Day 1: Arrival in the afternoon and hotel check-in at the castle's charming inn that will be your home for one week! Free time to explore the surroundings, visit the castle cellars or take an optional short drive to Gorizia, the only town in Italy divided by a border (its eastern half, Nova Gorica, is actually located in Slovenia). Includes: (D).
Day 2: Guided excursion to Trieste, the capital of Friuli-Venezia Giulia, set between the blue waters of its gulf, the green hills and the white rocks of the Carso plateau. Visit of the Miramare Castle and the city's historical center. Lunch in a typical local restaurant. In the afternoon return to the castle in time for your first cooking class. Preparation of a three-course meal followed by dinner of your efforts.
Day 3: Visit a cheese factory and guided excursion of Cividale, a little gem in the eastern foothills of Friuli, known for its delicious Gubana (an exquisite type of strudel filled with apples, pine seeds and raisins), top wines and lovely atmosphere that you can breathe strolling around the narrow cobble stone streets leading to the charming main square. Lunch in a typical restaurant of the area followed by a visit of a local winery. Return to the castle for your cooking class. Preparation of a three-course meal followed by dinner of your efforts.
Day 4: Guided excursion to San Daniele, well known all over the world for the incomparable taste of its exquisite prosciutto, which is said to be the most delicate in all of Italy. Prosciutto-based lunch in a typical local restaurant followed by a visit to a prosciutto factory. Return to the castle for your cooking class. Preparation of a three-course meal followed by dinner of your efforts.
Day 5: Departure to Aquileia for a guided visit of this Roman jewel, the most important archaeological site in northern Italy. You'll see the forum, remains of public baths and private houses, Roman roads with visible chariot tracks and the ancient Basilica which hosts stunning Byzantine frescoes and one of the largest and most spectacular early-Christian mosaic floors of Western Europe! Lunch in a typical agriturismo of the area with appetizers and samplings of local delicacies and wine. Return to the castle for your cooking class followed by dinner of your efforts.
Day 6: Full-day excursion to either Venice, Slovenia or Austria, giving you the possibility of tasting the gastronomic specialties of these neighboring areas, which have for many centuries influenced the cuisine of Friuli-Venezia Giulia (free lunch). Then you'll visit St. Mark's square and the Basilica, the Doge's palace, the Rialto Bridge with its characteristic food market and enchanting views over the Grand Canal. After lunch, free time to experience your own Venice, maybe taking the vaporetto to Murano or a romantic gondola ride, visiting souvenir shops or just sitting at one of the famous cafés in St. Marks' square listening to the violins serenading in a magical atmosphere. Return to the castle in the late afternoon. We'll visit the cathedral, the Triple Bridge, the famous open market and the medieval historic center before heading back to the castle in the late afternoon. We'll have some time to stroll along the splendid promenade and eventually take a boat for a delightful cruise on the calm waters of Lake Wörth, against a backdrop of snowy peaks. Return to the castle in the late afternoon.
Day 7: Breakfast. Hotel check-out and Arrivederci!
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