A CULINARY WEEK IN VALPOLICELLA with Amanda Cushman and Demet Güzey

September 16-22, 2018 – Villa Serenella, San Pietro in Cariano, Verona

Join an intimate group of Italian food and wine lovers and immerse yourself in the food and wine culture of Valpolicella on a 7-day, 6-night hands-on culinary excursion.

The rustic kitchen of the Palladian villa with its functioning fireplace.

In a 16th century Palladian villa we will learn all about classic Northern Italian food traditions such as risotto, tortelli and cold cuts, and wines such as Valpolicella, recioto and the most famous of all, Amarone. After visits to farms and vineyards, we will return to the villa and cook authentic local recipes, such as Risotto with Saffron and Shaved Parmesan, Pasta with Rabbit Ragout, and Crispy Grilled Polenta with Wild Mushrooms.

This workshop will be led by Amanda Cushman, author and culinary instructor of Chapel Hill Cooking Classes, and Demet Guzey, author and food and wine instructor based in Verona.

Amanda Cushman
Demet Güzey

Amanda Cushman is a culinary instructor, food writer and cookbook author. Amanda has been cooking professionally for over thirty-five years and teaches in private homes from Los Angeles to New York as well as developing recipes for local food publications. Demet lives in Verona and teaches Food and Culture and Italian Food and Wine Business to American university student in a Study Abroad program. She has a Ph.D. in food science.

Join us for a special taste of the Italian countryside and to experience this magical transformation, from grapes to wine, fresh produce to local dishes, and meals to feasts.

To sign up email us at amandascooking@gmail.com or demetguzey@gmail.com


2600 Euro= approximately 3180 USD per person, shared accommodation. Single accommodation charge: 400 Euro = approximately 490 USD

Living room of the villa
One of the many spacious rooms of the villa


What is included:

  • 6 nights lodging in a 15th century Palladian villa (based on double occupancy, max 10 attendees, with a shared bathroom for two rooms on each floor)
  • 6 Italian-style breakfasts, including espresso, cornetti, yogurt, fruit, and juice
  • 5 lunches, either prepared at the villa or part of local tours
  • 2 dinners at local authentic restaurants
  • 4 hands-on cooking classes, followed by dinners paired with local wines
  • All wine and food tastings on our trips
  • Transportation to and from events
  • Transfer from Verona airport or Verona train station to the villa.

What is excluded:

  • Flights to Verona
  • Personal expenses during visits
  • Travel insurance

Cancellation policy:

Payment is due in full at the time of your reservation. Cancellations will be fully refunded except for a service fee of $250 until May 1, 2018. After this date there will be no refunds.

The Program

Day 1 – Arrival (Sunday) September 16

Arrival at the villa in the afternoon

Welcome aperitivo at the villa followed by dinner at the local trattoria in walking distance

Day 2 – Exploratory day in the village (Monday) September 17

A visit to a local winery with wine tasting followed by lunch, in walking distance to the villa. We will get to learn about Valpolicella wines and have the chance to buy wine for dinner.

A visit to the butcher to pick up rabbit or quail.

Cooking class as we prepare the evening meal 

Day 3 – Wines of Valpolicella (Tuesday) September 18

A visit to a prestigious winery in Valpolicella with wine tasting.

A visit to a salumi producer who ages his culatello cuts in Amarone and recioto wines, including tasting and lunch.

Cooking class as we prepare the evening meal

Day 4 – Food Heritage of Valpolicella (Wednesday) September 19

Tortelli workshop at Enoteca della Valpolicella, including lunch

Free afternoon

Cooking class as we prepare the evening meal

Day 5 – Parma, Bologna and Modena (Thursday) September 20

A day in the Emilia Romagna region, visiting producers of prosciutto di Parma, aceto balsamico and parmigiano regiano, with lunch.

Free evening, a chance to visit Verona and try one of the restaurants recommended by Demet.

Day 6 – Lake Garda and Olive oil (Friday) September 21

A visit to the olive farm of Paolo Bonomelli with a tasting of their award winning olive oils, followed by a lunch at Lake Garda.

A gastronomic goodbye dinner.

Day 7 – Departure (Saturday) September 22

Time to say arrivederci. Departure after breakfast.