Are you eager to experience Italy through a different lens? Do you long to understand Italy through its vibrant food culture by planting yourself squarely in the lived experience of eating? Have you dreamed of visiting Italy like a local, of having an immersive experience without having to do all the planning?
Join me on an eight-day culinary tour through Rome, Florence and the Tuscan countryside to learn what Marcella Hazan meant when she said: Eating in Italy is one more manifestation of the Italian’s age-old gift of making art out of life.
Rome: The 19th century American sculptor Edmonia Lewis said: I thought I knew everything when I moved to Rome, but I soon found I had everything to learn. It is a place that continues to unveil itself to you the longer you look. Because of the near-constant archeological excavation, there are cross-sections of history sliced open in every corner of the city that tell stories of war, famine, betrayal and plentitude spanning thousands of years of history. The cooking is simple but refined, reflecting a dynamism that’s uniquely romano. The Roman kitchen makes regular use of sharp, aged pecorino romano, all variety of offal and mentuccia, an intensely aromatic dried mint that grows wild in the region and is often added to braised artichokes. Claudia Roden described the atmosphere of eating out in Rome as infused with “noisy cordiality and joyfulness.” To read more about what it’s like to live in Rome, click here.
Tuscany is an endless inspiration for the senses. It is the place that birthed the Renaissance, home to Michelangelo, Donatello, Giotto, Da Vinci. There you will learn to love beans --Tuscans are lovingly referred to as mangia fagioli or bean eaters -- and experience in real time the quintessential Tuscan glow as the sun rises and sets over hills carpeted with Sangiovese grapes. Tuscany tastes like bright, grassy olive oil, woody rosemary, roasted chestnuts and finocchiona (salami stuffed with fennel seed). To read more about what it’s like to travel and eat in Tuscany, click here.
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- Market visit + cooking class at Latteria Studio, a homey food photography and multi-purpose kitchen space tucked away off Viale Trastevere with the most incredible natural light in all of Rome
- Tour of the famed Testaccio neighborhood + market curated by blogger and author Katie Parla, the preeminent expert on all-things Roman
- Dinner at Marigold Roma, a restaurant and microbakery in Ostiense
- Truffle hunting in the woods with Savini Tartufi and their master truffle-hunting dog + truffle-themed lunch
- Wine-tasting at Ampelaia, a natural winery nestled in the heart of the Maremma, a diverse landscape in southwest Tuscany that extends over three altitude levels, producing some of the most unique and interesting wines of the region
- Guided olive oil tasting with organic chemist and expert olive oil analyst Alissa Mattei at Casa Montecucco
- Cooking class and dinner under the stars with Andrea and Clelia at Il Baciarino, a quiet agriturismo tucked in the mountains of the Maremma with sweeping ocean views. Andrea, a former fishmonger, will guide us through the preparations of several Maremman specialities using local ingredients, fresh seafood and olive oil from his trees.
Brianna is a writer, cook and culinary teacher based in Chicago who has also lived in Florence and Rome. Her cooking is guided by a uniquely Italian sensibility that’s grounded in seasonality with a particular focus on vegetables. She writes a weekly essay along with a seasonal recipe on her blog.
When I was in my mid-20s, I quit my job in the legal world and moved to Florence to study food writing. Three years later, after graduating from The Culinary Institute of America, I moved back to Italy to cook at The American Academy in Rome. These two places imprinted themselves on my spirit and profoundly shaped the cook and writer I’ve become. I’ve come to know them in the intimate way one does by residing in a place rather than just passing through, and I’ve fostered connections with local artisans that I’m eager to share with fellow Italophiles and travel enthusiasts. I’ve designed this tour as a heartfelt homage to Italy and the regions that had the most lasting effect on me as a cook, a writer and a human. I can’t wait to share it with you.
May 14th - 22nd, 2020
Single occupancy: $3,700
Note: a non-refundable $500 deposit is required to reserve your spot on the tour
Payment will be processed in two forms. The participant can opt to pay in full upon registration or pay a non-refundable deposit to reserve a spot on the tour and pay the balance in two installments. For the latter, the participant will be invoiced. The balance can be paid by check, bank transfer, Venmo or Chase QuickPay.
For a full itinerary and detailed information about the tour, click here: Taste of Italy Tour 2020.
For answers to more specific questions, please email Brianna.
This exclusive tour is limited to 8 people.