One of the most fun way to learn about a place is being guided by those who truly understand and have a love for its cultures and cuisine.
Jeff and Dominic both share a deep knowledge of Italy's culinary traditions and view them through different lens - making their connection a continue source of inspiration. With this duo, your culinary week to Italy is sure to be a completely unique experience!
Franciacorta Wine Region
Our friends at Bellavista Winery welcome us in their cellars where they craft Italy’s finest, most serious dry sparkling wines, with a level of quality to equal that of the finest Champagnes
The Tuesday Ritual
Every Tuesday Fiorella gathers the aunts and cousins and together they all prepare the fresh stuffed pasta called Casoncelli for Trattoria Visconti following their family's recipes
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 villages
Piero's family has dedicated its life to rice farming since 1935 and created Acquarello rice, a unique aged carnaroli rice produce in a truly magical place
"The story of a region, a chef and a family are the most valuable ingredients of our unforgettable cooking classes"
Meet our friend Ferdy for a memorable culinary experience in the Orobie Mountains
This luxury retreat in the upper town is exclusive to us. Let's unwind sipping aperitifs on the terrace surrounded by centuries-old vines
Benvenuti! After meeting at the Milano Malpensa Airport, we'll kick off our week with an incredible experience at Tenuta della Colombara, a charming fifteenth-century structure immersed in the green area of Vercelli. Let's make one thing clear right away: Acquerello is not just any rice, but the finest Carnaroli in Italy, conceived and produced by Piero Rondolino. Along with his wife Anna, they are giving us access to a unique place where history, nature and culture of rice meet. After visiting their production, they cook for us some incredible dishes with their aged rice, that is prized by the top chefs all around the globe.
After a convivial lunch, we reach our retreat, the Relais San Vigilio. Built into a 6th-century fortress at the very top of Bergamo's Citta Alta (upper town) this boutique hotel is exclusively reserved to us. 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 renowned 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 tonight is at an upscale Trattoria in the small village of Ambivere. A place with an intimate and authentic atmosphere that the Visconti Family has run for three generations. Their menu is focused on local ingredients of the highest quality.
After breakfast, we set off for Ornica, a quaint and secluded village in the Orobie Mountains. Here we meet Ferdinando, known as Ferdy. His life is devoted to the old roots of both his family and the whole Valley ancient traditions. We join him in an experience where he shares his Wild Lifestyle made of raw milk cheese production, wild hand picked herbs and use of meat from only autochthonous animal breeds.
We spend time at his Chalet and get to taste an authentic alpine meal. Later on we check out his cheese aging room before returning to our Hotel to unwind.
We have some free time to explore or take a funicular ride to the town for some shopping or just unwind at the Relais.
This evening we “stay in”... Dinner at our Relais restaurant will be delicious and relaxed as we sit on the terrace and take in the expansive views of Bergamo in a magical setting.
After breakfast, this morning we reach the DOC Wine district of Val Calepio.
The Testa family will share their story as we taste their award-winning Brut and Extra Brut sparkling wines, reds and their signature small-batch aged balsamic vinegar produced by the women in the family.
Our hosts are treating us to a delicious pairing of foods & wines before we enjoy a nice break before our next experience.
This evening you'll meet one of chef Michaud's mentor and friend Michelin-star chef Pierantonio Rocchetti at his place in Trescore Balneario, for an engaging cooking experience and dinner. A lavish Italian aperitivo is waiting for us as we engage in preparing and plating our dinner with the guidance of 3 top chefs . Get ready to be wowed by dishes like Buffalo mozzarella Ravioli with Black Truffles, Roasted Duck stuffed with chestnuts, and crème brûlée served on a raspberry merry-go-round. Oh yes!
This morning enjoy breakfast and a late start of our day before our next culinary experience. 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 sweet peas with wild boar, savory crespelle (crepes) with Pina's wild asparagus, and golden polenta stirred by hand in a generations-old copper pot.
We cook with chefs Jeff and Dominic, they will share techniques and recipes but we also enjoy Mamma Pina’s peaceful grounds as we sip on espresso and homemade limoncello. 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 and take in the expansive views of Bergamo and the surrounding region.
This morning we head to the Franciacorta Wine Region to visit Bellavista Winery. We follow the progress, from vineyards to glass, of wines that are conceived, cared for and produced according to the principles of respect for the characteristics of each grapes. We indulge in some of the wines that put them on the map like Cuvee Alma Rose’, Satin and Brut.
After that, it's time to eat!
Just a short ride away is Lake Iseo and we treat ourselves to lunch on a castle's terrace. The menu will no doubt feature freshly caught fish and stunning views of the mountains and medieval buildings around the lake.
After lunch, let’s jump on our boat! We're so excited to take you on a private cruise of little-known Lake Iseo and the "pearl of the lake," Monte Isola, a beautiful island that stands at its center.
Tonight, we are heading to one of Chef Michaud favorite spot. 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 balances creativity and original Italian flavors.
This day is about taking it easy. Choose your own adventure this morning, lounge at the Relais or follow our chefs for some exploration in town. We gather for a light lunch before we pack our bags and say goodbye to Bergamo.
Our day ends in Milan, the fashion and design capital of the world.
We reach the Navigli (canals), the lifeblood of the city with waterfront cocktail bars, art galleries, and boutiques.
First up is indulging in an iconic Milanese Aperitivo. We are, after all, in the birthplace of the ritual of Happy Hour!
Our last supper together is a true classic Milanese dinner. A renowned trattoria in one of the most lively neighborhoods of the City. We indulge in authentic Milanese cuisine such as saffron-hued risotto and richly flavored ossobuco, mondeghili, and the true Costoletta alla Milanese.
That evening we check-in at our hotel near the Milan Malpensa Airport for a well deserved restful night.
In the hope this week fulfills your search for deeper gastronomic experiences and leaves you with a lot of great memories, we enjoy our last breakfast and say ARRIVEDERCI ITALIA!
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What You Need To Know
Read our FAQs below. Or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 transfers from and to the Milano Malpensa Airport (see arrival/departure details); 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 personal 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 Saturday April 6, 2024. On Sunday April 7 we’ll meet as a group at 9am at the Airport. The last day of our culinary trip is Saturday April 13, 2024. We’ll spend the night of April 12 at the Sheraton Hotel, enjoy our last Italian breakfast and walk to our departure terminal at the Milano Malpensa Airport so you can catch a flight home on April 13.
Who is going on this trip?
We limit the group to no more than 16 travelers, your host Jeff Michaud and our special guest chef Dominic Piperno. 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, chef Dominic Piperno. We’ll be joined throughout our adventure by local artisans and 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 December 9, 2023 and receive a full refund minus a $500 per person service fee. If you cancel on or after December 10, 2023 there is a 50% cancellation fee. On or after February 7, 2024 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 10. For more information contact us at email@example.com.
Do I need to pay a solo traveler supplement?
Yes, there is a $1400 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 firstname.lastname@example.org