A Taste of Life Ashore

Creative Culinary and Contemporary Lifestyle Shore Excursions in Europe for Discriminating Cruise Ship Guests

ITALY

Crafted in Italy by

IC Bellagio’s exclusive relationship with key partners allows its dedication to superior service for travelers in Italy to shine through.  Recognized by the editors of Conde Nast Travel as one of the ‘Top Travel Specialists’ and  selected for Travel + Leisure’s ‘A List.’   IC Bellagio won the Best Virtuoso On-Site Award in 2006, 2009 and 2010.

ROME: Cooking & Conquering Rome as an “Insider” – Our Exclusive 2 night Pre-Cruise Experience

Day 1

Upon arrival, meet your English-speaking private driver as you pass through customs for your private transfer to your hotel.  Settle into your Deluxe Room at the Grand Hotel de La Minerve.

This evening enjoy an early dinner at Trattoria Tritone (on a direct payment basis).  The friendly, relaxed atmosphere and stellar service make the Trattoria a dining experience you won’t soon forget.  The Trattoria itself is quite charming and enjoys a wonderful collection of antiquities.  The wine list is varied and full of the most important and prestigious Italian wines, as well as the good, lesser known wines, the waiters can give you some wonderful advice.  Portions plentiful without being overwhelming and for those interested in Italian cooking techniques, enjoy watching your meal being prepared as the kitchen is in full view of the seating area.  Located near the Trevi Fountain and Spanish steps, dress is casual.

Optional tour: After dinner explore Rome the way Romans – do in the saddle of Vintage Vespa with private driver.  Your drivers will meet you at the restaurant as you embark on a journey to experience the ‘real’ Rome.  Travel through the centuries without leaving the city limits and take in breathtaking views of Rome, a city that never fails to amaze! Stop along the way to enjoy Italian ice-cream.  (Approximately 3 hours)

Return to your hotel.

Day 2

This morning explore the art of Italian cooking with Chef Andrea at Le Fate Restaurant, followed by lunch.  For over a decade Chef Andrea has been using his talent and passion for cooking in his family’s restaurant. Now he shares his love of cooking with others by demonstrating how to prepare quintessential regional dishes from his home town of Rome, Italy. (Approximately 4 hours)

Continue on to enjoy a wonderful introduction to the Trastevere district of Rome with your local expert guide.  In the late afternoons Trastevere’s maze of narrow cobbled alleyways comes to life as locals flock to its restaurants and clubs to enjoy themselves.  Take in the modern vibe of the city while appreciating its artistic heritage.  Cross the bridge Ponte Sisto built in 1474 linking Trastevere to central Rome stroll Vicolo del Piede, one of Rome’s most picturesque narrow streets lined with small cafes.  Continue on past Piazza Belli and la Torre degli Anguillara, the only surviving medieval towers which once dominated the Trastevere skyline.  See the Church of S. Maria di Trastevere, famous for its 12th century mosaics, the Fountain of the Piazza di Santa Maria di Trastevere created Carlo Fontana and the Casa della Fornarina where Raphael’s beautiful mistress is said to have stolen his heart all while surveying the plentitude of options for dinner this evening. (Approximately 3 hours)

With the help of your guide, select a restaurant to enjoy dinner at this evening (on a direct payment basis) before making your own way back to the hotel.

Day 3

After breakfast and the morning at your leisure to continue exploring Rome on your own, or indulging in the amenities offered by your hotel, you are met and transferred to Civitavecchia to embark on your cruise.

Price per person: 1,384 EURO (based on 2 people traveling together)

Optional Vespa tour experience:  Price per person: 220 EURO

Accommodation included:   Hotel de La Minerve or similar – Deluxe Room category

YOUR TOUR IN ITALY INCLUDES:

  • Sightseeing, entrance fees and classes mentioned in the itinerary
  • Accommodation as noted
  • Transfers specified in the itinerary
  • Meals  mentioned in the itinerary
  • 24 hours Assistance during your trip

ROME:  The Authentic Taste of Rome: a 3 night Pre or Post Cruise Package

Day 1

Upon arrival, meet your English-speaking private driver as you pass through customs for your private transfer to your hotel.   Settle into your Deluxe Room at the Grand Hotel de La Minerve.

This evening enjoy an early dinner at Trattoria Tritone (on a direct payment basis).  The friendly, relaxed atmosphere and stellar service make the Trattoria a dining experience you won’t soon forget.  The Trattoria itself is quite charming and enjoys a wonderful collection of antiquities.  The wine list is varied and full of the most important and prestigious Italian wines, as well as the good, lesser known wines, the waiters can give you some wonderful advice.  Portions plentiful without being overwhelming and for those interested in Italian cooking techniques, enjoy watching your meal being prepared as the kitchen is in full view of the seating area.  Located near the Trevi Fountain and Spanish steps, dress is casual.

After dinner explore Rome the way Romans – do in the saddle of Vintage Vespa with private driver.  Your drivers will meet you at the restaurant as you embark on a journey to experience the ‘real’ Rome.  Travel through the centuries without leaving the city limits and take in breathtaking views of Rome, a city that never fails to amaze! Stop along the way to enjoy Italian ice-cream.  (Approximately 3 hours)

Return to your hotel.

Day 2

This morning explore the art of Italian cooking with Chef Andrea at Le Fate Restaurant, followed by lunch.  For over a decade Chef Andrea has been using his talent and passion for cooking in his family’s restaurant. Now he shares his love of cooking with others by demonstrating how to prepare quintessential regional dishes from his home town of Rome, Italy. (Approximately 4 hours)

Continue on to enjoy a wonderful introduction to the Trastevere district of Rome with your local expert guide.  In the late afternoons Trastevere’s maze of narrow cobbled alleyways comes to life as locals flock to its restaurants and clubs to enjoy themselves.  Take in the modern vibe of the city while appreciating its artistic heritage.  Cross the bridge Ponte Sisto built in 1474 linking Trastevere to central Rome stroll Vicolo del Piede, one of Rome’s most picturesque narrow streets lined with small cafes.  Continue on past Piazza Belli and la Torre degli Anguillara, the only surviving medieval towers which once dominated the Trastevere skyline.  See the Church of S. Maria di Trastevere, famous for its 12th century mosaics, the Fountain of the Piazza di Santa Maria di Trastevere created Carlo Fontana and the Casa della Fornarina where Raphael’s beautiful mistress is said to have stolen his heart all while surveying the plentitude of options for dinner this evening. (Approximately 3 hours)

With the help of your guide, select a restaurant to enjoy dinner at this evening (on a direct payment basis) before making your own way back to the hotel.

Day 3

This morning begin your tour with a walk through the Jewish Ghetto as your guide shares with you its long history.  Continue on to the bustling Campo de Fiori.  Always a center for commerce, this lively market used to serve the Cardinals and Noblemen traveling between the Basilica of St. John Lateran and the Vatican.  Today the area retains the same energetic atmosphere as yesteryear and it is here you will find the best fish in the city, fresh fruits and vegetables piled high, an array of spices, as well as kitchen utensils and tablecloths.  A stop at the ‘Spice Man’s’ stall is must!  As we walk back to the hotel feel the pulse of everyday life in the Eternal City, take a break to enjoy a tasty stop at Giolitti’s Ice Cream shop. (Approximately 3.5 hours)

Enjoy the afternoon at your leisure.

Day 4

After breakfast and the morning at your leisure to continue exploring Rome on your own, or indulging in the amenities offered by your hotel, you are met and transferred to Civitavecchia to embark on your cruise.

Price per person:  2,084 EURO (based on 2 people traveling together)

Optional Vespa tour experience:  Price per person: 220 EURO

Accommodation included: Hotel de La Minerve or similar – Deluxe Room category

YOUR TOUR IN ITALY INCLUDES:

  • Sightseeing, entrance fees and classes mentioned in the itinerary
  • Accommodation as noted
  • Transfers specified in the itinerary
  • Meals  mentioned in the itinerary
  • 24 hours Assistance during your trip

VENICE:  Indulgent Venice, a 2 night Pre or Post Cruise Package

Day 1

Upon arrival in Venice, make your way through customs and immigration at the arrivals area of the airport or port where you will meet your guide waiting for you with a sign noting your name.   Enjoy your water taxi cruise to your hotel (booked directly) in this city of canals.

Note: Water Taxis hold up to 10 people and one piece of luggage per person.  Excess luggage, prolonged wait times (exceeding 20 minutes) or additional fees due to deviations from the originally transportation request must be paid directly to the driver upon arrival at your destination.

This evening a dinner reservation has been made for you at Bistrot De Venise Restaurant for 8.00 p.m. (on a direct payment basis).  Made famous for embracing the cuisine of the 14th century Venice Renaissance, ingredients used by the chef are simple, but fresh, local and very good. The atmosphere of the restaurant is comfortable, but trendy and it serves as an important meeting place for artists; poetry or literature meetings and art and photography exhibits are common.  Enjoy the wide selection of Italian and regional wines.

Day 2

Cooking the Venetian Way on the Venice Lido.

Join Master Chef Marika Seguso in her home and share her passion for the art of Venetian cooking.  Begin with an introduction to Venetian Cooking and learn some state of the art techniques.  Marika is the co-founder of Acquolina, a successful catering company in New York City and contributor to the 2004 Food and Wine Cookbook.  Enjoy this hands-on experience alongside this reknown chef in her historical Liberty Style Villa and elegant garden.

Learn to prepare a typical four course Italian meal, either meat or seafood based, as Marika provides you with an appreciation for the history of these dishes as well as an understanding of  the importance of purchasing the freshest seasonal ingredients.  Marika will share with you many culinary secrets such as how to easily distinguish a fresh fish from a farm raised one and much more.

After indulging in the fruits of your labor, return to the mainland and enjoy a leisurely stroll through St. Marks District for a typically Italian coffee before returning to our hotel  (approximately 4 hours).

No visit to Venice would be complete without experience the city’s traditional form of travel on a gondola.  Late this afternoon explore the minor canals of the St. Marks District in true Venetian fashion.  This gentle cruise will introduce you to some of Venice’s most beautiful minor canals.

Please allow us to make a dinner reservation for you this evening.  Your guide can offer recommendations, or request a list of Recommended Restaurants for ideas.

Day 3

After breakfast and the morning at your leisure to continue exploring Venice on your own, or indulging in the amenities offered by your hotel, you are met and transferred to the airport or to the port  to embark on your cruise.    Please note:  Departing from your hotel 3 hours prior to your flight’s departure time is recommended.

Price per person: 663 EURO (based on 2 people traveling together)

YOUR TOUR IN ITALY INCLUDES:

  • Sightseeing, entrance fees and classes mentioned in the itinerary
  • Transfers specified in the itinerary
  • Meals  mentioned in the itinerary
  • 24 hours Assistance during your trip

VENICE:  Venice for Foodies and Lovers, our exclusive 3 night Pre or Post Cruise Package

Day 1

Upon arrival in Venice, make your way through customs and immigration at the arrivals area of the airport or port where you will meet your guide waiting for you with a sign noting your name.   Enjoy your water taxi cruise to your hotel (booked directly) in this city of canals.

Note: Water Taxis hold up to 10 people and one piece of luggage per person.  Excess luggage, prolonged wait times (exceeding 20 minutes) or additional fees due to deviations from the originally transportation request must be paid directly to the driver upon arrival at your destination.

This evening a dinner reservation has been made for you at Bistrot De Venise Restaurant for 8.00 p.m. (on a direct payment basis).  Made famous for embracing the cuisine of the 14th century Venice Renaissance, ingredients used by the chef are simple, but fresh, local and very good. The atmosphere of the restaurant is comfortable, but trendy and it serves as an important meeting place for artists; poetry or literature meetings and art and photography exhibits are common.  Enjoy the wide selection of Italian and regional wines.

Day 2

Cooking the Venetian Way on the Venice Lido…

Join Master Chef Marika Seguso in her home and share her passion for the art of Venetian cooking.  Begin with an introduction to Venetian Cooking and learn some state of the art techniques.  Marika is the co-founder of Acquolina, a successful catering company in New York City and contributor to the 2004 Food and Wine Cookbook.  Enjoy this hands-on experience alongside this reknown chef in her historical Liberty Style Villa and elegant garden.

Learn to prepare a typical four course Italian meal, either meat or seafood based, as Marika provides you with an appreciation for the history of these dishes as well as an understanding of  the importance of purchasing the freshest seasonal ingredients.  Marika will share with you many culinary secrets such as how to easily distinguish a fresh fish from a farm raised one and much more.

After indulging in the fruits of your labor, return to the mainland and enjoy a leisurely stroll through St. Marks District for a typically Italian coffee before returning to our hotel  (approximately 4 hours).

No visit to Venice would be complete without experience the city’s traditional form of travel on a gondola.  Late this afternoon explore the minor canals of the St. Marks District in true Venetian fashion.  This gentle cruise will introduce you to some of Venice’s most beautiful minor canals.

Please allow us to make a dinner reservation for you this evening.  Your guide can offer recommendations, or request a list of Recommended Restaurants for ideas.

Day 3

Continue your exploration of Venice today with flamboyant and passionate chef and restaurateur Enrica Rocca.   Meet Enrica at 10:00 a.m. at the foot of the Rialto Bridge to embark on a truly entertaining experience by her side.  Begin with a coffee tasting at Antico Caffè del Doge, the most celebrated coffee shop in the city.  Sample a variety of coffee blends from around the world as well as a few special creations including “Giacometto” – Paul Allen’s favorite – followed by Tiramisu.

Visit Rialto’s Fish and Vegetable Market, one of the oldest and most picturesque food markets in all of Europe.  Reconnoiter the aisles stalls seeking out the more unique products sold between fresh produce.  Feel the energy of the market come to life as locals negotiate for the best prices.

Cross over Rialto Bridge to visit Millevini, a small wine shop catering to the rich and famous.  More than a thousand types of wine are in stock (hence the name) and gain insight from the owner’s explanation of some of the most important Italian wines while enjoying a Spritz, the classic Venetian drink with a cicchetto.

Day 4

After breakfast and the morning at your leisure to continue exploring Venice on your own, or indulging in the amenities offered by your hotel, you are met and transferred to the airport or to the port  to embark on your cruise.    Please note:  Departing from your hotel 3 hours prior to your flight’s departure time is recommended.

Price per person:  1,235 EURO (based on 2 people traveling together)

YOUR TOUR IN ITALY INCLUDES:

  • Sightseeing, entrance fees and classes mentioned in the itinerary
  • Transfers specified in the itinerary
  • Meals  mentioned in the itinerary
  • 24 hours Assistance during your trip

LIVORNO/FLORENCE: A Foodies Exploration of Florence

The tantalizing tastes of Florence awaits you today as you disembark from the port in Livorno and begin a leisurely drive east to one of the most beautiful cities in the world.   Home to one of the great wine-growing regions in the world, Florence’s local food and wine have been celebrated as much as its rich cultural and artistic heritage.

Upon arrival into Florence, you are met by your local guide and begin your tour by sampling gourmet coffees.  Continue on to enjoy Italy’s quintessential treat, homemade gelato.  Indulge in aperitifs and crostinis at one of the oldest wine bars in the city before exploring the eating habits of local Florentians while roaming the halls of the Mercato Centrale.  This market is one of Florence’s most popular and is well known for its variety fresh produce.  As you wander, collect the local recipes on offer at the market.  (Tour Duration: 4 Hours)

Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant in Florence and then continue exploring the city on your own before meeting your driver to return back to the port.

Price per person: 615 Euro (based on 2 people traveling together)

YOUR TOUR IN ITALY INCLUDES:

  • Transfer from Livorno to Florence
  • English-speaking guide for 4 hours in Florence
  • Tasting of regional delicacies

Amalfi Shore Excursion: Mama Agata – Cooking Like A Local

Enjoy the unique opportunity to spend the day with Mamma Agata learning the secrets of regional specialties of the Amalfi through a cooking lesson.   Mamma Agata’s long and dedicated career began when she was just thirteen years old and in 1997 she decided to open the cooking school to share her passion for regional Amalfi specialties with others.

Whether cooking for a large formal gathering or an impromptu poolside lunch, Mamma Agata’s approach has always been the same.   She offers traditional dishes made of fresh, local ingredients and always remembers her guest’s favorites.  When Fred Astaire came to call, after a lunch of spaghetti alla puttanesca, he would waltz the hostess’s elderly mother around the courtyard.  Humphrey Bogart was more reserved, and quietly ate his alici fritte while taking in the view.  Mamma Agata’s favorite memory is that of Jacqueline Kennedy, who impressed her with “un’eleganza molto semplice” an elegant simplicity unique only to her, enjoying mozzarella and tomato salad by the pool.

Upon arrival at Mamma Agata’s private home, meet with Chiara, the cooking school’s director and enjoy some world famous Lemon Cake before your cooking demonstration begins.   Chiara will assist you throughout the day and present you with mementos to carry home and remember your experience by.

The hands-on cooking demonstration will cover a traditional menu including cocktails, starters, sauces, entrees and desert.  Mamma Agata will share with you samples of the ingredients being used to savor the fresh flavors of olive oil, wine, and garden fresh.  Many of the ingredients are locally produced on the farm and take time to wander through the garden to select fresh vegetables or simply enjoy the view.   After class, a bountiful lunch is served on the terrace overlooking the Mediterranean Sea.

Price per person: 1,565 EURO (based on 2 people traveling together)

YOUR TOUR IN ITALY INCLUDES:

  • Transfer with English-speaking driver
  • Cooking class and Lunch

Amalfi /Positano Shore Excursion: Half Day Cooking Demonstration in a Restaurant

Meet your driver on the pier for your private transfer into the heart of Positano to indulge in a culinary journey of Mediterranean Cuisine at the elegant Ristorante Max.   A warm welcome awaits you as owners greet you and usher you into the quaint and charming restaurant.

The hands-on cooking demonstration begins with and introduction on regional specialties of Positano, penne pasta and pizza.  Explore other dishes such as Fiori di zucchini and Parmigiana di Melanzane.  Enjoy the fruits of your labor while you enjoy the dishes you have helped to prepare.  As you collect the recipes you have created and the real world experience feel confident you will be able impress your guests when you return home with your new culinary skills.  (Approximately 2 Hours)

Price per person: 352 EURO (based on 2 people traveling together)

YOUR TOUR IN ITALY INCLUDES:

  • Transfer with English-speaking driver
  • Cooking class and Lunch

Portofino: Our Exclusive Cooking Demonstration at the 5-Star Splendido Hotel 

Meet your English speaking Assistant at the pier for a brief walk to the Hotel Splendido to enjoy a hands-on cooking demonstration at the renowned La Terrazza Restaurant.  Learn to prepare the Ligurian Pesto, drawing on the authentic recipe and the typical short pasta from Liguria as well as other specialties of the Liguria region.   At the completion of the demonstration enjoy the fruits of your labor as well as a certificate serving as a memento, the pesto recipe and a nice bottle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

Price per person: 272 EURO (based on 2 people traveling together)

YOUR TOUR IN ITALY INCLUDES:

  • Assistant to meet you at the pier and walk you to the hotel
  • Cooking class and tasting

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