Let's Cook!... and Learn about Life in "Real" Italy!

Italy is made up of over 6000 small villages that dot the countryside.  In these villages, traditions are held onto, family is still sacred as is faith and community.  Village life is most of what people refer to as Italian, as we think we understand it elsewhere in the world.  It is mostly southern Italians from small villages that immigrated to the United States, Canada, Australia, and other parts of Europe and the world.

I'd like to invite you to come with me to my family village of Roseto Valfortore.  On these trips you will be visiting Italy like a family member and friend.  You will meet my family and be treated as such!  I want to introduce the town that started the phenomenon of "the Roseto Effect" to people.  This is my way of giving back to others what I was fortunate enough to have grown up with.  Life is about good food and more importantly FAMILY. FAITH. COMMUNITY.  Close personal connections in life is what makes for a longer life.

Join me.  Come on one of the Cooking Trips or come on the one where you will still do some cooking but lots of other stuff too.  When you go to Roseto, you should "live there" for the week instead of just visiting and observing.  Be part of it.  Take something home with you.  Happiness.  Contentment. Italian Culture. Peace. ...oh and some great Italian recipes!

I can also set you up with individual classes if you are in Puglia during a time I don't have a week long course... or if you have a group that wants to go at a certain time I can set up a course just for your group!  The sky is the limit... this is my hometown!!!

Love Dorina


Roseto Italy Trips 2018 (and sample itinerary below)

(if by chance your heritage is from Roseto Valfortore, contact me about setting you up with time to find your family, family homes if possible, etc)

27 June- 6 July -- Cooking Trip/Local Tours/Italian Beach! $1999*

All the sun isn’t in Tuscany! Puglia is beautiful!  Summer classes include a lot of the summer seasonal vegetables such as zucchini and eggplant as well as fresh herbs.  We will also take a trip to visit Giuseppina and Nicola the cheesemakers! You will also spend a morning at the Saturday Market and witness the St. Antonio Festival where you will see processions, lit up streets and music in Piazza!

This trip includes a mid-week day to go to the beach on the Gargano (the “spur” of the boot) where the beaches are beautiful and the water crystal blue with mountains falling into the sea!

We also spend a morning visiting the nearby city of Lucera…where there is a castle, amphitheater and cathedrals dating back 1000 years!  And yes… there is STILL time to relax in piazza or at the town pool perched on the side of the mountain!


4 October- 13 October -- Cooking, Olive Oil and Wine Making $1999*

Fall is time for Olive Oil and Wine making! We will visit an Olive Oil production in the town of Biccari next mountain over from Roseto… and we will be making wine with a wonderful HOME Wine maker… right in town.

You will participate in 5 cooking classes, where the foods begin to differ from the summer foods as the weather begins to cool. Foods that are hearty and filling and warm your soul!

This week is also a feast of the Madonna della Consolazione.  So you will see a traditional village feast and festivities.

We will also spend a day visiting the Reggia di Casserta- one of the largest Castles in Europe!  There will be time to take a walking tour of town, visit the cheesemakers and time to relax!


*prices are subject to change



Please NOTE... In Italy not much is set in stone except for history!  So these days can end up being re-arranged -added to subtracted from or multiplied and divided!  Please be like the Italians and go with the flow!  Only thing I will guarantee is a GREAT time!

Day 1- Thursday

Arrive in Italy.  You will be picked up at either the Naples Airport or at the Ariano Irpino train station (if you fly into Rome) .

It is a 2 hr drive to Roseto.

Upon arrival in town, you will be taken to your rooms which will be in a variety of places in town- we have a few bed and breakfasts and some small houses/apartments.  No matter which place you stay at you will be provided breakfast each day.

Once dropped off in your rooms, you are encouraged to take a little rest! When you are rested and refreshed feel free to wander down to the piazza and have an espresso at one of the bars to "wake up"! and just take in a little of the feel of the town.

We will then meet at a table in Piazza and have an introductory conversation hour where you can begin to learn some words and phrases in Italian that will be useful during the week!

We will then head over to one of the restaurants in town to have our Welcome dinner.  (usually around 8pm).  After dinner we usually hang around piazza a bit but that first night you will be tired so most usually make it an early night!

Day 2   Friday

Awake to your fresh pastries and espresso!  After Breakfast we will take a little walking tour of our historic little Roseto that dates back to 900AD!

From 10-11 we will have another conversational Italian Class

We will then make our way to the kitchen for our first cooking class.  (around 11-1130) We will cook and have our wonderful midday meal following our lesson!   After lunch it's rest time!

Later in the afternoon we will take a ride "up the mountain" to go visit the Zita's.  Nicola and Giuseppina are a fun couple whose business is making cheese.  One of the special cheeses of our region is the Caciocavallo.  You will watch as Nicola forms the various cheese and he may even let you get in on the cheesemaking action yourself!  And of course you get to taste it fresh made!

Evening will be free time to roam about town and meet some of the locals!  It is Friday evening of a Festa weekend so there will most likely be something going on in town!

Day 3  Saturday

Saturday morning is the Mercato (the street market) in town!  It starts around 8am and goes on until about noon or so.  You can shop for food, shoes, clothing, souvenirs etc. and then you can sit outside at a cafe and watch how the whole town comes out to shop!

Today our class will be a little later so that you can shop as long as possible.  So lunch will be on your own-- you can either have afternoon dinner at one of the restaurants or each chip in a something and have a little picnic at the edge of town at one of the "fountains" before heading back to our rooms to rest.

At 2pm there will be one more conversational Italian language class for those interested.

After the language lesson we will hold our 2nd cooking class.  We will then have our dinner and head back to piazza for more Festa activities and outdoor entertainment!

Day 4 Sunday

In the morning there will be a procession honoring St. Anthony.  On this day they also take the Our Lady of Mount Carmel statue out of the "Chiesa Madre" (the mother church) and take it to one of the other churches to prepare Her for the next feast 2 weeks later!) For those who want to go to church mass is at 10am.(whether you are Catholic or not it is something unique and different than you are probably used to seeing.)

Everyone will pack a lunch and will then head down to the town pool nestled on the side of the mountain... it is a beautiful little "resort" right in our little village!

Dinner will be on your own in town followed by a fun evening in piazza!

Day 5 Monday

Monday will be Beach Day!  We will drive to a beach out on the Gargano which is the "spur" of the boot!  The beaches are rocky so you may want to bring watershoes.  But these same rocky beaches are BEAUTIFUL.

Food can be brought with you or eaten at one of the restaurants right on the beach!  truly wonderful seafood to be had here!

We get back to town in the evening and you have that time to do as you please.

Day 6 Tuesday

After an early breakfast we will head into Lucera- a nearby city which dates back to before 320BC...  It has a very interesting history... it was was the last stronghold of Islamic presence in Italy... there is an amphitheatre that was discovered in 1932 dating back to the days of Augustus and some beautiful Cathedrals, medieval castle and more!  We will have lunch in Lucera at a fine seafood establishment where they will bring us an assortment of dishes traditional to the area and then head back to Roseto for a well needed nap!

After our rest we will have our afternoon (3rd)cooking class, dinner and free evening time!

Day 7 Wednesday

For those that are interested in going out VERY early -there will be the opportunity to go up the mountain with an experienced Truffle Hunter!  Then head back to town for breakfast!

After breakfast and a little free time we will have our 4th class at 10am followed by midday meal and afternoon siesta.

The afternoon is free for those who either want another afternoon at the pool, a quick shopping trip back into Lucera or hanging around town.

Evening will be either in town or visiting the piazza of another local town.

Day 8 Thursday

Thursday morning is all about doing something of your choice.  There is horseback riding on the mountain, an outdoor activity course on the next mountain over, hikes, picnics, art class etc.  We will plan which activity you want at the beginning of the week.

Lunch is on your own and then after siesta time we will meet back at the kitchen for our last cooking class!

We will have dinner and everyone will be dismissed to spend their last evening in Piazza!

Day 9 Friday


Leave early in the morning for Naples airport!

--unless you have extended your stay!