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Cook, eat, live, love and laugh the Italian way. Sign up for my summer retreats!


Ciao, I’m so happy you’re here... This is a red carpet back stage pass to experience the real Bella Italia! So pop the prosecco, pack your bags and get ready to make memories that will last a lifetime! This should help you find out more about our summer retreats.





Soak up the sunshine, swim in the gorgeous Med, learn how to cook all the Italian classics, explore the Tuscan hillsides, wander around the cobble stone Renaissance streets, take in the breathtaking architecture and history and enjoy the best food of your life.

You’ll also learn about wine making while savoring the most epic red’s on earth. Take a private boat ride to an exclusive island, sip a spritz under a beach umbrella in the Italian Riviera, practice yoga, immerse yourself in Italy's food and culture during private behind the scenes tours with local experts, and make lifelong friendships with likeminded humans who’ll become family.

But even more importantly, (maybe for the first time ever) you actually take time off from your busy life to focus on YOU. To love yourself like never before.....

Embrace the magic of La Dolce Vita and take this secret recipe home as a souvenir to raise your vibration and feel better about yourself for the REST of your LIFE.


  • Italy is the top destination on your bucket list
  • You lack the time or insight to plan an epic getaway
  • You want to avoid tourist traps you find in guidebooks and apps
  • You want to travel with someone who knows the country and language
  • You can't wait to enjoy the best food and wines of your life
  • You want photos of yourself in places you've only seen in your dreams
  • You fired up for exclusive hands on cooking classes with a pro
  • You want a small intimate group experience that makes you feel like family

  • You love having a good time, laughing, exploring and trying new things
  • Your favorite book or movie is "Under a Tuscan Sun “
  • You want everything included with no hidden costs
  • The only thing you want to do is book an air ticket and pack your luggage
  • You to want to see Bella Italia through the eyes of the local experts
  • You want to immerse yourself in the culture and embrace La Dolce Vita
  • You want to make lifelong friendships and connections
  • You want to get away from it all and come back inspired

What's included ?



  • 6 nights / 7 days luxury accommodation at a gorgeous private villa
  • A private driver for airport transfers to and from Florence or Pisa airport
  • Outstanding 5 star customer service
  • Intimate hands on cooking lessons with Food Network chef Melissa Mayo
  • A swag bag filled with yummy goodies, vino and a few suprizes
  • A visit to a historic vineyard for a cooking class, lunch and wine tasting
  • All meals, alcoholic drinks, tips and transport
  • A day trip to the Cinque Terre or Florence with private tours and boat trips

  • Morning yoga sessions on the pool deck
  • A walking tour of Lucca and Melissa's favorite spots
  • Dinners at some of Tuscany's best resturants
  • A shopping trip where you'll find Italian designer brands at discount prices
  • Hassle free planning. All you need is a passport and air ticket
  • Unforgettable memories that will last a lifetime


Become a Rockstar in the kitchen by mastering the basics



Planning a trip is stressful and time consuming. You can waste months researching the places you want to go, only to find that you’ve spent a small fortune and landed in some overpriced dump that is a huge tourist trap.

That’s definitely no way to see the real Italy. The one I want to share with you is not found in guide books and apps. It’s made up of all the under-the radar spots that have 5 tables, no name and a nona making the best gnocchi you’ll ever eat.

It’s also my mission to transform you into a Master Chef. Some one who knows their way around the kitchen. I want to teach you how cook instead of how to follow a recipe. And this is my specialty.

I have turned thousands of home cooks in Rockstar chefs by showing them how to master the basics. And since I am limiting the class to 10, it will be a super intimate experience where you get hands on cooking classes with me. And the best part is you don’t need to do the dishes.

Even your partner or kids, who complained about you leaving won’t mind when you are serving up the best food they’ve ever eaten. And don’t even get me started the way your family, friends and co-workers will rave when you have them over for a meal. They’ll be begging you for your recipes.





For seven days all you will need to do is focus on enjoying yourself. No thinking necessary. Because every last detail has been planned for you. And it’s all inclusive too so all food, alcohol, transport, trips, classes, activities, private tours and boat rides are covered. You don’t need a purse, unless you’re shopping for a designer brands. Yes, I know to where to find ridiculous deals on Gucci, Prada, Fendi and Armani.

And I also have some amazing friends in the area that are Michelin chefs. So don’t feel guilty when we skip the line for hard to get reservations. They will make you a pasta in a cheese wheel and grill you a steak that will melt in your mouth. When you travel with me, you’ll be welcomed like a local, cause travelling with one.

It has taken me over a decade of crisscrossing this gorgeous country and eating my weight in pizza to come up with the places we are going to visit. I bring this experience and intimate knowledge to the table. Like the 6th town in the Cinque Terre that only the locals know about.

I have chosen top experts and guides to show you around. All you need to do is book a ticket and grab your bags. I'm even sending you a list of what to pack to make your life easy. I cannot wait to share all of my favorites secret spots with you. And you will leave with a phone full of photos of yourself in places you only ever saw in the movies.





I’m so glad you found me. I'm all about celebrating La Dolce Vita. The sweet life is made up of long lazy meals, delicious food, great conversation and exciting adventures. Finding joy, slowing down and savoring every mouthful and moment. Italians understand true happiness is found around the table. It’s a place you don’t age.

My goal is to teach you how to master kitchen basics. How to stock your pantry. How to turn a big shop into a week of delicious meals that take 20 minutes or less. How to create big flavor by mastering the spice palate. Spices are calorie free flavor weapons that give your food a passport to travel around the world without ever leaving your kitchen.

In case you haven’t guessed it, I’m Melissa. I love the sizzle of a good steak and the smell of garlic and rosemary perfuming the air. I love warm crusty bread with velvety olive oil. I love bold red wine and rich dark chocolate. I love espresso so strong you can spit a hole in the sidewalk. I love to eat!

The kitchen is the heart of the home. I’m my happiest when I am chopping, sautéing, grilling, roasting and prepping. And Susina Cucina is my gorgeous Italian cooking school. It features a state-of-the-art kitchen with space for 10 students.  Classes are intimate and hands on. There is a gorgeous deck for yoga, lunches and wine tastings. Lounge in the sun or dive in and enjoy the crystal-clear waters of the pool.






You will be based in the historic city of Lucca, the oldest walled city in the world. It is located an hour from Florence, 20 minutes from Pisa and super close to the ocean. It's a 80 minute drive to the Ligurian towns of Portofino and the Cinque Terre and the Livorno coast.

Each trip includes hands-on cooking classes with Food Network chef Melissa Mayo, morning yoga, expert-led food tours, exclusive wine tastings, luxury accommodations, private transport along with all food, alochol and tips!


I will send you a more detailed itinerary but here's an idea of the week:
DAY 1 – Arrive and settle in to the villa
DAY 2 – Morning Yoga, Cooking Class, Lunch, Welcome Dinner
DAY 3- Morning Yoga, Cooking Class, Lunch, Walking Tour of Lucca
DAY 4- Day trip to Cinque Terre with Boat Ride or Day trip to Florence with Culinary Tour + Shopping
DAY 5- Cooking Class In Wine Country , Wine Tasting
DAY 6- Morning Yoga, Cooking Class, Lunch, Farewell Dinner
DAY 7- Brunch, Check out of the Villa



  • You spend a big part of everyday thinking about and planning your meals, cooking and eating them
  • Healthy quality meals affect your weight, longevity and how you look and feel. Eating well makes you richer, healthier and prettier
  • This retreat is going to turn you into a Rockstar in the kitchen so it’s a steal
  • You'll learn to cook simple, delicious meals for the rest of your life and your family will benefit too
  • You'll save money on eating out and ordering in
  • Consider the cost saving on supplements, plan and programs to boost wellness.
  • We take care of all the logistics. You are free to relax from day one
  • Your family and friends will be starry eyed as they swoon over your cooking and beg for the recipes
  • Say goodbye to diets. You will be in the best shape of your life by cooking home cooked meals


Ciao, I’m Melissa…A Food Network chef, author, speaker and mom dedicated to turning you into a Rockstar in the kitchen. During the summers I teach food lovers how to create mouthwatering dishes under the Tuscan sun. Here you will find the very best recipes, travel guides, videos and wellness tips. So, pour yourself a big glass of vino and let's cook it off xxx MM


Become a Rockstar in the Kitchen Master all the cooking basics so you never need a recipe again
See places you've only dreamed aboutExplore Italy and embrace the people, culture and lifestyle
Transform Yourself Get the dream body you always wanted by learning to cook real food
Follow Your Bliss Bring home the secret recipe for La Dolce Vita and use it the rest of your life
Achieve Balance Learn how to enjoy all food without following crazy diets and restrictions.
Make a Difference Share your love for the people that matter by cooking for them


Ideal for the mom who is looking for delicious meals

Melissa’s classes are ideal for the mom who is looking for delicious meals that are quick and easy to fix in the kitchen. My husband and kids love her recipes, which means I make them often. Thank you Melissa for adding so many meals to my monthly meal plans

Sara H

Yes we can have it all

Melissa is a role model for women everywhere! You can be a hot wife, dedicated mom, talented chef, fitness enthusiast and spiritually rich and inspiring individual ! Yes we can have it all. Brava

Sharon T

An an exceptional recipe goddess

Melissa is just an exceptional recipe goddess and has so much passion for what she does and how she interacts with people. She doesn’t just create dishes … she tells a story with every recipe and meal she creates

Tania C

Melissa teaches you the step by step essentials

Melissa Mayo is wonderful teacher who takes the time to explain in detail the proper steps for you to make a fabulous meal. She has so much enthusiasm and love for her craft, you can’t help but leave her cooking class and put into practice what she just taught you.

Brigid H

Learn how to make lifestyle changes to maintain a healthy weight

I’ve attended several of Chef Melissa Mayo’s cooking classes where I learned how to pack the most delicious flavor into my dinners, minus the empty calories. I also learned how to stock my pantry, fridge and what tools make cooking fast and easy. I’m thrilled to own and use her cookbooks. They’re helping me make the lifestyle changes needed to maintain a healthy weight while loving every bite I take…

Shannon C

There is not a soul who cannot benefit from Melissa’s classes

Cooking does not come easy to me, so being able to whip up a dish and get “mom this tastes good”, is nothing short of a miracle in my house. Thanks to Melissa Mayo I am able to prepare a meal that is enjoyed by all, and rather than worrying about whether my family will enjoy it or not, I get to focus on sitting around my table enjoying the company of my family. Thank you Melissa for helping me make memories happen.

Allison S

I use Melissa’s recipes all the time

I have taken a few of Melissa’s cooking classes and they never disappoint. Melissa is a lively & engaging teacher who show you step by step instructions with fun anecdotes in between. I love that after the cooking lessons, we ate the fruits of Melissa’s labor together in her beautiful dining room. I use several of her recipes all the time, including the Italian Roasted Vegetables, Citrus Mustard Chicken & every Jewish holiday the Cranberry Balsamic Brisket. xo

Polly E



Where does the Retreat take place?

The cooking retreat takes place in Lucca Italy. You will be staying at a gorgeous Private villa and all cooking classes will be held at Susina Cucina. This is a state-of-the-art school owned by Food Network chef Melissa Mayo. All classes are limited to 10 people and are hands on an intimate.

What is included in the Retreat

Each trip includes hands-on cooking classes with Food Network chef Melissa Mayo, morning yoga, expert-led food tours, market visits, exclusive wine tastings, boutique accommodations, private transport!

It also includes all food, alcohol and tips. The only thing you need to cover is the cost of your airticket and travel insurance which is generally offered by most big credit card companies.

What if I can’t make it?

You can most definitely cancel the service for any reason and any time; however, the $1800 non-refundable deposit will not be refunded. You can apply this credit towards a future retreat.

If a freak accident happened and the retreat were no longer able to take place you would receive a full refund of course.




Become a Master Chef in your own Kitchen


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