A Food Lover's Paradise in Norcia
About the Location: Norcia, a town famed for its black truffles, its nestled in the center of the region of Umbria, historically enclosed by its 14th century walls and surrounded by the Monti Sibilllini Park. Having withstood a severe earthquake in 2016, the town has really rebounded with a sense of renewal. Many of the buildings (including the beautiful hotel Palazzo Seneca and its restaurant) were completely undamaged. Other buildings are being rebuilt and restored. The recovery has been remarkable and we are thrilled to be sending culinary travelers to Norcia once again. With a great culinary history, the area is known for its lentils, sausages, cheese, as well as the truffles. The region is rich with culture, Renaissance art, wine and gastronomy, as well as hand-crafted products.
Spend six magical nights at Palazzo Seneca, a hotel in an Umbrian palace. This charming residence dating back to the sixteenth century is located in the heart of Norcia. The fusion of design and tradition, simplicity and quality, is the secret of this elegant project realized by Vincenzo and Federico Bianconi, the latest generation of a family who has been offering hospitality and food service since 1850. The skilled restoration, the research of unique materials and objects, along with the work of the best Umbrian craftsmen, have made Palazzo Seneca a unique destination in its genre.
About the cooking lessons: Learn the secrets of Umbrian cooking using ingredients such as black truffles from the territory of Norcia, lentils from the plateau of Castelluccio, lamb provided by local farms situated in the Monti Sibillini National Park, Chianina beef from a pasture in the Visso area, pork from a small farm in Pieve Torina, Salumi prepared by a small producer according to the local tradition, one-year-old pecorino cheese matured in a cellar, and fresh ricotta cheese from a local producer. Classes are held either in the original house of the Bianconi family, or in the beautiful, well-equipped kitchen of the Vespasia Restaurant, which was awarded 1 Michelin star in November 2015.
Chef Valentino Palmisano took over at “Vespasia” in 2017. Neapolitano by birth, Chef Valentino has a wealth of international experience as well as training with such Italian masters as Alfonso Iaccarino, Bruno Barbieri, Pino Lavarra, and more. He was listed among the 10 best Italian chefs abroad by "Arbiter" magazine. He is excited to bring his own authentic and creative touch to Norcia.