Eat, Pray and Love Across Italy

Cantuccini, a type of almond biscotti that's said to originate from the Tuscan town of Prato. photolinda
By Carrie Havranek

In light of the film based on Elizabeth Gilbert's smash success of a memoir, Eat, Pray, Love, we're featuring ways in which you can eat, drink, and cook in Italy.

While in Italy, Gilbert reconnected with the pleasures of life -- the deliciousness of Italian food, the musicality of the language, the beauty of its people. Check out these five food-themed Italy deals, so you too can eat (and drink) your way around this travel-inspiring country.

All prices are per person and, if lodging is a component of the package, based upon two people traveling together (unless otherwise noted). The prices listed are general starting rates; in this case, most prices are for off-season travel. See "What Else You'll Have to Pay" for details about associated taxes and fees. Base-prices, taxes, and fees can vary based on point of departure and time of travel. Blackout dates may apply. Trip add-ons like sightseeing tours and meal plans may also increase the price. Check with the tour operator for additional gateways and any single supplements, which is the extra cost that a solo traveler would pay to book the deal.

Photo Caption: Cantuccini, a type of almond biscotti that's said to originate from the Tuscan town of Prato. Photo by photolinda/Flickr.com
View Next Slide
Gelato in Rome. Frommers.com Community
Try out your Italian with the "Taste of Rome" trip by Donna Franca Tours (tel. 800/225-6290; www.donnafranca.com).

Where to Eat: With this independent trip, you have the time to try every unusual flavor of gelato you can find while in Rome, including fresh fig, sesame, and pear. This five-night package also includes breakfast daily and one welcome dinner at a local Roman restaurant.

Where to Stay: Five nights at the Hotel Milani, which is very close to the Rome Termini train station.

How Much: From $699 for off-season travel, based on Nov. 1, 2010-March 31, 2011 departures. Airline fuel surcharges are not included and could add up to $400 to the package price.

Photo Caption: A dizzying array of gelato in Rome. Photo by R.Miyara/Frommers.com Community
View Next Slide
Capezzana winery estate in Tuscany, Italy. Courtesy Central Holidays Central Holidays
Tuck into six days of wine, food, and relaxation with the "Tuscany Super Bargain" offered by Central Holidays (tel. 800/539-7098; www.centralholidays.com).

Where to Eat and Drink: A one-hour cooking class teaches you how to make cantuccini, a type of biscotti. You'll also visit the Capezzana winery, with wine tasting and snacks.

Where to Stay: Spend four nights in Pistoia at the Hotel Villa Cappugi, with a half-day guided tour of the medieval walled city.

How Much: From $899 for Thursday departures Nov. 1, 2010-March 31, 2011 with Air Europa flights from New York City to Rome, a five-day car rental with unlimited mileage, four nights' hotel, and breakfast daily. If you book by Sept. 30, you can save $50 per person. The price includes airline fuel surcharges; add about $96 per person for air taxes and fees.

Photo Caption: Capezzana winery estate in Tuscany, Italy. Courtesy Central Holidays
View Next Slide
Every day, Vivoli whips up two to three dozen flavors of freshly made gelato. Photo by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/acidcookie/2408366916/" target="_blank">anne.oeldorfhirsch/Flickr.com</a> anne.oeldorfhirsch
TourCrafters (tel. 800/ITALY95; www.tourcrafters.com) is offering the aptly named the "Eat Your Gelato in Italy" package. This independent package offers flights from New York City and six nights at four-star hotel (three nights each in Florence and in Cortona, a charming medieval village).

Where to Eat: You'll indulge in freshly-made gelato from the world-famous Vivoli.

Where to Stay: In Florence, Hotel Roma is on Piazza Santa Maria Novella in the historic center. In Cortona, you'll stay at Villa Aurea, which dates back to 1700 and is surrounded by a park full of trees, gardens, and paths.

How Much: From $1,179 with airfare and six nights' hotel, valid for Sept. 19-Oct. 31 departures. Breakfast is included daily, along with fuel surcharges, service charges and taxes. Check with tour provider for additional gateways.

Photo Caption: Every day, Vivoli whips up two to three dozen flavors of freshly made gelato. Photo by anne.oeldorfhirsch/Flickr.com
View Next Slide
Frascati wines are produced in the countryside outside of Rome. A Culinary (Photo) Journal
STA Travel (tel. 800/218-4778; www.statravel.com) customized its "Eat, Pray, Love" package based on the company's early access to the script and the film. Though this package doesn't include airfare, the trip does put you in Rome for five days, including four nights' lodging and tours.

Where to Eat and Drink: You'll be treated to a half-day cooking class where you'll prepare a four-course meal. A full day is spent in the Frascati wine region, learning about the winemaking process and sampling the results.

Where to Stay: You'll stay (like Gilbert did) at a Roman guesthouse, centrally located to the major attractions.

How Much: From $777; the lowest price is merely the starting price, so expect it to fluctuate somewhat depending on the dates you select. The package is available now until further notice, according to STA.

Photo Caption: Frascati wines are produced in the countryside outside of Rome. Photo by A Culinary (Photo) Journal/Flickr.com
View Next Slide
Touring a wine cellar in Chiusi, Italy. Courtesy Diane Panasci/Foreign Independent Tours Diane Panasci/Foreign Independent Tours
Foreign Independent Tours (tel. 800/248-3487; www.fittours.com) is offering a five days in Tuscany to learn about Italian wine and how to cook Italian food.

Where to Eat and Drink: You'll have the services of a knowledgeable English-speaking guide when you tour an old wine cellar in Montepulciano, known for its Nobile wine. The tour is, of course, followed by a wine tasting. Immerse yourself in the local flavors with a half-day cooking lesson (add $175 per person), where you'll help prepare four courses of authentic Etruscan fare -- think handmade pasta.

Where to Stay: Villa Il Patriarca, in Chiusi, dates back to 1800 but offers modern amenities. The villa is surrounded by pine and cypress trees and that picturesque Tuscan countryside.

How Much: From $1,099 with flights from New York City to Rome, a five-day car rental, and four nights in Chiusi at the Villa Il Patriarca, with breakfast daily. Fuel surcharges are included; add $185 for airport fees and taxes.

The price reflects a Dec. 28 departure with airfare, but Nov. 9, 16, 23, and 30 departures start at just $100 more per person. Other gateways are available for additional prices: Miami, Boston (add from $50); Chicago (add from $125); Los Angeles, San Francisco (add from $275).

Photo Caption: Touring a wine cellar in Chiusi, Italy. Courtesy Diane Panasci/Foreign Independent Tours
View Next Slide
advertisement
advertisement