If Italy is on your 2023 travel list, chances are you’re dreaming of mouthwatering foods like Brescia’s gourmet pizzas or a specialty plate of cacio e pepe in Rome. Writer Elizabeth Minchilli is no stranger to the country’s prowess in gastronomy, as the author of books including Eating Rome, Eating My Way Through Italy, and The Italian Table. Minchilli also shares her expertise with her “Week in Italy” tours, which are dedicated to a food-centric view of different regions in the country. These tours explore the likes of Basilicata, Puglia, and Umbria, and participants are often accompanied by her (equally talented) daughter Sophie and other occasional guides.
As of January 17, 2023, a few of Elizabeth’s trips still have spots open in the springtime.
Puglia & Basilicata
- Available dates: March 13–18 (still available); March 20–25 (SOLD OUT); April 17–22, 2023 (still available)
- Price: €5,000 for five nights per person (excluding travel to and from the tour), based on double occupancy; €600 single occupancy surcharge
- Book now: Week in Puglia & Basilicata with Sophie
Italy’s Puglia region in the southeastern part of the country is full of centuries-old farmland backed by Mediterranean coastline, producing much of the country’s olive oil. Elizabeth’s daughter Sophie—who grew up in Italy and is the author of The Sweetness of Doing Nothing: Live Life the Italian Way with Dolce Far Niente—leads this tour that focuses on Italy’s Puglia and Basilicata regions. The five-night trip includes a guided visit to UNESCO heritage town Matera (known for rock-cut settlements that exhibit evidence of occupation since prehistoric times) and a day at a family farm in the Valle d’Itria making cheese and biscotti. Tour participants stay in the Grande Albergo delle Nazioni in Bari, though the tour also explores the nearby towns and cities of Polignano, Monopoli, Alberobello, and Matera.
The tour can accommodate up to 10 people. The cost includes five nights in the hotel, buffet breakfasts, all meals and activities outlined in the itinerary, and transportation during the tour. The fee also includes a copy of Sophie’s The Sweetness of Doing Nothing and a tote bag.
- Available dates: May 14–20, 2023 (still available)
- Price: €5,500 for six nights per person (excluding travel to and from the tour), based on double occupancy; €600 single occupancy surcharge
- Book now: Week in Umbria
In the words of Elizabeth on a previous tour, Umbria is an attractive place to visit because so much is done the old-school way: “There are still farmers making cheese on their own farms, pressing olive oil for their own consumption, baking bread—it’s a step back in time.” Elizabeth has split her time between Rome and the region for more than 25 years, and this tour covers some of the foods—such as olive oil and truffles—that make this part of Italy a gastronomic destination. Activities include a truffle hunt and workshop, a winery tour, and visits to ceramic shops. Participants stay in the family-owned Fonte Cesia in Todi, but the tour travels to other locales, including Orvieto, Trevi, Bevagna, and Deruta.
This tour can accommodate up to 12 people. The cost includes six nights in the Fonte Cesia, buffet breakfasts, and all meals and activities outlined in the trip itinerary. Transportation during the tour is also covered. The fee includes a copy of Elizabeth’s Eating My Way Through Italy and a tote bag.