A land and sea combination, spend a few days in the Tuscan hills and then the glimmering Italian Riviera. Start with 3 nights at Hotel Illaria in Lucca. Explore recipes that date back to medieval times and learn about the cooking methods once used in this part of Tuscany. Make rustic favorites like the local tordelli Lucchese pasta, wood fired cecina, porchetta, and buccellato cake. Climb an old clock tower and join the locals for nightly passagiata evening walk around this walled village.
Transfer to the multi-color seaside villages that dot the rocky coast of Liguria, land of pesto, seafood, and foccacia. Shop for hand made corzetti pasta stamps in Chiavari, and prepare a full Ligurian dinner at the charming Agriturismo Villanova, your home for this leg of the trip. Locals love using wild herbs and zucchini flowers, and are very proud of their white wines and sciacchetra, a sweet wine only produced in this region. Sip and sail along the Cinque Terre and join our food and wine crawl through the goat paths with a local guide to wineries nestled in the mountains.
LUCCA & LIGURIA
LA FESTA DELLA BRUNA
Travel down to the heel of the boot of Italy, to the whitewashed villages of the south. One of the most charming regions of Italy, Puglia is a special area not yet flooded by mass tourism, but the secret is getting out so see it soon! Accommodations here are unique to the region. Sleep in the stone trulli at Masseria Cappuccini, and a cave hotel in ancient Matera, which have been beautifully restored to include with all modern amenities.
Attend the "Festa della Bruna" when processions and fireworks light up the cave city of Matera. Culinary specialties include olive oil from the oldest and most ancient olive trees in Italy, pane di Matera, shellfish, orrecchiete, (pasta shaped like little ears), fave e cicoria, hand stretched mozzarella, and the smokey cappocollo from the town of Martina Franca.
Visit the glowing hilltop town of Ostuni, have a bread stamp hand craved for you by a local artisan, cook in a trullo in Alberobello, and fall in love with the seaside life at Polignano a Mare and Monopoli with a glass of rose or primativo in hand.
TUSCANY & UMBRIA NOVEMBER 2020 & 2021
Fall in the Tuscan and Umbrian hill towns is magical. Hotel Villa Marsili, is your home for the week, in the village of Cortona, where every room has a view. The scent of wood burning fire fills the air as market stalls sell roasted chestnuts and toasted bruschetta drizzled with the season's newly pressed extra virgin olive oil, and people gather in the piazza to share their vino nuovo, the first wines of the year's harvest.
Go truffle hunting with dogs in the woods, try your hand at making pici, the local pasta and cheese making. Visit wineries and a small batch Florentine distillery to make your own signature infused gin. Roll out cantucci and torta della nonna, and enjoy more amazing culinary adventures.
Have your portrait drawn by an artist in just the right Tuscan light, "wine, dine, and shine" at a "jewelry tasting"cocktail party, and visit the Pitti Palace and costume galleries exhibiting the extensive collection of Medici family's Renaissance masterpieces and couture clothing.
SPRING 2021 TOURS
TO AMALFI COAST & TUSCANY