You are in Rome and you have been eating your way around the capital’s restaurants with one of the most famous cuisines. Largely Mediterranean, Italian cuisine is also one of the healthiest with keen attention to quality and method of cooking. Undoubtedly, traveling to Rome is not just about visiting the ancient Roman monuments and churches because the local gastronomy plays a great role in getting to know the country.
There are myriad restaurants to choose from but why not try a totally different approach to Italian cuisine? Marquise Violante Guerrieri Gonzaga, a multi-talented noblewoman who is a chef, artist, painter, photographer and cookbook author, has a profound passion for the Italian kitchen that she started to create exclusive culinary experiences in her own abode. Coming from one of the country’s noble families, her residence is Palazzo Taverna, one of the most important historical resident palaces built in the 15th century on the ruins of the Giordano Orsini Fortress. It is located in Via di Monte Giordano, right in the center of Rome, between Piazza Navona and Castel Sant’Angelo. The palace had been the residence of cardinals and other notable figures in different epochs.
Violante attended the Accademia delle Belle Arti of Rome as well as important culinary schools namely Le Cordon Bleu, Gambero Rosso and A Tavola con lo Chef before embarking on Vio’s Cooking, a project that allows her to express her fascinating world of creativity both in cooking and showcasing the plates and table settings that she herself paints and creates.
Being a well-traveled person, she takes interest in the diversity of various food cultures and in each journey, she takes flavors and aromas with her that inspire her cooking. There can be touches of French, Thai, Japanese, Chinese and Indian in her dishes but she is deeply-rooted to Italian cuisine, which is her absolute favorite. The menus that she prepares also reflect historic family recipes that come from different Italian regions. The meals are accompanied by wines from San Leonardo, a multi-awarded family winery located at the foothills of the alps near Lago di Garda. The exclusivity of her culinary experience has attracted the attention of celebrity guests like Michelle Pfeiffer, Cindy Crawford, Kristen Stewart, Maria Grazia Chiuri and Chiara Ferragni.
Cooking Class Experience
The class starts with a food market tour at Campo de Fiori where you will accompany Violante in buying the ingredients from her trusted vendors that you will be needing for the preparation of the dishes. When you reach her residence at Palazzo Taverna, aperitif will be served on her terrace, where you can appreciate the incredible skyline of Rome at 360 degrees. This will be followed by a one-hour cooking class then a 3-course meal that you helped and learned to prepare will be served seated on the terrace if weather permits or in the dining room. The price for this experience is €220 per person with a maximum of 14 guests. With the minimum of 2 guests, the price is €350 per person. 10% VAT not included.
Exclusive Lunch or Dinner Experience
This is a 3-course seated lunch or dinner served on the terrace (weather permitting) or dining room. Prior to the meal, aperitif will be served on the terrace. The price for this experience is €180 per person with a maximum of 14 guests. There is also a possibility of a buffet dinner for a larger group that costs €180 per guest. With the minimum of 2 guests, the price is €330 per person. 10% VAT not included.
Aperitif or Coffee Experience
Aperitif on the terrace at €90 per person or coffee on the terrace at €60 per person with minimum 4 guests.
Vio’s Cooking: An Italian Lifestyle
Violante also wrote a cookbook entitled Vio’s Cooking: An Italian Lifestyle, where she published recipes and photographs of her refined table settings. It shows a unique culinary tradition in the heart of Rome.
The cooking and dining experiences don’t end in Violante’s basket of surprises. Being an ardent artist, she hand-paints plates, glasses and table accessories which can be purchased at Vio’s Shop in the courtyard of Palazzo Taverna or online. Visits to her showroom and shop can be booked via email.
Via di Monte Giordano, 36
00186 Rome, Italy
Tel: +39 06 56547055
The prices cited can change without notice. Please refer to the website or contact her directly for current prices.