13 Days Gastronomic Tour of Italy
Day 1 — USA / Venice. Tour members gather at the ticket counter at the airport three hours prior to our departure to Venice. Dinner and breakfast are served in-flight.
DAY 2 – VENICE. Arrival in Venice airport and meet the tour escort – transfer by ferry to your hotel in Venice for check-in and overnight.
DAY 3 – VENICE/ASIAGO. Breakfast at the hotel – In the morning start an orientation tour of Venice included the Doge’s Palace, founded in the 9th century. A tour of the palace leads through a succession of richly decorated chambers and halls, ending with the Bridge of Sights and prisons – After that, a walking tour of the historical center of Venice: piazza San Marco, the heart of Venice and tourist crowds, the Campanile (bell tower) and the Venice’s gateway. Depart to Asiago. Dinner and overnight at hotel.
DAY 4 – ASIAGO. After breakfast at your hotel, we will enjoy a guided tour of Asiago, including the Cathedral of St Matteo, the fountain of the faun, a walk on the lake ending with a visit to one of the blockhouse of the city. In the afternoon we will have the possibility of a visit to one of the cheese factory of the city. Dinner and vernight at your hotel.
DAY 5 – ASIAGO / PARMA / MONTECATINI. After breakfast at your hotel depart to Montecatini. En route we will stop in Parma, where we will enjoy a tour of the two “Foods Museums”: The Museum of Parmigiano Reggiano and the Museum of Prosciutto Crudo, two typical Italian products. Continue to Montecatini for dinner and overnight.
DAY 6 – MONTECATINI / MONTEPULCIANO / MONTALCINO / MONTECATINI. Make your way south along the ancient Via Cassia to Montalcino, and then to nearby Montepulciano. These two wine-producing giants are worthy stops in their own right, even for those uninterested in wine. Nearby is the model Renaissance city, Pienza, surrounded by the kind of captivating Tuscan landscape you see in promotional photos. Return in Montecatini area for overnight.
DAY 7 – MONTECATINI/GREVE/RADDA/MONTECATINI. Spend the day on state road 222, which takes you through the big-name towns in Chianti. The three most worthy stops are Greve, Radda, and Castellina in Chianti, all important winemaking areas topped by medieval villages. Wine tasting in Chianti region. Return to Montecatini Terme for dinner and overnight.
DAY 8 – MONTECATINI/TREVI/NORCIA . After breakfast depart for Norcia, Umbria. Vineyards occupy great part of Umbria’s rolling hillside, and the grapes grown here are transformed in some of the country’s finest wines. The countryside surrounding Montefalco is where the prestigious Sagrantino and Rosso di Montefalco are produced. Montefalco is worth visiting not only to taste the wine but also to tour the town which, from the heights of its panoramic position, boasts some of the most breathtaking views over the Umbrian countryside. Continue for Trevi, for a visit of oil factory, the production of oil will begin just in this period, we will have the possibility to taste it. Then continue to Norcia, a paradise for lovers of cold meats and wines such as salame and porchetta. Norcia is an absolute must for pecorino fans, too – irrespectively of whether they prefer their ewes cheese with or without the famous Norcia truffle. It is perhaps ironic that all these tempting delicacies are made in the town where San Benedetto was born, the saint who advocated Benedictine austerity and the rule of ora et labora. Dinner and overnight in Norcia.
DAY 9 – NORCIA. Today your cooking lesson will take place in the restaurant of our hotel with a professional chef. The menu will consist of one primo (entrée) (such as a pasta dish or gnocchi) and one main course (such as braised veal in Rosso di Montefalco wine sauce). Following an aperitivo, dinner will consist mainly of the food you have prepared at the cooking lesson. Time at leisure before overnight at your hotel.
DAY 10 – NORCIA/ORVIETO/ROME . Today depart for Orvieto, where we will visit the old town the medieval quarter par excellence, the area of San Giovenale, the first portion of the cliff where there was an urban development and still retains its characteristics. In Orvieto we will have our cooking demo at Zeppelin restaurant with Lorenzo Polegri chef. After, in the afternoon moving toward the center of town you can admire the Piazza del Popolo, the beautiful Palazzo del Capitano del Popolo, Corso Cavour, Palazzo dei Sette and of course the Cathedral. Continue to Rome for dinner and overnight.
DAY 11 – ROME. After breakfast, meet the local guide and visit the Vatican Museums which houses one of the world’s great collections of Classical and Rennaissance art. The visit includes the Sistine Chapel – The visit will end in St Peter’s, the catholicism’s most sacred shrine, the vast, marble-encrusted basilica draws pilgrims and tourists from all over the world. The Michelangelo’s Pietà is one of the masterpieces, created by Michelangelo when he was only 25 – Free time for lunch – In the afternoon, the visit continue to discover the city centre of Rome: the Pantheon, the roman “Temple of all the gods” very well preserved; the Trevi Fountain the simbol of “la Dolce Vita”, the Spanish Steps completed in 1726 is nowadays the favorite site of famous stylist to perform their fashion shows. Dinner and overnight.
DAY 12 – ROME. An opportunity to leave the metropoli and immerse yourself in the natural and artistic beauty of the small medieval villages outside Rome. Leaving Rome we pass by the ruins of the baths of Caracalla before taking the Ancient Appian Way passing by the Chapel of “Domine Quo Vadis?”. This tour takes us along the “Road of the Lakes” passing through one of the hilly areas of volcanic origin which characterize the outskirts of Rome: the Colli Albani where small villages are becoming towns, Castelgandolfo where the Pope has his summer residence, Ariccia famous for its large bridge with three arches, Rocca di Papa e Grottaferrata, both noted for their culture and gastronomic delicacies. Dinner tonight will be at “La Pergola”. Overnight at your hotel.
DAY 13 – ROME / USA. After breakfast, check-out and transfer to Rome airport for our flight home.