarone sauce.
In private visits, tour wineries to learn about and drink Amarone, Valpolicella, Ripasso and Recioto right in their cellars where they’re made.
Your local guide, born in Verona, is a sommelier from a family who owns an Amarone winery so you learn all you ever wanted to know about the wines. She takes you to meet her favourite people and soon feels like your local friend.
See day by day itinerary below.
Read about our “Italians you will meet” on this Italian cooking school tour.
6 Night Italian Cooking School Tour Itinerary
Arrive at Verona airport or train station by mid afternoon for group transfer to your hotel in a picturesque hill top village, San Giorgio. If you’d like private transport from Venice, we can arrange it for an extra charge.
One of the most thoughtful, friendly hotel managers I’ve ever met welcomes you. Sit back with a welcome drink on the terrace with spectacular views all the way to Lake Garda.
Welcome dinner at the hotel’s fine restaurant with great local wines like Amarone or Valpolicella.
Monday: Explore Valipolcella wine hills, cooking class, Amarone winery
Drive to a little restaurant in nearby Sant’Ambrogio for a full menu, hands-on cooking class with the outgoing owner. Lunch of your creations.
Explore San Giorgio on a short walk with your guide. Siesta if you wish.
Drive to your tour guide’s family’s winery on a lovely country estate for a tour and wine tasting. Optional walk up short slopes in their vineyards and among olive trees.
After your multi-course lunch, you’ll want to eat light. Dinner on your own. San Giorgio, about 10 minutes’ walk up gradual slopes from the hotel, has an excellent restaurant (as well as the hotel’s one).
Tuesday. Discover Verona’s many facets: wine, romance, Roman theatre
In the morning in Verona walk with your guide to learn about Verona’s history and local life. She shows you main sights you may want to visit on your own later: the Roman arena, Piazza delle Erbe with a tower to climb for amazing views, Juliet’s house, a less touristed historic area at the pretty Adige River, wine bars and shopping areas.
Relax over lunch on your own at sidewalk restaurants overlooking the Roman arena or where you wish.
Free afternoon to explore Verona.
In the evening, walk with your guide to drink fine wines at a series wine bars where locals go in Verona’s historic centre—some tucked away off the tourist track. Graze on light local snacks in each bar.
Wednesday. Lake Garda–cooking class, Bardolino winery, lake strolls
Drive to beautiful Lake Garda and up scenic hills above Bardolino to the lovely country home of an accomplished cook with a vast bread making knowledge. Make a variety of breads from all over Italy with her. Enjoy lunch in her home and take in the panoramas or walk in nearby woods.
With your guide, stroll leisurely along Lake Garda.
Drive to a well known, family-run winery near Bardolino. Taste their Bardolino, Valpolicella, Amarone, Bianco di Custoza wines. Tour their informative wine museum with their excellent guide before your private tasting in their elegant tasting room in their cellars.
Near Bardolino visit an interesting olive oil museum to learn about light Lake Garda olive oil.
Drive back to San Giorgio. Dinner on your own in San Giorgio.
Thursday: risotto secrets, cooking class, top Amarone winery
Drive to Isola della Scala on the plain south of Verona, world famous for its fine rice and risottos and ancient rice mill, operating since the 1650s. The rice producing Ferron family has owned it since 1921. Learn how they make rice, see their rice mill, walk in their rice fields and visit their rice museum.
Discover the secrets of making perfect risotto and cook five rice dishes with their chef in a hands-on, private class. Lunch of your creations.
Drive to the famous Allegrini winery estate. In their comfortable tasting room with their guide, taste of a range of their best wines.
Drive back to San Giorgio. Dinner on your own.
Friday: Quaint town’s famous tortellini, Lake Garda olive oil mill & fish dinner
Drive to charming, quaint town, Valeggio sul Mincio. Amble from a castle on a hill top down to town and hang out in this pretty town on a river.
Eat melt-in-your-mouth tortellini for lunch in a restaurant in town famous for its delicate tortellini and trout from Lake Garda.
Drive to nearby Lake Garda to an olive oil mill for a tasting of their olive oils.
Free time to wander along magnificent Lake Garda.
Arrivederci dinner at an excellent fish restaurant by Lake Garda.
After breakfast, reluctantly depart with our private transport to Verona’s train station or airport. If you’d like private transport to Venice or elsewhere, we’re happy to arrange it for an extra charge.
- 6 nights at a 3 star style hotel in San Giorgio with buffet breakfast
- Private transport from/to Verona train station or airport
- Local minivan driver throughout, except in free time
- Local guide with you throughout, except in free time
- 3 hands-on, private cooking classes
- 3 dinners
- 3 lunches
- 3 private visits at a 3 wineries with tours and tastings
- Lake Garda guided walk
- Rice mill tour
- Olive oil museum tour
- Olive oil mill visit with tasting
- Morning guided walking tour and evening wine bar tour in Verona
- Guided walk in Valeggio sul Mincio
- Wines with meals so you can choose the wines you want
- 2 lunches, 3 dinners