Umbria Culinary Adventure
A DELECTABLE EXPERIENCE in Bella Umbria
Dubbed the green heart of Italy, the region of Umbria boasts a surprising variety of delicious foods. From countless vegetable gardens that ring virtually every village to forests rich with mushrooms, truffles and wild game, our culinary adventure in Umbria is a immersion into exception, organic foods and wines – based on generations of artisan methods and local traditions. Each day includes exclusive tours, private visits and delightful hands-on activities. From pasta lessons to truffle hunts, our local friends provide you with unprecedented access, while treating you like part of the family. Of course we also leave room for unscheduled events. If Mario calls to tell us they’re pressing olives, you can bet we’ll make time to taste his freshly pressed oil!
From ancient Etruscan dishes to inventive, modern menus, the meals on our Umbria Culinary Adventure are quite simply exceptional. Lunches and dinners are based on the freshest of seasonal ingredients, and are paired with top-notch wines from small-production wineries.
THE ROAD Less Traveled
For more than 15 years we’ve been creating relationships with locals that allow us to take you along the road less traveled, to experience places and meet people who are off touristy routes. This means that your vacation in Italy is much more than that. It’s an authentic immersion into true Italian culture – including being based in an unspoiled medieval village.
- 7 days/6 nights stay (see accommodations link next to available dates)
- Group transportation by private transport service to/from Rome Fiumicino Airport on arrival and departure dates
- Private transport service to/from all towns and sites included in the itinerary
- All breakfasts
- All lunches
- All dinners, served with regional wines
- Hands-on cooking experiences
- Daily culinary adventures
- Wine and cheese pairing
- Saffron lesson and tasting
- Truffle hunt
- Pasta-making class
- Antipasto lesson
- Pizza night
- Aperitivo and spritz lesson
- Evening aperitivo hour for chatting, sharing and relaxing
Not included: Airfare, meals, alcoholic drinks, buses, trains or boat transportation outside of that which is specifically listed in the trip package, gratuities for villa staff and drivers
The Unexpected is Part of the Journey: At Strada Toscana we weave amazing, authentic experiences into every trip, but sometimes unexpected things come up. If a site has an unscheduled closing, we improvise to include something equally as wonderful and interesting. The quality of the trip is never at risk, as our team is committed to excellence, along with our vast, local, Italian connections.
UMBRIA CULINARY ADVENTURE
Day 1 ~ Arrival
- Highlights: Welcome and trip overview, village walking tour, aperitivo lesson
Benvenuti in Italia! Upon arrival at Rome Fiumicino Airport, sit back and relax as you are transported by our private drivers to your beautiful accommodations in Città della Pieve, Umbria – your home base for the fabulous days ahead! After check-in you’ll have the opportunity to explore your surroundings with your trip host, and learn some of the fascinating history of the area. Then it’s time for a light-hearted aperitivo lesson, with our friend, and sommelier, Paola, before sitting down for a delicious, regional-style dinner to kick off the tour.
Day 2 ~ Città della Pieve
- Highlights: Coffee experience, Renaissance masterpieces, pasta-making class
- Breakfast, lunch, dinner
This morning, during breakfast, you’ll enjoy learning about the cultural experience of Italian coffee, along with how – and why – coffee is typically enjoyed throughout the day. Afterwards we’re off to visit the town’s 15th century duomo, with its unique and beautiful interior, along with a peek at one of the region’s greatest masterpieces by Renaissance artist, Perugino. All this as we make our way to our friend, Cristian’s organic bistrot, where you’ll take a private tour of his amazing cantina, followed by a delightful pasta-making class. You’ll also learn about the surprising culinary traditions of this area, including how to make pici all’aglione – a local specialty. Lunch features your handmade pasta, of course!
This afternoon you’ll have some free time to explore, walk or shop on your own (you won’t want to miss the scenic lookout, along with the narrowest alleyway in Italy!) before we gather together at our friends’ bar in the town’s main piazza. Here you’ll enjoy a Spritz-inspired aperitivo, before continuing to a rustic trattoria for dinner featuring grilled Chianina beef – an Umbrian specialty.
Day 3 ~ Ficulle
- Highlights: Terracotta cookware demonstration, antipasto lesson, wine and cheese pairings class
- Breakfast, lunch and dinner
This morning, after breakfast, our drivers will transport us to ancient village of Ficulle, perched on a spectacular ridge line overlooking the rolling hills of Umbria. Here we’ll take a brisk walk around town – including a climb up the fabulous, medieval town – before meeting up with our friend, Fabio, for a fascinating demonstration of his hand-thrown cookware called coccio. For centuries the town of Ficulle was a center of pottery used specifically for cooking, and Fabio is the last remaining ceramist of this unique, rustic cookware. Afterwards, you’re in for a treat as we head to Fabio’s restored wine cantina for a special lunch, cooked and served in Ficulle’s “coccio”. Plus he and his wife, Pina, will be teaching you how to make an easy antipasto for virtually any meal.
In the afternoon you’ll have a chance to rest and recharge, and perhaps enjoy a traditional passeggiata (stroll) before Paola takes us to the private headquarters of one of Città della Pieve’s three neighborhoods – terziere – where you’ll learn about pairing wine with cheese. Sipping wine and sampling cheese in this historic location is simply unforgettable! A light dinner follows, prepared by Chef Vito, and features delicious, seasonable vegetables.
Day 4 ~ Città della Pieve
- Highlights: Saffron gathering, saffron tasting, visit to the old forno, Etruscan recipes
- Breakfast, lunch and dinner
This morning we’ll take an early breakfast before our drivers transport us to our friend, Alessandro’s, saffron field for a once-in-a-lifetime experience of hand-picking crocus, as you learn how to harvest saffron from these delicate flowers. Afterwards, we continue to Alessandro’s “saffron house”, in his cozy, former wine cantina, for a private saffron tasting and light lunch. Fascinating and delicious!
This afternoon we walk the winding avenues of Città della Pieve to the former forno (bread bakery) where you’ll enjoy a private visit, followed by a tour of our friend, Osfaldo’s, fascinating home museum (he’s the son of the town’s last bread baker!). This evening we make our way to a chic restaurant on the outskirts of the village, housed in a former olive press, where we’ll enjoy a dinner inspired by ancient Etruscan recipes.
Day 5 ~ Monteleone
- Highlights: Truffle hunt, pizza night
- Breakfast, lunch and dinner
This morning, after a light breakfast and an early start, you’ll be heading to the medieval hill town of Monteleone. Here you’ll be walking a trail through a beautiful holm-oak and pine forest as you take part in an oh-so-fun truffle hunt with brothers Andrea and Michele – and their amazing truffle dogs. Afterwards we continue to the brothers’ charming cafe for a special truffle tasting and lunch – served with local olive oil and wine, of course.
In the afternoon you’ll enjoy some free time followed by a visit in a private home for aperitivo. Then it’s off to a local pizzeria for thin-crust pizza (typical of the area), baked in a tradition, wood-fired brick oven.
Day 6 ~ TBA
- Breakfast, dinner
This afternoon bring some free time, then we gather together for a special aperitivo and farewell dinner, paired with top-shelf wines.
Day 7 ~ Departure
Early morning departure for Rome Fiumicino Airport
ACCOMMODATIONS Boutique Hotel Vannucci
Hotel Vannucci began as a project of Vittoria Spinola, daughter of King Vittorio Emanuele II, who fled Pisa (and an arranged marriage with her elderly husband) to start a new life with her lover in Città della Pieve. Here, she and her soon-to-be new husband, Paolo, built two villas that became luxurious holiday accommodations for wealthy Romans vacationing in the countryside. In 1903 one of the villas became Hotel Vannucci, and today it maintains the elegance and refinement of its inception, with luxurious sleeping rooms, marble bathrooms and inviting gardens. A stay here is truly special, nestled just outside the medieval walls of the historic, and unspoiled, village of Città della Pieve.
DATES & DETAILS
- October 22-28, 2023
- Trip Price:
- Single Occupancy Single Bed: $3,270 USD
- Single Occupancy Classic Room: $3,570 USD
- Single Occupancy Superior Room: $3,720 USD
- Double Occupancy Superior Room: $3,270 USD
- $500 Deposit, per person, is required to secure your space on this tour
- Terms and Conditions