A unique cooking and dining experience in Sorrento, Italy
Sorrento, perched on a ledge between the water overlooking Naples and Mount Vesuvius, is a beautiful Italian town of 20,000 residents, with just as many tourists in the summer months (and sometimes it feels like even more). Surrounded by lemon and olive groves, this gateway to the Amalfi Coast has a lovely old quarter (Centro Storico), a lively shopping district, a gorgeous rugged coastline, and friendly residents.
We joined a small group from our Ship and participated in a cooking class at Villa Ida, an inviting home surrounded by grape vines, fruit trees and gardens. The estate is owned by Ida’s daughter and granddaughter (who acted as translator for her mother); both served as our instructors, demonstration chefs and cooking chefs (with several assistants). Charlie, the brother-in-law of Ida’s daughter, makes wines in Sorrento from grapes he purchases from friends’ vineyards nearby – local, naturally made wines with little fuss.
After our class and just before eating on the beautiful patio in the garden, we had the opportunity to visit his wine “cellar” and taste his 2014 and 2015 wines with salami and cheese. With our luncheon we had both the red and white wines (“Charlie’s Wine” and “Ida’s Wine”). The experience at Villa Ida was great fun, educational, and a surprisingly savory luncheon (that we had helped prepare!). We left fully sated and ready to head back to the Ship for a late afternoon siesta.