TURISMO DEL VINO
The best way to experience Italy is going to Italy. Each month we will feature an outstanding travel company that can provide you with a life time of memories. Whether it’s a wine trip, cooking trip, biking, walking tour or a custom made trip just for you and your friends Great Everyday Italian Wines is your best source.
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Embassies and Consulates: Before you go you should have the address of the American Embassy and Consulate written somewhere safe – Just incase you misplace your passport or need any other help.
Movimento Turismo del Vino: The Movimento Turismo del Vino (Wine Tourism Movement) is an association created in 1993 that has encouraged Italian wineries to open their doors to visitors: Italy has now become the country of "Cantine Aperte," the annual event organized by MTV on the last Sunday of May. MTV is a non-profit association with the aim of promoting wine tourism and improving the wine areas’ image and prestige, as well as their economic development. MTV wants to stand for protection of the environment and for quality agriculture; promoting a natural life-style that puts the visitor at the centre of attention. Among the almost 900 members of the Association are some of Italy’s most prestigious wineries, selected on the basis of very precise characteristics, first of which are their high quality of visitor hospitality.
Movimento Turismo del Vino National Office
The Touring club of Italy: The Milan-based Touring Club of Italy (TCI) was established on November 8, 1894; its original name was Touring Club Ciclistico Italiano (Cycling Touring Club of Italy). Its purpose was and remains to promote tourism, considered also as a means of discovering countries and cultures, and contributing to mutual understanding and respect among people. The Touring Club of Italy promotes a leisure culture intended to increase appreciation of Italy’s natural and artistic heritage. Its packed calendar and constantly updated tourism database offer a wealth of useful information and opportunities for your personal enrichment and pleasures. As a member you receive discounts throughout Italy
Italian Federation of campgrounds: Campsites and camp grounds though out Italy’s 20 regions.
Confederazione Italiana Campeggiatori
Italian Youth Hostels Association: Youth Hostels were born in Germany in 1909 to enable young people with limited financial resources to take cultural tours of the countryside.
It was a teacher, Richard Schirmann, who thought to use classrooms unused during the summer holidays as friendly and comfortable bedrooms for young travelers. Since then, the youth hostel movements has grown to meet the demands of increasing numbers of young travelers seeking safe, comfortable accommodations when they travel.
The aims and the ideals of the youth hostels have not changed at all, however: they still enable people of different cultures to meet and get to know each other in interesting surroundings.
To enjoy all the advantages that a hostel can offer, you only need to become a member. More than 5,000 hostel facilities around the world are reserved exclusively for the use of Hostelling International members. That’s why we call it the most exclusive hotel chain in the world. And that’s not all. Becoming a Hostelling International member allows you to obtain dozens of discounts and concessions that more than offset the cost of joining in no time at all.
Who can become member? Everybody!
There are no age limits. Even children can stay at hostels with their parents. With a membership card in your pocket, you’re sure to find a bed waiting all over the world, and you can sample the charm that only hostels can offer — remote farms in Ireland, ancient colleges in England, straw villages in Kenya, old ships anchored in the North Sea, railway carriages in Australia, even tree houses in the USA! Here in Italy, we happen to believe our hostels are some of the most interesting and varied you will find anywhere: romantic villas that date back to the Renaissance, fantastic fortresses and old castles, enchanting ancient buildings and ultra-modern buildings. And wherever you go, all you have to do is say "I’m a Youth Hostel member," and you’ll be instantly recognized as one of our seven million friends traveling the planet, getting to know each other.
Links to companies specializing in special interest vacations, personal tour guides, private concierges and adventure travel specialists:
Take an Art class, language class, learn the secrets of regional Italian cooking, Ride by bike or motorcycle through Italy’s beautiful country sides and small towns, take a hot air balloon through fields of never ending sunflowers or learn to make that pizza pie that you will brag to friends , family and your favorite pizzaiolo till the cows come home.
Cooking Classes and Schools by Region
Castello Banfi – Il Borgo: The new Il Borgo property is nothing less than superb and you would expect nothing less from the Mariani family who owns Castello Banfi. Their passion and pride comes through in everything they do. You will learn to cook classic Tuscan fare with Heinz Beck Rome’s only 3 star Michelin chef and pair your dishes with the award winning wines from the Castello Banfi Estate. After a private VIP tour of the beautiful estate you will enjoy a wine tasting given by the estates winemakers and personal sommeliers.
Cooking with a 3 star Michelin chef, touring one of Italy’s top wineries,pairing their wines with top Tuscan fare in their Michelin starred restaurant has the ingredients of a trip of a life time. We can tell you first hand the Estate is breathtaking!
Cucina con Vista: Cucina con Vista was created as a result of Elena Mattei ‘s experience managing her restaurant "La Baraonda" in Florence. Just a few years after starting the business, she began to find that clients were not only interested in tasting the dishes that she offered at her restaurant every evening, but also in learning the art of Tuscan cooking at home. Taking her clients’ requests to heart, she opened the cooking school, Cucina con Vista. Which now has clients from all over the world. Elena’s idea is not only to teach Tuscan cuisine but also to give her students the chance to experience the "Tuscan" way of living by integrating cooking lessons with activities linked to the local life and culture."
Cucina con Vista
Divina Cucina: Judy Witts Francini made her home in Florence in 1984. She started Divina Cucina (originally Mangia Firenze) in 1988 with a simple aim — to share her knowledge of Italian cuisine and culinary history with fellow food lovers in and around Florence. From living in Florence among food experts and wine lovers enriched her passion for cooking .Daily exchanging of ideas and recipes was part of every day life , from which she developed her own style, one that is easy-going and entertaining. That’s the Divina Cucina style.
This is a true Tuscan culinary experience, You will shop the market to purchase your fresh ingredients and listen to the experts of the trade tell their stories and then cook a meal that will feel like the rebirth of your senses and taste buds
La Cucina Al Focolare: Connecting Cuisine, Culture & Lifestyle Peggy Markel, entrepreneur, gastronome and world traveler, has designed and directed culinary tours since 1991. Her love of food and travel have developed into a livelihood as a cultural translator; opening doors to experiencing and understanding culinary traditions at their source. A long-time member of Slow Food, her programs immerse fellow culinary adventurers into the very soul of a regional cuisine to know its origins from field to table. Relationships are strengthened not only to food, but to ones self, the land and between cultures.
Italian Food Artisans: In our fast-paced lives, many of us are looking for a place to slow down and reflect upon the richness of life’s simplest pleasures. Author Pamela Sheldon Johns shares the pleasures of food and wine… at the table, in the kitchen, in an artisan’s workshop, or simply strolling through the farmers’ market in the special place she now calls home Poggio Etrusco. This is a special place in a special place in Italy.
Relax , breath once again on this 15 acre family farm . You will be enriched by her cooking classes and local field trips.
The Fine Art of Making Pizza: Aldo Tistarelli shows you how it’s done. One of our staff spent an afternoon with this master Pizzaiolo and his group of pizza lovers of all ages. Fresh Italian ingredients filled the tables with a hot pizza oven baking the creations of the day to perfection. The room was filled with aromas that made your senses go into over drive, people laughing, smiling ,cameras snapping away, tasting, bragging and everyone making life long memories . Oh yes the pizzas were paired with some of the best local wines made from local grape varieties. Cooking with friends and family is the best therapy to unwind let go and eat!
Aldo Tistarelli Via F. Ferruzzi, 6 50015 Grassina- FL
Villa San Michele School of Cookery: ( Adult and children’s cooking classes ) In the 15th century it was a monastery, today it is one of Europe’s most fascinating hotels. A renaissance villa, with a perfect view of Florence. In a very short time, this school has become an institution: a true benchmark. A fact known to Gourmets from all over the world who have followed it from the start, to the internationally renowned Chefs who are happy to hold their lessons here, and to Guests of the Villa who have yet another reason to love this breath taking hotel. The owners are true Tuscans to offer classes to Adults and children to inspire the entire family young and old. This is the perfect opportunity for a holiday in Italy, but one with some touches that are so special that even Italian gourmets will find it well worth the effort . This is a vacation is on a 5 star level of Luxury and comfort.
Villa San Michele Via Doccia 4 Fiesole , Florence
Academia Barilla Culinary Center: The mission of Academia Barilla is to protect, develop, and promote the art of Italian gastronomy and culture around the world. It develops the Italian culinary art by celebrating traditions, nourishing innovation, and promoting the knowledge and the enjoyment of Italian regional cuisines. Academia Barilla offers Italian culinary courses that bring together food lovers, chefs, and gastronomy experts from around the world.
School is back in session. This is a wonderful professional equipped cooking school .in the center of Parma on a breath taking campus. Think of the Culinary Institute of America in Italy where you can go to learn the art of Italian cooking , see the sites and keep thinking to yourself I hope this class never ends. They have all types of classes, one on one training, day sessions to a whole week . Their web-site is very informative and will make you want to be their best student.
La Vecchia Scuola Bolognese: La Vecchia Scuola Bolognese has built their reputation from respecting ancient tastes and old traditions. The school focuses on traditions which have been handed down from grandmother to grand daughter with a fusion of modern ingredients. You will learn hands on from Alessandra Spisni how to create some of Bologna’s favorite dishes and how to recreate them at your own table in the states.
The Italian Culinary Academy: Having dined at Chef Cesare Casella (the schools dean )restaurants in New York and sampled his incredible dishes first hand I can honestly say he is a Master Italian Chef with an unique down to earth personality . This may be the only duel campus Italian cooking school in the states and Italy. All we can say is go for it!
The Italian Culinary Experience program offers a one-of-a-kind opportunity to train on both sides of the Atlantic, learning in their kitchens in New York City and at ALMA in Parma, Italy. The 29-week course includes Italian language training and a chance to put your new skills to the test during an internship in the kitchen of one of Italy’s top restaurants — making it ideal for anyone who wants to eat, drink, live and breathe Italian cuisine, language, and culture. For the most comprehensive Italian immersion available without a passport, their Fundamentals of Italian Cooking offers in-depth training on everything from antipasti to zabaglione. Students can get a smaller — but just as delicious — taste in an 8-session Essentials of Italian Cooking class. Whatever course you choose, you’ll discover why Italians are so passionate about food and how to awaken that passion within yourself while following in the footsteps of culinary legends of the past, present, and future.
Villa Giona: Situated on a green oasis, ten minutes from the center of Verona and lake Gardna is one of the most prestigious historical mansions in the Valpolicella area. The villa offers a full immersion cooking course taught by famous Italian chefs who want you to experience first hand the joys of working with high quality Italian ingredients and wines. If you are a Valpolicella and Amarone lover like us you will feel you died and went to heaven in this special place. The experience will make you feel like you are part of a noble court.
Gambero Rosso’s Citta del Gusto (City of Taste): What can we say this is an Italian food and wine lovers dream or in New York terms the house that Ruth built, a shine to Italian food and wine. When in Rome do what the world does go visit Citta del Gusto. We love everything Gambero Rosso!
Visitors can spend a pleasant a day in the cooking theater, where the best Italian and foreign cooks perform all year round: a unique vantage point to discover and enjoy what’s new and hot in cooking all over the world. Classrooms for both amateurs and professionals are on site ,workshops for food and wine are scheduled daily and cover many topics and when you need to unwind you can relax at the wine bar where the selection of great Italian wines will make your head spin. The restaurant on site is the place to sample some of Italy’s top cuisine , and a shop with a wide choice of food,wine-related objects and books is right next store.
Diane Seed’s Roman Kitchen: Diane Seed has lived in Rome for 30 years, and she has built up an international reputation for her unrivalled knowledge of Italian regional cuisine and wines. She is an amusing speaker and her passionate enthusiasm and lively anecdotes bring out the sheer pleasure of Italian life. She is the Author of numerous Italian cook and guide books. She now lives in a spectacular apartment in the Doria Pamphili palace at Piazza Venezia, where she has recently opened a cooking school with views of the Colosseum and St. Peter’s. Her love affair with Italy continues to blossom through every cooking class she gives. She truly is an ambassador of Italian living.
Alla Madonna del Piatto: "Alla Madonna del Piatto" is a small agriturismo - a farmhouse inn / bed & breakfast - spectacularly located in the hills surrounding Assisi. This beautiful rural area is blanketed with hardwood forests, Mediterranean vegetation and olive groves.
As a traveler, you can sample Italy’s famed cuisine in various great restaurants, but cooking at someone’s home offers you a unique opportunity to savor the true Italian flavors and traditions. When Ruurd, my husband, and I opened our B&B in the Assisi countryside, we wanted to share our enthusiasm for Italy’s culinary culture with others. This is why we offer family-style cooking classes. You will learn how to select the best local ingredients in the narrow streets of an Umbrian village. You will use these delicacies - chosen from local small shops or picked up in our own vegetable and herb garden- to prepare an authentic Italian meal. With a view of the garden, our spacious and well-equipped kitchen is a perfect setting for a gourmet experience for you and your cooking companions.
Italcook: This special school offers specialization courses for anyone wishing to acquire greater proficiency and systematic knowledge of Italian regional cuisine, its history and its products. The course is open to all professionals in the sector, especially chefs who are interested to learning Italian dishes.
At the end of the course, the Institute will present the Slow Food - Master Italian Cooking Certificate to all attendees who have completed the course with merit.
Regional cooking is the fruit of centuries-old traditions and experience built by layers over time. Its rich and variegated repertoires are closely linked to the morphology and nature of the land as well as to climates and microclimates that differ greatly from North to South. The region of Le Marche is breathtaking, unspoiled and one of our favorites. To learn the art of Italian cooking in such a place makes it even more special.
The Awaiting Table: The Awaiting Table is a small, intimate Italian cooking school in the most charming town in the entire sunny south of Italy and Puglia’s only full-time cooking school. They are located in the sensuous, baroque city of Lecce, the vibrant cultural capital of the Salento, the stiletto heel of Italy’s famous boot. Here folks smile when they see you, ask where you’re from.
Widely acknowledged within Italy as having the warmest, most gregarious and welcoming people, the best produce, the healthiest and most intriguing cuisine, it’s where Italy itself comes to holiday. Ask an Italian about Puglia and you’re likely to hear a pleasurable sigh.
In the cooking school, you’ll perfect your pasta-making technique preparing their fresh, local pastas, one hand-made shape at a time, and master the sauces based on Puglia’s world-famous olive oil. You’ll grill seafood, bake biscotti, can a season’s bounty and much, much more—and certainly you will sample and taste the Salento’s local wines, the perfect complement to their foods. Each evening after the cooking sessions, You will gather around a table with an international mix of guests and students. In the Mediterranean fashion, as the stars make their appearance overhead and the candles’ flames flicker and dance across the table, You will dine leisurely in the garden.
The beautiful warmth of southern Italy and its people will never leave you once you visit this wonderful region and school.
Masseria Torre Coccaro: Torre Coccaro is a Masseria built not far from the sea whose origins date from the XVI century. Surrounded by antique olive trees, almond trees and carobs, this tower, once a stronghold against the Turks, has now become a five star resort whose aim is to bring back the guests to the antique natural life and make them benefit in full from the simple pleasures of rural life. The courtyard hosts an ancient chapel dating from 1730 where the people of Savelletri, a fishermen’s village nearby, walked to worship the patron saints, before reaching the tufara, the quarry where the tuffs to build the farm were cut; this tufara has now become the vegetable garden of the farm; along an ancient pergola from which the resourceful irrigation technology can be observed. Cooking classes are held daily with the focus on traditional Apulian cusine
Mamma Agata cooking school: A Cooking course with "Mamma Agata" is truly a unique experience. The cooking course is held in a state-of-the-art outdoor kitchen on a terrace in Ravello. The town of Ravello is located high above the Amalfi Coast, with views that stretch to Capri and beyond. It is a town famous for its music and culture as well as gastronomic events. Mamma Agata has a vast experience in traditional southern Italian cuisine. Her life experience includes cooking for both Italian Heads of State and American celebrities that frequented Ravello in the 1950’s and 60’s, such as Humphrey Bogart, Elizabeth Taylor, and Jacqueline Kennedy and many others. She has been a private chef for international journalists, writers and politicians such as Susanna Agnelli.
Casa Vecchie: About halfway between Palermo, on the north coast of Sicily, and Agrigento, on the south, lies one of the island’s premier wineries and cooking schools - Regaleali, which has been in the family of Count Lucio Tasca since 1830.
Regaleali, is near the tiny village of Vallelunga, is not a palazzo but a grand country estate of 1,200 acres. It is also a working farm that provides all the wine and almost all the food it serves its guests. A couple of years ago the count’s son, Giuseppe Tasca, realized that those who were coming for the wine tasting were interested not only in the vineyards but also in the wonderfully peppery green olive oil from the 4,000 olive trees, the extensive vegetable garden, fruit trees, the chickens and sheep and the cheese made on the estate from the sheep’s milk.
Soon a simple wine tasting was turned into a typical Sicilian five-course lunch paired with the estate’s wines and next premiered one of southern Italy’s best cooking schools.
La Dolce Vita Wine Tours: La Dolce Vita owners believe the best way to enjoy and learn about wine is on location, close to the land and the people who produced it. Their Italian wine tours provide full immersion in Italy’s wine culture, offering an enjoyable learning experience for wine enthusiasts of all types, from the casual imbiber to the serious connoisseur.
The Tuscan Concierge: Business partners Antonella Piredda and Camilla Baines will design the perfect tailored made tours filled with memories to last a life time.
In the land of Chianti Classico, Brunello di Montalcino, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and more, you can choose to visit some of the great and world-famous wineries but also the smaller wine-producers which will introduce you to the labors of this centuries-old craft. You can visit some of the best producers of extra-virgin olive oil and, during the oil-pressing period, have first-hand experience of the incredible history of this product. You can also visit cheese producers, the world of truffle-hunters and various other organic producers that are having an extraordinary renaissance in this era of fast food invasion. An entertaining interlude to your trip could be driving a vintage car through the Tuscan countryside with gastronomic pauses to taste a piece of pecorino cheese and a good glass of wine or to eat in a local trattoria. For the evenings we can propose the very best restaurants, that are not necessarily the most expensive and exclusive but where you will be able to taste authentic Tuscan cuisine and experience the joys of Tuscan dining.
With experienced, licensed guides, you can visit the famous Cities of Art and learn about the local people and the works of art that are so abundant in our region. You will see glorious but often little known artworks set in landscapes of incomparable beauty as well as being able to visit our famous museums at your own pace.
Shoppers will find more to keep them happy at the outlets of some of the great "made in Italy" designers, as well as with local artisans (wrought iron, textiles, leather goods, ceramics and more), who will be delighted to tell you about their crafts. Tuscany also has many spas for relaxation and physical well-being. Spoil yourselves with massages, beauty treatments and let yourself be cradled by the gentle rhythms of luxury. If you prefer sports, you can go horseback riding in the Tuscan countryside, trekking, cycling, see Tuscany from a hot air balloon or riding through the woods on a quad while learning about the local herbs and flora used in our cuisine.
Finally, for your evening entertainment, you can participate in numerous festivals and concerts, such as opera in a spectacular medieval piazza or a concert in a church. There is so much to do, that it will feel like there is never time enough to satisfy your curiosity.
Select Italy: Envisioning a travel company that would be a unique source for all things Italian, Select Italy’s Italian born President, Andrea Sertoli, founded the company in 1997 keeping his pulse on new discoveries, whether it is a destination, event or accommodation. Select Italy was created out of the desire to offer a specialized, custom oriented travel service with the ability to produce state-of-the-art tours, itineraries and activities. Through a vast network of suppliers and cultural contacts, Select Italy has quickly established itself as a fast-growing operator in the industry. This is a one stop shop that does things on a very personal level with outstanding service.
Custom Italy: Custom Italy is an American company working in Florence with an international staff that are bi-lingual and understands the needs of the American traveler. Their services range from property rental to itinerary planning, affording their clients the incredible opportunity to work with one company to meet all their travel needs throughout Italy. Owner Pamela O’Shea and her staff does an outstanding job and their mission statements says it all "To create unique travel experiences, tailored to the needs and interests of our valued clients. We make our clients travel dreams a reality!"
Contact Pamela O’Shea at Custom Italy
Luca’s Tuscan Tours: Need a private tour, driver or just a clean safe taxi? Luca and his staff specialize in wine and regional tours, special occasions ( engagements, weddings, corporate event transportation ), airport transfers, pick ups and drop offs and special shopping tours - Drivers on call
La Corsa Tours: Designed especially for avid cyclists, Outstanding challenging bike vacations, designed for seasoned bike riders. They don’t do cooking classes, they don’t do hiking tours, they don’t do 10 mile rides on hybrids, they don’t rent bicycles, they don’t do language classes, they don’t do family tours. They run bike vacations for serious bikers looking to ride the best traffic-free roads with other riders of high caliber, stay at beautiful hotels, eat fabulous meals and receive the highest quality of support. If you’re a serious seasoned cyclist, nobody offers a better challenging riding experience than La Corsa Tours.
935 Washington Street Hoboken, NJ 1800
Top travel Agencies that make your travel and vacation dreams come true
Altour: As one of the most sophisticated and savvy leaders in the travel world, Altour has earned its reputation by pioneering cutting edge technology and delivering the highest level of personal attention. Their group of travel related companies manages the corporate, group and individual needs of travelers in such diverse fields as fashion, entertainment, production, finance and leisure travel. As one of the largest travel companies in the United States, they also serve clients through their offices in London and Paris. They boast a team of experienced and client-focused advisors who know how to take advantage of Altour’s unique position in the global travel market to deliver exceptional value and service.
Cartolina Tours: Their custom designed tours are created to suit the desires of their clientele, who range from well seasoned travelers to first time visitors. Their personalized adventures are specifically created according to your interests and needs. At Cartolina Tours, They are with you every step of the way as they help you design the perfect custom tour. From air and hotel reservations to car rental, walking tours to cooking classes, wine tastings to shopping trips, they can create the ideal vacation for you.
They do not just want to book a trip for you, they want to create a life experience.
Linden Travel: Linden Travel offers its clients all types of travel and travel adventure. Just check out their web-site and find out first hand why they have become leaders in the travel industry
Sally Watkins Travel: The days of great service is back. Sally takes a personal interest in every trip she plans and the results has put her on the Travel and Leisure Super Agent A list since 2004
Unique Travel of Palm Beach: They believe you take travel to heart and they share in your appreciation for travel by passing along a bit of their personal insider knowledge. Their services go beyond that of a typical travel agency because of their experience and expertise.
Great Bed and Breakfasts and Hotels in Italy
Luxury Hotels: Deluxe and discount best describes the packages at high end hotels and resorts that this site auctions off.
IL Pellicano: Hotel and cottages with breath taking views topped off with three star service! One of the best hotels in the world and the second best hotel for food in Europe 2007 "Conde Nast Traveler"
Poggio Etrusco: This is a 15 acre family working farm in the middle of Pardise.
Via del Pelagao 11, Loc Fontecornino
Online Travel Agencies and discount brokers
Expedia: The activities bar at the top of the home page allows you to research and book activities based upon location or theme ( Adventure, Beach, Romance, Wine Travel)
Orbitz: This is a great source for good airfares and great hotel rates
Travelocity: Hotels and great Airfares
Cheaptickets: Great deals from everything from cruises, car rentals, hotels and airfares
Mobissimo: Searches over a 150 sights including online travel agencies, online consolidators(discounters), major airlines and low cost carriers
Cheapflights: Searches consolidators that specialize in specific locales from Italy to Casablanca
Kayak: The Google of travel. A mega search engine that searches hundreds of other web sites in real time for the best deals on air fares, hotels and car rentals
Seatguru: What a great web site, it gives you the low down on which are the best and worst seats on various aircrafts and airlines
Frequent- Flier Seats: For an annual fee of $99.00 this site will help you find you seats the airlines say don’t exist by testing out different partners, routings and dates. It is like having a travel private detective on your pay roll
This list was prepared and maintained by Jake Stone. You can reach Jake at firstname.lastname@example.org for any updates or requests