HELPING FOODIES TASTE ITALY
Ciao, I’m so happy you’re here... This is a VIP 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.
Imagine going on a vacation where you get to soak up the sunshine and sip a spritz on a private yacht along the Italian Riviera. Learn how to cook all the Italian classics, explore the Tuscan hillsides and take in breathtaking architecture along the cobble stone Renaissance streets.
You’ll learn about wine making from Italy's finest sommeliers, enjoy the best food of your life, get behind the scenes tours with top local experts and make lifelong friendships with likeminded humans who’ll become family.
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 for the REST of your LIFE.
THIS RETREAT IS PERFECT FOR YOU IF
- 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 top local experts who know the country and language
- You fired up for intimate hands on cooking classes with pros
- You love having a good time, laughing, exploring and trying new things
- You want everything included with no hidden costs
- The only thing you want to do is book an air ticket
- You want to get away from it all and come back inspired
What's included ?
- 6 nights/ 7 days high end luxury accommodation
- All private airport transfers, yachts, transport, yoga, food, alcohol, tours, classes and tips
- Wine tastings with master sommeliers and culinary adventures with top experts
- An epic swag bag filled with amazing suprizes
- Cooking classes with Food Network and Michelin chefs
- Day trips to a private island in the Cinque Terre, Florence and Lucca with the best local guides
- A professional photographer documenting the trip so you can enjoy
- The most incredible food, wine and service of your life
- Hassle free planning. Just relax and leave it to us!
- Morning yoga sessions (optional)
WHY TRAVEL WITH ME?
Planning a trip is stressful and time consuming. You can waste months researching, only to find that you’ve overpaid AND landed in some dirty dump that's a huge tourist trap.
That’s definitely no way to see the real Italy. The one I want to share with you is made up of under-the radar spots. Like the 6th town in the Cinque Terre known only by the locals. And trattorias with 5 tables, no name and a nona making the best gnocchi.
My mission is to transform you into a Master Chef so you can cook without following a recipe. Your family, friends and co-workers will rave when you have them over for a meal.
I limit the class size to 10 adults, so it's a super intimate hands on experience. And the best part is you don’t need to do the dishes.
HOW THIS TRIP IS DIFFERENT?
Every last detail has been meticulously planned for you. All you need to do is enjoy. It’s all inclusive too with no hidden costs. You don’t even need your purse. We also carefully interview all guests to ensure we find the perfect experience and group for you.
We have friends in the area that are Michelin chefs and master sommeliers, so don’t feel guilty when you skip the line for hard to get reservations, that include VIP private demos and tastings. You’ll be welcomed like a local, cause travelling with one.
Melissa has over a decade of experience crisscrossing this gorgeous country and she'll share her favorite secret spots so you can see the real Bella Italia through the eyes of the locals. Book with confidence because summer memories should last a lifetime.
LA DOLCE VITA
MEET YOUR HOST
I’m Melissa. The kitchen is the heart of my home. 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!
You can find me chopping, sautéing, grilling, roasting and prepping. Covered in flour, stretching and rolling my pasta dough. Crushing the tomatoes between my hands and doctoring the sauce with fresh herbs from my garden while Adrea Bocelli plays in the background.
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 moment. True happiness is found around the table. It’s a place you don’t age.
THE COOKING SCHOOL
Susina Cucina is a one-of-a-kind luxury cooking school in Lucca, Italy. The 5-star retreats are curated by Food Network chef Melissa Mayo. The schooI features a state-of-the-art kitchen and 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, located an hour from Florence and 20 minutes from Pisa.
Each trip includes hands-on cooking classes, expert-led private tours, luxury accommodations, 5-star service, private transport and all food, alcohol and tips!
You’ll get a detailed itinerary but here's an idea of the week:
DAY 1 – Arrive and settle in to the luxury villa
DAY 2 – Yoga, Cooking Class, Lunch, Welcome Dinner
DAY 3- Trip to Cinque Terre, Private yacht to a secret island for dinner
DAY 4- Yoga, Cooking Class, Lunch, Walking Tour of Lucca
DAY 5- Day trip to Florence with Private Culinary Tour
DAY 6- Cooking Class with Michelin chef. Wine tasting with master sommelier in wine Country, Farewell Dinner
DAY 7- Brunch, Check out of the Villa
WHY IT'S WORTH IT?
- Book with confidence. Save money and time reseraching a trip that could still be an epic fail
- We've got a decade of experience and partner with the best local experts.
- Cross Italy off your bucket list! Beacause life is meant to be enjoyed.
- Learn to cook simple, delicious meals...Healthy quality foods affect your longevity and how you look and feel
- We take care of all the logistics. There's a perfect balance bewteen activity and downtime to unwind and relax.
- Each experience is custom curated. We carefully screen guests so you find an adventure and group that's the perfect fit for you.
Ciao, I’m Melissa…A Food Network chef, author, speaker and mom. 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
WHAT YOU WILL GET OUT OF IT?
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
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
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
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.
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…
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
HOW TO COOK MASTERCLASS
Become a Master Chef in your own Kitchen
@THEMELISSAMAYO ON INSTAGRAM