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Join Italia Sweet Italia on a week of Italian cookery tour in Abruzzo, central Italy! You will be part of a small group of people and will be able to develop your passion for Italian food whilst exploring the region’s off-the-beaten-track secrets. The highlight of this tour is the chance to experience and have fun to pick olives and visit the olive oil mill while it is working and transforming olives to extra virgin olive oil.
During this holiday, you will be staying in a luxury picturesque hotel, Hotel San Marco, Vasto Chieti, Abruzzo, Italy.
A short walk from the sights of the old city, close to the shopping streets and only three kilometers from the beautiful beaches of Vasto Marina, Hotel San Marco takes you into the center of Vasto. Since 1972, with the courtesy and professionalism, your stay in this city will be exactly as you want it to be. Charming and family run Hotel San Marco in the historical downtown are ideal for your holidays. With practical and stylish rooms, completely restored, you can relax with all the modern comforts and tranquility.
The helpful and friendly staff will always be at your disposal to make your stay perfect and memorable. You can expect a leisurely traditional breakfast of freshly baked bread, whole fruit country-style preserves, cake, pastries, cappuccino, coffee, tea and freshly squeezed juice.
Afternoon: Leonardo da Vinci International Airport (FCO) pick up is at 14:30 and you will be transferred to the ancient Roman town of Vasto on the Adriatic Coast after crossing beautiful Abruzzo mountains looking at amazing landscapes. After checking at the charming and family run Hotel San Marco (or a similar accommodation) in the historical downtown, get to know your guide and learn more about the 7-day Italian cookery holiday and enjoy a welcome dinner in a traditional restaurant in the heart of Vasto.
Meal included: dinner.
Morning: You'll visit Vasto’s colorful market to get seasonal products. Next, you’ll have an exclusive cooking class with a housewife in her house and you’ll learn how easy fresh pasta is to make and be introduced to her favorite seasonal sauces. An example menu includes bread with meat sauce, pasta alla chitarra with meat sauce and polpette (meatballs), cavatelli with vegetables and tarallucci (typical biscuits from Abruzzo) - naturally this depends on seasonal availability.
Afternoon: Lunch will consist of the scrumptious dishes that have been prepared in the morning. Then you’ll 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. Before free time, you’ll meet some local artisans. Tonight you may experience dinner on your own in one of the many restaurants of Vasto.
Meal included: breakfast, lunch.
Morning: Following breakfast you’ll visit the La Selvotta Olive Grove that has been farmed by Giovanni’s family for 3 generations to produce DOP olive oils. You will learn how to pick olives in a short time. Giovanni will unfurl the secrets of what Homer described as “liquid gold” and you will finish with an olive oil tasting and traditional lunch.
Afternoon: Visit to the olive oil mill to learn the transformation process by olives to extra virgin olive oil. Next, you’ll visit Fontefico, an award-winning winery that sits between a marine park and the mountains. You’ll have a wine tasting with pairings from local cheeses and salami and tour of the vineyard and cellars by owners Emanuele and Nicola. Dinner will be in a traditional restaurant in the heart of Vasto.
Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner.
Morning: After a leisurely breakfast, you’ll prepare your lunch and learn “L’arte dei ripieni” - the art of stuffing at Mama’s: pallotte casce e ove (cheese and egg balls); ravioli with ricotta cheese and spinach; stuffed peppers, eggplant, zucchini or mushrooms; scrippelle (a typical sweet from Abruzzo) which you’ll enjoy for lunch.
Afternoon: After a scenic itinerary along the Trabocchi (ancient fishing equipment typical to Abruzzo) Coast you’ll stop at Trabocco Punta Tufano. In this location, surrounded by the blue sea and green hills with olive trees, you’ll have a funny fishing experience with the “traboccante” (trabocco’s owner), Rinaldo, who will share his love for its trabocco and will explain its secrets. During your seafood aperitif you can relax breathing the sea atmosphere and taking some photos of the many beautiful marine landscape. Tonight you may experience dinner on your own in one of the many restaurants of Vasto.
Meals included: breakfast, lunch.
Morning: After breakfast you’ll make your way to the farm where Pina and Berardino will reveal the secrets of sheep and cows farming to you and guide those who would like to learn how to milk a sheep or a cow. After a snack of cheese, you’ll learn how to prepare ricotta cheese in their creamery. You will also learn how to make a special bread called “pizza scima" - stupid pizza. A delicious traditional lunch will be prepared and served. This will be the time to savor just-made warm ricotta cheese.
Afternoon: You'll explore the enchanting Abruzzo’s castle in the sky in Roccascalegna. Then you may experience dinner on your own in one of the many restaurants of Vasto.
Meals included: breakfast, lunch.
Morning: Free morning for your own activities, which could be going to one of the many beaches, visiting a natural reserve, joining to a truffle hunting experience, biking, taking part of some extra activities/excursions or whatever you prefer. Lunch at your leisure.
Afternoon: After lunch you’ll have a homemade pizza cooking class that includes the teaching of traditional bruschette and tiramisù.
Meals included: breakfast, dinner.
After breakfast you will depart for Leonardo da Vinci International Airport (FCO) or your next destination. Departure is normally at 09:00. Driving time from Vasto to Rome Fiumicino Airport is around 3.5 hours.
Your itinerary is a guide to your activities during the week. However, sometimes Italia Sweet Italia modifies the final itinerary to take advantage of the season and the weather. Their goal is to ensure that everyone has a fabulous time, and sometimes that means tweaking the schedule even after your arrival. Your guide
will provide suggestions during the week, and the group will decide if any modifications are desired. Be assured that only enhanced experiences are ever considered.
Bring sturdy comfortable shoes and a windbreaker as there are short cross country walks leading to amazing sites and views. Along the way you may wish to purchase items from the wonderful artisans and local producers you visit. Remember to leave a little room in your suitcase for this.
Enjoy your excursions and visits around Abruzzo and Vasto as part of the program.
Abruzzo is located a short drive from Rome and considered the greenest region in Europe with three National Parks and many protected areas and species such as bears, wolves, lynx, and Golden Eagles. Abruzzo spreads from the Apennine mountains to the Adriatic sea which means that you can admire the highest mountains of the Apennines, the Corno Grande, directly from its coast.
It has a huge variety of landscapes and seascapes that make it an ideal place to have a relaxing holiday. Abruzzo and her 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.
Abruzzo remains unknown and off the beaten track to many non-Italians. Abruzzo and their people, the Abruzzese, will reawaken your senses and provide an unforgettable Italian holiday you will never forget!
Vasto is a Roman coastal town (population: over 40,000), just three hours from Rome, which flourished again in the 15th and 16th Century. You will enjoy exploring the Centro Storico, its cathedrals and churches, the 15th Century Palazzo dAvalos, the Rossetti Theater, the cafes, and restaurants. Enjoy the food, wine and gelato, vineyards, cheese factories and olive oil mills, as well as the many natural sites: a selection of beaches, from sandy shores to pebbly coves, from the populous marina to the natural reserve, from dunes to trabocchi, the unique fishing huts you will marvel at, all within a short distance.
During the retreats, you will be served daily Italian breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack, and wine included in the package. Additional meals, snacks, or drinks that are not listed on the itinerary are at your leisure. Recipes in the cooking classes are subject to the availability of seasonal produce.
Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino Airport
Please book your flight to arrive at Leonardo da Vinci - Fiumicino Airport (FCO). Italia Sweet Italia will pick you up from the airport. The pick-up is included in the price.
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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