where the landscape comes to the table
Staying at Camiano Piccolo in Montefalco
Visiting Bevagna, Spello, Deruta, Perugia, and Orvieto, as well as private homes, farms, vineyards & olive oil mills, traditional Umbrian family kitchens, fabulous local restaurants and exclusive villas.
Immerse yourself in local traditions totally off the usual tourism radar by visiting private homes and viewing life through the lens of the locals. Our selection of local cooking classes are based on a variety of recipes rooted in ancient tradition and some of the finest natural produce in Italy. With the the accent always on the quest for genuine flavours, events often include seasonal ventures into wild food foraging, truffle hunting, cheese or wine making or oil pressing according to the time of year.
We have cellar wine tastings of Montefalco's award winning Sagrantino wines. The Sagrantino dry red won Italy's award for the best wine of 1998. The grape producing unusually high levels of tannin, grows only between Medieval Montefalco and the ancient Roman town of Bevagna. Its production in local monasteries can be traced back to the early middle ages, and an ancient sweet version produced from Sagrantino raisins was the favourite of the Vatican for the holy wine of their mass.
7 Days / 6 Nights starting on the following dates:
SUN 13 - SAT 19 JAN
SUN 14 - SAT 20 APR
SUN 26 MAY - SAT 01 JUN
SUN 30 JUN - SAT 06 JUL
SUN 08 - SAT 14 SEP
SUN 29 SEP - SAT 05 OCT
Private dates are available on request at a 10% loading on the published price
Day 1 Thursday L D
Meet at Foligno railway station at 11.30 am. We transfer you to your accommodation at Camiano Piccolo near Montefalco for a delicious local homecooked lunch. In the afternoon we walk up to the medieval town of Montefalco where you will be introduced to the food, wine, artisan and art traditions of the town including a visit to the stunning 15th century Benozzo Gozzoli fresco cycle in the town's museum. There is a wine tasting at a the Alchimista, a family run enoteca in the town's delightful piazza. Montefalco reds have won prestigious awards as one of the best red wines in Italy. Dinner, including wine, is at the accommodation every evening.
Cooking at Camiano & visit Spello
Day 2 Friday B L D
In the morning you have a cooking class at the accommodation followed by dinner. Giuseppe the owner of Camiano Piccolo is renowned locally for his numerous delicious varieties of local pasta in the best indigenous traditions, including his speciality of spinach and pecorino ricotta ravioli made using the family olive oil. The best is yet to come when you are sitting in the delightful family garden with the family's wine, overlooking the family home and eating the produce of your labours.
The pretty flower filled town of Spello cascades down the hillside overlooking the valley of Umbria. There is a walk around the labyrinth of floral decorated streets to take in the atmosphere and visit the local artisan food shops which populate the town.
Truffle hunt & Spoleto
Day 3 Saturday B L D
An extraordinary and exhilarating day where we travel high in the hills up to a mountain forest where we first watch them making cheese ( in season) and then accompany a professional truffle hunter on his wanderings through his own private forest on his daily quest for truffles or ‘black gold’ as it is know in these parts.
We enjoy a simple meal of wine, bruschetta, pasta and truffles in the hunter's home in the mountain village.
On the way home there is some free time in the town of Spoleto to explore this ancient roman town.
Bevagna & Spello
Day 4 Sunday B D
Down in the valley and just a short distance from Montefalco, Bevagna is one of Umbria's most evocative towns. During Spring you can view a circuit of mediaeval artisans in their workshops including Francesco, the artisan paper maker surrounded by shredded fabrics, an enormous water operated pulping mill, and boiling animal hides. We visit a revocation of a Medieval house complete with frescoes, bedlinens, bath and weaving loom as part of the guided exploration of this small gem. Our visit also includes the town's Roman mosaics and the beautifully evocative piazza encircled by Bevagna's other essential sights; the two Romanesque churches that face each other across Piazza Silvestri, the intact medieval main square. San Michele is fascinating, but my favourite is San Silvestro; its utter lack of adornment and steeply raised presbytery radiate a stern romanesque purity.
In this sweet fragment of the medieval world, Spello's splendidly intact town walls are draped around the centro storico like a necklace. "Hispellum" was originally a Roman settlement – it lay on the Via Flaminia consular road, close to the strategic junction for Perugia. The most impressive remnant of this stage of the town's history, apart from the walls themselves, is the Porta Venere, an Augustan-era gate flanked by two 12-sided towers, standing in magnificent isolation on the west side of town.
Our guided visit takes in the sights strung out along Via Cavour, the main street, beginning with Santa Maria Maggiore. This church has a finely sculpted medieval portal, but the real treat is inside: the Cappella Baglioni side-chapel, decorated with superb frescoes by the Umbrian Renaissance master Pinturicchio. Standing in the chapel you can turn your back on the real world and enter the artist's dream world of exquisite colour, sweetness and grace including his scene of the annunciation with the green and golden silken robes of the angel still floating, airborn as he lands to point his finger to the bewildered but resigned virgin.
Spello's real pleasures, apart from its two standout sights, are the civilised pace of life of the town and the lovely Subasio marble from which it is built, which takes on a peach-pink hue around sunrise and sunset. There will be some free time for you to take in the atmosphere and visit the local traditional art and artisans shops which populate the town.
Dinner at the accommodation
Cooking & Cellar Visits
Day 5 Monday B L D
We travel on to a large estate and private home in the hills above Bevagna for a gorgeous cooking class with Lucia on her country estate. Served on green-rimmed plates, our pasta course is as striking as a Botticelli painting. Aesthetics aren't the only thing Luciana excels at. She has also mastered the fine art of la dolce vita, leading us through the most relaxed cooking class I have ever experienced. Although we work hard - whisking custard, kneading pasta dough, stuffing zucchinis - each activity is interspersed with a pause to savour the sunny day.
During our next break, we retire to the terrace for a glass of chilled wine and some mortadella. It's a reminder that life is to be savoured - and that 11am is a reasonable hour for a quick pick-me-up." (Ute Junker SMH 02/08/2014)
In the afternoon we visit two local wine cellars for tastings of Montefalco's award winning Sagrantino wine. The visits may include large producers such as Caprai, Pardi, Sciaccadiavoli or Novelli as well as middle sized producers like Colle Ciocco, Perticaia or family run vineyards such as Fongoli or Saraceno.
Cooking & Deruta
Day 6 Tuesday B L D
After breakfast in the garden at Camiano we walk around the town of Montefalco to the lovely Villa Pambuffetti so you can enjoy a morning stroll through the town before emerging on the other side of the walls and meeting for our hands on cooking. Alessandra the elegant chef is a contessa, the owner of the villa and your teacher for the morning.
Their high quality restaurant is one of the best in the area, and is a much sought after venue for weddings and ceremonies. It is stylish, and cosmopolitan but offers traditional Umbrian recipes. You will learn to cook traditional pasta and other regional dishes using local ingredients. Pasta is made with eggs and flour for the famous Umbrian Strangozzi, or with water and flour for the Umbricelli, a wide long spaghetti. First courses are usually garnished with a rich tomato ragu', made using carrots, onion soffritto in olive oil with goose meat or beef stock. There are also soups like pasta e fagioli with pasta, beans and pork skins, and scafata soup with lentils from Norcia.
Following the cooking class, participants get to sit down and enjoy a pleasant lunch in the historic garden accompanied by the family's own Sciaccadiavoli wine.
In the afternoon we visit Deruta has been a major ceramics center since medieval times. No culinary exploration would be complete without a venture into eating's decorative accessories. Here you will be shown through a selection of some of the 300 outlets selling plates, bowls and anything else that might be made of terracotta.
Day 7 Wednesday B
On the last day of the tour you will be transferred to Foligno Station at a time in the morning that suits your travel arrangements.
EUR 1980 per person in DBL
EUR 2230 per person in SNG
A deposit of EUR 350 per person is required to hold a place.
Based on 5 to 16 in each group
Unpack once and settle in for 6 nights at a family run country estate
Small groups (max12) provides a better experience
Visits to private homes, villas and farms to cook and eat
Flexibility to adjust to local events
Discover the delights of Italy and Italians away from the tourist trails
Wonderful local meals and matching local wines
Foligno station or Foligno hotel transfers
All land travel by air-conditioned coach
Accommodation for 6 nights with full board
4 cooking classes of characteristic regional recipes
A truffle hunt and truffle lunch in a mountain village
Visits to cellars with tasting of Montefalco's award winning Sagrantino wines
A visit to the famous ceramics centre of Deruta
The services of a tour leader
Camiano Piccolo is a family run country guesthouse located just outside the walls of the medieval hilltown of Montefalco, where a cluster of farm buildings has been converted into high quality accommodation. All rooms are furnished with solid antiques and have their own bathroom and private entrances. There is a shady garden with a swimming pool and spectacular views across the Valley of Umbria. The estate still produces their own vegetables, herbs, wine and olive oil which are used to prepare the delicious simple meals held in a pleasant dining room or outside under pine trees.