Writing with Light

Mamma Agata – Amalfi Coast Italian Cooking & Wine School

I thought I would post something a little different today. This post is not only about “showing” you how beautiful the Amalfi Coast is but also to share with you an incredible experience that my husband and I had on our recent trip to Italy.

I do not profess to being a great cook nor am I a food critic but I am compelled to let you in on a little secret. Perched on a hilltop overlooking the Amalfi Coast in the town of Ravello lies Mamma Agata’s Cooking & Wine School. In my post on July 14th I promised that I would tell you a little bit more about our day here. Click here to see my first Amalfi post.

As we navigated the narrow and winding roads climbing higher and higher to get to town we quickly realized that our poor little GPS had no idea where it was going. With the help of some very kind locals (and a lot of hand gesturing…I don’t speak Italian and some of the locals didn’t speak English but we managed to communicate) we arrived at the home of Mama Agata. 

When we arrived at the house, which is located on a very narrow street meant only for walking, I knocked on the door. When the door opened I was faced with one of the most incredible vistas…that of the coast.

The cooking school is a family affair…actually a love affair. Chiara, Mama Agata’s daughter, runs the school and was our hostess. Chiara is charming and bubbly, a pure delight who made us feel at home from the minute we arrived offering us a cappuccino and a slice of Mama’s famous lemon cake which by the way was a slice of heaven. Gennaro (Chiara’s husband), who is a  sommelier, makes the delicious wine and Lemoncello that we were served during the course of the day as well as being a very competent right hand man to Mama in the kitchen. Then there’s Papa Salvatore who tends to the garden, lemon trees and animals.  Yes everything that we cook, every ingrediant, comes fresh their garden which is situated on many levels on the sloping hill.

The day consisted of cooking an entire meal from appetizers to Eggplant Parmigiana, Pappardelle con Peperoni e Balbicca (Sausage & Red Pepper Pasta), Pollo al Limone (Lemon Chicken) among other things. Since we were working so hard we, of course, had to take a break between each dish and relax on the terrace with a glass of wine

When all the food was cooked and ready, we enjoyed our meal at a beautifully set table complete with wine, laughter and great conversation. To finish things off we had more lemon cake and Gennaro’s Lemoncello. We were made to feel at home, the hospitality was second to none. Before we knew it, it was 5 O’Clock and the day was coming to an end. Needless to say the food was outstanding and we were so full that there was no thought of dinner that night.

Our table, beautifully set!

Alan taking a break on the beautiful terrace

Chiara with the Eggplant Parmigiana ready to go into the oven.

Don’t forget you can click on any of the images to make them larger.

Eggplant Appetizers

Mama's Garden Shed

Chiara, Alan, Me, Mama Agata

If you find yourself in Italy head down to the Amalfi Coast and spend a day with Mama Agata, Chiara and family. It’ll be the highlight of your trip. Check out their website and you’ll see some of their famous guests…no not us but Pierce Brosnan and his family were there.

19 responses

  1. tedgriffith

    Wow, what an experience!! Those appetizers look wonderful! 🙂


    August 11, 2011 at 12:33 pm

  2. Great images and story Edith. It sounds like a wonderful day – I’m jealous. If the food was anything like my Italian aunts make, it was pure heaven.


    August 11, 2011 at 3:39 pm

  3. Wonderful write-up. Those photos really enhance the story. They also make me hungry, since I’ve yet to have dinner. 🙂 Was a joy to read this.


    August 11, 2011 at 6:51 pm

  4. Edith, IMO this is one of you best post so far. Outstanding write up and shots.


    August 11, 2011 at 9:48 pm

  5. This is such an excellent series, I love the variety of shots you’ve captured, looks so inviting!


    August 12, 2011 at 7:54 am

  6. What a wonderful idea. I’m ready to go myself. We love to do things and see places that’s not the part of one’s normal vacation. It’s great to see that we aren’t alone! Great pictures too.


    August 12, 2011 at 8:39 am

    • Thanks Phillip. I love trying different things and meeting new people when I travel. I don’t know if Mama Agata wanted to adopt me but I certainly wanted to adopt them.


      August 12, 2011 at 9:12 am

  7. M dear Edith & Alan,
    Thank you for sharing your beautiful photographs and lovely account of your day with us!!!! It was such a JOY to welcome both of you and to spend a beautiful day cooking together!! I hope we’ll have the chance to see both of you again soon … and this time no GPS needed since you know RIGHT where to find us!!!! 🙂
    With love,
    Chiara, Gennaro & Mamma Agata


    August 12, 2011 at 1:04 pm

  8. I’m glad you wrote this. We were thinking of doing one of these classes next weekend in Lecce for 600 dollars a person… I think I will just wait and try hers next time I tour the Amalfi Coast. Looks like you guys had a fantastic time!!


    August 14, 2011 at 6:03 am

  9. You’ve really captured the ‘spirit’ of Italy with these shots. Italians love their food alright, I know , my mother was Italian!!


    August 14, 2011 at 1:04 pm

  10. Wow! I just went through your Italy posts. Exquisite. I love the angles you use and the intense color. Beautiful and interesting series…


    August 15, 2011 at 9:37 am

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