Food N' Wine Vacations Blog

The most famous places to visit in Umbria, Italy

Posted by smadar Palace on Fri, Apr, 12, 2013


Umbria Tour

Italy is rich with historical significance and there exist infinite possibilities for those on a Food Vacation to experience Italy. To engage in an adventure for all the senses, immerse yourself in a region known for it's fabled history, stunning local artistry, breathtaking vistas, true artisan cheeses, wines which embody the very sunshine dappling the vineyards, and local culinary examples with flavors that dance on the palate. That region is Umbria.


Norcia, Umbria, Italy

For those on a Food Vacation, Umbria offers an intimate perspective of all things essentially Italian. Stroll Spoleto's cobbled streets, as saints and majesties before you, and imagine the walled settlement as it was centuries ago. Climb the hills of Todi, where legend has it Hercules faced down his fire-breathing foe, Caucus, and witness vistas of heart-tugging beauty.


Spoleto, Umbria, Italy

Assisi, rich in Christian history, is the birthplace of much-venerated saint, Francis of Assisi. The Basilica of Saint Francis D’Assisi houses stunning frescos, and galleries along humble streets showcase the areas celebrated art. Breathtaking views abound as you wind along the lofty streets of Assisi on your Food Vacation in  Umbria,Italy.


Todi, umbria,Italy

The fanciful town of Bevagna beckons you within it’s city walls.If the timing is right, you’ll be treated to a taste of medieval Italy by way of one of the famed street festivals. In Montefalco, those on a food and wine tour Italy will sample wines from the oldest, and still operational, winery in Umbria. A sumptuous luncheon proffers celebrated local fare, along with wine made from grapes grown under the Umbrian sun.

 

Bevagna, Umbria, Italy

On a Food Vacation in Italy you'll meet Umbrian cheese makers, artisans who craft local treasures which evoke images of rolling hillsides and long lazy days. Famed Umbrian truffle farms offer a chance to discover these precious culinary gems for yourself. The chocolate of Perugia is a work of art. Once you taste this sensuous repaste, perhaps one you’ve created yourself, under the tutelage of a master chocolatier, your deepest chocolate desires will be sated.


Black Truffle, Umbria,.Italy

Umbria opens it’s arms in welcome, enfolding you into a region whose history and pride spans bloodlines and borders. Your Food Vacation in Italy becomes your own unique experience, foretold by the ages, philosophers, statesmen and majesties alike, and one you will cherish for a lifetime. Your enchantment cannot be bound by a single visit as you relive your experience again and again.

Want to see a sample itinerary in Umbria?

Culinary Paradise
 

Topics: Cooking Tours, Culinary Tours, Italy, Wine Tours in Italy, Food And Wine Tours, Culinary Travel, Cooking travel Tours, Italy culinary tours, cooking in Tuscany, Small Group Tours, Tuscan wineries, culinary tour tuscany, Italy cooking class, Cooking in Italy, Tour cooking, Cooking in Italy vacations, Tours to Tuscany, Cooking class in Italy, cooking classes in Umbria

Provence Tour Reviews

Posted by smadar Palace on Mon, Oct, 01, 2012

Great share from guests who just came back from Provence
Vicky and I have finally recovered from the trip back from a glorious vacation in France and wanted to follow up and give you some feedback from our week in Provence.? It was outstanding!!!? We have never done a small group tour like this and were initially concerned about the interaction of everyone, particularly given the intense schedule of activities.? We were so pleased?to be with a wonderful group of people who shared a?similar?interest in food and wine.? The?accommodations?were lovely, Sandrine was a perfect hostess and the beautiful villages of Provence were an ideal backdrop. All that being said one thing made this trip truly magical and that ?was our tour guide. ?The energy, enthusiasm and passion turned what would have been a nice vacation into a very special one. In reviewing the week's itinerary I truly don't believe there is anything I would change. It certainly was an intense week but we loved each and every activity, such a nice mix of dining experiences from the goat farm to lunch at the market place. The itinerary really did give us a wonderful introduction to Provence and food and wines that we might never sample again (thinking of non-EU approved cheeses). The only suggestion that I might have (and it's a small one) is the length of the cooking class.? The first one was a bit long, I think David may have tried to do a little too much. However, the second one, on the last night, was a good length, maybe he had a better appreciation of our abilities!? Also, I think it's important to make sure we have some down time between our daytime activities and the nightly outing.? Maybe it's age, but we did appreciate at least at hour to re-charge our batteries at the end of the day. Please know these are very minor points, nothing could distract from the wonderful week we spent in Provence.
All the best,
John & Vicki

Tour Provence
Sam, had a great time!
It was a perfect week. The weather was good. I enjoyed meeting the other couples. I think we all got along great. ?Our tour guide was fantastic. I knew we were going to be busy but I enjoyed everything. Can't think of anything I would change. Food/wine choices during the week were good.
Can't think of anything negative about it.? Again, our tour guide was the perfect guide/host for this trip. Her knowledge of all things Provence really help us understand the area better. There wasn't any question she couldn't answer.
I don't know when I'd be able to afford another food/wine trip but I would sure look at what you offer if I'm going to.
Thanks,
Liz

Tour provence
Here are kind words ?that one of the guest wrote about our tour guide in her blog:
She is a gracious hostess who draws you in whether she’s describing how olive oil is made or how a village was taken by force in the 14th century, where to buy authentic Provence linens (not those made in China) or what wine you must try with your chocolate. she has friends throughout Provence which makes for some interesting locations for lunch. Whether it be a lesson in how to decapitate a chicken at the Avignon market — quite a lesson for a city girl — lunch at a goat farm high in the mountains, or at Lolo’s farm.

L'Isle sur La Sorgues Provence
 
Download  A Free Guide: Must See and Do in Provence

Topics: Cooking Tours, France vacation package, France wine Tours, France, Tours to Provence, Food And Wine Tours, Wine Tour in France, Culinary vacations, Wine Tours France, Small Group Tours, French wine country, Best of Provence, Tour Provence, Provence Travel, Provence vacation.Provence travel Tour to Provence, France wine country

Culinary Paradise In Italy

Posted by smadar Palace on Thu, Jul, 26, 2012

 


Assisi, Umbria, Italy
We are so excited to share with you the latest addition to our Culinary Tours.

A week-long culinary tour in Umbria will provide you full immersion in the local culture. We'll stay at a private palazzo in the medieval town of Spoleto, and from there we will explore classic charming towns like Assisi, Perugia, Norcia, Spello, Montefalco and Todi. We will enjoy cooking lessons with a chef, wine tastings at the oldest winery, visit a family farm and go truffle hunting, taste the best and famous cured meats, and get our hands “dirty” in a chocolate making class.
Consider?joining us on this unique Experience!

Click on the link to read the brochure
Culinary Paradise Brochure

Topics: Culinary Tours, Italy, Culinary Tour, Food And Wine Tours, Culinary Travel, Italy culinary tours, Small Group Tours, Umbria, Cooking tours in Italy, Gourmet Tours, Cooking Tour Italy, Italian cooking Trips, Italy food tours

The best Loire Valley Medieval castles to visit

Posted by smadar Palace on Sat, May, 12, 2012

Loire Valley Tours , castels

The Loire Valley stretches 170 miles along the banks of the Loire River in central France.? This fairytale region known for its many castles/chateaux, bountiful produce, artisanal cheeses and long history of viticulture, the Loire Valley remains a favorite tourist destination.


Over three hundred castles populate the valley and record its rich history dating back to the 10th century. Our favorites include:


azay La ridu, loire valley

Azay le Rideau, was built at the site of a medieval fortress in the heart of Touraine. Rising from its foundation in the Indre river in this castle is surrounded by a lovely, romantic park.


Blois Loire Valley

The Royal Castle of Blois was once occupied by King Louis XII and illustrates the evolution of French architecture from medieval, to gothic, renaissance, and 17th century classical.


Chateau cheverney Loire valley France

Chateau of Cheverny with its grand stone staircase and exquisite furnishings has been owned by one family for centuries.


Chateau chambord, Loire valley, France

 Chateau Chambord, the largest castle in the region has more than 800 elaborately sculpted columns and an astonishing double helix staircase.


Chateau Chenonceau, Loire valley, France

The Chateau Chenonceau may be the most impressive castle in France. Built as a royal residence its original architecture spans the Cher River and hosts an art gallery that rivals many museums.

Chateau villandry, Loire valley, France

With specialty gardens that include a love garden, a water garden, and color coordinated vegetable gardens, Chateau de Villandry with should not be missed.


Chteau Amboise , Loire valley, France

The medieval town of Amboise warrants a visit in and of itself, but the Chateau d'Amboise is not to be missed. Historically home to many kings it is said that Leonardo de Vinci is buried there.


Loire valley food and wine resized 600

Called the Garden of France, you'll discover gastronomical delights. From white asparagus to world famous cherries, the Loire Valley is a food lover's dream.? Also known for it's many delicious and distinctive goat cheeses, you'll sample a variety that are unique to the region.


French cheese

 

And then there is the wine. No tour of the Loire Valley would be complete without a visit to the world renowned vineyards.


Viticulture began in the 5th century and has been growing in the valley ever since producing dozens of varieties both red and white.


Flight Hot air Baloon, Loire valley , France

If you are on a tight schedule, consider a hot air balloon flight to enjoy the castles from above. Whether it's the wine, food, or castles that bring you to the Loire Valley, you'll be guaranteed a marvelous and delicious journey through the heart of France.

Want to see a sample itinerary? Chateaux, Vineyards and cooking class  

 

Topics: Culinary Tours, France, Food And Wine Tours, Culinary Travel, Wine Tours France, French wine country, Hot air balloon flight, Loire Valley Castles, Vacation To France, Loire valley tours from Paris, Tours to France, visit the Loire valley, Chateaux of the Loire

The 5 best places to eat traditional food in France

Posted by smadar Palace on Sat, May, 12, 2012

Bordeaux, France

There is something magical about France that attracts people to it. The epicenter of modern culinary techniques and traditions, France stands for everything that is simple yet sophisticated in its own way. It is often said that a trip to France is incomplete if you do not sample some of their food, wine and cheese. So how do you get the quintessential French experience?Culinary Tours, this wonderful holiday concept will let you closely look into the wonderful world of wine making, you could spend days on a cheese farm and taste the real French way of life. Out of the many culinary tours that you could take here are a few options that should be on your must see list.

Bordeaux wine Tour

Bordeaux-This French region is arguably the most famous wine producing area in the world. On one of the culinary tours in Bordeaux you will Get to visit the most prestigious chateaux and taste different varieties of wine .

Loire Valley Tours , castels

The Loire Valley- The breathtaking architecture of the Loire Valley is not the only thing that makes unique, the cheese and wine of this region are equally world class. Visit the many castles here; get a glimpse of the royal lifestyle and mingle in cobblestone streets of medieval charming towns.

Burgundy, Wine Tours, France


Burgundy- Enjoy the many wine villages of this region. Here you will also get a chance to visit wine cellars and see where all the magic happens. See the vineyards of Romane-Conti, one of the world’s greatest wine producers also taste some superb wine at the quaint region of Cote De Beaune.

cheese, Provence Tours, France

Provence- Experience some of the best ros  wine in this southeast region of France. On the culinary tours here you can spend time in the kitchen with the region’s best known chefs. You also may want to experience the stunning perched villages and markets of provence. 

Paris, France

 Paris- The French capital will mesmerize you with its charm. Here you can learn how a Chocolatier turns this wonderful ingredient into a work of art. Rise early in the morning to find out what goes inside a patisserie, learn how to make croissants or eclairs. After spending a day with french culinary experts you can reminisce about your Parisian experience at a bistro while you sit down for a relaxing lunch. Through these French culinary tours you will truly be able to discover the real French culture and traditions.

Topics: Culinary Tours, Burgundy, France, Culinary Tour, Food And Wine Tours, Bordeaux, Culinary vacations, Wine Tours France, Provence, Cooking in France, Provence Vacation

Food and wine tours in Tuscany you're going to love

Posted by smadar Palace on Sat, May, 12, 2012

If you are a world traveler and just happen to travel to Italy for business or pleasure, make sure to check out the wines of Tuscany. There are several different types of wines that are produced in this region that many wine connoisseurs have come to enjoy.


Wine Tour Tuscany

These are either red or white, however, the red ones are more prominent. Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile. Each one of these have their own unique tastes and have been masterfully aged to perfection.


Neri- Wine Tour Tuscany

There are special tours for you to partake in. Each tour will highlight a specific region and when make your choice, you will be given an in-depth tour in which you will interact with the region locals, and taste the wines from many family owned wineries, which makes it a unique experience. Wine connoisseurs will be delighted by this epicurean experience.


Antinori, Chianti, wine Tour Tuscany

 

Tours to various cheese farms in the region is also something that everyone enjoys. Here you will get a first hand look at how the cheese is made and enjoy sampling them as well.


Cheese, Tuscany, Italy

Members of wine clubs will enjoy tasting the different wines, meet the wine makers, and enhance their studies about the wines of Tuscany. This region is known for producing some of the best wines in the world.


Villa Mangiacane- Private wine Tour Tuscany

Why not enjoy the sights and flavors?of Italy and taste the wines of Tuscany through a small group tour while you are visiting Italy?

 

Wine Tours Italy

Topics: Italy, Wine Tours in Italy, Food And Wine Tours, Tuscany winery Tour, Tuscan wineries, Winery tours Tuscany, Wine Tour Italy, Wine Tour Tuscany, Tuscan wine Tour

A brief history of the wine region of Burgundy, France

Posted by smadar Palace on Sat, May, 12, 2012


Burgundy, France is one of the country’s most prolific wine regions. Known far and wide for both red and white varieties, the wines of Burgundy are arguably, some of the most popular -and expensive-wines in the world. Those new to the global arena of food and wine will soon develop the palate and knowledge of a true epicure upon visiting the storied and historic communes of this region.



Burgundy, France View

Inheritance laws governing Burgundy, which date back to the days of Napolean, state that family property be divided equally between surviving dependants. The result is many generational small family wineries, which welcome tours and thrill at the opportunity to show visitors a special brand of hospitality. One-of-a- kind vintages are poured and served up alongside a loaf of crusty bread, a wedge of lusty cheese, and an intoxicating bowl of braised stew for which the region is famous.

Burgundy France, Clos Vougeot

Five distinct growing areas make up the region producing the wines of Burgundy, each bearing the rich and fertile soil necessary to produce outstanding grapes used by regional vintners. Northernmost Chablis boasts many small family vineyards, some producing rare varieties which should not be missed. Combing the trail southward, to Cotes de Nuits, Cotes de Beaune, Cotes Chalonnaise, and Maconnais will introduce the knowledge-thirsty connoisseur to wineries dating back to the 12th century.

Savigny Beaune, Burgundy, france

 Although wine is the main focus in these historic towns and communes, food is also an integral part of the Burgundy lifestyle. Bourgogne, in French, has a recognizable style when it comes to cuisine. Local fare is typically a braised meat with in-season vegetables, frequently just-picked from a backyard garden. The classic dishes Beef Bourguignon and Coq au Vin both trace their roots to this region. As expected, wine is featured in many of the dishes which bear the name of Burgundy.

 

Burgundy , FranceCheese varieties of the area are equally as tasty and well worth a side visit to a local dairy farm. Quite often, travelers, both seasoned and novice, find the best way to really get to know any area is by getting to know it’s personality- it’s people. Overflowing with warmth and welcome, Burgundy invites you in, pulls out a chair and pours you a glass of their favorite beverage. Burgundy will regale you with heartfelt stories of a region beautiful and proud. Drink it all in and enjoy.

Topics: France vacation package, France wine Tours, Burgundy, France, Food And Wine Tours, Wine Tour in France, Wine Tours France, French wine country, France wine country

The traditional food and wine of Tuscany, Italy

Posted by smadar Palace on Mon, May, 07, 2012

Rolling hills dotted with centuries-old homes, sit amidst sun-drenched olive groves and grapevines laden with promise. Cafes beckon the traveler and offer a bit of respite, along with an excellent glass of regional wine and dishes of local fare. Tours in Tuscany provide memories which will last a lifetime.

chainti Tuscany



    1. The Tuscan region, renown for it’s fine contributions to the world, is the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance. It’s easy to see where the inspiration came from for Tuscany’s art and culture, which impacts the world to this day. Medieval towns and cultural strongholds such as Florence and Siena are rich with art, music and history.


Siena, Tuscany


From seaside towns to rich river valleys, Tuscany provides diverse farming opportunities which have, for centuries been recognized as some of the best areas in which to grow olives, varietal grapes, premium grasses on which dairy cows graze, and many of the fruits and vegetables of the region. Gifted home cooks and skilled chefs alike find many ways to entice the tourist in the true Italian tradition.

Food and wine Tour Tuscany
Local Food Specialties

Cinque Terre Tuscany Italy
Traditional Tuscan foods are very simple. Herbs and produce hale from well-planted kitchen gardens. Tours in Tuscany provide visits to family dairy farms which produce some of the world’s finest cheese like pecorino Toscana, a sweet and mild cousin of the pungent pecorino Romano.?Marzolino, a creamy variety, made from sheep’s milk, is used in many local dishes.


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Crusty bread would likely be offered accompanied by local olive oil. Beans are a staple and the region’s most popular export, besides Chianti, is surely Pasta Fagioli. Honey is a local favorite and mushrooms, and truffles, abundant. You’ll just as likely be served wild boar as local livestock from small family farms. You’ll experience a cooking lesson from a local chef, and probably be pulled into a kitchen or two in the name of Italian hospitality.

One of a Kind Wineries

Food and wine Tour
Most recognized for superior reds produced in Chianti and Montalcino, wines such as Luce, Brunellos, Campo ai sassi, and Seansanos, along with Chianti are equally impressive. Tours in Tuscany family wineries offer a kinship which grows with each sip.

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Don’t by-pass the lovely regional white wines seen on tours of Tuscany. Verniccia di San Gimignano may be the most famous bianco, or white, of the region, however any of the whites will stand up on their own.

A Lifetime of Memories

Food and wine Tour Tuscany
Joining in tours of Tuscany offers a chance to truly live the Tuscan lifestyle. Get to know the locals and you’ll become one with the region, returning home knowing how to live la dolce vida. Or, perhaps you’ll extend your tours in Tuscany indefinitely.

Download  a Free Guide:  How to find   YOUR  Tour to Tuscany

 

Topics: Culinary Tours, Italy, Food And Wine Tours, Trip to Tuscany, Italy culinary tours, cooking in Tuscany, Tuscany vacation, culinary tour tuscany, Tours to Tuscany, Tour to tuscany, vacation in Tuscany, Tuscany wine Tour

Food N'Wine Vacations Wins An Award

Posted by smadar Palace on Thu, Jan, 20, 2011

Topics: Food And Wine Tours

Best of Provence Tour

Posted by smadar Palace on Sat, Jan, 15, 2011

Best of Provence Tour


Enjoy the best of Provence in a small group tour. Provence is one of the places you fall in love in first sight. Its perched villages, magical landscape and seductive coastline inspired many artists, writers and film makers.

The best of Provence tour designed to explore the lifestyle, the cuisine, the wines and the culture. On this Provence Tour, You will meet the people of Provence, the chef who welcomes you into his private kitchen, the chocolate maker, the vendors in the markets and families of wine makers. And what’s better than touring with a local guide that knows the secrets of his region. This tour gives you an incomparable value of the length of time, activities, quality and amount of meals and authenticity above all.

Accommodations


Your home for the week of the tour to Provence is a lovely old stone farm, near Gordes, one of most beautiful villages in the Luberon. The house was transformed to an authentic private hotel with a lot of character. Each room is decorated with country antique and Proven?al fabrics. The restaurant is well known as one of the best in Gordes .with a beautiful view of the Luberon it only makes a perfect Provence tour.

Tour of Provence Itinerary


Day one –Saturday

Your tour of Provence starts in Avignon TGV train station. The group will meet in the afternoon and drive to the hotel. You will have time to relax, get to know you’re surrounding before meeting for a first delicious gourmet dinner together at the restaurant of the hotel.

Day two – Sunday in Provence

Wake up and smell the coffee. Your vacation in Provence off to a good start. You will head to the famous market at L’Isle-Sur-La Sorgue. The town called the “Venice” of Provence as it is built on five branches of the Sorgue River. The river flows around the town. This market also known for its antique finds. You will have time to mingle and to explore this charming town on your own and maybe have a picnic from the produce.

Next, we will head to another picturesque town Fontaine-de-vaucluse. A key feature is the unique site of a river gushing up out of the ground.

Tonight, you will be greeted by one of the chefs of Gordes in his own house, and cook with him Dinner in the magnificent landscape of Provence.

Day 3- Monday in Provence

Start your day with French yummy pastries and homemade Jams. Then off to Roussillon, an ocre-red village from the outside. It’s even more spectacular inside the village, red stone buildings and colorful medieval streets. Your tour in Provence just getting better with a private visit to an olive mill and tasting.

Next is a visit to a unique hamlet, the village of Borie, a 100% made of dry-stone, evidence of the rural life of Provence 3,000 years ago. We will continue to Gordes, one of the most visited towns in the Luberon. You will have time to explore the village and adventure on your own at one of the many bistros.

Day 4 – Tuesday in Provence

Today, the adventure continues. Your tour in Provence takes you to some superb hilltop villages, Bonniex, Lacoste and Menerbes. Lacoste known for its notorious resident, the Marquise de Sade, who lived in the old Castle at the top of the town. Menerbes got famous by Peter Mayle, the author of” A year in Provence” as the village where he lived in. One of a kind experience is next; you will have lunch at a goat farm. The owner of the farm will welcome you with specialty treats you will also visit local wineries for a wine tasting. And if it’s not enough, another discovery awaits for you in your vacation in Provence. You will dine at a superb butcher shop, owned by the same family since 1928 and became a restaurant by one of the family members, who is a chef. (The full story will be told).

Day 5 – Wednesday in Provence

No tour of Provence is complete without visiting St. R?my bustling market on a Wednesday. Seduced by the setting and atmosphere, many writers, painters and musicians chose to live here. You will have time to walk around the stalls, enjoy the colors, the smells. ?Then, you will have the pleasure to eat authentic lunch prepared by LOLO at his farm. Next, to Les Baux de Provence, a magnificent little village built on a rock. You will have the opportunity to visit a private winery for a wine tasting. In the afternoon, a chef who owns B&B and a cooking school welcomes you his house to cook dinner and enjoy the sights and tastes of Provence.

Day 6- Thursday in Provence

After breakfast, you will start with a walking tour of the fortified city of Avignon. After working your appetite, you will eat Lunch like French, in Les halles market. (Surprise) After lunch we will drive to Chateauneuf Du Pape, home of the world famous Cotes de Rhone wines. The village is almost completely dedicated to its world famous wine “chateauneuf du pape”. Tasting is a must. Another satisfying day of vacation in Provence ends with a gourmet Dinner at the hotel.

Day 7 – Friday in Provence

Your tour of Provence is up to a great finale. Visit to Cassis, an ancient fishing and today a vacation spot. You will have time to walk around before embarking on a boat to explore the breathtaking Calanques, the Mediterranean version of fjords. These are majestic inlets with stunning steep rocky cliffs. Lunch will be no other then” bouillabaisse”. Cassis is famous for its white Wines and you don’t want to skip that tasting, whether Cassis red or Ros?.

Tonight we will gather for a Gala dinner, sharing, laughing and toasting.

Day 7 – Saturday

It’s hard to say goodbye. Head home or extend your stay.

A Bient?t!

Topics: Food And Wine Tours, Tours to Provence, Provence Tour, Tour Provence, Provence vacation.Provence travel Tour to Provence, Provence Vacatuon, Tour of Provence, Tours Provence