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Lidia Bastianich

Travel Now Insights

Culinary vacation tours of Italy inspire the imagination

Aspiring chefs learn from the masters

March 24, 2000
Web posted at: 12:19 p.m. EST (1719 GMT)


 VIDEO
VideoTravel to Italy to discover authentic cooking firsthand
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  RELATED RECIPES
 
 VIDEO
VideoTake a ride through the Umbrian countryside, end the day with a big family meal
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  RELATED RECIPES
 

(CNN) -- Remember when the whole idea of vacation was to get out of the kitchen? Food enthusiasts are setting that notion aside, booking trips that make cooking the main course on the tourism menu.

Italy is a favorite destination for would-be chefs. An intimate course offered at the Stucchi family's Tuscan villa lets students test traditional recipes amid elegant surroundings.

Culinary tours led by established restaurateurs like Lidia Bastianich are another option. These may include field trips to local markets and restaurants, in addition to class time.

CNN Travel Now Correspondent Carolyn O'Neil sampled these tours that have cooks scrambling to spend their vacations in the kitchen.

Food, flora and fauna in one neat package

For those who want a both a gourmet taste of Italy's food and a hearty helping of its scenery, Cross Country International offers the perfect plan.

The company organizes horseback riding tours through the Umbria region, famed for its natural beauty. After an afternoon in the saddle at Malvarina Trail in Assisi, Italy, guests enjoy the hospitality of the Fabrizi family, rejuvenating for the next day's adventure with one of Maria Fabrizi's homemade meals.

CNN Travel Now Correspondent Stephanie Oswald packed her riding boots and her appetite for this unique escape.



RELATED STORIES:
Touring Tuscany to learn about wine
February 8, 2000
Buon appetito: A harvest of country Italian cookbooks
December 21, 1999

RELATED SITES:
CNN Travel Now
Lidia's Italy
Cross Country International: Malvarina Trail Ride
Gabriele's Travels to Italy

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