Modern Adventure

Chef Joshua McFadden of Ava Gene's in Rome, Florence & Tuscany

Travel with chef Joshua McFadden of Ava Gene’s in Portland, Oregon, on a trip to Rome, Florence and Tuscany. One departure only this June.

Rome, Tuscany & Florence with Chef Joshua McFadden

7 days of culinary exploration | One departure only | Likely to sell out - only 8 spots left

The Italy we know is a place of wonder. Iconic cities with archeological marvels, towering works of art and giant cathedrals. Medieval hamlets perched atop of hilltops, looking out across noble vinyards and olive groves. It is centuries old wine cellars, barns fragrant with Pecorino. It's encounters with people rich in traditions and heritage. And, of course, it is food. Food that excites with fresh seasonal ingredients, food made with love. The Italy we know inspires and begs to be explored.

Someone who knows the depth of inspiration Italy can offer is Joshua McFadden of Ava Gene's in Portland, Oregon. Joshua accompanies us on this experience, to share the Italy he knows and loves. Join us as we weave our way through the vibrant and eclectic neighborhoods of Rome, discover the farm-to-table delights of Tuscany, and be immersed in the art and architecture of Florence.

At every turn we are joined by experts eager to share their knowledge and pride - the local farmers, chefs and artisanal producers who make our culinary adventure possible. And a highlight of our time together is an evening where Joshua will prepare a feast for us to enjoy.

We can all relax and be in the moment thanks to the joyful eye of professional photographer Diana Zalucky, who’ll travel with us on our journey.

If you call yourself a food lover, if your heart is drawn to art, passion and celebration - this is the trip for you. Join us.

June 3 - 9, 2018 | Limited availability | One departure only

$4,900 per person
Book this trip
Call +1 (855) 219-8018 to reserve

Want to talk about going to Italy with chef Joshua?
Call +1 (855) 219-8018, daily 7am to 7pm Pacific


Rome, June 3


Florence, June 9


7 days, 6 nights


$4,900 per person


Luxury boutique lodgings included


Most meals and beverages included


The Adventure

Sunday, June 3

Day 1: Welcome to Italy

We’ll kick off the trip at our hotel in Rome, in the heart of the vibrant Trastevere district. Freshen up, sip an espresso or two, and prepare for a food-lover's introduction to Rome led by Katie Parla. She is an expert on Italy’s highly evolved food culture and author of Tasting Rome, awarded a coveted IAPC award for Best International Cookbook in 2017.

Katie will lead us on a walking tour of the neighborhood focused on food: from Rome’s humble street stalls and centuries-old bakeries to its traditional bars and grand trattorias. There’s no better way to get an introduction to Rome than by walking the streets of Trastevere - eating as we go - with a passionate local and food historian like Katie.

In the evening we'll regroup for a neighborhood appertivo, then head to dinner at a traditional Roman pizzeria. This is pizza like you've always dreamed of - tucked away in cobbled back alley, packed with Rome locals, serving up slow-rise dough that crisps up beautifully in the wood-fire oven. With no disrespect to Neopolitan-style pizza, Roman pizza is where it's at.

Lunch & dinner included

Monday, June 4

Day 2: This is Rome

We start with a Baroque Rome walking tour emphasizing history, architecture and - of course - food. We start with a stroll through Rome's famous Campo de'Fiori, soaking up the bustle and vibrancy of this bountiful market. We'll explore Piazza Navona and Piazza Farnese, cross over the Arno river via Ponte Sisto, and stop for an espresso and walk-through of the mighty Pantheon, the jewel in the crown of Rome's Baroque period.

After lunch, we split up into small groups for an activity of your choosing: a ride-along Vespa tour of the city, visiting key sites such as the Colosseum and motoring through Rome's iconic neighborhoods; or a walking tour of ancient Rome and a deep dive into archaeology and architecture, including the Colosseum and Forum.

Relax back at the hotel or take in the cityscape with a rooftop appertivo. Then it's a short walk to dinner: a traditional Roman fish and seafood restaurant in Campo de'Fiore. After our meal, walk next door to an award-winning cocktail bar owned by a friend of Joshua’s, where we'll sample some of Rome’s modern libations.

Breakfast, lunch & dinner included
Tuesday, June 5

Day 3: Onward to Tuscany

We leave Rome and head to the idyllic and iconic countryside that is Tuscany. First stop on our short journey is the remarkable hilltop village of Civita di Bagnoregio, home to fewer than 50 people! We arrive on foot (no cars allowed) to enjoy an aperitivo and typical Tuscan lunch in a glorious medieval setting. After lunch there is time to explore the ancient alleys and clifftop vistas on your own.

Next is a visit and tasting at Oliviera Sant'Angelo, a family-owned olive grove and mill. With just 3,000 trees, it produces some of Tuscany's finest varietals (Frantoio, Coorreggiolo, Moraiolo, Pendolino) and an extraordinary range of flavors and aromas.

Dinner is in the ancient courtyard of our hotel, with produce from the adjacent farms and a selection of wine from surrounding vineyards.

Breakfast, lunch & dinner included
Wednesday, June 6

Day 4: Dinner with Joshua

In the morning we visit another dramatic hilltop village, Pienza, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a pearl of Renaissance Italian architecture. You’ll have time to explore on your own, too.

Next we visit an organic cheese and dairy farm, Fattoria Pianporcino, to taste their divine yogurts and to see how the unique Pecorino Toscano, a firm ewe's milk cheese, is made, followed by a farmhouse lunch.

After lunch explore the winding streets of Montepulciano, a medieval hilltop town surounded by ancient vineyards. Montepulciano is at the heart of the region's wine country. An expert sommelier will lead us trough a tasting of Montepulciano's most memorable Chianti Classicos and Brunellos.

Dinner is a farm-to-table celebration of Tuscany cooked for us by Joshua. He understands vegetables truly, madly, deeply, and never stops asking what really good food is all about. It’s a true honor to watch Joshua cook and share his passion for food.

Breakfast, lunch & dinner included

Thursday, June 7

Day 5: Wine, Meat, Florence

In the morning we’re off to the vineyards of medieval Castello di Volpaia. We’ll visit the grounds and underground vaults of this centuries-old fortified castle, and enjoy a VIP tasting of their very best Chianti Classicos (DOCG, Riserva, Coltassala) overlooking the vines, olive groves and forests of Chianti.

Lunch is at Dario Cecchini’s legendary butcher shop, Macelleria Cecchini, in the village of Panzano in Chianti. Dario, whose family has been in the business for eight generations, is a master of nose-to-tail butchery. Our five-course lunch around Dario's open grill is about celebrating life together with friendship and lots of beautiful steaks to devour. Come hungry.

With our stomachs and hearts full we’ll drive on to Florence to our hotel in the heart of the city and have the day to explore or relax on our own. In the evening, we'll meet for a short city walk and then do dinner on our own, with a thoughtful list of dining recommendations to guide us.

Breakfast, lunch & dinner included

Friday, June 8

Day 6: Best of Florence

The amazing city of Florence will steal your heart and not let go. We start at Florence's iconic cathedral, the Duomo, with its magnificent Renaissance dome designed by Filippo Brunelleschi. Then we'll walk the streets of Florence with a focus Renaissance art and architecture, finishing at the Mercato Centrale to sample the fresh local produce on offer.

With this context and inspiration we’ll have the rest of the day to enjoy lunch and explore the wonders of Florence on our own. Dive into art and sculpture at the Uffizi and Galleria dell'Accademia museums. Take a leisurely walk through Boboli Gardens and across the Arno river on the iconic Ponte Vecchio bridge. Or simply get lost and wander the endlessly fascinating streets of Florence. The choice is yours.

In the evening we’ll gather for a spectacular final dinner, where we’ll toast Joshua and our adventures together. Salute!

Breakfast & dinner included

Saturday, June 9

Day 7: We'll say Arrivederci, which means, Italy just rocked our worlds!

After breakfast we'll share stories of our adventures and discoveries and say our goodbyes, before departing to Florence's airport or wherever your journey takes you.

Breakfast included


The Accommodations


Hotel Donna
Camilla Savelli

Via Garibaldi 27, Trastevere, Rome

Our hotel is a boutique urban oasis in the heart of Renaissance Rome and the popular Trastevere district, with its excellent trattorias, nightlife and shopping. The four-star hotel is a converted 17th-century monastery, with grounds that retain an ancient sense of peace and tranquility. The rooftop terrace is a great spot for enjoying a glass of wine with a breathtaking view.

A mix of modern and ancient influences are brought to life at Donna Camilla Savelli. A slew of paintings and ancient sculptures play alongside modern amenities and large, spacious rooms equipped with every luxury.


Hotel Abbadia

Strada Provinciale 14, Abbadia a Sicille

This is genuine Tuscany, a luxurious former convent set atop a hill and overlooking the vineyards and fields of the ancient village of Abbadia a Sicille, close to Montepulciano and Pienza. The hotel feels like a secret hilltop retreat with expansive gardens and grounds, and the kind of swimming pool you half expect to find Leonardo DiCaprio at, lounging poolside with a cocktail in hand. It's a perfect summer getaway with spacious rooms and stunning views across the postcard-perfect Tuscan countryside.


Hotel Cellai

Via 27 Aprile 14

If Florence is known for its art, then the Hotel Cellai is proud to uphold that tradition. It's located in the historic center of Florence just a short walk from the Galleria dell’Accademia (home to Michelangelo’s iconic sculpture of David) and Florence's famed Duomo cathedral.

The hotel itself incorporates a deep passion for art into every aspect of its design. Rooms feature vintage Florentine decor, warm colors, wooden floors and elegant furniture - plus all the modern amenities you'd expect. There are jaw-dropping views of Florence from the rooftop garden. There’s a wine bar up here, too, so grab yourself a glass and take a moment to silently breathe in everything that is Florence in all its majesty.




Joshua McFadden

Joshua McFadden is more than just executive chef/owner of Portland's highly acclaimed Ava Gene's. Joshua is a legend. His enthusiasm is infectious. We learn something new from him every day, and we’re proud to have his culinary expertise by our side on this journey. Joshua has worked at Momofuku, Lupa, and Blue Hill in New York; for Alice Waters at the American Academy in Rome; and at the Four Season Farm in coastal Maine as a farm manager, where his love for soil and seeds was born. We know him today as a man who understands vegetables truly, madly, deeply; a vegetable whisperer with the ability to turn a humble green into a thing of beauty; a lover of Italian cuisine and a pasta aficionado who never stops asking what really good food is all about.

Chef & Guide

Katie Parla

A food lover, chef, food historian and writer with a hefty appetite for adventure, Katie’s real passion is discovering what goes into the very best food in Rome. With a master's degree in Italian Gastronomic Culture, a sommelier certificate, and a degree in art history, there’s quite possibly no better person on this side of the globe to introduce you to the exquisite culinary heritage that is Italian cooking in the city of Rome. She’s friends with every Italian nonna, fisherman and baker on the block, knows where the most legit pasta is hiding and will totally help you work up the courage to order spaghetti without an atrocious accent.


Roberta Ferraris

Roberta is an artist, a foodie and an accomplished guide. She's written numerous cookbooks and travel guides focused on Italy, and will expertly lead us through the streets of Rome and the backroads of Tuscany. Whe she's not guiding, Roberta lives on a farm in southern Piedmont raising goats and donkeys, making cheese, and doing her best to grow a vegetable garden that's not eaten by voracious wild boar.


Diana Zalucky

Photographer Diana Zalucky hails from St Thomas, in the US Virgin Islands. At heart she's an island girl, foodie, and an experience junkie who gets giddy over new passport stamps. Her intimate, fresh, cinematic style and versatility has given her the opportunity to shoot for a wide range of amazing clients. Her infectious energy and passion brings out the best in people, resulting in honest imagery filled with spirit and enthusiasm. When she’s not on set or on a shoot, she’s usually playing in the mountains or ocean and finding the good life wherever she goes.


The Inspiration



Rome, Tuscany & Florence with Chef Joshua McFadden

7 days of epic culinary exploration | One departure only | Only 9 spots left - book soon!

June 3 - 9, 2018 | Limited availability | One departure only

$4,900 per person
Book this trip
Call +1 (855) 219-8018 to reserve

Want to talk about going to Italy with chef Joshua?
Call +1 (855) 219-8018, daily 7am to 7pm Pacific



Six nights of four-star hotel and country lodgings

All meals as noted in daily itineraries (wine generally included with lunch, dinner)

Wine and food tastings as noted

Guided activities as noted

Hosting by Joshua McFadden, Roberta Ferraris, Katie Parla

Trip photos by photographer Diana Zalucky

Private in-country group transportation from Rome to Florence

Luggage transfers

Please note:
Daily itineraries are subject to change due to weather, seasonal conditions, and serendipity...


Air transportation to/from Italy

Airport transfers

One lunch and one dinner

Alcoholic beverages (except at included lunches + dinners, and at wine tastings)

Entrance fees, meals, and all personal items during leisure time

Travel insurance

Excess baggage charges

Gratuities and items of a personal nature

Personal services in hotels (telephone, laundry, room service)



We believe travel can be a force for good in our own lives, and in the lives of the people and places we visit. We create magical experiences, harnessing the expertise and passion of our partners, to produce joyful moments of discovery and celebration. We are purveyors of the extraordinary. A beautiful world awaits.



FAQs for Aspiring Adventurists



How do I book this trip?

You can access our secure online reservation form by clicking the "Book Trip" button on this page.



Is my booking guaranteed?

Yes. Once your purchase is confirmed, your booking is guaranteed subject to our fine print (see our Terms and Conditions for full details).



What are the accommodations like?

We stay at centrally located, four-star hotels in Rome and Florence. In Tuscany we stay at upscale country lodgings. All accommodations have private bathrooms.



Do I pay a supplement for a single room?

Yes, there is a $850 supplement for solo travelers, to be paid after your booking is confirmed.



When will I receive detailed info about my trip so I can start planning?

After your booking is confirmed, you will receive a Trip Planner that includes a detailed day-by-day itinerary, arrival and departure details, packing tips, and passport and visa requirements.



How many people will be on this trip?

We limit the group to no more than 20 fellow adventurers.



What is the cancellation and refund policy?

You may cancel for any reason up to 60 calendar days prior to the scheduled departure date and receive a full refund (made to the credit card used for the original booking) minus a $500 per person service fee. If you cancel between 59 and 31 days in advance, there is a 50% cancellation fee. Within 30 days or less of departure there is a 100% cancellation fee. Exceptions to our cancellation policy cannot be made for any reason, including weather, terrorism, travel delays, civil unrest or personal emergencies.



Should I purchase travel insurance? If so, do you have a recommendation?

We highly recommend purchasing travel insurance for all trips. Travel insurance allows you to seek reimbursement if you are forced to cancel your trip for unforeseeable reasons, or if you need to cover medical help, emergency transport, and/or theft or accidental damage while traveling. For travel insurance suggestions, please email us.



What if I have more questions?

We’re here to help! Email us at or call us toll-free at +1 (855) 219-8018 (daily 9am to 6pm Pacific).



One Departure Only

Rome, Florence & Tuscany with Joshua McFadden of Ava Gene’s

Book this trip