Art, Wine and Truffles in Italy
WHEN: October, 2017
WHERE: Italy -Mercatello sul Metuaro
COST: AUD $3050 (or) USD $2300 plus €200 euro on arrival Book Now
An Authentic Italian Experience with Luisa - One Week Holiday in Le Marche
Many visitors to Italy have enjoyed the wonders of Tuscany, but relatively few have discovered and experienced the unique charms of neighboring Le Marche.
Le Marche is the region in east‐central Italy nestled between Tuscany, Emilia‐Romagna, and Umbria.
Our destination is the small but bustling village of Mercatello sul Metauro, located at the foot of the Tuscan‐Umbrian‐ Apennine mountains, only a couple of hours east of Florence.
Luisa Donati invites you to share a week with her at Palazzo Donati, her family’s home, which dates to the 1700s. Situated on the main square of Mercatello sul Metauro, Palazzo Donati is a private home upgraded with modern amenities.
Luisa opens the doors to her family’s Palazzo and invites you to enter the peace and authenticity of a ‘by-gone-time’, experiencing a way of life which preserves the grace and culture of the Renaissance, in a small town largely undiscovered by tourists.
Here are some of Luisa’s favorite things that she will share with you. . .
- Tasting of Le Marche wines
- Renaissance ceramics in Urbania
- Visit to Vado and the home of the 'prized white truffle'
- Lunch at Isabella’s organic farm, “La Pieve del Colle” with a view of the landscape depicted in Piero della Francesca’s painting “I Trionfi”
- Cooking class using local wild herbs and flowers
- Hands on class in the traditional art of fabric painting
- Clara, Princess of Carpegna, hosts a private tour of her palace
- Feast prepared by members of the Accademia del Padlot, a fraternity of nine men dedicated to food preparation, wine tasting, and good times
- Tour of the stunning underground caves at Grotte di Frasassi
- Shopping for foodstuffs at the market followed by cooking class taught by a local mama
- Visit to the paper‐making museum in Fabriano and a workshop on the ancient craft of making paper
There will also be free time to shop, meander and day-dream and everything on the programme is optional. If you would rather stay behind and relax at the palazzo or explore more of the village instead of going out, that is fine too.
Day 1 ‐ Saturday
Transfer by minibus from Florence to Mercatello sul Metauro
Our private driver and tour leader Nicoletta welcomes us in Florence. We will transfer by private van to Mercatello. On arrival at Palazzo Donati, we will settle into the beautiful surroundings. Rest and free time.
Early evening, Luisa and Nicoletta will share a welcome aperitivo and discuss the upcoming week.
They’ll explain the language program “Italian Express,” a shopping focussed 'crash language course' that will enable you to interact with locals.
Dinner at Palazzo Donati.
Day 2 ‐ SundayMercatello + Sant’Angelo in Vado
After breakfast Nicoletta, a charming life‐long resident of Mercatello, will guide us on a walking tour of the historical centre of the town that is small, but full of art, tradition, and surprises.Then off to an astonishing archeological discovery “The Domus” (Roman Villa) in Sant’Angelo in Vado, home of the prestigious white truffle.
We will stop at the local Enoteca and learn about regional wines and enjoy a private tasting.
Back to the Palazzo to relax in the house or garden or stroll around the village feeling like a local.
Dinner at a local Osteria.
(B) (L) (D)
Day 3 Monday
Urbania ‐ Cooking With Flowers
A visit to the pretty town of Urbania known for its famous Rennaissance ceramics, the Ducal Palace, and the unusual Church of the Dead. Luisa will introduce you to her friends and we will have a light lunch with local products at Isabella’s organic farm, “La Pieve del Colle.”We’ll admire one of the most beautiful and famous Rennaisance views: the landscape in the background of Piero della Francesca’s masterpiece “I Trionfi” which is displayed at the Uffizzi in Florence.
After lunch, we will visit Luisa’s dear friend Anna at Mulino della Ricavata where we will learn how to cook in the traditional way using local wild herbs and flowers. We will eat our dinner after the cooking lesson. The restaurant is housed in a converted mill dating to the 1700s.(B) (D)
Day 4 Tuesday
Traditional fabric printing in San Leo—Carpegna - Imagine a studio where, over the centuries, artists have been producing stencils and dyes to make fabric prints in an ancient manner. The studio has been managed by the same family for generations.
We will join Emanuele who will teach us how to create this traditional art and we will print our own personalized aprons which will be useful for upcoming cooking classes.
Then off to Carpegna for deep breaths of some of the freshest air on earth. Carpegna has recently been awarded La Bandiera Trasparente—the Transparent Flag—for the astounding purity of its air.
After the workshop, a truly unique opportunity to enjoy the hospitality of Luisa’s friend Clara, ‘Princess of Carpegna’, and we will lead us on a tour of her Palace.
Then we will join Prince Antonio and Clara for a sampling of the famous prosciutto di Carpegna in a local osteria.
Next, La Rocca di San Leo, an impregnable fortress, with a charming village below. The Fortress tour offers breathtaking panoramic views.
Pizza in local restaurant.
Day 5 Wednesday
Urbino - Plus an unforgettable dinner with Accademia del Padlot
We’ll visit the Renaissance “Ideal City” Urbino, where our local guide will escort us inside the magnificent Palazzo Ducale once home to the Duke of Montefeltro.
After the tour and early light lunch, enjoy free time to shop or walk around the town, and work up an appetite for dinner at Mercatello.
The dinner will be prepared by the Accademia del Padlot, a fraternity of nine local men, dedicated to food, wine and fellowship. These gentlemen prepare a sumptuous dinner with local ingredients and local wine. Their fervor and joy makes this dinner one of the greatest culinary experiences you could ever have.
Day 6 Thursday
Le Grotte di Frasassi and Fabriano – The Art of Paper Making
We will experience the Grotte di Frasassi, with its ancient caves and spectacular underground formations. Then on to the small town of Fabriano for lunch in a traditional osetria. This picturesque town is renowned for the art of paper‐making.
We will visit the paper museum and participate in a workshop under the guidance of Maestro Cartaio who will teach us the art of fine artisanal paper making.
Day 7 Friday
Shopping in Italian and Cooking Lesson at Palazzo with Local Nona.
Today, we will enjoy shopping for ingredients for our dinner with Luisa. Needless to say the shopping will have to be done in Italian! Light buffet at the Palazzo.
At mid-afternoon, we will meet in the kitchen at Palazzo Donati with a local Mama who will teach us how to prepare a traditional family dinner. Don’t forget to wear the apron you made at the studio in San Leo. We’ll share the meal in the main Salon, serenaded by a local singer for our final ‘brindisi’ (farewell toast).
Day 8 SaturdayEnjoy Breakfast the Palazzo
Our driver will take us back to Florence train station/airport
Our adventure has has come to an end and we hope you really enjoyed it!
The Food, Accommodation and Characters
This region has been made famous for its food by the likes of Jamie Oliver, and a local chef Massimo, plus other great chefs who all have gained great knowledge from the local cooks. We are extraordinarily lucky to have a once in a lifetime banquet prepared by the Academia del Padlot, nine men who live in the village who are passionate about their local food.
Those local truffles are simply divine!