Tasting Umbria | Olive Harvest Tour recap 2018
The harvest season is hands-down my favorite time to visit Italy. But when you add freshly pressed olives, seasonal food and fabulous new friends into the mix? Pure magic.
Our Olive harvest tour was a delicious success this year, and here are just a few of the highlights.
Scroll to the bottom to see the things I think you'll love about coming on this trip yourself!
New friends from Texas, Washington & Illinois joined together for 4 delicious days at Alla Madonna del Piatto cooking school near Assisi. Our group was the perfect size to really get to know each other,
Highlights from our tour this year
I always have to remind people that this is a food tour! We. Eat. A. Lot.
For our cooking class with Letizia this year, we made a fennel & citrus salad, homemade gnocchi and more. I plan to write a separate blog post ALLL about our wonderful cooking class with Letizia. (with lots of new photos!)
The meals for the whole tour are carefully planned and picked to share not only the bounty of the season but also the specialties of each chef- which is so fun for them and for us.
One chef we visit loves to bring out plate after plate of antipasti, a great way to taste many things without filling up too much- although it's tempting to fill up on those and then have no room for the primi or secondi!
Which is why "Pace Yourself"- is our mantra for the entire long weekend.
This year we ate extremely well. I think the favorite meal would change depending on who you asked. My favorite was a place we had lunch at in Perugia, and our farewell feast- because I am so enamored with that stuffed Sedano Nero di Trevi (black celery of Trevi)
We don't force feed anyone 🙂 but just know that if you join us, you won't go home hungry. And you might just want to roll into your bed at night... ha!
Barbara from Wine Link Italy is our resident wine aficionado. She hand picks not only the vineyards we visit, but also the wines we try at each meal.
Her wine choices are extraordinary, focusing on small producers in the region right around Assisi and biodynamic wines.
I love learning from her, and always come away with a nice list of new finds to share with my own personal wine aficionado. (my husband Chris) The 2 wines above were highlights for our group this year.
We do a lot of exploring together, whether it is in a workshop learning about ancient looms, visiting a small family owned winery or walking through an olive estate and hand raking olives.
We try to build in time for our guests to explore on their own too- this year they had time to explore with me, or on their own in Assisi, Perugia and Bevagna.
This IS the olive harvest tour, and we plan some special events around this special time of year. Visiting olive mills, tasting new oil, and best of all spending the day with our friend Corinna whose family owns an Olive Estate near Assisi.
This year we had a private tour of the olive grove, everyone got a chance to harvest the olives and learn about the process from fruit to bottle. And then we ate. Again. As you do when you are in Umbria...
Our olive harvest party feast included some dishes special to the Tonti family and everything went wonderfully with that green herby extra virgin olive oil that had just been pressed.
Learning might not sound too exciting for a vacation, but it is always one of the highlights of our tours.
By partnering with local guides who are passionate about sharing "their" Umbria, we get first hand stories, knowledge and the inside scoop on everything from history, to art, food, wine & culture.
Perhaps the best part of the whole trip is getting to know the group. You might be nervous about traveling with other people- but I have to say, the people that are drawn to this trip are wonderful. They are curious about the food & culture of Italy. They are kind and generous and friendly. They are well traveled and have fabulous stories!
This group of new friends was outstanding. I can't pick favorite groups, it's like picking your favorite child a little, no? But we had a fantastic time together and I think I speak for everyone when I say I was sad when it was over and it was hard to say goodbye.
5 THINGS YOU'LL LOVE ABOUT THE OLIVE HARVEST TOUR
So that's a little peek into what our Annual Olive Harvest Tour is like. Have questions? Interested in coming with us next time?
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