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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.
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.
Thanks to its central position and its numerous services, Hotel San Marco is the ideal setting for your vacations and business travel. The recently renovated Hotel San Marco will be the perfect frame for your trip to Vasto; its practical and stylish ambiance will allow you to relax with all the modern comforts and in absolute tranquility.
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.
In the afternoon, you will be picked up from Leonardo da Vinci - Fiumicino Airport (FCO) at 2:30 p.m. You will then transfer to Sulmona, the town of the Roman poet Ovid, the most illustrious son of Sulmona, check in, relax, and enjoy a welcome dinner at Hotel Ovidius. Today, dinner is included.
After a leisurely traditional breakfast of freshly baked bread, whole fruit country-style preserves, cake, pastries, coffee, tea, and freshly squeezed juice, you will 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 confectionery.
After a confetti tasting, you will discover Sulmona and see the Roman aqueduct on Piazza Garibaldi and the Church of Santa Maria Annunziata with its majestic bell tower.
In the late afternoon, after some free time for lunch at your leisure to explore Sulmona at your own pace for shopping and meeting local artisans, you will have a wine tasting class with a professional sommelier for a couple of hours 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. A tasting, breakfast, and dinner are included today.
After check out, you will drive across the wonderful Abruzzo's 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 on the mountains, one of the most beautiful villages of Italy.
In the afternoon, enjoy lunch in a traditional restaurant in Scanno. Then, transfer to Vasto and check in at Hotel San Marco 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, 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. Finally, enjoy dinner in a traditional restaurant in the heart of Vasto. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are included today.
After a visit to Vasto’s colorful weekly market to get seasonal products, you will have an exclusive cooking class with a housewife in her house and you will learn how easy fresh pasta is to make and be introduced to her favorite seasonal sauces.
A sample menu includes pasta alla chitarra (made using a utensil shaped like guitar strings) with meat sauce, polpette (meatballs), and Tarallucci olio e vino (typical biscuits from Abruzzo). Lunch will consist of the scrumptious dishes that have been prepared in the morning. In the afternoon, you will be able to enjoy some free time and have dinner at your leisure. Today, breakfast and lunch are included.
After breakfast, you will explore the Abruzzo coast line. After a short and easy walk inside Punta Aderci Nature Reserve, you will have a fish cooking demonstration on a Trabocco fishing house (the symbol of the area), where you will have a unique seafood lunch.
After lunch, Rinaldo, your host, will show you how to fish from the trabocco and reveal the secrets and history behind Abruzzo’s unique fishing platforms that have been featured in the BBC Television show: Escape to the Continent
In the afternoon, after a short break at the hotel, you will drive to the little hilltop village of Lentella, at Ettore’s Fattoria d’Arte, or art farm.
Surrounded by an amazing landscape with sea, mountains, hills, small towns, and sea views, you will have an artistic experience with Ettore, where you may create your personal postcards or a little sculpture.
In the evening, you will have an aperitif and dinner with Ettore. If you are lucky, you could help Ettore’s wife make risotto with truffles that grow in Ettore’s land. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are included today.
After check out, you will move to Puglia, where you will have a guided visit of the beautiful town of Trani, with the little fishing port, the church of the templar knights, and the historical quarter. You will have some free time and lunch on your own in Trani.
After 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, Enjoy a guided walking tour in Conversano visiting the ancient town, with its medieval Castle and Romanesque cathedral. Dinner will be at Hotel Corte Altavilla. Breakfast and dinner are included today.
Today, you will 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 join a cooking class with traditional recipes. Lunch will consist of the scrumptious dishes that have been prepared in the morning.
In the afternoon, join a guided tour of the UNESCO site of Alberobello. You will walk among the trulli and visit the trullo sovrano and its museum. Then, you will have some free time and dinner at your leisure. Breakfast and lunch are included today.
In the morning, go on a guided tour of Bari, San Nicola’s church, and the city center. Visit a small olive oil mill in the country side of Gioia del Colle, where you will have an extra virgin olive oil tasting.
Later, join a guided tour of a family-run winery and enjoy a light lunch with a tasting of the wines and the famous mozzarella cheese of Gioia del Colle. You will then go on a guided tour of Federick II’s castle, one of the best kept and preserved castle in all Puglia. You will then get some free time and dinner at your leisure. Two tastings, breakfast, and lunch are included today.
In the morning, you will join a focaccia tasting in a very old bakery with a wood burning oven in Altamura, a town famous for its DOP bread. Then, go on a guided tour of the spectacular Matera and the UNESCO site of the Sassi, cave houses and rocky churches where time seems to stop.
In the afternoon, you will have some free time for lunch and explore the city on your own. Tonight, there will be a farewell dinner at the restaurant of the hotel. A tasting, breakfast, and dinner are included today.
After breakfast, at 09:00, you will depart for the airport or your next destination.
This retreat will take place at 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.
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.
You will have ample time to explore the surroundings, immerse in the Italian culture, and participate in multiple activities such as biking, hiking, fishing, 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 be available at an additional cost,
Please book your flight to arrive at Leonardo da Vinci - Fiumicino Airport (FCO). Transfer from and to the airport is included. Italia Sweet Italia will pick you up from the airport.
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.
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.
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