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8 Days Italy Food Tours

8 Days Italy Food Tours

  • Matera - Abruzzo

Cooking Holidays in Italy

There are parts of Italy unknown to many travelers. Beyond Boundaries Travel brings you two of them on this journey through the Southern reaches of the Italian Peninsula: the Basilicata, with some of the oldest settlements predating Romans as Magna Judea, and Abruzzo, in South Central Italy, a fantastically beautiful region of medieval villages and some of the most rural backwaters of the Italian Peninsula. Join an unforgettable adventure into the ancient heart of Southern Italy!

Highlights

  • One cooking class in Abruzzo
  • Soap making workshop with the craftsmen of Sextantio
  • Guided tour to Alba Fucens, Fossa, Bominaco and Rocca Calascio
  • Visit the hermitages of Sant'Onofrio al Morrone and of Saint Venanzio
  • Truffle hunting in the wonderful Abruzzo mountains
  • 7 breakfasts, 7 lunches and 7 dinners
  • 7 nights accommodation
  • Airport transfers
  • 7 days with instruction
  • Italian, English
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During this holiday of Southern Italy, guests will be provided with daily accommodation, spending three nights at the Sextantio le Grotte della Civita hotel, and four nights at the Sextantio Albergo Diffuso hotel.

Sextantio le Grotte della Civita

The Sextantio Le Grotte della Civita is placed in the oldest part of the Sassi quarters, the Civita, facing the spectacular Murgia park and its rock-hewn churches.

Amenities:

  • Airport transportation
  • Babysitting
  • Banquet room
  • Concierge
  • Free breakfast
  • Free internet
  • Free parking
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Meeting rooms
  • Multilingual staff
  • Non-smoking hotel
  • Pets allowed
  • Public Wi-Fi
  • Room service

Sextantio Albergo Diffuso

Sextantio Albergo Diffuso is located in the region of Santo Stefano di Sessanio, and its part of a houses and tradition restoration project.

Amenities:

  • Babysitting
  • Bar
  • Free internet
  • Free parking
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Internet
  • Lounge
  • Meeting rooms
  • Multilingual staff
  • Non-smoking rooms
  • Restaurant
  • Services

Day 1: Matera

Arrive at Bari airport and transfer to Matera, at the Sextantio le Grotte della Civita hotel.

Meet your English-speaking guide upon arrival.

Visit the look out point of Murgia Timone, within the Murgia Materan Nature Reserve and Cave Churches.

Visit the spectacular rock-hewn church Madonna delle Tre Porte.

Visit one of the most fascinating places in Southern Italy: the Crypt of the Original Sin, also known as the "Sistine Chapel" of the rupestrian wall painting.

Return to the city center and visit Piazza Vittorio Veneto and the nearby churches, dating to the Middle Ages.

Lunch in a typical restaurant.

Visit Piazzetta Pascoli and experience the breathtaking view over the Sasso Caveoso and highland plateau of the Murgia.

Visit Palazzo Lanfranchi, home of the Museum of Modern and Medieval Art of Basilicata, with the nearby Church of the Carmine. In Palazzo Lanfranchi you will admire some of Carlo Leviss paintings. These works of art testify to his path as artist and as a man.

Continue through the heart of the ancient dwellings and noble homes in the Sassi, towards the church of San Pietro Caveoso.

Visit to a typical 'cave-dwelling', partly carved out of the rock and partly built and furnished, as it used to be during the peasant civilization.

Visit the cave churches of Santa Lucia alle Malve and Santa Maria de Idris, where you will admire some of the most important frescoes and elaborate architecture of this nature.

Return to the center of town and walk around the baroque area, including the most important churches in this style: Saint Clare and Saint Francis of Assisi. Also the Romanesque Cathedral, and Piazza Duomo.

Dinner in a local restaurant.

Overnight: Sextantio le Grotte della Civita.

Day 2: Aliano - Craco

Visit the Aliano literary park, which for a time was the home of the author Carlo Levi, exiled in 1935 by the fascist regime of Benito Mussolini. In Aliano, you will experience the antique peasant atmosphere and traditions of those years through a 'sentimental tour', comprising scenes with actors in local peasant costume and encounters with the characters that Levi lived with and wrote about. Visitors can walk along the same streets and paths with breathtaking views - which Levi meticulously described in his manuscripts -, taste the wine and local food from his books, while listening to verses from 'Christ Stopped at Eboli'.

Continue by visiting Craco, a ghost town in the Province of Matera abandoned due to natural disasters, which turned into a tourist attraction and a popular filming location. In 2010, Craco has been included in the watch list of the World Monuments Fund. The town was built on a very steep summit for a defensive reason. The town sits on top of a 400-metre (1,300 ft) high cliff. Throughout the area are you will see lots of vegetation and mounds called calanchi (Italian for badlands), formed by intensive erosion.

Return to Matera.

Dinner in a local restaurant.

Overnight: Sextantio le Grotte della Civita.

Day 3: Valsinni - Metaponto

Visit the literary park dedicated to Isabella Morra, poetess from Valsinni.

In the old city of Borgo Favale, poets in costume welcome visitors inside the center and narrate the impossible love story between Isabella Morra and the Diego Sandoval de Castro, aristocratic poet from the neighboring village of Bollita (the present Nova Siri). During the sentimental tour in Valsinni, visitors taste local dishes prepared according to renaissance recipes and follow a craft itinerary through artisans workshops, still making the characteristic local ceramics and lace by hand.

The city includes the ruins of the ancient city of Lagaria. On the "Hill of Maddalena", one can find the Christian and Jewish catacombs.

Lunch in a typical restaurant of Valsinni, where you will eat homemade typical dishes, local food and wine.

The tour continues on the Ionian coast until the town of Metaponto, where you will admire the ruins of the ancient city of Metapontum, an important city of Magna Graecia, situated on the Gulf of Taranto.

Return to Matera.

Farewell dinner at the hotel.

Overnight: Sextantio le Grotte della Civita

Day 4: Miglionico - Montescaglioso

Visit the nearby town of Miglionico and the Montescaglioso.

Miglionico is situated on a hill between the Bradano and Basento rivers, with a fantastic view over the San Giuliano Lake and valleys below. The town is famous for its 8th century Castle del Malconsiglio that was the scene, back in 1485, of the famous Barons plot against the King of Naples, Ferdinand 1st of Aragon. The 14th century church of Santa Maria Maggiore is located in Piazza del Popolo and contains an exquisitely decorated renaissance portal. Inside, there is a polyptych by Cima da Conegliano Veneto, made up of eighteen panels with the Madonna and Child in the centre. The painting of the Neapolitan school dates back to 1449.

Lunch in a typical Agriturismo, where you will eat genuine products in a bucolic setting.

After lunch, transfer to the Montescaglioso; the 8th Century Abbey is certainly the most interesting building of the city. The complex contains a library, church and magnificent halls, like the Sala del Capitolo, all adorned with 17th Century frescoes.

Transfer to Abruzzo, and check in to your hotel, Sextantio Albergo Diffuso.

Traditional Abruzzese dinner at the restaurant Locanda Sotto gli Archi. Wine and drinks included.

Overnight: Sextantio Albergo Diffuso.

Day 5: Abruzzo region

After breakfast, have a guided tour of the historic and archeological sites of the Abruzzo region: Alba Fucens, Fossa, Bominaco and Rocca Calascio.

Lunch at a typical restaurant of the region and then continue with more visits to the sites of the region.

Experience soap artisan production through a lesson with the craftsmen of Sextantio and discover the ancient recipes as well as the old procedures of soap production. Each guest will make a stick of handmade soap, from extra virgin olive oil. The workshop will be held in two sessions: the first session involves the selection of materials, preparing mixtures. The next day, guests will keep the final piece of soap.

Local products tasting (light dinner) at the Cantinone wine bar, wine and drinks included.

Overnight: Sextantio Albergo Diffuso.

Day 6: Truffle hunting and cooking class

Guided walk and black truffle hunting in the Abruzzo mountains with an expert local truffle hunter and his trained dogs, followed by a two-hour cooking course, getting to know cooking utensils, preparing of dishes like spaghetti alla chitarra, or typical sweets ferratelle, using local ingredients and subsequent tasting.

Dinner at the hotel.

Overnight: Sextantio Albergo Diffuso.

Day 7: Mountains of Abruzzo

Explore the monastic tradition through the mountains of Abruzzo. Visit two of the most historically important hermitages of the mountains in Abruzzo: the hermitage of Sant'Onofrio al Morrone and the hermitage of Saint Venanzio.

You will visit the historical center of Sulmona, in the past called Sulmo, the most important center of the valley.

Farewell dinner at the hotel.

Overnight: Sextantio Albergo Diffuso.

Day 8: Departure

Farewell and transfer from Abruzzo to Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport (FCO).

Guided tour of the historic and archeological sites of the Abruzzo region: Alba Fucens, Fossa, Bominaco and Rocca Calascio

Guided walk and black truffle hunting in the Abruzzo mountains

Visit a typical 'cave-dwelling', a ghost town in Craco and two of the most historically important hermitages of Abruzzo mountains: the hermitage of Sant'Onofrio al Morrone and of Saint Venanzio

Explore Palazzo Lanfranchi, Piazza Vittorio Veneto and its nearby churches, Piazzetta Pascoli and the cave churches of Santa Lucia alle Malve and Santa Maria de Idris

Visit the church of San Pietro Caveoso, the Crypt of the Original Sin, the Aliano literary park and the historical center of Sulmona

Stopover at the literary park dedicated to Isabella Morra, the Christian and Jewish Catacombs in Valsinni, the Murgia Materan Nature Reserve and Cave Churches, and the spectacular church Madonna delle Tre Porte

This tour will take place in the regions of Basilicata and Abruzzo, Southern Italy. The Basilicata is a land shrouded in mystery until the present day. With some of the oldest settlements pre-dating the Romans as Magna Graecia, and a major destination for Jews from the ancient Roman province of Judea as well as some of the earliest Christian settlements of the Roman Empire, it remains as a destination not to be missed. Abruzzo and the Abruzzi Mountains, in South Central Italy, is a fantastically beautiful region of medieval villages and some of the most rural backwaters of the Italian Peninsula. The Abruzzo region also is a culinary and cultural gem, which you will have lots of time to experience.

During this tour of the Basilicata and Abruzzo regions of Southern Italy, you will be savoring some of the best dishes Italy has to offer, from spaghetti alla chitarra to ferratelle sweets, ranging from homemade lunches and dinners, exquisitely prepared by local chefs.

  • 3 nights accommodation at Sextantio le Grotte, Civita
  • 4 nights accommodation at Sextantio Albergo Diffuso, Santo Stefano
  • 7 breakfasts, 7 lunches and 7 dinners
  • All transfers described in the itinerary
  • Educational program with Judie Fein and Paul Ross
  • Entry fee to attraction sites listed in the itinerary
  • Experiential tour programs in Matera and Abruzzo
  • Multilingual tour guide
  • Any activities not listed as included
  • Any expenses of a personal nature, like alcoholic beverages, mini bar in rooms, laundry and telephone bills, and anything not specified in the itinerary
  • Drinks, snacks and alcoholic beverages not listed as included
  • Gratuities for the guide and driver
  • Transport from and to Italy
  • Travel insurance

Arrival by airplane

Please arrive at Bari Karol Wojtyla Airport (BRI). You will be met and transferred to your hotel. Pick up is included in the price.