With so many museums to see throughout Italy it was nice to do something out of the ordinary. Villa Ida had been scheduled as part of our time in Sorrento to take Italian cooking classes and we almost cancelled.. I have to say that with our group of six people there were different opinions to how they wished to spend their last day in Sorrento. I can only say what a mistake that would have been to have cancelled.
We made our way from our hotel which was Hotel Bellevue Syrene by car service down the winding roads to a tiny sign that said “Villa Ida” named after their beloved wife and mother who once ran the Villa with her husband Charlie and their children.
We were met by the family as we drove onto the property and escorted through the lemon trees to what seemed like a story book landscaped yard with a beautiful pool, tables with grape vines hanging from the pergolas and Charlie’s private wine cellar. They seated us at the table and immediately started laying out various lite appetizers. Glasses were filled with wine and custom made pitchers were filled with chilled almond water. I drank a pitcher of that all by myself because it was so refreshing.
Charlie spoke with us for awhile which really made us feel like we were part of the family then he brought us into his wine cellar were he offered us a platter of different cheeses and salami. As we sat in his wine cellar he explained and had us taste all the wines that he makes himself. He even showed us a short video he made of his wine making process. Then it was time to start the cooking process as we are greeted by his daughter Roberta whom would be teaching us the hands on steps to prepare our 3 course meal.
They start with giving you the menu that you will be preparing with them. It was Limoncello Tiramisu which we made first so that it could chill while we prepared our other courses. The other courses we prepared and cooked along side the family were Fried Zucchini Flowers, homemade Gnocchi pasta, Neapolitan Braciola (stuffed braised veal), Melanzane Funghetto (fried cubed eggplant) and a Diced Tomato Salad.
Then we were asked to be seated at the largest tiled circular table I have ever seen. While we had been preparing the food the family staff had setup this gorgeous table for our meal. Next thing we know they have filled up the wine glasses again along with a pitcher of almond water and started bringing out the three course meal that we had prepared. We were honored as his son had come by to make us his pizza as a special treat.
Villa Ida was truly a once in a lifetime experience that truly has you feeling that you are not just a visitor to Italy but truly a part of Italy and part of their family. With lot of laughs, a little wine, Italian music and wonderful people, Villa Ida made our trip!
If you find yourself in Sorrento on south west of Italy don’t miss this true opportunity of a life time.
Check out the Villa Ida website for more detailed information.
Villa Ida is located in Sorrento at
Corso Italia, 322
80067 – Sorrento (Napoli) – Italy