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Last week I posted about a tour of Puglia, Italy being organized by classically trained chef and yoga instructor Janice Veech (the "GoYogi Chef"), who is gluten free herself.
Today I want to share another small group tour she is organizing in Italy. This second trip -- to the beautiful Umbria region in central Italy -- immediately follows the week in Puglia (so you could do both, if you are so inclined!). The dates of the Umbria small group tour are October 27-November 3, 2018.
Umbria is similar to Tuscany...full of rolling hills, medieval hilltop towns, vineyards, olive groves, and rich history. But it's still a bit less touristy than Tuscany has become. You'll enjoy a more "authentic" side of Italy, a far cry from the crowds of larger cities like Rome, Florence, and Venice.
The itinerary is exactly the same as the tour I accompanied Janice on last October, and let me tell you, it was amazing...one of the best trips I've ever taken. (This photo of Janice and me in the hat, along with another lady from our group, was taken at the wall in Orvieto). Our trip was the perfect balance of history and a few tours, leisurely meals with local wines and wonderful food, and immersing ourselves in this less-traveled side of Italy. And for those of you who are so inclined, you'll have the opportunity to begin each day (don't worry...not too early!) with a yoga routine to help balance the mind and energize the soul! Janice is trained in many types of yoga and leads morning sessions, as well as an occasional relaxing night "wind-down" sessions -- all right at the place where you'll stay.
Throughout the week in Umbria, you'll experience lovely people, quaint towns, intimate wine tastings, truffle hunting, a tour of an olive oil mill, and even hands-on cooking classes. You'll watch local artisans at their craft at a ceramics studio and have the opportunity to shop in each town you visit. You're shuttled everywhere by a professional driver, so you don't have to worry about directions, navigating unfamiliar roads, or whether or not you've had one too many glasses of wine at lunch or dinner! It is truly luxurious.
Plus, you'll stay in one place for the full week -- a lovely "agriturismo" (like a B&B) -- so there's no packing and unpacking every couple of days. Breakfast is included each day, as are most other meals throughout the trip. Because Janice is gluten free herself, she takes great care in working with her local tour partners, Marcello and Raffaella Tori of Bluone in Italy Food & Wine Tours to ensure meals are gluten free -- and that safe substitutions are available for things like bread, pasta, and desserts.
Marcello and Raffaella, the owners of Bluone, lead each day's adventures and are there to help communicate with chefs and servers at restaurants. You will always be able to choose your meal...this is not a group tour where you'll all be served the same thing! The restaurants where we dined last year -- and where you, too, will dine -- all were very well-versed at gluten free meal preparation and had plenty of enticing options for each course. You will not go hungry, nor will you feel at all deprived! It's also important to note that you do not have to be gluten free to take this tour. Last year we had a mix of some members of the group that were gluten free and others that weren't. Everyone was able to choose their own meals at the restaurants where we dined. Below is a wonderful Florentine style steak served with various sea salts, one of which was drenched in the local Sagrantino wine.
Rather than go into all the details of the marvelous towns you'll visit and what you'll do here in this post, I'm going to refer you to my detailed Blog post I published right upon returning from last year's Umbrian adventure. You'll read about the wonderful experiences and memories we made. And now I'll part with a collection of more photos from the trip that I didn't have space to include in the other post (shown in no particular order).
You can also see the day-by-day itinerary, find out pricing, and read the details of what is included in the trip (just about everything) on the Umbria page of Janice's website. Please note that space is limited, so please inquire as soon as possible if you are possibly interested in this tour.
Are you sold yet? I have to confess it's torture just writing this post and sharing the photos. I feel like I'm re-living the journey and long to go back! Please let me know if you have any questions, or better yet, reach out to Janice at firstname.lastname@example.org.