Just south of Tuscany, the central region of Lazio shares borders with six neighbors as well as the Tyrrhenian (Mediterranean) Sea. Called Latium in English, it is Italy’s second largest economy (after Lombardy) and second most populous region (after Campania), both of which make sense since it is home to the country’s bustling capital of Rome.
Lazio offers a variety of landscapes from the Maremma Laziale (the continuation of the Tuscan Maremma) in the north, to the flatlands of Agro Pontino in the south, and the alluvial plains around Rome. The western Tyrrhenian coast faces the Pontine Islands, an archipelago named for the largest island, Ponza, while the east features the volcanic lakes of Bracciano, Bolsena and Vico. The preapennine hills of Colli Albani and the Aurunci Mountains offer other distinctive landscapes.
Lazio is named for Latinus, king of the ancient Latini tribe who once inhabited this area and extended their reach into the neighboring lands of the Etruscans, Samnites and Aurunci. The Latini dominated this multi-ethnic region, passing their language to the city of Rome, the Republic, and later the Empire.
After the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476, Lazio (along with the rest of Italy) faced invasion and occupation, primarily by barbarians until, in early 700, it passed under the egemony of the Pope. Local nobles contended for control until Lazio was incorporated into the Kingdom of Italy in 1870 and the Pope lost his territories in Rome. Only after 1929, when Benito Mussolini granted financial support to the church in exchange for public support from the pope, was the Vatican recognized as an independent state.
Nowadays, the metropolitan of Rome accommodates four million, roughly 70% of the region’s people. For the most part, Romans work in administration, tourism, banking and similar sectors while regional manufacturing is concentrated in Lazio’s south.
Lazio consists of five provinces: Rome, Rieti, Viterbo, Frosinone and Latina. On this tour, we will visit two of them. In Rome province, we will explore three UNESCO sites inside the famed capital city as well as the Villa d’Este in Tivoli and the Etruscan tombs of Cerveteri. Then, traveling south, we will reach Latina province and take in Circeo and ancient Gaeta.
On this journey, you will have the chance to learn and taste the best of the local cuisine with an expert chef who lived in Rome for several years. Savor world-renown first courses like spaghetti all’amatriciana (tomato sauce with pork cheek), alla carbonara (a similar version but with eggs instead of tomatoes) and cacio e pepe (grated Pecorino cheese, water and black pepper). Indulge in traditional mains like porchetta (roasted pork), coda alla vaccinara (ox tail cooked in a tomato sauce), carciofi alla Giudea (an ancient Jewish recipe featuring fried artichokes) and saltimbocca alla Romana (veal cutlets topped with a slice of prosciutto and a sage leaf).
Among the local foods we taste along the way there are some Slow Food presidia (local initiatives to support quality production methods at risk of extinction) such as Caciofiore cheese, made with vegetable rennet from artichoke flowers, and the sweet clam called telline, which is often enjoyed in pasta or on bruschetta. Lazio is famous for olive oil, especially around Gaeta, and for its wines of the Roman hills near Frascati. With each producer we visit, we’ll taste the treasures that their lands and hands can create.
“Savoring History and Cuisine of Lazio” is a food-based discovery of the natural, cultural and mythological wonders of this region. Accompanying you on this tour are University of Massachusetts Boston Chef-Instructor Angelo Guida, Professor of Italian Studies Vetri Nathan and Food.Stories.Travel. Founder and Tour Leader Cristiano Bonino. Join us for this delicious journey to the unique wonders of Lazio’s culinary and cultural landscapes.
SAVORING HISTORY AND CUISINE OF LAZIO
Special departure with University of Massachusetts Boston Professor of Italian Studies Vetri Nathan and Chef-Instructor Angelo Guida
TOUR DATES AND PRICES
Minimum of 6 participants, maximum of 15, with a maximum guide-to-guest ratio of 1 to 8
DATES (7 days)
For more info, dates and availability please contact us.
Per person in double occupancy: from $3,490
(tour price will vary and contingent upon availability of cozy agriturismi and 3-star hotels or more elegant 4-star hotels)
Single Supplement: $490
In addition, we pledge to donate more than 1% of your trip price to food literacy and environmental non profit organizations
- Discover three UNESCO Sites: the city of Rome, Villa d’Este in Tivoli and the Etruscan tombs of Cerveteri
- Visits and tastings to wine, olive oil, cheese and gelato makers
- Delve daily into history, traditions and culture in this unique area in south of Italy with Professor of Italian Studies Vetri Nathan
- Relax in unique, cozy agriturismi or 3- or 4-star hotels distinctively representing the local cultures and traditions
- Experience an intangible UNESCO Cultural Heritage, the Mediterranean Diet with Chef-Instructor Angelo Guida on two hands-on cooking classes
- Explore the Lazio region and discover the island of Ponza and historical towns such as Rome, Cerveteri, Frascati, San Felice al Circeo, Sperlonga, Gaeta and Monte Cassino
- Learn more about local recipes and savor the cuisine of south of Italy, meeting and cooking with Angelo Guida’s family for an unforgettable lunch together!
- Travel with professional Tour Leader Cristiano Bonino and compare the cultural regional differences that make Italy so unique and worth-exploring
Ulysses, Augustus, Cicero, Spartacus, Michelangelo, Mussolini. Millennia-old stories of larger-than-life personalities swarm the relatively unvisited yet spectacular region of Lazio (Latium).
This tour is a food-based discovery of the incredible layers of natural, cultural and mythological wonders of this region. You will be accompanied by the University of Massachusetts Chef-Instructor Angelo Guida, Professor of Italian Studies Vetri Nathan and Food.Stories.Travel. Founder and Tour Leader Cristiano Bonino on a delicious journey that will allow you to uncover the unique and unforgettable wonders of Lazio’s culinary and cultural landscapes.
Rome has been the seat of power and culture for millennia, so we rightly begin our explorations of the history of Italy’s food and culture here. In a special nighttime walking tour your guides will bring alive the life of Ancient Romans as we walk around to find both famous and relatively unknown marvels in the Eternal City. Rather than a typical touristic visit, on this walk you will witness how the centuries of architectural layers that make up Rome still resonate in its cuisine, culture and lifestyle.
Of course, we will also stop by local street food vendors and gelato shops to accompany our time-travel with some “stomach-worship”! Some of the main sites we will visit include the Roman Forum, Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps, Piazza Navona and the Pantheon.
On the next day we will fast forward half a millenium and uncover the mysteries of courtly life in Villa D’Este, a perfectly preserved Renaissance palace in the foothills of the Appennine mountains. Commissioned by Cardinal Ippolito D’Este (the son of the infamous Lucrezia Borgia), this elaborate palace and mysterious garden filled with remarkable fountains was completed around 1572. With a detailed tour, your guides will bring alive the life of the nobles during that spectacular age that witnessed an explosion of thinking and creativity.
For lunch we will stop by the hill town of Frascati, known for its charming lowbrow and delicious trattorie called “fraschette”, have some downtime in the afternoon and enjoy a wine-tasting at a winery in this area prized for its vino dei Castelli. We finish up this day with some free time in the evening to explore Rome on your own.
We will begin this day by exploring the life of the mysterious Etruscans, a civilization that prospered long before the rise of the Romans. Cerveteri was an important Etruscan town around 600 B.C. and some clues to the lifestyle of the Etruscans can be found by visiting the famous Banditaccia Necropolis here—a UNESCO World Heritage site. The tombs in this necropolis date back from 9th century BC to the 3rd century BC.
After exploring this area, we will transfer to San Felice Circeo, the mythical seaside town where Ulysses supposedly encountered the beautiful witch Circe. In Ancient Roman times, this spectacular coastal site was already known as a luxury vacation spot for the Roman elites, and so we will quite appropriately indulge in a beachside stay and relax by the Mediterranean. In the evening, you will have a hands-on cooking class with Chef Angelo with a sit down meal to taste your own creations.
Located 22 miles off the coast from San Felice, the island of Ponza is a natural wonder of the Tyrhennian sea. It is said that the island is named after Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor of Judea who tried Jesus for heresy. The island is part of the Pontine archipelago which is the rim of an ancient volcano and one of the prime marine biodiversity hotspots in the Mediterranean.
We will spend our day swimming, visiting the pretty harbor village and have a boat tour of the various incredible grottoes and rock formations that surround the island. After our return and a well deserved rest, we will walk around the quaint hilltop town of San Felice and have dinner.
We will begin this day by visiting Sperlonga, chosen time and again as one of the most beautiful villages in Italy. Here we will wander down intimate alleys, visit artisanal shops and sleepy squares and have a personal gelato-making lesson.
After a relaxing morning we head on to the ancient seaside town of Gaeta, known for its strategic location between the Papal States and the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies in the South. We will have lunch, walk around the town and also visit the Montagna spaccata (Cleaved Mountain)—a spectacular sea-cave and rock formation that are connected with numerous legends.
We will then transfer to the agriturismo in Formia area for a relaxing evening in the countryside after a visit and tasting to a local olive oil maker.
On our last full day together, our morning will be dedicated to learning how the famed mozzarella di bufala is made. Buffalo mozzarella is a delicacy that does not compare to mozzarella cheese we commonly encounter in America, and is made from the milk of the Asiatic Water Buffalo, imported to Italy many centuries ago.
After witnessing how this incredible cheese is made, we will arrive at Chef Angelo’s father’s home for an authentic Italian family cooking class and lunch. Salvatore and his wife Teresa will show us how they use fresh seasonal ingredients everyday to create scrumptious meals from the Campania region by paying close attention to taste, nutrition as well as age-old traditions.
After this intimate experience, we will proceed to visit the Abbey of Monte Cassino. Built in medieval times, the monastery was the location of one of the greatest battles in World War II between the Allies and the Germans. Now lovingly rebuilt, the dramatic strategic location of the monastery highlights the intimate connections between geography, history and culture in Italy today.
Catch our group transfer to Formia train station for your next connection or extend your stay in the area. Buon viaggio and a presto! (Safe travels and see you soon!)
- 6 nights of accommodation in 3- or 4-star hotels and agriturismi
- 6 breakfasts and 3 lunches (1 with Angelo Guida’s family and 1 on board during a boat ride)
- 5 dinners with either a 3- or 4-course menu
- Entry fees to Villa d’Este, Cerveteri Etruscan Tombs, the Cleaved Mountain and the Monastery of Monte Cassino
- Ferry rides to/from Island of Ponza
- Daily exposure to history and culture of Italy with University of Massachusetts Boston Professor of Italian Studies Vetri Nathan
- 1 visit and tasting to an olive oil maker and 1 gelato demo and tasting
- 2 hands-on cooking classes with Chef-Instructor Angelo Guida (1 with his family!)
- 1 visit and tasting to a local winery and 1 to a mozzarella cheesemaker
- Comfortable transportation by 9-seat van for all travel as cited in the itinerary
- Bilingual, professional Tour Leaders
- One group transfer to Formia train station from last hotel on your last day
- Local taxes and gratuities for luggage porters and restaurant servers during tour
- 3 lunches and 1 dinner on your own
- Alcoholic beverages at group dinners (including wine and spirits)
- Round-trip airfare and expenses to/from the tour
- Trip cancellation, baggage loss or travel delay insurance (this optional coverage is highly recommended and is not provided by Food.Stories.Travel.)
- Gratuities for your Tour Leader
- Personal expenses, such as, but not limited to, phone calls, laundry, emails, snacks, gifts
Cristiano Bonino has led tours for North Americans all over Italy for more than thirteen years. Currently, he resides in the Boston area with his American wife. Cristiano likes to say that he has been “hybridizing” over the past three years in the U.S. He mixes the best of the both American and Italian cultures, which he loves, but never forgets his native roots in Turin.
Chef Angelo Guida is a professional chef from Naples Italy, who has worked extensively in senior and executive positions at award-winning restauants such as Gusto (Rome) and Bocca di Lupo (London). After many years of working in the resturant world Chef Angelo transitioned to teaching hospitality management and culinary arts at the Fritz-Knoebel School of Hospitality at the University of Denver and the Department of Hospitality Management at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He is currently Chef-Instructor at the University of Massachuetts Boston.
Dr. Vetri Nathan is a professor of Italian Studies at the University of Massachusetts Boston. Originally from India, Vetri moved to Italy when he was sixteen where he discovered his passion for all things Italian. He received an M.A. and Ph.D in Italian Studies from Stanford University. His research and teaching interests include immigrant cultures and globalization in contemporary Italy, Italian Cinema and Italian Food Studies. He has published various articles on these topics and is currently finishing a book manuscript on migrants in contemporary Italian cinema.
Your itinerary has been meticulously hand-designed by Food.Stories.Travel. and University of Massachusetts Boston Professor of Italian Studies Vetri Nathan and Chef-Instructor Angelo Guida. This journey is based on their favorite flavors and unforgettable past experiences. Every establishment you will visit has been personally vetted, tested and enjoyed.
In some cases we’ll take you to places you could not find by yourself or in a guidebook.