Balsamic & Cooking with Umberto Sidoli
Thursday, September 17 &
Thursday, October 22
at 11 am, EDT/8 am, PDT 
Registration Status: OPEN
Tour Cost: $25 for both dates

A Two-Part Series From Reggio Emilia

I am so very happy to announce a new two-part series for our Armchair Journeys program: My dear friend Umberto Sidoli, a hotelier from Reggio nel Emilia, will be joining us from Cavazzone, his Agriturismo outside of town, where he continues to shelter during this time of COVID-19. 


The Charm of an Ancient Court

On the undulating hills, only 15 minutes drive from the center of Reggio Emilia, at an altitude of 1640.42 feet, stands the historical Cavazzone Estate and Farm, where the intense scents and colors of nature fill your senses. The broad Po Valley and the Alps frame this old country estate. With its original architecture, it has preserved a sense of history and past elegance. We feel privileged to welcome guests to share this special place.

This 8 room country inn with its beautiful views not only has a delightful restaurant, whose chef offers wonderful culinary experiences, including cooking lessons but also contains the unusual and exceptional attic space, the site of Cavazzone’s balsamic production. We can’t yet travel to Reggio to relax in these surroundings, but we can take advantage of both the cooking lessons and the balsamic. And that’s just what we will do, via Zoom. 


The Balsamic Tour

On September 17, Umberto will give us a tour of his balsamic facility. He’ll lead us up the winding staircase to the attic where small barrels are laid out in very determined rows. 


Here, he will describe the long life cycle of balsamic making, from vinegar we use every day to those we preserve for unique recipes and occasions. After you see the laborious process of balsamic creation, you’ll be given the opportunity to directly order vinegar from Cavazzone from the source.


Get a sneak peek here


The Cooking Lesson

Just a few weeks later, and hopefully by the time you have received any vinegar that you ordered, Chef Cristian will open his kitchen to treat us with a lesson in the cuisine of Reggio Emilia, from where some of the best food in Italy originates.


Chef has assembled a delectable menu for our cooking class–risotto, scallopini, and panna cotta for dessert–all delightfully drizzled with balsamic. After the online class, all participants will receive the recipes to recreate in their own kitchens! Of course, it always tastes so much better in Italy, so this is just a precursor to another incredible Artful Journey!

Chef making homemade pasta.
Chef kneading pasta
gran riserva con immagine belvedere.JPG

Ludwig v Beethoven



Umberto Sidoli
Instructor & Guide

Umberto Sidoli is a balsamic producer and hotelier in Reggio Emilia, Italy. Sidoli’s family has been making balsamic at the Cavazzone Azienda Agricola e Agrituristica for many generations. Some of the barrels at his balsamery contain balsamic vinegar that is more than 100 years old, and one barrel that is 250 years old!

Joan Hill
Owner, Host, & Director

Years ago, it was suggested to Joan that she might offer an art program, and she jumped at the chance of a lifetime. Bringing together all of her life's passions, the development and administration of Artful Journeys is an exhilarating process for Joan.


Joan was born and raised in the apple country of the Hudson River Valley in New York; her father was a gentle, very tolerant, educated land surveyor, and her mother was the efficient business administrator and home engineer. The youngest of four children, Joan was encouraged to pursue anything she wanted, but also to do her best. Sometimes that was very difficult, especially succeeding three very accomplished siblings.


  • Both dates for $25

  • PayPal is preferred; however, we do take checks   

  • You will receive an email with the Zoom link to the lecture with instructions on how to login within 24 hours of presentation

To register for a session or the series, please click below:

A Zoom link will be provided by email within 24 hours of each meeting.

For details or questions, please click here to contact Joan Hill.