Umbria hillside with buildings and blue sky

Umbria Culinaria with Chef Kevin O’Donnell of Giusto Restaurant
October 2-9, 2022

Join Oldways, Chef Kevin O’Donnell of Giusto Restaurant in Newport, Rhode Island, and our favorite guide in Italy, Alice Rossi, for a week-long culinary and cultural journey 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’ll fan out on country day trips to discover the food, wines, artisanal products, art, and ceramics that make the region so special. Learn from producers and artisans; sample local specialty wines and ingredients; enjoy meals in country trattorias, farmhouses, and palaces, as well as city restaurants during six days and seven nights of discovering the elegant and rustic charms of Umbria.

ceramics from Umbria, Italy

Umbria Culinaria highlights include:

  • A stroll through the historic town of Assisi, birthplace of St. Francis

  • Cooking classes with Chef Kevin, learning how to use the typical ingredients of Umbria

  • A visit to Deruta, one of the most famed centers for the ancient art of Majolica ceramics

  • Guided tastings of Umbrian wines, cheeses, and olive oils, along with visits to wineries and olive oil mills

    truffle and pasta on a white plate from Umbria, Italy
  • Exploration of the most famous chocolate factory in Italy, with tastings and a museum visit

  • Umbrian truffle hunting lesson, followed by a cooking class and truffle lunch

  • Splendid meals in the country and in the city of Perugia

  • Spectacular views, sites, and attractions in the cities of Todi and Orvieto

  • Great camaraderie typical of Oldways culinary tours

  • And, much, much more!

Stay tuned for more details & registration!

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

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.  
 
Information on hotel room upgrades will be announced.

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.

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!