WINE, COOKING AND 'BEL CANTO' IN ITALY
4 DAYS / 3 NIGHTS

WINE, COOKING AND 'BEL CANTO ' ALL-INCLUSIVE IN ITALY

4 days / 3 nights  All-inclusive

Italian food, beautiful countryside and a fabulous dinner at an exclusive relais in the hills, enjoy this magic evening as a tenor interprets some of the most famous operatic and Neapolitan arias.
Add to this an authentic and fun cooking lesson with a certified chef, in a charming country villa nestled in the green hills.
Then a visit to a renowned wine cellar, where our sommelier treats us to a lesson in Italian wine, and the ways to best appreciate it, in English of course.
In addition to all this, you will come to know the riches of the lovely medieval city of Santarcangelo, our home for three nights, as well as enjoy the evocative scenery of the thousand-year old San Leo, named one of the most beautiful villages in Italy.

Highlights

  • A cooking class, preparing our four-course lunch
  • Wine lesson and tastings by a sommelier at a winery
  • Guided tours of Medieval/Renaissance towns
  • Live performance of ‘Bel Canto’
  • 3 nights accommodation in a 4 star hotel
  • Private transfers

 Itinerary

Day 1 - Santarcangelo, ‘Pride of Romagna’
Santarcangelo is 20 minutes from Rimini. The Rimini train station is well connected to the rest of Italy and we offer a free private transfer service at any time you arrive.
Your home will be a lovely four-star hotel in the beautifully preserved medieval town of Santarcangelo di Romagna. Surrounded by greenery, this charming villa is a quiet haven, yet just a few minutes from the cultural highlights and the many shops and cafés of the lively ‘old town’ city center.
At 5:00 pm we’ll meet up for a formal introduction to the trip, then take a walk through town to familiarize you with what will quickly come to feel like ‘your town’. We might stop for a gelato, or a piadina (the typical Romagna flatbread), as we enjoy the evening passeggiata (the Italian leisurely evening stroll) with the locals.
Then on to dinner at one of the best restaurants in the region. Here begins our love affair with Italian cuisine, accompanied by delicious wines produced by select boutique wineries of the area.
 
Day 2 - Cooking together and a wine lesson/tasting at a winery
After breakfast at our hotel (in the garden, weather permitting), we’ll take off for a country house in the hills, where we’ll roll up our sleeves and with our chef, we’ll immerse ourselves in preparing a full tilt ‘Italian Sunday lunch’ together (even though it isn’t Sunday!).  We’ll make fresh egg pasta and shape it into various forms: tagliatelle, strozzapreti, spaghetti all chitarra, garganelli . . . . not to mention our legendary piadina romagnola, the typical bread of this region. We’ll round it out with chicken cacciatore, a side dish of tomatoes and for dessert, our Romagnol version of English trifle.
For those who might prefer to relax and don’t feel like cooking (though you can’t miss making our piadina!) the area is perfect for a country stroll or an exploration of the village center.  Though perhaps one would prefer to sit and visit while tasting various wines and fabulous preserves and jams. Weather permitting, there’s also an inviting pool.
And then, ‘tutti a tavola’, time to eat!  On the outside terrace surrounded by a flower and herb garden, we’ll enjoy the fruits of our morning’s labors, participating in this most important Italian ritual, eating and socializing together.
We then go on to visit a nearby renowned winery, where our sommelier will walk us through the wines and history of this region, Romagna, with its delicious Sangiovese, Trebbiano, Pagadebit and Albana di Romagna wines, this last being the first white wine in Italy to be awarded the DOCG classification.
All followed by a wine-tasting and a dinner featuring the best gastronomic specialities of the Emilia-Romagna region. 
 
Day 3 - Renaissance Fortress of San Leo and  private concert of ‘Bel Canto’
Today we step back in time to the Middle Ages, with a morning visit to the medieval town and fortress of San Leo. Recognized as one of the ‘Borghi Più Belli d’Italia’ (Most Beautiful Villages of Italy), the town’s position on an craggy outcrop of rock is particularly scenic.
We begin in the evocative piazza Dante, where two churches (both over a thousand years old) and the surrounding civic architecture transport you back in time. Accompanied by a local guide we’ll learn the town’s history and explore the magnificent medieval fortress of Federico da Montefeltro, Lord of Urbino, from where he could keep an eye on his neighbor (and enemy), Sigismondo Malatesta, Lord of Rimini. After lunch, we’ll return to Santarcangelo for some free time.
In the late afternoon we transfer to a nearby working farm where wine, extra-virgin olive oil and the traditional Italian vermouth are produced. Together with the owners we tour the property.
The site is very picturesque, with a gorgeous view of the valley. With this backdrop we’re treated to a live performance of bel canto, a traditional Italian vocal style renowned for its beauty.  A delicious dinner featuring the farm’s own products caps off the evening.
 
Day 4 – ‘ARRIVEDERCI’
This morning we say goodbye to our fellow travelers and our new Italian friends. Better, let’s just say arrivederci (until we meet again). In the morning we offer a private transfer to Rimini train station, at any time you desire.
 

Accommodation

Our four-star hotel, described as ‘Italian sophistication in a medieval setting’, is a recently renovated villa surrounded by lovely grounds and just minutes away from the ‘old town’ historical center of Santarcangelo di Romagna. Our lunches and dinners are at the best regional restaurants where your fellow diners are locals and where we’ll enjoy the excellent wines of the area.

Activity Level

The scheduled activities require some walking, but no more than is usually required for, say, a city stroll or a guided tour. Transfers between activity locations vary, but usually are no more than 20-30 minutes in a van.

What’s included

  • Double-occupancy accommodation for 3 nights;
  • All meals: 3 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 3 dinners;
  • Wine and other beverages at included lunches and dinners;
  • Private transfers to and from Rimini airport or Rimini train station;
  • A cooking class, completely hands-on;
  • A wine lesson and tasting by a sommelier;
  • Professional licensed guide in San Leo;
  • Transfers and entry fees for scheduled excursions and tours;
  • Expert bilingual tour leader to accompany the group at all times.

Please check with your health insurance provider to understand your international coverage: you may desire to purchase additional short term health insurance. Airfare and travel insurance are not included. We highly recommend the purchase of travel insurance  (we can provide recommendations upon request).

Price

€ 1,720

Price is per person and based on double occupancy and a minimum of 4 people on the tour.

A limited number of single accommodations are available for a supplemental charge of €.150.

Prices are listed in euro.  The price you pay in a different currency depends upon the exchange rate at the time your deposit clears, and again when you pay the balance.  If desired, you can lock in a specific exchange rate by paying the entire amount when making your initial reservation. Please click here to read our ‘Payment and Cancellation Policy.

Although  we do our best to adhere to the schedule listed above, we reserve the right to change the schedule due to circumstances beyond our control.

 

 Scheduling 

Dates 2018 with available spaces

  • May 20-23         
  • May 27-30  
  • June 10-13         
  • July  1-4              
  • Sep  2-5               
  • Sep  9-12             
  • Sep 16-19         
  • Sep 23-26
  • Sep 30-Oct 3          
  • Oct 7-10             

 

We have scheduled dates throughout the travel season, but if you prefer, and have a group of at least four people, you can schedule this tour to start when you want, all year long. Please contact us.

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