SHORTLIST

Italy Real Food Adventure

Italians are the masters of creating simple dishes that burst with flavour. Inspired by nonnas’ kitchens all over the country, this food is regional, seasonal and as fresh as possible. On this eight-day food-focused adventure through everybody’s favourite culinary hub, you’ll discover that pizza and pasta are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the diverse array of unforgettable street eats, meals and cicchetti from the postcard-perfect Venice to Rome, where medieval meets modern. Delight in local wine, fresh produce, homemade dinners and seasonal favourites in San Gimignano, Tuscany and Bologna.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

1. A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement exclude Days 5 and 6 (Agriturismo) where you will be in shared accommodation, and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.
2. While we endeavor to cater for specific dietary requirements, some meals and food activities are set in advance and may be difficult to adjust. Please advise us of any dietary requirements at the time of booking so that we can ensure you’ll enjoy this trip.
3. As of April 2024, Venice will implement a visitor’s fee for all travellers visiting the city between 25 April and 15 July 2024. This fee is not payable by Intrepid customers, however you will need to apply for an exemption before arrival at https://cda.comune.venezia.it/en/richiestaEsenzione. For further information, please see the “Passports, visas and entry requirements,” section of your Essential Trip Information.

Tour details
Tour Provider Intrepid Travel
Price From
$3,596
Number of Days
8
Start Location
Venice, Italy
End Location
Rome, Italy
Age Range
Avg. 30+
Group Size
1 to 12
Tour Style
Standard
Tour Themes
Food
Physical Rating
Easy to Moderate
Itinerary Open all
Day 1: Venice
Buongiorno! Welcome to Italy. Your adventure starts in the iconic city of Venice. If you arrive early, take some time to get lost in the narrow cobblestone streets and spacious piazzas, crossing the tiny bridges to find shops, markets, galleries and churches. Stroll past St Mark’s Square, the Campanile and the Doges Palace. Cross the Rialto and admire the Bridge of Sighs. You’ll have a welcome meeting tonight at 6 pm. After, head out for a welcome aperitivo – the spritz and the bellini are local favourites. Venice's distinctive culinary heritage gs back to ancient times and features rich risottos, saline baccala (salted cod) and creamy polenta. If you're hungry, follow your leader to an atmospheric restaurant for your first introduction to Venetian flavours.
Day 2: Venice
Time to explore "La Serenissima". This morning you will be treated for a typical Venetian Breakfast by your tour leader. Stop at a local café’ to enjoy an espresso or cappuccino with local Venetian pastries such as Baci di Dama, Brutti ma Buoni, Bussola', then continue walking down the canals and watch farmers unload their produce from their boats, ready to be sold at Venice's famous Rialto markets. This tradition is more than 1000 years old. Next, you’ll swing past the fish market, where the day’s catch might come directly from the Venetian lagoon – the enclosed bay of the Adriatic Sea. You might want to enjoy the typical drink aperitivo drink Spritz after the market visit. The afternoon is free for your own exploration. In the evening, discover the Venetian answer to tapas on a cicchetti crawl through the city's fabulous bacari (wine bars). Snacking is an important pastime in Venice, with many people stopping for cicchetti both before and after meals.
Day 3: Bologna
Travel to Bologna by train this morning – this city's culinary claim to fame is significant, thanks to the ragu alla bolognese. Home of tagliatelle, mortadella and a range of other cured meats and salamis, Bologna, along with the surrounding Emilia Romagna region, is a foodie’s paradise. When you arrive, maybe wander past the beautiful old terracotta buildings and lively streets and acquaint yourself with the area. Later, you'll discover the real food of Bologna with a hands-on cooking class in the fine art of pasta-making. Feast on your handiwork over dinner with your host and your group, celebrating your new skill.
Day 4: Bologna / Modena
Today you’ll discover the flavours of the renowned Emilia Romagna region. Visit a factory dedicated to producing one of Italy's most coveted culinary exports – Parmigiano Reggiano. Learn how this cheese is made, and then try it for yourself. Continue to the town of Modena and visit an acetaia – a house where the family produce fine-aged Modena balsamic vinegar in the attic. You'll see how the vinegar is aged in barrels made from different woods, learn why it’s never less than 12 years old and then see the difference between the factory-made vinegar and the real stuff with a tasting. Head to a trattoria for a delicious lunch of the best local produce and farm-fresh seasonal dishes. Wash it down with a glass of Lambrusco – the town's famed sparkling red. Stroll around the town and admire the Palazzo Ducale before returning to Bologna in the late afternoon.
Day 5: San Gimignano
This morning, travel to the village of Pancole in the heart of Tuscany. The region is renowned for a cuisine that celebrates simplicity and the bounty of locally grown produce in hearty, rustic dishes. Pecorino cheese, farro (an ancient grain) and artisanal cured meats like lardo di colonnata are just some of the many local ingredients you can expect to indulge in during your stay. Your accommodation is a traditional Tuscan farmhouse near the enchanting village of San Gimignano. The farmhouse is surrounded by vineyards and olive trees that the family has been producing excellent wine and olive oil from by organic methods for over fifty years. Enjoy a guided walk through the vineyards and cellars of the estate, followed by a tasting of some signature Tuscan wines and olive oils. Dinner tonight will be seasonal favourites, made with ingredients freshly harvested from the farmhouse garden beds. This could include homemade pasta, salads, finocchiona salami, crostini toscani (chicken liver pate on lightly toasted bread) and seasonal vegetables.
Day 6: San Gimignano
This morning, walk along a portion of the Via Francigena – the major pilgrimage route to Rome during the Middle Ages. Explore the medieval walled town of San Gimignano – a UNESCO World Heritage Site often called the Town of Fine Towers due to the preservation of several impressive torre (tower houses) within its walls. Stop past an award-winning gelateria, where intriguing flavours like gorgonzola cheese and walnuts await your tastebuds. Spend the rest of your time exploring the walking paths around the farm or, weather permitting, relaxing by the pool, enjoying beautiful views of the Tuscan countryside.
Day 7: Rome
Today, jump on a train to Rome – Italy’s capital famed for its deliciously fresh food and scattered ancient ruins. When you arrive, take a leader-led orientation walk through the historical city centre, past the Spanish Steps, Trevi fountain, Pantheon, Piazza Venezia, Roman Forum, and Colosseum. After taking in all the big (and small) highlights of this magical city, you’ll head to a local’s home for a special homecooked, plant-based dinner experience. Swap stories with your host and sit down for a feast of seasonal dishes, which could include local favourites like cacio e pepe, saltimbocca, artichokes or porchetta. After, maybe head to a local bar and cheers to a trip well-travelled over a glass of local wine.
Day 8: Rome
With no activities planned after breakfast, your food adventure comes to an end today. If you’d like to stay longer, just speak to your booking agent.
Inclusions
  • Meals: 7 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 4 dinners.
  • Transport: Train, Metro, Private Vehicle, Bus.
  • Accommodation: Hotel (5 nights), Farmstay (2 nights).
  • Venice - Welcome Aperitivo.
  • Venice - Cicchetti tour.
  • Venice - Venetian Breakfast and Market Tour.
  • Venice - Traghetto Ride.
  • Bologna - Pasta class.
  • Modena - Acetaia Visit.
  • Modena - Trattoria Lunch.
  • Modena - Parmigiano Reggiano cheese factory visit.
  • Agriturismo - Tour with wine and olive oil tasting.
  • San Gimignano - Leader-led orientation walk.
  • San Gimignano - Gelateria visit.
  • San Gimignano - Walk a section of the Via Francigena.
  • Rome - Leader-led orientation walk.
  • Rome - Home-cooked dinner.
Departure dates
Start End Availability Price NZD
19 Jul 2024 26 Jul 2024 8 $3,948
02 Aug 2024 09 Aug 2024 7 $3,596
23 Aug 2024 30 Aug 2024 5 $4,889
13 Sep 2024 20 Sep 2024 1 $5,689
27 Sep 2024 04 Oct 2024 1 $5,579
04 Oct 2024 11 Oct 2024 1 $5,629
18 Oct 2024 25 Oct 2024 6 $5,084
25 Oct 2024 01 Nov 2024 10 $4,984
25 Apr 2025 02 May 2025 11 $5,114
02 May 2025 09 May 2025 12 $5,114
09 May 2025 16 May 2025 12 $5,114
16 May 2025 23 May 2025 12 $5,114
23 May 2025 30 May 2025 12 $5,114
30 May 2025 06 Jun 2025 12 $5,114
13 Jun 2025 20 Jun 2025 12 $5,114
20 Jun 2025 27 Jun 2025 12 $5,319
27 Jun 2025 04 Jul 2025 12 $5,319
04 Jul 2025 11 Jul 2025 12 $5,524
18 Jul 2025 25 Jul 2025 12 $5,524
01 Aug 2025 08 Aug 2025 12 $5,319
22 Aug 2025 29 Aug 2025 12 $5,319
29 Aug 2025 05 Sep 2025 12 $5,319
05 Sep 2025 12 Sep 2025 12 $5,524
12 Sep 2025 19 Sep 2025 12 $5,524
16 Sep 2025 23 Sep 2025 12 $5,524
19 Sep 2025 26 Sep 2025 12 $5,524
26 Sep 2025 03 Oct 2025 12 $5,524
03 Oct 2025 10 Oct 2025 12 $5,319
17 Oct 2025 24 Oct 2025 12 $5,319
31 Oct 2025 07 Nov 2025 12 $5,114