June 3–11, 2023:
Spring Culinary Adventure
Join us for a spectacular 8 days savoring the great tastes of Umbrian cuisine and wine. Featuring 3 lessons with Maria Luisa Scolastra of Villa Roncalli
Flavors of Umbria: This is your chance to fulfill that dream of learning from a master chef, indulging in exquisite Umbrian cuisine, and sampling our justifiably famous wines. Discover the flavors of Umbria at extraordinary restaurants, cantinas, local farms, and markets.
The heart of our 8-day adventure will be three six-hour (plus) lessons with the amazing Maria Luisa Scolastra in her kitchen at Villa Roncalli. Discover the art of Italian broths, soups, and sauces; master a variety of fresh pastas and gnocchi; learn how to build an Italian feast from antipasti to bread to primi to dolce, and so much more. Without a doubt the best food you’ll experience in Umbria. In addition delicious meals out will fill the week. Meet artisanal producers, visit an organic farm, go on a truffle hunt*, watch cheese being made*, see prosciutto and sausage preparation, tour spectacular hill towns, enjoy fantastic meals, wine tastings, and much more. More information>
8-Day Spring package:
$3000 per person
November 4-12. 2023:
Olive Harvest and Culinary Tour
8 days, 3 lessons with Maria Luisa Scolastra, and enjoy the Olive harvest 2022
The heart of our 8-day adventure will be three six-hour (plus) lessons with the amazing Maria Luisa Scolastra in her kitchen at Villa Roncalli. Meet artisanal producers, visit an organic farm, go on a truffle hunt*, watch cheese being made*, see prosciutto and sausage preparation, tour spectacular hill towns, enjoy fantastic meals, wine tastings, and much more. In addition, our tour will include a day in the orto collecting olives and enjoying an Umbrian cookout. Then we will go and see the entire process of pressing the oil, culminating in tasting the freshest oil you’ve ever imagined. More information >
8-Day Autumn in Umbria package:
$3000 per person
8-Day Tour Package:
$3000 per person
Beautiful accommodations in a restored 17th-century palazzo in the heart of Umbria.
Airfare is not included in package price
Double occupancy in shared apartment or B&B room. If space permits, for groups up to 8, there will not be a single occupancy charge.
For help planning your trip — airline tickets and travel insurance — contact Bill Travers at 212-869-6431 or [email protected]
For more information write [email protected]
Not available for these special tours? Plan your own customized tour whenever you want. All-inclusive tours are available mid-April–mid-November for 4 to 8 people.
• accommodations for 8 nights at Palazzo Fiumi-LaPlaca in Bettona;
• three 5+ hour classes with Maria Luisa Scolastra at Villa Roncalli;
• additional classes with local chefs and cooks;
• daily guided tours, all entrance fees;
• all but (possibly) one meal out (there might be a lunch on your own);
• two wine tasting at fabulous local wineries;
• olive oil tasting at the renown Decimi frantoio;
• Cheese making demonstration (in season) or cooking lesson at a local agriturismo;
• Truffle hunt followed by a wonderful rustic lunch including a pasta dish with truffles;
• pick up and return to airport (to meet one flight each way).
Tour will accept up to 8 people.
Extraordinary accommodations is the beautifully restored 17-century Palazzo Fiumi-LaPlaca
A variety of accommodations are available on a first come basis. Shared apartments sleep four with queen and twin beds and a shared bathroom. Two B&B rooms, with private bathrooms, are also available. Depending on group configuration, there may be a surcharge for single occupancy, if available.
(Accommodations for additional days are available for those who wish to stay longer or arrive earlier.)
Sample Lessons: Great chefs, cooks, and friends
• Villa Roncalli, Foligno: On past tours lessons with Maria Luisa Scolastra of Villa Roncalli were always the highlight of our tours. For this year’s tours Maria Luisa will be the backbone of our culinary adventure with three 5+hour lessons/meals. She usually starts us off with amazing frittata with garden vegetables followed by one or two amazing pastas, then something roasted (last time roast pigeon in a fabulous sauce), then something pork maybe in a Sagrantino (wine) reduction, and finally a special Maria Luisa’s dolce. You will rave about it too.
• Dear friends drop in lessons: Usually one or more friends stop by to share some of their favorite recipies. Luisella Reale, famous in Bettona for just about everything, often will teach us two dolce recipes — maybe torta della nonna and a crostata, Umbrian style made with olive oil. Roberto Piergiovanni, the chef of Bettona’s exceptional Sagra del’Oca (goose festival held each summer) will teach us his classic sugo del’oca (goose sauce) that is to die for. Hand made umbricelli (fresh eggless pasta) will also be taught.
• Truffle hunt: Nothing is more fun than a morning walk through the woods above Spoleto with two young truffle dogs leading the way. A spectacular addition to our spring and autumn tours you’ll won’t want to miss
• Farm visit: Guests will spend a morning visiting the organic farm in nearby Collazzone, specializes in responsible meat production — Chianina beef, lamb, pigs, and chickens — raised with an absolute commitment to a healthy farm to table philosophy. Tour the farm, see prosciutto preparation, understand the curing process, and watch sausage being made.
• Cheesemaking workshop: Guests love watching cheese being made at Agriturismo Angelucci in nearby Collemancio. Join Roberta and Petronilla, and their mother and taste fresh caciotta and ricotta while still warm. (Lesson in season.)
• Michael LaPlaca, your host, will share some of the Palazzo Fiumi-LaPlaca’s special dessert recipes like pannacotta with fresh fruit and vin santo, an amazing torta Caprese, as well as pepperoni jam, and other seasonal treats.
Yes and there’s wine too
In addition, an equally important part of every culinary tour, the group will visit two or three, local wineries (Cantina Dionigi, Arnaldo Caprai, or Paolo Bea) for tours and tastings.