That’s soooooo not us.
There are tons of tours where a crowd of 90 board a bus and follow around a guide with a flag and megaphone…
Create new memories and friendships in the heart of Tuscany
You're in good hands...
I’m your host Melissa Mayo, a Food Network chef, eternal optimist and “dough therapist” (yep, it’s a thing)—I’ve spent more than a decade crisscrossing the country and eating my weight in pasta … a few times over.
I’ll show you Tuscany the way it’s meant to be seen. My Italy is made up of under-the-radar gems: trattorias with five tables, no name, and a Nonna making the best gnocchi eevveerrrrr. Bet you didn't know there's a 6th hidden town in the Cinque (5) Terre.
See if this is the once-in-a-lifetime trip you’ve been dreaming about.
Book a call with me →
Finally cross Italy off your bucket list
LEarn more →
Imagine going on a vacation where you soak up the sun and sip a spritz on a private yacht along the Med. Enjoy the best food and wine of your life on the Ultimate Adult-Only-Adventure!
Cook all the Italian classics, explore the Tuscan hillsides, and take in breathtaking architecture along the cobblestone Renaissance streets.
Learn about wine making from Italy's finest sommeliers, get behind the scenes tours with top local experts, and make lifelong friendships with like-minded humans who’ll become family.
Take time off from your busy life to love yourself like never before. Embrace the magic of La Dolce Vita and take this secret recipe home as a souvenir to raise your vibration for the REST of your LIFE.
We’ve thought of everything you need and nothing you don’t.
There's a perfect balance between activity and downtime to unwind.
Each experience is custom curated. We carefully screen guests to find you the right adventure.
We have over a decade of experience crisscrossing the region with 100’s of satisfied guests.
We know the in's and out's of Italian life, the best guides, and under the radar spots.
We limit each retreat to 10 chemistry-vetted guests so it’s intimate and cozy like traveling with family and friends—in the best ways (and none of the … other … ways.)
JOin me in italy →
Put away your phone and to-do list and slow down.
Unplug from the mayhem and come back energized and inspired.
Soak up La Dolce Vita….the oh so sweet life, because YOU DESERVE IT!
01. My Italian Masterclass to turn you into a pro in the kitchen.
02. A Hassle-Free Packing guide and my Must-Know-Travel Tips.
03. Professional Photos of you looking glam in places you’ve only seen on postcards and Insta.
04. Five Star Personalized Service, a Private Driver so you can travel in style and Expert Guides.
05. A Luxury SWAG BAG filled with so many surprises.
our peace-of-mind promise
We'll work together to curate your dream trip.
Let's hop on a call and chat about what you’re looking for.
Book with confidence knowing all the details are handled.
"You turned my Tuscan dream into a reality better than I ever imagined".
I’d been wanting to visit Italy for years, but I always worried about the planning. The whole experience from our first call, was simple + stress-free. Melissa organized outings with top local experts + guides. She was so warm and welcoming, I felt like I was traveling with my food-obsessed bestie. I enjoyed the combo of Michelin dining and off-the-beaten-path trattorias - and the private yacht trip was an Aperol Spritz fairytale... I can’t wait to come back.
"I can’t stop talking about cooking with you... I’ve been making pasta round the clock".
I’ve been to Italy many times and this was by far the best trip I’ve taken. I can still taste the juicy tomatoes, to-die-for cheeses, those gorgeous wines, the hazelnut gelato, and your homemade gnocchi. The hands-on classes were incredible. But the best part was your hospitality and attention to detail. Your energy, passion, and enthusiasm are contagious. You’re a dynamo and a very special lady! Grazie millie.
This could be you!
"If you’re looking to travel with someone who REALLY knows Italy – look no further".
What sets Melissa apart is her vast knowledge of Tuscany. I work full time and could never have researched such a brilliant trip. Everything was thoughtfully curated, so I could relax from day one. While we were busy, I never felt rushed. I enjoyed the 5-star service, intimate private tastings, and learning about the history and culture. I'm amazed at all the delicious Italian dishes I can now make. The trip was worth every cent. Don’t hesitate to book.
Arrive and settle in, Welcome Dinner
What’ll we do?
Yoga, Cooking Class, Lunch & Walking Tour of Lucca
Trip to Cinque Terre & Private boat to a secret island for dinner
Foodie adventure to Florence with expert guides & dinner
Private Wine Tasting with Master Sommelier & 5 star lunch in Wine Country
Yoga, Cooking Class, Lunch, Farewell Dinner
Yoga, Brunch, Check out
Your trip of a lifetime includes:
A private driver and boat, and all airport transfers (Value $1960)
All food, alcohol, tours, classes, and tips (Value $2837)
Wine tastings with master sommeliers and culinary adventures with top experts (Value $580)
An epic swag bag filled with amazing surprises (Value $276)
Hands-on cooking classes with a Food Network chef (Value $1182)
Day trip to a private island in the Cinque Terre, Food adventure to Florence and walking tour of Lucca with the best local guides (Value $1348)
6 nights’ luxury accommodation in a Private Boutique Hotel in the walled city of Lucca (Value $1875)
The most incredible food, wine, and service of your life (Value - PRICELESS)
Hassle-free planning ... Just relax and leave it to us! (Value - PRICELESS)
A professional photographer so you can put away your phone (Value $365)
Optional private morning yoga classes (Value $160)
How do we do it?
We curate the experience working with people we’ve known and trusted for years—and we don’t mark up the “local” prices. We want you to enjoy your time in Italy, not worry about what you spent. Rest assured you're getting the “family” rate for everything we do.
A one-of-a-kind cooking school in Lucca, Italy. The 5-star retreats are curated and hosted by Food Network chef Melissa Mayo. The school features a state-of-the-art kitchen and a gorgeous deck for yoga, lunches, and wine tastings.
Host a private celebration or launch. Lounge in the sun, sip on a cocktail, or dive in and enjoy the crystal-clear waters of the pool.
Our Susina Cucina core values drive every experience we offer:
Leave your worries at the door, unplug from technology, and sleep well. Be in THE NOW and use the present moment to recharge your soul.
Enjoy an unforgettable experience: savor every sound, smell, taste, and flavor. Time around the table & in the kitchen is the richest of treasures.
We cook with fresh, organic, locally sourced foods that support the land, local farmers, and businesses.
Gathering at our table makes you part of our family, and that’s how we’ll make you feel. We’re here to take care of you.
Cook your way to your dream body by using fresh ingredients and spices. Learn to ditch diets and discover how to make simple, delicious meals that will have you feeling healthy and confident. Beautiful.
I'm Melissa, your host & tour guide.
Let's celebrate La Dolce Vita. The sweet life is made up of long lazy meals, delicious food and great conversation. Finding joy, slowing down, and savoring every mouthful + moment.
My love of cooking began as a kid at my mom’s knee. I learned to cook without recipes - TASTE was my only guide. I'm gonna teach you how to cook all the Italian classics.
But the secret ingredient in every recipe is YOU! The love or “amore” you put into it each dish is the best way to show friends and family you care.
You’re family now... So pull up a seat at my table, pour yourself some vino and let’s cook and celebrate this delicious, sweet and beautiful life!
I limit classes to 10 adults, so it's intimate and hands-on.
This is your exclusive VIP BACKSTAGE PASS to experience the real “Bella Italia”...The one you won’t find in a guide book, app or internet search.
We’ve curated an unforgettable experience for you. Reconnect with yourself and embrace a slower-paced, more intentional way of living, eating, and gathering around the table.