After the summer Fellowship season is over, Civitella opens the Castle gates to participants in our “Winter Session” tour programs. This spring, we proudly present three tours for your choosing.

A taste of Umbria with Sasha Marx (March 17-26, 2020):

This 10-day visit to Italy’s ‘Green Heart,’ Umbria, will focus on learning more about an often overlooked area of Italy and its great food traditions. We will study the origins of cucina povera (poor cuisine) and familiarize ourselves with the region’s local grains, vegetables, meats, and culinary heritage. Led by Serious Eats senior culinary editor Sasha Marx, who grew up in Rome, the ten days will be packed with food-focused excursions to visit cheese-makers, bakers, butchers, and restaurants in the area. Daily cooking demonstrations and lessons, as well as lectures from local food historians and experts, are also included. Sasha will be working alongside Romana Cuibini, head chef at Civitella Ranieri. Romana is an authority on, and champion of, Umbria’s cucina povera tradition, as noted in this article from The New York Times. Participants will be staying at the Civitella estate for the duration of the trip.

Please email tour leader Sasha Marx ( or Program Coordinator Molly Lapointe ( for more details.

Bread Making Tour with Jeremy Cherfas (March 30-April 6, 2020):

This 7-day tour lead by Jeremy Cherfas is a thorough, hands-on approach to using a natural starter to raise bread. The course rests on three pillars: the care, maintenance and use of a starter; understanding how the ingredients in bread work; and practical sessions that will give you the confidence to make any kind of bread. We will learn how to adapt the starter to different uses and how to adapt recipes that call for yeast to use a starter instead. We will work with different flours and different additions to craft a range of breads. We will also be visiting a choice selection of cultural icons and food producers in the region. 

The course is suitable for all levels from complete beginners to advanced bakers. All will leave newly inspired. 

Please email tour leader Jeremy ( or Program Coordinator Molly Lapointe ( for more details.

A Cultural Cornucopia of Umbria (April 13-23, 2020):

This 10-day tour, lead by Joan Busk, brings participants to the “Green Heart of Italy” to be immersed in the art, food, wine and life of this unspoiled region. Trip activities include excursions to Anghiari and Urbino, cooking classes, truffle hunting, a spa day, and church visits, among others. There is also built-in time for reading, hiking, painting, and relaxing.

Please email tour leader Joan Busk ( or Program Coordinator Molly Lapointe ( for more details.