Tour description

ABRUZZO SMALL GROUP TOUR

Puglia is the “heel”of the Italian boot,the Gargano Peninsula is its”spur”and Abruzzo form the”ankle”.Hugging the southeastern seaboard of Italy and looking towards the Balkans,the mountainous region of Abruzzo differ considerably from Puglia,the richest of the two.From the dramatic Alpine peaks of thne Gran Sasso to the wild wolves in the national parks;from craggy medieval hill towns to the sandy Adriatic coastline and Slow Food -Abruzzo offers everything an Italophile could wish for.For years the region’s wild beauty was hidden from thne world by the Appennines.Abruzzo is a region that is almost two-thirds mountainous parkland-ideal for hiking,horse riding or, in winter,skiing on the Grand Sasso or Maiella ranges.Gourmands will delight in Abruzzo’s outstanding restaurants,and superb local wines like Montepulciano d’Abruzzo and Trebbiano.

Nature’s colors are bold in Puglia, and man-made shapes are simple – with chunky, cubic houses and conical-roofed cottages dotting the countryside. Its extensive coastline bears the marks of many conquering invaders:the Normans, the Spanish, the Turks, the Swabians and the Greeks.The regions to be explored are also rich in their own culinary and folkloric traditions and we take time not only to explore grand palaces and mighty castles but also learn about the local people as we visit their picturesque villages and view their traditional homes. We taste the local produce, sample the local wine and enjoy a display of the local traditional folklore.

This truly unique and very special tour is not to be missed!!

Read what our friends say about the abruzzo small group tour

ABRUZZO SMALL GROUP TOUR: TOUR HIGHLIGHTS & INCLUSIONS: 8 DAYS/7 NIGHTS
  • Guaranteed departures small group travel: intimate, small, friendly group limited to 12/14 participants only!
  • More than 10 included sightseeing tours & cultural experiences
  • Hadrian’s Villa is a UNESCO World Heritage Site comprising the ruins and archaeological remains of a large villa complex built c. AD 120 by Roman Emperor Hadrian at Tivoli outside Rome
  • Tour of the scenic town of SULMONA,birthplace of Ovid and renowned for its sugar almonds
  • THE GARGANO PROMONTORY-The spur of Italy’s boot has the pretty white washed towns
  • Marvelling at the sanctuary of MONTE SANT’ANGELO where the Archangel Michael is believed to have appeared to the bishop of nearby Sipontum in 493 and is now an important pilgrimage site
  • Visit the coastal town founded by the Slavs,PESCHICI with its narrow streets
  • Try the ruby-red signature wine MONTEPULCIANO D’ABRUZZO
  • Fall in love with the ABRUZZESE CUISINE
  • Visit the marvels of the medieval town of SCANNO
  • Dine in traditional restaurants and taste authentic REGIONAL CUISINE
  • Prepare homemade pasta with an Italian MAMMA in PACENTRO
  • Visit Abruzzo’s acclaimed extra virgin olive oil and wine makers
  • ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM in CHIETI
  • Discover the fascinating UNESCO TRABOCCHI COAST-View curious fishing wharves along the Adriatic coastline
  • Visit popular UNESCO World Heritage Sites
  • Exceptional Secret Italia tour manager
  • Transportation on tour, via private air-conditioned luxury 8 or 20 seats motorcoach
  • Transfers while overseas, baggage transfers & porterage are included
  • Included gratuity for city guides only
  • Hotel city tax is included
  • Entrances to archaeological sites are included
  • No hidden extras
  • Our divine included meals: All breakfasts, 3 foodie experiences,3 lunches, 4 dinners (main meals include regional wine, mineral water, espresso coffee or tea only)
  • The tour begins on Day 1 in Rome train station at 10.00 with a drive to Sulmona and end with morning 3hrs group transfer to Bari airport and train station on Day 8
  • Activity level: Good/Moderate
  • Terms & conditions/Single supplement: (View here) & FAQ (View here)
  • Trip interruption & cancellation insurance is not included. We highly recommend Travelex-indurance.com to protect your vacation
  • Purchase of European Travel & Health Insurance is strongly recommended
OUR UNIQUE ACCOMMODATIONS
DAY-BY-DAY TOUR ITINERARY

 

ABRUZZO,SULMONA & THE GARGANO TRAVEL ITINERARY

8 DAYS SMALL GROUP TOUR FROM ROME TO BARI

Day 1: ABRUZZO-A REGION WHERE THE WONDERS OF NATURE RULE SUPREME

We meet in ROME railway station at 10.00 for a scenic drive to ABRUZZO region,stopping in the nearby hills to learn about the Roman Emperor Hadrian, at the ruins of his monumental villa at TIVOLI. An enthusiastic traveler and builder, his lasting legacy includes his great wall across Britain, the domed Pantheon, and his stylish beard.After lunch on your own and a visit to the HADRIAN’S VILLA, a UNESCO World Heritage, we’ll drive up and over the Apennine spine of Italy, and on to the shores of the Adriatic Sea.Spend the first four nights of your Abruzzo experience at the central boutique hotel “SANTACROCE OVIDIUS” or similar,located near the Cathedral of the enchanting town of SULMONA.In the evening we meet up for an Aperitivo at a local bar.Watch and enjoy the passeggiata.Dinner is included this evening in a local tavern where you’ll feel like one of the family.Overnight stay in SULMONA

Day 2: BACKROAD SULMONA & COOKERY LESSON

Situated at the foot of the Maiella Mountains,between two national parks,SULMONA is renowned for its confetti (crunchy sugar-coated almonds) and its master goldsmiths.The central square is one of the region’s most picturesque,framed by a stunning medieval aqueduct. Sulmona is filled with ancient buildings,such as the Palazzo dell’Annunziata,which combines Gothic and Renaissance styles.The Museo Civico holds a collection of local antiquities,costumes and paintings. In the morning, we take a private tour around the ancient town of SULMONA famous as the home of both Ovid with our locally born guide to have the key sights explained to us.The tour includes a visit to the Medieval aqueduct in Piazza Garibaldi and the Church of Santa Maria Annunziata with its stunning bell tower. Continue to the charming village of PACENTRO for an exclusive COOKING CLASS with our friend Giuliana to learn how to make fresh pasta and other Abruzzo specialty.The evening is all yours to head to the old town for a meal or taking in the atmosphere of LA DOLCE VITA !!!Overnight stay in SULMONA

Day 3: ABRUZZO MOUNTAINS: MEDIEVAL SCANNO, CHEESE MAKING EXPERIENCE & THE CONFETTI MUSEUM

Today’s tour takes you drive across the outstanding Abruzzo Mountains and National Parks to the well-kept medieval hill-town of SCANNO located on a rocky spur by a clear mountain lake.Scanno retains a medieval feel with its narrow alleys,courtyards and Renaissance churches, the most important of which Santa Maria della Valle.The medieval fountain Fontana Sarrocco with its Romanesque arches has become one of the town’s symbols.Artisans still practise crafts such as lacemaking in styles particular to Abruzzo.On the way to Scanno we visit the hermitage of San Domenico on Lago di San Domenico and the Church of the Madonna of lake Scanno.Continue to the charming village of ANVERSA DEGLI ABRUZZI for an exclusive educational experience with a real local cheesemaker, making cheese and learning all the secrets of this ancient shepherds’ art in the Abruzzo region.As a conclusion of the day, we shall be visiting the CONFETTI MUSEUM which displays an assortment of antique sweet-making machines and a sixteenth-century laboratory,complete of all manner of mills,toasters and polishing machines.Dinner is included this evening in a local wine bar.Overnight stay in SULMONA

Day 4: ARCHEOLOGICAL MUSEUM OF CHIETI, WINERY EXPERIENCE & RURAL PESCOCOSTANZO

Our day starts with a drive to the nearby city of CHIETI for a visit to the interesting MUSEO ARCHEOLOGICO.Among the most important finds exhibited in this museum there are certainly the Capestrano warrior, the colossal marble statue of Hercules from the archaeological site of Alba Fucens, some funerary beds in bronze and bone and the bronze statuette depicting Hercules at rest, from the school of the Greek sculptor Lysippus.When it comes to wine, Abruzzo is known for its MONTEPULCIANO D’ABRUZZO and today we venture out to visit a family-run WINERY with an included home-hosted lunch.Following this, drive to the enchanting town of PESCOCOSTANZO, a true artistic and architectural gem of the Maiella National Park, situated at 1395 meters above sea level.Surrounded by lush highland meadows, Pescocostanzo is a characteristic hilltop town whose historical core has changed little in over 500 years.Return to Sulmona for dinner on your own this evening in one of the local restaurants.Overnight stay in SULMONA

Day 5: UNESCO TRABOCCHI COAST,ABBEY OF S.GIOVANNI IN VENERE & THE ROMAN TOWN OF VASTO

Today, we transfer you to the GARGANO promontory, forming the spur of Italy’s boot, a striking contrast to the Adriatic’s flatter coastline.This is a land of whitewashed coastal towns,wide sandy beaches interspersed with secluded coves,and craggy limestone cliffs topped by deep-green pine and scrubby Mediterranean maquis (underbrush).En-route,we discover the UNESCO TRABOCCHI COAST where examples of vanishing TRABOCCHI can be found.The origins of these strange fishing catching structures are not clear.Some hypothesize that immigrants built them in the late 1600s.Others date their system of engineering to the 8th century.Trabocchi have wooden beams and nets with an intricate system of weights and balances to scoop up the fish,while staying connected to land.A special law now preserves some 20 remaining trabocchi dotted along the coast.Afterwards, continue to the ABBEY OF S.GIOVANNI IN VENERE, a Benedectine monastery and church dating from the 6th century.The church has 13th century frescoes and a crypt with Roman columns, perched up high overlooking the Adriatic Sea.Continue to the Roman town of VASTO for time at leisure followed by an included lunch in a local seafood restaurant.Drive to the unique town of VIESTE for the last three nights is a small, family boutique hotel “RELAIS LA PRETURAor similar.Dinner is on your own this evening. Overnight in VIESTE

Day 6: UNESCO MONTE SANT’ANGELO & FORESTA UMBRA

Perched on a rocky spur,the town of MONTE SANT’ANGELO commands great views over the surrounding Foresta Umbra.It was put on the pilgrim map after Archangel Michael was said to have appeared at a grotto here in AD 493.The Santuario di San Michele has a shrine to St Michael-its bronze doors were cast in Constantinople in 1076.The building has a genuine cave chapel and other shrines including a 16th century statue of Michaelin Carrara marble and Frederick II’s Silver Cross,said to contain a piece of the True Cross.Near the GROTTO stands the irregurarly shaped Castello Normanno Svevo Aragonese and the large pentagonal Torre dei Giganti.After an included lunch in a local farmhouse,we drive to the magical FORESTA UMBRA,an ideal respite from the sun under arcades of oak,larch,maple and ash trees.With more than one third of Italy’s flora,the wood is a botanist’s dream.Dinner is on your own this evening. Overnight in VIESTE

Day 7: MAGICAL VIESTE & BOAT TRIP

This morning we shall visit VIESTE, one of Italy’s most attractive coastal towns, situated on a rocky promontory overlooking turquoise waters with beaches either side.A magnificent town of white houses clinging to the coastline, narrow cobbled streets leading to stairways and agave covered arches.Today, you’ll visit the ancient village with narrow streets that climb towards the Cathedral, between whitewashed houses and colorful bazar.After an included foodie experience,you’ll be sailing around fascinating Vieste and its prehistoric caves (weather permitting).In the evening celebrate your Southern Italy adventure with an “Arrivederci dinner” sharing travel memories and toasting new friends. Overnight in VIESTE

Day 8: ARRIVEDERCI BEAUTIFUL GARGANO

Departure group transfer from our hotel at 09.00 to your hotel in Bari or airport. We recommend you book flights departing after 14.00; allow about 3 hrs to reach the airport. If you wish, we can help you to extend your stay or make other independent departure arrangements such as early private car to the airport.

TOUR DATES & PRICING

2022 TOUR PRICE & DATES: € 2,900    SINGLE SUPPLEMENT: € 300       Currency Converter 

Price is per person based on double room occupancy for 8 days/7 nights

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