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7 Days Wine, Gelato Making, and Cooking Holidays in Abruzzo, Italy

Hotel San Marco, di Porchia Gianni, Via Madonna dell'Asilo, 4 66054 Vasto, Chieti, Italy

Italian Cooking Holidays

So many of us dream of a unique Italian holiday that is tailor-made to suit your interests and budget. This is your chance to have such a holiday experience. Join us on a week-long adventure in Abruzzo, central Italy. Be a part of a small group of people and develop your cooking skills, expand your wine knowledge, and discover the region's secrets to Italian gastronomic delight. Learn how to make authentic Italian gelato, to replicate it at home, and surprise your friends, relatives, and yourself!


  • 2 cooking classes, pizza class
  • Italian ice cream gelato making class
  • Award winning winery tour Fontefico, wine tasting
  • Olive oil tasting, cheese making, cheese tasting
  • Fishing, visiting artisans, farm, castle, abbey
  • Personalized cooking booklet, apron
  • 6 dinners, 6 breakfasts, 4 lunches
  • 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 one night in Santo Stefano di Sessanio in a luxury picturesque hotel and eight nights accommodation in a family run and charming hotel in the historical center of the Roman town of Vasto

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 is 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.

Sextantio Albergo Diffuso, Via Principe Umberto, Santo Stefano di Sessanio, Italy

Situated in the historical district, this hotel is in the same region as Campo Imperatore Observatory, Museo Nazionale d'Abruzzo and Campo Imperatore Gondola. Regional attractions also include Forte Spagnolo and Church of S. Maria di Collemaggio. Sextantio Albergo Diffuso features a bar or lounge and a restaurant. Other amenities include a coffee shop and complimentary wireless Internet access. In addition to complimentary wireless Internet access, guestrooms include premium bedding and a turndown service. Bathrooms feature bathtubs or showers and bidets.


Day 1 - Leonardo da Vinci International Airport (FCO) pick up, Abruzzo mountains and welcome to Abruzzo dinner!

You will be picked from the airport at 1 p.m., transfer to Santo Stefano di Sessanio on the Abruzzo mountains, check in in a luxury picturesque accommodation, relax, and welcome dinner in a traditional restaurant in the heart of the village.

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.

In the morning, 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) - naturally this depends on seasonal availability.

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 - Exploring Punta Aderci Nature Reserve, a fish cookery class on a trabocco, and visit C6th Abbey

After breakfast, you will explore the Abruzzo coast line. After 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. Next, you will visit a trabocco that is constructed mostly from acacia wood and railway iron sleepers.

Weather permitting, you will have a special fish cooking class on a trabocco that is constructed mostly from acacia wood and railway iron sleepers. Rinaldo, your host, will show you how to fish from it and the secrets and history behind Abruzzo’s unique fishing platforms. His wife, Maria, who comes from a family of well-known cooks will give you her fish cookery class sourcing fish from the Adriatic* where possible.

In the afternoon after relaxing and trying our hand at fishing, taking some photos of the surrounding beautiful marinescape. To close the day, you will visit the enchanting San Giovanni in Venere Abbey that sits on a hill dominating the coastline, surrounded by orange, olive, oak and pine trees. Dinner in a traditional restaurant in the heart of Vasto.

Day 4 - Free morning and gelato making class

Free morning for your own activities, which could be: to go to one of the many beaches, visit a natural reserve, biking, take part in some extra activities, excursions, or whatever you prefer. Lunch in a traditional restaurant in the heart of Vasto or Vasto Marina followed by handmade gelato making class and traditional dinner. Tonight you may experience dinner on your own in one of the many restaurants 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 evening, 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 - Olive oil tasting, wine tasting, pizza cooking class and tiramisù

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 the secrets of what Homer described as “liquid gold”and you will finish with an olive oil tasting. Next, you will visit Fontefico, an award winning winery that sits between a marine park and the mountains. We’ll have a wine tasting with pairings from local cheeses and salami and tour of the vineyard and cellars by owners Emanuele and Nicola.

After lunch, you will have a homemade pizza cooking class that includes the teaching of traditional bruschetta and tiramisù.

Day 7 - Goodbye

After breakfast, departure for Rome Fiumicino airport or your next destination.

(Recipes subject to the availability of seasonal produce)



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

  • 4 hands-on cooking classes and associated food costs
  • 6 nights accommodation at Hotel San Marco in the historic center of Vasto or similar accommodation
  • 8 meals including food, water, and house wine in selected restaurants, farmhouses, private homes, wineries based on traditional regional dishes
  • All transport for daily trips and excursions
  • All entry fees for excursions, tours and wine, olive oil and cheese tastings
  • All taxes
  • Daily buffet breakfast
  • Daily trips and excursions
  • English-speaking tour manager throughout the duration
  • Personalized cooking booklet and apron
  • Transfers from and to Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino Airport (FCO)

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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Arrival: Sunday June 16, 2019
Departure: Saturday June 22, 2019

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