Two Festivals 2015



Two Festivals
Two Festivals


Antonella Nichinonni at An Italian Affair:

+61 416 153 632,

ABN 57271392601

At An Italian Affair in 2015 we are celebrating the Artisan and the Artisanal Life both literally and figuratively.In this world of interconnection, of instant information & gratification the idea of the Artisan & the Artisanal life is more resonant and relevant than ever. Our tours are hand made and like all hand made products, every outcome is unique.Antonella has a deep connection to the peoples and traditions of her homeland. She has created a pathway between the worlds we live in and the magical world and people of Umbria. In this region many aspects of life have remained essentially unchanged for generations. Antonella takes you by the hand to experience the best, small scale & most authentic of Umbria. Visiting with her family, local characters and friends opens a window to a world of unique and non-commercial experiences.In keeping with our exploration of the Artisan we are firstly journeying to Norcia, at the foot of the Sibillini Mountains, where our focus is engaging in the peak culinary experiences Italy has to offer in Umbria’s most beautiful countryside. Our accommodation is the renowned Relais Chateaux “Palazzo Seneca” in the heart of Norcia. As we journey to the nearby plain of Castelluccio under the wing of our naturalist guide, Biagio we are introduced to the pinnacle of the “artiginale”, slow food production. Here food is grown and prepared simply as it has been for hundreds of years and all over Italy these local products are treasured for the authentic techniques and exquisite taste. In this heavenly location we will follow the process from pasture to table and be inducted into the secrets of Master Chef of Vespasia Restaurant in an exclusive hands on cooking course.
il Solstizio
For the balance of the two weeks we divide our time between Città di Castello in the north and Spoleto in the south of Umbria. Our focus becomes the musical and artistic aspects of the “Two Festivals”.The name “The two festivals” highlights our participation in the Festival Dei Due Mondi di Spoleto and at the Umbria Jazz Festival in Perugia. These two festivals are world famous, attracting both major international and emerging artists. We have sought out the most intimate performances to connect with these extraordinary artists. Experience the best of the Arts and of Jazz music under the stars in the beautiful towns of Spoleto and Perugia.In Città di Castello we stay in apartments in a renovated 15th century abbey in the heart of the city. This central location enables us to stroll through the Renaissance streets of this beautiful town and soak up the local hustle and bustle of Italian life. You can visit the local fresh food markets to buy local produce and then sit with the locals at the bar for a cappuccino and a chat, “a fare quattro chiacchiere”.

An Italian Affair has crafted an array of intimate activities such as the Vintage car tour as well as a vespa tour with the Vespa Club of Città di Castello.

For the last part of the journey we venture to Spoleto. At a relaxed pace you can truly unwind in the heavenly surroundings of the Umbrian countryside. Start the day with a morning swim or a passeggiata. We continue our daily interludes of language and culture and indulge in the best of this captivating region.

Here we close the circle and integrate our previous learning and experiences. This pocket of Umbria is held close to Antonella’s heart, being her place of birth and upbringing. Many of our guests also share this strong sense of “coming home” as the experience & feeling of welcome reaches its pinnacle in the presence of these wonderful mountains, amongst Antonella’s family & friends. In 2015 we invite you to join us in Umbria. We invite you to dive into the slow and deep experience of craftsmanship and dedication, become a true artisan of life.


Let your "affair" begin

Tour highlights and inclusions are:

  • 13 nights’ accommodation (twin share due to high season but there is limited opportunity to secure a single room at additional cost)
  • 13 breakfasts, 13 dinners & 7 lunches with local wines
  • A day tour in vintage cars with the Vintage car club of Città di Castello exploring the Umbrian countryside
  • intage vespa tour with the Vespa Club of Città di Castello
  • Attendance at performances at both the SPOLETO FESTIVAL DEI DUE MONDI and at the UMBRIA JAZZ FESTIVAL (pending final festival programme)
  • Cooking class with Master Chef of Vespasia restaurant in Norcia and a cooking class in Poreta.
  • Walking tour of the Castelluccio plain with Biagio
  • Cheese making, stile artigianale (handmade) in Castelluccio
  • Truffle hunt with dogs
  • Olive oil tasting
  • Wine tasting and walk through the vines
  • Literary Interlude and prosecco with Professor Rodney Lokaj, a Medieval literature expert and enthusiast
  • Visit Antonella’s native village of Casigliano di Strettura to meet her family and paesani
  • Language tuition “out and about” (Classes are not compulsory)
  • Visit local baker Forno Vantaggi, hands on biscuit and bread making


  • Norcia, Castelluccio, Assisi, Perugia, Città di Castello and nearby villages, Spoleto.
  • All transfers by air conditioned coach (from Spoleto railway station on the 3rd of July, for entire journey & including the last transfer to Spoleto railway station on the 16th of July for those departing on this day)…ah, “la vita é bella!!!”

Not included:

  • Airfare, taxes and insurance
  • Entry to museums and extras not listed on the inclusions


Age requirement: Participants must be over 18 years of age. Whilst An Italian Affair does not have an upper age limit, we do encourage each participant to self-evaluate his or her own physical stamina, as the Umbrian region is mostly comprised of very steep hills and cobblestone streets; walking up and down these steep hills is part of the daily An Italian Affair experience.


Norcia: Palazzo Seneca

Città di Castello: Residenza Antica Canonica

Spoleto: Borgo della Marmotta

Tour Suitability:

This tour is suitable for couples or singles and only to those who have purchased the full package.

You must read and sign a Terms and Conditions and a booking form when you make a deposit.

All fees are non-refundable. Personal Travel and Trip cancellation insurance are mandatory to participate on the tour and should be obtained when purchasing the package.

Small groups of 5-12 participants. In the event it does not reach its minimum number, An Italian Affair reserves the right to cancel, 60 days before the start of the tour. (see Terms and Conditions).


From *$AUD 9,100.00 pp twin share (land content only): limited single accommodation available at supplement.

*Subject to currency surcharges prior to final payment.


Antonella Nichinonni at An Italian Affair: + 61 416 153 632,

ABN 57271392601

Terms and Conditions apply. For details, please contact An Italian Affair.


*Cost: from *$AUD 9,100.00 pp twin share (land content only): limited single accommodation available at supplement.*Subject to currency surcharges prior to final payment.


Norcia: Palazzo Seneca

Città di Castello: Residenza Antica Canonica

Spoleto: Borgo della Marmotta

1st part of the journey: Norcia

Day 1, Friday 3rd of July

Arrival in Spoleto railway station by 1pm. Transfer to Norcia in a private bus and check in at Palazzo Seneca (Relais Chateaux).

Lunch at Granaro del Monte.

PM.Guided tour of Norcia with Daniela exploring the city, the history and it’s gastronomic delights followed by an aperitivo and dinner at Vespasia in Palazzo Seneca.

Day 2, Saturday 4th of July

AM: early morning truffle hunt in the countryside of Norcia followed by a hands on cooking class with Vespasia’s Master chef. We sit for lunch and enjoy what we have just prepared with a glass or two of local wines at the house of our hosts Carlo and Anna Bianconi.

PM: Visit local saffron farmer. Return.

Meet for dinner at Granaro del Monte

Day 3, Sunday 5th of July

AM: Depart for an unforgettable walk in the area of Castelluccio with our naturalist and guide Biagio. Picnic lunch and rest.

PM: We return from our walk and travel by bus to Castelluccio. Here we will engage in pecorino making with a local producer who still makes it in the old traditional way. We then return to Palazzo Seneca, rest and meet for dinner at Vespasia Restaurant.

Day 4, Monday 6th July

AM: We depart Norcia shortly after breakfast and arrive at our accommodation in Città di Castello, Residenza Antica Canonica. Check in then off for lunch at Laura’s house in the campagna for a very typical “pranzo con la famiglia”. Italian lessons in the giardino of Laura’s country house and passeggiata in campagna.

PM: Return and rest or shop. We meet for dinner at a local trattoria to soak up the atmosphere of the town’s summer concerts.

Second part of the journey: Città di Castello

Day 5, Tuesday 7th of July

AM: Italian language lessons (not compulsory) followed by a light lunch in a local trattoria.

PM: Rest and in late afternoon continue the language lessons out and about Citta` di Castello exploring the city visiting the Pinacoteca and the renowned textile museum Tela Umbra amongst a few. Join the locals for the aperitivo hour with an “apericena” style dinner and drink.

Day 6, Wednesday 8th of July

AM: Italian Language lessons “out and about” in Città di Castello soaking up the local atmosphere. Lunch not included.

PM: Late afternoon we meet in the local Piazza for a gelato and a caffè to meet the Vespa Club and the vespisti with whom we will tour nearby villages on the back of their beautiful vintage vehicles. We return to Città di Castello for dinner all together.

Day 7, Thursday 9th of July

AM: Italian Language lessons in house or out and about to enable you to visit as much of Città di Castello as possible including the daily local fresh food market. Here you can put your language skills into practice and purchase ingredients for lunch. We return to the accommodation and prepare our pranzo.

PM: Meet with Roberta and Laura and continue the Italian language lessons before meeting our drivers of exclusive vintage cars with whom we will drive in the countryside to visit the surrounding beautiful villages in this area of Umbria/Tuscany. Dinner all together.

3rd part of the journey: Spoleto

Day 8, Friday 10th of July

AM: Depart Città di Castello at around 10 for Poreta (Spoleto) for our third part of the journey. Arrival in Poreta at the exclusive Borgo della Marmotta just before lunch. Check in and meet for lunch with tasting of the olive oil produced on the organic farm.

PM: Rest and late afternoon head to Spoleto for a guided tour of the Festival Dei Due Mondi city and soak up the local festival atmosphere. Dinner in Spoleto.

Day 9, Saturday 11th of July

AM: Early departure for Perugia for an all-day Perugia and Umbria jazz immersion. On arrival guided tour of Perugia then free time to soak up the internationally renowned Umbria Jazz Festival where local and international performers offer open air free concerts. Meet at local Jazz Club in the historical centre of Perugia for private performance and light dinner and wine. More free time in Perugia before the return to the accommodation.

Day 10, Sunday 12th of July

AM: Rest or come to Spoleto for a walk to soak up the DUE MONDI FESTIVAL atmosphere. Return to the accommodation and light lunch.

PM: Rest and late afternoon we leave to attend the closing night concert at the Festival dei Due Mondi in Piazza Duomo. The performance will be followed by a dinner and a spectacular fireworks display lighting up the Spoleto valley sky.

Day 11, Monday 13th of July

AM: Free morning to rest and enjoy the peaceful surroundings of Borgo della Marmotta.

PM. Late afternoon we take a stroll in the countryside to pick fresh herbs for our cooking class to prepare authentic Umbrian dishes.

Day 12, Tuesday 14th of July

AM: after breakfast we leave for Assisi. Our first stop is a pleasant stroll or passeggiata amongst the grapevines of local winery at the foot of Assisi followed by a picnic lunch and wine tasting.

PM: After our picnic we travel up to Assisi and do a guided tour before having some free time to shop in little boutiques offering exclusively hand made in Assisi products. We plan to return late afternoon and after a short rest we visit dear friend and scholar Professor Rodney Lokaj for a literary interlude out on his terrazza overlooking the Spoleto Valley and sipping on a prosecco. Dinner all together after sunset “il tramonto”.

Day 13, Wednesday 15th of July

AM: after breakfast we leave for Antonella’s village. At the foot of Antonella’s village we visit the local bakery whose wood fired oven bread is well known in Umbria and beyond. At Antonella’s village meet with her family and local paesani and share a light lunch with local and homemade products to savour the real tastes of Umbria.

PM: We return to our accommodation and have time to pack before we meet for our final dinner and festa at the accommodation.

Day 14, Thursday 16th of July

Tour ends and departure (transport to Spoleto railway station will be provided for those leaving on this day only).

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