A week-long feast for the senses in the Tuscany & Umbria the Italians don’t want to share.
- MEET artisan cheesemakers, local winegrowers and your hostess- a local olive grower.
- STAY in a typical Umbrian hilltop town near the glorious Val D’Orcia.
- FEAST on the finest seasonal local delicacies with the people who created them.
- TASTE the best local wine and olive oil that’s impossible to find in the UK.
- WANDER the ancient streets of Orvieto and visit the historic catacombs.
- COOK with the freshest spring herbs.
- READ feedback from a previous tour.
Seasonal notes: In May the weather in Tuscany is warming up. It’s usually time for stepping out in short sleeves. Fields are usually lush and green, and the wildflowers begin to bloom. Tiny grapes start appearing on the vines, and the olive trees are starting to flower. In the kitchen it’s the month of fresh herbs and spring ingredients (primizie) which we’ll pick ourselves, and use to make a deliciously fresh meal.
From the moment you land at the airport in Rome, we’ll take care of the practicalities for you. We’ll meet you at the airport and whisk you up into the hills to Città della Pieve, for a 4 night stay in a boutique hotel in the historic village centre. Like all of our very favourite spots, this is small, and personal, originally built as a private villa for the king of Italy, but now restored and beautifully decorated in a modern Tuscan country style. After settling in, we’ll meet Suzie, our local host and olive farmer, and enjoy a special 3 course meal of typical Tuscan and Umbrian cuisine.
Today we head to the beautiful countryside of the Val D’ Orcia, a UNESCO
World Heritage site famed for its cheese, wine and idyllic hilltop towns. Suzie will take us to her friends at a nearby cheese farm where Pecorino di Pienza and wonderful goats’ cheeses are made. We’ll watch them being made, and afterwards sit down with the artisans for a light lunch. In the afternoon we visit the Poliziano winery in Montepulciano, particularly known amongst connoisseurs for its outstanding Vino Nobile. This evening, we’ll wander into the town and join Cristian at his charming and tiny restaurant for a very special meal he created especially for us including the local wines of the cantina Duca della Corgna
Today we’ll explore the unspoilt countryside of Umbria, starting with a visit to the first winery in Italy to achieve zero greenhouse emissions. There’s always something happening here, whatever the time of year, be it picking grapes for the unique red and whites or hand-picking olives from centuries-old trees (some here are 500-years-old). Our visit will end at the “Green Wine Bar” for a wine tasting.
Afterwards we’ll have a light lunch in a local restaurant before going by scenic route to visit Orvieto, one of Umbria’s most beautiful towns. This is a gorgeous place to wander around and do some shopping, sit with a cappuccino, and visit the cathedral. The highlight of exploring Orvieto is a visit the Etruscan catacombs (please note this is inaccessible to wheelchair users sadly).
No dinner has been organised for this evening, but Suzie’s endless array of local recommendations are at our fingertips!
To complete your tour of Tuscan gastronomy, we’ll make the most of the season’s finest produce today, collecting the very freshest of herbs for our morning cookery class at a local agritourismo. Afterwards, a long, lazy lunch to reward us for our work!
This evening we have organised a very special “last supper” at a castello high up on Mount Cetona with stunning views over the entire valley. Antonio, the chef here, won a Michelin star at his previous restaurant, and we’re sure it’s only a matter of time before the inspectors find him here too- this is an evening to remember for many years to come!
A sad goodbye today to Suzie and our friends in Tuscany and Umbria as we head back to the airport in Rome. (Or, if you’ve made your own plans in Italy, onwards to your next adventure…)
**We pride ourselves on travelling responsibly. So, if you would prefer to be collected or dropped off at a local railway station, please let us know and we will endeavour to arrange collection.
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