A taste of Europe

Discover the taste of Europe with our Cooking & Walking holidaysDiverse cultures, disparate landscapes, and varied climates are the perfect ingredients for Europe’s smorgasbord of cuisines.

Cooking and walking in Liguria

Bonassola is a quiet coastal resort with easy access to the enchanting Cinque Terre villages and the peaceful countryside. Join the Bernardin brothers at their cookery school to learn about, and taste, food typical of this region, and then head out into the local surroundings with some laid-back walks.

Anyone who loves coastal holidays and has an interest or passion for cooking can expect a tantalising holiday. 

Cooking is still very important to the people in Liguria so you can expect to indulge yourself in the passion of food-making in Liguria.

A short Q&A with Ligurian host Enrico Bernardin:

What local produce or dish is the area of Liguria famous for? Is cooking an important part of life in Liguria and is it an important skill that everyone is expected to learn?  If you were to make a one-pot dish, what would it be?
Being a coastal region, it’s well-known for its seafood dishes. Fresh anchovies served with lemon juice, stuffed mussels, Ligurian-style sea bass and red prawns are all firm favourites. Liguria is also known for pesto, lovely fresh lemons, and fresh bread like foccacia and farinata.  A Yes, cooking is still very important in Liguria and only local produce is used in our cooking – there is no infusion of flavours from other regions in Italy or around the world. The younger generation are not as enthusiastic about the cooking now as in the past, but they still love to eat Ligurian dishes cooked by their mothers and grandmothers! It would have to be pesto with pasta. Blend Parmigiano cheese, Pecorino cheese, pine nuts, half a clove of garlic and then add olive oil and a pinch of salt. At the end put in basil leaves and blend quickly so you do not burn the leaves – this is very important as their flavour is impaired very quickly. Boil the pasta, drain and mix the pesto with the pasta. Buon Appetito!

This cooking holiday is open to everyone from all experiences and backgrounds so if you’re new to cooking or vastly experienced, you can expect to be welcomed with open arms and be taught on how to cook food from scratch. Enrico says: “Everyone can be taught to make something. Many of the guests have not cooked before, especially the men!Pizza in Liguria

On the first day of cooking you’ll be making an old favourite, the Margherita pizza. You’ll then move on a demonstration on cleaning, opening and stuffing mussels followed by a pasta masterclass to round off the first day.

Lemon chicken and Ligurian-style sea bass are on the menu for day two and, on dessert day, those with a sweet tooth will love making apple cake, tiramisu and crème caramel. The more savoury minded can get their teeth into farinata, bruschetta and tomato salsa.

Why stop at cooking when you’re in Liguria when you can integrate walking into your holiday as you’ll have the opportunity to explore the local hillsides and villages above Bonassola. One of the real highlights of the walk is reaching Saltre delle Lepre; a magnificent outcrop with views to Genoa and France.

Visiting the village of Corniglia, you can expect superb sea views in the busy but justifiably popular area of the Cinque Terre.

*Please note that the dishes mentioned are an example and will depend on the season and availability of local ingredients.

*During your Cooking and Walking holiday your HF Holidays’ leader may adjust the programme at their discretion, taking into account factors such as weather, local opening times or the wishes of the group.


Europe has long been famed for its vast range of national and regional dishes and specialities. Different climates, influences from outside cultures, average wealth and much more all influence cuisine. One thing’s for sure – a trip with us to Europe will certainly tantalise your tastebuds!

If Liguria doesn’t get your lips licking, we have plenty of other holidays to entice you to try:

Holidays to Biar, Baška Voda, Corsica, San Quirico d’Orcia, Tegernsee and Gréoux-les-Bains from £749 per person

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