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Real Food Adventure - Italy

From £1480 for 8 days
Trip Overview
Italians are the masters of creating simple dishes that sing with flavour. Regional, seasonal and as fresh as possible, Italy’s cuisine is hearty, satisfying and made with heart. Inspired by the kitchens of the nonna, Italy’s food is authentic and surprising – pizza and pasta are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the diverse array of unforgettable food you’ll find on this adventure that travels from Rome to Venice via San Gimignano and Bologna.
Essential Info
Starts: Rome
Ends: Venice
Ages: Min 15
Theme: Food
Trip Code: IZMZB
Countries visited: Italy
What's Included

Meals

7 Breakfasts included
1 Lunches included
3 Dinners included

Transport

Bus,Metro,Private minibus,Train

Accommodation

Farmstay (2 nts),Hotel (5 nts)

Trip Highlights
-Italy is a foodie's paradise, but as a visitor it can be hard to escape the tourist traps. Your local leaders will give you an insider's guide to this epicurean wonderland
-This trip takes in some of the titans of regional Italian cuisine – Rome (Lazio region), Tuscany, Emilia Romagna and Venice
-Tasting the real balsamic vinegar in an attic acetaia is a revelation – it'll be hard to go back to the mass-produced version after this
-A farmstay in Tuscany gives you an insider's glimpse of wine and olive production in this iconic region
-Had too much of the good life? Shake things up by walking part of the pilgrim's route, the glorious Via Francigena
-With hands-on cooking classes led by local masters, you'll learn to roll pasta like a pro, and prepare an authentic tagliatelle al ragu in the city where it all started
Dates & Availability
Start date
End date
Direction
Price GBP
Availability
5th May 2017
12th May 2017
Rome - Venice
£1,525pp 
G
 
Good
12th May 2017
19th May 2017
Rome - Venice
£1,540pp 
G
 
Good
26th May 2017
2nd June 2017
Rome - Venice
£1,600pp 
G
 
Good
9th June 2017
16th June 2017
Rome - Venice
£1,680pp 
G
 
Good
23rd June 2017
30th June 2017
Rome - Venice
£1,540pp 
G
 
Good
7th July 2017
14th July 2017
Rome - Venice
£1,480pp 
G
 
Good
21st July 2017
28th July 2017
Rome - Venice
£1,480pp 
G
 
Good
25th August 2017
1st September 2017
Rome - Venice
£1,540pp 
G
 
Good
8th September 2017
15th September 2017
Rome - Venice
£1,600pp 
G
 
Good
Show more dates
Itinerary & Notes
 
Day 1 - Rome
Buongiorno! Welcome to Italy. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6pm on Day 1. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place. Get a feel for this gastronomic gateway to Italian cuisine, with its multitude of restaurants and trattorias catering to all tastes and budgets. Our first stop on this food adventure is a Roman bar to enjoy an aperitivo. A tradition with its roots in 1980s Milan, these days aperitivo cullure is popular all over Italy. The aperitivo hour falls just before dinner - just enough time for a drink accompnaied by stuzzichini (bite-size snacks). It's the perfect way to unwind after a day of travel, and to whet the appetite for bowl of pasta.

Additional Activities

Rome - Welcome aperitivo and stuzzichini
Included in Price
Castel Sant'Angelo
10 EUR
Christian catacombs
8 EUR
Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill
16 EUR
Keats-Shelley Memorial House
5 EUR
Galleria Borghese
15 EUR
Vatican museums
16 EUR
St Peter's Dome Climb & Elevator
8 EUR
Venezia Palace
5 EUR
Day 2 - Rome
Start your first full day with a coffee, the most important drink in Rome. Then check out one of the city's oldest food markets, where pasta-making and other traditional culinary crafts are regularly on display. Chat to local stall holders and sample seasonal produce. The rest of the day is free for your own exploration. Check out some of the city's cultural icons, perhaps the Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain, The Vatican or the Pantheon. Or simply pull up a chair at a cafe and watch the world go by.

Additional Activities

Rome - City Food Tour
Included in Price
Day 3 - San Gimignano
Travel by train (approximately 2 hours) to the village of Pancole, located in the heart of Tuscany between Florence and Siena. The region is renowned for a cuisine that celebrates simplicity and the bounty of locally grown produce in hearty, rustic dishes. Pecorino cheese, farro (an ancient grain) and artisanal cured meats like lardo di Colonnata are just some of the many local ingredients you can expect to indulge in during your stay. Your accommodation is a traditional Tuscan farmhouse, located about 7kms from the enchanting village of San Gimignano. The farmhouse is surrounded by vineyards and olive trees from which the family has been producing excellent wine and olive oil by organic methods for over fifty years. Enjoy a guided walk through the vineyards and cellars of the estate, followed by a tasting of some signature Tuscan wines. The wine tasting will be accompanied by some delicious cheeses, oilve oil and bruschetta. This is a beautiful part of Italy, filled with hill towns, grape vines, wild herbs and olive groves.

Additional Activities

Agriturismo - Wine Tour and Tasting
Included in Price
Day 4 - San Gimignano
Take a walk (approximately 1.5 hours; 7 kilometres) along a portion of the Via Francigena, the major pilgrimage route to Rome during the Middle Ages. The walk is on easy terrain, although comfortable walking shoes are recommended. Explore the medieval walled town of San Gimignano. San Gimignano is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is often called the 'Town of Fine Towers' due to the preservation of a number of impressive 'torre' or tower houses within its walls. The town is also known for its white wine, Vernaccia di San Gimignano, produced from the ancient variety of Vernaccia grape which is grown on the surrounding sandstone hillsides. Spend the rest of your time exploring the walking paths around the farm or, weather permitting, relaxing by the pool, enjoying beautiful views of the Tuscan countryside.

Additional Activities

San Gimignano - Orientation Walk and Town Tour
Included in Price
San Gimignano - Wine Museum
6 EUR
San Gimignano - Olive Oil tasting
10 EUR
Day 5 - Bologna
Farewell your hosts after breakfast and travel to Bologna by train (approximately 3.5 hours). Bologna's culinary claim to fame is a significant one, thanks to the ragu alla bolognese. Home of tagliatelle, mortadella and a range of other cured meats and salamis, Bologna, along with the surrounding Emilia Romagna region, is a bonafide food mecca. On arrival, drop your bags at the hotel then get out and acquaint yourself with this city of beautiful old terracotta buildings and lively streets. Later in the day you'll discover the 'real food' of Bologna, with a hands on-cooking class in the fine art of pasta-making. Feast on your handiwork over dinner.

Additional Activities

Bologna - pasta-making class including dinner
Included in Price
Day 6 - Bologna
Enjoy a day trip to discover the flavours of the renowned Emilia Romagna region. Visit a factory dedicated to the production of one of Italy's most coveted culinary exports – the mighty Parmigiano Reggiano. Get an insight into how this cheese is made, then enjoy a tasting. Continue to the town of Modena (approximately 1 hour) and visit an acetaia, a house where the family produce fine aged Modena balsamic vinegar in the attic. You'll see how the vinegar is aged in barrels made from different woods, and is never less than 12 years old (often well over 25). Taste it and learn the difference between the real stuff and the mass-produced kind. Lunch on another local specialty - prosciutto di parma - then take some time to stroll around this delightful town. Admire the Palazzo Ducale and, if you're still hungry, perhaps sample some of the town's other specialties: tortellini, or, for the adventurous, zampone (stuffed pig's trotter). Lambrusco, the town's famed sparkling red, makes for a fine accompaniment. Ask your leader about the great specialty panini shop in the market.

Additional Activities

Modena - Acetaia Visit
Included in Price
Modena - Day Trip
Included in Price
Day 7 - Venice
Take the train up to Venice (approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes). Venice's distinctive culinary heritage goes back to ancient times and features rich risottos, saline baccala (salted cod) and creamy polenta. You'll explore the narrow cobblestone streets and spacious piazzas and cross the tiny bridges to find shops, markets, galleries, churches and stunning buildings. Stroll past St Mark’s Square, the Campanile and the Doges Palace. Cross the Rialto and admire the Bridge of Sighs before catching a vaporetto back to the hotel. Farewell this Real Food Adventure with the Venetian answer to tapas on a 'cicchetti' crawl through the city's fabulous bacari (wine bars). Snacking is an important pastime in Venice, with many people stopping for cicchetti (small bites) both before and after meals. Don't forget to try a 'spritz'. This mix of white wine, Campari and soda water is a popular accompaniment to wash down the delicious cicchetti.

Additional Activities

Venice - City Orienation Walking Tour
Included in Price
Venice - Cicchetti Crawl
Included in Price
Ca' Rezzonico Museum of Eighteenth Century Art
10 EUR
Doge's Palace and Bridge of Sighs
19 EUR
Glass Museum Murano
10 EUR
Guggenheim Museum
15 EUR
Museum of St Mark's Basilica
5 EUR
St Mark's Campanile
8 EUR
St Mark's Basilica Treasury
3 EUR
Accademia Gallery
15 EUR
Venezia Ca' d'Oro
10 EUR
Concerto
32 EUR
San Giorgio Bell Tower in Venice
6 EUR
Gondola Ride
80 EUR
Venice Traghetto Ride
2 EUR
Day 8 - Venice
It's an early start today. Walk down to the canals and watch farmers unload their produce from canal boats, ready to be sold at Venice's famous Rialto markets. This tradition is more than 1,000 years old. Next, swing past the fish market, where the catch of the day might come direct from the Venetian lagoon, the enclosed bay of the Adriatic Sea in which the city of Venice is situated. Finish with a market breakfast alongside the traders. Your adventure comes to an end by 11 am.

Additional Activities

Venice - Rialto market walk
Included in Price
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