La Cucina Italiana, Featuring Jonathan Gold

Join Pulitzer Prize winner and L.A. Times food critic Jonathan Gold and arts and entertainment editor Laurie Ochoa for an exclusive journey through Florence and the Tuscan countryside's most remarkable restaurants, wineries and markets. This hands-on experience - curated by Jonathan Gold - is a one-of-a-kind event, with private wine tours, tastings, commentaries, demonstrations and reservations at some of Italy's best restaurants. Enjoy stays at comfortable hotels in Bologna, the Tuscan countryside and Florence, and gain new appreciation for Italian history and culture through its culinary traditions. 

In addition to Jonathan and Laurie, this expeditions will include Nancy Silverton, the founder and owner of several Italian eateries in Los Angeles. She is the author of "Mozza at Home"and received the James Beard Foundation award for Outstanding Chef in America in 2014.


Mar 10-17, 2018

8 Days

7 Nights

Tuscany, Italy

Italy

Food, Music & Style

Itinerary
8 Days, 7 Nights

Trip Cost, Per Traveler

$8,295 double occupancy
(Single supplement: $1,350)
$500 Deposit

We're sorry, but this expedition is currently sold out. Please contact us to be notified about future expeditions.

For more information, call 855.890.5298
Phone Hours - M-F, 7am – 5pm PT Print Itinerary
Expedition Highlights

Choose to take part in a spectacular Michelin-starred experience at Osteria Francescana, where chef Massimo Bottura will prepare a special menu.

Learn how prosciutto is cured at an artisanal salumificio.  

Taste Super-Tuscan wines, and spend time with the winemakers at several vineyards.

Enjoy an apertivo at Bologna's famed food emporium Tamburini, and stroll through Florence's Mercato Centrale, and shop for seasonal produce.

Sample different aged varieties of the king cheese, Parmesan, and watch the production process.

Our Expedition Experts
Jonathan Gold - LA Expeditions Expert

Jonathan Gold

Los Angeles Times Pulitzer Prize-winning food writer and restaurant critic.

Laurie Ochoa - LA Expeditions Expert

Laurie Ochoa

Los Angeles Times arts & entertainment editor

Nancy Silverton - LA Expeditions Expert

Nancy Silverton

Award winning, chef, baker, restaurateur and author.

Day 1

Buon appetito!

Arrive in Bologna. Transfer to the hotel and check in. This evening, gather for a welcome dinner at the rustic Osteria de’ Poeti and dine on the regional classictagliatelle alla Bolognese.  (R, D)  

Day 2

Lambrusco e balsamico

Begin your culinary adventure today with a trip to Modena, in the heart of the gastronomic region of Emilia-Romagna. Visit the Osteria di Rubbiara, surrounded by Lambrusco vineyards. The family-run tavern is also one of the finest producers of balsamic vinegar in the area. Having learned about the production and aging process of the vinegar, lunch on the family’s spectacular tortellini, cooked to perfection in a broth. Return to Bologna for some free time. Later, join the evening passeggiata in town, and stroll along to Emporio Tamburini for an aperitivo. Learn about the fascinating evolution of this family-run food emporium. Enjoy a tasting of local delights such as prosciutto and mortadella accompanied by a glass of Lambrusco.  (B, L, D)

Day 3

Parmesan & Prosciutto

Depart the hotel early this morning, and travel to Parma to see the production process of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Learn about the aging process, and sample different varieties. The mother-daughter owners of La Buca di Zibello welcome you to this culatello haventhey cure and age the pork meat. Visit the cellar by special permission, and then dine on this quintessential local dish. Enjoy free time this afternoon in Bologna. Dinner is at your leisure this evening. There is an option for those wishing to join Jonathan Gold for a spectacular Michelin-starred experience at Osteria Francescana. Chef Massimo Bottura will prepare a special menu that will feature his signature dishes The Five Ages of Parmesan and Oops! I Dropped the Lemon Tart. The additional charge and full details of the meal will be provided upon booking (B, L)    

Day 4

Super-Tuscans

Check out of the hotel this morning, and travel south over the Apennines to Colle di Val d'Elsa in Tuscany. En route, tour the Tenute Antinori, one of the most famous Chianti wine producers. The visit includes an exclusive guided tour and the tasting of elegant vintages (such as Badia a Passignano and Tignanello). The wine tasting will be accompanied by local crostini with a variety of delicious toppings and distinctive fennel seed-flavored salame finocchiona. Continue to the delightful hill town of Colle di Val d’Elsa this afternoon, and check into Hotel Palazzo San Lorenzo. Gather this evening for the typical peppery Tuscan beef stew, peposo, cooked slowly in terra cotta pots. (B, L, D) 

Day 5

Gelato

This morning, visit the town of Arezzo. At the Basilica di San Francesco, admire Piero della Francesca’s fresco cycle masterpiece, the “Legend of the True Cross.” After lunch and free time in Arezzo, visit a slow-food gelateria laboratory and learn about the process of making gelato and the lab’s adherence to the 0 Km philosophy. Sample the nocciola or limone before returning to Colle di Val d’Elsa. Dinner is at your leisure in Colle di Val d’Elsa this evening. You might like to try out Arnolfo, run by two-Michelin-star chef Gaetano Trovato, whose dishes emphasize “simplicity, the purity of seasonal flavors.” (B)

Day 6

Cantucci e carne

Check out of the hotel this morning, and visit Castello di Volpaia, a hamlet in the heart of Chianti. Sample its wine and other products, including cantucci and pecorino cheese. Afterward, visit butcher Dario Cecchini, 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. Transfer to Florence this afternoon, and check into the hotel. Dinner and the evening are at your leisure. There are plenty of dining options; Jonathan will be happy to offer advice. (B, L)

Day 7

Pastries & produce

Visit a typical pasticceria in Florence this morning to learn about Italian coffee and café culture while enjoying a cappuccino and sfogliatelle. Continue to the Mercato Centrale to view the seasonal produce on sale at the lively market. Lunch today is at Da Anita, renowned for its pici pasta, whether served with a truffle or wild-boar sauce. You are at leisure in the afternoon to explore this beautiful city. Tonight, raise your glass for a festive farewell dinner at Cibreo and 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).

Other Expeditions You Might Like

A Taste of Mexico: A Culinary Exploration

$500 Deposit
$6,495 per traveler, double occupancy
9 Days, 8 Nights
Mexico City
Food, Music & Style

Join Los Angeles Times regional culinary experts and local chefs as you explore Mexico from a culinary perspective; from the bustling streets of Mexico City, to the vibrant markets of colonial Oaxaca, through pre-Hispanic villages still carrying on centuries-old traditions, to the splendid beauty of the agave fields. Departs May 27, 2018.

Lesley Téllez - LA Expeditions Expert Expedition Expert
Lesley Téllez
View Trip

Moda Italiana: Fashion of Milan and Florence

$500 Deposit
$6,795 per traveler, double occupancy
7 Days, 6 Nights
Milan and Florence
Food, Music & Style

Versace, Valentino, Prada and Dolce & Gabbana. These names conjure images of luxury, precision, beauty and, above all, Italian quality. Join L.A. Times Fashion Editor Marques Harper on an exciting expedition, exploring what it is that puts Italian fashion in a class of its own. Departs Nov. 5, 2018.

Marques Harper - LA Expeditions Expert Expedition Expert
Marques Harper
View Trip