At the Italian Table with Ruth Reichl, Nancy Silverton, Laurie Ochoa

Enough prosciutto, parmesan and gelato can make any trip to Italy a culinary delight, but on this journey, the Italian table takes on new life with artisan foods that sing and wines that join in perfect harmony. Ruth Reichl, Nancy Silverton and Laurie Ochoa are experts on and lovers of Italian food, lead you on an exclusive tour from Bologna through the stunning Tuscan hills to beautiful Florence, sharing with you the region’s most remarkable restaurants   many of them with Michelin-starred chefs wineries and markets along the way. Through exclusive tastings of delectable handcrafted foods, private wine tours, hands-on cooking classes and convivial meals with world-renowned chefs at some of Italy’s finest restaurants, you’ll become an expert in the art of eating well in Italy. Buon appetito!

Oct 9-16, 2020

8 Days

7 Nights

Italy

Europe

Food & Well-Being

Itinerary
8 Days, 7 Nights

Trip Cost, Per Traveler

$11,450 double occupancy
(Single supplement: $720.00 )
$1,000 Deposit
or Call 855.890.5298
Phone Hours - M-F, 7AM – 5PM PT
Print Itinerary
Expedition Highlights

Roll up your sleeves at hands-on pasta-making and bread-making workshops exclusive to L.A. Times guests.

Meet creators of Italian food — from those who uphold the culinary legacy of their grandparents, such as Alberto Bettini and Fabio Picchi, to those who innovate and push the culinary traditions to new creative boundaries, such as world-renowned chef Massimo Bottura.

Visit artisanal producers, such as award-winning butcher Dario Cecchini and a family making balsamic vinegar, who share their methods and passion for bringing only the finest ingredients to the table.

Dine at memorable prize-winning restaurants, some of which are Michelin-starred.

Our Expedition Experts
Ruth Reichl - LA Expeditions Expert

Ruth Reichl

Former editor in chief of Gourmet magazine and current contributing editor to Town and Country magazine.

Nancy Silverton - LA Expeditions Expert

Nancy Silverton

Chef & Co-owner Pizzeria, Osteria Mozza, Mozza2Go, Chi Spacca, Los Angeles

Laurie Ochoa - LA Expeditions Expert

Laurie Ochoa

Los Angeles Times arts and entertainment editor

Day 1

Buon appetito

Arrive in Bologna. Transfer to the hotel and check in. This evening, dine in the woodlands outside Bologna at Trattoria Da Amerigo, a one-star Michelin restaurant with a retro feel. Over a glass of prosecco, your hosts Ruth, Nancy and Laurie will share the food highlights that await you this week. You’ll meet with chef Alberto Bettini, tasting regional classics such as lasagna and tortellini all while chef Bettini shares recipes passed down to him from the original restaurant owners, his grandparents. (R, D)

Day 2

Salame, prosciutto & pasta

On a walking tour through Bologna market, discover why the region has such a long tradition of cold cuts. At a local salumeria sample a selection of cured meats: culatello, prosciutto, mortadella and salame rosa. Continue to a private cooking class with Maestra Alessandra Spinsi in her Vecchia Scuola Bolognese. Discover the art of Italian pasta-making. Each region of Italy is renowned for its different pasta shapes and sauces, but it is the Emilia-Romagna region that reigns supreme with fresh egg-based pasta, either long, short or stuffed. Learn about the different ravioli and tortellini that are so prized in the region, how to cook the perfect “al dente” pasta, and how to pair shape and sauce. Roll up your sleeves and learn the delicate art of making tortellini before sitting down for a warm broth filled with these parcels of delight. Spend some time at leisure this afternoon in Bologna and enjoy an evening at leisure or perhaps join locals in a passeggiata, a stroll through town for an aperitivo. We are hoping to arrange an optional dinner at the Casa Maria Luigia with Michelin-starred chef Massimo Bottura. (B, L) 

Day 3

Parmigiano e balsamico

Head north to Modena, a city in the heart of the Emilia-Romagna region. Visit the Osteria di Rubbiara, a family-run tavern that is surrounded by Lambrusco vineyards and has earned its spot as one of the finest producers of balsamic vinegar in the area. Learn about the production and aging process of the vinegar before enjoying a lunch that includes the family’s spectacular tortellini, cooked to perfection in a broth, as well as several dishes featuring balsamic vinegar. After lunch, learn about the aging process of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese at an organic farm and sample different varieties of the king of cheese.  Return to Bologna for a leisurely evening. (B, L) 

Day 4

Pizza & gelato

This morning discover FICO Eataly World, Italy’s largest field-to-fork experience, just outside Bologna. Try your hand at making focaccia and pizza before sitting down to a light lunch. There will be time to explore the park and shop for some of your favorite Italian food items. This afternoon continue your journey through the center of Italy, over the Apennine Mountains, through the picturesque rolling hills of the Mugello wine region, landing in Florence. Visit a local gelateria laboratory and learn about the process of making gelato. Sample the classic rich and creamy nocciola or one of the specialty flavors before enjoying an evening at leisure in Florence. (B, L, Tea) 

Day 5

Wine, olive oil & meat

This morning visit the Fontodi winery in the heart of the Chianti classico wine-producing region. Discover some of the key factors that help produce the prized wine — altitude, clay soil and micro-climate — and conclude the visit with a tasting of wine and delicate bio olive oil. Afterward, visit Dario Cecchini, an award-winning butcher who seeks to source the best meat and offer his customers the best cuts. Sit down for a convivial meal and savor the succulent bistecca alla fiorentina. Return to Florence. As the sun goes down, sip a negroni or cocktail of your choice at an aperitivo overlooking the city. Dinner is at leisure this evening. (B, L)   

Day 6

Ribollita, porcini & truffles

This morning discuss seasonal foods and produce with your hosts and drive out into the Tuscan countryside south of Prato to Da Delfina. The menu at this family-run restaurant is a celebration of Tuscan food with an emphasis on fresh, local ingredients. Meet with the original owner’s son and current chef and tour the garden before joining chef Carlo in the kitchen to create his hearty ribollita soup. In Florence this evening enjoy a menu featuring the fruits of the season: porcini mushrooms and truffles. (B, L) 

Day 7

Fresh ingredients

Join a member of the family that runs Cibrèo restaurant to learn the history of the family and of the business that includes the restaurant for this evening’s dinner. Then wander through the neighborhood with the family member, visiting the different restaurants and cafes owned by the family and see the food store with its abundant organic produce and rooftop herb garden. Lunch and the afternoon are at leisure to explore this beautiful city. You might like to pay a visit to the Mercato Centrale to view the seasonal produce for sale at this lively market; there are small vendors upstairs where you can enjoy a light lunch. Tonight, raise your glass for a festive farewell dinner at Cibrèo. Learn how childhood food memories remain important to head chef Fabio Picchi and how this family-run restaurant follows the rhythms of the seasons in its menu design. (B, L, D) 

Day 8

Arrivederci, Italia

Depart Florence on individual flights home. (B)