Hosted by accomplished cook Luciana Masci, you will experience the traditional culture of Italy’s central region of Abruzzo and southern Italy. Working closely with Luciana, you will prepare authentic recipes passed down through the generations of her family and her Italian friends.
Create an Italian banquet from ANTIPASTI, PASTA and delicious DOLCE.
Date: Sunday, April 11, 2021 Time: 9.30 am – 2.30/3.00 pm Venue: Holland Park West Cost:$135 per person (limited places)
ANTIPASTI:Selection of various antipasti –
* grilled zucchini with goat’s cheese and tomatoes
* stuffed vegetables (zucchini and capsicum) PRIMO:Spaghetti al limone DOLCE:Torta di Ricotta
Luciana, who is passionate about Italian cuisine and culture has taught authentic Italian cooking for many years in Brisbane and also as part of her small group boutique tours to Abruzzo and southern Italy.
Luciana’s Italian cooking classes fill quickly, so book now to be part of this special event.
The menu is vegetarian and contains gluten and dairy.
We will be using wonderful fresh ingredients and working with goats cheese, mascarpone and fresh ricotta. We will be enjoying Italian wines which will complement the menu.
The experience includes – welcome coffee, sit down lunch of food we have cooked together served with Italian wine, hands-on tuition, ingredients, recipe details, a Touring Abruzzo apron* and the opportunity to savour your own authentic Italian creations.
(*Return guests, please bring your Touring Abruzzo apron)
It is difficult and frustrating to know that in Australia we cannot travel anywhere outside our country for now. Italy seems so distant but the memories and feelings and sensations are so clear and vivid to me. Here is a little list of what I truly love and miss. I cannot wait to return to my land and my people once more…
The sound of church bells.
Since medieval times,bells have always had a place in the cultural life of Italy.
They are a call to arms, a call for war, they can be the sound of happiness for weddings, the slow peal for funerals…
In my village of Palombaro I love the daily sound of our church bell either from the church of San Salvatore or from the Madonna dell’Assunta.
I would hear the bells ringing on the quarter hour and the half hour and on the hour.. It gave my day some regularity and sense of calmness.
On Sunday the bells would sound for longer and call the villagers for the 11.00 am mass.
It is a joyous sound!
My village bell tower in Palombaro
2) The smiles and faces of my family and friends.
Of course I miss my immediate family there – my cousins and my aunty in Palombaro, Chieti, Ripa Teatina and Villamagna.
I long to see my old friend Dora who is now over 80. She gets around the village and is always busy doing something… from picking walnuts off her trees and selling them to local bakeries to use in their baking to growing the best tomatoes outside her apartment on her balcony. She is always ready with her large smile and always keen to get me in for a mid morning caffe!
I wish I could be near my darling cousin Loredana who loves our weekly shopping trips and in the right season we go foraging for wild asparagus for example which is in the springtime. She calls me up and says to pop around and make pasta with her and stay on for dinner… no formal invitation needed.I walk from one end of the village where I am and in 5 mins I am outside her door!
My many friends I have met over the years bring me much joy with their warmth and kindness and always ready to help me out or meet me for a gelato!
3) The smell of coffee and cornetto!
You may be shocked to hear that I don’t drink coffee! However the smell is so wonderful and as soon as I arrive in Rome my senses are stirred up when I smell the Lavazza or Illy coffee from the cafe-bar and the baked cornetti or Italian croissants (which are like a brioche). I know I have arrived back in Italy.
Every village has at least one bar and the sound of the coffee machine and clinking of the espresso coffee cups…aah(I drink green tea and now decaf coffee by the way!)
Of course I do! My wardrobe is mainly from my Italian finds – the lovely pants and dresses and the great shoes and handbags… Oh I do miss that. It is fun going to the sales with my cousin Loredana and we find things for each other. We try dresses on and have a laugh.
Even the mundane grocery shop we do together is fun as we chat and giggle all the way. We find new items to try and exchange recipes for the night’s dinner.
Weekly shopping trip with cousin Loredana
5) The Tomatoes and the Olive Oil!
I think many of you will agree on this one! Those of you who remember staying at Loreto Aprutino at the agriturismo and nonna Olga would come out with a plate of bread with home grown sun ripened tomatoes with some dried oregano, a sprinkle of salt and lashings of their extravirgin olive oil.. Oh I can taste that sweetness now and flesh so meaty and it tastes like a real tomato. Do you remember that?
What are your top five things you miss or love about Italy?
Here we go, the ABRUZZO online shop is alive and well.
Click here and see the special collection curated by Luciana and available now to ship worldwide. The online shop is on the website: www.touringabruzzo.com and go to SHOP on the menu bar. Happy browsing! Which items do you like?
You can start by admiring the fabulous array of ‘presentosa’ pendants which are made by hand, only in Abruzzo by wonderful artisans working with filigree gold and silver.
There are many sizes to look at – small, medium, large and extra large pendants are available and Luciana can shop worldwide. You can choose your silver or gold filigree pendant.
Ask Luciana for USA prices and for shipping as it may not show up on the site (sorry!). The price may be listed in Australian Dollars (AUD), so please ask for clarification.
Or you may like to shop our range of fine ceramics made in Pescara and available online here. They make perfect gifts for anniversaries, birthdays and Christmas! They are beautifully packaged as well to arrive all the way to your door! There are several varieties of designs from the presentosa motif again to the rose window of Atri cathedral, to the fun ladies of Scanno wearing their traditional Abruzzo costume.
Or how about this wonderful memoir written by Sabatino Masci (Luciana’s father) who at age 80 wrote his story of his life and hardships in Abruzzo as a child, surviving the second World War and deciding at age 19 to leave his beloved Abruzzo for distant lands….like Australia. It is an easy to read account of his journey which he named “A Difficult Harvest”. The font is large enough and an easy read. There are many stories my father has told all of his children yet each time I read it there are new tales and old memories which come back to me… A great read and it makes an ideal gift for those who love reading and love non fiction.
The book is in the process of being an e-book as well, which is very exciting. Ask Luciana more.
A perfect memory of your recent Italy tour and Abruzzo tour you may have done with us at Touring Abruzzo. You can relive it each day with these gorgeous items.
Luciana is celebrating 16 years of leading boutique and bespoke tours to Abruzzoin central Italy. Over the years, Luciana has added several other regions in southern Italy to provide more travel choices for guests.
2020 will see Luciana and her team launch 2 new regions – Sardinia & Molise! A big thank you must go out to the many guests who have supported Touring Abruzzo and loved travelling with the team. Grazie a tutti.
ABRUZZO – still has so much to offer!
From Private Day Tours, Retracing your Ancestral Heritage in Abruzzo, to 4 day / 8 day / 10 day fully escorted tours – Luciana always shares her love for her ancestral land and creates a true Italian experience.
NEW TOUR: SARDINIA 2020
We are super excited to release our new tour: BACK ROADS OF SARDINIA (8 days) – September 3-10, 2020
This is a guaranteed departure with small group only. Be prepared to be immersed in the rich history and culture of Sardinia, see amazing artisans at work and enjoy local regional food.
We will travel from Cagliari then west and north of Sardinia to Alghero and end in Olbia.
Luciana has teamed up with Fabio again (Puglia & Basilicata tours) and they will lead the inaugural tour to bring you the signature Touring Abruzzo style and attention to detail!
MOLISE region launching in 2020! ‘TASTES of MOLISE’ tour: 4 days This region is directly below Abruzzo and shares much of its culture and history with Abruzzo until it separated in the early 1960’s and became its own region. We will be based in Termoli on the Adriatic coastline and explore the eastern part of Molise .
When we receive a request to start heritage and genealogy research in Abruzzoit is always a pleasure. There is much excitement as to what will be uncovered – dates of birth, death or marriage.
But not just that sometimes there are mysteries solved or reasons why people left Abruzzo to search fortunes and a better life in USA or Australia or Canada.
The icing on the cake is when we do manage to find living relatives. That is such a positive and it makes all the difference to reconnecting guests with their village, their region, their past and also their future. Often guests supply us with an address or a contact name and number which was handed down from past migrants going back to the homeland in the 1960’s, 70’s and 80’s …not knowing if these contacts are still valid or not.
It starts with locating the village in Abruzzo
The process is not an easy one as for each guest that has requested prior heritage research in Abruzzo we do take it seriously. There is an extensive on site field visit to the Abruzzese village. Not only are the archives located in the town hall but also we seek to find the ancestral house, or an address from where the family left back in the 1890’s to the early 1900’s. Then we visit the cemetery, the church and any other notable places in the village.
On the day itself, the hard work pays off and the magic unfolds. From start to finish it is an amazing experience both for us at Touring Abruzzo and for the guests. To see the smiles on their faces, the wonderment the awe and the happiness is really priceless.
We hear many stories of people having gone to their village independently and not finding a thing or arriving only to find the town hall closed or the mayor unavailable or disinterested. They are unable to connect in a meaningful way, speak no Italian or the local dialect or know how to meet the right people who will open up the right doors. In a small village it is vital to speak to a person who leads you to another, from the village priest to the town baker – all of whom are vital in piecing together a story and history for the guests who are coming to revisit their ancestral village.
The Italian family still in the village is equally amazed and excited as well – they have often heard stories of their grandparents and their siblings going to overseas to the States and often returning with money made over there. Some would remain in Abruzzo then other family members would join those still in America. It really makes their dreams come true, which is so special.
If you want to contact us to learn how you can be part of something grand and bigger and more meaningful in searching for your ancestral village in Abruzzo, Italy then ask us more here. We can assist in all stages of your planning, to your arrival as well as seeing more and experiencing more of what Abruzzo has to offer with some special private day tours in Abruzzoto complete your Italy tours and vacations,which can be added on when you visit Abruzzo with us.
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!
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 Italy– 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.
Ask Luciana for more information and see the dates from May to October this year.
Remember that travelling to Abruzzo Italy 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)
CHOOSE OTHER DESTINATIONS IN SOUTHERN ITALY –
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..
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?
Chieti Civitella del Tronto
Civitella Messer Raimondo
Fara San Martino Furci
Introdacqua Morro D’Oro Ortucchio
Roseto degli Abruzzi Sant’Eufemia a Maiella Sulmona Tufillo Villamagna..
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.
Read all about Sabatino Masci’s memoir,
“A Difficult Harvest” published in August 2013. My father has written a wonderful and inspiring book about his adventurous life in Abruzzo, where he was born. Read more here…