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Experience the art of living, the dolce vita as you immerse yourself in traditional Italian village life and embrace the warmth of the Abruzzese people. Travel through northern, central, and southern Abruzzo, indulge in exquisite food and wines and dine in amazing restaurants with its traditional specialties. Enjoy a private truffle hunt amongst hazelnut and oak woods followed by a truffle degustation menu. The extraordinary beauty of this Italian region awaits you on this special grand tour of Abruzzo! Tour Italy today with Touring Abruzzo, who is now celebrating 15 years in Abruzzo and the original tour operator in the region.
You will stay in charming boutique hotels and B&B’s during the tour.
Over the eight days, enjoy the stunning scenery of the Apennines as you travel through the three National Parks of Abruzzo and visit wonderful hilltop villages.
You will be met this morning by Luciana, your Abruzzo specialist, at Rome Termini station with an airconditioned private minibus to transfer you to Abruzzo. Crossing the Apennines, you will stop for morning tea at the tiny village of Castelli famous for maiolica ware ceramics since the 9th century. The tsars of Russia collected these valuable pieces and now the Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg has a priceless collection there.
You see the “Sistine Chapel of Maiolica ceramics and will visit some artisans working with ceramics today using traditional techniques.
After lunch, you arrive at the fortified hilltop village of Civitella del Tronto – which will be your base for the next three nights. A private visit of the fortress has been arranged where you will have commanding views over what was once the border of the kingdom of the Two Sicilies and the Papal States to its north.
You will also visit a real treasure in the village where your host Guido will take you through his fabulous textile and clothing museum with fragile pieces from the 18-19th century. There is time to stroll through the village exploring the romantic narrow alleys before a magnificent welcome dinner.
Civitella del Tronto has been inhabited since pre-Roman times and its first historical records as a fortified village dating back to the 11th century. You will discover more of this beautiful village each day you are here.
A real treat is in store though today when you visit Campli. Here you learn all about Abruzzo’s secret – prized truffles. Surprisingly, over 80% of Italy’s truffles come from the region of Abruzzo. Enjoy a private truffle hunt with local hunters and their amazing dogs.
A superb truffle degustation lunch awaits where you will indulge in an amazing array of seasonal truffles used in most of the dishes from antipasti, pasta and meat courses. A feast for the senses …squisito!
Later in the afternoon, you explore the delightful town of Ascoli Piceno which is in the Le Marche region. There is time for shopping Italian style, time to sit and sip your aperitivo and taste those delectable “olive ascolane” – a fabulous local delicacy of stuffed green olives. Marvel at the wonderful churches and spectacular piazza. A truly unforgettable day. Return to your accommodation.
This morning you have an easy start and you meet a local olive oil producer and learn all about the amazing differences between extra virgin, virgin and olive oils and taste his prized extra virgin olive oil.
You continue on the back roads of Abruzzo and travel alongside the ancient Roman salt route with a visit to a private olive oil producer whose family has been producing olives for centuries. Graziano will show you his original 200-year-old olive mill!
Lunch is in the countryside and you will be welcomed by bellissima Clementina who will show you how to make some local specialties such as gnocchi, timballo, and fried cheese before you sit down and eat together. Ah.. life in Italy does not get much better than this!
Later in the day, you visit a wonderful village, Offida in Le Marche, whose landscape is covered in fabulous vineyards. See medieval gems in a Benedictine church with amazing frescoes, the local opera house from 1820 and local ladies making beautiful bobbin lace in the streets and in their shops.
Leaving the Teramo Province, you head to the bustling port city of Pescara. Stroll through the lively covered farmers market and taste the local specialty porchetta – roast pork with rosemary and garlic. Visit the fascinating collection at the Museum of the Abruzzo people after your morning coffee and pastry.
You head towards the Maiella National Park where you take a stroll along a mountain path with spectacular views out to hills and valleys right out to the Adriatic coastline. Enjoy a welcome drink at your nearby boutique accommodation. A wonderful degustation of Abruzzo dishes awaits to please the senses.
Thursday is market day in Loreto Aprutino and you can relax with a morning coffee before browsing the colorful local stalls selling everyday wares. Explore the medieval hilltop town of Loreto Aprutino with your local guide Sandra with private visits to a 19th olive oil mill as well as a ceramic museum featuring three centuries (1500’s -1800’s) of exquisite local ceramics- maiolica ware from the village of Castelli.
Onto lunch with an exquisite authentic degustation lunch set in a delightfully restored stone cellar in the heart of the village of Loreto Aprutino. This evening we can take time for a passeggiata in a nearby village - time to shop, stroll, chat and enjoy an aperitivo in the main square, before supper.
Today is market day in Casoli and here you can surely practice your Italian with the locals! Meet an artisan jeweler who will tell you more about the traditional "presentosa" pendants of Abruzzo. Head to the Adriatic Coast and stop for morning coffee or glorious gelato at the delightful seaside town of San Vito Chietino.
The area lies right in the middle of the famous "trabocchi" coast which extends from Ortona to Fossacesia. These wooden fishing structures here hail from the 1400s when the fishermen preferred to fish close to shore for fear of roaming pirates.
Visit a Benedictine Abbey with origins back to the 9th century and admire the glorious position and view over the Adriatic coast and the Gulf of Venus. A fabulous seafood lunch overlooking the blue waters is a treat from antipasti to dessert, this is slow food at its best. Explore more of the Maiella National Park this early this evening with sunset drinks and supper.
A scenic drive today skirting the eastern Apennines with stunning views all around. Firstly visit Luciana’s village of Palombaro starting with a passeggiata, take in the local atmosphere and watch the world go by Italian style.
Onto nearby Fara San Martino, nestled in the Maiella National Park. These mountains have been known since ancient times as the Montagna Madre – the grand protectress of shepherds, hermits, monks, and place of ancient cults of worship by the pre-Roman tribes.
Enjoy a short walk through the narrow gorge and see recently completed archeological excavations come to light of a 9th-century Benedictine monastery. Truly amazing.
Lunch is in a local trattoria with more great dishes to sample from this area. Reflect on an amazing week together over a light supper and relive the special experiences.
Before leaving Abruzzo today and your transfer back to Rome there is time to enjoy the bustling town of Sulmona. Sulmona is the birthplace of the great poet Ovid and was once the headquarters of the Celestine monks from medieval times. Admire the main square, church and medieval aquaduct still carrying water to this day.
Then there’s time to sample the specialties of Sulmona as you visit Confetti producers where sugared almonds have been made according to ancient recipes for centuries. Sunday morning is full of locals enjoying their morning coffee, relaxing and strolling in the warm sunshine.
All good things come to an end, and today you bid farewell to Abruzzo and return to Rome Termini station by early afternoon to meet your further travel connections. End of tour.
Over eight wonderful days in Abruzzo you will experience the art of living, the dolce vita as you immerse yourself in traditional Italian village life and embrace the warmth of the Abruzzese people. Travel through northern, central, and southern Abruzzo, indulge in exquisite food and wines and dine in amazing restaurants with its traditional specialties.
Enjoy a private truffle hunt amongst hazelnut and oak woods followed by a truffle degustation menu. The extraordinary beauty of this Italian region awaits you on this special "Back Roads of Abruzzo" tour! Tour Italy today with Touring Abruzzo! They are now celebrating 15 years in Abruzzo and are the original tour operators in the region.
Born in Australia, Luciana's Abruzzese heritage and cultural ties have remained strong. Her parents migrated to Australia from Abruzzo in the 1950s; however, the extended family, still in Abruzzo, welcomed her back over the years. A long rewarding career in physiotherapy in Australia led the way for Luciana to follow her next dream: to return to her ancestral home and create special itineraries in Abruzzo to share with like-minded travelers.
Guido is from Civitella Del Tronto in northern Abruzzo and hails from an old noble family in the area. He is dedicated and passionate about his village and his native region of Abruzzo that he has become one of the few English guides at the fortress complex in Civitella del Tronto. In 2013, Guido and his colleagues established a private museum in the village, featuring one of the largest collections of textiles and clothing from the 1800’s from his family and from the locals. Guido loves Abruzzo with its food, culture and traditions and above all to share his passion with other guests.
Travel the back roads of this undiscovered region of Abruzzo. Meet real people, understand the real Italian culture and immerse yourself in the stunning scenery of the Apennines, everywhere you look when traveling in Abruzzo.
Daily meals and drinks with meals are included in the package. During the tour, you will have the opportunity to taste olive oil, wine, and try the region's specialties such as olive ascolane, and porchetta. Additionally, you will have a cooking lesson, cooking local specialties such as gnocchi, timballo, and fried cheese.
Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino Airport
Transfer not provided
Please book your flight to arrive at Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino Airport (FCO). From the airport, you should go to the meeting point, the Rome Termini railway station.
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