Umbria - Cooking and Walking

Mike and Stephie
May 05, 2021

The Umbrian countryside is unlike any other landscape in Italy. The gentle green Sibillini Mountains rise above wildflower meadows that stretch as far as the eye can see. Birds, including cuckoos and skylarks, serenade as visitors to the Sibillini National Park pass lakes and ancient villages. Flowers cover the mountainside and paths. This beautiful atmosphere will captivate as you explore the valleys, ancient woods, and ruins of abandoned castles on this exclusive hiking and cooking tour of Umbria.

Umbria is Italy’s spellbinding heart of natural beauty and is acclaimed for its culinary authenticity and genuineness, even by Italians themselves. Your base for this classic Italy cooking vacation and fabulous artistic adventure is a centre of culture for its many attractions, from its festivals to its ancient sites and cuisine. Often described as a little piece of heaven fallen to earth, it’s a town that truly embodies the history of Italy at every turn. The cuisine here is rustic, and while sometimes referred to “peasant cooking,” it truly is from the land, with ingredients like farro, wild herbs, truffles, and lentils, as well as a plethora of cured meats. Learn the secrets of Umbrian cooking using the wonderful ingredients of this gastronomically rich region. Your two classes will take place in either the original family house of the Bianconi, or at the wonderful, well-equipped kitchen of Vespasia Restaurant, (awarded a Michelin star in November 2015).

We invite you to join our small group as we explore Umbria and learn more of the simple preparations that result is such complex culinary tastes. Our group is limited to just 8 people on each tour. Tours operate May to September and subject to availability the cost is from just $5,862 per person share twin. For a guaranteed single room please add just $825.

With our small groups, you may choose to travel by yourself, but you have the benefit of company on activities and meals.

Your accommodation for the week are located in an Umbrian palace, the lovely Palazzo Seneca in Norcia. The hotel dates back to the 16th century and has been recently restored by the Bianconi family to offer elegant rooms and amenities. The skilled restoration, with a particular attention to detail and history, along with the work of the best Umbrian craftsman, have made this palace a unique and worthwhile destination.

What’s Included


  • 6 nights in a 4* Relais and Chateaux hotel.
  • Meals: Daily breakfast, 2 lunches, 6 dinners.
  • Classes and instructors: Learn secrets of Umbrian cooking using the wonderful ingredients of this gastronomically rich region
  • Excursions: Black truffle hunt (weather and season permitting), 2 days of panoramic hiking, Visit to Assisi and Montefalco, with time to explore on your own, Wine tasting in Sagrantino, Visit of Spoleto, with time to explore on your own
  • Transfers: Roundtrip transfers from/to Rome FCO airport.
  • Services of your tour leader, who will be on hand with advice and tips to ensure that you get the most from your trip
  • All taxes and fees included

Not Included

  • International flights
  • Travel insurance


7 DAY ITINERARY - Tour commences and concludes at Rome Fiumicino Airport

Meet at Rome Fiumicino Airport for transfer to Palazzo Seneca in Norcia. Enjoy a welcome drink and a short presentation on your cooking course, followed by dinner at Ristorante Vespasia of Palazzo Seneca. Overnight Palazzo Seneca or similar. D

After breakfast, your introduction to Umbrian cooking gets underway with your first cooking class with Chef Emanuele. Lunch is based on your efforts. In the afternoon, experience a black truffle hunt. (In May and September, another activity may be substituted). Dinner tonight will be at a rustic outdoor restaurant. B,L,D

After breakfast. your hike today will be from Castelluccio to Monte Patino, a 12 km hike with 400 m elevation. The ring has easy gradients and leads to beautiful views on the Piani di Catelluccio to the beech woods, to the high pastures that seem suspended over Norcia. The panorama there spans 360 degrees over the Umbria mountains, the Sibillini Mountains, and the Laga mountains. Late lunch on your own. Dinner at Ristorante Vespasia in Palazzo Seneca. B,D

After breakfast, depart for an excursion to legendary Assisi, the city of Saint Francis, with time to explore on your own. Lunch on your own. Afterwards, it’s on to the famous town of Montefalco, land of the Sagrantino red wine, where you will visit a local winery and taste wonderful wines. Return to Palazzo Seneca and dinner at Granaro del Monte. B,D

Following breakfast, begin your second cooking class. Lunch is based on your efforts. In the afternoon, visit the town of Spoleto. Return to the hotel. Ristorante Vespasia for dinner. B,L,D

Breakfast then start your second hike in Castelluccio, a little village in the National Park of Sibillini. You’ll gently descend from Castelluccio’s plateaus to the “Pian Piccolo” and walk through endless wildflower meadows at the foot of one of the most beautiful Sibillini mountains. After passing a beautiful lake, climb through the woods full of beech trees. The return hike will take you along the ridge between Sibillini and Laga Mountains, which offer breathtaking views of the Umbrian countryside below. Late lunch on your own, perhaps in one of the little villages. Your farewell dinner in Ristorante Vespasia. B,D

Breakfast and then final farewells before transferring to Rome’s Fiumicino Airport. B

B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner

Similar Post

Package details