Umbria is similar to Tuscany in look and quality, but less touristy. Place to be for incentives and meetings that are affordable.
Hotels in the region run from Medieval castles, to villas, to recently constructed four and five star properties. Fantastic venues for gala dinners. Activities would certainly include visits to the important artistic cities such as Perugia, Assisi, Gubbio, Todi, Spolet and also, visits to ceramic factories, the famous Perugina (Baci), car rallies, treasure hunts, visits of vineyards and wine tasting and much more.
There are few secrets to Umbrian cooking, other than the native's insistence or obsession, really, on home-grown produce: fresh vegetables and fruit, dense green olive oil, roast meats, poultry and game, pecorino cheese and the herbs, greens and mushrooms that grow spontaneously on wooded hillsides.
Umbria has long been renowned for white wine, thanks mainly to the historical prominence of Orvieto
Suggestion 1: Black truffel hunting
Through the “Educational itinerary to the discovery of the Truffle”, you will understand the history and its secrets. An early morning walk with a trifulau (truffle hunter) and his dog will learn you the various types of truffles. Take part in a workshop to learn more about the unique perfumes, how to choose and preserve them, how to better appreciate it. Start to prepare a truffle menu with a reputable regional cook, using your own morning’s harvest. Tasting of the cooked dishes will include this fantastic experience. In the small museum you’ll find all about the mysteries of the world of this black gold.
Suggestion 2: Cooking classes in Gubbio
The cooking classes under the supervision of a chef cook are held in English and/or Italian. Minimum 6-8 participants. Each lesson (3 hours) will deal with a specific theme : antipasti, homemade pasta, filled pasta, risotto, meat, vegetable dishes and dessert, with degustation of the best Umbrian wines. Only typical local ingredients will be used : extra virgin olive oil, porcini mushrooms, truffles, cheese, cured meat products, etc…. Each participant will receive a certificate at the end of the lesson.
Suggestion 3: Saffron production
Spend half a day in company of a saffron artisan, Mr Pietro. He will explain the production process of these violet saffron flowers, and will give you hints how to distinguish real saffron from imitations, with tasting. This world’s most expensive spice, is native to the Mediterranean region, characterized by cool winters and warm dry summers. Saffron are the dried yellow/orange stigmas that are detached from the harvested crocus. The blossoms are thrown away, so quite a large amount of waste compared to just 3 stigmas that are produced by each flower. The saffron production has its own place beside wine and olive oil, as one of the main gastronomic products in central Italy. We end this course with a lunch based on saffron and tasting of Umbrian wines.
Suggestion 4: Food & Wine Tours in Gubbio – Gualdo Tadino
Umbrian Cuisine is like its people : uncomplicated and genuine. It has roots from the Umbrian and Etruscan civilisations, and later from the Romans, with frequent use of pulses and cereals, without denying the noble ingredients : truffles, extra virgin olive oil, etc… which are very fundamental for the Umbrian tradition. Meat, the real start on the Umbrian dinner table, is prepared in a simple way in order to maintain its innate flavor : grilled or skewered over an open fire letting the true flavor and aroma exalt. The wines which accompagny the meal are the best this region has to offer. Food and wine itineraries which include rewarding dishes, from the antipasto to the pasta dish, created by expert chefs who respect the old traditions, and make the most wonderful products coming from the rich earth of this region.
Suggestion 5: Scenic journey of delight and flavours
Day 1 : Arrival in Gubbio, check-in hotel or other accommodation. Dinner in a typical restaurant.
Day 2 : Hands-on cooking course in a restaurant, learning how to prepare traditional Umbrian dishes, with lunch of the prepared meal, and wine tasting. Guided tour through the Stone Town, Gubbio.
Day 3 : Guided walk in Perugia in the morning. Light lunch with specific traditional snacks. In the afternoon we visit Assisi, the town of San Francesco. Dinner in a typical restaurant.
Day 4 : Visit at Museo Civico Rocca Flea in Gualdo Tadino. Relax time with personalized beauty treatments in health resort. Lunch in local characteristic restaurant.
Suggestion 6: Umbrian wine and products tastings
The rich gastronomic tradition of Umbria is also to be found in the wide choice of fine wines made in the region. Apart from the most famous Sagrantino, Umbria produces many other fine wines which harmoniously accompany its cuisine. With help from an expert from the AIS (Italian Sommeliers Association), you can choose from a vast selection of regional wines as you learn the techniques of wine tasting, the full appreciation of its aroma (nose), its colour and the flavour of the best Umbrian wines. The sommelier is also the right person to guide you through the specialties from Gubbio which accompany each bottle (cured meats, bruschetta, soups,….).
Suggestion 7: Made in Italy - “botteghe artigiane”
You might also like to shop for Umbrian luxury artwork in typical artisan workshops, such as jewels, ceramics, leather, or even musical instruments. Not only will you come away with a unique souvenir, but also with an understanding of the region’s rich artisan culture and history.
Suggestion 8: Mountainbike excursion
Discover the rich nature of Gubbio & region by mountain bike…
Suggestion 9: Delta flying
Another way to enjoy the beautiful scenery of Umbria is upon in the air. If you are adventurous enough, get a guided deltaflight !
Suggestion 10: Porcini
Gather porcini in nature with an expert, who will tell you all about these wild mushrooms.