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Italian food, beautiful countryside, and a fabulous dinner at an exclusive relais in the hills. Enjoy this magical evening as a tenor interprets some of the most famous operatic and Neapolitan arias. Add to this an authentic and fun cooking lesson with a certified chef, in a charming country villa nestled in the green hills. Then a visit to a renowned wine cellar, where the sommelier treats you to a lesson in Italian wine, and the ways to best appreciate it, in English of course. In addition to all this, you will come to know the riches of the lovely medieval city of Santarcangelo, Buonjourney Italy's home for three nights, as well as enjoy the evocative scenery of the thousand-year-old San Leo, named one of the most beautiful villages in Italy.
Santarcangelo is ideally situated so that all activities and excursions are just a short distance away. Prepare yourself for Italian sophistication in a medieval setting. Accommodation is at beautiful Hotel Il Villino, a 17th-century villa.
The four-star hotel, described as "Italian sophistication in a medieval setting", is a recently renovated villa surrounded by lovely grounds and just minutes away from the old town historical center of Santarcangelo di Romagna. You’ll quickly become accustomed to meeting up at a favorite café in centro, where the barista will soon learn your name and preferred beverage.
The property was restored and renovated to create a perfect balance between the atmosphere of the past, with the original stonework, barrel-vault ceilings, and wrought-iron balconies, and the luxury and convenience you expect today. The beautiful large garden full of trees, shrubs, and flowers invites you to find a spot and relax.
Twelve rooms have been created from the interior of the old residence. Each one is unique, with its own particular style. There are cozy spaces that have been carefully studied down to the smallest details. Some interiors also include a loft which turns a simple room into an elegant suite.
Weather permitting, you can enjoy breakfast or a glass of wine outdoors in the garden. A pleasant walk through the garden will fill your thoughts and senses with a heady perfume. Various varieties of roses, irises, hydrangea, and ivy blossom.
The chirping of birds and the scent of flowers flood the garden and the rooms of the Villino with color, light, and music, as an invitation to lose yourself in its poetic splendor.
Santarcangelo is 20 minutes from Rimini. The Rimini train station is well connected to the rest of Italy and Buonjourney Italy offers a free private transfer service at any time you arrive.
Your home will be a lovely four-star hotel in the beautifully preserved medieval town of Santarcangelo di Romagna. Surrounded by greenery, this charming villa is a quiet haven, yet just a few minutes from the cultural highlights and the many shops and cafés of the lively ‘old town’ city center.
At 17:00, you’ll meet up for a formal introduction to the trip, then take a walk through town to familiarize you with what will quickly come to feel like ‘your town’. You might stop for a gelato, or a piadina (the typical Romagna flatbread), as you enjoy the evening passeggiata (the Italian leisurely evening stroll) with the locals.
Then on to dinner at one of the best restaurants in the region. Here, begins your love affair with Italian cuisine, accompanied by delicious wines produced by select boutique wineries of the area.
After breakfast at your hotel (in the garden, weather permitting), you will take off for a country house in the hills, where you will roll up your sleeves and with the chef, you will immerse yourselves in preparing a full tilt ‘Italian Sunday lunch’ together (even though it isn’t Sunday!). You will make fresh egg pasta and shape it into various forms: tagliatelle, strozzapreti, spaghetti all chitarra, garganelli, not to mention your legendary piadina romagnola, the typical bread of this region. You will round it out with chicken cacciatore, a side dish of tomatoes and for dessert, your Romagnol version of English trifle.
For those who might prefer to relax and don’t feel like cooking (though you can’t miss making your piadina!), the area is perfect for a country stroll or an exploration of the village center. Though perhaps one would prefer to sit and visit while tasting various wines and fabulous preserves and jams. Weather permitting, there’s also an inviting pool.
And then, ‘tutti a tavola’, time to eat! On the outside terrace surrounded by a flower and herb garden, you will enjoy the fruits of your morning’s labors, participating in this most important Italian ritual, eating, and socializing together.
You then go on to visit a nearby renowned winery, where your sommelier will walk you through the wines and history of this region, Romagna, with its delicious Sangiovese, Trebbiano, Pagadebit, and Albana di Romagna wines, this last being the first white wine in Italy to be awarded the DOCG classification.
All followed by a wine-tasting and a dinner featuring the best gastronomic specialties of the Emilia-Romagna region.
Today, you step back in time to the Middle Ages, with a morning visit to the medieval town and fortress of San Leo. Recognized as one of the ‘Borghi Più Belli d’Italia’ (most beautiful villages of Italy), the town’s position on a craggy outcrop of rock is particularly scenic.
You begin in the evocative piazza Dante, where two churches (both over a thousand years old) and the surrounding civic architecture transport you back in time. Accompanied by a local guide, you will learn the town’s history and explore the magnificent medieval fortress of Federico da Montefeltro, Lord of Urbino, from where he could keep an eye on his neighbor (and enemy), Sigismondo Malatesta, Lord of Rimini. After lunch, you will return to Santarcangelo for some free time.
In the late afternoon, you transfer to a nearby working farm where wine, extra-virgin olive oil, and the traditional Italian vermouth are produced. Together with the owners, you go to the property.
The site is very picturesque, with a gorgeous view of the valley. With this backdrop, you are treated to a live performance of bel canto, a traditional Italian vocal style renowned for its beauty. A delicious dinner featuring the farm’s own products caps off the evening.
This morning, you say goodbye to your fellow travelers and your new Italian friends. Better, let’s just say arrivederci (until we meet again). In the morning, Buonjourney Italy offers a private transfer to Rimini train station, at any time you desire.
Visit to the medieval town and fortress of San Leo
ALBA ROSA has been teaching the joys of Italian cooking to her delighted students for over ten years. Come learn her secret for a perfect piadina!
A native of California, STEPHANIE and her family moved to Romagna nineteen years ago. A mosaic artist, she began guiding in 2004 and has been introducing Americans and other English speakers to her adopted country ever since.
GUIDO’s love for his native Romagna is palpable. He has a degree in foreign languages and a passion for travel and wine. A sommelier AIS, he is the perfect guide to the variety of wines and food traditions of this region.
Romagna is the other half of Emilia-Romagna and is definitely a land worth exploring. Situated between the sparkling Adriatic Sea and the hills of Tuscany, Romagna boasts a fascinating history and a rich culinary tradition.
With its many protected designations of origin (PDO) and protected geographical indication (PGI) products, which are the highest levels of certification given in recognition of authenticity, it is widely regarded as the cradle of Italian culinary tradition. Magnificent PDO and PGI products are fossa cheese, Squacquerone cheese, Mora Romagnola pork cold cuts, Razza Romagnola beef, extra virgin olive oil, the legendary Piadina, as well as superb wines such as Sangiovese, Albana, Trebbiano, and Pagadebit.
Furthermore, Romagna has a fascinating history and is, along with Florence, Ferrara, and Mantua, the cradle of the Renaissance. Two of the most important Renaissance families, the Montefeltro and Malatesta, lived here. The many magnificent castles and fortresses they built attest to their power. Some of them are San Leo, Urbino, Verucchio, Gradara, Roncofreddo, Longiano, Montiano, and Montefiore. It seems every hill has a castle.
Many of the Renaissance masters were born or worked here, such as Raffaello, Piero della Francesca, Dante, and Leonardo da Vinci. The name Romagna means "land of the Romans", and in fact, there are important Roman monuments, such as the Arch of Augustus and Tiberius’ Bridge in Rimini. Also near Rimini is the legendary Rubicon River that was famously crossed by Julius Caesar in 49 BC.
The retreat is situated in the lively center of Santarcangelo, minutes away from little piazzas, cobblestone streets, shops, wine bars, and cafès.
Three breakfasts, two lunches, and three dinners are included in the price. Lunches and dinners will take place at the best regional restaurants, where your fellow diners are locals and where you’ll enjoy the excellent wines of the area.
There will be a cooking class, where you will prepare four-course lunch in a beautiful country house in the Romagna hills. The warm welcome by the owner, Marzia, will start the day. She will introduce you to Alba Rosa, whose merry demeanor and cooking expertise has been delighting students for over ten years. Together, you will learn the steps and secrets to making pasta, the meat dish, and Italian dessert that you will enjoy at a typical Italian lunch.
During the cooking lesson, you will learn how to make tagliatelle pasta with ragù meat sauce, chicken baked in a casserole Romagna style, roast potatoes with rosemary, and a typical dessert called zuppa inglese.
Federico Fellini International Airport
Please book your flight to arrive at Federico Fellini International Airport (RMI). Transfer from and to the airport is included. Buonjourney Italy will pick you up from the airport.
You can arrive at train stations in Rimini. Buonjourney Italy will provide the transfers for you.
For this organizer you can guarantee your booking through BookCulinaryVacations.com. All major credit cards supported.
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