More Italian cooking is coming your way this summer – Saturday 10 February

Luciana will be hosting the next hands on cooking class:

‘A TALE OF 2 SUMMERS – Celebrating Summer and The Cuisine of Abruzzo in Australia’


fried stuffed olives Italy tours
fried stuffed olives – olive ascolane from northern Abruzzo area

Luciana your host for Italy tours


DATE: Saturday 10 February
TIME: 9.30am – 2.30 pm
VENUE: To be announced, in Brisbane.

COST: $160 (past cooking class guests only $140)

Come and Celebrate all things Italian this summer and relive your Italian holiday vacation and travels to Abruzzo as you cook up a storm with Luciana Masci. Learn the skills and secrets to make a superb 5 course Italian banquet..
Impress your family and friends and most of all have fun with food and with like minded people. Using only the freshest of ingredients and seasonal cooking, this class promises to impress for sure. Recipes have been gathered and passed down to Luciana and come from northern and central Abruzzo areas. You and your friends will create these Italian dishes from antipasti, pasta, meat and dessert. Great new recipes you can entertain with over our wonderful Australian summer.

Learn to make recipes including:
* fried stuffed olives (olive ascolane)
* summer spelt salad
* tortellini filled with ricotta and walnuts
* lamb with egg, cheese and lemon
* semolina and almond cake (parozzo abruzzese)

tortelloni hand made Italy tours
hand made tortelloni


lamb with egg and cheese Italy tours
lamb with egg and cheese

Classes often fill up (small classes only ) reserve your places now.

GIFT VOUCHERS AVAILABLE ALSO –  So why not contact Luciana and her team at Touring Abruzzo now to reserve your spot?

Tour Italy with Luciana and relive your Italian memories with this great cooking class.
Contact Luciana or 07) 3102 4384.


Touring Abruzzo trip advisor is proud to announce it’s TRIP ADVISOR listing and already has many reviews.
All guests who travel with Luciana Masci and her team have had memorable experiences and are willing to share it with others. Her passion for Abruzzo is evident as well as her attention to detail and truly personalised service. Touring abruzzo italy tours trip advisor.
READ HERE to access the latest wonderful reviews now online.
Whether you visit Abruzzo Italy for a private day tour, revisit your ancestral village or come one of Luciana’s set tour departures there is something for everyone to take away in their hearts. Her local knowledge and access to an authentic Abruzzo village Italy experience …that only local can provide!
The Piaggio APE is a 3 wheeler designed in Italy in 1948. You may not know but the engineer and designer behind the much love APE was from ABRUZZO! Yes Corradino D’Ascanio hailed from Popoli, near Sulmona and he also invented the VESPA and aircraft!  So the first Ape were virtually a Vespa with 2 wheels added to the back and added a tray at the rear as well. So an affordable means of commercial transport was born. Today it is still seen around the villages and I remember my cousins in Ripa Teatina in the 1970’s using it to go to the fields and sell at the markets.
Today I see many young ones who have converted their family’s APE into a modern piece of transport.
Others have created wonderful commercial activities out of them, like food trucks.
I love the APE used as a milk van! Which one do you like? The original ones were 50 cc, 125 cc and you can get 150 cc and 175 cc as well..
Love this Ape used as a milk van!
Also to transport milk around the property!
How about as a removal service! My 15 yr old friend has found his new vocation.
Gotta love this one… pretty in pink and selling pizza with mortadella!
Here is my new 2016 brochure for your perusal. It is 4 pages filled with exciting new tour itineraries and destinations.
You will find my small group tours to ABRUZZO – are going strong and still very popular, after 12 years.
TOURING ABRUZZO is proud to work with a great team of professionals who make my work a pleasure.
* Tastes of Abruzzo 4 days of fun, food and the best of Abruzzo. A great taste!
* Back Roads of Abruzzo – 8 days on the roads less travelled in Abruzzo. Amazing and live like a local for a week!
* Grand Tour of Abruzzo 10 days of immersion in the culture, food and traditions of Abruzzo. Pure magic!

Ask Luciana for more information and see the dates from May to October this year.

Remember that travelling to Abruzzo with Luciana is an ALL INCLUSIVE experience.. There is virtually nothing further out of pocket to spend once you sign up for a tour programme.
ALL GROUPS ARE SMALL and NEVER EXCEED 12 GUESTS – usually there are less (average 4- 8 guests)
After extensive research with wonderful guides and learned archeologists, Luciana can now offer fabulous new destinations in Southern Italy:
  • PUGLIA TOURS choose a programme to suit you in this splendid part of Italy’s heel.
  • BASILICATA – the beauty of Matera and timeless atmosphere will leave you mesmerised..
  • LAZIO & CAMPANIA – follow the Appian Way from Rome to Naples and discover its treasures..


IN THIS SECTION, I will write about the glorious TASTES of ABRUZZO which can be simple and also sophisticated, tastes which vary within the region itself and tastes which reflect the passion of its people and true artisans.
Here are a couple – Antonella and Dino, the most generous people and Dino is an artisan breadmaker.
How about the taste of freshly baked focaccia filled with grilled capsicum
(peppers) with egg and cheese – ‘peperone con cace’ e ove’ ?
You will find recipes archived or file in the relevant sections.

In my first cooking class for the 2014 season in Brisbane, Australia we will explore and have fun making these Abruzzese treats – baked and fried. You will see that olive oil (especially extravirgin olive oil) is used in all cooking. Butter is not a traditional ingredient in Abruzzo, unlike the northern regions of Italy so you will see how the flavour is fabulous and not to mention the health qualities!

Here is what we will be making in our Italian Bake off class:
Sbrisolonaa ricotta crumble cake with almonds and chocolate as well as an Italian crema and sour cherry version,
Pizzelle – crispy thin traditional Italian olive oil waffles, easy to make but so impressive. We will make 2 versions, both sweet and savoury. The sweet version has liqueur as a secret ingredient and the savoury version we will use saffron or poppy seeds and pepper!
Biscotti –
 rolled with fig jam and cocoa, Luciana’s very own flavour combination…so perfect to serve with any afternoon coffee
Crespelle –
 for a festive touch to celebrate the summer season we create these scrumptious sweet fritters made with a soft dough where we can add sultanas or aniseeds and sprinkle with sugar!

PictureAldo Di Toro

I went to an Opera Queensland production in Brisbane just a few days ago to see the latest production of the  great tragedy of LA TRAVIATA by Giuseppe Verdi and guess who was playing the lead role of Alfredo alongside the main tragic character of Violetta played by the terrific Emma Pearson?
None other than Aldo Di Toro, a friend whom I have met through other musicians in Abruzzo over the years.  Aldo is a second generation Australian, like me – child of Abruzzese migrants who settled in Australia.
He hails from Western Australia where he graduated from the Western Australian Conservatorium of Music and has won several awards  from Opera Foundation Australia: the 2000 Italian Opera Award which enabled him to study at Teatro Comunale di Bologna and the 2002 AIMS Award for further study in Graz, Austria. 
Now he lives in Abruzzo in the delightful village of Sant’Eusanio, Italy which is actually only a few kilometres from where I live in Abruzzo! What a great base for him to rest up in between his hectic schedule..
I remember fondly when several years ago I assisted in arranging a concert for him in Brisbane in conjunction with 4MBS radio at Coorparoo, Brisbane where he sang alongside pianist and accompanist Roberto Rupo.
Read more about his operatic highlights and roles here in the Opera Australia site

Wishing you all the best ALDO!


Abruzzo in central Italy has a population of around 1.3 million people today. However in the late 1890’s and early 1900’s there was a huge migration of its people to North America especially to USA. It reached its peak from 1900- 1915 with a huge exodus. Sadly the migration was driven by dire poverty and uneasy political situation where the poor peasants had very few rights under the old feudal system, not enough land to live off and to feed the large families. Going to America was a dream and the thought of travelling to New York to make their fortune was enough to send at least 500,000 Abruzzese to North America. 
Other regions of Italy also saw huge numbers of migrants heading to USA and Canada in those years. The regions were from Fruili Venezia Giulia in the north of Italy to Sicily and Calabria in Italy’s south. This migration has been referred to as the Italian Diaspora.
Migration then had another peak in the post second world war period especially in the 1950’s. Here many of the Abruzzese travelled to Canada, Venezuela, Argentina, Brazil and of course Australia.
My father Sabatino  and my mother Rosa were one of these migrants with a sponsored passage to Australia. This was in 1952 for my father and in 1956 for my mother.

Luciana researching for a client in the archives of a town hall in Abruzzo
Since I started my work in Abruzzo in 2004, I have had many many requests to research for clients the ancestral heritage and genealogy of family members. After detailed research and networking and piecing together information from documents and oral history I am able to reconnect  children of Abruzzese migrants to their ancestral village.
This is particularly satisfying when my guests share this real emotional connection to their past and to their long lost family and creates memories to last a lifetime. 
Here are some of the many villages I have had requests to research and reconnect: 
Where is your family from?

Civitella del Tronto
Civitella Messer Raimondo
Fara San Martino
Morro D’Oro
Ripa Teatina
Roseto degli Abruzzi

Sant’Eufemia a Maiella
With virtually  all my guests over the years,  I find that this search and rediscovery in Abruzzo becomes the highlight of their Italian journey always wishing they had spent more time in beautiful Abruzzo. Come and discover YOUR ABRUZZO HERITAGE yourself.


In the coming weeks I will be featuring some inspiring Italo – Australians of Abruzzese origin who are doing great things….

Author of “Finding Valentino”.
I caught up with author Angela in Abruzzo a few months ago and enjoyed a lovely afternoon tea at my place. I made a sour cherry and olive oil cake and it was there that we made our definite and exciting  plans to do a joint tour in Abruzzo for 2014. We have called it  “Finding Valentino with Angela Di Sciascio”.
The 11 day journey is all set for October 5, 2014 and promises to showcase the best of Abruzzo along with places special to Angela and bring her novel to life!

“Angela Di Sciascio trained as an English language teacher and has spent over 15 years teaching in Australia and overseas. She has travelled widely, relishing the experience of being submerged in other cultures. Her passions are teaching, travelling, cooking and eating. She lives and works in regional Victoria, surrounded by family, friends and cookbooks. She loves to write about her observations and experiences.

Have a look at Angela’s blog and a her latest entry describing the wonderful local saint’s festival of SANTA REPARATA held every October and of course will be  a great highlight of her tour…

For your copy of this beautifully written book, published by Melbourne University Press, contact Angela directly on:

“Valentino Di Sciascio can no longer describe his past or his culture, and his family’s heritage may be lost to the ravages of Alzheimer’s disease. Deciding not to let his story fade, his daughter Angela travels the length and breadth of the Italian boot, absorbing the culture of her father and experiencing the chaos, beauty, style and deliciousness that is Italy today.
Basing herself with relatives in Abruzzo, she spends a year travelling around the country, discovering the language, culture and cuisine of her heritage. Meal by meal at her father’s family table and step by step through the Italian countryside, she slowly comes to understand the young Valentino who left for the new world.

RRP $29.99
Victory Books
ISBN 9780522858419


2) Masci & Co

I have a newly discovered cousin in Melbourne – Daniel Masci. Our great grandfathers were brothers and our strong family ties have linked us back to Abruzzo when Daniel visited Abruzzo on one of my tours! As soon as he rediscovered his ancestral ties to his family village of VILLAMAGNA, he
“fell in love with the culture, people, magical sites and especially the sense of pride that the Abruzzese people have for their town, country, villages and especially family and food.

The Masci family in Australia to this day continues with traditions such as homemade pasta sauce, where the family comes together to spend a day boiling tomatoes, filling jars with fresh basil and pressing the tomatoes to a beautiful Pomodori salsa (tomato sauce). Fresh pasta is always being made at Zia (Aunty) Maria’s the traditional and best way. Our products are from our family and friends in Abruzzo and we are very proud to offer what we consider some of the finest quality products from the region.
Daniel set out to create Masci & Co, an import company in Melbourne that is bringing the finest quality artisan products from the rugged region of Abruzzo, Italy to Australia. Wine from a family winery in Villamagna, Truffle products hand selected and hunted, handpicked vegetable pestos, fresh made pasta and many other products that have been selected with care from local suppliers dedicated to quality.
Daniel now imports some exclusive fabulous gourmet items from Abruzzo into Australia – items that will never be seen in any deli or shop.. Look out for:
* Abruzzo wines: Montepulciano d’Abruzzo red wine, Trebbiano and Pecorino white wine from VALLE MARTELLO winery (also another Masci family business, another cousin!)
* Pasta Maiella: great durum wheat pastas made from the finest flours and purest water from the Maiella mountains.
* Condiments: delicious wine jellies made with Montepulciano d’Abruzzo and Chardonnay grapes (to accompany the finest pecorino sheep milk cheeses)
as well as Spreads – like artichoke pate spread and broad bean spread (fabulous on warm bruschetta bread!)

NEWS from MASCI & CO: “We are really excited to finally open the shop and having a grand opening in Fitro
Saturday 1st Feb 3.00 – 5.00. we will be making some amazing pasta, have samples of all our antipasto and just having a celebrating really, we would love to see you all down here.”

Contact Daniel Masci to find out more: