From: $605.00 per day

Grand Tour of Abruzzo

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Rome to Rome 10 days / 9 nights

Sit back and bathe in the warmth of the Mediterranean sunshine as we take time to explore the glorious Italian countryside in beautiful autumn time with its endless vineyards and ancient olive groves.. Enjoy the natural beauty of the 3 National Parks with its exquisite scenery of the Apennines and the many traditional villages within them. Over the 10 days, experience the ‘art of living’ in Abruzzo and immerse yourself in the traditional Italian village life and embrace the warmth of its people. Exquisite regional food and wines, wonderful music as well as timeless treasures preserved in the architecture, all await you in Abruzzo.

Be quick! Only one special date: 22nd September to 1st October 2019

$6,050.00 per person based on twin share. Single supplement $1,200.00

ITINERARY:

DAY 1: ROME to ABRUZZO – COCULLO – SAN VITO

You will be met this morning by Luciana, your Abruzzo specialist, at Rome Termini station with an airconditioned private minibus to transfer you to Abruzzo. Crossing the Apennines, we will stop for morning tea at the tiny hilltop village of Cocullo, where you experience a typical Sunday morning in Abruzzo. Driving through stunning scenery of fertile vineyards and olive groves we arrive at the southern seaside town of San Vito which will be our base for the next 3 nights.  Inhabited since pre -Roman times, this ancient town has many layers of history and architecture.

DAY 2: TUFILLO village: Artisan Baker, Jeweller and Salumi Maker

This morning we make our way inland to the small hilltop village of Tufillo in southern Abruzzo, near the Molise border. Admire the village’s panorama and churches and generally soak up the local village atmosphere.  Meet Dino, the local baker, who along with his wife Antonella will delight you with their passion for making speciality breads and pizzas and pastries. Lunch today will be an alfresco picnic style lunch outside the village bakery…immerse yourself in true village Italy with the locals. Later, a private visit to an artisan goldsmith is a must as she creates fine jewellery using traditional motifs.
Admire the delightful panorama to the Adriatic sea over your evening sunset  drinks on the  terrace of the hotel in San Vito.  Onto a local enoteca bar with a fabulous selection of regional wines, the perfect place for a light supper.

DAY 3: MAIELLA NATIONAL PARK – Limestone Gorge Walk – PALOMBARO

Today we travel inland to Fara San Martino, nestled in the Maiella National Park. These mountains have been known since ancient times as the Montagna Madre–  the grand protectress of shepherds, hermits, monks and place of ancient cults of worship by the pre-Roman tribes, the Italics. Enjoy a short walk into the gorge and see recently completed archeological excavations come to light – a 9th century Benedictine monastery. Stunning views to Luciana’s village of Palombaro where we stay for lunch in the local trattoria. Leonardo will serve us a 3 course lunch including the pasta specialty vraghe de mule accompanied by the perfect Montepulciano D’Abruzzo wine. After lunch, Luciana’s family and friends welcome you to the village as we stroll through the quiet streets and share stories of times gone by…

DAY 4: ROCCASCALEGNA– Medieval Castle- NATIONAL PARK of ABRUZZ0 – PESCOCOSTANZO

We leave our accommodation and make our way to the southern most National Park in Abruzzo where we will be based for the next 3 nights. The Parco Nazionale d’Abruzzo lies on the border of the Italian regions of Lazio and Molise. Stunning views of the Apennines are a perfect backdrop while we explore the medieval castle of Roccascalegna, perched on a rocky outcrop above the Rio Secco. A leisurely lunch awaits at a nearby country restaurant where our hosts Amalia and Antonio serve us an amazing array of traditional Abruzzese dishes. The degustation lunch includes cheese and egg balls in a fresh tomato sauce, wild greens with maize meal followed by many other courses.. Be sure to leave room for dessert! All ingredients are sourced within 2 kms and feature seasonal home grown produce…Slow Food at its best! Settle into your accommodation in Pescocostanzo. This untouched ancient medieval village is truly a step back in time with wonderful locals and traditions. Evening<em “mso-bidi-font-style:=”” normal”=””> aperitivo drinks in the hotel right in the centre of the old town.

DAY 5: CASTEL di SANGRO – Local Village Markets – VILLETTA BARREA – Short Walk in the National Park of Abruzzo – CIVITELLA ALFEDENA – BARREA

Wake to the most peaceful setting in this national park area . Today we travel to Villetta Barreafor lunch where our host Alessandra has prepared an exquisite authentic Abruzzese lunch including home made gnocchi with wild spinach and other specialtties of this area.
The nearby lakeside village of Civitella Alfedena is home to 2 sanctuaries dedicated to the preservation of the local wolves and lynxes, both rare and under threat. This National Park of Abruzzo is also home to wild deer and the small brown mariscan bear under protection by the WWF. Dinner is in a local trattoria in Pescocostanzo – enjoy the very special ‘wedding soup’, grilled local lamb and sponge cake filled with Italian custard cream.

DAY 6: MAIELLA NATIONAL PARK – Ancient Beechwood Forest – Al Fresco Picnic – PETTORANO sul GIZIO

Local guide Antonella will meet us today as we take a stunning scenic drive through the centre of the Maiella National Park. Stop for morning coffee in an alpine village, known for its ski resorts and a great place to unwind away from the crowds. An easy walk in the woods is an experience to behold with its ancient beech, maples and oak trees as well as wild cherry trees and the autumn flora of wild cyclamens and mushrooms. These woods cover 550 hectares and are situated at high altitude of 1300-1400m and also is home to rare woodpeckers. A delightful picnic here is the perfect thing to do – lunch in the woods. Luciana has prepared a gourmet feast to savour in this magical setting. At Pettorano sul Gizio, perched at nearly 700m above sea level it was voted one of Italy’s prettiest villages. Stroll the narrow winding alleys with its churches, balconies and medieval castle. Relax by the planted herb garden and nearby cool stream which used to run the village’s flour mills and coppersmiths workshops. Enjoy an afternoon caffe’ in the magnificent 16th century main piazza.

DAY 7: SCANNO – ANVERSA degli ABRUZZI – CIVITELLA DEL TRONTO

Today we make our way to northern Abruzzo in the Teramo province where we will be based for the next 3 nights. We climb to 1000m above sea level towards Scanno and visit the small church of San Domenico and hermitage by a lake, then onto the largest natural lake in Abruzzo, Lago di Scanno. Wonderful photographic stops will create memories forever, from hilltop villages to stunning national parks. Stroll the medieval backstreets and walk past composer Henry Mancini’s family home.
This village is also famous for its master goldsmiths working in traditional filigree gold jewellery. Learn all about the presentosa gold pendants and gold earrings given by the men to their betrothed..Lunch is a delightful slow food experience indulging in traditional Abruzzese dishes. Meet your hosts Bianca and Gino who have prepared exquisite gnocchi with pecorino sheep cheese ricotta and fig and walnut cake. Welcome drinks at your accommodation in Civitella del Tronto followed by a wonderful dinner.

DAY 8: CIVITELLA del TRONTO – SANT’OMERO – 19th century Olive Oil Mill and Tasting – CIVITELLA del TRONTO- Spanish Military Fortress

Meet Graziano an olive oil producer whose family has been growing, gathering and harvesting olives for centuries. Learn all about the amazing differences between extra virgin, virgin and olive oils and taste these exquisite extra virgin olive oils.  Explore  the nearby fortified hilltop village of Civitella del Tronto –  inhabited since pre- Roman times and its first historical records as a fortified village date back to the 11th century. A private visit of the fortress has been arranged where you will have commanding views over what was once the border of the kingdom of the Two Sicilies and the Papal States to its north. You will also visit a real treasure in the village where your host Guido will take you through his fabulous textile and clothing museum with fragile pieces from the 18-19th centuries.. There is time to stroll through the village exploring the romantic narrow alleys and watch the world go by and enjoy a gelato or caffe’ in the local bar.

Day 9: Private truffle hunt – Private Cooking Class – ASCOLI PICENO

We head to the nearby village  and learn all about Abruzzo’s secret – prized truffles. Surprisingly, over 80%  of  taly’s truffles come from Abruzzo. Understand how truffle dogs are used to find these precious gourmet delights and enjoy  delicious tastings of truffle pastes and cheeses infused with truffle …squisito! Meet local truffle hunter Ginesio who will share  his passion for truffle hunting and truffle dog training with us. Your own private COOKING CLASS awaits, set in the lovely  Abruzzo countryside. Local ladies will share with you their passion for traditional cooking. We will prepare a 4 course lunch together using fresh and seasonal local ingredients as well as luxury local truffles!  Learn the secrets of slow food as you create wonderful antipasti, traditional home made pasta, deboned leg of turkey filled with parsley, garlic and truffle and delicious desserts… This evening we take time out to visit the town of Ascoli Piceno, in the nearby region of Le Marche. There is time for shopping Italian style, time to sit and sip your aperitivo and taste those delectable “olive ascolane” – fabulous local delicacy of stuffed green olives. Marvel at the wonderful churches and spectacular piazza. A truly unforgettable day.

Day 10: CASTELLI – Maiolica ceramics – Departure for Rome Termini Station or Pescara

Travel through stunning scenery in the Gran Sasso National Park with amazing views of the Apennines and the largest peak in this mountain chain. Visit the small medieval village of  Castelli, famous for maiolica ware ceramics since the 14th century.  The tsars of Russia collected these valuable pieces andnow the Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg has a priceless collection there.
We see the “Sistine Chapel of Maiolica ceramics and are invited to see the Institute of Art with fabulous modern pieces usingtraditional techniques. Transfer to Pescara or Rome Termini Station by mid afternoon. Buon Viaggio!

 

Inclusions:

• Private transfer from Rome Termini station to Abruzzo and return to Rome Termini station. All land travel and transfers within Abruzzo by airconditioned minibus.

• Small personalised group with maximum 12 guests only

10 days / 9 nights accommodation in the Abruzzo countryside including 18th Century farmhouses, boutique hotel and apartments in a hilltop medieval village.

• Welcome drinks on arrival at all 3 accommodations.

• All inclusive with meals and drinks with meals provided – breakfast daily; lunches and dinners/ or suppers; including 1 private cooking class.

• Souvenir apron, printed recipes and personalized printed menus of restaurant meals.

• Drinks – All lunches and dinners include wine and water as well as coffee/tea and occasionally liqueurs.

• Meet local winewakers with private cellar visits and wine tastings of Abruzzese D.O.C Montepulciano and Trebbiano wines.

• Private escorted visits to local cheesemaker, olive oil producer, truffle producers with accompanying tastings.

• Private escorted visits to local traditional craftsmen of gold filigree jewellery, artisan lacemakers and maiolica ware ceramics.

• Visit to local outdoor village market

• Exclusive private performance and concert of Italian and Abruzzese songs with local Soprano and pianist

• Private guided visits to towns and villages including Vasto, Palombaro, Roccascalegna, Barrea, Villetta Barrea, Civitella Alfedena, Scanno, Anversa degli Abruzzi, Controguerra, Campovalano, Castelli, Civitella del Tronto.

• Admission to all historical sites, galleries

Tour does not include:
Airfares. Items of personal nature, spa treatments, phone calls, passport and visas (if applicable), laundry or tips. Spa treatments, personal transport, excess baggage, security and government taxes, travel insurance. Beverages unless specifically described. Meals not specifically mentioned in
itinerary. Entry fees to places other than those specifically mentioned in itinerary. Optional excursions or activities that may be offered but not included in the tour price.

Departure is subject to availability and price change without notice. Terms and conditions apply.

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