Cooking and Walking in Umbria

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.


Latest Review

No rating given with this review
All I can say is: wow! My wife and I had such a great time and learned so much. Everyone associated with this trip was great, from the staff at Palazzo Seneca to our driver Tiziano. Our hiking guide Francesco was fantastic, as was Nichola, our consummate truffle hunter. Chef Emanuele and his staff at Vespasia were extraordinary ambassadors for the culinary experience that Norcia can offer—-indeed they embodied that experience. Their food was exquisite—we believe a Michelin star will be forthcoming soon. Most of all, they cook and present with passion. In short, our experience in Norcia was more than worth writing home about (which we did—on Facebook) and contributed yet another affirmation to our belief in the inherent beauty and value of the Italian lifestyle. All in all, I recommend this experience without reservation. Brava! Paul and Margaret C., NV

Trip Details

Learn the secrets of Umbrian cooking using the wonderful ingredients of this gastronomically rich region. Your two classes will take place in either the original house of the Bianconi family, or in the wonderful, well-equipped kitchen of the Vespasia Restaurant, which was awarded a Michelin star in November 2015. They will be led by Chef Valentino Palmisano, who took over the Ristorante Vespasia in 2017.


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Itinerary

Day 1 – Sunday

  • Transfer from Rome Fiumicino Airport to Palazzo Seneca in Norcia.
  • This afternoon, enjoy a welcome drink and a short presentation on your cooking course.
  • Enjoy a dinner at Ristorante Vespasia of Palazzo Seneca.
  • Overnight.

Truffle hunt in Italy


Day 2 – Monday

  • After breakfast, your introduction to Umbrian cooking gets underway with your first cooking class with Chef Valentino.
  • Lunch based on your efforts.
  • In the afternoon, experience a black truffle hunt. (In the months of May and September, another activity may be substituted).
  • Dinner tonight will be at a rustic outdoor restaurant.
  • Overnight.

Hiking in Italy


Day 3 – Tuesday

  • Breakfast.
  • Your hike today will be from Castelluccio to Monte Patino, a 12 km hike with 400 m elevation. The ring has easy gradients and leads to beautiful views on the Piani di Catelluccio to the beech woods, to the high pastures that seem suspended over Norcia. The panorama there spans 360 degrees over the Umbria mountains, the Sibillini Mountains, and the Laga mountains.
  • Late lunch on your own.
  • Dinner at Ristorante Vespasia in Palazzo Seneca.
  • Overnight.

Food shop in Norcia, Italy


Day 4 – Wednesday

  • After breakfast, depart for an excursion to legendary Assisi, the city of Saint Francis, with time to explore on your own.
  • Lunch on your own.
  • Afterwards, it’s on to the famous town of Montefalco, land of the Sagrantino red wine, where you will visit a local winery and taste wonderful wines.
    Return to Palazzo Seneca and dinner at Granaro del Monte.
  • Overnight.

Spoleto, Umbria


Day 5 – Thursday

  • Following breakfast, begin your second cooking class.
  • Lunch based on your efforts.
  • In the afternoon, visit the town of Spoleto.
  • Return to the hotel. Ristorante Vespasia for dinner.
  • Overnight.

The countryside of Umbria


Day 6 – Friday

  • Breakfast.
  • Start your second hike in Castelluccio, a little village in the National Park of Sibillini. You’ll gently descend from Castelluccio’s plateaus to the “Pian Piccolo” and walk through endless wildflower meadows at the foot of one of the most beautiful Sibillini mountains. After passing a beautiful lake, climb through the woods full of beech trees. The return hike will take you along the ridge between Sibillini and Laga Mountains, which offer breathtaking views of the Umbrian countryside below. Late lunch on your own, perhaps in one of the little villages.
  • Your farewell dinner in Ristorante Vespasia.
  • Overnight.

Day 7 – Saturday

  • Breakfast and then final farewells before transferring to Rome’s Fiumicino Airport.

Trip Details

Included in the 6-Night Trip

Accommodations

  • Six nights in a 4* Relais & Chateaux hotel

Food & Beverages

  • Daily breakfast
  • Two lunches
  • Six dinners

Classes & Instructors

Learn the secrets of Umbrian cooking using the wonderful ingredients of this gastronomically rich region. Your two classes will take place in either the original house of the Bianconi family, or in the wonderful, well-equipped kitchen of the Vespasia Restaurant, which was awarded a Michelin star in November 2015. They will be led by Chef Valentino Palmisano, who took over the Ristorante Vespasia in 2017.

Excursions

  • Black truffle hunt (weather and season permitting)
  • Two days of panoramic hiking
  • Visit to Assisi and Montefalco, with time to explore on your own
  • Wine tasting in Sagrantino
  • Visit of Spoleto, with time to explore on your own

Transfer Details

  • Roundtrip transfers from/to Rome airport. (If you are staying in Rome we can request a hotel pickup, which will depend on the hotel location.) Please note late arrivals or early departures may incur a surcharge.

Accommodation Information

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.

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Pricing & Tour Dates

Looking for tour date information?


Year round Pricing:

6-night Program
US$3650 per person based on double occupancy
  • Add US$400 for single occupancy (use of a double room by 1 person)
  • Add US$100 per person to upgrade to Superior room
  • Add US$360 per person to upgrade to Deluxe room
  • Add US$600 per person to upgrade to Junior suite
  • Add US$950 per person to upgrade to Suite

30% deposit due to confirm booking.
Balance payment due 60 days prior to tour start date. Questions? Please contact us!

Surcharge to operate week for one person: please inquire.


Tour Dates

Available the following weeks for a minimum of 2 people. Can also be confirmed for 1 person on request. Other start dates also possible, please inquire.

2019
January 27-February 2
February 3-9
February 10-16
February 17-23
February 24-March 2
March 3-9
March 10-16
March 17-23
March 24-30
March 31-April 6
April 7-13
April 14-20
April 21-27
April 28-May 4
May 5-11
May 12-18
May 19-25
May 26-June 1
June 2-8
June 9-15
June 16-22
June 23-29
June 30-July 6
July 7-13
July 14-20
July 21-27
July 28-August 3
August 4-10
August 11-17
August 18-24
August 25-31
September 1-7
September 8-14
September 15-21
September 22-28
September 29-October 5
October 6-12
October 13-19
October 20-26
October 27-November 2
November 3-9
November 10-16
November 17-23
November 24-30
December 1-7
December 8-14
December 15-21
December 22-28

Pricing & Dates

Class Pricing

Reviews

No rating given with this review
All I can say is: wow! My wife and I had such a great time and learned so much. Everyone associated with this trip was great, from the staff at Palazzo Seneca to our driver Tiziano. Our hiking guide Francesco was fantastic, as was Nichola, our consummate truffle hunter. Chef Emanuele and his staff at Vespasia were extraordinary ambassadors for the culinary experience that Norcia can offer—-indeed they embodied that experience. Their food was exquisite—we believe a Michelin star will be forthcoming soon. Most of all, they cook and present with passion. In short, our experience in Norcia was more than worth writing home about (which we did—on Facebook) and contributed yet another affirmation to our belief in the inherent beauty and value of the Italian lifestyle. All in all, I recommend this experience without reservation. Brava! Paul and Margaret C., NV