Miriam and Peter from Brisbane, Australia have responded:
1. Why did you choose Abruzzo?
Abruzzo, across the mountains from Rome, was our choice after research had shown us that it was historically interesting and not overcrowded with visitors. The limit of 12 people in the tour group was also very attractive.
A major high was the personal attention and care of our guide, Luciana. She spoke the local dialect and had found some authentic and wonderful places to stay and to feast! The scenery was also a highlight, with walks and drives in rugged national parks and charming coastal stops with great seafood.
3. What advice would you give to others thinking of visiting Italy?
Visit Abruzzo with Luciana. Do not be put off by what seems to be an expensive trip. All accommodation, all visits to places of interest, all transport and the guiding and all meals including local wine were included in the cost. The only extra money we spent was on jewellery, pottery, or other items which took our fancy.
We absolutely loved the freshness of the food, the authentic Italian cooking with Abruzzese accents! A leisurely four course lunch (after a visit to a boutique cheese factory) lingered until 4 pm, after which we returned to a wonderful farmhouse lodging to rest or swim, before adjourning to a bar in the local village for aperitifs and antipasti.
We had a scenic trip across the mountains to Rome, where we stayed on for a week. Other people trained to Venice. We loved just walking from amazing ruin to another ruin and popping into churches and letting the beauty of Rome unfold. From Abruzzo it is not difficult to travel to other parts of Italy and Europe, especially by train to the north to Bologna and on and then south to Puglia.