A Culinary and Cultural Adventure to Southern Italy!

Capo Vaticano in the Municipality of Ricadi in Calabria, Italy.

Capo Vaticano in the Municipality of Ricadi in Calabria, Italy.

Hello friends! I have some exciting news to share with you.  This year, I will be starting a new adventure with TAVOLA TOURS and you are all invited. Along with a great group of professionals, both here in the USA and in Italy, I am creating some very special itineraries to southern Italy that are hand-tailored with foodies in mind.  Yes, food is always in the mix!

Now these are cannoli!

Now these are cannoli!

The purpose of these trips is to introduce you to the local artisans who spend their lives cooking and preserving the time-honored food traditions of the area. We will head up the mountains and down through the valleys of this beautiful region to meet, learn from, and cook with people who are true masters of southern Italian food and culture.

Well, you won't have to stretch this far when you make your mozzarella, but it sure would be fun.

You won’t have to stretch this far when you make your mozzarella or caciocavallo, but it sure would be fun.

And of course, since Italy is a country with the most UNESCO sites in the world, we will be making many fascinating stops along the way.  This will ensure a nice blend of culinary education and cultural enlightenment that will surely enhance your southern Italian journey, all while you enjoy a nice slice of la dolce vita!


Ancient artifacts of Pompeii

As a chef, I’ve been cooking and traveling a lifetime.  I have even spent a good portion of time visiting numerous ports of call around the world while working on luxury cruise lines.  But, nothing has ever come close to the allure, beauty and authentic food of Italy.  These tours will tap into my 20 plus years of culinary experience, travel and friends that I’ve made along the way.  Moreover, I am thrilled to share it with you.

pizza napoletana

Pizza Napoletana

The first tour is slated to explore the picturesque region of Campania, where making mozzarella and Pizza Napoletana reign supreme!  So, be prepared to roll your sleeves up and get ready to have some real foodie fun. You will get the opportunity to make these specialties on your very own  and get to eat them, too. Sound exciting? You bet it is!  So, make sure to ask questions and take notes as you let your inner chef run wild.

Hotel Mec Paesteum

Hotel MEC Paestum

Another great bonus about the Campania tour is that you will stay in the ultra chic  MEC Paestum Hotel the entire time. That’s right!  Once you arrive at the hotel, you’ll unpack and pack up again to go home.   The one thing I’ve learned from my years of touring is how convenient it is to stay in one location during a tour.  It’s not always possible, but when you can, “oh how sweet it is!”  In the case of the Campania trip coming up in April, you will enjoy the luxury of staying in the same hotel for the entire trip.  So, pack your bags and get ready to relish in an authentic taste of southern Italy, locally known as the Mezzogiorno.


Mt. Solaro, Capri

Please bring your appetite as well as a good camera!  This will be an experience of a lifetime and the photo opportunities will be plentiful. Stay tuned for the new TAVOLA TOURS website and the complete itinerary for April’s trip to Campania.


This video was taken in the city of Cosenza in the region of Calabria last May.  It will give you an idea of the preparations and research I have done to make sure these tours are extremely special.  If you have any questions or would like further information about the tours, please email me directly franco@francolania.com. I look forward to hearing from you and answering your questions.  Ciao for now!