Italian Connection is an Italy-based tour operator whose top local guides take you behind the scene on hand-crafted walking, cooking and cultural tours in seven different regions of Italy. Small groups of participants cook alongside noted cookbook author Eleonora Consoli in her home kitchen, meet celebrated chef Ciccio Sultano in Sicily and dine at his 2-star Michelin restaurant “Il Duomo,” make bread from the hard wheat flour grown on tiny organic farms, pick wild herbs and plants that flavor the day’s lunch, and make hand-rolled pasta in La Maremma where some villagers never heard of their neighbor George Clooney. Visitors meet colorful personalities including an authority on Alpine wildflowers, the owner of Italy’s only cashmere goat farm and a village woman who blazes walking trails on an island with no roads.
Twenty-nine land-only tours are offered through the year, including the Splendors of Sicily, named by National Geographic Traveler as one of its 2006 “50 Tours of a Lifetime.”
Four walking levels range from “stroll” to “fitness” which can burn up to 1,500 calories a day! Private custom tours can also be arranged.