I think cooking Italian food with the kids is the most fun of any cuisine because it is so simple (most of the time) and.. The "Secret Garden" in Positanowell, who doesn’t love Italian food?  To find a good cooking program or activity in Italy is not difficult at all – there are tons (and most are very good). However, I found one that I believe stands out above the rest …and it’s located right on the Amalfi Coast. Bingo!

I came across the “Secret Garden” kids cooking package in Positano from a New York Times travel article that I had read in  2007  (and obviously saved…I knew I would find a use for all these saved clippings one day).  What I found captivating about this week-long program was that in addition to hands-on cooking classes, unique itineraries are arranged for the family in between classes. One day you might go to an olive grove to see how oil is made, another day you may go to Ravello to visit a pastry shop and a lemon grove…the next day to the hills of Sorrento to learn about the process of milking cows for butter, cheese and gelato.

But as organized as the program is, it is not too structured…what is  appealing about the Secret Garden program is that you have the freedom to travel in the afternoons as you please.The "Secret Garden" in Positano

Children 3 and uplearn how to make Neapolitan pizza, pasta, fresh mozzarella, bread, gelato and pastries (as well as learn some conversational Italian!) during the week-long program, which runs throughout the year. The cost is $2,900 per person, based on double occupancy (NOTE: children 5 and under are free, children 10 and under are half off) and include 7 nights at La Maliosa Bread & Breakfast  in Positano, breakfasts, excursions and transfers.

Cooking-Vacations,  a U.S. based company (run by Boston-bred Lauren Birmingham) with offices in Positano, runs this wonderful program and also offers family culinary programs in Rome and Tuscany (detailed information about each program can be found here).   The detailed Secret Garden itinerary can be cound on their  website.

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