Italian Gourmet Week with Antonella Pavanello

Fast and Furious Italian Gourmet Cooking with the Chef Featured in Italy’s Elle Magazine!
Currently open, for more information e-mail Gretchen
4200 euros per person, double occupancy

Wouldn’t it be nice to visit Italy, the country best known for its remarkable history, outstanding food and deeply rooted traditions, and to learn this romantic country’s outstanding recipes from one of its very best teachers?

Poggio Verde and Elesta Travel are delighted to offer an experience that will surely turn your vacation into a chance to becomePicture7 an easy-Italian gourmet expert! Start impressing your family and friends back home with your Italian cooking skills gained from a renowned Italian chef and food stylist and a good friend, Antonella Pavanello! She was featured in Italy’s hip Elle Magazine’s website where she’s preparing a fast and tasty meal for the magazine’s Elle a tavola (Elle at table) segment. In over 25 years in the industry, she has been collaborating with Italy’s leading magazines: Sale & Pepe (Salt & Pepper), A Tavola (Dinner’s Ready!), Cucina Moderna (Modern Cuisine), Cucina Naturale (Healthy Cooking) and Cucina No Problem (Cuisine “No Problem”).

This fabulous one-week all inclusive trip has it all: Three full meal preparation days with Antonella and four exciting food-oriented day-trips to Northern Italian beauty spots where we have found restaurants whose chefs truly merit a special visit. We have tested each restaurant you take you to, and you’ll be inspired by the sights of our rich northern Italian cultural offering, as well as the tastes of our culinary traditions! You’ll have time to try our fabulous local wines, do some silk and gift shopping, visit Italy’s design capital and experience the beauty of the northern Italian lakes.  

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A quiet corner in the park at Poggio Verde

Day 1 – Arrival, Montevecchia and First Cooking Lesson with Antonella. Arriving in Malpensa airport, our driver will accompany you and your luggage to the Poggio Verde Villa. The villa will be your home for a full week, hence after some unpacking and refreshments, we will take you for a full tour of the house and the surrounding area so that you will get the feel of this enchanting place. To kick start the authentic Italian experience, we will take a short walk in the scenic Monticello Alto with its quaint church and stations of the cross. Afterwards, we will have a light lunch in the excellent bio farm table, Teresa alle Fragole. Our driver will take us back to the villa where we will rest until the start of our first cooking lesson with Antonella at around 3pm. This cooking session is entitled “Easy Cooking: Menu for A Beautiful Season” and will include: Crema di Melanzane ai Capperi e Origano (cream of eggplant with capers and oregano), Maccheroncini “Al Contadino non far Sapere” (little macaroni pasta with pistachio, speck and pecorino), Millefoglie di pollo freddi in salsa agretta (cold chicken dish in agretta sauce), and Mousse Gelato di Cioccolato alle Pesche e Lamponi (chocolate ice cream with a twist of peach and raspberries) for dessert.

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Beautiful Lake Como

Day 2 – Lake Como: Bellagio, Villa Carlotta. Lunch at Ristorante MistralOur driver will take us up the western side of Lake Lecco to the stunning village of Bellagio with views of Lake Como to the east, north and west. After a lunch at Ristorante Mistral, a terrific Michelin-noted restaurant that specializes in molecular cooking, we will walk down to catch the ferry to the other side of the lake where we will walk along the very scenic Lake Como Greenway to the grounds of Villa Carlotta. We’ll catch the ferry back and our driver will take us back to the villa for a home-cooked meal together.

Day 3 – Valtellina (Nino Negri) Lunch at Ristorante Fracia. After breakfast we will head north along the east side of Lake Lecco and then turn east into the gorgeous and steep wine-growing area of Valtellina. We will have a lunch of local specialties at the charming Ristorante Fracia then visit the famous Nino Negri vineyard. This area is also known for its superb Italian cured meats, such as bresaola and speck, and some tasty cheeses are produced in this region, as well. We will make a stop at a local shop to avail ourselves of some of these specialties to take home and enjoy the rest of the week. We will return to the Villa in time to relax a bit before our home-cooked dinner.

Bicchierini Gamberi

Bicchierini di Gamberi alla Sambuca

Day 4 – Relax in the Villa and Second Session with Antonella. After breakfast, we will have the time to relax and enjoy the villa itself. Depending on the season we’ll take a dip in the swimming pool or take a walk and discover the villa’s little secret garden spots. A traditional Italian lunch will be served in the villa’s terrace, weather permitting. In the afternoon, we will begin the second easy-Italian cuisine lesson with Antonella. For this night’s dinner, entitled “Easy Cooking: Mixed Summer”, Antonella will teach us how to prepare: Bicchierini di Gamberi alla Sambuca (small glasses of shrimps with sambuca liqueur), Risotto al Campari e Pompelmo Rosa con Capesante e Lime (Campari rice and pink grapefruit with scallops and lime), Salmone Affumicato Estivo al Mango, Rucola e Wasabi (smoked salmon with mango, rocket salad and wasabi), and Pavlova al Frutto della Passione e Frutti di Bosco (meringue with passion fruit and wild berries). Yummy!

Day 5 – Milan. Lunch at Obicá in the Brera District. We will board a local train into Milan, exiting at the impressive new “Porta Nuova” piazza. We’ll wander up the famed Corso Como pedestrian street, possibly stopping in for a visit to “Eataly”, home of an amazing array of Italian foods. Lunch will be at Obicá, a particularly good  spot for excellent mozzarella from every part of Italy, pizza, salads in the artsy Brera District. From there we will walk toward the Piazza della Scala, through the Galleria to the Duomo. If it’s a nice day we’ll visit the extraordinary roof.   We’ll make a stop at the sublime “Last Supper” of Leonardo da Vinci, visit some great shopping streets and then return to the villa for a relaxing and delicious home-cooked meal.

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Filetto di Maiale Glassato al Pompelmo con Cimette di Cavolfiore

Day 6 – Como, Mantero Outlet and Lunch at I Tigli in Theoria and a Third Session with Antonella. After breakfast, our driver will take us to Mantero, a well-known Italian producer of luscious silk scarves and ties, for some bargain silk shopping. Then we will drive to nearby Como for a walk through the Old Town and lunch at I Tigli in Theoria. We’ll return to Poggio Verde in time to enjoy getting ready for our final cooking lesson with Antonella entitled “Easy Cooking: Citrus’ Fragrance”. This time, with citrus as the “star” ingredient, you will be learning how to whip together these dishes:  Crema Speziata di Zucca all’Arancia con Baccalà Marinato e Mirtilli (Spicy cream of pumpkin and orange with marinated codfish and blueberries), Linguine al Pesto di Arancia, Mandorle, Pistacchi e Limone (pasta with pesto of orange, mandarin, pistachio and lemon), and Filetto di Maiale Glassato al Pompelmo con Cimette di Cavolfiore (pork tenderloin glazed with grapefruit and cauliflower on the side). To conclude, we will have the tempting Mousse di Limone ai Pistacchi e Fragole (lemon mousse with pistachios and strawberries).

Day 7 – Bergamo Alto hill town  and Lunch at Frosio. Our driver will take us into the little town of Barzanò to the beloved pastry shop, Fumagalli, for a cappuccino and “brioche” (the yummy Italian version of a croissant) before getting on the road to Bergamo, one of the most beautiful hill towns in Italy. After visiting the stunning Renaissance and Roman sites of the city with our excellent guide, our driver will take us to Ristorante Frosio in nearby Almé for a pleasant lunch in the beautiful dining room of this 18th century villa. We will return to Poggio Verde for a final goodbye dinner at what has become your home-away-from-home.

Day 8 – Departure. After breakfast at the Villa our driver will take you, your packages, your new-found culinary talents and fantastic memories, back to Malpensa airport for your return home.

Please e-mail Gretchen for more information.