Itinerary - Wine, Cooking, Truffles & Chocolate: A Foodie's Paradise in Umbria

Places Rome FCO Airport, Foligno
Classes & Experiences

Afternoon Cocktails (included)

Meals Dinner: Dinner at Osteria la Mattera (Included)

We start our week at the Rome FCO International Airport with our shuttle departing at 12:00 Noon. For those arriving in Italy today on early flights, we offer a shuttle to Foligno from Rome Fiumicino airport at 11:30 AM. If you are already in Italy, or your flight arrives after 10:30 AM in Rome, you may take the train to the station which is walking distance to the town square. 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 Foligno, 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. You will have the afternoon to relax, browse the breathtaking village of Foligno, or just take some time to unwind in the your home for the week.

At around 5:30 PM, we will meet in a local cafe in the main square of the village (walking distance from your home). We will all spend some time getting to know one another over some drinks and snacks as we discuss what's ahead for the week. After our get-together, we will take a short stroll around town together and point out some places of interest.

Dinner tonight will be at Osteria La Mattera, a local restaurant where we will meet Federico, the owner of the restaurant. We will also meet a wonderful Umbrian woman who will be our cooking instructor for the week. Dinner tonight is a Chef’s Selection full course meal of local specialties.

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. After dinner some of us may choose to explore the local nightlife on "Via Gramsci," the city's main street which is full of cafes, bars, and local hang outs. Alternatively, you can head back to your room and rest for the week ahead.

Places Foligno, Ospedalicchio
Classes & Experiences

Cooking Class resulting in lunch (included)
App: Tortino di zucchine su fonduta di pecorino e guanciale croccante
1st Course: Cannelloni al Ragu
2nd Course: Spezzatino al Sagrantino
Dessert: Trecine


Breakfast: Cappuccino & Pastries at Antico Caffe (included)
Lunch: The results of our cooking class (included)
Dinner: Osteria la Favorita (included)

This morning we’ll have late start to give you some rest after your trip yesterday. Take the time to relax, explore the village, and enjoy breakfast at Antico Caffe della Piazza, where we met yesterday, this will be our meeting, and breakfast spot all week long. We will have a reserved table there all morning where we can enjoy an Italian breakfast full of fresh pastries and Italian coffee. Take the time to engage with the locals and soak in the bustling town in the mornings.

At around 10:00, our host will take us on the short walk back to the Osteria that we had dinner last night, the site of our cooking classes for the week.

For our class today, we will prepare a four course meal, which will be taught by the warm and lovely local chef. Our appetizer will be a Zucchini Quiche with Romano Cheese Fondue and crispy bacon. For our first course, we will make Cannelloni with a Ragu Sauce completely from scratch. Our main dish will be Spezzatino al Sagrantino (A beef stew with a Sagrantino wine sauce). Finally, for dessert, we will make traditional Umbrian Biscuit called Trecine with Anise.

As always, class is 100% hands-on, so today we will get right into it!

During all of our cooking classes, we work, but we laugh and play. We break out the wine (and often the Grappa). We may sing along to the background music as we are prepping, and everyone takes little breaks along the way. As we cook, right outside the window, you can see the town center, people walking by, old ladies hang drying clothes, women grocery shopping... you’re in the middle of it all.

Lunch today will be the results of all of your work, and we promise you won't be wanting for more! Most important of all, you will know how to make all of this back home.

After some time to rest back at home, we will head to Ospedalicchio, and enjoy dinner at a wonderful local restaurant called Favorita, which offers specialities from the BOLOGNA area. This offers us a little moment to discover the gastronomy of another of Culture Discovery Vacations’ great locations in Italy!

Places Montefalco, Assisi, Gualdo, Foligno
Classes & Experiences

Winery Scacciadiavoli Winery Tour & Tasting (included)
Excursion: St. Francis' Basilica in Assisi; Shopping in Assisi (included)


Breakfast: Cappuccino & Pastries at Antico Caffe (included)
Lunch: At Scacciadiavoli Winery (included)
Dinner: At Stefania's Family Villa (included)

This morning after breakfast we will go to the outskirts of Montefalco, where we will visit the boutique “Scacciadiavoli” winery, one of the oldest in the region dating back to the 1800’s. Set in beautiful rolling hills full of vineyards (and sunflowers in the summer) right at the Tuscany border, the scenery here is just breathtaking. We’ll visit the beautiful ancient cellars and enjoy a tasting of their incredible wines, including their celebrated Sagrantino (DOCG), Montefalco Rosso (DOC), Sagrantino Passito (DOCG), Grechetto Umbria (IGT), Spumante (BRUT), and "Passito di Sagrantino," an Italian Ice Wine.

For those that have never tries Sagrantino Wine, you are in for a truly special treat. Largely unknown internationally, Sagrantino is a wine that stands up next to some of the more famous Tuscan wines like Brunello and Vino Nobile, or even the northern wines like Barolo or Amarone. In Italy, Sagrantino is considered one of the country's finest wines, but never gained wide distribution in North America. As such, it is a truly rare find, as most of guests (as well as our team) consider Sagrantino to be one of the top wines they have ever experienced.

A light lunch will be at the winery during our tasting experience, including bruschetta, local cheeses, and Panzanella.

After lunch, we will head up to Assisi, the hometown of St. Francis. Still surrounded by its ancient walls, is sits on the slopes of Mount Subasio with beautiful rose stone buildings, winding narrow streets, noble palaces and balconies full of flowers.

You will have a few hours to do some shopping and exploring in town, or join us on a walking tour of the St. Francis’ Basilica.

Dinner tonight will be at a truly special family experience! We will be having dinner at a private villa in the town of Gualdo. Not only are we hosted by a local family, but it is the childhood home of one of the CDV partner's wife. Daniele is in charge of all of our logistics in Italy, and we will be hosted by his wife Stefania and her family. Unless Danielle is away at one of our other locations, he will surely be there, too! Aside from Stefania and her family, you may expect to meet some family friends that you will run into throughout the week, as we always have an open door policy. This is always an amazing evening of fun and leisure. tonight you are sure to come to understand fully what we mean when we say this vacation is a true local family experience for all of our guests.

Our dinner will be a tapas style dinner, prepared by Stefania and her mother and will be an assortment of local cheeses, salumi, bruschetta, fritatas, a truffle lasagna and a special homemade dessert.

Places Norcia, Spoleto
Classes & Experiences

Artisan Visit with a Prosciutto & Salame Producer (included)
Excursion: Church of Santa Maria in Spoleto (included)


Breakfast: Cappuccino & Pastries at Antico Caffe (included)
Lunch: With Family at the local Norcia Farm (included)
Dinner: Apericena at Antico Caffe (included)

This morning have breakfast at your convenience and take it easy, sinc the evening before sometimes goes late. At around 10:00 AM we will head to the village of Norica, where we will visit a very special farm.

Norcia, a town of just 3,000 people, is one of Italy's culinary epicenters. Ask any Italian from Milan to Sicily, or from Rome to Tuscany. The moment you mention the name "Norcia", they will get dreamy eyed. It is the home of what is known to be the best Black Truffles in the world, it is where the art of making salami was perfected, the prosciutto from Norcia is considered the best in the world, to the point that every week trucks drive for hours to come here to get prosciutto and truffles for the most prestigious restaurants and markets in the country. This is also the birthplace of St. benedict, the patron saint of Europe, and the Monks of Norcia, famous for their Gregorian chant.

This tiny town is where "Cinturino" pigs are raised. This is a very special blood line of pigs that are unique only to Norcia. Some know of the "Cinta Senese" pigs that are the most elite of Tuscany (They are to pork what "Kobe" is to beef). The Cinturino pigs are an extremely rare, genetically selected breed of the Cinta Senese pigs, and these are considered the best of the best. They are so prized, that nobody would sell a live pig in order to assure the purity of the bloodline. Most of all, once you taste it, you will completely understand why.

In fact, in much of Italy, the term for a butcher shop that specializes in pork products is "Norcineria," and such a butcher is called a "Norcino." Both of these terms derive from the name of this tiny town for good reason.

We will spend a little time in the fields around these free range pigs, take in the view and have a tasting of the local salamis and prosciutto that come from these amazing creatures while we learn all about what makes them so special.

We will also be having lunch with this local family that are dear friends of ours, as we taste a popular local dish called "Pasta alla Norcina," which is a pasta made with fresh ricotta (made that day) and their own sausages, grilled vegetables & salad.

Keep in mind that this is not a tourist destination with a gift shop at the exit. To the contrary, this is a local farm that rarely sees anyone other than the farmers. It is a truly amazing experience you won't soon forget.

After lunch we will head into the main town of Norcia. The town center is absolutely stunning. It is lined with local shops, most of which are butchers.

After our visit to Norcia, we will head over to the town of Spoleto, best known for its annual Jazz Festival, and the breathtaking castle that towers above it. The location of Spoleto was very strategic, surrounded by mountains and protected by large city walls from the 5th century BC, which are still standing today. We will have time to walk around this beautiful town, explore the church of Santa Maria, and do some shopping in the quaint streets.

After spending the afternoon in Spoleto, we will head back to our town of Foligno and have a special “Apericena” a hybrid of happy hour and dinner. This is a very casual dinner that we will enjoy at Antico Caffe, our breakfast spot. This is an open seating arrangement with plenty of appetizers, small plates, wine, and aperitives. 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! Eat as much or as little as you want, sit outside and enjoy the evening air, or head back home early to rest up for the next day.

Places Perugia, Foligno
Classes & Experiences

Chocolate Class At the Perugina Chocolate Factory (included)
Grigliata: BBQ with the locals (included)


Breakfast: Cappuccino & Pastries at Antico Caffe (included)
Lunch: In Perugia (included)
Dinner: Our Friends & Family BBQ (included)

This morning, after breakfast, we will drive to the Capital of Umbria, Perugia! Perugia is a bustling city with a big international student population, high end shopping, a beautiful medieval center. Full of stunning churches, historic structures, beautiful museums, amazing shopping and delicious restaurants, we will have plenty to do and see while spending the morning here.

After exploring Perugia, we will have lunch at "Il Giursta," where we will enjoy Involtini di Melanzane con formaggio (Eggplant & Cheese Rolls), Gnocchi di Patate al Pomodoro (Gnocchi with Sorrentina Souce) and Tiramisu. But don’t let yourself get too full! Right after lunch, we’ll head to the outskirts of Perugia as we visit the world-famous Perugina Chocolate Factory.

Once here, we will have time to visit the chocolate museum and a little time at their factory store (YUM!!!). We’ll then “Apron Up” as we walk into the Chocolate Classroom, where we will be treated to a private 3 hour Chocolate Making class taught by Perugina's Master Chocolatier, who is yet another dear friend of ours!

During class, each person will have the opportunity to make their own chocolates with their own ganache, such that each person will have made their own unique recipe. When finished, we will naturally try one another's creations, then head back home with our bellies full of chocolate, our chocolate diplomas, and our bags filled with the chocolate we made... to dinner!

For dinner, we will visit our friend Federico’s private country home and have a BBQ party with his friends and Family. This is not a restaurant type experience. It is a true cultural experience as you live the true Italian life in a way very few travelers ever experience. We will all do a little bit of everything. Some of us will man the grill, some will set the tables, etc. We'll have a wonderful evening as we get to know people we have been seeing all week in a completely different way... as friends. We'll dance, we'll sing, and we will firm up new bonds in a way that "tourists" can never experience. This is always a night our guests never forget.

If they hadn't fully realized it yet, by tonight, our guests feel they are truly at home here. If there was ever any doubt, it is gone now, because tonight there is no question at all. We are all a big group of close friends that feel like they have known one another for years. This includes our visiting guests, the CDV team, and the locals in Folignio.

Places Campello sul Clitunno, Foligno
Classes & Experiences

Cooking Class resulting in lunch (included)
App: Umbrian Panzanella
1st Course: Suppli
2nd Course: Porchetta
Dessert: Salame del Re

Activity: Truffle Hunt (included)
Artisan: Frantoio Carletti Olive Mill Tour & Tasting (included)


Breakfast: Cappuccino & Pastries at Antico Caffe (included)
Lunch: The meal we prepare in cooking class (included)
Dinner: Trattoria Trattoliva (included)

After breakfast, we will head back to Federico’s Osteria, where we had our first cooking class. After getting settled, we will begin making our lunch for today. Our Appetizer is an Umbrian Panzanella, a dish that was once considered peasant food. Traditionally, it is made with day old bread, and whatever you happen to have leftover in your house. Today it is a lot more popular and can be found in restaurants throughout Italy, and even internationally. Our first course is a dish called Suppli. This is a real treat. Suppli are rice and sauce balls, deep fried and stuffed with cheese. They are simila to the popular Sicilian Arancini, but smaller. Our second course will be a perfect Porchetta, crispty on the outside, juicy on the inside. Dessert is a special dessert called Salame del Re (The King's Salami). Don’t let the name scare you, it’s not Salami, it’s chocolate!

After lunch, we all deserve a nap. We'll have some time to rest before we head out for our exciting excursion this afternoon. We will head to the town of Campello sul Clitunno, where we will visit the “Frantoio Carletti” olive oil mill. Carlo and his award winning truffle hunting dogs will take us on a truffle hunt.

After our truffle hunting, we will take a tour of his ancient 16th century olive mill. This is one of the few remaining mills in Italy that stays true to the ancient “Traditional Millstone Cold Press” method olive oil production that dates back thousands of years. In fact, the very millstones that produce this olive oil have been in continues operation here for 400 years. This is a truly unique place, as the European government has been providing major subsidies to olive oil producers in an attempt to get them to modernize for greater production. But Carlo is old school, and values tradition over money.

As with just about everything we do, you will quickly realize that we are not just some tour group visiting Carlo's place. He, above all, a friend. We’ll have a tour of the mill, plus an olive oil tasting, with snacks to try the oil with.

We'll then head to his restaurant, Trattoliva ,for a traditional Umbrian dinner centered around truffles! Our appetizer will

be a puff pastry filled with Burrata cheese, fresh tomatoes, and pesto sauce. The first course will be a Risotto with truffle and Provolone cheese. The second course will be a pork roast with truffles and roasted potatoes. Dessert is a creamy gelato with strawberries and green pepper!

Places Spello, Valtopina, Foligno
Classes & Experiences

Cooking Class resulting in lunch (included)
1: Torta al Testo
2: Rocciata


Breakfast: Cappuccino & Pastries at Antico Caffe (included)
Lunch: The meal we prepare in cooking class (included)
Dinner: Il Cavaliere in Foligno (included)

Breakfast at Antico Caffe, 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 centuries.

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, which doubles at their home. 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 flour, as well as re-introducing ancient grains back into mainstream use.

We will be using freshly-milled flour for our class, learning to make Torta al Testo. This is a local Umbrian bread sandwich made with a special bread only made in this area of Umbria. It is a cross between cross between Piadina and Foccacia, that is amazing and must be cooked using a special utensil called a "testo" people traditionally cut the pizza-like bread in half and fill it with all sorts of salames, prosciutto and cheese to make a specialty sandwich that people from all over Italy come to this small area specifically to have.

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, and even run the water fill (if there is enough water for operation) 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!

On the way home we will stop in the beautiful and popular town of Spello for a gelato. Every year the town of Spello hosts a flower festival, where they cover the town from head to toe in beautiful floral designs, turning this ancient town into a colorful fantasy.

One we return to Foligno, we will have some free time to rest, shop around for souvenirs and gifts to bring home or start packing.

Finally we will have some drinks together before heading off to our farewell dinner at "Il Cavaliere." This is a well-known Umbrian restaurant in Folingo with an extensive wine selection and service you’ll remember forever. It also happens to be the place that catered Daniele and Stefania’s wedding!

Places Foligno , Rome FCO Airport
Classes & Experiences



Cappuccino & Pastries at Antico Caffe (included)

Sadly, our week comes to a close this morning. This morning we will have an early departure at around 6:00 AM. This will get us to the Rome airport by 8:30 AM.

This will be sufficient for flights departing after 11:00 AM, so if you cannot get a flight out after 11:00 AM, you will need to spend a night in Rome for a Sunday flight out. Alternately, you can hire a private driver to take you to the airport earlier or later.

The Not So Fine Print:

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.