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10 Days Abruzzo, Puglia, and Matera Culinary, Culture, and Art Holidays in Italy

Hotel Ovidius, Via Circonvallazione Occidentale, 177, 67039 Sulmona, Province of L'Aquila, Italy

Food and Wine Holidays in Italy

Join this unique escorted tour to visit three of the most stunning Italian regions: Abruzzo, Puglia, and Basilicata. You will be part of a small group of people and will be able to embrace a deep cultural history of food, wine, art and living la vita dolce. The main highlight of this tour is the chance to discover and experience different cultures that have in common the human hospitality of local people, great food, and wine traditions.

Highlights

  • 2 hands-on cooking classes with local women
  • Wine, olive oil, confetti, focaccia, and mozzarella cheese tastings
  • Visit three UNESCO World Heritage Sites and one art experience with a local artist
  • 12 meals including water and house wine in selected restaurants, farmhouses, or wineries
  • Authenticity and natural hospitality of the Abruzzo and Puglia people
  • Fishing demonstration on a trabocco fishing hut
  • 9 nights accommodation
  • Airport transfers

Styles


8 days with instruction in English
The organizer also speaks: Italian
The maximum participants in the group is 16
Airport transfer included: Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino Airport
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Accommodation

Check-in Time:
14:30
Check-out Time:
09:00

You will spend two nights in Sulmona at Hotel Ovidius, three nights in Vasto at Hotel dei 7 (or similar accommodation), and four nights in Conversano at Hotel Corte Altavilla.

Hotel Ovidius, Sulmona

Located in front of San Panfilo’s Cathedral, in the center of Sulmona. Hotel Ovidius is the ideal structure that will give you unforgettable moments. You can allow yourself to take a break, read a book, sip a drink in the garden before taking a walk around Sulmona and discover its many beauties with an excursion to Abruzzo’s national parks, or regenerate yourself with a whirlpool bath.

Hotel dei 7

Recently renovated, Hotel dei 7 is the perfect setting for your stay in Vasto. In their practical and elegant ambiance, you can relax with all the modern comforts and in absolute tranquility nearby the Villa Comunale (municipal park) and Belvedere San Michele, one of the most fascinating viewpoints of the town. Most of the rooms have also a small kitchen and an amazing view of the Adriatic Sea and Vasto bay. It is five minutes' walking from Piazza Rossetti, Vasto main square.

Hotel Corte Altavilla, Conversano

Corte Altavilla Hotel, with its restaurant, spa, wellness center, and meeting rooms is waiting for you. Share with them a wonderful experience in Southern Italy, among the flavors of their typical cuisine and the smells of their popular tradition. Corte Altavilla is one of the most estimated four-star hotels in Apulia with its comfortable rooms and suites.

Program

Day 1: Rome Fiumicino airport pick up, Sulmona, and welcome to Abruzzo dinner (dinner)

PM

Rome Fiumicino airport pickup will be at 2:30 pm, you will be transfered to Sulmona, the town of the Roman poet Ovid, the most illustrious son of Sulmona. Get to know your local guide and learn more about this 10-day Italian cultural vacation. Check in, relax, and enjoy a welcome dinner at Hotel Ovidius in the heart of Sulmona.

Day 2: Confetti Museum, explore Sulmona’s historic center, and wine tasting (tasting, breakfast, dinner)

After a leisurely traditional breakfast made of freshly baked bread, whole fruit country-style preserves, cake, pastries, coffee, tea and freshly squeezed juice:

AM

Visit the Confetti (sugar-coated almonds) Museum, where you can see a wide display of old-fashioned confectionery machines and equipment, memorabilia, and precious rare objects relating to the ancient Sulmonese art of confectionary.

After a confetti tasting, you will discover Sulmona and see the Medieval aqueduct on Piazza Garibaldi and the Church of Santa Maria Annunziata with its majestic bell tower. You will have a wine tasting in the center of Sulmona and learn all about Abruzzo wines.

You will taste three different wines from local vineyards, with pairings from local cheeses, salami, and other specialties.

PM

Italia Sweet Italia knows very well that not every minute of your time must be packed with organized events, this way you will be able to explore on your own and actually live like an Italian.

So today, you will have a free afternoon for your own activities, which could be either visiting Sulmona’s museums and art galleries, taking part into some extra activities / excursions, having a spa experience in the hotel wellness center (to book in advance), or just doing some shopping visiting artisans or having a walk in the “piazza” to enjoy the relaxing Sulmona atmosphere.

In the evening, you may experience dinner on your own in one of the many restaurants of Sulmona. Obviously, Fabrizio will suggest you his favorite places.

Day 3: Amazing Abruzzo mountains landscapes, Scanno and Vasto on the Adriatic Coast (breakfast, lunch, dinner)

AM

After check out, you will drive across the wonderful Abruzzo mountains and national parks to the ancient Roman town of Vasto on the Adriatic Coast, where you will be staying for the next three nights.

On the way to Vasto, you will visit the enchanting Hermitage of San Domenico in Villalago and the village of Scanno (one of the most beautiful villages of Italy) on the mountains.

PM

Enjoy lunch in a traditional restaurant in Scanno. Transfer to Vasto, check in at Hotel dei 7 in the historical downtown.

After a short break, you will go on a guided visit of Vasto’s historic center. You will explore Loggia Amblingh, a promenade overlooking the fascinating crescent-shaped coastline, the old town with its medieval castle, charming lanes, a tower, and the Cathedral and Piazza Rossetti, dedicated to Gabriele Rossetti, a poet from the town and father of Dante Gabriel Rossetti, who founded the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. Enjoy a group dinner in a traditional restaurant in the heart of Vasto.

Day 4: A visit to the market, make homemade pasta with Mamma and free time (breakfast, cooking lesson, lunch)

AM

You will walk and visit Vasto’s colorful market to get seasonal products. Here, you will have the possibility to practice a little bit of Italian even if you do not speak any of it.

Next, you will drive to the beautiful countryside of Vasto where you will meet Fabrizio’s family to have an exclusive cooking class with them. You will learn how easy it is to make fresh pasta and you will be introduced to Abruzzo sauces.

An example menu based on Fabrizio’s family recipes, includes bread with meat sauce, pasta alla chitarra with meat sauce and polpette (meatballs), cavatelli with vegetables and tarallucci (typical biscuits from Abruzzo) - of course this depends on seasonal availability.

PM

Enjoy lunch with the scrumptious dishes that you prepared in the morning, while enjoying the relaxing family atmosphere. The afternoon will be free for your own activities, which could be going to one of the many beaches, visiting Vasto’s museums and art galleries, taking part into some extra activities / excursions, or just doing some shopping visiting artisans or having a walk in the “piazza” to enjoy the relaxing Vasto atmosphere.

In the evening, you may experience dinner on your own in one of the many restaurants of Vasto. After the big family lunch, based on Italia Sweet Italia’s many years of experience, they know that nobody is looking for a rich dinner, so travelers usually enjoy spending time like a local trying a simple aperitif, a gelato, or a pizza. Obviously, Fabrizio will suggest you his favorite places.

Day 5: Discover the fascinating Trabocchi coast, fish based lunch on a trabocco fishing hut, and make your own souvenir with an artist (breakfast, lunch, dinner)

AM

After breakfast, you will explore the famous Trabocchi coast. You will start with a short and easy walk inside Punta Aderci Nature Reserve, one of the 10 most beautiful Italian beaches according to the British daily The Telegraph, from where you can also admire snow-capped mountains.

Next, you will visit a trabocco (the symbol of the area), mostly built with acacia wood and railway iron sleepers. Weather permitting, Rinaldo, your host will show you how to fish from it and the secrets and history behind Abruzzo’s unique fishing platforms that have been featured in the BBC TV show: Escape to the Continent. His wife, Maria will prepare fish from the Adriatic Sea for your exclusive lunch on the ocean.

PM

After a short break at the hotel, you will drive to the little hilltop village of Lentella at Ettore’s “Fattoria d’Arte” (art farm).

Surrounded by an amazing landscape with a stunning view of the sea, mountains, hills, and small towns, you can enjoy an artistic experience with Ettore, which will let you create your own Abruzzo souvenir (a postcard made with natural colors produced at the moment mixing leaves and flowers that you can pick at Ettore’s property).

You will have an aperitif and a traditional dinner with Ettore and his wife Barbara. If you are lucky, you could help Ettore’s wife make risotto with truffle that grows in Ettore’s land.

Day 6: Welcome to Puglia, exploring Trani and the UNESCO site of Castel del Monte (breakfast, dinner)

AM

After check out, you will move to Puglia where you will meet the local guide and you will have a guided visit of the beautiful town of Trani: the little fishing port, the Church of the Templar Knights, the historical quarter.

PM

Enjoy some free time and lunch on your own in one of the many restaurants of Trani. Go on a guided tour of Castel del Monte, a UNESCO-protected site and a symbol of Puglia.

Transfer to Conversano and check in at Hotel Corte Altavilla in the historical downtown (possibility to have a spa experience in their wellness center to book in advance). Take a guided walking tour in Conversano, an ancient town with its medieval castle and Romanesque cathedral. Enjoy your welcome to Puglia group dinner in a traditional restaurant in the heart of Conversano.

Day 7: Explore Polignano a Mare, cooking class in a masseria, and the UNESCO site Trulli of Alberobello (breakfast, cooking lesson, lunch)

AM

Go on a guided tour of of Polignano a Mare and its wonderful sea. Transfer to an ancient masseria (typical Apulian farmhouse) in Monopoli and participate in a cooking class with traditional recipes.

PM

Lunch today will consist of the scrumptious dishes that have been prepared in the morning. Go on a guided tour of the UNESCO site of Alberobello: walk among the trulli, visit to the trullo “sovrano” and its museum. Enjoy some free time and dinner at your leisure in one of the many restaurants of Conversano.

Day 8: Exploring Bari and olive oil, mozzarella, and wine-tasting (breakfast, tasting, lunch)

AM

Enjoy a guided tour of Bari: San Nicola’s church, Frederick II’s castle, and the city center. You will then proceed to go on a guided tour of a family-run winery and enjoy lunch with tasting of the wines and the famous mozzarella cheese of Gioia del Colle.

PM

Visit a small olive oil mill in the countryside of Gioia del Colle where you will have an extra virgin olive oil tasting. Enjoy some free time and dinner at your leisure in one of the many restaurants of Conversano.

Day 9: Focaccia tasting, Matera and its UNESCO’s site, and farewell dinner (breakfast, tasting, dinner)

AM

Focaccia tasting in a very old bakery with a wood burning oven in Altamura, town famous for its DOP bread. Take a guided tour of spectacular Matera and its UNESCO’s site “the Sassi” (cave houses and rocky churches where time seems to stop).

PM

There will be some free time for lunch and exploring the city on your own. Enjoy a farewell dinner at Hotel Corte Altavilla.

Day 10: Departure and goodbye (breakfast)

After breakfast, depart (normally at 09:00) for Bari airport or your next destination (45 minutes driving from the hotel to Bari airport and 40 minutes to Bari train station).

Note about your itinerary

Your itinerary is a guide to your activities during the week. However, sometimes the final itinerary is modified to take advantage of the season and the weather. The goal is to ensure that everyone has a fabulous time, and that sometimes means tweaking the schedule even after your arrival. Your guide will provide suggestions during the week, and the group will decide whether to make any change. Be assured that only enhanced experiences are ever considered.

Included excursions

  • Explore Loggia Amblingh
  • Explore Sulmona
  • Guided tour of of Polignano a Mare
  • Guided visit of Trani
  • Have an artistic experience in Lentella
  • Tour Alberobello
  • Tour around Matera
  • Tour Bari and Gioia del Colle
  • Visit the confetti museum
  • Visit the enchanting Hermitage of San Domenico in Villalago
  • Visit the village of Scanno
  • Walk in Punta Aderci Nature Reserve
  • Walking tour in Conversano
  • Wander around Vasto’s historic center

Location

This tour will take you to three of the most stunning Italian regions: Abruzzo, with its charming mountain villages, national parks, and the fascinating trabocchi; Puglia, with its UNESCO sites, castles, beautiful medieval towns, and coastal villages; and Basilicata, with the enchanting Matera, elected European Capital of Culture for 2019.

Food

Abruzzo and its four provinces: Teramo, L’Aquila, Pescara, and Chieti have a very diverse gastronomic heritage that includes wine, pasta alla chitarra, extra-virgin olive oil, cheeses, salami, truffle, saffron, and fish soups. Locally caught fish is an important part of the cuisine in Abruzzo. During this holiday, you will learn about traditional fishing and how to incorporate your catch into a range of tasty dishes.

You will also have the chance to sample mozzarella cheese and confetti from the region, as well as traditional meals, olive oil, and wines. All meals will be served at selected restaurants, farmhouses, or wineries, and will be based on traditional regional dishes.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Drinks

The following drinks are included:

  • Water
  • Alcoholic beverages

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

Things to do (optional)

You will have ample time to explore the surroundings, immerse in the Italian culture, and participate in multiple activities such as biking, hiking, truffle hunting, wine and cheese tasting, olive harvesting and olive oil tasting, as well as visiting the beautiful nearby beaches, cooking, and swimming. Massages and spa treatments will also be available at an additional cost,

What's included

  • 9 nights accommodation
  • Daily breakfast buffet
  • 12 meals (food, water, and house wine) in selected restaurants, a farmhouse, a private home, a winery, and a trabocco fishing hut based on traditional regional dishes
  • Guided tastings of wines, confetti, olive oil, mozzarella cheese, and bread, and visits to the producers
  • 2 hands-on authentic Abruzzo and Puglia cooking classes and associated food costs
  • Personalized cooking booklet and apron
  • Daily trips, excursions, and guided tours
  • Air conditioned bus for daily trips and excursions transports
  • Pick up in Rome Fiumicino airport or city center on request
  • Drop off in Bari airport in an air conditioned bus
  • All entry fees for castles and museums
  • Art experience with a local artist
  • English-speaking professional tour directors and licensed local guides as per itinerary
  • All taxes

What's not included

  • Airfares
  • Money spent for personal interests
  • Snacks or drinks between meals, or any meals not listed on the itinerary
  • Personal expenses like phone calls, visa costs, laundry, or tips
  • Travel insurance (not obligatory, but recommended)
  • Drinks not listed in the itinerary (an extra bottle of wine, for example)
  • The cost of additional excursions or activities

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Leonardo da Vinci - Fiumicino Airport (FCO). Transfer from the airport is included. Italia Sweet Italia will pick you up from the airport.

Arrival by bus

You can travel by bus to Pescara or Vasto. The bus journey from Rome to Pescara takes between two and three hours, depending on the bus you catch, and one hour more to get to Vasto.

Arrival by train

You can travel by train to Pescara or Vasto. The train journey from Rome takes around four hours to Pescara and around five hours to Vasto.

Airport: Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino Airport Airport transfer included: Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino Airport No additional charges. You can request this in the next step.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 25% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 45 days before arrival.

Value for money
Accommodation & facilities
Food
Location
Quality of activity
10 days / 9 nights
from --
Tour information

For the April 15, 2020 and October 6, 2020 arrival dates, this tour requires a minimum of two participants. Please send your inquiry for further information.

 

Solo travelers

This tour can accommodate solo travelers on certain dates. Please inquire for availability.

Friday April 24, 2020
(10 days / 9 nights)

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