May 2014: ITALY – SOLD OUT A Taste of Bella Italia with KPLU



A Taste of Bella Italia

A Jazz, Food, Wine and Art Lovers Adventure
With KPLU!

May 17 – 28, 2014


“A tavola non si invecchia”
You don’t age while seated for a meal.
A popular Italian saying…



Call today to be placed on our waitlist, 1-800-723-8454! you love Italian wines, cheese and olive oil? Now imagine adding in towering hill towns, rare Renaissance art, colorful outdoor markets and local jazz performances to be performed on the grounds of a 12th century castle.   If you have ever wanted to experience the fullness of the Italian legacy then you will certainly love this leisurely jazz adventure to Bella Italia with KPLU hosts Mary Dunaway and Joey Cohn.



                Overnight flight
2 Nights Romantic Venice
2 Nights in Fiesole / Florence, Tuscany 
3 Nights Tuscan Countryside Castle
1 Night ancient Orvieto, Umbria
2 Nights Rome



  • Private jazz performances
  • In-depth walking tours of Venice, Rome, Siena
  • Three unforgettable nights in Tuscany
  • An entertaining cooking class
  • A visit to the Michelangelo of Meat, Dario Cecchini
  • Sumptuous wine tastings in Montepulciano, Chianti and Orvieto
  • Excursions to the hill towns of Siena, Pienza, Montepulciano, Civita di Bagnoregio and Orvieto
  • Lunch in a 2,500 year old ancient Etruscan cave
  • Mouth-watering dining experiences in local trattorias
  • Outings to colorful village markets
  • Visits to the producers and tastings of balsamic vinegar di Modena, virgin olive oil, Prosciutto and Parmigiano Reggiano and Pecorino cheeses
  • Opportunities to visit hot bubbling thermal spas
  • A small group of fellow food, wine and KPLU jazz lovers!



  • With KPLU Host Mary Dunaway and Joey Cohn
  • Guided by an Earthbound Expeditions expert program director
  • Airport transfers for those arriving with the group in Italy
  • Jazz performances featuring local artists
  • Ten nights accommodation on the grounds of a historic castle and charming hotels
  • All breakfasts, five lunches and six multi-course dinners featuring regional specialties
  • Transportation by a private air-conditioned bus
  • Vaporetto transport tickets in Venice
  • Wine, olive oil, balsamic vinegar and cheese tastings while visiting the producers
  • Entrance tickets as listed in your itinerary
  • Walking tours with fascinating local guides
  • Complimentary wine and cheese get-togethers
  • A pre tour informational gathering




11 Days/10 Nights (Land Dates without Air Travel)
$4,145 PP Dbl. Occupancy Land (25 to 35 guests)
$735 Single Supplement (waived if you are willing to share and a roommate match is found)
Departing Seattle on Saturday, May 17
Ending in Rome or Seattle on Wednesday, May 28

Sold Out, call today to be placed on our waitlist: 1-800-723-8454

*Small group comfort charge of $300 for groups smaller than 21

Not Included:  Meals not mentioned in the itinerary, alcoholic beverages, travel insurance and any miscellaneous expenses incurred.


Group Air: $1,675.00 per person (including tax, fuel surcharges and ticketing) *Note: Less expensive fares may be found by going to

DL153 | Saturday, May 17, 2014

Lv. Seattle  6:10 PM     Ar. Amsterdam 1:00 PM (May 18th)

KL1655 | Sunday, May 18, 2014

Lv. Amsterdam  2:35 PM  Ar. Venice  4:20 PM


DL245 | Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Lv. Rome  12:55 PM     Ar. NY JFK 4:50 PM

DL1643 | Wednesday, May 28

Lv. NY JFK  6:30 PM  Ar. Seattle  10:06 PM



  • KPLU club members save $50
  • Travel alumni save $100
  • Pay by check and save $100




“Everything you see… I owe to spaghetti.” -
Sophia Loren






DAY 1, May 17: Depart for Venice
Group flight departs from Seattle this afternoon direct for Europe.  


DAY 2, May 18: Arrive in Venice
Bursting with baroque cathedrals, outdoor markets, islands and piazzas, Venice is the perfect place for you to begin your journey of Italia. Home to Casanova, Vivaldi and Marco Polo, Venice was the single most powerful city state in 13th Century Europe. With an economy equal to that of France it is no wonder Shakespeare located his “merchants” in Venice. 

Upon arrival, you’ll be met by your guide and escorted to your hotel located in the heart of Venice. This evening join your guide, hosts and fellow travelers for a welcome orientation and a Venetian feast fit for Casanova himself. Sleep in Venice


DAY 3:, May 19 Romantic Venice
After a morning of exploring the infinite alleyways, the Rialto market & the Piazza San Marco with your local guide, you’re free to take in as many of the 125 islands of Venice as you can. Glass lovers will want to hop a ferry to nearby Murano. Other options include the Doge’s Palace, an exploration of the Basilica San Marco or an ascent of the towering Campanile (bell tower) for a bird’s eye view of the famous Piazza San Marco.

For dinner this evening may we suggest a “giro di ombra” (pub crawl).  This is a fun, highly social and mouth-watering way to do as the locals and rub elbows with some of Venice’s more interesting characters.  Sample wines of the Veneto region and the local cicchetti, the Venetian version of Spanish tapas.  Sleep in Venice


DAY 4, May 20: South to Italy’s gastronomic capital, Bologna & on to Tuscany!
En route to our villa in Fiesole we drive through one of Italy’s most celebrated provinces for wine and food, Emilia Romagna. Here you’ll taste such delectable specialties as Prosciutto di Parma (Parma ham), Parmigiano Reggiano (the King of Italian cheese), Lambrusco Reggiano wines and traditional balsamic vinegar. We visit the region surrounding Modena in order to taste the delicious regional specialties.  After lunch your journey continues on to Fiesole, an ancient hill town which sits just above the city of Florence. Wine, dinner and music will be served in our own private villa this evening. Sleep in Fiesole


Day 5, May 21: Renaissance treasure
Our day begins with a fascinating tour of the Uffizi Art Gallery. This world-renowned museum is a mecca for lovers of Italian painting. Together, we stroll through galleries containing spectacular works by Michelangelo, Leonardo and Botticelli. The midday is yours to explore this art-filled Renaissance city at your own leisurely pace.

You may wish to take in the bustling San Lorenzo market. In the late afternoon we rendezvous to tour the Academia museum where you’ll discover why Michelangelo’s colossal statue of David made him the most sought after artist of his day. Return to our villa and enjoy another evening of music, wine and festivities. Sleep in Fiesole


Day 6, May 22: Southern Tuscany via Chianti
We depart this morning for stunning southern Tuscany. En-route, discover the Gallo Nero wine route. We’ll stop in the village of Panzano and duck inside the butcher shop of Dario Cecchini, known as the “Michelangelo of Meat.”  No visit to Chianti would be complete without tasting the wines produced with the Sangiovese grape so rest assured, we’ll be stopping to sample one (and perhaps two) glasses of Chianti’s edible art at a local winery.

Our day culminates in the Tuscan countryside near the region of Siena. The rich earth of this region produces some of Italy’s most celebrated wines. Over the course of the next two days we’ll enjoy wine tastings, soaking in hot thermal pools and picturesque hill towns. Sleep in the Tuscan countryside at Castello di Modanella


Recognize this man?  Well you might if you frequent one of Seattle’s great deli’s “Salumi’s.” When owner/ founder Armandino Batali was looking for inspiration he flew off to Chianti and spent a bit of time with Italy’s Michelangelo of meat, Dario Cecchini. You’ll be sampling his specialities (and perhaps meeting) Dario while in Chianti!


About the Castello di Modanella

Your castle home is no ordinary hotel. On your behalf we’ve rented apartments on the grounds of a working vineyard, also known as “Agriturismo.”  The Castello’s rustic charm lies in the fact that it’s 100% authentic.  You’ll be staying in a large room which is warmly, but simply decorated in the traditional Tuscan style. You’ll also have a private bath, but may be sharing a common kitchen and living room with fellow guests. And chances are you won’t have a TV, but you will be surrounded by vineyards and nature trails which are inhabited by small wild boar called “cinghiale.” If you are a lover of thermal pools you may want to pay a visit to Rapalano spa located just 5 minutes down the road.  Maid service is only available upon request.  For more information see:


Day 7, May 23: Pienza and Montepulciano
Our excursion today moves slowly from the acclaimed wine-producing town of Montepulciano, Italy’s highest hill town, to the cheese producing town of nearby Pienza.

Pienza presides over the Val d’Orcia, a zone of such legendary pristine beauty that it has been listed as a world heritage area.  Pienza was named after Pope Pius II, who sought to create of this town a paradise on earth.

Today we’ll enjoy wine and cheese tastings and lunch in a local trattoria where simple but elegant food will be served. 

Before dinner this evening enjoy a wine tasting and a jazz performance at the castle. Sleep in the Tuscan countryside at Castello di Modanella


Day 8, May 24: A Day in Siena
Siena, once home to Saint Catherine, remembers its medieval roots by celebrating the Palio, Italy’s most prestigious horse race. Our day begins with a walking tour with a local expert through the famous Campo and will continue through the winding cobblestone alleyways to Siena’s massive Gothic cathedral and other historical sights. We’ll have a delicious Siennese feast tonight, featuring local specialties such as “pici” pasta and wines made from the fruit of the Sangiovese grape.

Return to your castle home just in time for a light cooking class followed by dinner & a private jazz performance. Sleep in the Tuscan countryside at Castello di Modanella


Day 9, May 25:  Etruscan Caves and Ancient Hill Towns
Eight centuries BC, the Etruscans settled the hill towns of Civita di Bagnoreggio and Orvieto and on these parched rocky fortresses they founded Italy’s first cities.  The Romans called these first settlers the “Etruschi,” or “those who live on hills.”

This morning we set off to walk through Italy’s “grand canyon” to the town of Civita di Bagnoreggio. Civita is a traffic-free community that can only be reached by footbridge.  Today, fewer than 30 people call the village home.  Your reward for walking 40 minutes (up and down) is freshly made bruschetta toasted over an open fire in an Etruscan cave. Wear your most comfortable walking shoes today!  Not up for a walk? There is a café in Bagnoreggio where you can relax and enjoy a cappuccino.   After lunch it’s a short drive to the soaring hill town of Orvieto. We’ll check into our hotel, located in the very heart of the village. Join locals this evening for the evening “passeggiata” (stroll) before joining your host and guide for dinner in an ancient Etruscan cave.  Sleep in Orvieto


Day 10, May 26: All Roads Lead to Rome
True to the adage “all roads lead to Rome,” our journey brings us to the capital. If you love ancient history, colorful markets and world class museums, you will surely fall in love with Rome. Bursting with ancient ruins, baroque masterpieces, renaissance treasures and the infinite hum of Vespas, the Eternal City is chaos perfected.

Upon arrival enjoy a city tour of Rome which will include some of Rome’s most famous sites. Sleep in Rome


Day 11, May 27: A Stroll through Time
This morning we’ll set out on a historic stroll across what was at one time ancient Rome. Our journey will include a stop at the Fountain of Trevi, ancient Pantheon, Piazza Navona and Saint Peters. En-route we’ll stop to enjoy a farewell lunch at the legendary trattoria, La Carbonara, whose claim to fame is inventing….you guessed it, Carbonara-style pasta. Your walking tour of Rome concludes in the Square of Saint Peters.  Total distance is roughly 3 miles down narrow streets and over cobble stones. Sleep in Rome


Day 12, May 28: Return Home with a lifetime of memories
Today, depart for the USA.  An airport transfer is included for those departing on the group flight.



- Itinerary Details Subject to Change -



“No man is lonely eating spaghetti…it requires too much attention.”
Christopher Morley


You’ll enjoy three included jazz performances that might just remind you of a Northwest impromptu house concert. We guarantee that the music will be fun, lively and plenty of good Italian wine will be served. The performances will be held on the grounds of a 12th century castle and in an 18th century villa. Depending upon the schedule there should also be an opportunity to catch a jazz concert in Venice and Rome.


Earthbound Expeditions is not responsible for any changes regarding the program, performers, times and/or dates which the concert organizers may alter. If, for reasons beyond our control, a concert is changed or cancelled a substitute concert will be found.


To make the most of your journey and participate in the various planned group activities, you should be able to walk unassisted for two to three hours (often over uneven cobblestones or pathways) with frequent standing. For those desiring additional exercise, our journeys allow free time to explore at your own pace. On boats, planes, ships and ferries, guests will need to be able to maneuver unassisted up and down gangways, stairs and in between decks.



 Click here for a printable version of this itinerary.


 Make Your Reservation

Make Your Reservation