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Culinary Workshops

  • 1Program for Culinary Workshops
  • 2Guided Visits of Local Food Production Companies
  • 3A Week's Holiday at Villa Castellani (Sample Program that Can Be Adjusted According to the Guests’ Needs)

- Introduction to the Theme’s Theory: This will include historical and cultural notes on Italian cuisine and the traditions of its production. It will also feature information on the products used, generally chosen based on seasonality and regional production.
- Preparation of four recipes pertaining to the selected theme: Participants may observe the preparation or, if they wish, actively partake.
- Following the workshop, there will be an opportunity to taste the preparations which will also be accompanied by wine and coffee.
- Each participant will receive a handout detailing the products used along with historical and cultural information concerning the theme of the workshop and prepared recipes.
- Workshop: two and half to three hours

- freshly handmade pasta
- stuffed pasta
- dried pasta
- sauces based in vegetables, meat, or fish
The recipes will be arranged in advance and will be based on the interests of participants, it is also possible for us to present some recommendations to the clientele.
Beyond the theme of "PASTA" we can offer: "RICE", "VEGETABLES" "REGIONAL MENU", "PASTRIES OF VENETO", "ORGANIC" ....

For those who love cuisine it is always of great interest to get to know the origin, production, and processing of the typical products from our region.
The consumers, both Italian and foreign, are increasingly attentive to the preservation of their health and demanding of choice in products. They are highly motivated to learn about nutritional properties, organoleptics, and food quality.
To this extent, our program includes guided tours of companies in neighboring, fascinating cities such as Verona, Mantua, and Ferrara to further discover the excellent cuisine of our country: oils, rice, wines, cheeses, salami, cereals.

- Visit the company to learn about the process from the harvesting of olives to its pressing into oil
- Under the guidance of the manufacturer, tastings to distinguish properties of the different types of oil
- Cooking lesson preparing sweet and savory recipes

- Visit the rice paddy field
- Visit the rice mill to see various stages of processing
- Cooking lesson consisting of theoretical and practical sections
- Tasting of the prepared cuisine

- Visit the winery guided by an expert who explains characteristics of the product
- Cooking lesson to make recipes using the wine in dishes of the Italian tradition
- Tasting of the preparations with matching wines

In a similar fashion, there are programmed visits to other very interesting regions, which take the needs of participants into account and customizes the event to suit their nationality (Italian or foreign), type (industry players or amateurs etc ...), and time/availability.

What could be nicer than an organized getaway in the countryside accompanied by exquisite food, leisurely walks, and excursions to some of the most fascinating historical sites of Italian cities? We make it happen! We organize visits to famous producers of, wine, cheese, olive oil, and pasta, interspersed with unique cultural events, cooking workshops in a charming country house, and locally-inspired lunches.

SATURDAY: The owners welcome guests to the villa and give all the information regarding the residency and Sermide.

SUNDAY: A free morning for our guests who can relax by our pool surrounded by fruit trees. After a swim, patrons may enjoy pears, apples, figs, grapes, etc. Ten bicycles are also available for our guests, who can enjoy a fun bike ride along the banks of the Po. Free lunch will be provided in the villa.

In the afternoon there will be a presentation of the week’s program followed by refreshments in the garden including lambrusco (our local wine), juice, pincini, and salami, compliments of the proprietors.

The drinks will be accompanied by a pleasant background of classical music.

MONDAY: “Extra virgin olive oil is an excellent ally to our well-being”
"The olive tree is an evergreen plant. It takes on the appearance of a large bush with silvery foliage. This plant grows more comfortably in alkaline soils than in moderately acidic soils; It can be grown on slopes, river banks, and even on rocky terrain."

Departure for a visit and tasting at an oil mill in the beautiful ancient village of Arquà Petrarca.
This interesting experience involves the opportunity to appreciate the tasting and qualities of freshly pressed oil through the guidance of an expert. The day continues with a walk through the village including a visit to Casa del Petrarca. Lunch at an inn in Monselice.

The late afternoon features a cooking course "on extra virgin olive oil" and dinner at the villa.

TUESDAY: “Pasta, a true class of cuisine”
"Cicero and Horace, 100 years before Christ, had a tooth for Lasagna, strips of thin dough made by flour and water, from which our lasagna derives".

Visit to a pasta factory in Ferrara. Guests will be amazed by the skill of workers who make fusilli, macaroni, paccheri, all drawn products with high protein value. Lunch will take place in a historic grotto with tastings of local wine. Afterwards, guests are returned to the villa for relaxation.
In the afternoon, there will be a pasta-centric cooking workshop, and dinner.

WEDNESDAY: “ Wine has its long journey from the ground to the glass”
“The origins of wine are old enough to sink into legend. Some trace the origins of wine to Adam and Eve, suggesting the forbidden fruit of Eden was not that of the famous apple tree, but of succulent grapes. Others say Noah invented wine, going as far as making special room on his ark to save the grapevine from the global flood.”

Early morning departure for Verona. Visitation of a villa, featuring a garden and wine cellar (about 45 minutes). There will then be the tasting (45 minutes) with explanation of modern and innovative winemaking techniques. You can enjoy some local specialties and taste excellent wines. Additionally, there will be a visit to the vineyard.

Lunch at a historic inn in Verona followed by a free afternoon.
The evening continues in the Arena to attend an opera. The show is truly exciting and guests are always spellbound.

THURSDAY: "Parmigiano and Grana Padano: the best source of calcium!"
“Much of the history of these two cheeses is lost to the mists of time. The origins of Grana Padano leads historians back to Benedictine Monks of the Abbey of Clairvaux in the beginning of the second millennium. Parmigiano Reggiano found its first reference in Boccaccio's Decameron (written around 1350) for "seasoning macaroni and ravioli." The province of Mantua boasts both cheeses, Grana Padano and Parmigiano Reggiano, in two production areas, respectively north and south of the River Po."

Departure in the morning to get to a dairy farm outside of Mantua.
The dairy specializes in the production of cheeses and provides an explanation of the aging process.

The tour lasts about an hour and a half and includes the guidance of an accompanying expert of the dairy and its various departments (warehouse seasoning and packaging).

The tour features dairy-appropriate clothing kits and tastings of two aged Grana Padano cheeses(10 months and over 16 months).

The afternoon consists of a visit to the city of Mantua and then a return to the villa.

Alternatively, there is also the possibility to visit a rice paddy paired with an exploration of the city of Ferrara.

Several old rice mills located in the land of Mantua, testify to the dominance of this crop. From the late fourteenth and early fifteenth century to today, the traditions echo the the songs of harvesters in the rice fields.

Currently, the cultivation of rice spans a thousand hectares, between the Po and the outskirts of Verona. The area produces nearly 6000 tons of rice, mainly of the "Vialone Nano" variety, which is excellent for the classic risotto.

The tour lasts one and a half hours and goes up to the Po’s delta. (The shortest tour lasts around 30/45 minutes). Then lunch will be offered with typical products from a farm’s rice field (10 minutes away).

In the afternoon, there is a cooking class revolving around rice and its properties.

FRIDAY: Closing evening with barbecue in the garden
“In ancient times, the melon was small and undoubtedly much less sweet; It was eaten with pepper and vinegar and seasoned like a salad.

During the Renaissance, Lazian gardeners cultivated it for the popes, in their summer residence of Cantalupo, near Rome. The name of the tasty, orange-fleshed cantaloupe derives from this very town."

Morning visit to a farm of Sermide to experience the cultivation of melons, pumpkins and watermelons.

The closing evening is spent at the villa with the last cooking class focusing on meat and the nutritional properties of melons, pumpkins, and watermelons. During dinner, guests will enjoy a meat-based barbecue in the garden.

Contact Us
  • Villa Castellani is located at: Via XXIX Luglio 73/75,
    Sermide e Felonica (Mantova) Italy
  • Our office is located in Verona: Vicolo S. Silvestro 12,
    37122 Verona Italy
  • Mobile: +39.348.4208064 (Luciano Castellani)
  • Mobile: +39.349.5211523 (Giovanna Castellani)
  • Email:

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Villa Castellani - Via XXIX Luglio 73/75 Sermide e Felonica - Italy
P. IVA 03005290238