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Chef Paolo's Cooking In The Countryside of Gubbio™

Land Of Olives & Truffles ~ 5 Day

Cooking Tours
Prices & Dates

The beautiful region of Umbria is one of Italy’s most fascinating areas and it constantly delights visitors with its unique combination of natural beauty, history and delicious local cuisine. On our Country House in Umbria program, we lead you directly to the green heart of Italy amid forest-covered mountains and lakeside villages where you can follow local wine and olive oil paths through artistic towns and discover the marvels and history of the Middle Ages through to the Renaissance.

Your residence is a beautiful Locanda situated among century old trees and wild flowers on the outskirts of the village of Pietralunga, the historical land of saints and pilgrims. Built in the 15th century, it was modified and enlarged during the following centuries until it was gradually transformed into the aristocratic country-house you’ll find today. In this gracious setting, Chef Paolo and his family will offer you the warmest of welcomes and take wonderful care of you for the duration of your stay. But it is in his kitchen that Paolo is most at home, and here he will help you transform fresh, seasonal produce into delicious local pasta sauces to dress the handmade pasta you create in class – tagliatelle, pappardelle, passatelli, ravioli, agnolotti and gnocchi. Passionate about local cuisine and ingredients, Chef Paolo can’t wait to share his favorite recipes with you and answer all your questions. Round off with a homemade tart, chocolate pears or castagnole, a local sweet and a glass of dessert wine and you’ll probably think you’re in heaven.

Visits to local food and drink artisans offer an extra opportunity to steep yourself in Umbria’s gastronomic traditions, and at the end of your stay, you really won’t want to leave.

Cooking Classes

The Locanda’s cuisine is one of its most precious assets, and lessons are held in its kitchen and restaurant which are located in an attractively converted barn. Your mentor, Chef Paolo, is an excellent teacher whose joy in local produce and passion for cooking shows! In his kitchen you’ll find all of Umbria’s best loved ingredients: grains such as oats, emmer wheat, barley; legumes – beans, chickpeas, lentils; the area’s wonderful potatoes, peppers and tomatoes; and woodland produce such as mushrooms, truffles, chestnuts and honey. Meats cover everything from pork, lamb and quality local beef to fowl – duck, capon, chicken, and fabulous game such as hare, pheasant, quail and boar. Local specialties also include delicious fresh and mature cheeses, pork products like sausage, porchetta and salami, and of course, the area’s excellent olive oil. Under Paolo’s careful direction, you will prepare some of Umbria’s best loved dishes, from tagliatelle, pappardelle and gnocchi to tiramisù and tozzetti biscuits, perfect for dipping in vin santo. Learn how to make the area’s delicious handmade pasta, and dress it with simple but delicious sauces created from the freshest possible seasonal produce. Remember that most of produce used at the Locanda is organic, either grown or raised by local farmers. After each lesson, guests sit down to lunch to enjoy the dishes they made during class and enjoy a glass of wine. (The property’s private cellars also offer a broad selection of regional wines.)

Umbria & Perugia

Situated in the center of the Italian peninsula, the region of Umbria is traditionally considered the green heart of Italy. As a guest, you will certainly be enchanted by the dazzling views of centuries-old villages perched atop radiant green, rolling Umbrian hillsides. Umbria is internationally known for the quality of its wines and olive oil, both of which have been produced and exported for centuries. Visit wineries and oil mills and experience the roots of the ancient land of Umbria.

The Etruscan and medieval Perugia is a city of art, culture and nature. Important events take place throughout the year, such as the Umbria Jazz Festival (about 10 days in July), and Eurochocolate (about 10 days in October). Built on the crest of a hill, your gateway to the city of Perugia is the magnificent Etruscan Arch still perfectly intact. Mysterious passageways of the old underground quarter run under the fortress at La Rocca Paolina, commissioned by Pope Paul III and built by Antonio da Sangallo the Younger in 1549.

Other attractions include the Etruscan monuments, the museums, the fresh Umbrian air, the myriad of restaurants where you can savor the traditional dishes of Umbrian and Italian cuisine, and the friendliness of the locals, who have a long tradition of welcoming visitors from other countries as Perugia is home to the University for Foreigners for Italian Language Studies, the oldest and most prestigious institute of its kind in Italy.

Accommodations

Your Umbrian property accommodation has recently been restored and refurbished to a very high standard and the owners have gone to great lengths to retain the interior spaces by respecting the original architecture and renovating with original materials. Material such as greystone and brickwork floors, robust oak and chestnut wood beams and antique fixtures have been used to create today’s country house, maintaining the original charm as it was handed down over centuries. Large, stylish and comfortable, all the rooms and suites are furnished exclusively with late 19th-century or early 20th-century furniture, offering the comfort and amenities of a contemporary hotel, with the charm and privacy of a small boutique inn. The care for detail has been extended to selecting the finest quality beddings and heavenly smooth bath sponges. In-room conveniences include television, telephone, hair drier and safe for valuables.

Itinerary: 4 days, 3 nights

Day 1: Arrival & Check In

  • Transfer from Perugia, Ponte San Giovani or Gubbio, Fossato di Vico train station. Arrival at residence and enjoy a warm welcome from your hosts.
  • In the evening, dinner on your own. We suggest you stroll into the village and pick out a trattoria for a relaxed bite or a pizza.

Day 2: Cooking Class 1

  • Breakfast is served.
  • At 10:00 am, it’s time to head to the kitchen for your first cooking class with Chef Paolo. During today’s class your chef will teach you how to prepare various delicious regional pasta recipes using fresh, local ingredients. First of all, Chef Paolo will explain about the grain used and even show you how it is milled. Next, follow him as he mixes the pasta and rolls it out to create tagliatelle, ravioli and other local pastas. Use fresh seasonal ingredients to make pasta sauces: depending on the time of year, you might use eggplant, mushrooms or even slow cook a rich boar ragù. Chef Paolo is a fan of simple but authentic local cuisine and will be delighted to answer any questions you may have regarding the region’s gastronomy.
  • Lunch follows and includes the foods prepared in class, wine and water included.
  • In the afternoon, why not explore your surroundings, visit the village of Pietralunga or take a walk through the neighboring woods. Use one of the bicycles the Locanda has for its guests and go for a ride through the countryside or take advantage of one of the additional activities on offer (at additional cost) – visit to a ceramics artisan or cheese maker for example.
  • Free for dinner. Suggestions provided.

Day 3: Visit to Truffle Artisan & Truffle Hunt

  • Breakfast is served.
  • In the morning, set out on a visit to a local truffle artisan. Enjoy a truffle hunt where hopefully you’ll find some of these delicious tubers, then head to the workshop to learn more about how this specialty is transformed into wonderful truffle products.
  • A truffle lunch is included, where you will taste a variety of the products – antipasti with cheese and local cold cuts, a pizza with cheese and truffle cream, a taste of strangozzi pasta with truffle, all accompanied with great local wines.
  • Afternoon free. Take a wander into the village for a caffè and some people watching or find a cozy corner in the locanda to catch up on some reading.
  • Free for dinner.

Day 4: Cooking Class 2

  • Breakfast is served.
  • At 10:00 am, it’s back to the kitchen for your second class with Chef Paolo. Today’s lesson covers the preparation of gnocchi using potatoes from Pietralunga. Discover the secret of preparing these light potato dumplings and seasonal sauces, as well as a delicious dolce such as tiramisù, tozzetti – almond and hazelnut biscotti or a fruit crostata, all using fresh, local ingredients.
  • Lunch follows and includes the foods prepared in class, wine and water included.
  • Afternoon free. Take a bike ride down to the village or recharge your batteries with a walk through the woods.
  • Free for dinner.

Day 5: Check out and Arriverderci

  • Breakfast is served.
  • Check out and arrivederci (though we’re sure that, like most guests here, you’ll already be planning a way to come back!)
  • Transfer to Perugia, Ponte San Giovani or Gubbio, Fossato di Vico train station.

Program Includes:

  • Five days/four nights accommodations, based on double occupancy. Click To View!
  • Daily breakfast.
  • Two hands-on traditional Umbrian cooking lessons with lunch following. Wine included.
  • Guided visit to a local truffle artisan with truffle hunt. Learn about the truffle harvest, local truffle products and how truffles are used in cooking.
  • Truffle lunch with local wines included.
  • Welcome bag with chef’s apron.
  • Transfer to and from Perugia, Ponte San Giovani or Gubbio, Fossato di Vico train station.
Program Prices

$1,350 per person, based on double occupancy in a Suite.

Check Availability

2020 Dates: This program is available throughout the year and cooking classes are held every day. 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.

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Add On Tours Available Upon Request

  • Truffle hunting excursion in woods with authorized guide and trained dog (months of October and November). Minimum 2 people, $195 per person.
  • Olive harvest, farmhouse lunch and visit to oil mill (month of November). Minimum 2 people, $240 per person.
  • Visit to local cheese producer to learn more about how pecorino and ricotta are made, followed by visit to salumificio where cured pork products are produced. Tastings included. Minimum 2 people, $140 per person.
  • Visit to local pottery to learn how local artisans work the area’s clay. Decorate some of the objects along with the artists at work. Minimum 2 people, $115 per person.
  • Visit the workshop of a master carpenter and furniture restorer. Minimum 2 people, $90 per person.
  • Visit to the Torgiano Wine and Olive Oil Museum, including tasting and tour of winery. Minimum 2 people, $240 per person.
  • Visit to a 19th-century winery with tastings, followed by visit to a basket weaver. Minimum 2 people, $115 per person.
  • Visit to an alpaca farm with the option of buying products made with this wonderfully soft wool, followed by visit to bee farm where you can taste the honey and watch the creation of objects made from beeswax. Minimum 2 people, $115 per person.
  • Visits to nearby towns of interest such as Città di Castello or Urbino can be arranged at your residence. Please ask your hosts for more information and hints on what to see.