small group trips

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Exclusive, small group trips designed to explore the culture of Italy through food and art. Meet artisan food producers, see works of art still located in the places for which they were created, get to know the culture by participating in it.

Groups are small (around 12 people), we have private drivers for all ground transportation, accommodations are up-scale and comfortable, the food is really good.

Descriptions of upcoming programs are below. To request more information fill out this form then click on the red ball and we'll send all the details: 

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                         Puglia:

Tradition, Ritual & Sacred Spaces 

                    3 - 9 September 2023

Make a late summer visit to Puglia, the heel of Italy's

boot. With a small group of travelers we’ll make day

trips from a base in a typical masseria / farmhouse in the area between Bari and Brindisi exploring from Bari down into the Salento, the tip of the heel of the boot. Experience life in the small villages of the interior and along the Adriatic sea, taste with artisan producers of Puglia’s food staples, visit the ponderous Norman cathedrals and ancient sites. Barivecchia (the original historic center of Bari) is the original mixed use concept: the Norman cathedral dedicated to the revered San Nicola shares the narrow lanes with garage fry shops, old fashioned bakeries, women making orecchiette and kids zipping by on their scooters. In the Valle d’Itria the countryside is animated with trulli, the characteristic domed stone farmhouses and an agricultural community of producers of wine, cheese, salame and spectacular olive oil. The Salento is noted for its centuries-old olive groves, Baroque architecture and a heartfelt sense of tradition that infiltrates every facet of life from music to feast days to the local pastry shop. Pugliese recipes reflect the influence of their particular heritage, the farming community and their proximity to the sea; we'll try them all in humble trattorie, the back room of a butcher shop and in more elegant, internationally known restaurants. 

price per person double occupancy: $5,650, price per person single occupancy $6,770  

check out the itinerary here and request all the details and booking forms using the form above

 Art Food & Culture in Tuscany

                 28 May  - 3 June 2023

               sold out!

                2024 spring dates TBD

if you'd like to join us fill out the form above 

Join us during the last week of May to explore 

Elaine's neighborhood in Tuscany. Visit producers  of Tuscany’s classic foods and wines and see works of art by masters of Italian art that are still on view in the same spots for which they were originally commissioned. From a lovely restored villa in the Tuscan countryside we’ll make day trips into Chianti Classico, up onto Pratomagno and into the Carmignano wine producing zone. Discover the city of Florence, participate in art history tours, explore on your own, hang out with Lorenzo and have a sunset aperitivo with an Arno view. We’ll relax over amazing meals while getting a feel for the culture of the different zones of Tuscany with a mix of casual restaurants, cooking lessons in our villa and a couple of suppers prepared by a private chef while you enjoy a cocktail poolside. Expect an exclusive small group tour with producer visits, guided tastings, major works of art in out-of-the-way places, traditional foods and free time to explore on your own. 

 

price per person double occupancy: $5,175, price per person single occupancy $6,160  

check out the itinerary here and request all the details and booking forms using the form above

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            Explore Sicily:
Layers of Art Food & Culture

               4 - 14 May  2023

           sold out!

 2024 spring dates TBD .. if you'd like to 

   join us in 2024 use the form above    

We’ve planned a 10 day harvest season visit to the island of Sicily for a small group of 10 travelers. From bases in Palermo, Noto and Taormina experience the culture through art and food. We’ll visit food producers, major monuments and out of the way ancient sites. We’ll relax over amazing meals while getting a feel for the varied culture of one of the richest regions of Italy.

In the capital city of Palermo layers of time are palpable: shop in the riotous food markets choosing ingredients for cooking classes, see Byzantine mosaics, Renaissance paintings and ancient sculpture. Enjoy the heartwrenchingly beautiful landscapes and seascapes of western Sicily while out exploring evocative ancient Greek ruins.

From Noto visit the Baroque villages of the Southeast, spend an afternoon in Siracusa, learn why Aztec style chocolate is made in Modica, taste through the range of the most influential pastry chef in Italy (it’s not all sweets), visit a cheesemaker and learn about the traditional Sicilian lifestyle. 

In Taormina enjoy the atmosphere and views of the elegant town, visit the ancient and vibrant city of Catania and explore Mt. Etna, an active (very active) volcano with a long tradition of wine making. A tear shed by Dionysius nourished the first ever grapevine that grew from the mineral rich soil — Etna is at the moment the most renowned wine producing zone in the world.

Expect exclusive visits and guided tastings, amazing food and free time to explore.   

price per person double occupancy: $6,990, supplement for single occupancy $1,425

check out the itinerary here and request all the details and booking forms using the form above

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feedback

Could not ask for a better guide/friend in Italy. Your connections and knowledge are imeasurable. 

It was beyond all of our expectations. Thank you for such an over the top introduction to Tuscany.

The itinerary that you put together for the group was nothing but spectacular!  I especially enjoyed the balance between the culture, history and culinary tours and demos that you painstakingly put together. Also I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the variety of restaurants that you selected. Your efforts of combining Michelin rated restaurants with street vendors selling mystery meat gave everyone a true overview of the cuisine of southern Italy.

It was a wonderful trip and all of us learned so much about Sicilian cooking and way of life. Things we just did not know. You have such a variety of contacts that were so valuable in weaving together the interesting lifestyle of Sicily. We all have come away with a better understanding of that part of the world. Thank you for your guidance.