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Vineyards & Vinyasa Umbria, Italy WITH JULIE MARGOLIS, GLASS HALF FULL + VIA DEL VINO TOURS

GLASS HALF FULL YOGA, FOOD AND WINE TOUR IN UMBRIA, ITALY

May 7- 14, 2022

Join Julie Margolis, longtime yoga instructor and wine educator for a week of yoga, food and wine in beautiful Umbria, Italy.

On this small group, exclusive tour, you'll travel like a local with Julie and her friend, Susan Guerra, a credentialed wine professional and the owner of Via Del Vino Food and Wine Tours who now lives in Umbria and will show you the sights that only the locals know.

Practice yoga in a restored 13th-century church surrounded by the countryside, just 20 minutes north of the capital city of Perugia. Mingle with locals as you discover this enchanting region that's remained little-changed by the centuries and far away from the tourist crowds.

Our week in Umbria includes a selection of food and wine activities with winery visits and tastings, a pizza-making dinner, an all-Umbrian food, wine and history tour, truffle hunting and pasta-making with a family in the mountains near Spoleto, plus sightseeing and free time to meander in several of Umbria's most iconic hill towns.

The tour includes a group transfer from Rome Fiumicino Airport to Chiesa del Carmine, a meticulously restored 13th-century church and adjoining villa immersed in nature at the foot of Monte Tezio. The estate is located in a protected valley, surrounded by vineyards, olive groves, and nature trails.

CHIESA DEL CARMINE, YOUR HOME FOR THE WEEK OFFERS BREATHTAKING VIEWS IN EVERY DIRECTION
YOU'LL PRACTICE YOGA INSIDE A RESTORED 13TH CENTURY CHAPEL OR OUTSIDE ON THE BEAUTIFUL GROUNDS IF THE WEATHER PERMITS
THE GROUNDS AND INTERIOR OF CHIESA DEL CARMINE HAVE ALL BEEN METICULOUSLY RESTORED
THE OUTDOOR DINING AREA AT CHIESA DEL CARMINE
THE SWIMMING POOL AT CHIESA DEL CARMINE

Tour Highlights & Experiences Include:

A VISIT TO ASSISI

The birthplace of Saint Francis and Saint Claire, Assisi is the spiritual heart of Umbria with its majestic Basilica, a UNESCO world heritage site, standing above the valley and offering panoramic views in every direction. The basilica, a religious pilgrimage site and also the final resting place of Saint Francis is famous for its series of Giotto frescoes depicting his life. The city itself is built into Monte Subasio, a national park in the Apennine Range famous for its many hiking trails and symbolic places where Saint Francis retreated from civilization to meditate and pray.

THE BASILICA OF SAN FRANCESCO WITH ITS 28 GIOTTO FRESCOES IN THE UPPER BASILICA
ASSISI'S TRANQUIL SURROUNDINGS

A FOOD TOUR TOUR IN PERUGIA

We'll explore Perugia with all of our senses on the #1-Rated Taste Perugia Food Tour. As we stroll through a maze of medieval streets, you'll be struck by the beauty of this ancient city and by the delicious simplicity of Umbrian food. We'll meet the local restaurant and shop owners as we learn about the foods, the locals and the fascinating history of the city including Etruscans, Romans, and ruthless Popes. We'll end the tour with a special chocolate-making demo followed by a creamy gelato from one of Italy's Top 100 rated artisan gelaterias. After the tour, you'll have the rest of the day to explore on your own before a special "apericena" on Susan's terrace, which sits on top of a 3rd-century BC city gate.

PERUGIA CHOCOLATES, PASTA WITH LOCAL BLACK TRUFFLES, TORTA AL TESTO, UMBRIAN CHEESES (VEGETARIAN OPTIONS AVALIABLE)
SUSAN'S FRIEND ANTONIO, OWNER OF THE CITY'S OLDEST SPICE SHOP WITH RECENT TOUR GUESTS FROM THE USA
VIA APPIA IS ONE OF THE MOST PHOTOGRAPHED STREETS IN PERUGIA
THE ARCO ETRUSCO WAS "BUILT TO LAST" BY THE ETRUSCANS IN THE THIRD CENTURY B.C.

A MONTEFALCO WINERY VISIT

We'll visit a winery for a tasting and lunch in the prestigious Montefalco DOCG wine zone. Montefalco's indigenous red grape variety, Sagrantino is one of Italy's most age-worthy wines. After our tour, tasting and lunch we'll have time to wander in the charming town of Montefalco, also known as The Balcony of Umbria due to its panoramic views from a perch overlooking the Tiber Valley.

VINEYARD VIEW IN THE MONTEFALCO DOCG WINE ZONE
MONTEFALCO RED WINES ARE MADE WITH THE POWERFUL AND AGE-WORTHY SAGRANTINO GRAPE

A VISIT TO SPOLETO

The town of Spoleto's charm derives not only from its many remarkable monuments but also from its setting against the scenic backdrop of the Monteluco hill, which surrounds the town with centuries-old holm oak forests. The historic center of Spoleto has maintained its medieval appearance, although traces of its Roman heritage are still visible. Most notable are the Arch of Drusus and Germanicus and the ancient Roman Theater, which today is part of the complex hosting the State Archaeological Museum and it is still used for performances and various plays.

SPECTACULAR SUNSET OVER SPOLETO
PIAZZA DEL DUOMO, SPOLETO
PONTE DELLE TORRE SPOLETO

TRUFFLE HUNTING + PASTA-MAKING WITH A FAMILY IN THE MOUNTAINS

We'll have a truffle hunting adventure on a farm where Susan's friend Francesca and her family have been hunting truffles and living off the land since the 1400s. The hunt starts from a small mountain village where an expert truffle hunter will comb the forests with his highly trained dogs. When we have enough of this local delicacy to make lunch, we'll stop in a panoramic spot and have your first taste of a freshly dug truffle with scrambled eggs (an Umbrian favorite) and a glass or two of Prosecco. Then back at the village, you can lend a hand to Francesca as she makes fresh pasta or simply sit back and watch as you enjoy an assortment of home-made specialties such as truffle bruschetta, capocollo, and the family's own pecorino cheese – with loads of great local wine.

OUR GROUP BEFORE A RECENT TRUFFLE HUNT WITH A FAMILY IN THE MOUNTAINS NEAR SPOLETO
EATING FRESHLY DUG TRUFFLES ON SCRAMBLED EGGS (WITH A GLASS OR TWO OF PROSECCO) IS WHAT THE LOCALS DO!
WHILE FRANCESCA MAKES THE TAGLIATELLE WE CAN HELP OR JUST DRINK WINE AS A SIGN OF SOLIDARITY!
WHEN THIS IS HOW YOU ROLL OUT THE PASTA DOUGH YOU DON'T NEED TO WORK YOUR ARMS AT THE GYM!

Click on the video to see the Magic Moment in the Tagliatelle-making process!

When the pasta is made, we'll sit down to a traditional Umbrian meal where all of the recipes are part of a centuries-old family tradition. Family and friends from the village often join for this relaxing, fun and totally authentic lunch.

A PIZZA-MAKING NIGHT AT THE VILLA

We'll have a pizza night at our villa with a local chef. The chef prepares the pizza bases in advance and you are welcome to join in if you would like to learn how to do this. The chef will teach you how to make all the classic Italian pizza favorites such as Margherita, Napolitana, and Capricciosa to name a few as well as providing you with a wide variety of traditional Italian toppings so you can create your own classic. You'll also learn how to cook the pizza in Carmine’s own wood-fired oven on-site or our pizza chef will do this for you and you only need a healthy appetite.

A LOCAL CHEF PREPARING A PIZZA WITH FRESH TOMATOES AND OLIVES

ORVIETO WINERY + CITY VISIT

On our way back to Rome, we'll visit Palazzone, one of the most respected wineries in the Orvieto Classico DOCG, Umbria's most famous white wine production area. We'll also have free time in Orvieto, a city with an ancient and mysterious atmosphere that soars above the surrounding valley, perched atop a tufa cliff. The historic center is enhanced not only by its beautiful cathedral, monuments, and museums but through the tradition of wood craftsmanship, wrought iron and majolica pottery, which can be purchased in the many shops throughout the historic center.

VIEW OF ORVIETO AND THE SURROUNDING COUNTRYSIDE
THE DUOMO OF ORVIETO WITH ITS SPECTACULAR FACADE INCLUDING COLORED "TESSERAE" CERAMIC MOSAICS
LOCANDA DEL PALAZZONE, BUILT IN THE 13TH-CENTURY AND SOME OF PALAZZONE WINES WE'LL TASTE

A STOP IN CIVITA DI BAGNOREGIO

If time permits, we'll visit the town of Civita di Bagnoregio. Known as "La Città che Muore" (The Dying City) this ancient town was founded more than 2,500 years ago. All that remains now is an evocative cluster of homes, narrow streets and a few eateries that cater to seasonal tourists and the town's six permanent residents. Much has been done in recent years to save Civita di Bagnoregio, which at one time was considered the “jewel city of the Tiber Valley.” Its decline in the 17th century, due to earthquakes and soil erosion sent many of its medieval buildings tumbling down the cliffs, and the inhabitants fleeing to nearby towns. Nowadays the town, which sits precariously atop a precipice in a fairytale-like setting, can only be reached by a narrow footbridge - a walk that takes about ten minutes.

CIVITA DI BAGNOREGIO
CIVITA DI BAGNOREGIO IS HOME TO SIX PERMANENT RESIDENTS WHO LIVE IN ITS CHARACTERISTIC TUFA-STONE HOMES

FREE TIME & YOGA AT OUR VILLA

In addition to yoga practice and our planned food and wine experiences, you'll have one entirely free day to relax at our beautiful villa, surrounded by gardens, stone terraces and quiet places to reflect. The villa features a swimming pool (heated if needed), located in a quiet and secluded position. The pool area has lounge chairs, large umbrellas, tables and chairs, an outdoor heated shower and a toilet in the underground pool house. A large pergola provides shade, and there is a fridge to keep drinks cool, with a storage cupboard for glasses.

The beautifully landscaped gardens of the estate are planted with young olive trees, umbrella pines, cypress trees, lavender, rosemary, and other herbs. Flower-filled terracotta pots around the church begin to bloom in the spring. Guests can enjoy an aperitif on one of the outdoor terraces or dining areas. A pond with a fountain and a nearby, shady area are ideal places to sit and contemplate, read or just simply be.

There are also mapped walking trails that meander through nature and allow guests to admire the different views of what is one of Italy’s most beautiful valleys. The trails vary in length and range from leisurely strolls through the olive groves and vineyards, to more demanding walks up and down hills. Guided walks of the nearby area can be arranged and packed lunches are available on request.

VILLA SERVICES: Our week at the villa includes daily English breakfast with Coffee, Cappuccino, Tea, Hot Chocolate, Fruit Juice, Fresh Fruit, Yogurt, Cereals, Fresh Bread and Toast, Jams and Honey, Bacon and Eggs. Also included: 3 hours of daily maid services and a midweek change of towels and sheets. Massages, additional driving services, additional laundry/maid services can all be provided for an extra charge with 48 hours advance notice.

MEALS: This trip includes all meals except for breakfast on the day of your arrival and 2 lunches (Assisi & Orvieto). Wine is included with all dinners. Special dietary needs can be accommodated with advance notice.

Space is limited to 13 guests

Prices per person: €2,850 in single room with shared bathroom, €2,950 in double or twin bed room with shared bathroom, €3,050 in double or twin bed room with ensuite bathroom, €3,150 in superior double room with ensuite bathroom. Single supplement upgrade for last night in Rome: €35. To see the villa and its rooms in detail click here.

INCLUSIONS:

  • Round Trip Group transfer from Rome Fiumicino Airport
  • 8 nights accommodation
  • Driver and mini coach transport for schedule activities
  • Daily English breakfast
  • 5 to 6 Yoga Sessions
  • 6 lunches
  • 8 dinners with wine
  • Taste Perugia food and wine tour with chocolate-making demo
  • Winery tours and tastings at Chiesa del Carmine and in Montefalco & Orvieto
  • Truffle hunting experience with lunch and wines
  • Pizza-making at Chiesa del Carmine
  • Guided tour in Assisi
  • Entrance fees for historical sites and local guides where applicable

Individual transfers and additional nights are available upon request (extra charges apply). Airfare is not included. Dietary restrictions can be accommodated with advance notice.

A complete day-by-day itinerary and schedule will be provided before the start of the tour. For questions or to discuss this tour in more detail please contact: Susan Guerra at Via Del Vino Tours: susan@viadelvino.com, (866) 812-1223 or email Julie Margolis: julielmargolis@gmail.com, (917) 592-5294

Please note: Although every effort is made to adhere to the stated tour, itineraries and activities are sometimes subject to change at any time due to unforeseen circumstances beyond the control of Julie Margolis/Glass Half Full, Via del Vino, LLC and its service providers.

A €600 deposit is due once travel restrictions to Italy have been lifted. Payment in full is due 60 days prior to departure. For full terms, please visit: THIS LINK and reference the section on private tours and group culinary excursions.

Accommodations:

Chiesa del Carmine, La Bruna (7 nights), Hotel Isola Sacra, Fiumicino (1 night)

MEET YOUR GUIDES

JULIE MARGOLIS, YOGA ALLIANCE CERTIFIED INSTRUCTOR, WINE EDUCATOR & OWNER OF GLASS HALF FULL

A teacher at heart, Julie Margolis is a wine educator who believes that learning about wine can be just as enjoyable as drinking it. As owner of Glass Half Full, Julie creates unique events including wine-pairing dinners, tastings, workshops and group trips to wine regions both domestic and international. Julie teaches WSET classes at the International Wine Center in New York where she completed her own education and serves on their recently launched Diversity Committee. As the Director of Education at Gary’s Wine and Marketplace, Julie created an education program with popular monthly public classes at four locations throughout Northern New Jersey.

In addition to teaching about wine, Julie has been teaching yoga since 2004 and has a large and dedicated community following. She is particularly happy when she gets to combine her two passions through her signature Vineyards and Vinyasa events. Julie’s joy of sharing her knowledge of wine and yoga shows in her inclusive teaching style that is accessible at any level.

Since March of 2020, Julie has taken both her yoga classes and her wine classes virtual-moderating online WSET classes, offering wine tasting fundraisers for local and regional charities as well as private social events for companies and individuals.

Julie completed her WSET Diploma With Merit at the International Wine Center in 2019, winning the Republic National Distributing Company Prize. Julie loves traveling with her husband and three daughters and can often be found dreaming of their next adventure.

SUSAN GUERRA, CREDENTIALED WINE PROFESSIONAL AND OWNER OF VIA DEL VINO TOURS

A second generation Italian American, born and raised in New Jersey, Susan’s Italian heritage sparked a lifelong interest in Italian language, travel, food and wine. After a career in graphic design and marketing, Susan earned the Advanced Certificate in Wines & Spirits from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust and is currently a candidate in the Diploma program. Prior to founding Via Del Vino, Susan worked in the wine business for 10 years and wrote about wine for New Jersey Monthly Magazine.

Her tour company, Via Del Vino was born of a lifelong dream to live in Italy, a giant leap of faith and a special talent for eating, drinking and talking! The tours began organically when—at the tender age of fifty-something, Susan and her pastry chef husband, sold their house and all of their possessions and moved to Perugia, Italy. Susan's first tour was conceived after showing countless visitors her new city—taking them to her favorite restaurants, markets and shops and introducing them to the chefs, servers and small business owners who have since become dear friends and neighbors.

With the idea to show others her Italy—not the one that's only in the guide books, but the authentic Italy, full of local traditions, customs and craftsmanship—Via Del Vino soon grew to include weeklong itineraries designed to immerse guests in authentic places, meet the locals and discover the true flavors of this endlessly fascinating country.

Credits:

Created with images by yoloizi - "assisi view panorama" • bogitw - "architecture old city" Other photos courtesy of Chiesa del Carmine, Wild Foods Italy, Via del Vino Tours