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Overview

Best Cooking Vacations in Umbria

Delicious dish at the Michelin star restaurant of the Palazzo Seneca in Norcia, home for your authentic Italy cooking vacationNorcia, 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 some of our best cooking vacations in Umbria.

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 famous for its lentils, sausages, cheese, as well as the truffles, all of which you will explore on our week-long cooking vacations in Umbria. The region is rich with culture, Renaissance art, wine and gastronomy, as well as hand-crafted products.

Your home will be a beautiful boutique hotel, where you will be welcomed like family by the owners and their staff. Join us for a cooking vacation in Umbria and experience a true food lover’s paradise!


Latest Review

We gave this trip 5 stars
Thomas & Charles
IL - Illinois
Our one week stay in Norcia was one of the most memorable and special vacations we've ever taken - far exceeding our expectations! We would highly recommend this particular cooking vacation to everyone. There is so much to say, it's difficult to convey how special this experience really was in such a brief review. Our stay at Palazzo Seneca was top notch and very welcoming. The friendly, warm and welcoming staff at the hotel and Vespasia restaurant really elevated this vacation to another level. The Bianconi family, who own and manage the hotel and restaurant were very welcoming as well. Over the course of one week in four 2.5 hour session, Michelin star chef Valentino Palmisano and his wonderful team (Fabio, Kido and everyone else we met in the kitchen) taught us tips and techniques of regional and traditional Italian cooking. The entire culinary experience, from the lessons to dinners at Vespasia, are unforgettable. It was sad to leave after spending time with and getting to know everyone. The restaurant staff were exceptionally welcoming, friendly and genuine. The excursions included in the package were just as memorable. Our trusted, thoughtful tour guide, companion and friend Tiziano turned each one into something far beyond our expectations - taking time to carefully explain the history and background of each stop over the course of the week. From truffle hunting with Nicola and his four-legged companions (Lulu and Tempestina), tours of Antico Frantoio Carletti (olive oil), Il Casale de li Tappi (Norcineria), Arnaldo Caprai Montefalco winery, and visits to Assissi, Spoleto, and a nearby Benedictine monastery, we were able to experience a great deal of what Umbria offers in a short time. We spent time walking around the village and the countryside - gorgeous views from the hills in mid-September. The International Kitchen staff (Adrian) were extremely helpful in confirming details of our travel, including coordinating transport from Rome, and travel to Florence at the end of the culinary vacation. The pickup at the airport and travel to Florence were both well-planned and flawless. We'd definitely recommend the Norcia cooking vacation to anyone - in particular, food lovers and those who are looking for a memorable culinary experience with an expert, welcoming team. We can honestly say that there were absolutely no negatives about our entire experience in Norcia. We are already missing Norcia, Palazzo Seneca, Vespasia and all the wonderful people we met there. We'll be back!

What to Expect on Our Cooking Vacations in Umbria

Why visit Norcia on our cooking vacations in Umbria? There is a reason we call it a food lover’s paradise, and your Italy culinary vacation will include some of the country’s best food and wine, including such local specialties as lentils from Castelluccio, cured meats like coppa, lonza, capocollo, and prosciutto tascabile, delicious pastas, exquisite truffles, and more! Your cooking vacation in Umbria will include:

  • hands-on cooking classes with the chefs of a Michelin-star restaurant
  • local product tastings and wine tastings
  • a truffle hunting excursion
  • visits to Assisi, Spoleto, and Montefalco
  • accommodations at a deluxe, boutique hotel
  • transfers from Rome
  • and more!

Cooking Vacations in Norcia Italy Trip Itinerary

Day One

  • Transfer from the Rome Fiumicino Airport to Palazzo Seneca in Norcia.
  • This afternoon, settle in a rest, or take a walk through town.
  • This evening, enjoy a dinner at the Michelin-starred Ristorante Vespasia of Palazzo Seneca (3 courses).
  • Overnight.

Truffle hunt in Umbria


Day Two

  • After breakfast, at 10:30 am, meet for your first cooking class. It will last about two hours and will be an introduction to Umbrian cooking. Sample menu, subject to change:
    • Umbricelli pasta with black truffles
    • Lamb “porchetta”
    • Bigne with black truffle
  • Tasting lunch based on your efforts to follow.
  • At 4:30 p.m., go on a black truffle hunt. (In the summer, the truffle hunt begins at 6 p.m.) Dinner at Granaro del Monte restaurant to follow.
  • Overnight.

View of Assisi Italy


Day Three

  • Breakfast, followed by your next cooking lesson at 10:30 a.m. Sample menu (subject to change):
    • Tagliatelle pasta with Norcina sauce
    • Porchetta maialino
    • Lentil and ricotta tart
  • Tasting lunch based on your efforts.
  • At 4:00 p.m., visit a local food producer. Depending on the week, it might be a chocolate factory, a pig farm, or a bee farm. Taste regional specialties (varies by season).
  • Dinner at Ristorante Vespasia (3 courses).
  • Overnight.

Lamb dish in Norcia Italy


Day Four

  • Breakfast.
  • At 9:30 a.m., depart for an excursion to the legendary Assisi, the city of Saint Francis, with time on your own to explore.
  • Lunch on your own in Assisi.
  • Afterward, at 2:30 p.m., it’s on to the famous town of Montefalco, land of the Sagrantino red wine, and a visit to a local winery where you will be invited to taste the wonderful wines.
  • Return and dinner at Granaro del Monte.
  • Overnight.

A view of Spoleto Umbria


Day Five

  • After breakfast, the next cooking class begins at 10:30 a.m. Sample menu, subject to change:
    • Cannelloni with Ricotta and Spinach
    • Lamb Shank
    • Panna cotta
  • Tasting lunch to follow based on your efforts.
  • At 3:00 p.m., visit Spoleto, a bronze-age town located on the slope of a sacred mountain in the Apennines. Just one of their numerous ancient Roman and medieval sacred sites is the Duomo, which is home to Filippo Lippi’s last fresco cycle. Time to explore the town on your own.
  • Return to the hotel. Ristorante Vespasia for dinner (3 courses).
  • Overnight.

Italian pasta and lentils


Day Six

  • Breakfast followed by your final cooking lesson at 10:30 a.m. Sample menu, subject to change:
    • Eggs and black truffle
    • Lentil soup
    • Chocolate cake
  • Tasting lunch to follow based on your efforts.
  • Afternoon at leisure.
  • Tonight’s final dinner will be at Vespasia (3 courses).
  • Overnight.

Hotel bedroom at Palazzo Seneca


Day Seven

  • Breakfast at the hotel, final farewells and depart for your transfer to Fiumicino Airport in Rome.

Day One

  • Transfer from the Rome Fiumicino Airport to Palazzo Seneca in Norcia.
  • This afternoon, settle in and explore the town.
  • This evening, enjoy a dinner at the Michelin-starred Ristorante Vespasia of Palazzo Seneca.
  • Overnight.

Truffle hunting dog in Norcia Italy


Day Two

  • After breakfast, at 10:30 a.m. meet for your first cooking class. It will last about two hours and will be an introduction to Umbrian cooking. Sample menu, subject to change:
    • Umbricelli pasta with black truffles
    • Lamb “porchetta”
    • Bigne with black truffle
  • Tasting lunch based on your efforts ends about noon.
  • At 4:30 p.m., go on a black truffle hunt. (In the summer, the truffle hunt begins at 6 p.m.) A rustic dinner at Granaro del Monte restaurant to follow.
  • Overnight.

Gourmet dish in Norcia Italy


Day Three

  • Breakfast, followed by your next cooking lesson at 10:30 a.m. Sample menu (subject to change):
    • Tagliatelle pasta with Norcina sauce
    • Porchetta maialino
    • Lentil and ricotta tart
  • Tasting lunch based on your efforts.
  • At 4:00 p.m., visit a local food producer. Depending on the season, it might be a chocolate maker, a pork producer, or a bee farm. Taste regional specialties (varies by season).
  • Rustic dinner at Granaro del Monte.
  • Overnight.

Prosciutto tascabile in Italy


Day Four

  • Breakfast.
  • At 9:30 a.m., depart for an excursion to the legendary Assisi, the city of Saint Francis, with time on your own to explore.
  • Lunch on your own.
  • Afterward, at 2:30 p.m., it’s on to the famous town of Montefalco, land of the Sagrantino red wine, and a visit to a local winery where you will be invited to taste wonderful wines.
  • Return and dinner at Ristorante Vespasia.
  • Overnight.

Hotel bedroom at Palazzo Seneca


Day Five

  • After breakfast, the final cooking class begins at 10:30 a.m. Sample menu, subject to change:
    • Cannelloni with ricotta and spinach
    • Lamb Shank
    • Panna cotta
  • Tasting lunch to follow based on your efforts.
  • After lunch, transfer to the Rome airport or city center. Arrivederci!

Trip Details

Included in Your 6-Night Umbria Cooking Vacation

Accommodations

6 nights accommodation in double room

Food & Beverages

  • Daily breakfast
  • 4 lunches, wine included
  • 6 three-course dinners, 2 glasses of wine per person included (truffles, additional wine, additional courses paid locally)

Classes & Instructors

Your 4 hands-on classes will teach you the secrets of Umbrian cooking and will be led by the chef of the Ristorante Vespasia, or by their staff. Your classes will focus on environmentally sustainable, 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.

Excursions

  • Truffle hunting excursion
  • Trip to Assisi with time to explore on your own
  • Visit of Montefalco with winery visit and tasting
  • Local food producer visit with tasting (varies by season)
  • Excursion to Spoleto

Transfer Details

  • Round-trip group transfers to/from Rome airport or city center. Late arrivals or early departure transfers may incur an additional fee. Please note that driving restrictions in Rome may limit our ability to transfer you to the city center. We would be happy to confirm transfers with you before you finalize your travel arrangements.

Miscellaneous

  • Wine tasting fees
  • In-room mini-bar

Included in Your 4-Night Umbria Cooking Vacation

Accommodations

4 nights accommodation in double room

Food & Beverages

  • Daily breakfast
  • 3 lunches, wine included
  • 4 three-course a la carte dinners, wine included (truffles excluded)

Classes & Instructors

Your 3 hands-on classes will teach you the secrets of Umbrian cooking and will be led by the chef of the Ristorante Vespasia, or by their staff. Your classes will focus on environmentally sustainable, 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.

Excursions

  • Truffle hunting excursion
  • Trip to Assisi with time to explore on your own
  • Visit of Montefalco with winery visit and tasting
  • Local food producer visit with tasting (varies by season)

Transfer Details

  • Round-trip group transfers to/from Rome airport or city center. Late arrivals or early departure transfers may incur an additional fee. Please note that driving restrictions in Rome may limit our ability to transfer you to the city center. We would be happy to confirm transfers with you before you finalize your travel arrangements.

Miscellaneous

  • Wine tasting fees
  • In-room mini-bar

Accommodation Information

The Palazzo Seneca dates back to the 16th century and has been recently restored by the Bianconi family, the owners who have worked in hospitality since 1850, in the heart of Norcia. In the renovation, every detail has been paid attention to with both modern and traditional touches. The comfortable rooms include free Internet access, mini-bar, coffee and tea service, and television, among other amenities. A wellness center and bar is located on the first floor, and a shuttle service is available to a nearby sports center that has a pool and tennis courts.

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Pricing and Dates for Our Cooking Vacations in Umbria

See the pricing and tour dates for our fabulous and authentic cooking vacations in Umbria below, and contact us with questions or to book your trip!



Pricing:

6-Night Umbria Culinary Vacation Pricing

US$4390 per person based on double occupancy

  • Add US$100 per person to upgrade to Superior room
  • Add US$300 per person to upgrade to Deluxe room
  • Add US$520 per person to upgrade to Junior suite
  • Add US$840 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!

Single supplement: please inquire.


Food Lover's Paradise Cooking Vacation Tour Dates

Our amazing cooking vacations in Umbria are April 1 through November 5 for a minimum of 2 people. Our Norcia Italy culinary vacations can also be confirmed for 1 person on request. The itinerary generally starts on Sunday, but other start dates possible, please in inquire. The cooking classes are not available Sundays and Wednesdays. 

2023
Sample weeks follow, please inquire for availability.
April 2-8
April 9-15
April 16-22
April 23-29
April 30-May 6
May 7-13
May 14-20
May 21-27
May 28-June 3
June 4-10
June 11-17
June 18-24
June 25-July 1
July 2-8
July 9-15
July 16-22
July 23-29
July 30-August 5
August 6-12 – not available
August 13-19 – not available
August 20-26 – not available
August 27-September 2
September 3-9
September 10-16
September 17-23
September 24-30
October 1-7
October 8-14
October 15-21
October 22-28
October 29-November 4


Pricing:

4-Night Umbria Culinary Vacation Pricing

US$3150 per person based on double occupancy

  • Add US$75 per person to upgrade to Deluxe room
  • Add US$200 per person to upgrade to Superior room
  • Add US$350 per person to upgrade to Junior suite
  • Add US$560 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!

Single supplement: please inquire


Norcia Umbria Cooking Vacations Tour Dates

Our authentic Umbria cooking vacations are available April 1 through November 5 for a minimum of 2 people. Our Norcia Italy culinary vacations can also be confirmed for 1 person on request. The itinerary generally starts on Sunday, but other start dates possible, please in inquire. The cooking classes are not available Sundays and Wednesdays.

2023
Sample dates, please inquire.
April 2-6
April 9-13
April 16-20
April 23-27
April 30-May 4
May 7-11
May 14-18
May 21-25
May 28-June 1
June 4-8
June 11-15
June 18-22
June 25-29
July 2-6
July 9-13
July 16-20
July 23-27
July 30-August 3
August 6-10
August 13-17
August 20-24
August 27-31
September 3-7
September 10-14
September 17-21
September 24-28
October 1-5
October 8-12
October 15-19
October 22-26
October 29-November 2

Reviews

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We can help plan the best cooking vacations in Umbria, Italy!

Hiking during an Italy food and hiking tour with The International Kitchen.
Whether you want additional nights or tours in Umbria, or help planning your stay in the rest of Italy, we are always here to help you plan the ultimate cooking vacation in Italy. We might not be able to pack for you, but there are many things we can help with to make your cooking holiday in Umbria that much better. Contact us for more information, or you can indicate your interest during check out and we will follow up with you directly! Contact Us
 

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