Culinary Italy Tour
Italians are the masters of creating food dishes and wine that sings with flavour. Regional, seasonal and as fresh as possible, Italy’s food and wine nourishing, satisfying and made with heart. Italy’s food is authentic and surprising – pizza, pasta, cheese, olives and more are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the diverse array of unforgettable food you’ll find on this adventure that travels from Venice to Rome via San Gimignano and Bologna.
- AM Arrival Milan or Venice airport. You will be welcomed by your tour manager who will remain with you throughout the tour.
- PM Pending on arrival time and airport, enjoy some time in Milan or in Padua before travelling to Verona.
- EVE Special welcome to Italy dinner with local specialties of the Veneto region, like Polenta, Bigoli and risotto with fegato all veneziana. 2 glasses of the local Valpolicella pr Bardolino wine are included. As well as coffee with Pandoro, the star-shaped cake, a truly specialty of Verona.
AM Morning tour with a guide of Verona. Admire the world famous balcony of Romeo&Juliette and the Roman Theatre, famous for the Opera performances of Verdi
PM Visit to a cheese farm, producing the asiago. Cheese tasting included. Next visit to to the wine estate owned by Mr. Marchese . See the cellar and a full tasting of 3 wines will follow: their famed Merlot, Villa Gresti, and San Leonardo.
EVE Dinner on your own in Verona.
AM Morning departure to Venice. Upon arrival guided walking tour to see St. Marco Square with the mighty Basilica, Rialto Bridge, designed to let 16th century galleys pass underneath. Rest of the afternoon and evening on your own. You might want to visit the Doges Palace.
EVE Dinner on your own. We recommend a black spaghetti dish, for which Venice is known. Maybe with a glass of Soave?
Return transfer to Verona.
- AM After breakfast departure to Bologna. Possible stop enroute in Modena and/ or optional visit of Ferarri factories/museum ( subject to availability and at supplement)
- PM Visit Castelvetro, a fully restored medieval village. Here we sample 24 years old balsamic vinegar directly from the producer Castelvetro is also known for the production of one of the best Lambrusco in the Modena area.
- Continue to Bologna, capital of the Emilia –Romagna district and gastronomic center of Italy. Nickname of Bologna is the fat, as most dishes are prepared with butter! Upon arrival stroll through the charming city center, famous for its arcades.
- EVE Tonight a slow food dinner! Dinner in Bologna with local specialties of the region like Parma prosciutto, parmesan cheese and a main dish of the famous the pork-butcher’s meat.
- AM Morning some free time in Bologna
- PM Afternoon visit to a Lambrusco Wine Eastate. Lambrusco is the king of Emilia wines. Visit the vineyard, see the production area, bottling process and taste the different wines.
- EVE Dinner on your own.
- AM After breakfast departure for al Florence, where your local guide will welcome you. Walking sightseeing tour of Florence, to see the Ponte Vecchio Bridge and the Duomo cathedral with Baptistery with its world famous carved bronze doors ( no inside visit included) A visit to the Uffizi Museum, including whispersets.
- PM Spend some free time in Florence. And continue to San Gimignano area.
- EVE Local dinner in a local restaurant in or near San Gimignano. Accommodation in the neighborhood of this unique Tuscany town San Gimignano, famous for its many towers and intimate atmosphere (depending size of the group an Agroturismus accommodation). Taste the typical specialties of Tuscany, like minestrones and soups, like Ribolitta and papperdelle. The wine is of course a red of white Chianti, or Brunello
- di Montalcino. And local cheese to finish your dinner with ( pecorino and caciotta).
AM San Gimignano we visit the olive farm, where an in house expert will inform you about the nuances of oils & vinegar’s. And about the way it is produced and used In the Italian Kitchen.
PM Free time in the lovely village of San Gimignano.
EVE Dinner on own and overnight San Gimignano.
- AM After breakfast short ride ( appox 7 miles) to visit Badia a Coltibuono winery 12 acres situated in the Monti in Chianti. This wine estate makes use of highly advanced vinification technologies selected with the objective of producing wines of high quality in the simplest but most effictient way possible. Native yeast’s are used in fermenting the wines. The maturation of the wines in wood is carried out mostly in casks to ensure that oak does not dominate. Taste their wine. They also produce high quality olive oil.
- PM Continue to Coltibuono, a very well-known small town. Originally a medieval Benedictine abbey, – Abbey of the good Harvest! – now the Villa and prestigious wine estate of the Stucchi-Prinetti family.
- Here we visit Castello di Brolio winery. One of the oldest wine producers in the world, situated in the heart of the Chianti Classico region of Italy. Chianti wine like other Tuscan wines has been produced since Etruscan times. Chianti wine experienced a major decline at the end of the 18th century as did Italy itself but enjoyed a resurgence due largely to the effort of Bettino Ricasoli. The Brolio vintage 1841 became the standard for today’s best Chianti and the “Brolio Ricasoli” label is one of the most prestigious. Tour the winery and have a wine tasting.
- EVE Continue for your hotel accommodation to Siena or near surroundings. Dinner on your own.
- AM After breakfast guided walking tour of Siena, considered the most Tuscan town of Tuscany. Siena has the most beautiful square of Italy, the Piazza del Campo , where every year the Palio horse race is held. In Siena you will see, why the famous ‘terra cotta ‘color is so typical Italian!
- Coffee stop with Panforte, the sugar cake with almonds, honey and candied melon. Your guide will tell more about the history of the panforte.
- PM After lunch continue to Montalcino (approx. 30 miles South of Siena) to visit Castello Banfi winery in Montalcino, 7,100 acres of which around 2,400 are planted with vines. You will learn about the Mariani family proprietors of Castello Banfi and their award- winning Super Tuscan and Brunello wines. The winery is built partly above ground and partly underground and contains over 300 stainless steel tanks and 2,000 French oak barriques, plus traditional Slovenian oak casks. The total storage capacity of the winery is over 12 million litres. Tour the winery, have a wine tasting and visit their Balsameria.
- EVE return to Siena (or overnight in Montalcino or near surroundings) for dinner on your own and accommodation.
- AM First stop on our way to Rome is We will visit today a farm to taste Parma Ham and/or cheese, you will get a clear explanation of how the ham or cheese is produced and what makes it famous!
- PM Upon arrival enjoy a guided tour of Ancient Rome; see Caesar’s Forum, the Pantheon,
- the Coliseum where gladiators fought to the death and much more!
- EVE Dinner on your own. Stroll through Rome, pass the Trevi Fountains. Don’t forget to throw a coin in the fountain to ensure your return to Rome!
- AM Morning guided visit the of Vatican, see Michelangelo’s magnificent “Pieta” and visit the Vatican Museum where you will see Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel.
- PM Lunch on your own and some free time. Afternoon tour from Rome to the Frascati vineyards and Pallavicini vineyard and olive oil groves . The villa Pallavicini (or similar estate) we visit is surrounded by vineyards and olive groves in the friendly Frascati countryside. Wine is produced in this area since the Imperial Rome time. Your guide ill explain the local wine-producing methods, from antiquity to modern day techniques. The wine and freshly pressed olive oils at the famous Pallavicini estate, owned by one of Italy’s oldest and most distinguished noble families. Wine tasting included.
- EVE Festive fare-well dinner in the Frascati countryside. The specialties of the Lazio region will be offered, like fettucine, saltimbocca with carciofi alla Giudia. Return to Rome for accommodation.
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