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Dinner with Friends Abroad

Join Nancy Silverton, Ruth Reichl, and Laurie Ochoa Around the Italian Table

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Join consummate culinary professionals Nancy Silverton, Ruth Reichl and Laurie Ochoa to sip, sample, and savor the delights of Italy on a most unique food lover’s journey! From Bologna through the stunning Tuscan hills to beautiful Florence, our incomparable hosts will introduce you to the region’s most remarkable restaurants—many of them with Michelin-starred chefs—in addition to wineries and markets along the way. 

Enjoy exclusive tastings of delectable hand-crafted foods, private wine tours, hands-on cooking classes, and convivial meals prepared by world-renowned chefs at some of Italy’s finest restaurants. Join us around the Italian table in October to taste the very best of the season in Bologna and Florence. Buon appetito!

Trip Details

October 15-22, 2021

8 days, 7 nights

Prices Per Person
$10,850 double occupancy
$12,500 single occupancy

$1,000 per person


  • Roll up your sleeves at exclusive hands-on pasta-making and bread-making workshops.

  • Meet creators of Italian food such as 3rd generation restauranteur Alberto Bettini to creative innovator and chef, Massimo Bottura.

  • Visit artisanal producers, such as award-winning butcher Dario Cecchini and family-run balsamic vinegar producers, who share their methods and passion for bringing only the finest ingredients to the table.

  • Dine at memorable prize-winning restaurants, some of which are Michelin-starred.


Arrive in Bologna. Transfer to your centrally located hotel and check in. This evening, dine in the woodlands outside Bologna at Trattoria Da Amerigo, a one-star Michelin restaurant with a retro feel. Over a glass of prosecco, your hosts, Nancy, Ruth and Laurie, will share the food highlights that await you this week. You’ll meet with chef Alberto Bettini, tasting regional classics such as lasagne all while Chef Bettini shares recipes passed down to him from the original restaurant owners, his grandparents. (R, D)



On a walking tour through a Bologna market, discover why the region has such a long tradition of cold cuts. At a local salumeria, sample a selection of cured meats: culatello, prosciutto, mortadella and salame rosa. Continue to a private cooking class with Maestra Alessandra Spinsi in her Vecchia Scuola Bolognese and discover the art of Italian pasta-making. Each region of Italy is renowned for its different pasta shapes and sauces, but it is the Emilia-Romagna region that reigns supreme with fresh egg-based pasta, either long, short, or stuffed. Learn about the different ravioli and tortellini that are so prized in the region, how to cook the perfect “al dente” pasta, and how to pair shape and sauce. Roll up your sleeves and learn the delicate art of making tortellini before sitting down for a warm broth, filled with these parcels of delight. Enjoy some time at leisure this afternoon in Bologna. This evening, choose to join locals in a passeggiata, a stroll through town for an aperitivo. Plans are underway for an optional dinner at the Casa Maria Luigia with Michelin-starred chef, Massimo Bottura. The full details of the meal as well as information about the additional charge will be provided later in the year. (B, L)

Head north to Modena, a city in the heart of the Emilia-Romagna region. Visit Acetaia Giusti to taste the highly prized balsamic vinegar recently featured in the Stanley Tucci series, “Searching for Italy.” Continue to Osteria di Rubbiara, a family-run tavern that is surrounded by Lambrusco vineyards and has earned its spot as one of the finest producers of balsamic vinegar in the area. Learn about the production and aging process of the vinegar before enjoying a lunch that includes the family’s spectacular tortellini, as well as several dishes featuring balsamic vinegar. After lunch, learn about the aging process of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese at an organic farm, and sample different varieties of the King of Cheese. Return to Bologna for a leisurely evening. (B, L)

This morning discover FICO Eataly World, Italy’s largest “field-to-fork” experience, located just outside Bologna. Try your hand at making focaccia and pizza before sitting down to a light lunch. There will be time to explore the park and shop for some of your favorite Italian food items. For those who prefer to discover the cultural highlights of Bologna, there will be a walking tour in the city center instead of a visit to FICO and a lunch at leisure. This afternoon, continue your journey through the center of Italy, over the Apennines mountains, through the picturesque rolling hills of the Mugello wine region, landing in Florence. Sit down this evening for a menu featuring the fruits of the season: porcini mushrooms and truffles. (B, D)

This morning, visit the Castello di Verazzano winery in the heart of the Chianti classico wine-producing region. Discover some of the key factors that help produce the prized wine—altitude, clay soil, and micro-climate—and conclude the visit with a tasting of wine and delicately delicious olive oil. Afterwards, visit Dario Cecchini, an award-winning butcher who seeks to source the best local meats and offer his customers the best cuts. Sit down for a convivial meal and savor the succulent bistecca alla fiorentina. Return to Florence. Late this afternoon on a passeggiata, visit several renowned gelato producers, and learn about the process of making gelato. Sample a variety of flavors from the classic rich and creamy nocciola to pistachio or limone. (B, L)

Discuss seasonal foods and produce with your hosts as you drive out into the Tuscan countryside to Da Delfina. The menu at this family-run restaurant is a celebration of Tuscan food, with an emphasis on fresh, local ingredients. Meet with the original owner’s son and current chef and tour the garden before joining chef Carlo in the kitchen to create his hearty ribollita soup. Return to Florence in the afternoon. As the sun goes down, sip an aperitivo of your choice at a local enoteca. (B, L)

Set off from the hotel on foot with a local guide. Take in the key sites from the Ponte Vecchio to the iconic duomo and pass some of the historic wine holes on your way to the bustling central market. Pause for coffee at a local bar and join a Food Culture expert prior to viewing the seasonal produce on sale at the market stalls. Continue to one of Nancy’s favorite sandwich joints in the city, L’Antico Vinaio, nominated “the world’s best panino” by Saveur magazine. On a narrow cobble-stoned side street, bite into schiacciata bread filled with some sbriciolona meat, or select the sharp, local pecorino cheese or the tender lampredotto. After an afternoon at leisure, gather for a memorable final dinner at Ora D’Aria where Michelin-starred chef Marco Stabile creates Tuscan dishes that blend traditional skill with contemporary style. (B, L, D)

Depart Florence on individual flights home. (B)

Your Culinary Hosts

Nancy Silverton

Nancy Silverton

Nancy Silverton is a James Beard Award-winning chef and the co-owner of Osteria Mozza and Pizzeria Mozza in Los Angeles, Newport Beach and Singapore, as well as Mozza2Go and Chi Spacca in Los Angeles. She also founded the world-renowned La Brea Bakery and Campanile restaurant and is the author of eight cookbooks.

Ruth Reichl

Ruth Reichl

Ruth Reichl is the author of “My Kitchen Year: 136 Recipes That Saved My Life,” a cookbook published in 2015. She was editor in chief of Gourmet magazine from 1999 to 2009. Before that she was the restaurant critic of both The New York Times and the LA Times, where she was also food editor. She is the recipient of numerous James Beard Awards.

Laurie Ochoa

Laurie Ochoa is arts and entertainment editor for the Los Angeles Times. Previously, she served as executive editor of Gourmet magazine, editor in chief of LA Weekly and food editor of the Los Angeles Times. She is a multiple-time winner of the James Beard Foundation Journalism Award.

Ruth Reichl

Alexander Lobrano

Alexander Lobrano is the author of Hungry for Paris, Hungry for France, and My Place at the Table: A Recipe for a Delicious Life in Paris (June 2021). He has written about food and travel for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, and many other publications. He has won several James Beard and IACP awards.

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1155 Connecticut Ave NW, Suite 300
Washington, DC 20036


Grand Hotel Majestic, Bologna

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It is a long established fact that a reader will be distracted by the readable content of a page when looking at its layout.

Grand Hotel Minerva, Florence

It is a long established fact that a reader will be distracted by the readable content of a page when looking at its layout. The point of using Lorem Ipsum is that it has a more-or-less normal distribution of letters, as opposed to using ‘Content here, content here’, making it look like readable English. Many desktop publishing packages and web page editors.

It is a long established fact that a reader will be distracted by the readable content of a page when looking at its layout.

What's Included

  • All accommodations and meals with drinks as outlined in the itinerary
  • All ground transportation within the itinerary unless otherwise indicated
  • All sightseeing as specified in the itinerary
  • Comprehensive educational program by professional on-site guides
  • Entrance fees
  • Gratuities to porters, guides, drivers, wait staff in restaurants during group meals, housekeeping at group hotels
  • The assistance of an ATA tour manager
  • Quietvox listening devices to facilitate audibility and social distancing while touring
  • The assistance of an ATA professional travel team to assist with pre-trip questions, travel arrangements, including flights, extra hotel nights and other services
  • Comprehensive pre-departure mailings and materials with information about the destination and what to expect on tour, including a suggested reading list.
  • Emergency evacuation insurance
  • Fully vetted program that meets COVID-19 health and safety protocols


Currently U.S. travelers are not allowed to travel to Italy, but we are optimistic that conditions will change significantly by October.  We expect that European countries will begin implementing a digital health passport system that will screen travelers and allow those who have been vaccinated or tested negative for COVID-19 to be allowed into the country.  If conditions do not change by mid-August, we will postpone the trip and refund deposits in full.

The safety and security of our travelers and tour staff are of the utmost importance. We have developed extensive policies and procedures for traveling during the pandemic in accordance with the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) Safe Travels protocols. We continue to monitor developments regarding COVID-19, using many information sources, including the U.S. Department of State, CDC, WHO, and our in-country contacts. If you have questions or concerns, please contact us at 877-298-9677.

We currently have a flexible booking policy in place that allows you to cancel and receive a full refund up to 60 days prior to your scheduled departure.  We will make a final decision about whether or not we can operate the trip by that time.  If we are able to proceed with the trip, there will be no refund for cancellations within 60 days of departure.

Our group will range from 10-25 people.

We strongly suggest purchasing travel insurance to help protect your investment and provide you with financial recourse should you face trip cancellation or interruption due to sickness or quarantine. When purchasing a policy, please consult with a trip insurance agent to review what COVID-19- related contingencies are covered. While ATA will do our best to recover any unused portion of your trip due to sickness, it is often the case that payments cannot be refunded. We recommend using our partner insurance provider, Travel Insurance Services, which offers three different policies for you to choose from.

Airfare to and from the starting and ending point of the program is not included in the price in order to give you maximum flexibility in choosing your preferences for air travel. This way you can use frequent flier upgrades, depart from your airport of choice, or add pre- and post- trip extensions with no constraints. Please refrain from booking your airfare until your Guest Services Advisor reaches out to confirm your departure.

Breakfast and at least one lunch or one dinner is included each day. For meals on your own, your tour staff will provide excellent dining recommendations.

We are planning to offer an optional dinner at Casa Maria Luigia for trip participants during one of the free evenings while staying in Bologna. The cost is approximately $775 per person for a full tasting menu and wine pairing. The full details will be provided as soon as they are available, and you will be able to sign up with your Guest Services Advisor.

Menus are typically preset to showcase the region, chef, or season. That said, every effort will be made to accommodate special dietary requests. Please discuss your specific needs with us when making your booking.

All drinks (wine and soft drinks) are included in the trip price for all group meals. Any additional alcoholic beverages are not included in the program price.

Yes! Gratuities to local guides, restaurant staff, bell staff, and drivers are all included in the trip price. Tour managers never expect and will not accept tips. The only time tips are not included is during free time and meals on your own.

Yes, absolutely! If you wish to arrive early at the first hotel on the itinerary or stay on at the last hotel, our Guest Services Advisors will be happy to facilitate the reservation of extra nights. Additional nights will be added to your final invoice and will be subject to the same Terms and Conditions of your main program.  Room upgrades are also available for an additional cost.

Our program is designed to give you special insight and understanding of the places visited. The talks and commentary by local guides and culinary talent are what make our itineraries special. This kind of curated experience cannot be obtained on your own. For this reason, these trips generally do not incorporate long periods of free time during the day, although night times and some meals will be at leisure.

Travelers should be in good health and able to walk up to 2 miles (with stops) over uneven terrain and be able to navigate stairs unassisted. In city centers, we do try to walk from place to place due to traffic restrictions and also in keeping with our commitment to environmental sustainability.

After you reserve your trip and pay your deposit, you will be sent detailed information about your itinerary and destination, insurance information, a Participant Information Form, a packing list, and other information needed to prepare for your trip. Your Guest Services Advisor will reach out when it’s time to book airfare after a minimum of 10 travelers have enrolled on your departure. Final trip details will be sent roughly 2-3 weeks before departure.

We’ll send you a detailed packing list well before departure so you know what to bring. We provide the rest: comfortable accommodations, an engaging daily itinerary, expert trip management and access to people and places that will thrill and delight you.