Authentic Italy - The Good Life

As a single traveler, its great to meet up with 12 strangers and feel like I'm traveling with a group of friends almost immediately.

Written By: Travelgirl22310
Location: Reston - VA - USA
Review Source: Trip Advisor
Type of Traveler: Solo Traveler
Itinerary: Norcia Umbria

Full Review

I spent a week in Norcia with Culture Discover Vacations with time before and after in other parts of Italy. Without exception, the week with CDV was the best! Where to begin .... food? wine? friends? fun? As a single traveler, its great to meet up with 12 strangers and feel like I'm traveling with a group of friends almost immediately. Largely that's attributable to the exceptional CDV team from Michael and Paola to the guides Rocky and Spartaco. They go out of their way to make everyone in the group feel like family and not like a 'customer'. They're passionate about creating an experience to be remembered for all the guests.  

Of course there is the food. With Chef Flavio we made so many incredible dishes - with one of my favorites being the homemade ravioli in a sage butter sauce. We didn't just make a 'dish' - we created 3-4 course meals and then ate together raving over our creations! If we weren't cooking the incredible food we were eating it in a restaurant in town or on an excursion. All the food was simply amazing - and the wine flowed very generously! This is definitely a vacation designed for Foodies and nearly everyone on the trip shares the passion for food and wine. Chef Flavio is a Michelin rated chef and he shares recipes he developed for the program and they're recipes that can be recreated at home to delight friends and family! How often does one get a chance to spend part of a week with a Chef and learning his/her recipes!  

The itinerary for the week in Norcia is packed with fun activities and opportunities to experience the 'authentic' Italy with a trip to meet Guiseppe and his pig farm with a zero carbon footprint making some of the best proscuitto in Italy; an old fashioned cold press olive oil business to learn about the 'real deal' olive oil; visits to amazing cities such as Assisi , Cortona and Spoletto just to name a few. The winery visit was absolutely amazing and the family couldn't have been more delightful. I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the trip to the pizzeria where we made our own pizza dough and then created individual pizzas with Chef Luigi or the trip to the Bacci chocolate factory where we made our own designer chocolates under the guidance of the chocolate Maestro! In fact, all the owners we met were so enthusiastic to share their passion for their business with us!

If you're reading this review and have read the website about the 'all inclusive' package - you need to know this .... it really is 'all inclusive'! This goes beyond all the meals, trips, excursions, lessons and extends to even include stops for gelato with the group! Other than gifts or individual purchases, everything is included!  

So if you are considering a trip to Italy and debating whether this is the kind of trip you'd enjoy - take it from a 2 time CDV traveler - if you like travel, great food, wine, fun people and an opportunity to experience the authentic part of Italy ... you won't be disappointed!

Sample Photo from this Itinerary