Abruzzo…real Italy shared with real passion by Luciana. ‘BACK ROADS of ABRUZZO’ Tour (8 days)
Travel to Italy on the road less travelled as you immerse yourself in true village life in Abruzzo. In this undiscovered gem of central Italy you will certainly travel on the back roads of Abruzzo enjoying its towns and medieval hilltop villages.
Read on to find out more about our “Back Roads of Abruzzo” tour.
ABOUT THE TOUR
Our “Back Roads of Abruzzo’ tour will delight you with all the senses. Discover the Teramo, Pescara and l’Aquila provinces and over the 8 days as you experience the best of Abruzzo. Indulge in the delights of Slow Food – such as private tastings of fine local extravirgin olive oils, pecorino sheep’s milk cheeses, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo wines and enjoy your own private cooking class cooking with local ladies. Explore ancient castles, fortresses and medieval monasteries and see exquisite medieval art from the 1400’s.
Over the 8 days the tranquil countryside in Abruzzo wtih the stunning Apennines is your backdrop. You will have time to wander through the uncrowded villages in this hidden corner of Italy and truly live like a local. Dine in sensational slow food restaurants in true Italian style…
This is a fully escorted, all inclusive small group tour (no more than 12 guests…ever) and will be led by Luciana.
- All inclusive travel within Abruzzo, central Italy – all meals and drinks with meals
- Exclusive small group travel – no more than 12 guests
- Fully escorted and personalised travel with LUCIANA and guides- Abruzzo specialist and English speaking guides
- Tours depart from Rome Termini Station
- Beautiful accommodation – stay in restored country farmhouses and boutique hotels with charm
- Travel Abruzzo at a quiet and leisurely pace, with time to relax and unwind
- Experience true and authentic village life in Abruzzo – enjoy the rich traditions
- Share the passion with Luciana for all things Italian – that only a local can offer
July 23 – 30 (8 days)
You will be met this morning by Luciana, your Abruzzo specialist guide, at Rome Termini station with an airconditioned private minibus to transfer you to Abruzzo. Crossing the Apennines, we will stop for morning coffee at the tiny hilltop village of Cocullo, where you experience a typical Sunday morning in Abruzzo. After lunch there is time to explore the fortress in Civitella del Tronto – inhabited since pre Roman times and its first historical records as a fortified village date back to the 11th century. 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. This evening enjoy aperitivo drinks before a sumptuous welcome dinner at your delightful accommodation in Civitella. Indulge in traditional dishes such as local pecorino cheese, air dried salumi and spaghetti alla chitarra con polpettine di carne…
DAY 2: SANT’OMERO - LOCAL OLIVE OIL PRODUCER – ANCIENT OLIVE PRESS - PRIVATE WINERY & CELLAR VISIT - GROTTA SANT’ANGELO – GRAN SASSO NATIONAL PARK
This morning we visit a private olive oil producer whose family has been growing, gathering and harvesting olives for centuries near Sant’Omero. Learn all about the amazing differences between extra virgin, virgin and olive oils and taste their exquisite extra virgin olive oils. Onto a local winery in Controguerra and meet a charming winemaking family and learn all about winemaking in Abruzzo. We will visit their extensive vineyards and indulge in tastings of heritage grape varieties such as pecorino and cococciola as well as traditional and award winning montepulciano, cerasuolo (rose’) and trebbiano wines..
Later we will explore a little of the outdoors and enjoy a short walk to a hidden grotto, a place of worship for many inhabitants from Neolithic times with the cult of Hercules to be later replaced in the Christian era with rituals of worship for the Archangel Michael. Enjoy a relaxing drink or aperitivo and dinner at a charming local osteria with our hosts Annamaria and Michele.
DAY 3: TRUFFLE PRODUCERS & PRIVATE TRUFFLE HUNT – PRIVATE COOKING CLASS – ASCOLI PICENO
We head to a nearby village and learn all about Abruzzo’s secret – prized truffles. Surprisingly, over 80% of Italy’s truffles come from Abruzzo. Understand how truffle dogs are used to find these precious gourmet delights and enjoy delicious tastings of truffle pastes and cheeses infused with truffle …squisito! Meet a local truffle hunter who will share his passion for truffle hunting and truffle dog training with us. Taste some delicious samples of seasonal truffle products. Onto your own private COOKING CLASS where local cooks share with you their passion for Abruzzese traditional cooking. Prepare a 4 course lunch together using fresh and seasonal local ingredients as well as luxury local truffles! Learn the secrets of slow food as you create wonderful antipasti, traditional home made pasta, deboned leg of turkey filled with parsley, garlic and truffle and delicious desserts… A truly unforgettable day! Explore the delightful town of Ascoli Piceno which lies just over the Tronto river, in Le Marche region. Enjoy a passeggiata along the corso – stroll to take in the local atmosphere and watch the world go by Italian style or shop for those favourite Italian shoes or leather handbag..
DAY 4: PESCARA – MUSEUM of THE ABRUZZO PEOPLE – LOCAL COVERED MARKETS – LORETO APRUTINO- PIANELLA
This morning, we leave the Teramo province and make our way into the nearby Pescara province, to the bustling port city of Pescara. A visit to the fascinating Museum of the Abruzzo people follows with beautiful displays of the traditions of the Abruzzo people: sheep rearing and cheese making, grape harvesting, olive growing, exquisite filagree jewellery, traditional costumes and ceramics. Stroll through the lively covered farmers market where you can practise your Italian while marvelling at the wonderful produce. Not to be missed is the wonderful local specialty porchetta – roast pork with rosemary and garlic. A fabulous lunch is in a nearby trattoria awaits.
You will be transferred to your delightful accommodation in Loreto Aprutino, set amongst 4200 olive trees and stay in an exquisitely restored 17th century farmhouse which will be home for the next 4 nights. There will be time to unwind and soak up the village Italy atmosphere with walks down country lanes, laze by the pool or sit and enjoy the spectacular scenery. Early this evening relax with aperitivo welcome drinks on the estate before one of our many passeggiatas with the locals in a nearby village of Pianella.
DAY 5: LORETO APRUTINO – VILLAGE MARKET DAY – WALKING TOUR of LORETO – PRIVATE OLIVE OIL MUSEUM & PRIVATE CERAMIC MUSEUM- PRIVATE COOKING CLASS
Today is market day in Loreto Aprutino and for those who would like to walk, we can enjoy a fine morning walk into our village, past miles of olive groves as well as walnut and fruit trees. Relax with a morning coffee before browsing the colourful local stalls selling everyday wares.. a great opportunity to practice your Italian with the locals! Explore the medieval hilltop town of Loreto Aprutino with a private visit to a unique 19th olive oil museum – one of Italy’s few olive oil museums as well as a private ceramic museum featuring 3 centuries of exquisite local ceramics/ maiolica ware from the village of Castelli in northern Abruzzo. An exquisite degustation lunch awaits in a restaurant converted from a restored stone cellar. One of the tour’s highlights is a hands on private cooking class at the accommodation. Cooking with wonderful local Abruzzese women, you prepare a fabulous 4 course dinner including amazing antipasti, traditional pasta, meat dish and dessert…Be wined and dined by local musicians as you enjoy the dolce vita!
DAY 6: FARINDOLA – CAMPO IMPERATORE – GRAN SASSO NATIONAL PARK- AL FRESCO PICNIC & BBQ - PRIVATE OIL TASTING
We head off to explore one of the highest alpine pastures of Europe- the majestic Campo Imperatore bounded by rugged mountains in the shadow of the highest peak in the Apennines, the Gran Sasso. At 1800m we will likely see shepherds tending their flock with maremma sheep dogs and wild horses. See an amazing array of colour with wildflowers over the fields and visit the Hotel Campo Imperatore where Benito Mussolini was once held prisoner. Learn all about his famous historical rescue from this remote outpost. Our alfresco picnic lunch today is beautifully prepared by Luciana and you will have fun sampling local produce and arrosticini, lamb skewers barbequed in the local style with a delightful spread of regional Abruzzese produce. Learn all about extra virgin olive oil in a private tasting with Gabriella, an international expert on olive growing. Taste the amazing differences between extra virgin, virgin and olive oil followed by a walk through the olive grove where their centuries old magnolia trees bloom. Dinner at the farmhouse includes traditional Abruzzese dishes using seasonal ingredients, such as hand made ricotta ravioli with a saffron and zucchini sauce and olive oil waffles for dessert!
DAY 7: LORETO APRUTINO - MEDIEVAL ART MASTERPIECES – SULMONA – SUGARED ALMONDS (Confetti) - PETTORANO SUL GIZIO - MEDIEVAL CASTLE
Today you will experience one of Abruzzo’s hidden gems of the art world, outside the town walls of Loreto Aprutino. Magical medieval art comes to life in the local church in the form of a unique 15th century fresco cycle created by an artist from the school of the master Giotto. In Sulmona delight in the colourful market stalls brimming with fresh seasonal produce including the famous local red garlic. Sulmona, the birthplace of the great poet Ovid as well as the headquarters of the Celestine monks from medieval times. Sample the specialties of Sulmona as we visit confettiproducers where the sugared almonds. Enjoy a delightful Italian lunch in a local restaurant serving delicious slow food of Abruzzo. Later we explore Pettorano sul Gizio, voted one of Italy’s prettiest villages with its harm and beauty. Stroll the narrow winding alleys with its churches, balconies and medieval castle. Relax by the planted herb garden and nearby cool stream which used to run the village’s flour mills and coppersmiths workshops. This evening, reminisce over a wonderful week spent together in this beautiful part of Italy!..
DAY 8: CELANO – ROME TERMINI STATION– END OF TOUR
We bid farewell to Abruzzo and return to Rome Termini station by early afternoon to meet your further travel connections. Visit the hilltop village of Celano, perched high in the Apennines and was where much of Abruzzo was ruled from its mighty 13th century castle by the Piccolomini family. The castle houses an exciting collection of pre Roman artefacts from the Italic tribes who settled in the now drained but immense lake in the valley below.
Relax with the locals in the piazza sipping your morning coffee or strolling in the warm sunshine…
$4840 per person, twin share twin share (AUD$950 single supplement)