The Perugia Traveler's Dream™

Discovering Umbria From Lake Trasimeno to Cortona ~ 7 Days

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Discover Umbria, called the green heart of Italy, for hands-on cooking classes, beautiful landmark tours and artisans who keep the tradition alive. Set in rolling fields of green and infinite vineyards that blanket the countryside, Umbria offers food, wine, culture and kind people who welcome you in. This dreamy and delicious food tour with farm-to-table ingredients immerses each guest into the Umbrian way of life while learning how to cook!

Cooking Classes in Perugia

Tie on your apron and join Chef Quarto in the kitchen for a week-long experience of cooking classes in Perugia, Italy.  A master of the local cuisine of Umbria, and a culinary innovator, our chef transforms products and produce – artisan cheese, farm-raised meat and wine – into delicious Perugian meals. Throughout each hands-on cooking class, he shares his knowledge while slicing and dicing and explaining his technique.

His philosophy is always local and organic. Basil, sage, chilli pepper and rosemary grow in the property’s garden. Our chef prepares antipasti, pasta or risotto, main courses, and dessert. Local artisan produce and products are used to make ciaccia, the local version of focaccia, pecorino di Pienza (local sheep’s milk cheese) and Umbrian olive oil, olives and saffron. These cooking classes in Perugia, Italy will have you preparing meals like a professional! And make sure to try out the property’s restaurant – where cuisine is creative and truly blossoms into beautiful and delicious presentations featuring the freshest local ingredients and age-old recipes with a visually stunning modern twist.


Situated in the center of the Italy, the region of Umbria is traditionally considered the green heart. Travel through Umbria and you’ll be enchanted by the dazzling views of centuries-old villages perched atop rolling hillsides. You will discover the artisans and their Old World crafts. You’ll taste wine and extra virgin olive made my artisans. From Perugia and Assisi to the smaller towns of Terni, Todi and Montefalco, Umbria is blooming with art, culture and nature. Important events take place throughout the year, such as the Umbria Jazz Festival (in July), and Eurochocolate (in October). Other attractions include the Etruscan monuments, museums, fresh Umbrian air, and the myriad of restaurants that continue to serve traditional Umbrian fare. Off the tourist tracks, there is an air of friendliness here from the local folks who carry on their tradition, and welcome visitors with open arms.


Perugia, Umbria’s capital, is a modern city known around the world, which still holds on to its ancient past. Known for its famous chocolates – the Baci – inspired by the original recipe by Luisa Spagnoli – the city has something for every visitor.  It is home to the 14th-century University of Perugia, one of Italy’s oldest and most well respected educational institutions, a blend 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 generally thought to be Perugia’s most attractive square. This Perugia vacation boasts landmarks including the Fontana Maggiore, a beautiful medieval fountain that was built in the 12th Century, the Galleria Nazionale dell’Umbria brimming with local art, and the Cattedrale di San Lorenzo, Perugia’s gothic cathedral. There are many bars, caffès and trattorias with Perugia typical food where you can take a front row seat on the terrace and order up an aperitivo, Prosecco, spritz or vino bianco and watch the world go by.

Città della Pieve

Near the border of Umbria and Tuscany, Città della Pieve is a walled Perugian city with ancient history. This city built in bricks dates back to the Etruscans and still maintains its medieval urban layout – in the shape of an eagle – since it was completed in the 13th century. The eagle was the symbol of Emperor Frederick II and he wanted to stamp Città della Pieve with his coat of arms before his death in 1250. Make sure to visit the Cathedral, which features important works of art by Pietro Vannucci, also called Il Perugino, a famous local Renaissance painter. The cathedral was once an Etruscan church, replaced by a Romanesque church, which was then replaced with current structure, built in the 16th and 17th centuries. Right across the street from the main church, stop by the Palazzo della Corgna, a beautiful 16th century noble home now owned by the city. The interior is opulently covered with well-preserved frescoes, with marble and decorative arches throughout. The city is also famous for the narrowest street in Italy, Via Della Baciadonne! Translating to “kiss the woman street,” it is so narrow that a man could lean out the window of a home on one side of the street and kiss the woman leaning out a window on the other side. With its proximity to the border, the cuisine is Città della Pieve is a wonderful blend of Umbrian and Tuscan dishes. You will find truffles and porcini mushrooms fresh from the Umbrian forest, as well as handmade pastas and perfectly cured meats. This region is also known for its saffron, a delicacy that is carefully cultivated by hand from crocus blossoms.


Cortona is a dreamy Tuscan village and offers something for everyone. Ancient churches, a pretty piazza, wine bars, gelato shops, shopping and artisan goods! Made famous by Frances Mayes in Under The Tuscan Sun, Cortona was once part of Umbria, then became part of Tuscany. The prevailing character of Cortona’s architecture is medieval with picturesque narrow streets set on a hillside embracing the enchanting view of the Val di Chiana. It’s a town that also cherishes its tradition. Once a year in June, the locals celebrate Medieval Week, with a procession of over 300 people wearing traditional medieval costumes while horseback riders parade through the village. Weekly local markets come to life in the village’s piazza with venders selling traditional products, wine and goods.  And, you can always sit back in any one of the local caffès, sip an espresso or vino and soak up the Tuscan sun.

Umbria in Citta Della Pieve Accommodations

The spectacular villa, once home to the Royal Family – King Vittorio Emanuele II and Rosa Vercellana – dates back to the 1890s, and simply dazzles.  Completely renovated, while keeping its original architecture, the villa is a luxurious property welcoming distinguished guests from around the world.  Check-in and relax in any one of the beautiful rooms –  from classic, superior, deluxe, and deluxe with a balcony – and  make yourself comfortable.  Each room is elegantly decorated with cool colors of white and peacock blue, with big windows and natural hardwood floors.  Each room offers Italian linens and bedding, artisan furniture and sleek lighting.  The ensuite private baths are lavishly designed with Italian marble and local artisan wood design.  Amenities include wifi, safes, air conditioning and daily maid service.  A delicious breakfast is served daily to each guest.  The property boasts an upscale restaurant featuring local cuisine using farm-to-table organic ingredients prepared by the Executive chef, and a sophisticated wine cellar serves wines from Umbria, Italy and vineyards from around the world.  There is a chic bar for enjoying an Italian aperitivo, and alfresco dining is available in the summer months.  Nestled in Umbrian green gardens and stunning grounds, the villa has a swimming pool and sun beds with a beautiful view. Take a swim, slip away with a book or stay until the sun sets while sipping a bubbly Prosecco!

Itinerary ~ 7 Days, 6 Nights

 Day 1: Check In, Relax & Chef’s Tasting Dinner

  • Arrive and check in.  Relax and sip your welcome Prosecco. After a refreshing sauna or swim in the pool, walk through the quaint streets and the main square.
  • Later in the evening, enjoy the Chef’s tasting dinner including a four-course tasting menu comprised of local cuisine. (Wine not included, and is available at a surcharge.)

Day 2: Cooking Class 1 – Traditional Umbrian Menu

  • Breakfast is served.
  • Head to the kitchen for your first cooking class with our Chef. Together you will create a full-course traditional Umbrian menu using local ingredients. After the cooking class, everyone enjoys the foods prepared in the cooking class.
  • In the afternoon, relax, swim in the pool or walk through town.
  • Evening free and dinner is on your own.  Dinner arrangements are available at the villa.

Day 3: Città Della Pieve Tour

  • Breakfast is served.
  • After breakfast, set out on a guided tour of Città della Pieve, including a stop for lunch with Umbrian Salami and cheese, and a glass of local wine.
  • In the afternoon, relax, swim in the pool or walk through town.
  • Evening free and dinner is on your own.  Dinner arrangements are available at the villa.

Day 4: Cooking Class 2 – Pasta 

  •  Breakfast is served
  • Tie on your aprons for your second hands-on cooking class, featuring fresh handmade pasta. After the cooking class, everyone enjoys the foods prepared in the cooking class.
  • In the afternoon, relax, swim in the pool or walk through town.
  • Evening free and dinner is on your own.  Dinner arrangements are available at the villa.

Day 5: Cortona & Trasimeno Lake Tour with Traditional Lunch or Perugia

  • Breakfast is served.
  • After breakfast, enjoy a guided tour of Cortona and Trasimeno Lake. Soak up the Tuscan sun in Cortona, and explore the picturesque village of Castiglione del Lago on the Umbrian Lake. Your excursion includes lunch in a typical Cortona trattoria.  Or, you can opt for a full day to Perugia.  Food, art and chocolate are the highlights of this beautiful Umbrian town.  You may visit the Perugina, the famous Italian chocolate maker (entrance tickets not included) known for their delicious chocolate – each with a love message inside the wrapper.   Perugia is the capital city  of Umbria and  an important historical and artistic center. Home to the famous painter Pietro Vannucci, nicknamed Perugino, the town developed a rich tradition of art and artists; indeed, Raphael was a student of Perugino’s and he, too, spent much time working and painting here, even creating his masterpiece, Oddi Altar. While there are many art galleries and collections to be visited, and home to the Umbria Jazz festival, held in the town every July.  (80E per person supplement for Perugia excursion).
  • Return to the villa.
  • Evening free and dinner is on your own.  Dinner arrangements are available at the villa.

Day 6: Cooking Class 3 – Pastry

  • Breakfast is served.
  • Time to get cooking for your third hands-on cooking class focusing on sweet pastry carefully crafted by hand using traditional methods.  After the class, everyone enjoys the sweet confections made in the cooking class class with caffe, tea or wine.
  • Evening free and dinner is on your own.  Dinner arrangements are available at the villa.

Day 7: Breakfast & Departure

  • Breakfast is served.
  • Following breakfast, check out and departure transfer to Chiusi-Chianciano train station. Ciao!

Program Includes:

  • 7 days, 6 nights in a villa accommodation based on 2 guests.
  • Chefs Welcome Dinner with antipasto, fresh pasta, main course and dessert.  Wines and drinks not included.
  • 3 hands-on cooking classes with Executive Chef Quarto
  • Following the cooking classes, everyone enjoys the food that was prepared in the cooking class with a toast of wine.
  • Guided tour of Città della Pieve with English-speaking guide, including lunch and a glass of wine.
  • Full day excursion to Cortona and Trasimeno Lake, with private including at traditional lunch in Cortona or Perugia.
  • Cooking Vacations welcome bag with chef’s apron, Prosecco toast and recipe booklet.

Program Prices:

$4,595 per person, based on 2 guests in a Classic.

$4,895 per person, based on 2 guests, in a Superior.

$5,195 per person, based on 2 guests, in a Deluxe.

$5,395 per person, based on 2 guests, in a Deluxe with a balcony.

*These are the program starting prices and may increase during high season, fairs and feast days.

For Single Guests: If you are traveling on your own, please call us for the best group price. We are happy to welcome you into an already scheduled group.

**An Italian visitor tax may apply in some cities and must be paid directly on-site at check out.

Check Availability

2024 Dates: This program is available throughout the year. You can 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.