Anthony J. United States
My wife and I decided we wanted to go to Italy for our 27th wedding anniversary but due to business constraints, we could only commit about 8 days. Because of our time constraint and after researching online, we decided on doing the Italia Sweet Italia culinary tour, instead of the typical larger or more popular cities and attractions. After looking up the trip and itinerary online, we were very excited, and what made the trip equally special was that my grandmother was born in the Abruzzo region. The Abruzzo region is beautiful and its people are very friendly. Fabrizio is the owner and host of the tour and to say he is very proud of his area as well as going out of his way to make you feel comfortable and special is a great understatement. Fabrizio, his family, and his friends are wonderful people making our tour so much fun and culturally rich that we were sad to leave this area and its special people. My wife and I were the only ones on the tour in late October so Fabrizio was our personal guide for the week. Each day he had something planned that was interesting and had the local interest in mind. We toured Vasto and its surrounding areas, dined on great local foods and wines, learned local culture and history, harvested olives, visited a medieval castle, toured the Trabocchi fishing platforms, visited and ate with a local farmer, and had cooking classes with AnnaMarie and Concetta, who in my opinion are the two best cooks in Vasto!! Also, Angelo's homemade wine and lemoncello is excellent. Fabrizio and friends surprised us on our actual anniversary day with a special Abruzzo cake and candles. Thanks Fabrizio for a great vacation! One one my favorite things was trading our cultural stories and ideas. I brought back to the USA "kill the coffee" where we would have have a liquor with Fabrizio after coffee, finishing off the meal. We hope to return again someday and reunite with Fabrizio and friends as well as see the area where my grandmother was born and lived for several years before immigrating to the USA. "Chow" for now Fabrizio and friends!
Paul D. United States
Several members of my family were treated to a 5 day tour of Vasto and Civitella Del Toronto in search of culinary secrets and to view the hometown of my father and grandparents. Fabrizio, the owner and our guide diligently researched and put together an agenda that exceeded our every expectation. Having just completed a commercial tour of 9 days Fabrizio was asked to have us slow down so we could immerse ourselves the the rich Italian culture and learn about our heritage. The tour started in and around his hometown of Vasto where we learned the art of making pasta and a desert from his delightful mother and sister in law. For three days each meal was carefully planned as were the tours of local historical buildings, a small but tasty winery, an olive oil business, a trabocco, (a traditional fishing technique) and an exceptional Gelateria. At each stop we were treated like royalty. No detail was missed. After A few days we were off to Civitella Del Tronto where our ancestors roamed. Stops at various municipal offices secured birth and marriage certificates and cemetery visits respected our past. The countryside was post card like causing us to wonder why did our sheep herding grandparents left for America. After gourmet eating and drinking our way through Abruzzo we came to the end of our trip. One more dinner. This time we were served the surprise of our lifetime. With little family background data go on Fabrizio tenaciously arranged to have a total of 16 relatives, previously unknown, greet us at the restaurant where we shared pizza and stories in translated Italian (and hand gestures) that carried us well into the night. A perfect ending to an unbelievable trip. Once again Fabrizio left no detail undone. Thanks to Fabrizio and Facebook we now have new relatives and thanks to Google Translate we can share experiences for years to come. Bravo Fabrizio.
a traveler United States
Truly there are not words adequate enough to express the beauty that is Abruzzo - both the place and the people - or to thank Fabrizio and his family. I recently had the joy of participating in the walking and cooking tour 6/2015. I was especially eager for this trip as my grandparents had been born in and emigrated to the USA from Vasto. Vasto was so much larger and infinitely more beautiful than I ever could have imagined it. Fabrizio did an ancestor search and I was so thankful to see the church they were married in, the street my grandmother lived on, and records going back to great-great grandparents, etc. In this, as in everything Fabrizio does, it was a gift to me to share his love of this area, its history, and family. Speaking of family and friends, when you go on a cooking tour with Italia Sweet Italia, you become family. They all generously opened their homes, their businesses and their hearts to us all. We learned some wonderful cooking techniques including homemade pasta that I have already impressed my family with, as well as visits to local winery, olive oil, farm to table, and lunch on a trabocchi. Plus hiking along the spectacular coast and into the beautiful green Miella/Apennine mountain, visiting ancient hermitages, swimming in the blue-green Adriatic, visiting shops and dinners at local wonderful restaurants, and learning about Vasto and its history. Always, Fabrizio facilitated our communication with the local (warm and wonderful) people. My friend and I commented that during our week in Italy before the tour (rome, florence, cinque terre) that we were really only able to have conversations with other English speaking tourists - not so on an Italia Sweet Italia tour. Finally, anyone looking for a beautiful vacation destination and the chance for an authentic travel experience should book a tour with Italia Sweet Italia as soon as possible! I thank from the bottom of my heart Fabrizio, his sweet and lovely family, his friends and everyone I encountered on this trip for making this truly a vacation of a lifetime!
We have just got back from the cooking, wine and truffle tour and we can not thank Fabrizio enough for such a wonderful holiday, he was very attentive and very knowledgeable about his beloved Vasto. We had such great experiences which I can truly say were magical, even fireflies in the evening at the truffle home. The cooking was easy and fun and we met such wonderful people for a truly homely experience, just like you were visiting friends and family. Of course, the food was out of this world, wonderful pastas and plenty of seafood. To all lovers of great food, wine, and culture, we would highly recommend this tour and hope very much to return in the future.