7 Days Wine, Olive Harvest, and Cooking Holidays in Abruzzo, Italy

Amazing Cooking Vacation Italy

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.


  • Olive harvest experience
  • Award winning winery tour and wine tasting
  • Olive oil tasting, cheese making, and cheese tasting
  • 6 breakfasts, 8 meals in selected restaurants, farmhouses or wineries
  • Hands on cooking classes: pasta, pizza, and stuffed vegetables
  • Fishing demonstration, visiting artisans, farm, castle, abbey
  • Personalized cooking booklet and apron
  • 6 nights accommodation


5 days with instruction in English
Spoken languages: English
The maximum participants in the group is 16
Airport transfer included: Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino Airport
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During this holiday, you will be staying in a luxury picturesque hotel, Hotel San Marco, Vasto Chieti, Abruzzo, Italy.

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.


Day 1 - Airport pick up and welcome to Abruzzo dinner!

Leonardo da Vinci International Airport (FCO) pick up is at 02:30 p.m. 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 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.

Day 2 - Cooking pasta with Mamma, exploring Vasto’s historic center

After a leisurely traditional breakfast of freshly baked bread, whole fruit country-style preserves, cake, pastries, coffee, tea, and freshly squeezed juice, you will learn how easy fresh pasta is to make with a cooking class by Mamma and an introduction to her favourite seasonal sauces, an example menu includes Bruschetta with meat sauce, Pasta alla chitarra with meat sauce and polpette (meatballs), Cavatelli with vegetables, and Tarallucci (typical biscuits from Abruzzo). Lunch will consist of the scrumptious dishes that have been prepared in the morning.

In the afternoon, 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. Before dinner in a traditional restaurant in the heart of Vasto, you will meet some local artisans.

Day 3 - Olive harvest, olive oil tasting, and wine-tasting

Following breakfast, you will visit the La Selvotta Olive Grove that has been farmed by Giovanni’s family for three generations to produce DOP olive oils. He will unfurl he secrets of what Homer described as “liquid gold” and you will finish with an olive oil tasting and traditional lunch.

In the afternoon, you will visit the olive oil mill to learn the transformation process by olives to extra virgin olive oil. Next, you will visit Fontefico, an award winning winery that sits between a marine park and the mountains. You will have a wine tasting with pairings from local cheeses and salami and tour of the vineyard and cellars by owners Emanuele and Nicola. Dinner in a traditional restaurant in the heart of Vasto.

Day 4 - Learning the art of Italian ‘stuffing’ and fishing demonstration on a trabocco fishing house

After a leisurely breakfast, you will 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, and Scrippelle (a typical sweet from Abruzzo) which you will enjoy for lunch.

After a scenic itinerary along the Trabocchi (ancient fishing equipment typical to Abruzzo) Coast, you will stop at Trabocco Punta Tufano. In this location, surrounded by the blue sea and green hills with olive trees, you will have a funny fishing experience with the “traboccante” (trabocco’s owner) Rinaldo that 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 landscapes. Dinner in a traditional restaurant in the heart of Vasto.

Day 5 - Learning to make sheep’s ricotta cheese at a small local artisan farm with its own creamery and Roccascalegna Medieval Castle

After breakfast, you will make your way to the farm where Pina and Dino will reveal the secrets of sheep farming and guide those that would like to learn how to milk a sheep ready for pecorino cheese. After a snack of cheese, you will learn how to prepare ricotta cheese in their creamery. A delicious traditional lunch will be prepared and served. This will be the time to savor just made warm ricotta cheese.

In the afternoon, you will explore the enchanting Abruzzo’s castle in the sky in Roccascalegna. Dinner in a traditional restaurant in the heart of Vasto.

Day 6 - Free morning, pizza cooking class, and tiramisù

Free morning for your own activities, which could be: to go to one of the many beaches, visit a natural reserve, join to a truffle hunting experience, biking, take part in some extra activities, excursions, or whatever you prefer. Lunch at your leisure. After lunch, you will have a homemade pizza cooking class that includes the teaching of traditional bruschetta and tiramisù.

Day 7 - Goodbye and departure

After a morning breakfast, you will depart for Leonardo da Vinci International Airport (FCO) or your next destination.

Included excursions

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.



  • Air-conditioned rooms
  • Beach
  • In-room safe
  • Luggage room / storage


  • Free Wi-Fi


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.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Snacks
  • Drinks

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

What's included

  • 3 hands-on cooking classes and associated food costs
  • 6 nights accommodation at Hotel San Marco in the historic center of Vasto
  • All meals and breakfasts (food, water, and wine) in selected restaurants except dinner on Day 4
  • All taxes
  • All transport for daily trips and excursions
  • All entry fees for excursions, tours and wine, truffle, olive oil and cheese tastings
  • Daily trips and excursions
  • English-speaking tour manager throughout the duration
  • Pick up and drop off at Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino Airport (FCO) in an air-conditioned bus
  • Personalized cooking booklet and apron

What's not included

  • Additional excursions or activities
  • Airfares
  • Personal expenses like phone calls, visa costs, laundry or tips
  • Spending money
  • Snacks or drinks and any meals not listed on the itinerary
  • Travel insurance

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Arrival by airplane

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.

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.
7 days / 6 nights
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Italia Sweet Italia is also offering other thematic tours on different dates. Please send your inquiry for further information.

Saturday November 10, 2018
(7 days / 6 nights)

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