“Relais Il Canalicchio” is a jewel set into the hilltop. The picturesque town built around the Castle dates to the 10th-11th centuries, features its imposing tower and a splendid little church close to the vineyards and olive groves at the centre of the lush Umbrian countryside. The luxury Relais Il Canalicchio features romantic views of the rolling hills dotted with castles, fortresses, watchtowers and valleys laced with countless gleaming rivers. There are two swimming pools, Wellness Center “Il Borgo”, award winning restaurant “Il Pavone”, billiard room, tennis courts, reading room, bicycles and trekking paths. The bedrooms have unique Art Nouveau décor that has been custom-made right down to the smallest details with names rather than numbers. Each room is complete with countryside views, wrought iron balconies, air-conditioning, mini-bar, hair-dryer, satellite television, free Wi-Fi and private safe. The look and feel is the casual elegance of your very own hilltop castle. The antiquities are an enormous and exquisite millstone, an old press, some lovely arches, and a large fireplace evoking the enchanting atmosphere and charm of times gone by.
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 the Relais. The village appears suddenly, a delightful corner of the past that rises splendidly untouched and proud in its setting. After you have settled into your lovely room, you will meet for cocktails and a briefing of the week. A welcome Umbrian specialty dinner prepared by the chef will follow. This multi-course meal with local wine will be enjoyed in the hotel restaurant or outdoors weather permitting.
This tour is a full-immersion culinary experience designed to create memories that will last a lifetime. Schedules run 7 days and 6 nights beginning on Sunday and departing on Saturday. Not only is your transportation from Rome included, but all your meals, lunch and dinner with a glass of wine, all your cooking classes (a total of 4), and all the excursions are included in this package. You will visit a local market, winery and olive oil production facility with tastings, two hour Quad bike (4-wheeler) excursion into the countryside and private access to the Wellness Center for two hours. Complimentary amenities for your enjoyment include tennis courts, two pools, mountain bicycles for touring, unlimited access to the fitness center, billiard room, library with fireplace, Winston Churchill smoking room with humidifier, and marked trekking paths. This is truly the best way to experience the relaxing, gastronomic and scenic pleasures of Umbria.
After a full breakfast buffet, a trip to a typical Italian market is a great way to feel the local atmosphere. The market features everything from shoes to clothes, cheeses to wines. This bazaar-like market is where the locals shop and you will not see lots of tourists, as it is not on the tourist map!! Definitely a place for bargains and treasures! Back at the hotel, for lunch, you’ll have a class in understanding how Italians combine local meats, fresh and smoked cheeses into an “Antipasti”. In the Umbria region there is a proper “culture” for this course. Assisted by the chef, learn the differences between the varieties of Umbrian cheeses, meats and salami. Put these together on your plate according to your own personal tastes with local wine. Enjoy afternoon leisure time before tonight’s hands-on Pizza class. Learn the preparation of pizza dough with the secrets for making the perfect shape and crust. The toppings feature fresh locally grown natural tomatoes for sauce, fresh basil and mozzarella cheese. These are the ingredients for the famous Margarita Pizza. Following is the fun of making “Chocolate Salami” for dessert. Enjoy with a glass of wine as you feast on the art of your hands!
The spa/wellness center provides moments of perfect harmony, essential for natural well-being. As a couple, spend one hour on two separate days in a private experience to pamper yourself and plunge into instant stress relief. This time is devoted to luxury and relaxation. Finnish Sauna, Turkish bath, a hydro-massage Jacuzzi bath with panoramic views of the Umbrian countryside, solar shower and relaxation room with tisanes and fresh fruit is at your disposal for the hour. Treatments are also available by appointment (not included in the program) for the face and body. Each designed to help you slow down the signs of age, keeping you as young as possible, as long as possible. Today’s hands-on cooking class creates hand-made gnocchi with fresh tomato and mozzarella, grilled Umbria sausages, and Ciaramicola – with its peaked meringues, a popular dessert of this area rich in history and tradition. You will enjoy these culinary creations for lunch with afternoon set aside to take advantage of the resort offerings. For dinner, enjoy the typical multi-course Umbrian cuisine, especially prepared for you by the able hands of the chef—relax, no cooking required.
The bountiful buffet breakfast will get you fueled for the morning adventure. A view of the wild nature of the Umbrian countryside is experienced firsthand on a “Quad Bike”. A tour leader will guide you on this four-wheeler, two hour adventure tour from the hotel. You will pass through local valleys, orchards and vineyards. No experience is necessary to be thrilled by this unique and easy excursion. Lunch will be at the hotel and enjoyed at your leisure with the afternoon free to relax in the sun by the pool, or take a mountain bike ride before the evening hands-on cooking class. The menu will consist of hand-made pasta with norcina sauce. Norcia is a medieval town in Umbria blessed by fresh mountain air and a long standing home of the black truffle and the expertise of making the best sausage in the world. Farm-raised, nut-feed black pork is essential in Pork escalope with red Umbrian wine and Tiramisu for dessert will all be hand crafted by you with the chef’s leadership.
After a full breakfast, depart for the day’s excursion of Umbria where because of the unique soil it is famous for the production of extra-virgin olive oil and fine wine. Visit the medieval Hamlet of Montecastello, a hillside town long mentioned as one of the most beautiful in Italy. There will be ample time for shopping and exploring this lovely town. You will visit the world’s smallest theatre and have a chance to picture yourself on stage. One of the most important roles of this region comes from the century of traditions that has cultivated the passionate care of the olive trees. At a “Frantoio”, where the most noted of olive oil varieties are produced, you will learn the step by step process that turns olives into oil. This olive oil is known as Umbria’s liquid gold. Lunch will be served with the typical bruschetta and the Umbrian style main course of pulses. Cantina Monte Vibiano Vecchio winery and farm has become the first in Italy and one of the first in the world to achieve “0” greenhouse emissions in accordance with international standards. You will tour the vineyard and the winery, then have a wine and cheese tasting in the lounge. Back at the hotel, you will melt into the pleasures found in your second private hour of wellness center access. Dinner in the restaurant will be enjoyed at your leisure.
Breakfast buffet, lunch and the farewell dinner will be served in the hotel and the day is free for you to design according to your own interests and desires. Simply relax and enjoy the abundance of leisure and sports activities available at the hotel. This is a day to increase your physical activity in the wellness center gym, or outside amidst the woods and slopes of the surrounding hillsides you can enjoy a pleasant hike or mountain bike ride. When you return, you can relax in comfort in the leisure room, challenge your friends to a long and thrilling game of billiards or dive into the pool for a refreshing swim and soak up the lovely Umbrian sun. There is plenty to see and do in the area if you are in the mood and the hotel team can assist you with booking tours or sightseeing, priced separately, to suit your own areas of interest.