Heaven in the Hills of Umbria

Todi, Italy

Undulating hills, speckled with centuries-0ld, ocher-colored villas, surrounded by olive orchards and vineyards, glisten under the brilliant blue sky. This is Umbria, Tuscany’s breath-taking neighbor, relatively untouched by tourism. If this sounds like heaven, join us at the Villa Tre Grazie, a magnificent 16th-century villa perched on a hilltop overlooking the Tiber valley, with panoramic views of the rooftops and spires of Todi with her lovely Renaissance temple.

The Villa Tre Grazie (Three Graces), is surrounded by two hectares of gently rolling land including an olive orchard, a fruit orchard and formal gardens with terraced swimming pool and bath house.
During our weeklong sojourn, we will learn to make handmade pastas, pizzas cooked in the Villa Tre Grazie’s own 16th-century outdoor brick oven and many other Umbrian specialties. In addition to these hands-on cooking classes with local experts, we will taste the very best regional wines, cheeses and olive oils, shop for fine hand-painted Italian ceramics and hand-woven Italian fabrics in Deruta and Montifalco, and enjoy in depth tours of Orvieto and Assisi.
To round out this extraordinary week, we will take a stroll in the Umbrian hills, to enjoy the stunning views of the countryside. Andiamo!!


Trip Itinerary

Day 1

• Arrive at the Villa Tre Grazie in the late morning in time for a buffet lunch in the garden.
• Afternoon free for relaxing in the garden, swimming (weather permitting) or napping.
• Aperitivos al fresco at sunset.
• Festive Welcome Dinner at home in the Villa.

Day 2

• Breakfast at home in the Villa.
• Morning cooking class on hand-made pastas with several sauces taught by a very special local expert followed by lunch.
• Afternoon visit to Orvieto with plenty of time to see the sites and to shop.
• Dinner at home in the Villa.

Day 3

• Breakfast at home in the Villa.
• Morning visit in Assisi, birthplace of St. Francis who founded the Franciscan religious order in 1208. We will have a private tour of the Basilica of St. Francis, including the magnificent Giotto frescoes and other important historical sites.
• Late lunch.
•Afternoon visit to the home and painting studio of two remarkable American artists, Alan Feltus and Lani Irwin.
• Dinner at home in the Villa.

Day 4

• Breakfast at home in the Villa.
•After breakfast, we will heat up the 16th-century outdoor brick oven for our afternoon cooking class.
• Morning visit to a farm making some of the best local cheeses. We will be able to watch the cheese-making process and taste the cheeses at various stages of development.
• Visit to Deruta to shop for hand-painted Italian ceramics, both new and collector pieces. We will have a special private tour with Grazie, owner of MOD ceramics and close friends of the Villa Tre Grazie’s owners.
• Lunch in the Old Town of Deruta.
• Late afternoon pizza cooking class using the Villa’s brick oven.
• Dinner at the Villa feasting on our very own hand made pizzas and salads.

Day 5

• Breakfast at home in the Villa.
• Morning visit to the charming city of Montifalco, noted for its lovely 14th century church, San Francesco, and special hand-woven Italian fabrics. We will visit the very best fabric shops for excellent shopping.
• Lunch at the Alchemist, a delicious local trattoria.
• Afternoon wine tasting in Montifalco where we will taste the Sagrantino di Montifalco chosen by Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas for their wedding!
• Dinner at home.

Day 6

• Breakfast at the Villa.
• Morning hike in the Umbrian hills around Todi, OR free time for shopping in Todi, or relaxing in the garden.
• Lunch together in Todi.
• Farewell Dinner.

Day 7

• Linger over a final breakfast at the Villa Tre Grazie.
• Return to the Rome airport or Todi train station in the late morning.


Accommodations & Cost

Accommodations: Villa Tre Grazie is a magnificent private 16th-century villa, complete with orchards, gardens and swimming pool. All participants stay in the Villa Tre Grazie’s lovely bedrooms.
Included in the cost: 6 nights accommodations; all ground transportation; all meals including aperitivos and carefully selected regional wines; all cooking classes; and all sightseeing and private visits as described above. Limited to ten class participants.
Not Included in Cost: Airfare to and from Rome, Italy. Alcoholic beverages except as specified in the program.
Cost: $4990 per person in a double room. $600 single supplement.
Important note: substantial changes in the value of the dollar may require changes in the price of the tour.
Deposit: $1000 per person.


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