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San Martino in Pensilis is not only the ideal village to spend an unforgettable and entertaining holiday in Italy. Join this perfect program for lovers of wine and gourmets including cooking classes. The program involves hands-on cooking classes that will be accompanied by wine tours. You will learn about the peculiarities of red and white wines and cultural tours.
Experience Italy in ways you have always dreamed of.. “like an Italian“! And what better way if not “Off the Beaten Path!" The tour includes visits to century-old artisans, cultural and architectural sites, olive groves and wine cellars. Don’t miss out on discovering “the region that doesn't exist!"
During this holiday, you will be staying at Hotel SantoIanni. There is no single supplement for solo travelers.
Free airport pick-up from Rome or Naples.
Drive from the airport towards Molise and onwards to the small town of San Martino in Pensilis. You will be dropped off at Hotel Santoianni, where you will be staying for the duration of your holiday.
After you are settled in your rooms there will be a short briefing of the tour followed by a welcome dinner.
At 8am you’ll leave for Agnone, the center for important archaeological vestiges of the old Oscan-Samnite civilization. Agnone is sometimes called “the Athens of the Sannio” due to the large number of ancient ruins of the Samnitic culture. According to the tradition, the name of Agnone derives from the old city of Aquilonia that was destroyed by the Romans.
Agnone also lays claim to the most important ancient Molise document: the so-called “Oscan Tablet” (“Tabula Osca”), a bronze inscription written in the Oscan alphabet that dates from the 3rd century BC and now kept in the British Museum.
The first visit will be the Marinelli Bell Foundry. The Pontificia Fonderia Marinelli is an ancient factory for bells which has been operating in Agnone for nearly a millennium. It ranks as one of the oldest companies in the world, where the Marinelli family has run the foundry for the last 1000 years.
After the foundry you’ll visit the the “Francesco Gerbasi” Museum of Copper, one of the last places where you can learn about the ancient art of copper making. The final visit of the day will be the Di Nucci cheese makers renown for their aged Caciocavallo di Agnone. The visit will include the chance to taste some of these beautful cheeses for yourself.
Lunch will be at La Panonda where you be treated to some of the best cuisines the local area has to offer.
After a drive back the cooking class will kick off at 5:30pm followed by dinner.
After breakfast you are off to Termoli to visit the old port buy fish that will be used in your cooking class. At 11am you’ll take your fresh fish to the day’s cooking class.
After lunch you will take a short drive to Larino, a city of approximately 8,100 inhabitants. The city of Larino has been continuously inhabited for millennia. Originally settled by the Samnite and Frentani tribes of Southern Italy, the city came under the control of the Oscan civilization. In 217 BC, the Romans defeated Hannibal here, and it was later incorporated into the Roman Empire.
You will visit the Roman amphitheater with a dedicated guide. The elliptical amphitheater was built in the 1st century AD by a prominent citizen of Larino who had made his fortune in far away Rome. The arena could comfortably seat 12,000 spectators.
Then you’ll head over to Palazzo Zappone which was probably originally built as a Norman castle. The palace is now repainted as it would have looked decades ago. The structure has three distinct facades. One distinctly shows the physical structure of the original castle. The second has a renaissance feel and housed the rulers of the town. The third is a large brick neoclassical structure which was adjoined to the castle in the 19th century.
The day will also include a visit to the Civic Museum and Larino’s Cathedral, which is considered to be one of the finest in Italy.
You are then off to Cantina Tenimenti Grieco whose grapes come from fields overlooking the Adriatic coast at altitudes above 150 meters. Here you will enjoy wine tasting and visiting the wine cellar with a sommelier.
Later in the evening you’ll meet for an aperitivo followed by dinner.
Today you’ll be heading to the beautiful Tremiti Islands, known for their beautifully clear waters and quiet coves. The Islands are a short ferry ride from Termoli.
The day will be spent relaxing, sunbathing and exploring the two main Islands - San Domino and San Nicola. San Domino is the main tourist destination with its popular sandy beach. San Nicola boasts the site of a monastery where a monk named Nicolo is buried. Legend has it that anytime an attempt was made to move the body, a large storm would appear, preventing any ships from making it to or from the island.
Due to time constraints there will be no cooking class today, instead after a day of sun and sea you’ll catch the ferry back to Termoli for dinner.
In the early morning, you will take a short drive to a small family-run olive mill Parco dei Buoi in the village of Larino. Here the owner, Francesco Travaglini, will give you a private tour of their olive groves, followed by a tasting of his olive oil. As you are tasting, you will have wonderful finger foods to go with it. When tasting the oil you will be in good company. Francesco Travaglini’s oil was used for the last gala President Obama had for his guests! A real show of quality for Molise.
You will then drive back for your cooking class and lunch. After lunch and a short break you drive to Sepino, Altilia.
Sepino was captured by the Romans in 293 BC. The city wall was erected by Tiberius before he became emperor. Within the city walls are the remains of a theater and other buildings including temples of Jupiter and Apollo. The presence of tombs from the 4th century, suggests that the city had been abandoned by that time.
Supper will be in Sepino, Altilia surrounded by all this history.
In the morning you will leave for Centro del Tartufo Molise where you will see how truffles are prepared and converted. For those interested, there is the possibility for truffle hunting.
While in the area of Castropignano you will also visit the Castle of D’Evoli. Lunch will be at a restaurant where wonderful truffle dishes are prepared. That evening will be your final cooking class. After class you’ll celebrate your final night with pizza, music, laughter and the presentation of the recipe book.
A transfer back to the airport will be provided today.
Note: The day trip to Tremiti Islands is only available between the dates of May 15 to September 30 due to weather restrictions. Outside of these dates the Tremiti day trip will be substituted with a local vineyard visit for wine tasting, followed by a cooking class in the evening.
Acquaviva Collecroce is a municipality located in the woods. The village is delightful with its fountains and many historical footprints are leaked - a mysterious charm to discover. The atmosphere is that of medieval chivalry and the presence of the Templar Knights of Malta, making it the town's beauty, like the Latin palindrome sentences written on the stone. What makes it even more mysterious one can her a Croatian or Molisane dialect, a testimony of the Slavic settlement since 1400.
This holiday will take place in Molise, Italy. Located along the Adriatic coast, between the Abruzzo and Apulia regions, Molise stands right in the middle of the Italian peninsula. Molise's territory has been producing grapes since time immemorial. Plinio the Ancient even mentioned Cliternia (now called Nuova Cliternia) near Campomarino as one of the best areas for viniculture in his writings of Naturalis Historia.
During this holiday, you will be served one breakfast, four lunches, and four dinners. There will also be pizza night with music, laughter, and the presentation of the recipe book.
Visit local producer of extra virgin olive oil with tasting, 40 EUR per person (if not already on your itinerary)
Visit local artisan in Campobasso of knife making with meal, 80 EUR per person
Olive and grape picking with meal, 75 EUR per person (only in September)
Horseback riding on the beach or through vineyards and fruit trees with meal, 90 EUR per person
Truffle hunting with tasting and meal, 105 EUR per person
Please book your flight to arrive at Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport (FCO). The organizer will pick you up from the airport. The pick-up and the drop-off are free if there are more than 8 people. If not, the transfer cost is 125 EUR per person.
You can also take a bus directly at Rome Airport which brings you to Termoli Bus Station or Tiburtina Bus Station where you will be picked up.
For this organizer you can guarantee your booking through BookCulinaryVacations.com. All major credit cards supported.
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