Marilyn Foster: Art, culture, cooking lessons highlight Culinary Italy Tour |

Marilyn Foster: Art, culture, cooking lessons highlight Culinary Italy Tour

Marilyn Foster

It’s impossible to think of Italy without thinking of food. Everyone who knows me knows I certainly like to enjoy a good Italian meal at one of our specialty Italian restaurants, and the prospect of eating great meals prepared by Italian chefs in Italy is quite enticing.

Mayflower Cruises and Tours has put together quite the tour of “Eataly” that will tempt your taste buds. You’ll learn how to make authentic Neapolitan pizza in Sorrento; pasta and other favorite Italian favorites in Agropoli; and gelato on the Isle of Capri. There will be a session on pastry making as well. And, who wouldn’t want to visit authentic vineyards to sample wines and Limoncello, taste and see Buffalo mozzarella being made, learn the process of turning olives into oil or dine at a local Italian farm to enjoy the freshest of their farm-to-table fare? Just reading the brochure makes my mouth water.

The 13-day itinerary is jam packed with must-see sites, yet there is enough free time to explore on your own. This is not one of those tours where you change hotels every night. We leave Reno on Oct. 12, 2020, arriving in Naples, Italy the next day. We’ll stay in beautiful Sorrento on the scenic Amalfi Coast for five nights using this as a base to visit Pompeii, the surrounding countryside and the Isle of Capri. Then, it’s three nights in historic Paestum before we travel to Rome to enjoy our Roman holiday for three nights before flying home.

While I’ve concentrated on the food portion, arts and culture also is a main reason to travel to this beautiful country. We’ll visit the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Pompeii, the most important archaeological museum in the world, and the Greek Temple of Paestum. The Greeks once covered most of southern Italy.

We’ll see amazing scenery as we travel to our various destinations — the same scenery you see in so many movies. We’ll enjoy a hydrofoil ride over to the Isle of Capri and take mini-vans up to Ana Capri, the highest town on the island.

The final three nights of our trip will be spent in romantic Rome. There will be a tour of the famous Coliseum as well as a guided tour of the Vatican Museum and the Sistine Chapel to see the paintings by Michelangelo as well as his famous marble carving of the Pieta.

This itinerary has built in enough time for your own exploration, so that you can get away from the group to discover treasures on your own. The hotels are all well located. There are 17 included meals to include daily breakfast, two lunches and four dinners, so there is time for you to explore and find wonderful local restaurants to enjoy traditional meals of the area.

Many travelers have enjoyed the serene beauty of Tuscany. Southern Italy is quite different with its breathtaking cliffside villages, ancient historical sites, and wines and foods to delight every palate. The weather in October should be perfect and the touristic sites will be far less crowded.

I’m excited about this trip and hope you will be, too. I can just taste that pizza!

Check out the Chamber Travel Club page found on the Chamber’s homepage at for all the details and day-by-day itinerary. Or just drop by the Chamber at 1900 S. Carson St. or call 775-882-1565. Pricing includes air from Reno, free parking at the Chamber, all transfers, guides, admittance to historic sites, meals as specified, hotels and much more. Currently, there is a saving of $150 per person.

At 90 years young, Marilyn continues to enjoy the pleasures of travel and encouraging readers to pack their bags and experience this wonderful world of ours.