Journey to Orvieto, in the “Green Heart of Italy,” for 5 days of enchanting views, rich history, and savory Umbrian cuisine. Join Chef Salvatore as he leads you through the characteristic tastes and famous dishes of Umbria in hands-on cooking classes. Bask in the antiquity of the ancient city of Orvieto on a day tour that leads you through the thousands of years of culture and history, lavish gothic cathedrals, and fantastic honey-comb underground tunnels. Wander around little medieval streets, bustling towns, and lazy rolling Umbrian hillsides by day, and join the festive and lighthearted Orvietani for their nightly passeggiata through the beautiful little cobble-stoned streets by night. Your program also includes a tour of the property’s award-winning vineyards, followed by a wine tasting, and a half-day tour of Orvieto with our wonderful guide Manuela who will help you uncover the secrets of Orvieto’s illustrious past, while stopping off for tastings along the way.
The ancient city of Orvieto sits perched high above the Umbrian valleys, on a volcanic tufa cliff, with views both magnificent and soulful. Steeped in history, Orvieto has been an important city since its ancient beginnings as a major Etruscan settlement, and traces of the city’s rich 3,000 year history can be seen every twist and turn of the way. Climb the Torre del Moro bell tower for an awe-inspiring bird’s eye view of the sprawling countryside, rolling in a sea of wine fields and farms. Once you have seen Orvieto from above, take a trip down into the underbelly of the town. The tufa rock on which the city is built is riddled with some 1,200 underground tunnels built by the Etruscans, and guided tours of the tunnels are an exciting must! Another journey below the city takes you to the Pozzo di San Patrizio, next to the funicular station, a vastly deep well with a double-helix staircase from which you can descend and ascend without retracing your steps. The well was built to guarantee water supply to Orvieto during a siege, and is a nod to the town’s medieval history you will not want to miss! However, the splendor of Orvieto, does not lie only in its visible ties to antiquity, but also in its magnificent gothic cathedrals. In fact, Orvieto is quite famously known as the “Cathedral town of Umbria,” and is home to one of the most beautiful Cathedrals in all of Italy. Inside the Duomo of Orvieto, visit the Last Judgement fresco and other intensely beautiful mosaics and frescoes throughout the Cathedral. The Cappella di San Brizio, with frescoes painted by Luca Signorelli during the Renaissance, is held in high regard as one of the great Renaissance treasures of Italy. Michelangelo himself spent much time in the chapel, studying the figures painted by Signorelli, and later incorporating the inspiration into his own work. With its captivating mosaics and statues, the Duomo is a gem both inside and outside, with spectacular Gothic architecture. If you are lucky enough to take a visit to the Cathedral around sunset, watch in awe as the glittering, golden-tiled mosaics on the façade dance with the last rays of the setting sun against the Umbrian countryside. After an enchanting sunset, make like the locals and enjoy a refreshing aperitivo, while wandering the streets of the town in the evening, as is part of la dolce vita. Your time in Umbria, the history, the sights, and the cuisine are sure to sweep you away gently, and deeply, like the captivating land and people themselves.
Tie on your aprons and prepare to be immersed in Umbrian cuisine! With the Villa kitchen as the perfect setting, Chef Salvatore leads you in hands-on cooking classes through the delicate, rustic traditions and flavors of classic Umbrian cuisine. Cooking classes focus on beloved Umbrian dishes like umbrichelli, and pappa al pomodoro, gnocchi ignudi, crostini alla norcini, and galline ubriaca. With Chef Salvatore at the helm, you will learn the secrets to making fresh, hand-made pastas like tagliatelle, fettucine, strozzapreti, ravioli, agnolotti, and tagliolini, with seasonal fillings and sauces to accompany them. Master the art of cooking hearty meat and fish dishes, and delicious desserts like tozzetti, crostate, and mousse to treat your taste buds! The hands-on classes are taught in both English and Italian in the afternoon, with fresh, seasonal ingredients. After learning the secrets and techniques from start to finish, dinner will be served on the foods prepared in class, surrounded by great company and beautiful views, on the terrazzo.
High up above lush green hills and valleys lies the Villa, nestled amongst Italian cypress trees and grape vines. Originally built in the 13th century as a pilgrim’s inn, the Villa is as richly and uniquely steeped in history as the land around it. A marriage of stone and woodwork inside, soft hues and delicate lighting create a cozy atmosphere, and one that transcends time. Enjoy free Wifi throughout, flat screen TVs, comfy King size beds. With an ancient stone façade, balconies and stone columns, and intricately designed windows on the outside, and all the comforts of modern amenities inside, the Villa encompasses the perfect balance of old world beauty and modern comfort. The historic palazzo also lies at the heart of one of Orvieto’s most exclusive wine estates, making it easy to lose oneself in the beauty of the ancient vineyards and groves. A leisurely stroll around the lush grounds, and chestnut woods behind the property allows for peaceful, spectacular views of the Umbrian countryside as you sip on a glass of Orvieto wine, superbly famous as Italian wines go. Take a swim in the outdoor pool surrounded by fragrant roses and lavender flowers overlooking the estate’s vineyards, and greenery that stretches as far as the eye can see. The restaurant and enoteca on the grounds of the Villa, decorated with colorful rustic artwork, inspires your senses as you dine on intensely flavored Umbrian cuisine.
Itinerary ~ 5 Days, 4 Nights
Check in and start your program on any day of the week
Day 1: Arrival and Benvenuti
- Transfer from Orvieto train station to the property.
- Check-in, relax, and enjoy a stroll round the grounds.
- Welcome dinner at the property. Beverages not included and available at a surcharge.
Day 2: Cooking Class 1
- Breakfast is served.
- Morning: guided visit to the property’s Vineyards and Cellar, wine tastings and snacks included.
- In the afternoon, tie on your aprons, and head to the kitchen for your first hands-on cooking class with Chef Salvatore who will introduce you to the world of Umbrian cooking!
- Dinner follows on the foods prepared in class. Wine not included and available at a surcharge.
Day 3: Tour of Orvieto
- Breakfast is served.
- After breakfast, transfer to Orvieto for your half-day tour of the city with your guide Manuela. Learn more about the fascinating sights and sounds of ancient Orvieto, while enjoying tastings of local specialties along the way. Pick out a little trattoria for lunch (not included), then return to property.
- Free for dinner. Suggestion: book a table at the property’s beautiful restaurant.
Day 4: Cooking Class 2
- Breakfast is served.
- Morning free. Suggestion: take an early trip to the town to explore and enjoy lunch on your own.
- In the afternoon head to the kitchen for your second hands-on cooking class where you will slice and dice and cook your way to mastering the art of Umbrian cuisine.
- Dinner is followed on foods prepared in class. Wine not included and available at a surcharge.
Day 5: Check out and Arrivederci
- Breakfast is served.
- Check out and transfer to Orvieto train station.
- Arrivederci until next time!
- 4 nights accommodation in Junior Suite, based on double occupancy. Click To View!
- Daily breakfast.
- Welcome Dinner on your first night. Beverages not included, available at a surcharge.
- 2 Hands-On Cooking Classes, dinner following. Beverages not included, available at a surcharge.
- Half-Day Food Lover’s Tour of Orvieto, tastings, transfers and English speaking guide included.
- Visit to the Property’s Vineyards and Cellar, wine tastings and snacks included.
- Round trip transfers to property from Orvieto train station.
- Complimentary WI-FI
$2,095 per person, based on double occupancy in Junior Suite in historic Orvieto Residence. All taxes and Italian VAT included.
*Superior Suites: Upgrade to a Superior Suite, starting at $325 per person per program, based on double occupancy. The Superior Suite has a large living room with three mullioned windows looking onto the garden, the pool, the vineyards and the gentle rolling hills. The double bed, dressing room and bathroom are set on a loft, creating a cozy, intimate space.
2018 Dates: This program is available from March 21 to January 6. Check in and start your cooking program on 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.
*An Italian visitor tax may apply in some cities and must be paid directly on site at check out.