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View Sample Itineraries
for Independent Travel:

Buono Appetito

Includes Piemonte Wine Country, Bologna and Tuscany

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Italy simply is a masterpiece that deserves to be experienced by true connoisseurs. In this great country, we can focus your customized program on culinary and wine travel elements or interweave cultural, art and other adventure activities into a customized culinary and wine travel program. In Italy, “Enogastronomy” is a buzzword, and who can argue with a nation that offers such sensational wine and out-of-this-universe culinary experiences. Some of our very favorite Italy culinary and wine travel program elements for clients include the following:

  • A private tasting of exceptional Barolos in a medieval castle in the enchanting Piemonte region after a morning hunt for the region’s magical white truffles led by a trufulao and his faithful hunting dog
  • Exposure to artisan methods for producing culinary delights in Emilia-Romagna, Italy’s gastronomic heartland. These include
    50-year-old balsamic vinegar, aged Parmigiano-Reggiano and Culatello di Zibello, prosciutto at its very finest.
  • Any number of full-menu culinary lessons such as learning the techniques of a traditional osteria in the Chianti region, a series of lessons in Piemonte, working alongside a personal chef at your villa, or instruction in haute-cuisine twists on traditional Tuscan recipes in one of the great wine towns of southern Tuscany
  • A private tour of Rome’s sensational Testaccio market and adjacent food shops with a culinary guide, followed by a memorable private cooking lesson in a lovely home
  • A wine country picnic with the towers of San Gimignano in the distance
  • Sampling Super Tuscans in the hidden-gem appellation of Maremma in one of the last undiscovered regions within Tuscany

While Tuscany receives the bulk of the attention from visitors, food enthusiasts certainly know that Emilia-Romagna, to the north of Tuscany, continues to reign as the country’s gastronomic capital. Life revolves around the kitchen in this region. The provincial capital of Bologna, a gem of a city in our view, is the birthplace of tortellini, while nearby Parma is home to the famed prosciutto di Parma, produced and aged in villages near the Po River, and Modena is the focal place for exceptional balsamic vinegar. Of course, Parmigiano-Reggiano hails from the region as well.

And if you haven’t been to Piemonte, we should talk! The charming, hilly and relatively undiscovered (when compared to Tuscany!) province in Italy’s Northwest is truly magical thanks in part to the various medieval villages that fleck the landscape and the grace of the surrounding Nebbiolo vineyards. The cuisine certainly outranks Tuscany in our estimation. In Piemonte, one will find exceptional, hearty and French-influenced cuisine highlighted by the famed white truffles of Alba. Other key ingredients include rice, corn, fresh root vegetables, young beef, hazelnuts and chestnuts. You’ll find butter in use here as opposed to olive oil, and meals in Piemonte are extremely serious affairs. One starts with a range of antipasti and follows with a primi of tajarin or agnolloti and multiple secondi such as Brasato al Barolo (beef braised in Barolo with onions carrots, cinnamon and rosemary).

The Piemonte region is also home to the very important Slow Food movement, which is a coordinated effort to preserve traditional culinary methods and traditions. And, of course, you will be in good company with the great wines of Piemonte such as Barolo, Barbaresco, Dolcetto and Barbera as well as Moscato d’Asti.

In Tuscany and Umbria, we can help you experience undiscovered parts of these regions such as the fabulous Maremma wine region in Southern Tuscany, home to Super Tuscans and L’Adrana, the Alain Ducassse hotel. In the process, you will savor the fine cuisine dominated by olive oil, fresh vegetables and herbs, as well as pecorino cheese and sauces much lighter than you will find in many other parts of Italy. Indeed it seems that one is meant to savor Italy slowly.

Please view our Sample Epicurean Itineraries and contact us so that we may begin the process of handcrafting an exceptional travel experience for you and your group of two or more.