Cooking, Touring & Tasting your way through
the Umbrian Countryside with a Michelin Star Chef!
The fortified village of Montone is closed to traffic, and on one of its steepest alleys is the locanda (inn) of “Captain” Giancarlo Polito – economist, photographer, hotelier and chef. He adores showing off his village, loves talking about food and knows every producer in Umbria. You will sample wines and cheeses in Tipico, their on-site osteria - with a choice of 400 wines. Cooking classes with a Michelin Star Chef, medieval village tours, bread baking, truffle hunts and visits to wineries are all part of this immersive, culinary adventure. Your home this week will be a beautifully restored stone mansion located in the fortified village of Montone. Surrounded by green hills, dotted with ancient oaks and olive trees, the village of Montone appears before the eyes of the unsuspecting traveler, high up above the winding road: harmonious, austere, mysterious. Its centuries' old fortified ramparts, ancient homes, splendid churches and monasteries, harken back to its medieval past.
La Locanda del Capitano - For One (Dbl Occ)
Restored to provide the traveler with an intimate peaceful respite, La Locanda del Capitano offers its clientele ten charming bedrooms, each with private bath and all modern comforts. The bedrooms have been personally furnished by the owners with antique family furniture as well as fine reproduction pieces made by local craftsmen. After one day of discovering Umbria, the green heart of Italy, a sense of wellbeing in the pristine and unspoiled medieval lounge. As days get longer and nicer, breakfast and dinner are served on the verandas, each with unique views of the old village.
Round-Trip Rome to Montone Transfers
You will be greeted at the Rome (FCO) International Airport, then traverse the Apennine Mountains on your 2-hour picturesque journey through Lazio and the Umbria Region on your way to La Locanda del Capitano in Montone, Umbria. This beautifully preserved medieval hilltop village was founded in AD 800, and is officially listed as one of The Most Beautiful Towns in Italy. After you have settled into your lovely room, you will meet for cocktails and a briefing of what you have in store for the week.
Medieval Village Tour | Welcome Dinner
Packed with picturesque hill-top towns, resplendent with religious treasures and offering a feast of irresistible edibles, Umbria is Italy's spiritual heart. Traditional farmhouses have massive hearths and thick walls built on quiet, tree-lined slopes, perfect for taking in the magnificent panoramas of the surrounding countryside. You will take a tour of the Medieval Village of Montone before you settle in for your multi-course Welcome Dinner for the evening.
Traditional, Hands-On Cooking Class
The Umbrian table is legendary. Local traditions are handed down through generations. Today you will embark on your first cooking class – learning traditional Umbrian pasta dishes. Probably the most typical Umbrian pasta dish are strangozzi, often served with black truffles, or a spicy tomato sauce from Spoleto. Other pasta dishes include umbricelli in salsa di Trasimeno, a fish based sauce made from lake perch filets, shallots, garlic and chili pepper. Other heartier pasta dishes include pappardelle alla lepre, (wild hare ragu), seasoned with bacon and cloves, or tomato based sauces made with rabbit or duck.
Olive Mill Tour | Umbrian Antipasto Cooking Class
After a delicious breakfast, you will have the opportunity to visit a local olive mill, learn how oil is produced, and sample the different varieties. In the afternoon you will put your knowledge of olive oil to the test as you embark upon a culinary journey preparing a variety of Antipasti dishes. Antipasti in Umbria also reflect this region’s best, and can be as simple as a variety of bruschetta topped with olive or truffle pastes, a platter of grilled vegetables dressed with locally produced olive oil, or a selection of the region’s exceptional salumi, or cured meat specialties. In the spring, fava beans dressed simply with olive oil and Pecorino cheese are often served, while in the fall when olive oil is harvested, antipasti may include Pinzimonio, fresh vegetables dipped in seasoned olive oil, or Fettunta, grilled bread slices drizzled with new olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt.
Truffle Hunt & Mushroom Foraging
When traveling March through November, you may be able to enjoy a traditional truffle hunt. Ninety percent of all black truffles in Italy come from Umbria. Far away from the stress, in the green heart of Italy, Montone has its own truffle wood. On a unique truffle hunting expedition with dog and guide, you will discover the mysteries of the elusive black truffle. If you visit Umbria during the truffle offseason, you will instead embark on an additional cooking course. The stars of the Umbrian table are truffles and mushrooms, backed up by a noisy rustic chorus line of beef, pork and veal, eaten in the familiar sequence of antipasti, pasta, main course and then a light dessert and sometimes cheese. Learn dishes such as Castelluccio lentil soup, Saffron risotto and goat cheese, & chocolate panna cotta.
Prosciuttificio & Cheese Caseificio Tour | Desserts Lesson
Today you will visit a local farm and enjoy a lesson about the local tradition of making Ham and salami, and a selection of different cheeses. You will have an opportunity to taste a variety of these unique products which are made by the farmer using ancient techniques. Umbrian cheese is produced from both cow and sheep milk and includes such varieties as fresh ricotta, caciotta, ravigiolo, pecorino, and even a variety of truffle flavored cheeses. The different types of hams include Prosciutto di Norcia, wild boar, Umbrian Salami, and many others. In the afternoon return to your accommodation and learn how to prepare an assortment of traditional Umbrian desserts such as panna cotta and many others.
Wine Tasting in Umbrian Countryside | Farewell Dinner
In the morning we will visit the famous town of Montefalco, land of the Sagrantino red wine, where we will experience a local winery and taste the many different varieties. In the evening we will dine in the small and cozy restaurant, experiencing the culinary skills of celebrity Chef Giancarlo Polito, whose philosophy is to retrieve the foundation of Italian cooking, by designing dishes in accordance with authentic Italian traditions and using original, and whenever possible, locally grown ingredients, integrating past and present cooking methodologies. Last but not least, a selection of excellent wines from over 400 outstanding regional and national producers will make your experience especially memorable