ABRUZZO SMALL GROUP TOUR
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 Le Marche, 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!!
- Guaranteed departures small group travel: intimate, small, friendly group limited to 12/14 participants only!
- More than 10 included sightseeing tours & cultural experiences
- Tour of the scenic town of SULMONA,birthplace of Ovid and renowned for its sugar almonds
- 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
- Spend 2 nights in the enchanting town of ASCOLI PICENO in the MARCHE REGION, a city older than Rome
- Discover the fascinating UNESCO TRABOCCHI COAST-View curious fishing wharves along the Adriatic coastline
- Visit popular UNESCO World Heritage Sites
- Exceptional local 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 lunches, 3 dinners (main meals include regional wine, mineral water, espresso coffee or tea only)
- The tour begins on Day 1 at Rome train station with a group transfer departing at 14.00 to Sulmona and end with a morning private transfer to Ancona 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
Day 1: ABRUZZO-A REGION WHERE THE WONDERS OF NATURE RULE SUPREME
We meet in ROME railway station at 14.00 for a scenic drive to ABRUZZO region and the enchanting town of SULMONA.Spend the first five nights of your Abruzzo experience at the central boutique hotel “SANTACROCE OVIDIUS” or similar,located near the Cathedral.In the evening we meet up for an Aperitivo at a local bar where to 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 & THE CONFETTI MUSEUM
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.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 machinesThe 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: WINERY EXPERIENCE, ROCCASCALEGNA CASTLE & RURAL PESCOCOSTANZO
When it comes to wine, Abruzzo is known for its MONTEPULCIANO D’ABRUZZO and today we venture out to visit a family-run WINERY for a wine tasting accompanied by local appetizers.Following this,drive to the stunning Abruzzo’s castle in the charming village of ROCCASCALEGNA, ranked by Condé Naste Traveller as one of the 9 Most Beautiful Hilltop Towns in Italy. We end the day in the magical 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.This evening, enjoy an included dinner in a local restaurant.Overnight stay in SULMONA
Day 4: ABRUZZO MOUNTAINS: CHEESE MAKING EXPERIENCE & MEDIEVAL SCANNO
Today’s tour takes you drive across the outstanding Abruzzo Mountains and National Parks visiting 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.We then move 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 also visit the hermitage of San Domenico on Lago di San Domenico and the Church of the Madonna of lake Scanno.We conclude the day with a wonderful lunch in a typical Abruzzese trattoria. Eat as a local!!!Overnight stay in SULMONA
Day 5: ABBEY OF S.GIOVANNI IN VENERE, THE ROMAN TOWN OF VASTO & THE MARCHE REGION
Today’s trip takes you to visit the unique 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.We then continue to the charming Roman town of VASTO where you will have free time for sightseeing and lunch.Dinner is on your own this evening in beautiful Sulmona. Overnight in SULMONA
Day 6: CHIETI ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM, UNESCO TRABOCCHI COAST & LE MARCHE REGION
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.We then continue to 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.After an included lunch in a unique trabocco,drive to the unique town of ASCOLI PICENO in the nearby LE MARCHE region for the final two nights at the central, family PALAZZO DEI MERCANTI with breakfast included.Dinner is on your own this evening.Overnight in ASCOLI PICENO
Day 7: ROMANCE OF ASCOLI PICENO
Meet your tour guide for an included walking tour of ASCOLI PICENO visiting the historical centre with some of ts highlights such as Piazza del Popolo, with its travertine pavement and 13th century Palazzo as well as Piazza Arringo. These two squares are considered some of the most renowned and beautiful in all of Italy. The Civic Picture Gallery, decorated with Murano glass chandeliers and housing paintings by Titian and Crivelli, is an important place to visit together with the Cathedral of St Emidio with some spectacular mosaics. Rest of the day is at leisure to soak up the beauty of this charming town.Dinner will be in a traditional restaurant.Overnight in ASCOLI PICENO
Day 8: ARRIVEDERCI BEAUTIFUL ITALY
Included departure from our hotel to Ancona airport or nearby train station
Abruzzo - A land of surprises
Hi Aldo-I really enjoyed this tour. Staying in Sulmona at your Hotel was such a relaxing experience. Selecting such central location made it especially nice not having to be out of the hotel so early each day.If you ask me what I especially liked I would have to say several things…The cooking class was so much fun. The wine tasting at Castillo was probably one of the best I have ever attended. What a beautiful place and the wines were superb. It was the first time I have ever wanted to buy all the wines tasted. Unfortunately, shipping costs were very high. I’ll look for them at home.The food was delicious everywhere, but the pasta made with beet juice at our farewell dinner was memorable-so unusual and excellent.Visiting the Gargano was wonderful too. Being so remote, it is not a place I would not normally go so was excited when you included it in this tour. The trabocchi were so interesting to see and lunch was wonderful! I thought Vieste was a very nice place. Again, I felt like I was truly on vacation! Oh I cannot forget Mont St. Angelo. Never did I expect the shrine to Sr.Michael the Archangel to be as beautiful as it was. Very moving for me!Danilo was such a nice young man. He was so knowledgeable and could not do enough to please us. Also it was so nice to see Paola again. She is always so happy and makes you smile.As usual Aldo, your tour was such a nice blend of food, wine and culture.
Thank you for a wonderful trip!