Italy Day 3

What an absolutely wonderful day! Day 3 entailed a cooking class that I had read rave reviews of. It was a bit pricey, but I decided to go ahead and splurge.

James and I woke up early, grabbed a very quick bite to eat (and light – we were warned if we ate a regular breakfast we wouldn’t “make it” through the day by our instructor) and headed back on the hiking trails to Ravello. The wind was blowing mightily, and we were better prepared for what the walk entailed, having already done it once on Sunday. We made our way to Ravello center and people watched as the town woke up and started to come alive.

So much less sweaty this time.

30 minutes before the class was scheduled to start, we started weaving our way through the streets of Ravello and finally arrived at Mamma Agata’s Hidden Treasure.

We were ushered into the family’s home and out on a terrace that overlooked the Amalfi coast. The views were absolutely breathtaking.

The table we sat at, which overlooked the above picture. You can see in the mirrors they’ve positioned on the wall.

The rest of the class arrived and Chiara – our host and trusty translator – started serving us lemon cake and cappuccinos. Chiara did an absolutely STAND OUT JOB with my gluten intolerance. She took great care to ensure that I was able to try everything – and that it was made for me specially. I felt such warmth and happiness from this experience. Compared to our dinner last night – which did not offer me a lot of flexibility – this was a warm welcome.

My little gluten free lemon cake.

Following the light snack (ha ha), we huddled into the kitchen to meet Mamma Agata – a woman in her late 70s who speaks only Italian, but enough of it to ask all of the newly weds when our bambinos were on the way (ha ha again). We started the morning with a demonstration on how to make the eggplant for eggplant parmesan, as well as a tomato sauce (a staple in all Italian cooking). While the sauce simmered, we returned to our seats with eggplant to try along with bread, homemade olive oil, red hell (a red pepper spread) and smoked provolone cheese. Everything for me was made gluten free. It was divine. The wine was also made onsite by Chiara’s husband – and it was amazing. Low alcohol content, not too sweet and very refreshing.

Italian breakfast.

While the sauce simmered, we were able to roam the property, which boasted lemon groves, a farm, animals galore and an amazing lawn with chairs and couches facing the sea. It was truly magical.

My new friend, Moppa.

We were herded back into the kitchen to start preparing the lemon chicken and finish our eggplant parmesan. This time we were asked to try the tomato sauce, and top with parmesan cheese and red hell. Once again, they provided me gluten free bread so that I could partake. Next up we prepared two sauces – one that cooked down all the tomatoes and included sausages and peppers; another that was a much faster cooking time that included capers and olives.

Another short break back on the wonderful property, more wine, lots of water and breathtaking views.

We returned to the kitchen a final time to finish off the sauces, try the olives added to the sauces and tomatoes that were used throughout. We finished the lemon chicken, make zucchini fritters and finally sat down to enjoy a late lunch.

The food was absolutely delicious. Everything tasted amazing, and for me, everything was gluten free! I wish I could have taken all the food back to the hotel with me. The meal ended with more lemon cake and homemade limoncello. It was divine.

After saying a sad goodbye, we embarked on our journey back to Minori through the mountain hiking trails. We immediately changed at the hotel and ran to the beach for a quick swim. It took some coaxing, but eventually James joined me. The water was refreshing and I was even able to get in a little swim. We returned to the hotel, showered and walked down to the patisserie for some gelato for dinner – because who really needs to eat more food after consuming a four course late lunch plus snacks and dessert?

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