An Adriatic Adventure
Friuli and Istria (just like most of Central Europe) have colorful and complex histories that are reflected in their food and wine traditions. Though not large, their landscapes, climates, cooking, and wines change dramatically from region to region. These locations combine Habsburg and Ottoman heritage while the Istrian Peninsula (claimed by locals to be the gourmet capital of the country) has a cosmopolitan past, with Italian, Slovenian, and Croatian influences. The emblematic dishes of the peninsula, rich in truffles, Boskarin beef, oysters, Adriatic seafood (cooked and raw), cheese, aged prsut, olive oil, and homemade pasta, rival those in neighboring Italy. Of course, there will be plenty of the local wine—Malvazia and Terran—to accompany this amazing food.
Croatia, Italy & Slovenia 2019
LOCATION Croatia, Italy & Slovenia
DATES - September 9 - 18, 2019
TRAVELERS - 12 people
Seats Remaining - 11
PRICE - $6950 Per Person
The trip is designed for experienced travelers with a passion for great food made the traditional way—food that is deeply connected to the people and culture of the place. We encourage open minds and adventurous spirits. Our guests are adults of all ages, who enjoy walking and exploring on their own as well as with the group. We keep the group small—no more than 12 guests will travel with two experienced hosts. This tour is particularly multicultural due to the continued influences of the Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian Empires, as well as Italian residents.
Behind-the-scenes visits to artisanal producers of excellent traditional food and drink, including an olive orchard, goat farm, vineyard, oyster farm, and more.
Most meals—we will enjoy traditional regional specialties made from local, fresh ingredients.
Unforgettable experiences, such as hunting truffles in the woods, sailing on the Adriatic Sea, and enjoying a cooking demonstration with a local chef.
Explore beautiful old towns, including Rovinj, Trieste, and Pula, as we walk the historical sites, markets, and scenic landscape. We’ll also be visiting Slovenia and the region of Friuli, Italy.
You will be staying in clean, comfortable, conveniently located, unique accommodations with private baths.
A Zingerman’s tour host and our local guide are available at your disposal at all times.
Transportation by air-conditioned private bus during the tour.
What’s not included?
Personal spending money
A few meals on your own, which will be indicated in the itinerary
What about accommodations?
Clean 5 star accommodations
This afternoon we will meet at the Venice airport for a private transfer to our first homebase in Trieste, Italy. Upon arrival, you’ll check in and get ready for our welcome dinner and a get to know your fellow travelers.
After breakfast we’ll head out into the lively city of Trieste, Italy. Nestled in the this Venetian-influenced bay, we’ll take a historical walking tour with a local guide through the city itself, learning about the rich history and setting the story for the coming days. After our walk we’ll enjoy lunch at one of our favorite casual haunts known for its Austro-Hungarian influences (and also a favorite of the locals). The coming afternoon, we’ll take a dive into the the coffee and pastry culture of this area before heading to the hills for a beautiful meal showcasing some of the local wines along with an approachable introduction to the grape varieties and wine history of the region.
After breakfast, we will set out to discover one of the biggest treasures of Friuli - San Daniele prosciutto and wine! We’ll start the day with our first of two wine tastings, finishing with lunch and one of our favorite local wine producers. From there, we’ll visit a local prosciutto producer and learn what makes this cured pork so famous and special. Tonight we’ll have a light meal in the hills of Friuli before returning back to Trieste for the night.
*Tomorrow we head to Slovenia!
After breakfast, we’ll travel to Slovenia. By now, you’ll have a good grasp on the local wine varieties of the region and some of the basics in the local culinary history. From here we’re going to introduce you to another world in wine: Orange Wine! Getting its reputation by leaving the grape skin in contact with the juice creating a beautiful orange-like liquid, this experience is sure to stick in your memory. During our visit we’ll meet a few of the locals producing some of our favorite wines and enjoy a lovely lunch in the vineyard before heading back to Trieste for an evening on your own. Shop, then pack up and grab your passports because tomorrow we head to Croatia!
After breakfast we say “ciao” to Italy and depart for Rovinj, Croatia. We’ll discover two of the biggest treasures of Istria: olive oil and truffles! We will visit one of Istria’s most well-known olive oil producers and their olive orchards (and see some of the traditional stone sheds, called kazun, that dot the landscape), learn about the soil and the trees, and find out how this first-class olive oil is produced. If we’re lucky, the harvest will be in full swing and we’ll observe some of the pressing and production. We’ll return to their estate for an olive oil tasting and lunch in their tasting room. In addition to olive oil, the producers will fill us in on the local history and politics.
We’ll spend today on our own, enjoying the sea, resting, or shopping in Rovinj. This is a good opportunity to reflect on the past 5 days. In the evening, we’ll meet up for a special dinner which is always a highlight of the trip. Want more details? Sorry! Enjoy the mystery. We like to keep you on your toes…but trust us, this is a good evening!
Get ready for a big day! We’ll start the morning with breakfast on your own and perhaps even a dip in the Adriatic. Then we'll meet up for a private boat ride on the canal, followed by a lunch of local oysters and a visit to an oyster farm. From there we’ll take a short walk to enjoy a seafood lunch at a lively Viking restaurant. We’ll stop by a winery owned by two brothers who are making their mark with the local varieties that represent the local terroir. Next, we'll have dinner together at a family-run agriturismo establishment where they make everything from scratch, from bread to prsut and olive oil to pasta. Dinner will be a selection of local ham and cheese, carpaccio of boskarin (a local breed of cattle) with truffles, fuzi with truffles, and gnocchi with boskarin. Afterwards we’ll sip walnut and mistletoe liqueur made by the locals!
After breakfast we’ll start the day at the local market in Pula with our local chef and instructor for the day. We’ll explore the offerings of the market while picking out our ingredients for today’s cooking lesson. From there, we’ll head back into Pula for a tour of the local amphitheater. Pula lays claim to the 6th largest surviving Roman arenas in the world. After our history lesson, we’ll return to Goran’s home and spend the afternoon cooking and learning a few new Istrain tricks to take back to our home kitchens. We’ll have a hand at making some local pasta with truffles and learn to cook fish in a crupnija (a clay bell), a traditional method of cooking in Istria.
We’ll meet in the lobby this morning after breakfast and make our way to our favorite goat farmer in the region. Kumparicka Goat Farm is a beautiful farm tucked in the forested hills between Mutvora and Krnica. The farm itself is 200 hectares and is home to over 250 goats. We’ll spend the afternoon walking around the farm, learning about the herd, and meeting his dogs. From there we’ll head to the production facility to taste a variety of his cheeses and enjoy a beautiful home cooked meal with the owner. Afterwards, we make our way to a local winery focusing on Malvasia and the local Teran. Finally, we’ll return back to Rovinj for our farewell meal of fresh seafood and, of course, Malvasia.
Thursday, September 18th
Transfer to Venice through Trieste and Udine
**(One thing to note: this itinerary is the current plan, and, things may change. We will make every effort to provide the tours and experiences that are described. However, the nature of the places we’ll be visiting — not typical tourist destinations — means plans may change at the last minute. Also, you always have the option of skipping a particular excursion, but please note that we will be unable to make refunds for any missed meals or other events.)