A Food Lover's Paradise in Norcia

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. It is the ideal location for Italy cooking classes and foodie excursions. 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.

A Food Lover's Paradise in Norcia

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. It is the ideal location for Italy cooking classes and foodie excursions. 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.


Latest Review

I gave this trip 5 stars
Laurel
Missouri
Trip taken August 2013
What an exciting, yet charming trip to Norcia, Palazzo Seneca and The International Kitchen cooking school! Our group of 7 was welcomed warmly by the Palazzo Seneca staff and made to feel pampered all week. Wonderful room and balcony! Palazzo Seneca is a fascinating building with many areas for relaxing. The Bianconi family generously welcomed us into their home for our classes, even coming to personally greet each of us. Chef Flavio spoke English well and was really lots of fun-serious about his work yet relaxed so that I never felt nervous. He always patiently answered our questions, explaining things as we worked. Three special moments for me--the truffle hunt with dogs Nina and Lulu, the trip up to Castelluccio village to visit the cheese maker family and the stop at the pig farm with lovely Valentina. Delightful hostess who provided us with a beautiful tray of sliced sausages from the family pigs. Fun trip! Can't say enough good things about our wonderful driver and guide, Tiziano, always at our disposal, explaining everything, thoughtful and kind. The best! Go to Norcia! The staff was knowledgeable and answered my questions when I called. The International Kitchen did plan our transport to Florence after the class was over as well as a hotel in Rome. The hotel was very nice at a super rate and in a safe area close to the main train station. Transport to Florence was flawless. Great driver.

Trip Details

Your 4 hands-on classes will teach you the secrets of Umbrian cooking and will be led by Chef Valentino Palmisano, who took over at “Vespasia” in 2017, or by his staff. 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 and is excited to bring his own authentic and creative touch to Norcia. Your classes will feature local 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.


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