Italian Food, Cooking & Wine Tour with truffle hunting 2018 in Umbria, Italy.  A tour to delight all lovers of Italian food in the delightful countryside of Umbria.  This small-group 7 day Tour package is perfect for foodies and those wanting to enjoy and Umbria in the “slow lane”.

Staying in Montefalco Umbria. If you’re yearning for another life as an Italian… start here.

Visiting the towns Bevagna, Spello, Deruta, Perugia, Orvieto in Umbria as well as private homes, farms, vineyards & olive oil mills, traditional Umbrian family kitchens, fabulous local restaurants and exclusive villas.

Immerse yourself in local traditions totally off the usual tourism radar by visiting private homes and viewing life through the lens of the locals. Our selection of local cooking classes are based on a variety of recipes rooted in ancient tradition and some of the finest natural produce in Italy.  With the the accent always on the quest for genuine flavours, events often include seasonal ventures into wild food foraging, truffle hunting, cheese or wine making or oil pressing according to the time of year.

We have cellar wine tastings of Montefalco’s award winning Sagrantino wines. The Sagrantino dry red won Italy’s award for the best wine of 1998. This unusual grape grows only between Medieval Montefalco and the ancient Roman town of Bevagna. Production in local monasteries can be traced back to the early middle ages, and a sweet version produced from Sagrantino raisins was the favourite of the Vatican for the holy wine of their mass.
You will be collected from outside Foligno station at 11.15am on the first day of the tour.

Details

Twin Share:  €1950
Single Use Double Room: €2150
Duration: 7 Days/6 Nights

Based on 5 to 16 in each group
10% loading for private tours
A deposit of EUR 350 per person is required to hold a place.

TOUR DATES 2018:

1-7 MAR   12-18 APR     3-9 MAY    10-16 May

14-20 JUN       21-27 JUNE   28 JUNE-4 JULY

12-18 JUL       2-8 AUG      6-12 SEPT

20-26 SEPT    18-24 OCT       19 NOV- 5 DEC

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Foligno to Montefalco, Wine Tasting LD

Meet at Foligno railway station at 11.30 am. We transfer you to your accommodation at Camiano Piccolo near Montefalco for a delicious local homecooked lunch.  In the afternoon we walk up to the medieval town of Montefalco where you will be introduced to the food, wine, artisan and art traditions of the town including a visit to the stunning 15th century Benozzo Gozzoli fresco cycle in the town’s museum. There is a wine tasting at a the Alchimista, a family run enoteca in the town’s delightful piazza. Montefalco reds have won prestigious awards as one of the best red wines in Italy. Dinner, including wine, is at the accommodation every evening.

Day 2: Cooking at Camiano  &  Visit Spello B L D

In the morning you have a cooking class at the accommodation followed by dinner. Giuseppe the owner of Camiano Piccolo is renowned locally for his numerous delicious varieties of local pasta in the best indigenous traditions, including his speciality of spinach and pecorino ricotta ravioli made using the family olive oil. The best is yet to come when you are sitting in the delightful family garden with the family’s wine, overlooking the family home and eating the produce of your labours.

The pretty flower filled town of Spello cascades down the hillside overlooking the valley of Umbria. There is a walk around the labyrinth of floral decorated streets to take in the atmosphere and visit the local artisan food shops which populate the town.

Day 3: Truffle Hunt & Spoleto B L D

An extraordinary and exhilarating day where we travel high in the hills up to a mountain forest where we first watch them making cheese ( in season) and then accompany a professional truffle hunter on his wanderings through his own private forest on his daily quest for truffles or ‘black gold’ as it is know in these parts.

We enjoy a simple meal of wine, bruschetta, pasta and truffles in the hunter’s home in the mountain village.

On the way home there is some free time in the town of Spoleto to explore this ancient roman town.

Day 4: Bevagna & Spello B D

Down in the valley and just a short distance from Montefalco, Bevagna is one of Umbria’s most evocative towns. During Spring you can view a circuit of mediaeval artisans in their workshops including Francesco, the artisan paper maker surrounded by shredded fabrics, an enormous water operated pulping mill, and boiling animal hides. We visit a revocation of a Medieval house complete with frescoes, bedlinens, bath and weaving loom as part of the guided exploration of this small gem.

Our visit also includes the town’s Roman mosaics and the beautifully evocative piazza encircled by Bevagna’s other essential sights; the two Romanesque churches that face each other across Piazza Silvestri, the intact medieval main square. San Michele is fascinating, but my favourite is San Silvestro; its utter lack of adornment and steeply raised presbytery radiate a stern romanesque purity.

In this sweet fragment of the medieval world, Spello’s splendidly intact town walls are draped around the centro storico like a necklace. “Hispellum” was originally a Roman settlement – it lay on the Via Flaminia consular road, close to the strategic junction for Perugia. The most impressive remnant of this stage of the town’s history, apart from the walls themselves, is the Porta Venere, an Augustan-era gate flanked by two 12-sided towers, standing in magnificent isolation on the west side of town.

Our guided visit takes in the sights strung out along Via Cavour, the main street, beginning with Santa Maria Maggiore. This church has a finely sculpted medieval portal, but the real treat is inside: the Cappella Baglioni side-chapel, decorated with superb frescoes by the Umbrian Renaissance master Pinturicchio. Standing in the chapel you can turn your back on the real world and enter the artist’s dream world of exquisite colour, sweetness and grace including his scene of the annunciation with the green and golden silken robes of the angel still floating, airborn as he lands to point his finger to the bewildered but resigned virgin.

Spello’s real pleasures, apart from its two standout sights, are the civilised pace of life of the town and the lovely Subasio marble from which it is built, which takes on a peach-pink hue around sunrise and sunset. There will be some free time for you to take in the atmosphere and visit the local traditional art and artisans shops which populate the town.

Dinner at the accommodation

Day 5: Cooking & Cellar Visits B L D

We travel on to a large estate and private home in the hills above Bevagna for a gorgeous cooking class with Lucia on her country estate. Served on green-rimmed plates, our pasta course is as striking as a Botticelli painting. Aesthetics aren’t the only thing Luciana excels at.

She has also mastered the fine art of la dolce vita, leading us through the most relaxed cooking class I have ever experienced. Although we work hard – whisking custard, kneading pasta dough, stuffing zucchinis – each activity is interspersed with a pause to savour the sunny day.

We start our day with a coffee in the garden, surrounded by fragrant flowering shrubs.

During our next break, we retire to the terrace for a glass of chilled wine and some mortadella. It’s a reminder that life is to be savoured – and that 11am is a reasonable hour for a quick pick-me-up.” (Ute Junker SMH 02/08/2014)

In the afternoon we visit two local wine cellars for tastings of Montefalco’s award winning Sagrantino wine. The visits may include large producers such as Caprai, Pardi, Sciaccadiavoli or Novelli as well as middle sized producers like Colle Ciocco, Perticaia or family run vineyards such as Fongoli or Saraceno.

Day 6: Cooking & Deruta B L D

After breakfast in the garden at Camiano we walk around the town of Montefalco to the lovely Villa Pambuffetti so you can enjoy a morning stroll through the town before emerging on the other side of the walls and meeting for our hands on cooking. Alessandra the elegant chef is a contessa, the owner of the villa and your teacher for the morning.

Their high quality restaurant is one of the best in the area, and is a much sought after venue for weddings and ceremonies. It is stylish, and cosmopolitan but offers traditional Umbrian recipes. You will learn to cook traditional pasta and other regional dishes using local ingredients. Pasta is made with eggs and flour for the famous Umbrian Strangozzi, or with water and flour for the Umbricelli, a wide long spaghetti. First courses are usually garnished with a rich tomato ragu’, made using carrots, onion soffritto in olive oil with goose meat or beef stock. There are also soups like pasta e fagioli with pasta, beans and pork skins, and scafata soup with lentils from Norcia.

Following the cooking class, participants get to sit down and enjoy a pleasant lunch in the historic garden accompanied by the family’s own Sciaccadiavoli wine.

In the afternoon we visit Deruta has been a major ceramics center since medieval times. No culinary exploration would be complete without a venture into eating’s decorative accessories. Here you will be shown through a selection of some of the 300 outlets selling plates, bowls and anything else that might be made of terracotta.

Day 8 Tour ends at Foligno B

On the last day of the tour you will be transferred to Foligno Station.

INCLUSIONS:
• Foligno station or Foligno hotel transfers
• All land travel by air-conditioned coach
• Accommodation for 6 nightsw with full board
• 4 cooking classes of characteristic regional recipes
• A truffle hunt and truffle lunch in a mountain village
• Visits to cellars with tasting of Montefalco’s award winning Sagrantino wines
• A visit to the famous ceramics centre of Deruta• Short informative talks on the food and wine of Umbria
• The services of a tour leader

Not included: Porterage