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The Unplugged Collection - Umbria™

Cooking and Spa Retreat ~ 5 Days

Cooking Tours
Prices & Dates

Our Unplugged Selection offers guests the opportunity to detach and unwind at one of a handful of properties specially chosen for their dreamy locations, serene surroundings and special amenities. As life’s demands increase, so too does our need to disconnect from the madness and reconnect with our soul, so we have organized these programs to include a little pampering but with some down time, too.  Rediscover the delights of a quiet morning spent reading, pick out a sheltered spot in which to meditate or simply lie at the pool and soak up the sun. Whatever it is you need, we will do our best to provide.

We invite you to join us to relax, unwind and unplug at our luxurious resort and spa property set in the verdant hills of Umbria.  Surrounded by cypress and olive trees, rolling hills and featuring Mother Nature at her best, this villa is the perfect location to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and slip into a blissful world of total relaxation.

Take a step back in time as you stroll through the property’s extensive olive orchards, take in views of the gentle hills while sipping and swirling a glass of Montefalco red.  Once belonging to an 18th-century aristocratic family, the property maintains original decorations and furnishings, including stunning marble fireplaces and authentic tile flooring, while incorporating luxurious modern amenities for your stay.  Historic elegance meets modern comfort with two swimming pools, a tennis court, an organic vegetable garden, a high-end spa and wellness center, and an esteemed on-site gourmet restaurant and wine cellar – we guarantee you’ll never want to leave!

Umbria, known as “Italy’s Green Heart,” offers dazzling views of centuries-old villages perched atop sleepy hilltops and myriad vineyards producing award-winning wines and olive oil, both of which have been produced and exported for centuries.  It is home to town such as Assisi, Perugia, Spoleto, Montefalco, Orvieto and Gubbio – known for pottery, wine, lentils and truffles.  In addition to all its beauty, Umbria’s peaceful atmosphere is home to some of Italy’s most important saints:  Saints Benedict, Clare, Rita, Valentine, and most famous of all, St. Francis of Assisi.  Remember, it was the monks and nuns who were the best cooks and pastry makers – creating liqueurs, wine and baked goods.

During your stay, you’ll not only learn the traditions and culture of this region, but you’ll participate in hands-on cooking classes preparing authentic Umbrian cuisine.  Here in the kitchen, the focus is on farm-to-table ingredients used in authentic seasonal recipes. The property has its own organic vegetable garden and supplies our chef with in-season vegetables and fruits. The region is also known for its typical cold cuts, prosciutto, pork sausages, wild boar salami, pancetta and dried sausages, along with Pecorino cheese, Castelluccio lentils, famous Perugia chocolate and most famously truffles – that are thinly sliced over pasta and risotto.

Umbria is also one of Italy’s most prized olive oil producers, and this property is no exception to the rule.  Extra virgin first-cold-pressed olive oil is produced on the property and is used in the cooking.  The property also boasts an extensive cantina featuring mostly biodynamic and organic wine.  White wines include Trebbiano, Verdello, Grechetto, Drupeggio, and Malvasia, and the main red wine grape variety is Sangiovese, although Gamay, Canaiolo, Trebbiano and Sagrantino – a native variety found only around the hillsides of Montefalco – are also produced in the immediate region.

Slip into the spa, located in the property’s 18th-century limonaia, a greenhouse built to protect lemon trees and which is encircled by tranquil, idyllic gardens, to be pampered by the professional staff offering treatments with organic cream, oils and scrubs infused with lavender, chamomile, sage and lemon oil.  Let your cares melt away as you enjoy the two spa treatments included in your program, centering yourself while surrounded by natural, calm, Italian beauty. The wellness center offers a tepidarium, a Turkish bath, sauna, hydrotherapy, and a variety of massages with other luxury treatments. And should you wish, you can add on extra days and half-day or full day visits to any one of the nearby towns or cities including Perugia, Assisi, Pienza, Cortona or Lake Trasimeno with a private driver.

Umbrian Cooking Classes

Tie on your apron and learn the art of Umbrian under the guidance of your chef.  Each cooking class includes the preparation of local in-season ingredients, many of which will have come straight from the property’s organic vegetable garden. Can’t get fresher than that!  Along with your chef, you will pick up tips and techniques while preparing healthy and hearty Umbrian cuisine. Let’s start with antipasto, which may be a spicy farro or lentil soup, quick toasted bruschette with garlic, tomatoes or chicken liver paté, or even a sformatino di fave e pecorino, a baked fava bean and pecorino custard.  Then of course, on to pasta. Pasta is a staple in Italian cuisine and especially here in Umbria where you’ll see thick strands of hand-rolled pasta served with mushrooms, seasonal vegetables or local game.  Along with your chef, learn the secrets of mixing, rolling and cutting the various pastas of the region and creating delicious seasonal sauces – funaro pasta with porcini, stringozzi with wild asparagus, or umbrici con sugo finto, umbrici pasta with imitation meat sauce and pecorino.  Main dishes favor simply prepared local meats, but might also include rabbit cooked in the manner of porchetta, stuffed with wild fennel and garlic; lard-studded sirloin with Sagrantino sauce; or steamed baccalà with chickpeas and crispy rosemary.  There are lots of vegetarian options too, as local vegetables and grains abound. And each cooking class has a sweet ending with delicious sweet bites such as: budino di castagne, cold chestnut pudding, amaretti and chocolate tartlets, or the famous torzetti –  hard almond biscuits perfect for dunking in a glass of chilled Sagrantino.  Following each cooking class, everyone enjoys the foods that were made in class together with a toast of local red or white wine or soft drinks for children or non-wine drinking guests.  We always cater to any food likes, allergies and dietary restrictions.

Perugia

Perugia, the capital of Umbria is a town known around the world, which still holds on to its ancient past. It is home to the 14th-century University of Perugia, one of Italy’s oldest and most well-respected educational institutions, a weave of ancient architecture and student caffès that bustle with life at all hours. The town’s main piazza, Piazza IV Novembre, is surrounded by splendid ancient buildings and is said to be Perugia’s most attractive square. Landmarks include the Fontana Maggiore, a medieval fountain that was built in the 12th century by sculptors Nicola Pisano and Giovanni Pisano, the Galleria Nazionale dell’Umbria brimming with local art, and the Cattedrale di San Lorenzo, Perugia’s Gothic cathedral. There are endless bars, caffès and trattorias where you can take a front row seat on the terrace, order an aperitivo, Prosecco, spritz or vino bianco and watch the world go by.

Assisi

Step back into time when you stroll through Assisi, the birthplace of Saint Francis of Assisi, founder of the Franciscan order and one of the most popular saints in history.  The 13th-century Basilica di San Francesco is adorned with frescos painted by a young Giotto where he depicts the life of Saint Francis. You may also visit Saint Francis in the crypt, meander through its outside areas and inside halls. Assisi is also home to Rocca Maggiore, a medieval fortress, and the Basilica di Santa Chiara.

Pienza

Travel through Umbrian hills and into Pienza, a delightful Medieval town set just across the border in Tuscany.  Its piazza boasts a curious trapezoidal main square, Palazzo Piccolomini, and a historic Duomo and tiny streets with pedestrian access only.  But Pienza is best known for its Pecorino cheese.  Artisan cheese makers display rounds of their prized sheep’s and goat’s cheese.  Shopkeepers are up for discussion while they dole out complimentary samples of Pecorino (soaked in wine, aged in ashes, wrapped in grape leaves, and spiked with truffles to name but a few).  Continue along cobblestone streets – no cars allowed- lined with artisan shops selling Italian linens and terracotta hand-made pottery.  Quaint, quiet and off the tourist track, Pienza makes for the perfect day trip.

Accommodations

Our property will enchant you with its timeless vistas and gardens and this serenity is carried over into each guestroom which is elegantly decorated with authentic tile flooring, period furniture and ornate local fabrics in soft tones. All rooms include a beautifully designed private ensuite bathroom, a seating area and thoughtful touches to maximize your comfort, including a soft bathrobe and slippers. There is no shortage of modern amenities, including free Wi-Fi, air conditioning and heat, flat-screen televisions, phones, and room service, as well as a turndown service. Free parking is also available.

Itinerary ~ 5 Days, 4 Nights

Check in and start your program on any day of the week.

Day One:

  • Arrival transfer & check into our Umbria Unplug Collection cooking program.
  • Enjoy a welcome aperitivo.
  • Welcome dinner, with local wine & water included.

Day Two: Spa Treatment 1 & Cooking Class 1

  • Breakfast is served.
  • Following breakfast, check into the spa for an unforgettably serene morning. Choose from a variety of massages or treatments and forget about the outside world, soaking up the beauty of the surrounding Italian gardens in the private chalet-like structure.
  • In the afternoon, tie on your apron and get cooking in your first hands-on traditional Umbrian cooking class, right on site. Dinner follows and includes the foods made in the cooking class, a toast of wine included.

Day Three: Wine Tasting & Optional Day-Trip Excursions

  • Breakfast is served.
  • If you choose, spend the day on one of our excursions to nearby Perugia, Assisi, Pienza, Cortona, Lake Trasimeno, or Deruta. Explore the surrounding area and get a better understanding of the local culture and food while wandering down winding stone roads and stopping to sample the tastiest bites along with a caffè or glass of wine.
  • Lunch is on your own.
  • When you return to the property, your wine education will really take off! In the afternoon, under the expert tutelage of the villa’s sommelier, you will sample the finest wines the Umbrian region has to offer, learning along the way. While you sip and swirl, you will enjoy light finger foods.
  • Dinner is on your own.

Day Four: Spa Treatment 2 & Cooking Class 2

  • Breakfast is served.
  • Spa treatment 2.
  • Enjoy a light lunch at the property, with one course, fruit and a glass of wine included.
  • Once you are entirely stress-free, it’s time for Cooking Class 2, so tie on your apron and let’s get cooking! You’ll prepare a traditional lunch using the freshest ingredients, many coming straight from the property’s own organic garden. Dinner follows and includes the foods made in the cooking class.

Day 5: Check out & Arrivederci

  • Check out & transfer to Perugia train station.
  • Arrivederci Umbria!

Note: This sample itinerary schedule may vary due to inclement weather, saints’ days, festivals. All activities, in the event of rescheduling, are always included during the week.

Program Includes:

  • Five days/four nights’ accommodations, based on double occupancy in Prestige double room, with private bath.
  • Daily breakfast and maid service.
  • Welcome aperitivo & welcome dinner on your first night. Wine not included and available directly from your chef.
  • 1 lunch on the property with one course, fruit and a glass of wine included.
  • 2 hands-on cooking classes followed by lunch with the foods prepared in class.
  • 2 spa treatments in the villa’s remarkable spa and wellness center.
  • A wine tasting with the property’s sommelier, accompanied by light foods.
  • Free access to swimming pool with kit included.
  • Arrival & departure transfers from Perugia train station.
  • Welcome bag with Chef’s apron.
Program Price:

$1,695 per person, based on double occupancy.

If you are a single traveler and would like to join a small group, please call us for best single pricing.

*An Italian visitor tax may apply in some cities and must be paid directly on site at check out. 1 transfer per group each way. There is free wi-fi throughout the property.

Optional Add-Ons:

  • Day trip excursions to Perugia, Assisi, Pienza, Cortona, Lake Trasimeno, or Deruta. Inquire for pricing.

Check Availability

2020 Dates: This program is from April to November. Check in and start your cooking program any day of the week. Rates are subject to change based on currency exchange. Call for updated rates. Airfare not included. Group transfers for any cooking tour or tours that include transfers are for the group and are not private. Transfers before, after or to another destination outside of your cooking tour are not included in the program price. If you would like to add on a private transfer or transfers, let us know and we will send you pricing.  Group transfers for the cooking tour are included.  Transfers before, after or to another destination outside of your cooking tour are not included.