Learn about the latest Italy tours lined up for 2018 with Touring Abruzzo. Read about what is hot in the New Year and the exciting new destinations to central and southern Italy. Viva La Dolce Vita!

Wishing you all a very happy and special Christmas season and thank you to all our valued guests over the years…. Grazie mille!

This next year marks Luciana’s 14th year of travel to Abruzzo, Italy and over the years has shown hundreds and hundreds of wonderful guests the beauty of this central Italian region. In the last 4 yrs, Touring Abruzzo has grown with demand and requests from many past guests and so Luciana has created exciting new Italy tour itineraries which take in areas in central and southern Italy.

Like our small group tour programmes to Puglia – the ‘heel’ of Italy in the south, as well as to ‘Basilicata’ which borders Puglia and which not many travellers know about…until now!

With these fully escorted tours and with Touring Abruzzo’s knowledgeable local guides you will certainly have a full immersion into an authentic Italian lifestyle and see little known or discovered destinations. A real treat awaits you…

The hot new and interesting destination for 2018 ready to be launched by Touring Abruzzo is to the north of Abruzzo,

LE MARCHE  – a land straddled between the beauty of the Adriatic coast and the Apennines to the west. Another central Italy region to explore and understand. Travel on the path less visited with us…

 Read more here in Touring Abruzzo’s latest newsletter 

 

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Your guide to travelling in Italy:

What is in store for you in 2018...

After another wonderful touring season in Italy covering Abruzzo, Puglia, Basilicata and Molise this year we are proud to be well and truly ready for our 14th year of travel for 2018 with Touring Abruzzo. The 2018 Italy tour programme is now out and reservations are coming in! Choose your small group boutique tour experience or custom made private tour here and read on:

ABRUZZO
ABRUZZO: Choose a 4, 8, 10 day tour or design your own custom made journey…
If you only have time for a short stay in Abruzzo, then TASTES of ABRUZZO’ is perfect.
Over 4 days you will explore the northern Abruzzo region and you will be based in a beautiful hilltop village of Civitella del Tronto. From here you can experience the pleasure of living like a local, following a truffle hunt, seeing ancient fortresses and medieval art and cook with local ladies of Abruzzo.  2018 Departures: May 28, June 3, June 17, June 19 and September 17.
* ‘BACK ROADS of ABRUZZO’ is an 8 day journey which extends on the previous tour by including more of the central Abruzzo area along the Adriatic coast and into the Apennine mountains with the Maiella National Park area.  2018 Departures: June 17 and June 19.
* ‘GRAND TOUR of ABRUZZO’ will take you through most of the Abruzzo region over 10 days and has been the most popular tour for several years. 2018 departures: June 3 and September 17
One of this year’s highlights was to see some Apennine wolves (lupus italicus) in the Parco Nazionale d’Abruzzo, Lazio e Molise. Our hiking guide Antonella took us on some gentle walks through the area and we indulged in a special al fresco banquet put together by Luciana.  This stunning photo was taken by Fabio courtesy of https://m.facebook.com/notordinarywild/

PUGLIA – Choose a 4, 8, 10 day tour (June – October) or reserve your own private tour.
These tours are lead by Fabio, a very special member of the Touring Abruzzo team. He is a great guide and equally passionate archeologist who is knowledgeable and takes great care of each guest. We pride ourselves in showing you a true and authentic Puglia, often off the main tourist paths and each tour has a special mix of history, art, culture, food and wine (of course!).
* Limited time?  Why not try our  TASTES of PUGLIA’ tour which is a short 4 daystay based in Lecce (Baroque capital of the south).  2018 Departures: June 16, June 25 and October 1. 
*BACK ROADS OF PUGLIA’ takes in central and southern Puglia from Ostuni to Lecce over
8 days.   2018 Departures: June 13 and September 28. 
TREASURES OF PUGLIA’ – is the most popular Puglia programme and covers most of the length of the region from Trani to Lecce over glorious sun filled 10 days.
2018 Departures: June 10 and September 25. One of the highlights this year in Puglia would have to be visiting some local weavers who are passing on their traditions to the next generation of women. Using ancient olive wood looms and traditional patterns they are literally weaving magic with fabulous wool and cotton rugs and scarves made of cashmere, linen or silk thread.

BASILICATA –  This undiscovered gem of Italy’s south is a must see destination. See it in 2018 as in 2019 it has been voted the European Capital of Culture and the numbers of visitors is surely set to rise…
* ‘BACK ROADS OF BASILICATA’ – offers a total experience of the region over 8 days. Stay in a restored farmhouse in northern Basilicata as well as in Matera. Explore medieval castles, taste incredible Aglianico wines, enjoy a hands on cooking class, visit amazing hilltop villages and understand the rich history from the Greeks, Arabs and Normans.
 2018 Departures: September 1 and October 17.
Ready to explore something new in Italy? Let the Touring Abruzzo team take you on another amazing journey into central Italy where the roads are far less travelled..
WE ARE READY TO ANNOUNCE OUR NEW “TASTES of LE MARCHE” tour.
Over 5 glorious days in Spring and Autumn you will be taken to the birthplace of composer Rossini, see the Miracle of the Black Madonna of Loreto, visit true artisans making piano accordions and hand made paper over the centuries. There will be time to visit local winemakers and explore the beautiful hilltop villages such as Urbino… See this part of Italy…the slow way…
                                      2018 Departures: May 23, June 21 & September 21ITALY TOURS TO REMEMBER
                      Slow down and relax on the roads less travelled in Italy..
Small group tours, personalised and professional service,
run by Luciana and her team…with passion and great local knowledge.
Join Luciana in the new 2018 Cooking Classes in Brisbane, Australia:
 February 10, March 18, April 15.
The first class will kick off with a great menu including: fried stuffed olives, summer spelt salad, tortellini filled with ricotta and walnuts, Abruzzese style lamb with egg, cheese and lemon. Dessert is a great treat as well!
Contact Luciana now on
0475 885 851 to 
book. 

Remember places are strictly limited and do fill quickly.
Visit the Touring Abruzzo
Online Shop  today to see the wonderful items from Abruzzo which are available.
Choose from a boutique range of ceramics, traditional silver jewellery, aprons, tea towels, canvas art and books…
Order online and it will be shipped to you.
THE ITALY YOU HAVE BEEN SEARCHING FOR…
www.touringabruzzo.com 
Copyright © *|2017|* *|TOURING ABRUZZO with LUCIANA P/L|*, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
*luci@touringabruzzo.com*

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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

SPOIL SOMEONE YOU LOVE WITH A GIFT VOUCHER:

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 )..so 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 luci@touringabruzzo.com or 07) 3102 4384.

OTHER CLASSES IN 2018:   MARCH 18 and APRIL 15

 

Italian Cooking Class with Luciana

“Tastes of Tuscany” Italian Cooking 

Sunday, November 19

La Dolce Vita continues with Luciana’s Italian Cooking Classes in 2017!

“TASTES of TUSCANY” Cooking Class
DATE:  SUNDAY  19 NOVEMBER, 2017
 VENUE:     Taya Kitchen 

                   Shop 18 / 254 South Pine Road, Enoggera, Brisbane

 TIME:        9.30am – 2.30pm

 COST:      $160 AUD per person

                   (repeat guests of Luciana’s classes: $140AUD)

Luciana is excited to team up with Taya in Brisbane to bring you an amazing Italian cooking day with her ‘TASTES of TUSCANY’ class.

Come and celebrate all things Italian and relive your Italian holiday as you cook up a storm in Taya Kitchen. Hosted by accomplished Italian cook Luciana Masci,  guests will experience the traditional culture of Italy’s regions of Tuscany and Abruzzo. Prepare authentic recipes passed down through generations of her family as well as other great recipes from Italy.

You will learn all the skills and secrets to make this 4 course Italian banquet.

Impress your family and friends and most of all you will have fun with food and friends!

Menu:

  • Crostini 2 ways – bread with rosemary, salt and olive oil & with mushroom, walnut and cheese
  • Pasta – master the fine details of making this delicious lasagne or ‘timballo’ using fine egg crepes and tiny meatballs 
  • Pork Fillet cooked in Honey Mead served with a Tuscan bean dish
  • Cantucci – make these fabulous almond or walnut biscotti

The Experience Includes:  Morning coffee/tea with Italian pastries.

Sit down lunch to enjoy this fine Italian banquet.

Matching Italian wines and dessert liqueur Honey Mead.

Hands‐on tuition, ingredients, recipe details, a souvenir apron.

A chance to take home some baked goodies.

COST: $160 per person (repeat guests of Luciana’s classes: $140)

LIMITED SPACES ONLY – PLACES FILL QUICKLY…
TO RESERVE YOUR PLACE:

Contact: Luciana Masci: luci@touringabruzzo.com
tel 07) 3102 4384

 
REGISTER  NOW
 
LAST CLASS BEFORE CHRISTMAS:
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 2
‘Celebrating Abruzzese Cuisine’
Venue: Holland Park
Have more fun with Luciana as you make:
* fried stuffed olives;
* summer spelt salad
* tortelloni filled with ricotta and walnuts
* lamb with egg, cheese and lemon
* Parozzo Abruzzese – semolina and almond dome cake

 

Slow food Abruzzo ItalyThe central Italian region of Abruzzo known as the country’s ‘best-kept secret’ is giving up more of treasures to its visitors this year. And culinary delights are at the top of the list.

Steeped in fascinating history and breathtaking landscapes Abruzzo is beginning to show on the radar of people looking for the quintessential Italian food and wine travel experience.

Luciana Masci, director of Touring Abruzzo is passionate about food and where it comes from and how it is prepared and has been a member of Slow Food Italy for a long while. It was founded by Carlo Petrini in 1989 as a reaction against fast food and fast life. Today the Slow Food organization has over 100,000 members in 132 countries.

Ms Masci says the culinary delights of Abruzzo are becoming a big attraction with well travelled people looking for an authentic Italian experience.

Trip to Abruzzo Italy Tour Gallery - Touring Abruzzo
Travel Italy with the Touring Abruzzo team in 2018

Read the latest E-newsletter September issue by Touring Abruzzo

 

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Your guide to travelling in Italy:

Where to go in 2018…

It has been a hot summer in Italy but it has not stopped guests from visiting Abruzzo Italy, central Italy and southern Italy. I took some time off myself earlier in the season and had an amazing time in the cities of Venice, Bologna, Modena and the Tuscany region. The 2018 Italy tour programme is now out and reservations are coming in! Choose your region here and read on:

ABRUZZO
ABRUZZO: Choose a 4, 8, 10 day tour (May – October) or design your own. 
You can now combine Abruzzo with other Italy regions.. Why not consider:
TREASURES OF THE SOUTH – Abruzzo, Basilicata and Puglia (includes Matera & Lecce) 
TREASURES  OF THE ADRIATIC – Abruzzo, Molise and Puglia (see the Tremiti Islands)
DISCOVER YOUR ABRUZZO HERITAGE – This has been a very popular Italy tour in 2017
PUGLIA – Choose a 4, 8, 10 day tour (May – October) or design your own.
*TASTES of PUGLIA – based in Lecce (Baroque capital of the south)
*BACK ROADS OF PUGLIA – central and southern Puglia Tour Italy
*TREASURES OF PUGLIA – very popular and covers most of the length of Puglia
BASILICATA– Choose a 4 or 8 day Italy tour (May – October) or design your own.
*TASTES OF BASILICATA – based in Matera (European Capital of Culture for 2019)
*BACK ROADS OF BASILICATA – offers a total experience over 8 days
Stay tuned for ‘Tastes of Molise’‘Tastes of Le Marche’ ‘Travels in Tuscany’ – run by the Touring Abruzzo team
Slow down,relax on the roads less travelled in Italy..
Small group Italy tours, personalised and professional service,
run with passion and great local knowledge…
Luciana Masci will be running a couple of Italian cooking classes in Nov & Dec in Brisbane, Australia.

Her classes (max 12 guests) are always popular so reserve your place now…
‘Tastes of Tuscany’ Class: Sunday November 19, 2017
‘Italian Christmas Banquet’ Class: Sunday December 3, 2017

www.touringabruzzo.com

Copyright © *|2017|* *|TOURING ABRUZZO with LUCIANA P/L|*, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
*luci@touringabruzzo.com*

Travel to Abruzzo and Italy and make it the best Italian vacation for 2018

 

 

As the Carnevale season approaches in the next week.. these are typical sweets made throughout Italy. Each region has a different name for them.. In Abruzzo we call them CROSTOLI, in Puglia and elsewhere they are CHIACCHIERE! Here is the recipe on this link..looking forward to making them soon with my guests in my next cooking class!
Follow this good recipe here and make your own for this coming Carnevale time:
https://culinariaitalia.wordpress.com/category/recipe/dolce-sweet/

 

chiacchiere-finished-dish2-medium_orig

Chiacchiere (photo courtesy of culinariaitalia)

 

 

dsc03326_orig

 

 

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.
 TOURS TO ABRUZZO in 2016: 
* 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)
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..
  • LAZIO & CAMPANIA – follow the Appian Way from Rome to Naples and discover its treasures..
Eggplants are  wonderful vegetables and are used a lot in Italian and also in Asian cooking. Also known as aubergine, they belong to the nightshade family of vegetables, which also includes tomatoes, sweet peppers and potatoes. 
I grow them in my garden in the Australian summer and with the subtropical climate in Brisbane it is a great plant and you have abundant crops with only one plant. 
HEALTH BENEFITS: Eggplants have a lot of fibre, potassiumvitamin C and vitamin B-6 as well as are high in antioxidants.
Here is a great Sicilian recipe below which I was given when I visited the fabulous Aeolian Islands. Give it a try it is simple and tastes fabulous. I love the balance of the sweet and the acidity and the freshness of the mint. We made this recipe in one of my Italian cooking classes earlier this year.

Picture

MELANZANE IN AGRODOLCE:   Sweet and Sour Eggplants with Mint 
This is a lovely recipe to make in summer when eggplants and mint are in abundance.
Once made keep this dish at room temperature to serve.
2 eggplants
1/2 onion
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1-2 tablespoons fresh mint leaves
  • Wash the eggplant and dice in walnut size cubes. 
  • Place in a dish and salt them generously and leave for 30 mins. This helps remove any bitterness from the eggplant (usually more so if eggplants are large or older).
  • In a non stick frypan, add the oil and the chopped onion – sautée and do not burn the onion, just sweat it down.
  • Drain the salted eggplant and pat dry with clean tea towel or absorbent towel.
  • Add the eggplant and stir until eggplant cooked and browned. 
  • In a cup add the vinegar and the sugar, stir to dissolve sugar. Pour this over the eggplant in the frypan.
  • Stir gently until the vinegar evaporates. When done, add half the mint leaves(tear them) and mix through gently.
  • Place on a dish and put the extra mint leaves on top.

VARIATIONS: You can also do this with zucchini. Slice in round slices and salt as above.

                                                                                      Buon Appetito!


Which is your favourite Italian pasta?
When you hear the word pasta you think of Italy. This simple and staple food of mixing flour with water and sometimes, eggs is something so integral to the history of Italian food.

If you think about the origins of pasta, it has been found to date back thousands of years to the times of the Etruscans, the ancient people of central Italy who predated the Romans! Archeologists have found ancient paintings in their tombs, depicting the making of the pasta, known then as lagane – which was an oven baked version of pasta rather than boiled.

With the influence of the Arab people in southern Italy especially in Sicily they brought across the knowledge of drying pasta, which was great as it could survive the long journeys and be transportable.

Today Italy’s 20 regions all boast their favourite or traditional pasta from ravioli, gnocchi, spaghetti, fettuccini and others as there are more than 300 varieties of pasta, dried (pasta secca) and fresh (pasta fresca)!

Check out an Introduction to Italian Pasta below and learn more about Italy’s most famous food!

Central & Regional Italian Pasta
When travelling to  Abruzzo you can enjoy the special 
“spaghetti alla chitarra”   which is pasta cut on a wooden frame with steel strings, so this ensures the pasta to have a square edge to it. It is simply delicious with a lamb and roast capsicum ragu’! In Puglia you cannot go past the fabulous round “orecchiette” pasta – known as ‘little ears’ or a hat shaped pasta and served with greens (like turnip greens) and some chilli.

Cooking Classes With Luciana
For those living in Brisbane and the rest of Australia why not join Luciana and cook up many traditional Italian dishes including fresh pasta, vegetable dishes, baking and pastries? The next fun class is scheduled for Saturday April 30 and is held at Moreton Bay College, Wondall Rd, Manly, Brisbane. Places are limited at this stage (maximum of 12 guests only).

Contact Luciana for more details: email luci@touringabruzzo.com or call 0475 885 851

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Home made pasta – fettuccine with sumo al pomodoro e basilico
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Fun cooking Italian together at Moreton Bay College, Manly- Brisbane, Australia

WHY NOT JOIN LUCIANA FOR THE NEXT CLASS ON SATURDAY APRIL 30?
CONTACT LUCIANA HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION


Another great group of wonderful cooks came together over the weekend to cook up a storm. Italian cooking is fun when cooking together especially when making pasta from scratch and making many other traditional dishes.
We made dishes like veal involtini filled with a parsley frittata – a recipe shown to me by by Abruzzese family. Once you fill the veal with the frittata it is rolled up and secured with a toothpick, the meat is browned then it is placed into the tomato sauce for the pasta and gently simmers there for a while. Of course the great flavours soak into the veal rolls. So you have a primo dish of pasta, then the secondo or meat dish is ready also!
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Pasta alla Norma – a great dish from Sicily.
The pasta sauce we made was an eggplant, tomato and basil with ricotta – a great traditional Sicilian dish from the town of Catania. They call it Pasta alla Norma – as legend says that the composer Vincenzo Bellini ordered this dish often and so it was named after his great opera ‘Norma’. 
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Brutti ma Buoni – hazelnut meringues
Here is a biscuit I love to make – these are delicious Hazelnut Meringues, known as Brutti ma Buoni (‘Ugly but Good’!).
They do not look ugly to me, but taste sublime. They originate from the north of Italy from the 1800’s, some say from Lombardia region and others say from the Piemonte region as there are many hazelnuts found there.
Why not try them yourselves? Quite simple to make using basically 3 ingredients! 
BRUTTI MA BUONI – Makes about 20 biscuits
75 gr (2.65 oz) egg whites (about 3 eggs)
150 gr (5.0 oz) roasted ground coarsely hazelnuts
140 gr (about 5oz) (or less) caster sugar
vanilla bean scraped or paste

* Preheat oven 150 deg.
* In a bowl, whisk the egg whites with about half the sugar to form stiff meringue, add the vanilla.
* Blend the other half of the sugar with the whole hazelnuts.
* Place the meringue mixture and add the hazelnuts into a saucepan and stir until the mixture starts to thicken (about 10 mins or so). You will need to stir as it will stick. 
* Remove from heat and cool. Place spoonfuls of mixture onto tray lined with baking paper.
* Bake for at least 15-20 mins until golden brown.
VARIATION – add 2 tbsp dark cocoa to the meringue mix to make chocolate hazelnut biscuits, a great combination.

ENJOY!