I love Italy and try to get there as much as I can. I believe that in order to deliver quality food and wine travel experiences I need to “hand pick” hotels, vendors, and experiences for you, my guests! A few weeks ago that’s exactly what I did! Along with some help!
Myself, along with one of my Tour Partners, Damon Allan, of Maxima Tours/Exclusively Malta & Food Tours, met in Catania, Sicily to start a 10-day long trek through Sicily, Calabria and Puglia (here we are with our local guide Silvia, and a local hotelier). You can see all of our photos and videos on Instagram: @NatalinasKitchen
We logged over 1,000 kilometres by car and ferry. We visited 17 hotels, 15 different towns, 16 cooking schools and culinary experiences, and finally 18 restaurants! With Damon’s 10 years of travel and tourism experience and my lifelong experience with everything Italian, we chose the best of all these suppliers to ensure we deliver the best experiential, small group, Mediterranean food & wine tours.
Vendors will often tell me that most tour companies find suppliers online and book without visiting. Well, not us! If we are traveling “like friends “, I like to bring my friends to meet the suppliers we have developed relationships with. I have truly become friends with many of our suppliers! I am bringing my own family to meet my Italian friends that I have worked with over the years in Puglia this summer.
We are very excited to be going back to Puglia this May 20-31, 2018. We have a guaranteed departure with this tour and only a few places left. Get all the details and see the itinerary here. This will be my 6th time in this gorgeous region and it will always have a special place in my heart as it is the first tour that I hosted! We are excited to have added 2 new cooking schools with 1 half day program each! Each is located on a gorgeous, rural property with passionate teachers leading us in a “hands-on” culinary experience. As always we will experience cheese making, bread making, olive oil, wine, ice cream and endless other gastronomic delicacies with visits to UNESCO World Heritage sites… even some free time to explore on your own!
We are also headed back to Sicily and Malta for our 3rd tour this October 21 – November 1, 2018. These 2 islands, only 90 km apart, share similar climate, but each has an exciting food & wine culture and history of its own.
We will start in Sicily with a visit to Taormina, Etna, Siracusa, Catania, a local winery and 2 cooking schools for 1/2 day experiences. Then off to Malta to visit Valetta, Gozo, Madina, an olive oil producer, a baker and more… history and culture meet food!
This tour combines 2 countries in 1 tour. And our Tour Partners at Exclusively Malta and Mediterranean Food Tours know Malta! You may wish to consider an extended stay here in Malta… my partners can take care of everything! (Many of my clients extend their vacation on the Maltese island of Gozo). Here are all the details on this tour.
And finally, I am extremely excited to announce our newest destination: the region of Calabria! Calabria, the “toe” of Italy is my ancestral region and I am very excited about sharing this up-and-coming region with my clients!
For years, Calabria has been the choice of Northern Italian holiday goers… the beaches, the food, and the wine have all attracted Italians from the North and North Americans with ancestral roots. Now finally, it is getting some much-deserved attention from the rest of the world. It is still rather remote and definitely off the beaten path but that means it is less touristy and authentic Southern Italian! Although this was my 3rd time to the region, I was struck by its beauty in the rural areas I had never visited before!
Our first Taste of Calabria Tour will be October 10 – 21, 2018. We will visit Scilla, Tropea, Reggio Calabria, San Giorgio Morgeto, Santa Severina, Crotone, Bova, Pentedattilo, and La Castella . We will taste local wine, olive oil, cheese, nduja, salami, mushrooms and much more. We’ll spend 2 half-day “hands-on” cooking experiences along with other cultural experiences. This will be Southern Italy at its best.
Come experience it with us, before the word gets out! All the details of this experience are coming very soon! Sign up to be the first to know here.
We will continue to expand our destinations to bring you the best in food & wine in the Mediterranean. The food, the wine, the people, the culture of the Mediterranean are all fabulous experiences, and we are just waiting for you to join us!
Ciao for now,