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Italy with Friends – Private Tour Itinerary

Our group enjoying Pienza

Italy with Friends: April 28-May 5, 2018

Saturday, April 28

2:00 pick up Rome Termini – in the big front foyer in the Termini (the main train station)
6:00 Aperitivo party welcome
7:30 Dinner prepared by Chef Jennifer

Sunday, April 29

8:30 Breakfast at the villa
9:15 Bus to Pienza – Time to explore and shop
1:30 Lunch at 
La Terrazza del Chiostro
La Foce Garden Tour with Colleen
7:00 Group Dinner – Perfectly Pecorino

This meal will be all about Pecorino, a fabulous Italian sheep cheese which is a specialty of Pienza. We’ll make a variety of recipes using different flavors and stages of Pecorino…paired with regional wines, of course!

Monday, April 30

8:00 Breakfast at the villa

Cycling Tour of the Umbrian Valley with Chef Jennifer
Tour along country roads with a professional Italian guide through the beautiful vineyard and olive grove covered hills of the Umbrian Valley, stopping in small villages along the way. A full Umbrian Picnic lunch in the countryside completes the day!

The afternoon will be free to relax by the pool or recover from the morning’s exertion with a little nap.

7:00 Dinner at Vitology (Bistecca)

Yes, the beefsteak is about 2-1/2 inches thick and grilled over a wood fire…you can watch Chef Moro preparing it in the restaurant.

Tuesday, May 1

8:30 Breakfast at the villa

9:15 Bus to Castello Monte Vibiano Winery
Colleen and Tom will guide us on a tour of this a very special winery!  It is the only winery in the world that is completely “green” and certified as carbon neutral.  Powered by sophisticated solar panels, they store energy to run the farm and cantina equipment which is electric.  For many generations, the Sereni and Fasola-Bologna family, who come from ancient nobility, have tended the vineyards of the castle. Our group will enjoy specially designed Eco-Tour; we get into electric jeeps, passing the family’s Castello and through ancient olive groves along the way to the most precious vineyard of the Fasola family, Vigna Lorenzo, that dates to 217 B.C.

Back at the winery we learn how wine is made, visit the barrel room and then relax on the beautifully designed wine terrace for a free tasting of their four wines (a white, a pure rose and two reds) accompanied by freshly toasted bruschetta drenched in cold pressed extra-virgin olive oil. Yes! You can buy wine and have it shipped home at a reasonable cost.

1:00 Lunch at Lillo Tatini in Panicalle
Afterward, we’ll indulge in gelato in the piazza.

5:00 Cooking Class at the Villa with Chef Salvatore
Chef Salvatore was born in Napoli and brings both the traditions he learned from his grandmother and mother, and the traditions from our local area of Umbria where he has lived for over 40 years. He will teach us how to make his famous Eggplant Parmigiano (layered like lasagna) and Pan Di Spagna (sponge cake) with Crema Pasticciera (pastry cream).

Wednesday, May 2

8:00 Breakfast at the villa

The Art of Deruta – A feast for the Eyes, the Soul, and the Palate
We’ll tour the ceramic studio of GP Deruta and watch a master potter work his magic. Learn about the Majolica painting process and see skilled artists practicing their craft. Tour the show room and enjoy a 40% discount (off Poggi Bonsi retail prices) on anything you purchase.

A stop at the Madonna del Bagni Santuary will calm and center us before we indulge in a world-class

1:00 lunch at L’Antico Forziere where every dish is a work of art.

Italian Grocery Store Shopping Experience
Exploring an Italian grocery store is a foodie’s dream! Who knew there were so many types of pasta and cheese? Each traveler will receive some Euros and a shopping list to buy ingredients for our evening meal. Practice your Italian because the lists will be in Italian!

7:00 Group Prepared Antipasti Dinner

Thursday, May 3

8:00 Breakfast at the villa

9:00 Bus to Orvieto

A “must see” for many reasons. Orvieto is one of the most dramatic hill towns in Italy, perched on a plateau atop huge tufa cliffs created by an ancient volcanic eruption. Orvieto has a stunning Duomo (cathedral) and its monuments and museums cover millenniums of history starting with the Etruscans. Later, during the Middle Ages, many popes lived here for refuge from the many sackings of Rome, since it was so easily defended. The magnificent mosaic façade of the Duomo was created by the glass artisans of L’Antica Vetreria who were famous and sought after for their glassmaking.

12:45 Bus to Civita di Bagnoregio, a tiny hamlet perched on an eroding tufa cliff with the only access across a massive bridge. We’ll visit it before it disappears completely.

1:30 Lunch at Trattoria Antico Forno

Olive Oil Education and Cooking Class with Keli
We’ll taste and evaluate several local olive oils and use our favorites in the meal. The menu includes homemade foccacia bread with assorted cheeses and spreads, a traditional salad, and strigozzi pasta made by everyone. For dessert we’ll create a fruit crostata.

Friday, May 4

8:30 Breakfast at the villa

10:00 Umbrian Cooking Class & Lunch 
This hands-on class Terre Margaritelli winery in Torgiano is based around the best local ingredients in season, and includes making antipasto, primo, secondo and dolce followed by a lunch (eating what we just made, of course!)

Afternoon free to relax and pack

7:00 Farewell dinner at Vitology

Saturday, May 5

8:30 Breakfast at the villa

9:30 Bus to Rome.


About Keli Sim DeRitis

Keli Sim DeRitis is an artist, designer, passionate cook, teacher, and tour guide. Keli founded Poggi Bonsi in 2001 to share her love of European travel, food, wine, and culture. Connect with me on Google+


Keli Sim DeRitis is an artist, designer, passionate cook, teacher, and tour guide. Keli founded Poggi Bonsi in 2001 to share her love of European travel, food, wine, and culture.
Connect with me on Google+

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