2018 The Abruzzo, Puglia & Matera Experience

2018 The Abruzzo, Puglia & Matera Experience

    The Abruzzo, Puglia & Matera Experience              small group tour – up to 16 participants

    10 days / 9  nights, staying in Sulmona

    2017 depart: 11 October

    2018 depart: 11 April & 3 October

    Join us for a 10-day unique escorted tour to visit 3 of the most stunning Italian regions: Abruzzo with its charming mountain villages, 3 National Parks and the fascinating trabocchi (special fishing machines symbol of the area), Puglia with its UNESCO sites, castles, beautiful medieval towns and coastal villages, and Basilicata with the enchanting Matera, elected European capital of Culture for 2019. You will be part of a small group of people and will be able to embrace a deep cultural history of food, wine, art and living la vita dolce.

    The main highlight of this tour is the chance to discover and experience different cultures that have in common the human hospitality of local people, great food and wine traditions.



    Visit 3 UNESCO World Heritage sites

    Wine, olive oil,  confetti, focaccia and mozzarella cheese tastings

    Authenticity and natural hospitality of the Abruzzo and Puglia people

    2 Hands on cooking classes with local women

    Fishing demonstration on a trabocco fishing hut

    1 Art experience with a local artist

    9 nights’ accommodation in 3 historic town centres

    Small groups up to 16 people

    * B= Breakfast | L=Lunch | D=Dinner | T=Tasting | C=Cooking Lesson



Day 1 Rome-Abruzzo

14.30 Rome Fiumicino airport pick up and transfer to Sulmona, the town of the Roman poet Ovid, the most illustrious son of Sulmona. Check in, relax and welcome dinner at Hotel Ovidius in the heart of Sulmona D

Day 2 Sulmona

In the morning, enjoy a leisurely traditional breakfast of freshly baked bread, whole fruit country-style preserves, cake, pastries, coffee, tea and freshly squeezed juice. Visit of the Confetti (sugar-coated almonds) Museum, where you can see a wide display of old-fashioned confectionery machines and equipment, memorabilia and precious, rare objects relating to the ancient Sulmonese art of confectionary. After a confetti tasting, we’ll discover Sulmona and see the Roman aqueduct on Piazza Garibaldi and the Church of Santa Maria Annunziata with its majestic bell tower. After some free time for lunch, you can explore Sulmona at your own pace. In late afternoon, we’ll have a wine tasting class with a professional sommelier for a couple of hours in the centre of Sulmona and learn all about Abruzzo wines. You’ll taste try 3 different wines from local vineyards, with pairings from local cheeses, salami and other specialties. TBD

Day 3 Sulmona-San Domenico-Scanno-Vasto

After check out, we’ll drive across the wonderful Abruzzo Mountains and National Parks to the ancient Roman town of Vasto on the Adriatic Coast, where you will be staying for the next 3 nights. On the way to Vasto, we’ll visit the enchanting Hermitage of San Domenico in Villalago and the village of Scanno (one of the most beautiful villages of Italy) on the mountains. Lunch will be served in a traditional restaurant in Scanno. Then, you will be transfer red to Vasto, check in at the Hotel San Marco in the historical downtown (or similar accommodation). After a short break, we’ll go on a guided visit of Vasto’s historic center. We’ll explore Loggia Amblingh, a promenade overlooking the fascinating crescent-shaped coastline, the old town with its medieval Castle, charming lanes, a tower, the Cathedral and Piazza Rossetti, dedicated to Gabriele Rossetti, a poet from the town and father of Dante Gabriel Rossetti, who founded the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. In the evening, enjoy dinner in a traditional restaurant in the heart of Vasto. BLD

Day 4 Vasto

In the morning, we will visit to Vasto’s colourful weekly market to get seasonal products for the cooking class with a housewife in her house. We’ll learn how easy fresh pasta is to make and be introduced to her favourite seasonal sauces. A typical menu includes: Pasta alla chitarra (made using a guitar strings shape utensil) with meat sauce, polpette (meatballs), and Tarallucci olio e vino (typical biscuits from Abruzzo). Lunch will consist of the scrumptious dishes that have been prepared in the morning. Then, you will have some time at leisure. Tonight, you may experience dinner in one of the many restaurants of Vasto. BCL

Day 5 Vasto-Punta Aderci Nature Reserve-Lentella at Ettore’s

After breakfast, we’ll explore the Abruzzo coast line. After a short and easy walk inside Punta Aderci Nature Reserve, one of the 10 most beautiful Italian beaches according to the British daily The Telegraph, we’ll have a fish cooking demonstration on a Trabocco fishing house (the symbol of the area) where we’ll have a unique seafood lunch. After lunch, Rinaldo, our host, will show us how to fish from the trabocco and reveal the secrets and history behind Abruzzo’s unique fishing platforms that have been featured in the BBC TV show: Escape to the Continent. After a short break at the hotel, we’ll drive to the little hilltop village of Lentella at Ettore’s “Fattoria d’Arte”(Art farm). Surrounded by an amazing landscape with sea, mountains, hills, small towns and sea views, we’ll have an artistic experience with Ettore where you may create your personal postcards or a little sculpture. In the evening, we’ll have an aperitif and dinner with Ettore. If we’re lucky we could help Ettore’s wife make risotto with truffle that grow in Ettore’s land. BLD

Day 6 Vasto-Trani- Castel del Monte –Conversano (Puglia)

After check out, we’ll move to Puglia where we’ll have a guided visit of the beautiful town of Trani: the little fishing port, the Church of the Templar Knights, the historical quarter. Free time and lunch on your own in one of the many restaurants of Trani. Guided tour of Castel del Monte: a UNESCO protected site and a symbol of Puglia. Then, we continue to Conversano and check in at Hotel Corte Altavilla in the historical downtown (possibility to have a SPA experience in their wellness center to book in advance) We will go on a guided walking tour in Conversano: ancient town with its medieval Castle and Romanesque cathedral. Dinner will be served at the Hotel Corte Altavilla. BD

Day 7 Polignano a Mare-Alberobello

We will start the day by a guided tour of Polignano a mare and its wonderful sea, Then, we will head to an ancient masseria (typical Apulian farmhouse) in Monopoli and cooking class with traditional recipes. Lunch will consist of the scrumptious dishes that have been prepared in the morning. In the afternoon, we will go on a guided tour of the UNESCO site of Alberobello: walk among the trulli, visit to the trullo “sovrano”and its museum. Enjoy some free time and dinner will be at your leisure in the evening.. BCL

Day 8 Bari and Gioia del Colle Castle

In the morning, discover Bari through a guided tour: San Nicola’s church, Frederick II’s castle and the city centre. Visit a small olive oil mill in the country side of Gioia del Colle where we’ll have an extra virgin olive oil tasting. Then, we will go on a guided tour of a family-run winery and light lunch with tasting of the wines and the famous mozzarella cheese of Gioia del Colle. In the afternoon, we continue with a guided tour of Federick II’s castle in Gioia del Colle (one of the best kept and preserved castle in all Puglia) The remaining of the day is at leisure. BTTL

Day 9 Matera-Sassi

Start the day by a Focaccia tasting in a very old bakery with a wood burning oven in Altamura, town famous for its DOP bread. Then, continue by a guided tour of spectacular Matera and its Unesco site “the Sassi” (cave houses and rocky churches where time seems to stop). Enjoy the afternoon at leisure to explore the town before the Farewell dinner at the restaurant of the hotel. BTD

Day 10 Matera Departure

After breakfast, depart (normally at 09:00) for Bari airport or your next destination (45 minutes driving from Hotel to Bari airport and 40 minutes to Bari train station). Your tour comes to an end upon arrival. B

Inclusions: 2 nights in Sulmona at Hotel Ovidius, 3 nights in Vasto at Hotel San Marco and 4 nights in Conversano at Hotel Corte Altavilla, breakfast buffet daily, 12 meals (food, water & house wine) in selected restaurants, farmhouses or wineries based on traditional regional dishes; guided tastings of wines, confetti, olive oil, mozzarella cheese and bread and visits to the producers; 2 Hands-on cooking classes and associated food costs; 1 Wine tasting class with a professional sommelier, personalized cooking booklet and apron, daily trips, excursions and guided tours; all transport for daily trips and excursions in an air conditioned bus; pick up in Rome Fiumicino airport and drop off in Bari airport in an air conditioned bus, all entry fees for castles and museums; art experience with a local artist, English-speaking professional tour directors and licensed local guides as per itinerary; all taxes.

Exclusions: Airfares, snacks/drinks between meals, or any meals not listed on the itinerary, travel insurance , drinks not listed in the itinerary (an extra bottle of wine, for example), the cost of additional excursions or activities.

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