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5 Day Medieval Hilltop Villages, Wine Appreciation, Italian Cooking Vacation in Toffia, near Rome

Convivio Rome, Convivio Rome, Via Monte Cavallo, 30, 02039 Toffia, Italy

Italian Cooking Holidays Near Rome

Set in Sabina, one of the most unspoiled areas of Italy, north of Rome, and not far from Umbria and Tuscany, the cookery courses are easy to follow, creative, and fun. You can participate in the preparation of wonderfully authentic Italian food or simply sit back, relax, and sip on a glass of wine while food is prepared in front of you. After your Italian cooking classes, enjoy an afternoon tour of the nearby monastic village of Farfa and an olive oil grove tour with olive oil tasting afterward.

Highlights

  • 2 hands-on, Italian cooking classes
  • 1 wine appreciation session with a winery tour
  • Guided tour to an ancient olive oil grove and sampling
  • 2 afternoon guided tours to visit local medieval hilltop villages
  • Local wine with lunch and dinner included
  • Visit Castelnuovo and street tour of Farfa
  • Recipes and high-quality apron
  • 4 nights accommodation

Skill level

  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced

Styles


3 days with instruction in English
The organizer also speaks: Italian
Group size: Maximum of 8 participants
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Accommodation

Check-out Time:
11:00

To make your Italian cooking holiday a truly unique and relaxing experience, Covivio Rome has selected restored historic homes in the medieval hilltop village of Toffia. You will be staying in one of the historic homes or apartments within or nearby these medieval walls.

Toffia lies in the Sabina region, between Rome and Umbria. These homes are self-contained, clean and very comfortable. They have an interesting history and have been meticulously restored and tastefully furnished by their owners.

These cookery holidays and vacations are also a fantastic way to experience authentic rural life in central Italy, staying in complete comfort and living "like the locals do" in a medieval hilltop village.

Convivio Rome Bed and Breakfast: a real family home

This 500-year-old family home has spectacular views over the rolling hills and valleys of Sabina, covered by olive groves and vineyards. The unspoiled views from the top floor stretch for an amazing 50 miles all the way to the mountains.

The colorful sunsets over the valley will take your breath away. This family home has been lovingly renovated by the owners and made into two double and one single bedroom with a designer bathroom, fully equipped kitchen, and a comfortable lounge area.

Convivio Rome Bed and Breakfast is located in the heart of the historic medieval village, next to a sunny garden, and is conveniently placed near one the central piazzas. There are panoramic views over olive groves and you can enjoy spectacular sunsets while sipping on a glass of wine.

Convivio Rome Bed and Breakfast is the perfect accommodation for four to six people. Wi-Fi is available from this home.

Program

Day 1

Afternoon: A Convivio Rome staff member will meet you at the local train station and drive you through the beautiful Sabine Hills to your home in the medieval hilltop village of Toffia, where you will stay for the duration of your Convivio Rome Italian cooking holiday.

Evening: Welcome dinner at 8.00 p.m. This is a relaxed and informal dinner, held in a family taverna or restaurant, during which you can discover the unique flavors of traditional food from Sabina, as well as sample some of the best local wines. During dinner, Sally or Guido will give you a brief outline of your holiday.

Day 2

Breakfast: Italian style taken on the café patio while enjoying majestic views over the Sabine Hills.

Morning: Lesson #1 + lunch: Italian cooking tips and secrets about regional dishes are revealed while preparing a three-course meal using only what's in season.

Afternoon: Guided tour of an olive grove with Guido, where you will learn all about the ancient art of olive oil making, followed by olive oil sampling with bruschetta while overlooking majestic views of Sabina.

Evening: Dinner will be at a local home restaurant, inside a 500-year-old wine cellar or on a terrace overlooking the Sabine Hills, depending on the season.

Day 3

Breakfast: Italian style taken on the café patio while enjoying majestic views over the Sabine Hills.

Morning: Lesson #2 + lunch. An enthusiastic pasta expert starts a cooking lesson with making fresh pasta out of eggs and flour. Pasta sauces and the importance of fresh ingredients, herbs, and balance are discussed. More secrets are revealed to create a mouth-watering three-course lunch.

Afternoon: Guided tour of Castelnuovo, an ancient 12th Century hilltop village, recently restored with vibrant colors from medieval artist Giotto’s palette. (OR you are free to relax).

Evening: Dinner will be at a local home restaurant, inside a 500-year-old wine cellar or on a terrace overlooking the Sabine Hills, depending on the season.

Day 4

Breakfast: Italian style taken on the café patio while enjoying majestic views over the Sabine Hills.

Morning: Lesson #3, winery tour and wine appreciation + lunch. You are off to an award-winning winery where a wide range of wines, both red and white, are produced from local grapes.

After visiting the vineyard and the cellars, where you learn how wine is made and matured we sample three of the wines produced at this winery. After the tour to the winery, Convivio Rome offers you a light lunch, where you sample local pecorino cheeses, cured meats, olive oil on wood-fired oven bread, and more Sabina wines.

Afternoon: Guided tour around the streets of the monastic village of Farfa ('L'Abbazia di Farfa') with its amazing 15th-century frescoed church, and numerous art and craft shops including locally hand-woven cloths OR free time.

Final evening: Wine tasting evening and light dinner with food and wine editor Guido Santi. This is an informal evening during which you’ll learn about different Italian wines and the wonderful native grapes that are grown in the region.

Day 5

Breakfast: Italian style taken in the main piazza, on the café patio while enjoying majestic views over the Sabine Hills. Departure is at 11 a.m. after breakfast, with hopes you will return soon.

You are very welcome to extend your cooking holiday in your accommodation. Please let the Convivio Rome know about extending your stay.

Note

The above itineraries are subject to change without notice, simply due to the availability of staff and location. Custom dates are available for a minimum of four people.

Each participant enjoys personalized attention. All cooking classes are in English and held in the kitchen of the family home. All levels of cooks are welcome in these relaxed cooking lessons, from absolute beginners to advanced.

Included excursions

Your Convivio Rome 5 Day Culinary Vacation, in the heart of Italy also includes two-afternoon excursions to 2 ancient medieval villages, a walk through an olive grove where you will learn more about the ancient art of making olive oil and visit to a local winery, plus a wine tasting evening. Regional wines and extra virgin olive oils will also be sampled during your Italian cooking classes and holidays.

Your free time will give you a chance to sit at the cafe/bar and watch the locals, take a stroll, take photographs, draw, or just enjoy what the Sabina region, between Rome and Umbria, has to offer.

Location

Toffia

Toffia is where your Convivio Rome's accommodation is located. Participants of the Italian cooking holidays (or Italian cookery vacations) become part of a vibrant Italian rural community, while they enjoy cooking, eating, sampling wine, and relaxing.

One of the most unspoiled and better kept medieval hilltop villages in Italy, Toffia is conveniently situated between Rome and Umbria and is full of ancient restored palazzos, churches, and small piazzas from which it is possible to admire sweeping views of olive groves and vineyards in the surrounding valleys. Like other villages in the region, Toffia’s beauty has not been yet discovered by mass tourism and retains all its authenticity.

Food

Included in the package are breakfast every morning at a local cafe, three lunches, all dinners, and wine with lunch and dinner.

The Italian cooking holidays and cooking classes near Rome have been designed to share Convivio Rome's love for Italian cuisine, particularly Roman and Tuscan cuisine, in a relaxed and enjoyable environment.

Set in Sabina, one of the most unspoiled areas of Italy, north of Rome, and not far from Umbria and Tuscany, these cookery courses are easy to follow, creative, and fun.

During the cooking classes based in a family home, near a medieval hilltop village, you can participate in the preparation of wonderfully authentic Italian food or simply sit back, relax, and sip on a glass of wine while food is prepared in front of you.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Drinks

The following drinks are included:

  • Alcoholic beverages

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

Things to do (optional)

Castelnuovo

Another unspoiled medieval hilltop village you can visit during your Convivio Rome Italian cooking holiday, Castelnuovo was an important city in medieval times. Due to its very high position on a hilltop, it has majestic views over the Sabine Hills and was built to protect other medieval villages close by, including Farfa. It has handsome renaissance palazzi, ancient alleyways, beautifully restored homes, and historical bakery preserved for viewing. As usual in Sabina, there are no huge car parks or souvenir shops here! Moreover, Castelnuovo is famous for its Sabina extra virgin olive oil production.

Sabina, the perfect setting for a cooking holiday

Between Rome, Umbria, and Tuscany, Sabina is Central Italy's best-kept secret. More rural and densely green than Tuscany and Umbria, it is also a lot less tourist-plundered.

It has olive groves, vineyards, and medieval hilltop stone villages; but more than anything, Sabina has true ingredients in its fields and woods which have earned it the label "paradiso gastronomic." This is why Sabina is the ideal location for the Italian cooking holidays.

In spring and summer, the land is patchworked in delicious and coniferous Botticelli greens. Hills are laced with narrow white tracks and roads that loop like spaghetti, reaching villages and hamlets that cluster on the hilltops.

Wheatfields are strewn with poppies, and slopes are neatly planted with groves of olive trees. Wild greens are collected in a countryside ritual, with the tenderest shoots eaten as a salad.

In winter and early spring fruit trees are bursting with the sweetest oranges, apples, and pears of all different shapes and sizes. June is the month for cherries, beautifully dark red, and very sweet. In summer and until autumn, you’ll see peaches, apricots, and fresh figs everywhere.

However, olive oil remains the key economic food resource due to quality single-estate oils that are so low in acidity they are extra smooth and rich. Every village grocer has its own cured meats and salami counter.

Boxwood crates of locally harvested produce, from baby purple artichokes to the speckled pink pods of borlotti beans, are displayed in tiers.

Sabina is truly a magical land of panoramic views across its valleys, olive groves and vineyards, fields of sunflowers and wild Mediterranean herbs, medieval hilltop villages, castles, and majestic Roman ruins set in wild nature.

Swimming pool

An excellent swimming pool is available nearby Toffia and Farfa in the summer months. This pool is unique, as it only uses the purest local spring water. If you wish, Convivio Rome is more than happy to organize a taxi for you to go to the pool and return you to Toffia, during your free time.

The Monastery of Farfa

Nearby Toffia is Farfa Abbey, one of the most important monasteries in European history, more influential and powerful than Cluny in France. Founded in the VII century, Farfa became an imperial monastery under Charlemagne.

Vast territories of central Italy belonged to Farfa, including the cities of Siena, Perugia, Assisi, and many others. Still today this monastic complex looks majestic, with a basilica, a tower-library containing thousands of rare manuscripts, artists’ workshops, and buildings all dating back to the middle ages. Farfa was also featured in the third episode of Jamie Oliver’s TV show "Jamie’s Great Escape".

The village of Farfa in Sabina has an interesting number of shops, all relevant to our gourmet and cookery holidays and vacations. This includes the monastery’s herbalist shop, the oleoteca where local extra virgin olive oils are sold, and an award-winning hand-made fabric shop.

The delicatessen sells cheeses and wines from Sabina. Farfa is one of the hidden treasures that can be visited during your Italian cookery holidays.

What's included

  • 4 nights accommodation
  • 3 lessons (2 cooking lessons, 1 wine appreciation)
  • Wine during lunch and dinner
  • All dinners (including a welcome dinner and a wine tasting dinner)
  • 3 Lunches
  • Breakfast every morning at a local cafe
  • Guided tour of an ancient olive grove with olive oil tasting
  • 2 afternoon guided tours to visit local medieval hilltop villages
  • Free pick up/return service from/to local Fara Sabina train station (just 40 minutes from Rome)
  • Recipes from the cooking lessons
  • Convivio Rome high-quality apron

What's not included

  • Airfare
  • Travel insurance
  • Car hire, private driver or taxi service (transfers to/from Rome or airports can be arranged at an extra cost)

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Ciampino–G. B. Pastine International Airport (CIA) or Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino Airport (FCO). Airport transfers are not included in the price. Please inquire about a pick-up and return service with a private driver.

Arrival by train

From Rome Fiumicino / Leonardo da Vinci Airport, inside the terminal you can take a direct train (departures every 15 minutes) to Fara Sabina station, where a Convivio Rome staff member will meet and take you to the venue free of charge. This train can also be taken from Rome.

There is an excellent urban train service that departs from many areas of Rome every 15 minutes. It only takes about 40 minutes to get to Fara Sabina station. Convivio Rome will give you easy-to-follow directions to come to the local train station in Fara Sabina, you will find them there waiting for you holding a sign.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 25% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 14 days before arrival.
5 days / 4 nights
from --
Availability

Other dates can be arranged. Please ask Convivio Rome.

Pricing information
  • Group and family discounts available: just ask!
  • Single travelers welcome.
  • Non-cooking partners are also welcome to attend the program for a 10% reduced fee. Please enquire.

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