The Abruzzo, Puglia & Matera experience

10 days guided small group tour

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The Abruzzo, Puglia & Matera experience

10 days guided small group tour

Join a small group and be able to embrace a deep cultural history of food, wine, art and living la vita dolce. 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.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.

Itinerary

Day 1: Rome
Meeting at Rome Fiumicino airport at 14:30, 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: Confetti Museum, exploring Sulmona’s historic center and wine tasting class
After a leisurely traditional breakfast of freshly baked bread, country-style fruit preserves, cakes, pastries,coffee, tea and freshly squeezed juices. 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 confectionery 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.In the afternoon after some free time for lunch at your leisure to explore Sulmona at your own pace for shopping and meeting local artisans, 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 specialities (T, B, D)

Day 3: Amazing Abruzzo mountains landscapes, Scanno and Vasto on the Adriatic Coast
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 in a traditional restaurant in Scanno. Transfer to Vasto, check in at Hotel San Marco in the historical downtown. 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. Dinner in a traditional restaurant in the heart of Vasto. (B, L, D)

Day 4: A visit to market, cooking pasta with Mamma and free time
After a visit to Vasto’s colorful weekly market to get seasonal products, we’ll have an exclusive cooking class with a housewife in her house and we’ll learn how easy fresh pasta is to make and be introduced to her favourite seasonal sauces. A sample 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. Free time and dinner at your leisure (B, C, L)

Day: 5 Exploring Punta Aderci Nature Reserve, fish cookery demonstration on a trabocco fishing house and art experience.
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 (B, L, D)

Day 6: Welcome to Puglia, exploring Trani and the UNESCO site of Castel del Monte
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 Trani. Guided tour of Castel del Monte: a UNESCO protected site and a symbol of Puglia. Transfer 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). Guided walking tour in Conversano: ancient town with its medieval Castle and Romanesque cathedral. Dinner at Hotel Corte Altavilla (B, D)

Day 7: Exploring Polignano a mare, cooking class in a masseria and the UNESCO site Trulli of Alberobello
Guided tour of of Polignano a mare and its wonderful sea. Transfer 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. Guided tour of the UNESCO site of Alberobello: walk among the trulli, visit to the trullo “sovrano”and its museum. Free time and dinner at your leisure (B, C, L)

Day 8: Exploring Bari and Gioia del Colle Castle, olive oil, mozzarella and wine-tasting
Guided tour of Bari: San Nicola’s church, Frederick II’s castle and the city center.Visit a small olive oil mill in the country side of Gioia del Colle where we’ll have an extra virgin olive oil tasting. Guided tour of a family-run winery and light lunch with tasting of the wines and the famous mozzarella cheese of Gioia del Colle. Guided tour of Federick II’s castle in Gioia del Colle (one of the best kept and preserved castle in all Puglia). Free time and dinner at your leisure (B, T, T, L)

Day 9: Focaccia tasting, Matera and its UNESCO’s site and farewell dinner
Focaccia tasting in a very old bakery with a wood burning oven in Altamura, town famous for its DOP bread. Guided tour of spectacular Matera and its Unesco’s site “the Sassi” (cave houses and rocky churches where time seems to stop). Free time for lunch and explore the city on your own. Farewell dinner at the restaurant of the hotel (B, T, D)

Day 10: Departure and goodbye
After breakfast (normally at 09:00) departure for Bari airport or your next destination (45 minutes driving from Hotel to Bari airport and 40 minutes to Bari train station)

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

Hightlights and Technical Information
Highlights
  • 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 centers
  • Small groups up to 16 people
Technical information:

Tours in English guaranteed with a minimum of 2 people to a maximum of 16 people

Payment : deposit of 1000 per person within 7 days of confirmation and balance 60 days before departing from Australia

Dates, Inclusions, Cost , Supplements

Departure dates 2018:   3 October

Departure dates 2019: 3 April and 2 October

Duration:   10 days / 9 nights

Price per person (min 2 people twin share): A$3900 per person

What is included:
  • 2 nights in Sulmona at Hotel Ovidius,
  • 3 nights in Vasto at Hotel San Marco
  • 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
Not included:
  • Flights
  • Arrival and Departure transfers
  • Other meals and drinks
  • Hotel tourist taxes (where required)
  • Insurance and everything not listed as “Included”
Additional Supplements:

Cost per person

  • single room supplement A$330
  • extra nights PRE TOUR on request
  • extra nights POST TOUR on request
Accommodation and Meals

Hotels & B&Bs in the Historic Centre, by the Sea, by the mountains or a simple farmhouse
A select choice of Vasto hotels, B&Bs and agriturismi (farmhouses) are offered by Italia Sweet Italia to our guests whilst on vacation in this unique part of central Italy. What they all have in common is that they are family run, provide a high standard of service, are meticulously clean and are equipped with modern conveniences and free wi-fi

Hotel San Marco***recently renovated, is the perfect setting for your stay in Vasto. In their practical and elegant ambiance, you can relax with all the modern comforts and in absolute tranquillity.

Upgraded charming boutique accommodations: With an extra price you could sleep in boutique residences located in the heart of Vasto (each has beautiful en-suite rooms,  free WiFi, TV, minibar, safe, hairdryer, air conditioning, and more):

Residenza Amblinghan 18th-century mansion with 4 bedrooms, located on the Amblingh promenade overlooking the Adriatic Sea, 2 minutes walking from Vasto main square

La Dimora di Histona fascinating and small B&B (with just 2 bedrooms) set in the 15th century Castello Caldoresco in the main square of Vasto

C’è posto per te, a charming and beautiful B&B with 4 bedrooms, 2 minutes walking from Vasto main square

Price from: A$3,900

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