Meet in the town of Orvieto, noted for its magnificent cathedral adorned in resplendent mosaics. After a welcome lunch, we take an 8 km (5 mile) walk that wanders through olive groves and woodlands with sweeping views of lovely Lake Corbara. We stay two nights at a peaceful, comfy farmhouse with stunning views. Tonight we meet the chef who prepares us a special meal based on the finest Umbrian traditions.
This morning we take a 13 km (8 mile) walk through a rural landscape of stone farmhouses and vineyards, with inviting towns silhouetted on the nearby hilltops. At midday, we rest in an olive grove and indulge in a splendid picnic. Continue to the perfect little village of Montecastello di Vibio, and visit the town’s impeccably restored 99-seat theatre. Time to relax or take a dip in the pool before a relaxed dinner rounds out the day.
This morning participate in our first cooking lesson, using local fresh produce as we learn how to quickly produce savory pasta dishes easily duplicated when we return home. After a lunch of our perfectly-prepared dishes, we visit the town of Todi, whose graceful piazza is bustling with life. Then it’s on to the lovely hilltown of Spello, built of pale pink stone which takes on a soft lavender glow at twilight. We’ll be staying for three nights in an attractive 4-diamond hotel in the center of town. Free night to choose a restaurant for dinner.
We head up to the quiet green hills where St. Francis of Assisi came to meditate in such a serene setting, and visit his tiny monk’s cell on a secluded mountaintop. We then cross Monte Subasio, taking an exciting 12 km (7.5 mile) walk with sweeping views of the Umbrian plains. Tonight we dine in an elegant ristorante whose innovative menu is complemented by an excellent wine list.
This morning we tour nearby Assisi with a local guide who takes us into the cathedral and explains the amazing restoration process of the priceless frescoes. After a light lunch, we follow a tranquil pathway for 8 km (5 miles) back to Spello. In the early evening, we travel to the home of a local friend. After an aperitivo on the terrace, we’ll enjoy a truly sublime meal with our hosts and select from the best bottles in the wine cellar, sampling a ruby Sagrantino, the perfect complement to our celebratory mood.
Morning transfer to Perugia for our chocolate making class, taught by an Italian chocolate master at Perugina's School of Chocolate. Get hands-on messy during this 3-hour chocolate workshop in which we learn to make cioccolatini, little gift chocolates that make friends faster than Facebook. Drop-off by 2.30 pm at the Foligno train station, for connections on the Rome-Florence rail line. Arrivederci!