Italy: Massimo’s Italian Adventure

Depart Saturday, October 10 and Return Monday October 19th.

So Special it’s our only 2020 group tour/limited to 18 passengers.

Background: In your Host’s own words…”It all Started from these places: the mall enoteca, the fancy and famous ones, the wine country, the simple dishes, the history, the textures, the flavors and the famed art and architecture.

Medieval traditions are still entangled in everyday life here: the way you eat, the way you cook, the way you hang out with each other and the way you play.

I was born in Rome; raised in Rieti and knew where my heart and career path would take me when at 18 I opened my first enoteca. I then moved to the US to work for Disney where I also honed my language skills. I returned home and opened our family restaurant – which is still operating today, 27 years later!

I returned to the US in 1994, and began the Restauranteur’s training path, working and learning at some LA’s best restaurant’s like Ocanda Portofino and Shutters on the Beach. I then got my Sommelier degree studying under wine wizard Alessaqndro Sbrendola of LA’s famed Valentino Restaurant.

Then came the excitement and a chance to practice my passion for event management with private party dining, weddings, business dinners, and event experiences for friends like Sean Penn, Oliver Stone, Dino De Laurentis, Randy Newman, and Staples Center President Lee Zeidman and companies like AEG (LA’s Live Nation), Kaiser Permanente, Boeing Aircraft, and yes Facebook!

Now, twenty years ago since I left home to come to America, I am proud and excited to open a window to our history and what inspires my Italian passion for travel, discovery and taste. Come embark with me in this short yet fulfilling adventure and discover the roots of what connects the new to the old.”

Massimo Fubelli, who was co-owner of Mosto, the Zagat rated #4 Italian restaurant in all of LA County, has designed this food, wine, culture and adventure itinerary just as he lived it and…he will personally guiding you along with David Marchese, CEO of WineWorldTours.com.

Yes, you are invited to join Massimo on this warm, welcoming and delicious trip down memory lane.

Here are the details…

Minimum number of guests: 16. Maximum 20.

DEPARTURE: SATURDAY, OCTOBER 10 from the USA –

ARRIVAL: next day SUNDAY October 11 in Florence.

FLORENCE

SUNDAY: October 11

Transfer from airport to your hotel and check-in and get settled. Time to erase your jet lag and become familiar with your hotel environs with a walk around your neighborhood of historical and beautiful Florence. We suggest a stop at either Grom or the Festival del Gelato for some silky smooth and deliciously flavored gelato!

We’ll be back in time to visit one of Massimo’s favorite restaurants – your first day in Florence will be celebrated with a Welcome Dinner provided at “I Raddi”, VIA ARDIGLIONE 47 R, (the owner Raddi Alfonso is a friend of Massimo!).

FLORENCE

MONDAY: October 12

Morning: Your day starts with a visit to Giorgio the best bakery in central Italy for a breakfast treat with an espresso or coffee as you like it (and yes, they have tea) at Via Duccio da Boninsegna, 36, 50143 Florence, Italy. We can carry our typical Italian breakfast with us to one of Florence’s central meeting (and people watching!) places – Piazza della Signoria the famous L shaped square historical political center of Florence and still the main meeting point for locals.

Next up? A walk to The Museum of Palazzo Vecchio built in 1299 by architect Arnolfio di Cambio as the main palace of Florence and sign of the city’s importance and political security. Then we move towards Via Calzaiuoli to see the church of Orsanmichele Built in 1337 as a grain market it was converted into a church between 1380 and 1404

Continuing our walk to Via Calzaiuoli we’ll arrive in Piazza del Duomo – for a “must do – can’t miss” visit of the cathedral and beautiful baptistery. The entrance to the cathedral is free, while the baptistery has a fee, but certainly worth the price to see the treasures it holds. Note: If you have the energy, you can climb the bell tower of Giotto or the dome to enjoy a breathtaking view over the city of Florence.

Lunch: Next stop is for quick but delicious bite in the CENTRAL MARKET AREA of SAN LORENZO (a real experience!). Then you’ll be ready to return to Piazza della Signoria in the afternoon.

Afternoon: We must visit one of the three great Museums in all of Europe, the Uffizi Gallery. To get an idea of what you see in the Uffizi, read here: http://www.visitflorence.com/it/firenze-musei/percorso-attraverso-gli-uffizi.html

After visiting the museum, we’ll head to the Arno River and enjoy the view of the Ponte Vecchio destroyed and rebuilt several times ever since the Roman Empire, it spans the Arno river at its narrowest point and then cross it for some terrificSHOPPING.

If you are into fine Italian leather goods, shoes etc. as well as artisan crafts and jewelry, start practicing your negotiation skills as the Italians expect you to negotiate for a better price!

Dinner:How do you end your second day in one of the most iconic cities in the world? You just need to relax and enjoy a wonderful meal and Massimo has a spot that he says is as good if not better than his highly rated (Zagat 5th Best in LA County) Marina Del Rey, CA restaurant Mosto was!

FLORENCE

TUESDAY: October 13

Day of Art & Cultural History

Morning: San Marco area

We can start the day with breakfast in our hotel or for those seeking lighter fare we’ll return for a quick kick-off the day with a caffeine jolt and sweet breakfast treats at Giorgio before gathering at Piazza San Marco for some morning snaps that Instagram followers will surely love… and from there, we’ll visit Galleria dell’Accademia to see the classic statue of David, one of Michelangelo’s masterworks and for those who have not had the privilege, I PRIGIONI, a series of unfinished sculptures by Michelangelo where the process of getting to the final piece can be appreciated. The original David in also in these rooms.

From there we go to: the Opificio delle Pietre Dure, a museum of historic semi-precious stones as well as a public institute and global leader in the field of art restoration. a precious little museum, perhaps less known than others, but Massimo says it’s a “must see”! Here you will see the jewelry artisans and how they work with gemstones! Returning to Piazza San Marco, you can visit: The Museum of San Marco* which is located next to the church, where you can admire the beautiful frescoes by Beato Angelico Father and painter who’s work expands thru the early part of the 15th century, Italian Renaissance. John Paul II proclaimed his beatification in 1982 for his well know humbleness and modesty.

LUNCH: Today we lunch at the legendary Osteria dei Benci in via dei BENCI. It must be good, the Italians named a street after it!

Afternoon: you reach San Lorenzo where you will visit: the incredible and historically important Medici Chapels *

Moving along, we visit the Palazzo Medici Riccardi Renaissance palace, built for the Medici family between 1444 and 1484. It is known for its perfect representation of the spirit of rationality, order, and classicism on human scale. In addition to the current exhibition, you can see the small chapel decorated by Benozzo Gozzoli, an Italian Renaissance painter from Florence. He is best known for a series of murals in the Palazzo Medici-Riccardi depicting festive, vibrant processions with fine attention to detail and a pronounced International Gothic influence.

After visiting the museums, if you want, you can come back to linger, take photos and people watch in the San Lorenzo marketplace surrounding the church of San Lorenzo.

Evening: We’ll take a short walk towards the majestic Church of Santa Maria Novella it is the first great basilica in Florence. Stop in the area for a dinner of one of Florence’s most famous contributions to the culinary arts: Fiorentina Steak.

UMBRIA

WEDNESDAY: October 14

Cooking Class & a day for adventure.

After our breakfast, we transfer to Tenuta dei Ciclamini, your resort hotel for your Umbrian experience! It is owned by Italian music legend Mogol: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mogol_(lyricist)

Lunch: is planned at the hotel

Afternoon: lots of choices here such as:

– Massage (Shiatsu, Ayurvedic, global anti-stress, physiotherapy)

– two swimming pools, indoor and out

– riding school with the opportunity to do horseback riding and lesson classes

– 400 square meter gym equipped with Technogym machines

– Aerobics room with floor stretch, four televisions and computerized exercise

bike ergometer to measure heart rate

– Fishing for sturgeon, pike, carp and tench in the two lakes on the estate

– Practicing archery in shooting ranges

– Go mountain biking

– Rafting at the Marmore Falls (30 minute drive).

Dinner: On your own at your hotel or in “town” (transport provided).

UMBRIA

THURSDAY: October 15

Food, wine and…great music!

Morning: Cooking Class learning the regional specialties that will be your lunch

Afternoon: We have arranged two winery visits (friends of Massimo!) with tastings of course…and a chance to meet the wine makers!

Evening: Dinner & a Jazz Concert!

RIETI (MASSIMO’S HOMETOWN!)

FRIDAY: October 16

Underground wine tasting, pasta & local microbrew and salame tasting! Yes, micro-brewing is a world phenomenom!

After breakfast, we transfer to Rieti. Massimo’s hometown! Here we’ll check in at the truly beautiful Villa Potenziani, a 1778 hunting lodge turned into a sophisticated summer residence by Prince Ludovico Spada Potenziani: http://www.villapotenziani.it/english/home.html

Late Morning: A real treat – we’ll track the underground passages of the medieval town of Rieti with a visit to the Cathedral, a unique opportunity to taste and discover the wines of Lazio along the way!

Lunch: Massimo has arranged a lunch of home made pastas at a one of his favorite Rieti haunts – you know it’s got to be good.

Afternoon – we’ll visit the best of the local micro brew facilities and a salami factory

Dinner: On your own in Rieti – more discovery, more fun!

RIETI

SATURDAY: October 17

Morning: visit of main Franciscan monastery with lunch at the Labro Castle: http://www.castellodilabro.it/

Afternoon activity options:

glider flight:  http://www.aeccvv.it/

or

easy mountain bike ride around the Piana Reatina (Rieti Valley)

Evening: Dinner is at Villa Potenziani with music.

RIETI

SUNDAY: October 18

Morning: cooking class and lunch. But not just any class – in this one you’ll learn to make incredible pastas AND why you should pair each pasta with the appropriate sauce.

Afternoon: Today, the entire time is yours to relax, shop, chill out – whatever you want.

Dinner: We bid farewell to the new Italy we have discovered and experienced as only the locals can in another one of Massimo’s Rieti culinary gems.

FLORENCE

MONDAY: October 19

Transfer to Florence airport for our flights home…

Inclusions:

  • R/T airport – private hotel transfers
  • 2 Profesion wine/food expert guides
  • 5 days transport by Mercedez Benz or comparable executive van
  • 8 nights 4-star accommodation
  • 7 breakfasts
  • 7 lunches
  • 6 dinners
  • 2 gelato visits
  • 6 historical, cultural & social gathering sights
  • 6 museum visits
  • 2 cooking school classes – Tuscany and Umbria
  • 3 winery visits and wine tastings
  • 2 music happenings
  • 3 soft adventure activities
  • 1 shopping bazaar (Ponte Vecchio)
  • 8 days of fun, discovery, delicious dining and camaraderie

Exclusions:

  • International r/t airfare
  • All food, wine, beer experiences not mentioned
  • Personal items such as tips, snacks, sundries, laundry/dry cleaning, tel/fax and anything else not mentioned.

Cost: All of the above for just $3,639 per person, double occupancy based on minimum of 16 – 20 travelers.

Email us your interest asap to make sure you are part of this Italian adventure. A deposit of $500pp is not due until June 1, 2020. Final payment due no later than August 1, 2020.