Private Group Tours
Let your groups discover what these publications are saying about Boston’s most unique tour…
“If you are ever in the Boston area and are looking for something unique, educating and fun to do with family, friends or business clients, Michele hosts the most wonderful North End Walking tour where you feel like you’ve been immersed in the history of the North End while sampling the delights of Italian history and Italy itself. Michele is extremely knowledgeable where you’ll get health, cooking and historical information all while walking the gorgeous North End. A fabulous event I highly recommend.” — Linda Tesini Manager SCI Solutions Development at Hewlett-Packard – April 1, 2014
“In Paul Revere’s backyard, tour guide extraordinaire Michele Topor, revolutionizes the way you look at one of Boston’s most historic neighborhoods. Only it has nothing to do with the redcoats. Red sauce? Now that’s another story.” –- Food Network Best of the Best
“…there is no better guide to one of the premier food neighborhoods in the country than professional chef Michele Topor.” — Delta Sky
“All I ever really needed to know I learned on the North End Market Tour…She’ll leave your head spinning, for Topor is a culinary dynamo.” — Panorama Magazine
“Although agents anywhere can sell her personal tours with confidence, local agents should consider making them a part of any inbound endeavor. Her impeccable advice on Italian food and culture is dispensed freely during the tasting tour…” — ASTA Agency Management
North End Market Tours are perfect for private groups!
- Corporate Events
- Spousal Events
- Sales Incentive Events
- Bachelor/Bachelorette Parties
- Field Trips
- Alumni Groups
- Students in Italian language or cultural programs
- Culinary arts students
Menu of culinary adventures:
- Two or three-hour market tour with tastes
- “La Dolce Vita” all day tour with morning coffee and lunch
- Morning market tour with cappuccino and pastries at a local caffe
- Market tour followed by lunch or dinner at an authentic restaurant
- Market tour followed with cooking demonstration and lunch
- “Pranzo al Sacco” follow the tour with lunch to go, made up of North End treats from all of the stores we visit
- Afternoon market tour followed by merenda of espresso, granita or prosecco
- If your busy schedule will not allow you to physically join us on tour, why not let us bring the tour to you? Our Speaker Series could be the perfect addition to your business luncheon, dinner or club event.
- We will do our best to provide a customized or specialty tour to meet your group’s needs.
GROUP TOUR RATES 2015
All tours include:
- tastings of specific authentic ingredients
- secrets on where to find authentic ingredients, how to buy and prepare them
- handouts describing the stores
- insights on new restaurant “finds”
- historical insights into the North End community and Italian culture
While we do not provide transportation, we can arrange to have a guide meet the group at a local hotel, prior to the tour, to escort the group into the neighborhood. Cost: $50 or $2 per person — the greater of the two.
Tour price includes the 5% sales tax but does not include the 15% gratuity, which will be added to the final price.
“LA DOLCE VITA”
$185.00 per person — 8-12 people
$160.00 per person — 13-24 people
The ultimate tour experience – spend the day touring and eating in “Little Italy”. You begin with cappuccino and sfogliatelle at a local caffe to learn about all of the types of coffee and bibite that are offered. After a discussion of the immigrant history of the neighborhood, the evolution of Italian- American food and how the style of shopping in a European community differs from what we are used to in America, you begin your culinary walking tour of the neighborhood. Like a cooking class on foot: glean insider cooking tips, gain resources and knowledge on how to identify and where to buy the very best ingredients. After working up an appetite, you will be ready to enjoy lunch at one of Michele’s favorite trattorias. After lunch you continue your stroll through this old world neighborhood, with some time to pick up a few treasures to take home.
“SI MANGIA BENE”
$49.00 per person — 10-60 people
Our classic tour includes a brief history of the neighborhood, a description of the evolution of Italian-American food, and historical insights into the North End community and Italian food culture. A total of 6 stores are visited, including a pastry shop, old-world spice store, greengrocer, salumeria (deli), and liquor store. Insights to restaurants are also shared.
$39.00 per person — 10-60 people
This modified tour is great for large groups that have a busy schedule but want to experience the neighborhood and learn about the most important of the Italian ingredients. You will visit 5 stores as your guide weaves in a taste of Italian food culture and neighborhood history.
One-hour tour between 5-7pm
$30.00 per person — 10-60 people
For groups having dinner in the North End, this tour visits two shops, depending upon the groups interest. Choose between a pastry shop, a salumeria and a wine and spirits shop.
“MANGIA-MANGIA” – FOR STUDENTS ONLY
$23.00 per person — 10-60 people
Special student pricing provides for 1 chaperone per 10 students at the student rate. Additional chaperones will be charged the regular 2 hour tour price of $39 per person.
This tour is an ideal compliment to Italian language class, ethnic culture studies or a culinary arts program. This specialized tour is only for elementary, high school, or culinary arts students. The 2-hour tour will be arranged according to your particular interests. Children learn best by using all of their senses. Whether sampling Italian prosciutto or cannoli, our tours provide an opportunity for students to see, smell and touch, as they taste the ingredients that help define a cultural identity.
$64.00 per person — 10-20 people
Depending on your clients’ interest, we are happy to offer a more personalized tour of several of the specialty shops in the neighborhood. These stops offer a more in depth discussion and tastes, several are participatory. The tour includes 4 shops of your choice. Please call us for some exciting and fun suggestions.
In the tourism industry, it is customary to tip the tour guide. Our guides are professional chefs and ambassadors of our neighborhoods. A gratuity of 15% will be added to the final price.
MENU OF CULINARY OPTIONS FOR GROUPS
Create a seamless experience and have your clients enjoy a stop before or after the North End Market Tour. These options can only be scheduled with a tour.
“Prima Colazione” (Breakfast)
About 1 hr. — $15 pp, includes tax, gratuity. Min/Max: 10-40
Before the morning tour you begin with a stop at a local caffe. Your guide will discuss all the types of coffee drinks while you sip your favorite, accompanied by a crispy sfogliatelle. As a prelude to the tour, your guide will also describe the immigrant history of the neighborhood and how shopping and eating in Italy differs from what we are used to in America.
“Pranzo ” (lunch)
About 1-1 1/2 hrs. — starting at $25 per person, includes tax, gratuity and one glass of wine. Min/Max: 10-60
Follow the morning tour with lunch at one of Michele’s favorite trattorias. Please call for a menu proposal.
“Pranzo al Sacco” (Bag lunch to go)
If your schedule has you dashing from the North End to Newport with no time to stop for lunch in the neighborhood, allow us to order lunch to go. As we visit the stores on tour, each stop will have a special taste of the North End to put into your provided lunch bag. You can then enjoy your treats on the Greenway, or on the bus on the way to your next experience. If preferred, the bag can be pre-made for pickup at the end of the tour. – $29pp. Min/Max 10-60.
“Pranzo e Scuola di Cucina” (Lunch and cooking demonstration)
About 1-1/2 hrs. — $70 pp, includes tax and gratuity. Min/Max: 20-40
Follow the morning tour with lunch and a demonstration cooking class. Includes one antipasto and two pasta dishes served family-style, one glass of wine.
“Merenda” (Afternoon snack)
About 1 hr. — $15 pp. Min/Max: 10-40
Following the afternoon tour we stop at a local caffe to enjoy a refreshing espresso, gelato or a glass of Prosecco. Your guide will be happy to answer questions about any of the wonderful Italian products discovered on tour.
Follow the afternoon tour with a rustic, multi-course dinner served “family style” at one of our favorite haunts. Please call for a menu proposal.
“The Art of Italian Coffee”
About 1 hr. — $30 pp. Min/Max: 10-40
Caffé Espresso or simply said “un caffe” defines the daily rhythm of life in Italy. Learn about other popular coffee and non-coffee hot drinks while you sip your favorite. And since most Italian households use the simple stovetop moka you will learn how to buy, store and brew coffee in this popular espresso maker. Only then will you understand what people in Italy have always known: Drinking coffee is not about acquiring an energy jolt, but about pausing, reflecting, enjoying and sharing. Participants will enjoy a cup of their favorite Italian coffee with biscotti/cannoli in the afternoon or coffee and sfogliatelle in the morning while they learn all about The Art of Italian Coffee. They will also receive our handout -”The Art of Italian Coffee”
“Italian Wine Tasting 101″
About 1 hr. — Flat rate of $225. Min/Max: 18
Italy’s reputation with wine is due not only to the fact that it is the largest producer of wine in the world but that it offers the greatest variety of types, ranging through nearly every color, flavor and style imaginable. You will visit a charming boutique wine store most known for their organic, biodynamic and natural wines. A professionally trained staff member will discuss the basics of reading a wine label, the regional differences in flavors, as well as how to taste, store and serve your wine. Participants will taste an Italian white, red and dessert wine.
“Fill your own cannolo”
About 15-20 min. extra in stop, depending on size of group. — $4pp. Min/Max: none
Since no self respecting Italian will buy pre-filled cannoli, we will have you fill (and enjoy!) your own cannolo!
Treat your group participants to a little North End Tour souvenir. At the end of the tour, participants will receive a little reminder of their Italian experience to take home.
(1) Homemade marzipan in a cellophane box. $12pp
(2) 40ml. bottle of aceto balsamico and 100ml. bottle of EVOO. $15pp
(3) 200ml. bottle of Limoncello. $12pp
- At nearly every stop, we’ll enjoy small tastes of specific Italian food ingredients so that the participants may experience benchmark flavors to incorporate into their own cooking and dining adventures. As you will see, gli ingredienti veraci – authentic ingredients – are the key to la bellissima cucina italiana.
- While we go inside most of the establishments that make up the tour, getting to and from each stop requires being outside in the elements. Appropriate outerwear and comfortable walking shoes are highly recommended (as is bringing an umbrella, if necessary).
- Each of our tour guides can lead up to 16 people at a time. Groups larger than 16 will be divided among two or more guides to ensure personalized attention and to allow us to comfortably visit the specialty food shops without overcrowding. Each group will experience the same tour but in a different order. All tastings are done on the go, seating areas are not available in the shops.
- Handouts describing the stores are provided.
- Tours are held rain or shine.
- Please schedule a rest room stop for your group before entering Boston. Bathrooms are available for emergencies only.
- Your final headcount and remaining balance are due 7 days prior to the tour.
- No refunds are given for no-shows after the final headcount is received.
- Please see our FAQ page for additional information.
GROUP TOUR POLICIES
Due to the popularity of our tours, we strongly suggest that you book tours well in advance.
- Group tours can be scheduled weekday mornings starting as early as 10:00am, or afternoons, starting as late as 5:00 pm. Saturday and Sunday tours are not available for private groups.
- We will do our best to provide a customized or specialty tour to meet your group’s needs.
Why we don’t do large group tours on Saturdays
Please note that Saturday is the day families return to visit friends, family and shopkeepers while doing their weekly “fare la spesa” shopping. We respect this tradition and strive to maintain the integrity of this neighborhood. Since the neighborhood and the stores are quite small, we do not schedule large group tours on Saturdays.
RESERVATION AND PAYMENT
Group tickets sold more than 15 days prior to a tour date:
- A $200 non-refundable deposit is required to hold a specific date, time slot, and tour guide(s).
- A deposit made by credit card will hold the date immediately.
- Remaining balance (non-refundable) and final headcount are due and payable 7 days prior to the event.
Group tickets sold less than 15 days from tour date:
- Full payment by credit card is required to hold a specific date, time slot, and tour guide(s).
- Check or credit card (AMEX, Visa, MC, Discover). Please make check payable to Michele Topor, Inc.
- The deposit is refundable up to 30 days prior to the tour with written cancellation required for tours booked more than 30 days prior to the tour date.
- A $25 service fee is charged for returned checks.
If a group claims tax-exempt status in Massachusetts, a copy of the Form ST-2 Certificate of Exemption must be supplied, at the time of the initial deposit.
Please inquire for rates of other culinary adventures. For custom and group tour information, call 617-523-6032, or e-mail [email protected].