Umbria hillside with buildings and blue sky

Italy: Pasta, Chocoalte, Truffles & Wine with Chef Kevin O’Donnell of Giusto Restaurant
October 2-9, 2022

Discover a special region of Italy, known as the Green Heart of Italy, with Chef Kevin O’Donnell. In addition to historic and cultural sites, experience food producers, cooking classes, and fantastic restaurants during this unforgettable tour.


Spend a week with Oldways and Giusto Chef Kevin O’Donnell—cooking, eating, learning and touring

OCTOBER 2-9, 2022

7-night stay in 
Perugia, Umbria




Travelers book flights independently. The most cost-effective way to travel is to fly in/out of Rome (FCO), and then take a bus, train or car to Perugia.  Florence (FLR) is another option.  Perugia (PEG) does have a small airport with flights from some European cities.


Registered Dietitians can earn continuing education credit


Please read our Travel FAQ here. Call us at (617) 896-4861, or email us at


Download Full Itinerary

How to Register for this Culinary Tour

Please download and complete the registration form below, which includes instructions for how to submit the form and deposit to Oldways.

If this trip must be cancelled due to Covid-19, refunds will be issued.

Download Registration Form

What You’ll Love About Your Week in Umbria

Spend 7 days immersed in the food, history, and culture of the Green Heart of Italy with Chef Kevin O’Donnell and Oldways.  

Todi view

Learn about the foods, wines and ingredients that make the food of Umbria so special. The week will also feature cooking demonstrations with Chef Kevin O’Donnell, guided visits to the spectacular hill towns of Umbria (Assisi, Todi, Deruta, Norcia), and special tastings of wine, truffles, cheese and more!  We’ll be based in the gorgeous city of Perugia, a walkable city with plenty of history.   

On our trips, you don’t just get to taste a fabulous meal—you get the recipes and knowledge to bring these ”old ways” home with you. And in between all the excitement, you’ll have time to shop or take a siesta, and then relax in luxurious hotels at the end of the day!

Day-by-Day in Umbria

Sunday, October 2

Arrive in Perugia and check in at the Brufani Hotel. Take time to unpack and wander around the beautiful city of Perugia. In the evening, meet Chef Kevin O’Donnell, along with our food and wine guide, Alice Rossi, the Oldways staff, and your fellow travelers at a welcome reception, wine tasting, and dinner.


Sunset view of a town in Umbria, Italy



Green field in Umbria, Italy with a puppy



Monday, October 3

After a breakfast buffet, we’ll leave Perugia for Trevi and a day of truffles. We’ll enjoy a truffle hunt and cooking class, followed by an all-truffle lunch. You’ll have time in the afternoon for free time or an optional walking tour of Perugia, before walking to dinner at Osteria a Priori. 

Tuesday, October 4

This is our day in Orvieto, first with a guided tour of the hill town, including the amazingly beautiful Duomo. After some free time for shopping or exploring on your own, we’ll have a cooking class by Chef Kevin, followed by lunch. We’ll return to Perugia after lunch, and you’ll be free to rest, explore, and have dinner on your own, perhaps sharing a meal with new and old friends.


View of Orvieto, Italy
Chef Kevin O'Donnell presenting cooking demo in Italy



Village view in Umbria, Italy
Deruta ceramics from Umbria, Italy


Wednesday, October 5

Today we’ll drive to nearby Todi, which has been called the most livable town in the world. We’ll have a guided tour of the medieval hill town, and then enjoy lunch at a restaurant with traditional food and spectacular views. We’ll then stop in Deruta, famous for its ceramics, and then return to Perugia. Later in the evening, we’ll walk as a group to dinner at Civico 25.

Thursday, October 6

We’ll head up into the mountains and spend most of the day in the spectacular medieval hill town, Norcia, famous for curing meats. We’ll have a tour and learn about the history of the town, followed by an elegant lunch. We’ll end our time in Norcia with a chocolate stop. Your evening is on your own.


Market in Norcia, Umbria, Italy, with cured meats



Vineyard in Umbria, Italy


Friday, October 7

We’ll start the day at the Lungarotti Wine Museum, and then continue to the Lungarotti Winery for a tour and a wine tasting, followed by a cooking class with Chef Kevin and lunch.  After a long day, you will be on your own for dinner. 

Saturday, October 8

We’ll visit one of the most famous hill towns of Umbria—Assisi—and have a guided tour of the town and the churches.  The afternoon is free time for exploring and shopping in Perugia, or perhaps packing, before our final dinner in Perugia.


View of Assisi in Umbria, Italy



A view of Umbria with sunflowers in a field


Sunday, October 9

Arrivederci! Today you will check out, and we’ll help you arrange your transportation to the airport—or, perhaps you will choose to continue your stay in Italy on your own! 


See Your Luxury Accomodations

Brufani Palace Hotel — Perugia
Brufani Palace Hotel in Perugia Italy
We’ll spend the full week based in Perugia at the 5-star Brufani Palace Hotel. Located in the heart of the medieval city, close to the Duomo, museums, restaurants, and shops, the hotel is a great place to start our exploration of Umbria.  
Hotel upgrades are available as follows:
Deluxe: $25 extra per night for a single room, $40 extra per night for two people in a double room
Junior Suite: $180 extra per night for a single room, or for two people in a double room
Suite: $300 extra per night for a single room, or for two people in a double room

Meet the Chef and Guide You’ll Be Traveling With

Chef Kevin O'Donnell presenting cooking demo in Italy

Chef Kevin O’Donnell

Our tour is led with Chef Kevin O’Donnell, Chef and Owner of Giusto restaurant in Newport, Rhode Island. Kevin lived and worked in Umbria for three years, training with a chef at a farmhouse in the region!

Born and raised in North Kingstown, Kevin got his feet wet in hospitality early on. Starting as a cabana boy at Bonnet Shores Beach Club at just 15, he then worked at a variety of mom and pop spots throughout high school, gaining experience from dishwasher to pizza cook. It wasn’t until he graduated, however, that he truly stepped into the restaurant industry.  

Under the mentorship of Chef Walter Slater at Junction Pizzeria in Wickford, Kevin truly fell in love with cooking and the undeniable adrenaline of the kitchen. While there, Kevin was inspired to enroll in Johnson & Wales’ Continuing Education program which afforded him the chance to intern in Italy—an exciting opportunity to connect with his heritage and explore its cuisine. After four months, he returned home where he met his next mentor—and now-collaborator/Giusto General Manager—Aaron Edwards, and joined him at his new restaurant, Trattoria del Corso, as Chef de Cuisine. Here, Kevin’s love for Italian food blossomed, but after a year was pulled back to Italy. 

For two and a half years, Kevin fully immersed himself in Italian culture and cuisine under Chef Lorenzo Polegri at Ristorante Zeppelin in Orvieto. It’s here that he first experienced the creativity of freestyle, non-traditional Italian cooking, and Kevin credits this time and Polegri’s tutelage with inspiring him to think outside the box while inside the kitchen. 

Back in the States, Kevin cooked at the famed Castle Hill Inn in Newport and then the Michelin-starred Del Posto in New York City. Opportunity again came knocking, and he headed back across the pond, this time to Paris. As Executive Chef, Kevin opened L’Office, a tiny bistro that garnered rave reviews and recognition both locally and internationally for its melding of French and Italian cuisine. 

In 2012, Kevin joined forces with the owners of The Salty Pig in Boston and developed its pasta program. Three years later, the team collaborated on a brand new restaurant concept, and in June 2016 opened SRV with co-chef Michael Lombardi. The Venetian-style Bacaro and wine bar was an immediate success, earning a 4-star review from Boston magazine, James Beard Award nomination, and continued critical acclaim since. 

Now, Kevin returns home with his high school sweetheart, Sarah, and young son to open his first independent restaurant concept in Newport. Giusto is a labor of love where familiar flavors come together in creative ways for a fun dining experience. 



Guide Alice Rossi

Alice Rossi Parma Italy Tour Guide

Our favorite beloved guide in Italy, Alice Rossi, is a native of Parma, Italy, where we met her. Although she loves her home city and region, she is incredibly knowledgeable about all Italian food and wine, and she is a pleasure to be with, no matter the city and region! Alice writes this about herself:

My passion is food, and my dream is to share my passion!

I love getting its magic across, whether to experts or to other interested people. I did a degree in Food & Wine Science so that I could turn my passion into a job. After university, I worked for a year (2012-2013) at Barilla Academy, where I was in charge of Gourmet Touring and Taste Education. I organized and publicized tours about Food & Wine and special tastes. My various jobs made me realize how much I love working in close contact with people, so I decided to become a tourist guide and tour leader. This gives me the chance to show off our Food & Wine specialties to Italian and foreign tourists, and to share my emotion and passion!

Covid Protocols & Guidelines

On Oldways tours, our travelers’ safety and wellbeing is our priority. We’re ensuring that we follow the latest Covid regulations and guidelines on all of our tours. Below, please find more detailed information about the Covid regulations for travel to Italy. Last updated September 23, 2021

Arriving in Italy

All persons traveling to Italy from any foreign location are required to provide their airline or Italian law enforcement officials with a self-declaration form prior to travel.

Regional governments in Italy may also impose restrictions on travelers from certain foreign countries, and travelers intending to travel or return to Italy are advised to check whether any new provisions have been introduced by their region of destination.

Beginning on August 31 and valid until October 25, 2021, travelers from the United States may enter Italy if they present a negative molecular PCR or rapid antigen test result carried out within 72 hours of arrival AND one of the following:

An Anti-COVID 19 vaccination certificate for an European Medicines Agency (EMA)-recognized vaccine. At present, EMA recognizes the following vaccines: Pfizer-BioNtech, Moderna, Johnson and Johnson, and AstraZeneca. The date of the final vaccine dose must be at least 14 days prior to travel.

Travelers vaccinated in the United States can prove this via the “white card” bearing the CDC logo.

Or, A medical certificate confirming recovery from COVID dated no more than six months before departure.

Departing from Italy

Our hotel in Umbria, in Perugia, will arrange for the tests before our departure from Perugia.

Travelers who test positive for COVID can be required to quarantine for up to 10 days. Due to increased instances of mandatory detention by health authorities, the US State Department does not recommend airport testing.

Returning to the United States 

Negative COVID-19 test required for all air passengers coming to the United States. The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) requires all air passengers entering the United States (including U.S. citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents) to present a negative COVID-19 test, taken within three calendar days of departure or proof of recovery from the virus within the last 90 days. 

Airlines must confirm the negative test result or proof of recovery for all passengers two years of age and over prior to boarding. Airlines must deny boarding of passengers who do not provide documentation of a negative test or recovery. 


Why does the Order specify 3 days rather than 72 hours? What is considered 3 days? 

The 3-day period is the 3 days before the flight’s departure. The Order uses a 3-day timeframe instead of 72 hours to provide more flexibility to the traveler. By using a 3-day window, test validity does not depend on the time of the flight or the time of day that the test was administered. For example, if a passenger’s flight is at 1pm on a Friday, the passenger could board with a negative test that was taken any time on the prior Tuesday or after. 

What is an attestation? 

An attestation is a statement, writing, entry, or other representation under 18 U.S.C. § 1001 that confirms that the information provided is true. 

Does this Order apply to land border crossings? 

No, the requirements of this Order only apply to air travel into the US. 

Who is checking to make sure that people have a negative test or documentation of recovery before they board a plane to the US? 

The airline will confirm a COVID-19 negative test result or documentation of recovery for all passengers before boarding.

Link to Attestation Documentation from CDC

Travelers who test positive for COVID can be required to quarantine for up to 10 days. Due to increased instances of mandatory detention by health authorities, the U.S. State Department does not recommend airport testing.