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“Il Caminetto - a Gem on Lake Como”

Ristorante Il Caminetto Cookery Lessons
Ranked #3 of 16 things to do in Varenna
Certificate of Excellence
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Attraction details
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Cary, North Carolina
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Il Caminetto - a Gem on Lake Como”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 8, 2013

On a recent vacation to Italy we had the good fortune to discover a one-day cooking class taught my Chef Moreno Maglia at his restaurant called Il Caminetto located in the small town of Gittana di Perledo, high above the shores of Lake Como. Chef Moreno was a delightful gentleman, fluent in English and with a wonderful sense of humor. His passion for his Italian origin and for the food he prepares was evident from the start. During the course of the day, we were taught the intricacies of preparing delicious paté and fresh pasta. If desired, it was possible to participate hands-on in the preparation of the food that we later devoured with gusto. This was one of the true highlights of our two-week stay in northern Italy.

In addition, after finding it difficult to secure accommodations in the larger town of Varenna on the shore of the lake, we learned that Chef Moreno and his lovely wife Rossella also operate a bed and breakfast (Ca' Noeva) located directly across the street from Il Caminetto. We stayed in these accommodations for three nights. The building itself is ancient but the rooms were spotlessly clean and the beds very comfortable. Each morning we crossed the street to the restaurant for a hearty breakfast. On the last evening of our stay we dined at Il Caminetto and enjoyed a multi-course feast that was superb. Transportation was graciously provided at no cost for trips down to Varenna and back. All in all this was a unique experience and we hope to have the opportunity to return for another meal at this out-of-the-way dining jewel.

Visited September 2013
4 Thank Terry R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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273 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Hebrew first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
44 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“What a wonderful day!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 7, 2013

We recently attended the Ristorante II Caminetto Cookery Lesson and had a grand day. Moreno and his wife were wonderful, and it was clear that the cooking class is labor of love for him. We were shown how to make a pasta, veal stew, and risotto(my very favorite) during the course of about 6 hours. We were treated like royalty, being fed snacks, assorted beverages( including wine), lunch, and lemonchello. The fee was a reasonable 50 euro each. I doubt that Moreno makes any money on these classes!

There were about 15 people in the class, all delightful with which to share an afternoon.

Visited October 2013
1 Thank Gudava
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
11 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Cooking and philosophy - the Italian way”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 4, 2013 via mobile

My husband, daughter, son-in-law and I signed up for chef Moreno's cooking class through our B&B owner. We were picked up by one his friends in her taxi (part of the deal) and taken up to the restaurant (the building has been occupied by his family for 700+ years) where we were greeted by Moreno and his lovely wife. We absolutely loved this experience. My husband and I are "pescatarians" and my daughter is a vegetarian and even though one of the dishes he prepared was a veal ragout, he accommodated our needs. He made pasta for tortelloni, a ricotta cheese filling, the tomato sauce for the pasta, risotto and the veal dish all while teaching us about food preparation, techniques, sustainable practices, and liberally laced with his philosophy about life and stories of his family. We were offered espresso, cappuccino, or hot chocolate on arrival. Water was placed on the tables as we sat and cheese and meat boards with baskets (made by Moreno's father many years ago) were brought out after the pasta dough was made. Wine was provided at that point - at least one bottle for each couple. This was replenished as the meal progressed. I didn't expect food or wine at the beginning since we started about 10:30 in the morning. There were 14 delightful folks in the group and we enjoyed a wonderful long lunch together that consisted of an antipasto of local cheese and meats with bread, a primi course of tortelloni stuffed with herbed risotto (Moreno taught us how to fold it and we all pitched in with varied results) in tomato sauce, a secundi of risotto and veal ragout for the omnivores, filet of lake fish for my husband and me, vegetable ratatouille for my daughter, and cookies and coffee for dessert finished up with lemoncello. We chose to hike back down to the town we were staying and Moreno graciously drove us to the trailhead. Transportation was provided to the others. We felt we more than got our money's worth and would recommend it for foodies especially.

1 Thank brodsky49
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
long island ny
Level Contributor
57 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“A must!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 3, 2013

By far a very special experience! Where ever u r staying at lake como u must make ur way here. Besides being a great value, the knowledge,English, food and wine are beyond expectations. Our all American group enhanced the enjoyment as well. Can't say enough except sign up now,

Visited October 2013
Thank mean1234
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
127 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 118 helpful votes
“Timing is everything”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 26, 2013

I have to start by saying that the three items he cooked were perfect. I often make my own pasta and didn't thing there was much to learn, but there were so many tips that I hadn't known and I found the methods of his preparations very informative. Bruno is very entertaining and his English is excellent.

However, I found the experience very frustrating. First of all the timing. We didn't get a glass of wine until we had been for two hours. We were not offered additional wine for 2 more hours. There was no one there to help him with clean up or serve,so we had to wait while he set and cleared the table for the 12 of us. We were starving and thirsty and it wasn't until 2;45 that we had our first tasting...that was the tagliatelle which was delicious. Then by 3:15 we had the tortellini, also delicious...it was 3:30 before we had the gnocchi, incredible taste. It was too late and we were too hungry to then eat 3 "pasta" dishes. Then we were rushed out of the restaurant just after 3:30.

The price. I thought the ingredients he used for the 12 of us and I resented the price of 50 euros per person. If we had had one meat dish, a pasta dish and a tart of some sort instead of 3 "pasta" dishes. it would have been worth the visit and the money.

I am very sorry to write a negative report because I spend a lot of time reviewing before I take "people" to places. I was very disappointed..

Visited September 2013
3 Thank westford
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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