Past Trips, Photos, Memories

Turkey Culinaria 2015

Mar 15 - Mar 22, 2015 | Aegean Coast and Istanbul, Turkey
Anna Sortun and Oldways

Ana Sortun and Oldways traveled to Turkey, March 15-22, 2015, for another spectacular week-long journey in this most captivating of countries. We visited the Aegean coast—from Bodrum to Izmir, where artichokes, fava beans, and all wild green edible things are in season. We found amazing landscapes with stunning historic sites to visit. While we were on the coast, we also toured the ruins of Ephesus, the ancient Greek city built in the 10th century BC.

Turkey Culinaria 2015
Turkey Culinaria 2015
Turkey Culinaria 2015
Turkey Culinaria 2015
Turkey Culinaria 2015
Turkey Culinaria 2015
Turkey Culinaria 2015
Turkey Culinaria 2015
Turkey Culinaria 2015
Turkey Culinaria 2015
Turkey Culinaria 2015
Turkey Culinaria 2015
Turkey Culinaria 2015
Turkey Culinaria 2015
Turkey Culinaria 2015
Turkey Culinaria 2015
Turkey Culinaria 2015
Turkey Culinaria 2015

Itinerary at a Glance

Day 1: Welcome to Turkey
Welcome session at Hotel Kalehan in Selçuk, south of Izmir, near the ancient city of Ephesus. Introduction given by Ana Sortun, Sara Baer-Sinnott, and guides Tuba Satana (Turkish food expert) and Oguz Göncü (official guide). Followed by a tasting of wines from Suvla, an organic family winery on the Aegean Sea, and a dinner, featuring local specialties.

Day 2: Ancient Cities
Kicked off the day with a wonderful, traditional breakfast buffet at Hotel Kalehan. Toured Ephesus, the legendary ancient city, for half the day. Famous inhabitants and visitors of Ephesus include Cleopatra, Mark Anthony, Augustus, St. Paul, the Virgin Mary, and John the Apostle. Wine tasting and lunch at Restaurant Artemis in Sirince, a small, enchanting village nearby. Then, back to Hotel Kalehan for Ana Sortun’s first cooking demonstration and dinner.
Day 3: Local Specialties
Stopped at the daily fish auction in Urla, on the way to Izmir. Each day the fish supply is different, depending on what the local fishermen caught the previous night. Walked along the dock to Unal Kardesler Katmer Salonu (katmer restaurant), where we watched katmer (pastry dough, cooked on a griddle, filled with meat or cheese) being made and had a taste ourselves. Next, stopped at Urlice Winery, a family owned and operated boutique winery, for a light lunch and wine tasting. Arrived at Izmir’s Swissotel, a five star hotel surrounded by landscaped gardens and overlooking the Kordon (waterfront promenade) in the afternoon. Dinner at the Aquarium Restaurant, named for its views into the hotel pool and out to sea, in the hotel.

Day 4: Road Trip
Drove west to the village of Ildırı, where we toured Erythrai, one of the 12 cities of Asia Minor with amazing views of the Greek island of Chios. It was famous for producing millstone, wine and timber. Continued to the coast, where we had a local lunch at Asma Yapragı in Alaçati, followed by time to explore the city on our own. Returned to Izmir for a free evening to relax and enjoy room service or enjoy a night on the town.

Day 5: Food and Culture
Caught an early flight from Izmir to Istanbul. Visited both the Florence Nightingale Museum, where she was a nurse during the Crimean War and the market district of Kadıköy, an un-touristy section of Istanbul on the Asian side. Ate lunch at Çiya, one of Ana Sortun’s favorite restaurants in the world, with Chef Musa Dagdeviren. Took a cruise to cross the Bosphorus to the European side of Istanbul and checked into the Hagia Sophia Old City Istanbul Hotel in Sultanahmet (Old Istanbul or Stamboul).

Day 6: A Day in the City
Enjoyed breakfast at the Hagia Sophia Old City before setting off for our first full day in Istanbul. Visited Topkapi for a guided tour of the Ottoman Sultan’s palace with Oguz, followed by another guided tour of the world class Hagia Sophia. Option to continue to the Blue Mosque. Met at the Istanbul Culinary Institute for our second cooking class and dinner with Ana in the evening. The Istanbul Culinary Institute provides professional culinary education and also aims to support international information exchange and sharing.
Day 7: Spices, Stores and Fatih
Started the morning with a visit to the Spice Market, then walked to the nearby Fatih district with a market for shopping. Ate lunch at Seref Büryan Salonu, a traditional kebap restaurant, in Fatih. Gala farewell dinner at Surplus, a new restaurant owned by Vedat Basaran, a friend of Oldways and Oleana. The glass-surrounded restaurant has views of the Bosphorus and the Golden Horn.



Turkey Culinaria Program
This program provides a day-by-day itinerary of the trip, information about the history, culture, food and wines of the Aegean Coast and Istanbul, Turkey.

Dowload PDF


Umbria Culinaria

Mar 16 - Mar 23, 2014 | Umbria, Italy

Oldways' week-long culinary and cultural journey traveled through the beautiful Italian region of Umbria. Known as the green heart of Italy, Umbria is the only region in Italy that doesn’t border either water or another country. From our base in Umbria’s capital city Perugia, an historic hilltop city known for chocolate and its maze of medieval streets, we fanned out on country day trips to discover the food, wines, artisanal products, art, and ceramics that make the region so special.

View from Perugia
Gelato in Perugia
Group truffle lunch at Tenuta di San Pietro a Pettine
Truffle hunting in Trevi
Truffle Day at Tenuta di San Pietro a Pettine
Cooking Demonstration at Tenuta di San Pietro a Pettine
Truffle Feast
Learning to make pasta at the Angelucci Family Farm
Angelucci Family Farm
Wine Tasting at Scacciadiavoli Winery
Umbria Culinaria
Group Lunch at La Pergola in Orvieto
Learning about Herbs and Saffron at Zafferano e Dintorini
Learning to make pasta from the Italian Nonna at Angelucci Family Farm
The group outside the Brufani Palace Hotel in Perugia
Visiting Granarium (0 Km Bakery) in Cantalupo
Umbria Culinaria
Lunch at La Pergola in Orvieto
Sampling the famous cured meats in Norcia
Umbria Culinaria

Itinerary at a Glance

Day 1: Benvenuto
Check-in at Brufani Palace Hotel This five-star hotel offers a hilltop view in the heart of historic Perugia. Welcome reception, wine tasting and dinner at the Brufani Palace Hotel. 

Federico Bibi from Terre Margaritelli provided an introduction to Umbria through wine. Welcome dinner featuring regional specialties.

Day 2: Truffle Day
To Trevi and Tenuta di San Pietro
 to hunt for the famed Umbrian black truffles. To Tenuta di San Pietro a Pettine for a cooking demonstration and to learn how to make umbricelli, a local flour and water pasta, as well as how the truffles are made into sauce. Then a truffle feast for lunch! Return to Perugia after lunch for a guided tour of Perugia or free time. Dinner of local specialties at Osteria a Priori, a store and restaurant dedicated entirely to Umbrian food and wine products.

Day 3: Orvieto

After breakfast, a drive south along Lake Corbara to Orvieto, one of the most beautiful hilltop towns in Umbria. 

A tour with David Tordi to see the town’s main sites, including Piazza della Repubblica, Piazza del Popola, and the Churches of Sant’Andrea, San Giovenale, and others. A visit the Duomo and the world famous Chapel of San Brizio. Lunch at La Pergola
, a restaurant in Orvieto known for its authentic dishes.

Day 4: Todi and Deruta
Drive to 
nearby Todi, which has been called “the most livable town in the world.” Elisa Pichiotti guided us through this charming medieval hill town, providing the history 
of Todi and the surrounding area. A visit to the main churches, including San Fortunato and the Duomo, as well as the Tempieto, which is attributed to Bramante. Lunch in the center of Todi at Ristorante Umbria, a restaurant with traditional food and spectacular views of the surrounding Umbrian countryside. Ceramics in Deruta
, one of the most famed centers for the ancient art of majolica, a type of ceramic decoration that was developed in the 15th century. Elizabeth Minchilli, author of the book Deruta, introduced Grazie, one of the oldest workshops in town. Shopping at Sberna, Elizabeth’s favorite store. Dinner in Perugia at Civico 25, a more modern take on Umbrian cuisine with the music of the 60s.

Day 5: Norcia, Mountains, and Chocolate!
The first stop of the day is a very special farm, Zaferano e Dintorni, to taste and learn about local heirloom fruits and saffron, and learn about traditional medicinal herbs. Next, a journey up the mountain to visit another spectacular medieval town, Norcia. Alessandra Malozzi, a local tour guide, talked about the history of this ancient town. The people of Norcia are famous for their skill at curing meats—so famous that today most salumeria in Italy are simply called Norcineria. A visit to one of the oldest workshops in town and  a guided tasting of some of their specialties. Lunch at Palazzo Seneca
, a Renaissance palace that has been converted into a stunning hotel and restaurant. A visit to the chocolate factory Cioccolateria Vetusta Nursia for a chocolate tasting. Free time in Perugia for the evening.

Day 6: Farm Day
Leaving Perugia for the Granarium, a traditional flourmill and bakery in Cantalupo, to see the entire transformation process from grain seed to milling to baking during a tour and tasting. They call themselves a 0 km bakery because all phases of the process are completed on site. A visit the historic winery and vineyards of Scacciadiavoli 
to learn about Umbria’s most important wine: Sagrantino. Farm day continues with a visit to the Angelucci family and their small-scale farm for a tour, a cooking demonstration, a cheese making demonstration, and a simple lunch of products from the farm.
 A visit to Bevagna, one of the most intact medieval towns in Umbria. A tour of three of the six original guild workshops have been carefully restored and are operating: a candle maker, a paper maker, and an ancient apothecary.

Day 7: Some gems of Umbria
Travel to the historic town of Assisi, birth place of St. Francis. Irene Maturi, a local tour guide, gave a tour of the most famous churches, along with art masterpieces by Giotto, Cimabue, and other Renaissance masters. Free time in Assisi for shopping, coffee, or resting. From Assisi, a half-hour drive along the Trevi Valley to the small town of Campello sul Clitunno at the source of the Clitunno River. Lunch at Ristorante Parco del Clitunno, to enjoy trout, eels, and crayfish caught from springs that run right through the restaurant. Free afternoon
 in Perugia to pack, swim, exercise, or take a last walk around. Farewell Dinner at Postale in Castello di Monterone. Located just outside of Perugia, this imposing castle has been transformed into one of the best hotels in Umbria, with two of the city’s best restaurants.


Umbria Culinaria Program
This program provides a day-by-day itinerary of the trip, information about the history, culture, food and wines of Umbria, Italy.

Download PDF



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