Cooking and Hiking in the Umbrian Hills
About the location: The Umbrian countryside is unlike any other landscape in Italy. The gentle green Sibillini Mountains rise above wildflower meadows that stretch as far as the eye can see. Birds, including cuckoos and skylarks, serenade as visitors to the Sibillini National Park pass lakes and ancient villages. Flowers cover the mountainside and paths. This beautiful atmosphere will captivate as you explore the valleys, ancient woods, and ruins of abandoned castles on this exclusive hiking and cooking tour of Umbria.
Your accommodations for the week are located in an Umbrian palace, the lovely Palazzo Seneca in Norcia. The hotel dates back to the 16th century and has been recently restored by the Bianconi family to offer elegant rooms and amenities. The skilled restoration, with a particular attention to detail and history, along with the work of the best Umbrian craftsman, have made this palace a unique and worthwhile destination.
About the cooking classes: Norcia is a town known for its sausages, lentils, cheese, and truffles. Using seasonal and local ingredients from farms in the National Park of Sibillini, discover the secrets of Umbrian cuisine with Chef Emanuele. Your two cooking classes will take place in either the well-equipped kitchen of Vespasia Restaurant or the original house of the Bianconi family, who have been in the hospitality industry for more than 160 years. Chef Emanuele leads your cooking classes. Prior to joining Ristorante Vespasia, he worked in a number of prestigious restaurants — including Restaurant St. Hubertus, Arnolfo Ristorante, and Restaurant Mosaic — with 2* Michelin chefs. He's a strong believer in using local, seasonal ingredients when creating his classical Umbrian dishes. (For our other Norcia cooking vacation, see A Food Lover's Paradise in Norcia).
About your hiking guide: Francesco Capozucca was born in Norcia, the heart of Sibillini National Park. His passion for nature and these mountains started when he was a child and his father took him on long walks, looking for mushrooms and watching animals. As he grew, his passion became a desire to seek out new paths, conquer new peaks, and discover every mystery of the legendary mountains. Since 2006, Capozucca has worked as a professional hiking guide in Sibillini National Park and other mountains of central Appennine.