Join us on this adventure throughout Roma and Tuscana – we are certain to have a fantastic journey. Over the course of these ten days we will immerse you in the Italian culture from our culinary practices, to traditional points of interest throughout the region. I look forward to sharing with you my perspectives as one that has grown up here and share things fro a view point through my eyes – as well as listen to your thoughts, as we create these experiences together!
Along the way we will be accompanied by photographer, Edward Leahy, who will be documenting the trip and putting together a photo book for everyone when we return, (you don’t have to worry about your camera). Additionally, our good friend Luciano will be assisting us with all our transportation needs with his new 2017 Mercedes Bus and 2 vans.
Myself, and our team will be here to assist you with any needs that may arrive, so that you can enjoy beautiful Rome and Florence and not have to worry about a single thing.
Day 1: (7/6, 7/20, 9/21, 10/5, 10/19)
Arrival at Leonardo Da Vinci Airport with transfer to Hotel Giuliu Cesar. Welcome Drinks followed by a walking tour of Rome. This evening, let the Eternal City enchant you as you stroll through its picturesque cobblestone alleyways and discover some of the world’s most famous sites – all in a single afternoon! We’ll see the Trevi Fountain, Rome Pantheon and the Spanish Steps along with many of the city’s unsung heroes. With your expert, English-speaking guide on hand you’ll get to know Rome, hearing the tales that bring every street corner to life.
Our Best of Rome tours start at the Spanish Steps, one of the most atmospheric spots in Rome. From there we trace a path through the cobbled streets of the city to the colossal Trevi Fountain – part water feature, part magnificent sculpture. Listen as your guide explains the strange history behind this famous monument, including the reason why there’s one spot from which the entire structure is obscured.
You’re in the very heart of Rome now, where narrow streets snake out in every direction. We’ll stop for a gelato and to recharge our batteries before making our way to the Rome Pantheon. Here you’ll see Raphael’s tomb and learn the real cause of the famous artist’s death. Not so far away from here, it’s his contemporary who steals the limelight. Perhaps the most beautiful square in all of Rome, Piazza Navona is home to spectacular Renaissance buildings and Gian Lorenzo Bernini’s beautiful ‘Fountain of Four Rivers’, the sculpture that saved his reputation after he almost tore St. Peter’s Basilica in half.
Our tour ends in Campo dei Fiori, a favorite hangout among locals. Like so many of the sites you’ll visit on your tour, this piazza has a history you never would have guessed.After the tour we will visit my good friend Fabio at his restaurant right next to the Trevi Fountain called ‘That’s Amore’ for our first feast together.
Day 2: (7/7, 7/21, 9/22, 10/6, 10/20)
Cooking Class Island of Tibernia
There is an archaic saying, most likely as ancient as Rome, ‘When in Rome, do as the Romans do.’ Thus is the basis of which we have orchestrated our cooking lesson. Our ‘Walking Tour’ intertwines the discovery of the magical Italian cuisine juxtaposed with the sightseeing beauty that in this world only Rome has to offer. You will see Rome through the eyes of a local and find fresh ingredients in local neighborhoods of Rome.
Cooking classes run for around 4 hours and you’ll stay a while after cooking to sit down together to enjoy the meal you’ve learned to cook, accompanied by local wines from the region, finishing at about 3 in the afternoon. Set upon the exclusive Tiberina Island, right in the centre of Rome, is enthusiastic cook Fabio’s private apartment where you’ll learn Italian cooking techniques and the skills to cook delicious Italian dishes with a focus on making fresh pasta dishes.Under the guidance of your fun and friendly Italian host Fabio, Monica or Federico who are passionate about Italian cooking, you will immerse yourself in Italian life to discover the gastronomic delights of Rome. The aim of the course is to give you the techniques needed to cook different pasta dishes as well as one meat dish (vegetarians can be catered for) that will give you the skills to make and cook delicious fresh pasta to impress your friends back home.
Day 3: (7/8, 7/22, 9/23, 10/7, 10/21)
Rome Food Tour and Colosseum Underground Experience
When you come on our food tours in Rome, you will get to try many famous Italian dishes, all guaranteed to get your taste buds tingling.
•Firstly, your local Italian guide will take you to a delightful little café at the world famous Piazza Navona, to soak up the atmosphere and taste “brewed to perfection” Italian cappuccino or espresso.
•Next you will try the best and most fresh pizzas in town (two types).
Your personal guide will explain the history of the square and the surrounding areas including the Jewish ghetto, Campo dei Fiori and Trastevere (depending on weather and day).
•Your tour will continue to a shop that specialises in Supplì, fried risotto balls and you will take a trip to the fantastic vegetable market at Campo Dei Fiori.
•See the world-famous Roman ruins, Isola island and many other monuments.
•Taste two typical Roman pastas including Carbonara, in a small restaurant in the old Jewish quarter.
•Enjoy the finest Italian hams, salamis and cheeses near the Roman Bridge, a secret place only known by the locals.
•Finally, the tour ends with real Sicilian gelato in the beautiful area of Trastevere.
Oh, and of course there is our delicious Secret Dish, too!
To end the day we will be heading to the Colosseum for an exclusive night tour.
You’ll begin your enchanted evening with a glass of Prosecco, some wine, and a delectable, four-course, silver service meal at one of Rome’s best rooftop restaurants. There you’ll be joined by your expert, English-speaking guide and intimate group of up to 15 people. While you’re admiring the beautiful views over the illuminated Trajan’s Forum, your guide will describe ancient Rome, telling tales that make the ruins you see come alive. His descriptions of Roman cuisine will make your authentic dinner even more delicious. The dinner last from approximately 7:30 PM to 9:15 PM
When you’ve finished your Roman feast, we will guide you past the Roman and Julius Caesar Forum until you’re standing in front of the imposing highlight of the evening: the Colosseum. Entering with our pre-booked access, you’ll begin to explore an almost empty Colosseum, including the recently opened arena floor and underground level.
Day 4: (7/9, 7/23, 9/24, 10/8, 10/22)
Cooking Class at Fooxia
We will begin the morning, with a cooking class at Fooxia. Nestled in the picturesque narrow alleyways of the Jewish Ghetto, (the oldest continuous Jewish presence outside Israel) is Fooxia Cooking School. We will be gathering all supplies from the local market to prepare our meals. The course concentrates on the techniques to make fresh pasta (flour+ egg and flour+ water) with the accompanying sauces and a second dish.
MEAL: Appetizer, two first dishes, second dish with side dish and dessert (water & wine)
Free evening to explore Rome for the rest of the day.
Day 5: (7/10, 7/24, 9/25, 10/9, 10/23)
Transfer to Florence
This morning we will begin our transfer to Florence. As we drive through Tuscany, we will stop at a family owned meat and cheese factory, where we will look at the different aging of meats that they produce, a variety of cheeses, followed with a tasting of their products with lunch and wine.
Late afternoon, we will arrive in Florence with accommodations at Hotel Boscolo Astoria – just blocks away from the Duomo, with great rooftop views – should you prefer wine on the roof for an evening. After everyone is settled in, we will head to our favorite Trattoria Pandemonio of ours, to dine and wine as a group.
Day 6: (7/11, 7/25, 9/26, 10/10, 10/24)
Wine Tasting/Making at Castello Monterinaldi
Spend the morning alongside the wine maker learning about the art of blending and aging wine. You’ll visit the cellar, select your grapes and blend your own wine. You will also create a personalized label. The winery will then bottle, label and ship your wine to Cupini’s in the U.S. Following the winemaking activity, you’ll enjoy a typical Tuscan lunch on the property.
On the return we will stop off that the renowned Piazzale Miachelangelo to experience beautiful views of Florence, a perfect spot for panoramic views of the city.
Afterwards, we will return for an evening of free time.
Day 7: (7/12, 7/26, 9/27, 10/11, 10/25)
Taste of Florence Food Tour
Take a delicious walking tour of Florence. See the city and get to know its people by tasting some of the best Tuscan specialties around. Our guide will take us to the Central Market, where you will see the freshest products from the variety of farms throughout the region. We will also visit a family bread making shop to savor in their unbelievable fare , enjoy a wine tasting, do a tasting at a small prosciutto/salami/pork shop, and finally top it all off with unbelievable gelato.
(Don’t eat any breakfast today, this is going to be a walking wining and dining feast!)
Day 8: (7/13, 7/27, 9/28, 10/12, 10/26)
Florence Food Studio
This morning and afternoon, utilize this day to enjoy and explore all the beautiful streets and shops that Florence has to offer. As we are located in the heart of Florence, everything is in walking distance. Perhaps visit the Duomo Museum, this has been a past favorite!
In the evening, we will visit The Florence Food Studio. Here Franco Cupini will teach us a course at a boutique cooking school which offers skills in traditional Tuscan Culinary Arts with a modern twist. The project is driven by a dedicated collaboration between the world renown Florentine D.O.C. Chef Benedetta Vitali and two young Florentine aficionados dedicated to preserving their Tuscan heritage: Paolo Dellafiore and Giorgio Pinto. The focus this evening is on transmitting Italian cooking skills and secrets but at the same time on health, nutrition and wellbeing – all innate elements of the traditional Italian diet.
Day 9: (7/14, 7/29, 9/30, 10/14, 10/28)
Truffle Hunting Experience
Today we are going truffle hunting in Florence. Luciano will transport us to the forrest in San Miniato where we will meet up with our truffle hunter and his dogs. He will give us the insides into truffle hunting and about the intricacies involved and the very elaborate training that his dogs go through. Can you believe each of his dogs are valued at over $65K? From there, we will go on a live demonstration through the hills watching the dogs and the hunter at work.
When we are finished there, we will return for a wine tasting that features different grapa, including one infused with truffle. We will enjoy a lunch here, before transport back to Florence.
This evening, we will enjoy our final group meal together, before packing our bags for going back home.