Join a small group and be able to embrace a deep cultural history of food, wine, art and living la vita dolce. 11-day unique escorted small group tour (max 12 people !) to visit 3 of the most stunning Italian regions: Abruzzo with its charming mountain villages, 3 National Parks and the fascinating trabocchi (special fishing machines symbol of the area), Puglia with its UNESCO sites, castles, beautiful medieval towns and coastal villages, and Basilicata with the enchanting Matera, elected European Capital of Culture for 2019.
The main highlight of this tour is the chance to discover and experience different cultures that have in common the human hospitality of local people, great food and wine traditions.
- Live like a local and sleep in the historical centre of 3 charming ancient towns
- Visit 2 UNESCO World Heritage sites
- Enjoy amazing landscapes that spread out from the sea to the mountains
- Authenticity and natural hospitality of the Abruzzo and Puglia people
- Hands on cooking classes with local women
- Discover the fascinating trabocchi fishing huts
- 1 Art experience with a local artist
- Explore enchanted castles, mountain and seaside villages.
- Solo welcomed - very small single supplement
- Small groups up to 12 people
Meeting at Rome Fiumicino airport at 14:30, transfer to Sulmona, the town of the Roman poet Ovid, the most illustrious son of Sulmona. Check in, relax and welcome dinner at Hotel Ovidius in the heart of Sulmona
Hotel Ovidius 3* in Sulmona
After a traditional leisurely breakfast of freshly baked bread, country-style fruit preserves, cakes, pastries, coffee, tea and freshly squeezed juices. Visit the Confetti (sugar-coated almonds) Museum, where you can see a comprehensive display of old-fashioned confectionery machines and equipment, memorabilia and precious, rare objects relating to the ancient Sulmonese art of confectionery.
After a confetti tasting, we’ll discover Sulmona and see the Roman aqueduct on Piazza Garibaldi and the Church of Santa Maria Annunziata with its majestic bell tower. In the afternoon, after some free time for lunch at your leisure to explore Sulmona at your own pace for shopping and meeting local artisans, in the late afternoon, we’ll have a wine-tasting class with a professional sommelier for a couple of hours in the centre of Sulmona and learn all about Abruzzo wines. You’ll taste try 3 different wines from local vineyards, with pairings from local cheeses, salami and other specialities
After check out, we’ll drive across the wonderful Abruzzo mountains and National Parks to the ancient Roman town of Vasto on the Adriatic Coast, where you will stay for the next 3 nights. On the way to Vasto, we’ll visit the enchanting Hermitage of San Domenico in Villalago and the village of Scanno (one of the most beautiful villages in Italy) in the mountains. Lunch in a traditional restaurant in Scanno.
Transfer to Vasto, and check in at Hotel San Marco in the historic downtown. After a short break, we’ll go on a guided visit to Vasto’s historic centre. We’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 city and father of Dante Gabriel Rossetti, who founded the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. Dinner in a traditional restaurant in the heart of Vasto.
Hotel San Marco 3* in Vasto or similar
We’ll walk and visit Vasto’s colourful market to get seasonal products. Here you’ll be able to practice a little bit of Italian even if you don’t speak any of it. Next, we’ll drive to the beautiful countryside of Vasto, where we’ll meet Fabrizio’s family to have an exclusive cooking class with them, and we’ll learn how easy it is to make fresh pasta, and we’ll be introduced to Abruzzo sauces. An example menu based on Fabrizio’s family recipes includes Bread with meat sauce, Pasta alla chitarra with meat sauce, polpette (meatballs) and a dessert. Lunch with the delicious dishes that we prepared in the morning while enjoying the
relaxing family atmosphere. After a short break at the hotel, we’ll drive to the little hilltop village of Lentella at Ettore’s “Fattoria d’Arte” (Art farm), Surrounded by an amazing landscape with a stunning view of the sea, mountains, hills
and small towns. You can enjoy an artistic experience with Ettore, who will let you create your own Abruzzo souvenir (a postcard made with natural colours produced on-site by mixing leaves and flowers that you can pick on Ettore’s property). We’ll have an aperitif and a traditional dinner with Ettore and his wife, Barbara.
After breakfast, we’ll explore the famous Trabocchi coast. We’ll start with 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, where you can also
admire snow-capped mountains. Next, we’ll visit a trabocco (the symbol of the area), mostly built with acacia wood and railway
iron sleepers. Weather permitting, Rinaldo, our host will show us how to fish from it and the secrets and history behind Abruzzo’s unique fishing platforms featured in the BBC TV show: Escape to the Continent. His wife Maria will prepare fish from the Adriatic Sea for our exclusive lunch on the ocean*.
Free afternoon for your activities, which could include: going to one of the many beaches, visiting Vasto’s museums and art galleries, taking part in some extra activities/excursions, or just doing some shopping, visiting artisans or having a walk in the “piazza” to enjoy the relaxing Vasto atmosphere.
In the evening, you may experience dinner on your own in one of the many restaurants of Vasto. After lunch on a trabocco, based on our many years of experience, we know that nobody is looking for a rich dinner, so our travellers usually enjoy spending time like a local, trying a simple aperitif, a gelato or a pizza. Fabrizio will suggest to you his favourite places.
After check out, we’ll move to Puglia, where we’ll meet the local guide, and we’ll have a guided visit to the beautiful town of Trani: the little fishing port, the Church of the Templar Knights, and the historical quarter. Free time and lunch on your own in one of the many restaurants of Trani. Transfer to Conversano and check in at Hotel Corte Altavilla in the historical downtown (possibility to have a SPA experience in their wellness centre to book in advance). Guided walking tour in Conversano: an ancient town with its medieval Castle and Romanesque cathedral. Welcome to Puglia group dinner in a traditional restaurant in the heart of Conversano
Hotel Corte Altavilla 4* in Conversano
After breakfast, we’ll move to an ancient masseria (typical Apulian farmhouse) in Monopoli and cooking class with traditional recipes such as orecchiette pasta, melanzane alla parmigiana (eggplant parmigiana) and Bocconotti (a typical Apulian
dessert). Lunch will consist of the delicious dishes prepared in the morning. Next, we’ll have a guided tour of Monopoli, an enchanting seaside town with a lot of history, surprising corners and fascinating alleys. Dinner at your leisure in one of the many restaurants of Conversano. After lunch in the masseria, based on our many years of experience, we know that nobody is looking for a rich dinner, so our travellers usually enjoy spending time like a local trying a simple aperitif, a gelato or a pizza. Katia will suggest to you her favourite place
After breakfast, we’ll drive to the charming village of Locorotondo, whose name derives from the Latin Locus Rotundus and means “round place”, recalling the circular shape, which is repeated on several rings between suggestive alleys and streets.
Next, we’ll move to the UNESCO site of Alberobello to have a guided tour and walk among the Trulli. In this unique town, we’ll enjoy a traditional lunch. Next, we’ll visit an ancient olive oil mill where we’ll have an extra virgin olive oil tasting. Dinner at your leisure in one of the many restaurants of Conversano
After breakfast, we’ll drive to Bari, the capital city of Puglia. We’ll have a guided tour to discover San Nicola’s church, Frederick II’s castle and the city centre. In a bakery, we’ll also enjoy a tasting of traditional panzerotti (a pocket of dough stuffed with tomato and vegetables or a meat sauce). Next, we’ll visit a family-run winery where we’ll have a wine tasting and lunch with pairings from local cheeses and salami and a tour of the vineyard and cellars organized by the winemakers. We’ll drive to Polignano, a mare, to discover its incredible sea views and charming alleys. Dinner at your leisure in one of the many restaurants of Conversano.
After breakfast (normally at 09:00) departure for Bari airport or your next destination (45 minutes driving from Hotel to Bari airport and 40 minutes to Bari train station)
Date and Costing
|TRIP DATES||AVAILABILITY||PRICE||SPACE LEFT|
|14 April, 2024 - 24 April, 2024||Guaranteed||$6,000||
|12 May, 2024 - 22 May, 2024||Guaranteed||$6,000||
|16 June, 2024 - 26 June, 2024||Guaranteed||$6,000||
|15 September, 2024 - 25 September, 2024||Guaranteed||$6,000||
|13 October, 2024 - 23 October, 2024||Guaranteed||$6,000||
|3 November, 2024 - 13 November, 2024||Guaranteed||$6,000||
The Cost Includes
- 2 nights in Sulmona at Hotel Ovidius, 4 nights in Vasto at Hotel San Marco (or similar accommodation) and 5 nights in Conversano at Hotel Corte Altavilla. Standard rooms,.
- Centrally located accommodations
- Daily breakfast buffet
- 14 meals (food, water & house wine) in selected restaurants, a farmhouse, a private home, a winery and a trabocco fishing hut based on traditional regional dishes. Some evenings are free for you to explore the towns by yourself
- Guided tastings of wines, confetti, olive oil, panzerotti and focaccia bread and visits to the producers
- 2 Hands-on authentic Abruzzo and Puglia cooking classes and associated food costs
- Personalized cooking booklet and apron
- Daily trips, excursions and guided tours
- All transports for daily trips and excursions will be in an air conditioned minibus or car
- Pick up in Rome Fiumicino airport or city center on request and drop off in Bari airport in an air conditioned minibus or car
- All entry fees for museums
- Art experience with a local artist
- English-speaking professional tour directors and licensed local guides as per itinerary
The Cost Excludes
- Arrival and Departure transfers
- Other meals and drinks
- Hotel tourist taxes (where required)
- Insurance and everything not listed as “Included.”
Tours in English guaranteed with a minimum of 2 people to a maximum of 12 people
Tour is confirmed with the COVID-19 requirements and social distances
Hotels & B&Bs in the Historical Centre, by the Sea, by the mountains or a simple farmhouse
A select choice of Vasto hotels, B&Bs and agriturismo (farmhouses) are offered to our guests whilst on vacation in this unique part of central Italy. They all have in common: they are family-run, provide a high standard of service, are meticulously clean, and are equipped with modern conveniences and free wi-fi.
Hotel San Marco***, recently renovated, is the perfect setting for your stay in Vasto. In their practical and elegant ambience, you can relax with all the modern comforts and in absolute tranquillity.
Upgraded charming boutique accommodations: With an extra price, you could sleep in boutique residences located in the heart of Vasto (each has beautiful en-suite rooms, free WiFi, TV, minibar, safe, hairdryer, air conditioning, and more):
Residenza Amblingh, an 18th-century mansion with 4 bedrooms, located on the Amblingh promenade overlooking the Adriatic Sea, 2 minutes walking from Vasto main square
La Dimora di Histon, a fascinating and small B&B (with just 2 bedrooms) set in the 15th century Castello Caldoresco in the main square of Vasto
C’è posto per te, a charming and beautiful B&B with 4 bedrooms, 2 minutes walking from Vasto main square
Payment and Cancellation
Payment: deposit of 25% per person within 7 days of confirmation and balance 60 days before departing from Australia
- cancellation received 45 working days or more before departure: deposits will not be refundable.
- cancellations made from 44 to 30 working days before departure: 40% of the payments will be not refundable.
- cancellations made from 29 to 15 working days before departure: 70% of the payments will be not refundable.
- cancellations made from 14 to departure: 100% of the payments will be not refundable.