Old-World Flavor Lives on in Umbria

Epitourean •

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Escape Kit

  • A Seven-Day Culinary Tour of Umbria, Italy ($1,776 per Person), Including:
  • Round-Trip Ground Transportation from Rome Airport to Hotel and Itinerary Destinations (Airfare Not Included)
  • Double-Occupancy Accommodations for Six Nights at Relais il Canalicchio in the Province of Perugia
  • Six Breakfasts, Five Lunches with Wine, and Six Dinners with Wine
  • Four Italian Cooking Classes
  • Tours of Marsciano Market, Montecastello, an Olive Oil Mill, and Cantina Monte Vibiano Vecchio Winery
  • Two Spa Sessions
  • Countryside ATV Excursion
  • Hotel Fees and Entrance Fees per Itinerary Included
  • Priced per Person Based on Double Occupancy (See Fine Print)

The Destination
Umbria is the only region in Italy that doesn't border the ocean or another country. Insulated by Italian territory on all sides, Umbrian's culture has enjoyed relative protection from external influence. These bucolic hillsides and near-ancient towns are some of the last bastions of Old-World Italy, where you might "see grandmothers in aprons making pasta by hand and front doors that haven't been locked in a century," says Lonely Planet.

It's also a food-lover's paradise. Truffles and Norcia pork are just some of the delicacies that make Umbria famous. Sample the region's celebrated cuisine—and learn to prepare some of its best-loved dishes—on this seven-day culinary tour based in the province of Perugia, courtesy of Epitourean.

The Itinerary
day 1: welcome reception and chef's tasting dinner
You will be greeted at the Rome FCO International Airport, then be transported on a two-hour journey through the Apennine Mountains, Lazio, and the Umbria region on the way to your hotel in the province of Perugia. The hotel itself, Relais il Canalicchio, dates back to the 11th century, but was completely renovated in 2012 to deliver a four-star, luxury experience complete with a heavenly spa and unforgettable food. After settling into your lovely room, meet for cocktails and a briefing on the week followed by a multi-course Umbrian tasting dinner prepared by the chef.
Overnight at Relais il Canalicchio. Dinner provided.

day 2: market tour, antipasti class, and pizza class
A morning trip to a typical Italian market is a great way to feel the local atmosphere. The market features everything from shoes to clothes, cheeses to wines. This bazaar-like market is where the locals shop, so you won't see a lot of tourists, but you will find bargains and treasures.

Return to the hotel for a lunch class teaching how Italians combine meats and cheeses into antipasti. In the Umbria region, there is a proper "culture" for this course. Assisted by the chef, you'll learn the differences between the varieties of Umbrian cheeses, meats, and salamis. Put these together on your plate according to your own personal tastes and pair with local wine.

Enjoy some afternoon leisure time before the evening's hands-on pizza class. Learn the preparation of pizza dough with secrets for making the perfect shape and crust. Toppings feature locally grown tomatoes for sauce, fresh basil, and mozzarella cheese to make a Margarita Pizza. After dinner, you'll make "chocolate salami" for dessert. A glass of wine will complement your feast, of course.
Overnight at Relais il Canalicchio. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner provided.

day 3: spa experience and gnocchi class
Start the day with an hour of benessere—"wellbeing"—at the hotel's spa. At your disposal are a Finnish sauna, Turkish bath, hydro-massage Jacuzzi with views of the Umbrian countryside, and solar shower and relaxation room with herbal tea and fresh fruit. Skin and body treatments are available for purchase by appointment.

For lunch, you'll prepare homemade gnocchi with fresh tomato, mozzarella, and grilled Umbria sausages during a hands-on cooking class. You'll also learn to make the local dessert ciaramicola, a cake topped with meringue. After lunch and dessert, the rest of the afternoon is yours to enjoy the resort. A chef-prepared, multi-course dinner of traditional Umbrian cuisine will give you the night off from cooking.
Overnight at Relais il Canalicchio. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner provided.

day 4: atv excursion and escalope and pasta class
Today, you'll experience the Umbrian countryside firsthand on a two-hour ATV excursion. A tour leader will guide you through local valleys, orchards, and vineyards. After lunch at the hotel, you'll have the afternoon at leisure.

In store for dinner is a hands-on cooking class. The menu will consist of hand-made pasta with norcina sauce—a cream-based sauce incorporating the black truffles and pork sausage for which the Umbrian town of Norcia is famous. A chef will also assist you in preparing pork escalope and tiramisu for dessert, all paired with red Umbrian wine.
Overnight at Relais il Canalicchio. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner provided.

day 5: montecastello, olive oil and wine tours, and spa experience
Today, you'll get to see some of the fruits of Umbria's unique soil. Visit the medieval hamlet of Montecastello—a hillside town long considered one of the most beautiful in Italy—and the world's smallest theater.

At a frantoio—a mill where olive oil is extracted—you will learn the step-by-step process that turns olives into oil, often known as Umbria's liquid gold. A traditional lunch of bruschetta and Umbrian-style pulses will be served, then you'll head to Cantina Monte Vibiano Vecchio winery for a tour and tasting. You will tour the vineyard and the winery, then have a wine and cheese tasting in the lounge.

Return to the hotel in the afternoon for another hour-long session at the hotel's spa. Dinner will be served in the hotel restaurant.
Overnight at Relais il Canalicchio. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner provided.

day 6: free day and farewell dinner
The whole day will be yours to spend as you please. You can borrow a mountain bike for a peaceful hillside ride, inquire about purchasing additional tours of the Perugia area, or just relax in the sun by the pool. All meals, including a multi-course farewell dinner prepared by the chef, will be served at the hotel.
Overnight at Relais il Canalicchio. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner provided.

day 7: ciao!
After checking out of the hotel, you will be dropped off at the airport between noon and 1 p.m.
Breakfast provided.

The Dates
• Travel from April 6 to November 1, 2014 ($1,776)
*Priced per person based on double occupancy. See fine print.

  • "Foodies will delight in the region's food and wine. The earthy, addictive tartufo (truffle) finds its way onto every menu, while pork from the Norcia area is so well respected that quality pork butchers throughout Italy are known as norcineria."

    -- Lonely Planet

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the fine print

  • Vouchers may not be combined to extend stay
  • Flights are not included
  • Only valid for travel from April 6 until November 1, 2014
  • Reservations required and subject to availability; must be booked by December 31st, 2013
  • Not valid toward existing or room block reservations
  • Merchant cancellation policy applies, it is listed at the bottom of the page: tinyurl.com/qy94kvt
  • Rates are per person based on double occupancy (two people sharing a room). Each of two guests must purchase an Escape and arrange to stay together at the property. Single occupancy requires an additional fee of $500
  • Airfare is not included
  • Voucher does not include Passport/visa fees, gratuities, personal or baggage insurance, meals or drinks not specified by itinerary, any costs not specified as included
  • Review the State Department's website for passport/visa requirements and important announcements before traveling to your destination
  • Taxes of 10% are not included; payable at booking
  • Nights must be spent consecutively; all inclusions must be redeemed during one stay
  • The promotional value is valid only for date range purchased and may not be exchanged or redeemed for any other date
  • Other conditions apply • PROMOTIONAL VALUE EXPIRES ON October 26, 2014 • Enjoy By October 26, 2014
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