These 2 Mid-Atlantic James Beard Award chefs have helped redefine the culinary scene in Philadelphia.
Jeff and Greg share an enthusiasm for simplicity and authenticity in their food and in their lives.
Friends for years, they are excited to travel together and invite you on their first joint culinary adventure in Italy!
The Best of Milan
Milan is art and culture, from Leonardo's Last Supper to the Duomo. A city that made traditional dishes, like risotto alla milanese and ossobuco, famous all around the world
Europe's Famous Island On A Lake
On a private boat, we'll reach the picturesque island of Montisola on Lake Iseo. We will lunch on freshly caught fish while marveling at the lush mountain landscape and the charming village of Sarnico
The Venetian Walls of Bergamo
These massive fortress circuit has been enclosing the beauties of the Upper Town for more than four centuries. A UNESCO World Heritage site that offers spectacular panoramas of the entire region
Our luxury retreat where unwind sipping aperitifs on the terrace surrounded by centuries-old vines
Memorable interpretations of the authentic Italian flavors in unique Michelin-star dining experiences
"The story of a region, a chef and a family are the most valuable ingredients of our unforgettable cooking classes"
Let you tastebuds be spoiled with mouth-watering cheeses made in front of you by our artisans
Benvenuti! After meeting at the Milano Malpensa Airport, we'll reach our retreat, the Relais San Vigilio, which is built into a 6th-century fortress at the very top of Bergamo's Citta Alta (upper town). Its elegant rooms feature exposed brick archways, heated floors, and fantastic views of Bergamo. The Relais is connected to the fortress lookout tower and has a Michelin-star restaurant. After a light lunch on the terrace, we'll get settled in before a guided walk in the ancient town and discover artisan ateliers, hidden courtyards, historical places, and beautifully long shadows. Dinner is just a short funicular ride away from the Relais at a locals favorite Enoteca for traditional Bergamascan cuisine with a contemporary twist.
Let's get cooking! Today, we'll engage in an intimate cooking class with our chefs and Mamma Pina at Jeff's Italian home. The meal will be served al fresco and will be driven by fresh, seasonal produce from the garden and may include dishes like stuffed zucchini blossoms, savory crespelle (crepes) with a neighbor's formaggio di capra, and golden polenta stirred by hand in a generations-old copper pot. Afterward, we'll take the party to the cobblestone streets of Citta' Alta (the upper town) on foot or ride the funicular for a unique top-to-bottom view of the city. Dinner that evening will be relaxed as we sit on the terrace of Pizzeria San Vigilio and take in the expansive views of Bergamo and the surrounding region.
Time for a cruise! We're so excited to take you on a boat tour of little-known Lake Iseo and the "pearl of the lake," Monte Isola, a beautiful island that stands at its center. Lunch will no doubt feature freshly caught fish and stunning views of the mountains and medieval buildings around the lake. In the afternoon, we'll have some free time to explore and shop or relax before meeting the Frosio brothers at their Michelin star restaurant for dinner. Their cuisine is genuine and focused on the best ingredients of the territory and the wine cellar is a true treasure!
After breakfast, we set off for Branzi, a quaint village in the Brembana Valley. The village gave its name to the famous semisoft, yellow, raw cow’s milk cheese made there. As it ages, this cheese develops the most intoxicating aromas of butter, peaches, and mountain herbs.
Of course, there will be tasting of cheeses aged from 3 months to 3 years. We'll also dig into an alpine lunch with local ingredients in the nearby village of Zogno. Choose your own adventure that afternoon, lounge or follow the chefs for some exploration before heading to one of the best dinner spots in Bergamo, Osteria della Brughiera. Jeff worked in this Michelin star restaurant while training in Italy, and Stefano, the owner, is sure to pull out all the stops for us, including a mouth-watering aperitivo in his evocative cellar. A world-class tasting menu that balance creativity and original Italian flavors.
What about the region's wine? Let's go to Tenuta Degli Angeli in the DOC district of Val Calepio. The Testa family will share their story as we taste the local distinctive dried-grape moscato passito wine, award-winning Brut and Extra Brut sparkling wines and their signature small-batch aged balsamic vinegar over a casual lunch at the winery. Relax in the vineyard that afternoon or enjoy some free time before dinner. This evening you'll meet our friend Michelin-star chef Pierantonio Rocchetti at Ristorante LoRo for a private and fun cooking demonstration and dinner. Get ready to be wowed by dishes like prawns in brioche with escalope of foie gras and shallots, veal sweetbreads with black garlic and yogurt, and crème brûlée served on a raspberry merry-go-round. Oh yes!
Today is all about Milan, the fashion and design capital of the world. First, we stroll the famous city for an inside view of historic sites like the Duomo di Milano (the world's 2nd largest cathedral), the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, La Scala Theatre, and the Last Supper mural painted by Leonardo da Vinci. After some sightseeing, we'll sip aperitivi on the Navigli (canals), the lifeblood of the city with waterfront cocktail bars, art galleries, and boutiques. Enjoy some free time for shopping or join the chefs for a gastronomic discovery of the city's best food finds. That evening will check-in at our hotel in Milan after indulging in authentic Milanese cuisine such as saffron-hued risotto and richly flavored ossobuco alla Milanese at one of the best spots in Milan.
In the hope this week fulfilled your search for deeper gastronomic experiences, we'll enjoy our last breakfast and say ARRIVEDERCI!
$6500per person based on double occupancy
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What does the price include?
Five nights luxury accommodation in double occupancy at the Relais San Vigilio in Bergamo and one night at the Sheraton Milan Malpensa Hotel; private van with driver for all trips and excursions in itinerary; group transfer at 10 am from Milano Malpensa Airport to Bergamo; private tours with local guides and cultural experts; exclusive VIP access and tastings; guided activities; entrance fees; daily breakfasts, lunches and dinners with wine; gratuities.
What does the price not include?
International roundtrip airfare; travel insurance; transportation to the trip’s starting point; activities not included in the trip itinerary; hotel incidentals including room service, laundry service, and hotel bar tabs; food and beverages not included in the itinerary.
What are the arrival & departure details?
We recommend that you arrive at the Milano Malpensa Airport (MXP) in Milan, on or before Sunday, April 26, 2020. We’ll meet as a group between 9 and 10 am at the Airport and depart together for Bergamo. The last day of our culinary trip is May 2, 2020. The Sheraton Hotel, where we’ll spend our last night, has direct access to your departure terminal at the Milano Malpensa Airport.
Who is going on this trip?
We limit the group to no more than 14 travelers, your host Jeff Michaud and our guest chef Greg Vernick. In our culinary trips, you can expect to be joined by a group of like-minded people, who share your passion for Italian food and traditions - including solo travelers, couples and friends traveling together. This trip is recommended for travelers aged 18 and above.
Who is leading this trip?
This trip is led by our founder, Chef Jeff Michaud. He lived and extensively trained in Bergamo and through the region and crafted your itinerary for the week. Our special guest for the week will be our friend, Greg Vernick, Chef and Owner of Vernick, Vernick Fish and Vernick Coffee Bar in Philadelphia. We’ll be joined throughout our adventure by local, expert guides who are deeply knowledgeable with respect to local cultures, customs and history and are passionate about sharing that with us.
What is the cancellation policy?
You may cancel on or before January 17th, 2020 and receive a full refund minus a $500 per person service fee. If you cancel between January 16th and February 25th, 2020 there is a 50% cancellation fee. On or after February 26th, 2020 there is a 100% cancellation fee. We highly recommend purchasing travel insurance as we are not able to make exceptions to this policy in cases of family/medical emergency or cases of the trip being canceled (See our Terms and Conditions for full details).
What Travel documents are needed?
U.S. citizens are not required to have a visa for tourist visits to Italy but are required to show a valid US passport. It is recommended that your passport is valid for six months after your travels are over.
Can this itinerary be booked for a private group?
Yes! We can customize this trip and itinerary at a time that is most convenient for you and your friends. The minimum number of participants for a private trip is 8. For more information contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do I need to pay a solo traveler supplement?
Yes, there is a $950 supplement for solo travelers, to be paid at the time of booking to secure a private room. Single spots are limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis. (See our Terms and Conditions for full details).
Still have questions?
Email us at email@example.com