Elifant Archaeo-Culinary Tours: unique, intimate week-long trips to Italy.

Hadrian's villa.jpg

Explore the ancient remains.

Enjoy the best of local food and wine.

Our company name, Elifant, combines the names of its founders and principals, Elizabeth Bartman and Maureen Fant. “Archaeo-culinary” is the way we like to travel. Wherever we go, we seek out archaeological museums and classical sites as well as local markets, products, and cuisine.  We’ve both been digging, eating, cooking, and studying our way around the ancient Mediterranean for decades and are simply bursting to give you the benefit of our knowledge and experience. And we lead the trips ourselves, in person.  Even if you’re on your umpteenth trip to Rome or Naples, we are absolutely sure you’ll see it in a new way with us. Elifant’s trips are exceptional experiences for the exceptional traveler.

Our groups are small (usually six or eight, occasionally up to twelve). Our accommodations range from very comfortable to pretty luxurious. Practically everything is included, including airport transfers and plenty of wine.


Bay of Naples and Beyond

October 9–16, 2017

Paestum to Pozzuoli:  Naples, Italy’s second city and gateway to the South, may have the most beautiful natural setting in Europe—and the biggest heart. Our week-long trip will cover the territory from Pozzuoli, at the western extremity of the Bay of Naples, down to the temples of Paestum some sixty miles to the south, on the Gulf of Salerno. Well spend four nights in a luxurious seaside hotel on the Sorrento Peninsula and three in a historic hotel in a beautiful residential part of Naples itself, meeting Michelin-starred chefs, local archaeologists, and a herd of water buffalo (and their owner!) along the way. ...


Basilicata + Puglia

April 16–23, 2018

Heel and the Hinterland:  From Greeks to Romans to Byzantines, Saracens, and Normans, the waves of diverse peoples who settled southeastern Italy left their mark on its food and culture. Our trip spans parts of two Italian regions, Basilicata and Puglia, and highlights the various legacies of its colonists and conquerors.

Our archaeological itinerary in this part of Magna Graecia will include a stop at the newly restored world-class archaeological museum of Taranto (ancient Tarentum) and a visit to the site of Metapontum, both first settled by Greek colonists when Romans were still living in shepherds’ huts.

We’ll see stunning scenery of Italy’s rugged interior and visit at least three UNESCO World Heritage Sites—Frederick II’s majestic octagonal Castel del Monte; the sassi, rock-cut dwellings and churches, of mysterious Matera (European Cultural Capital in 2019); and the curious conical buildings called trulli in and around Alberobello. The historic center of Lecce, a baroque gem (with a Roman amphitheater), and the cathedrals of Trani and Otranto are also on the itinerary. ...

About us.

Elifant Archaeo-Culinary Tours are exceptional experiences for the exceptional traveler.

"Liz and Maureen are a great team. As true experts in their respective fields, they added a dimension to the overall experience that would be impossible to match. Plus they both have a great sense of humor and were fun to be around.” ...

What to expect.

“The best two weeks of eating of my life.” 

“The Taste of Ancient Rome tour was an incredible experience. I had been to Rome a couple of times, but this trip was unique—a perfect blend of history, archaeology, food from antiquity, and contemporary Italian meals. Plus we had access to a number of sites that individuals and other tour groups would never get to see.” –Jack Gardner, Alexandria VA

Frequently asked.

What is an archaeo-culinary tour?