Itinerary - Cities Lost in Time on the Road Less Traveled

Places Rome FCO Airport, Soriano nel Cimino
Classes & Experiences Private Castle Tour

Dinner: Welcome Dinner at Tre Scalini (Included)

For those arriving in Italy today on early flights, we offer a shuttle to Soriano nel Cimino from Rome Fiumicino airport at 11:30 AM. If you are already in Italy, or your flight arrives after 10:30 AM in Rome, we offer a second shuttle from the Orte Train station (a 35 minute train ride from Rome Termini station, and easy access from other major Italian cities) at 2:00 PM. For those arriving at times that do not coincide with our shuttle schedule, we can arrange for a private driver to bring you to Soriano for an extra charge.

Once in Soriano we will help you to your accommodations for the week and give you some time to get settled in, unpack and rest up. As you get settled in, you will find some snacks and drinks waiting for you when you get to your home.

At around 5:30 PM, we will meet in a local Gelato shop that is walking distance from your home. We will all spend some time getting to know one another over some aperitivi and gelato as we discuss what's ahead for the week. As we leave, we will stop in one of Soriano's "Porchetta" trucks for a taste of Soriano's famous roasted suckling pig that people drive hours to try! Next, we will do a little shopping for tomorrow's cooking class. We will stop in a local fruit and vegetable shop, and the grocers next door! We will meet and get to know some of the shopkeepers in the village and pick up what we will need. While shopping, you will get your first introduction to some of the ingredients that make Tuscan and Umbrian cooking so unique. Especially our locally produced Fennel Pollen. These are ingredients most people back home are unaware of, and will be featured in much of this week's cooking!

We will then be treated to a private tour of the town’s castle perched at the highest part of the village, in the medieval quarter. The origins of the castle date back to the 11th century and has served as residence to bishops, cardinals and popes!

For dinner tonight we will dine in one of the finest restaurants in the area - Tre Scalini. Here we will dive head first into Italian culinary culture as we'll be treated to several local specialties in the first of many multi-course meals. Dinner tonight will be a Chef's Selection Full-Course Meal

As always, wine is provided with all dinners, and we favor small local wineries wherever we dine. Tonight's wine will be from nearby vineyards..

Places Soriano nel Cimino, Bomarzo
Classes & Experiences

Cooking Class resulting in lunch (included)
App: Recipe from Apicius
1st Course: Pici Sorianese
2nd Course: Tuscan Roasted Chicken
Side: Tuscan Roasted Potatoes
Dessert: Millefoglie


Breakfast: Cappuccino & Pastries at Bar-Pasticceria Roma (included)
Lunch: : The results of our cooking class (included)
Dinner: Ristorante La Pecora Ladra (included)

Enjoy your Sunday morning while you engage with the locals during your classic Italian breakfast in Soriano. We’ll meet up for the quick bus drive down to Villa Eddarella for our first cooking class. We’ve got some new twists to some of our favorites! Recipe booklets and aprons will be provided for you at the villa.

We will be starting our 1st class with what one might consider a Recipe Lost in Time. An appetizer adapted from what is known to be the 1st known cookbook in history. The ancient Roman "Apicius", also known as "De re coquinaria" (On the Subject of Cooking). Believed to have been created in the 1st century AD, the earliest remaining manuscript dates back to 900 AD.

We will move on to a Corsi Famility recipe, which is a variation of Tuscan Pici with locally grown fennel-pollen ragu, sausage and ribs. We calll it "Pici Sorianese", and we promise it will be one of the most amazing pasta dishes you have ever had. For our second course, we fire up our 500 year old wood-fired oven for our most popular second course and side: Tuscan Roasted Chicken & Potatoes. For dessert, we will make something we never make in any of our other classes: Millefoglie - Sheets of Puff Pastry layered with Chantilly Cream and Fresh-Seasonal Fruit.

A CDV Traditions Exclusive Experience: We will have the unique opportunity this week to make fresh Pecorino and Ricotta cheese with an authentic local shepherd. Our friend, Antonio, will bring his ultra-fresh, sheep’s milk to the villa and help you make these wonderful and delicious cheeses with him! Besides sampling the fresh cheese with local honey, we will also use the ricotta and some aged pecorino in some recipes later this week.

After lunch, we will head by bus to nearby Bomarzo, site of the Parco dei Mostri, otherwise known as Monster Park or The Sacred Wood. This incredible park is on the UNESCO World Heritage Site watch-list, and rightly so. We’ll have a guided tour through a 500 year-old renaissance garden which features remarkable, intriguing and thought-provoking statues. This park was originally the grounds of the castle high above that belonged to an Orsini Prince. His wife passed away, and he contracted with either Michelangelo or a student of his (this is argued among historians) to create this park. There are inscriptions

throughout the amazing grounds that lend to several theories of its purpose. One being that he was attempting to create the 8th wonder of the world. Another theory is that he was attempting to cause visitors to understand the anguish he was feeling after the loss of his wife. Whatever the purpose was, this can most closely be compared to a 14th century theme park of sorts, and is truly awe-inspiring. The real meaning is open to your own interpretation to guess creator of this magnificent park was thinking.

After our thought-provoking visit at the Sacred Wood, we will stop for aperitivi and make our way to our dinner at La Pecora Ladra in Vasanello. You are sure to enjoy the chef's selection of wonderful local specialties.

Places Soriano nel Cimino, Marmore, Rieti
Classes & Experiences n/a

Breakfast: Cappuccino & Pastries at Bar-Pasticceria Roma (included)
Lunch: : Trattoria in Rieti (included)
Dinner: Katia's Cantina (included)

After our morning breakfast, we will make our way to the Marmore Falls. These are both the tallest waterfalls in Europe, and the oldest man-made waterfalls in the world... Man-made by the Ancient Romans! About 2000 years ago, Roman engineers diverted the water from some wetlands in a successful effort to take care of disease problems in the area of the city of Rieti. In doing so, they created these magnificent waterfalls.

After taking in the falls, we'll take the drive to the town of Rieti, which is thankfully still here as a result o the successful ancient Roman project! This is the area that was once the wetlands from where the Romans built the channelled the water into a river as the source of the falls. This is an area that receives very little international tourism, and will allow us a chance to explore an Umbrian city that sees few visitors. Lunch will be in a local trattoria in Rieti.

Once back in Soriano, we will head down to Katia's Cantina for a specially-prepared meal just for us. This unique and intimate setting is the perfect backdrop after a fantastic day out.

Places Vulci, Soriano
Classes & Experiences

Cooking Class resulting in dinner (included)
1st Course: Suppli
2nd Course: Porchetta
Side: Seasonal Vegetables
Dessert: Gelato & Sorbetto


Breakfast: Cappuccino & Pastries at Bar-Pasticceria Roma (included)
Lunch: : in Vulci (included)
Dinner: Results of our cooking class (included)

After breakfast, we'll take a drive to the amazing Etruscan archeological site at Vulci. Once home to one of the noblest of Etruscan families, this remarkable site features the remnants, for it's time, of a very advanced civilization. The setting for our walk through time couldn't be more gorgeous. You have to credit these clever Etruscans for finding this beautiful area, just northwest of Rome, to put down their roots.

There are several options for our visit. There is a nice visitor's center and cafe for those that may want to just relax and enjoy the scenery. For those of you that are a bit more adventurous, there is a walking trail that brings us to the historical areas of the village. This includes rivers and valleys along with the well-preserved ruins throughout. Some of the trail is not-too-strenuous. There is longer walk that requires a little more physicality. It's something you can choose when you are there.

Lunch will either be at the site, or at a local trattoria.

After lunch, we will head back to Soriano for our second cooking class. Tonight we will be making a local favorite called "Suppli". Similar to the Sicilian "Arancini" rice balls, but smaller and more oblong, this. is a dish that the locals have regularly. For our second course, we will be making the famous Soriano Porchetta. Soriano's recipe for Porchetta is truly unique and famous in central Italy, so much that

Romans will often make the drive on the weekends just to get their porchetta in Soriano. With all of the heavy food of the week, we'll be making some local seasonal vegetable dish for our side, and for dessert, we will make Home-Made Gelato and Sorbetto.

Dinner on the patio with music and dancing for those that are up to it :-)

Places Montalcino, Castelnuovo dell'Abate, Montepulciano, and Pienza, Tuscany
Classes & Experiences

Possible Truffle Hunting or Wine Grape Harvest depending on time of year. (included)


Breakfast: Cappuccino & Pastries at Bar Roma (included)
Lunch: With the owners of a Brunello Winery in Montalcino (included)
Dinner: Cantina de' Ricci (included)

After our morning breakfast we will head out for a day full of wine, cheese & more in beautiful Southern Tuscany.

We'll start by driving to our furthest point, the town of Castelnuovo d'Abate. To get there, we will be driving the famous Orcia Valley Wine Trail through this picturesque wine region which evokes the classic image of Tuscan rolling hills. This is the area of Tuscany that most of us think of, seen in many well-known movies, such as Under the Tuscan Sun, Life is Beautiful, Letters to Juliet, and many more.

As we arrive, we will visit the St. Antimo Abbey, a beautiful Romanesque church that dates back to the 9th century. It sits in a valley just outside of Montalcino, surrounded by vineyards and olive groves. The monks now pray privately outside of the abbey, however we are still able to listen to the Gregorian chants of the monks that reside here.

After the service, we will go to nearby Montalcino, home of what is arguably the best of all Italian wines: Brunello. Instead of going to the big wineries for impersonal tastings like the tourists, we have something truly exclusive in store for you today. We will visit the small, private Piombaia winery in Montalcino.

Piombaia is a true artisan "microwinery". They are one of very few growers that still make wine manually with ancient basket presses, completely by hand. Their wine is completely organic & their vineyards biodynamic. They produce only around 600 cases of their Brunello per year!

The owners are extremely close friends of ours, and they will host us to a wonderful lunch as we sample their Brunello wine with our meal, as well as some of their other special wines. As we have lunch together, they will share their family history with you and answer any question you can imagine. You are sure to fall in love with this gracious family. It is always one of the major highlights on our weeks, and provides for a truly exclusive and unique Brunello experience. After lunch, they will treat us to a private tour of their vineyards before we move on. If time and weather permit, we may go on a Truffle Hunt while we are here.

Next, we'll take the short drive to beautiful Pienza, known for its incredible Pecorino cheese. You will have a some time to walk around this charming village, do some Pecorino cheese tastings and some shopping before we leave for the town of Montepulciano, where we will do our final wine tasting and tour of the day.

Montepulciano is known for its Vino Nobile wine, a primary competitor for the Brunellos. Here we will

tour the Cantina de'Ricci. This ancient 14th century cellar was built underneath the Palace of Cardinal Ricci and is widely considered to be the most beautiful wine cellar in the world. Like Piombaia, the owners here are very close personal friends. In fact, you will be treated to a visit to the ancient 3,000 year old private cellar where "EMIRO" wine is aged. EMIRO is a project between Piombaia, Cantina de'Ricci and Culture Discovery... a special wine to seal our mutual friendship. One in which these three friends have produced a first-ever exclusive blend of Brunello & Vino Nobile, and only 1,000 bottles (83 cases) per year are produced. While in the cellar, be sure to ask about "The Grappa Bottles" and you will quickly come to understand the deep bond between these winemakers and the founders of Culture Discovery.

After the cellar tour, we will participate in a complete tasting of Montepulciano's fantastic wines. Those that have seen the 2009 film 'New Moon' (The sequel to 'Twilight') will recognize this wine cellar and other areas of town from the movie.

For dinner tonight, we will be the guests of Enrico (The owner of the winery) and his family and dine at a specially prepared meal only for our group.

Places Valtopina, Foligno
Classes & Experiences

Mini Cooking Class resulting in lunch (included)
Torta al Testo and Rocciata


Breakfast: Cappuccino & Pastries at Bar Roma (included)
Lunch: Torta al Testo and other Umbrian Delights (included)
Dinner: "Apericena" in Foligno (included)

Breakfast at Caffe' Roma. By now you are one with the locals. Today we have a very unique and exclusive experience planned. We will be the private guests at a small, traditional, water-driven granary mill that dates back generations.

Our drive takes us to the beautiful Umbrian hills near Mt. Subasio. We will meet Valentino and Giuliva, the couple that owns and runs their working granary mill. The mill is on the site near a stream where their ancestors built a channel to divert water into a small reservoir that provides the water to run the paddles that turn the grinding wheels. Not only do they sell their flour to local artisan bakers, they also make some wonderful baked products themselves. They produce several types of traditional flours, as well as them re-introducing ancient grains back into mainstream use. We will be using freshly-milled flour for our baking

class, learning to make Torta al Testo. This is a local Umbrian bread, sort of a cross between piadina and foccacia, that is amazing and must be cooked using a special utensil called... a testo! We'll also make Rocciata. This is a strudel-like pastry that we'll make from scratch and bake directly in their wood-fired oven. During some down-time, we'll tour the property and see how everything operates, just as it has done for centuries!

Lunch will be served family-style featuring our baked goods as well as some local cuts of meats, greens and wine, of course!

After our fun and relaxing day in the countryside, we'll head to the nearby city of Foligno. This Umbrian city is vibrant with cafe's, restaurants, shops, beautiful piazzas and great for an afternoon passeggiata.

You will have ample time to walk around, get some shopping in and then meet us for Apericena! A hybrid of happy hour and dinner, we'll have a designated local establishment where you can come by at your leisure to partake in one of Italy's more recent customs. Have an Aperol Spritz, Negroni, wine, or beverage of your choice and make your own dining selection of the numerous plates of appetizers, pastas, salads and other side dishes. Truly a time to be social and mingle with the locals while everyone unwinds and takes in the local flavor. We're never too far from a gelateria for those of you that adhere to the gelato-a-day rule!

We'll head back to Soriano at a reasonable hour so that you can continue the evening at a cafe or bar near you!

Places Bomarzo, Castiglione in Teverina, Soriano
Classes & Experiences

Pizza (included)
Grappa Making* (included)


Breakfast: Cappuccino & Pastries at Bar Roma (included)
Lunch: at Madonna delle Macchie (included)
Dinner: Your Personal Pizza (included)

This morning, we have a couple of options for you to choose from as to what you would like to do.

Option 1: For those that are feeling energetic and adventurous, there is about a two-mile hike in the woods. Located just 10 minutes outside of Soriano, we'll pick-up the trail that meanders alongside a tributary of the Tiber river. This area is full of ancient ruins, including a medieval castle, a 12th century olive oil mill, a 12th century granary, and an aviary. Our final destination, however, is the ruins of a very

little-known village, known as Santa Cecilia. Here we will see what is left of a 3,000+ year old Etruscan village and Necropolis. The setting is something straight out of a fairy tale. When we get back to Soriano, you will have time to freshen up before we head out to olive mill & winery in Castiglione.

Option 2: For those of you that want to stay in Soriano, enjoy the morning relaxing and taking in the Friday street market. Get some last-minute shopping in and enjoy the morning close to home.

All of us will leave around mid-day for our visit to Serena at the olive mill and winery at Madonna delle Macchie. For those that have already been on our Soriano trips, we know that we wouldn't dare skip this! For those that have not been on the Soriano trips, you will soon know why.

Serena's mom, Nadia, will be preparing lunch for us (remember the fabulous dish prepared with local beans, sage and olive oil?) as we enjoy their fantastic wine and olive oil, of course.

We'll then head back to the villa in Soriano for our pizza class and farewell dinner.

Tonight we will each be making our own pizza! We'll prepare the dough, put on our favorite toppings - No pineapple or ham please! - and get them in the wood-burning oven for some of the best thin-crust pizza you've ever had!

It's a great time to wind down the week as we relax in the cabana at the villa. Listen to some music, have some great pizza, wine and beer and talk about the amazing week we just had!

Places Rome FCO Airport
Classes & Experiences n/a

Breakfast: Cappuccino & Pastries at Bar Roma (included)

Sadly, our week comes to a close this morning. The shuttle leaves town at 6:15 AM as most outbound flights require early morning airport arrivals. We will be at the Orte train station for a drop off by 6:40 AM, and at the Rome Fiumicino airport by 8:00 AM. This will be sufficient time for outbound flights leaving after 9:45 AM.

The Not So Fine Print:

Light Hiking

This itinerary has some light hiking during two days of the trip to get to some fairly remote ruins.

Itinerary Subject to Change

This is a base itinerary, which is subject to minor changes before the vacation begins. Changes may be reorganization of days due to closure and festivals, changes due to weather, or seasonal changes. Additionally, these itineraries are prepared well in advance, and at times there are unexpected closures for various reasons that require us to alter the plans. In the end, our goal is always to make it better for our guests, and when substitutions happen, they are always wonderful.

Menu Variations

The menus listed on the itineraries are subject to change depending on season. We use only fresh ingredients wherever possible, so if we are unable to prepare a certain dish, it will be substituted. Occasionally we make changes to some items as certain dishes prove to be very popular.


Some places on our itineraries don't work well with cold weather or rain. We may have to have some of our meals indoors that were scheduled to be outside. When we do expect rain, we try to rearrange the schedule to make the best of it, but substitutions may be made.