The Abruzzo, Puglia & Matera experience

7-day / 6 nights
Category:

HIGHLIGHTS

15-24 April 2020

06-15 October 2020 – SOLD OUT

13-22 October 2020

ENQUIRE ABOUT AVAILABILITY

The Abruzzo, Puglia & Matera experience - Enquiry and Booking Form

To get more info and for booking enquiries, select your preferred starting date, add your personal data and we'll get back to you with a confirmation accordingly as soon as we can!
  • *All prices are per person, land only and based on double occupancy. There is no single room supplement. Airfare and travel insurance are not included
  • Number of adults (13+) wishing to attend our Italian Cultural & Culinary Tour
  • Not necessary, only fill in if you don't mind us getting in touch over the phone
    I authorise the processing of personal data transmitted pursuant to the Italian & EU law on privacy 679/2016

Fully escorted small groups tour up to 16 travelers

Join us on a 10-day unique Italian cultural and culinary 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 structures, a 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 in a balanced mix of experiences, relax, adventure and learning.
The peak of this tour is the chance to discover and experience different cultures that have in common the warm hospitality of local people, great food and wine traditions.

HIGHLIGHTS

Live like a local and sleep in the historical center of 3 charming ancient towns
Visit 3 UNESCO World Heritage sites such as Castel del Monte, Matera and Alberobello
Enjoy amazing landscapes that spread out from the sea to the mountains
Prepare homemade pasta and focaccia with local women
Discover the fascinating trabocchi fishing huts
Explore enchanted castles
Make your own souvenir with a local artist

ITINERARY

ITINERARY

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

PM

  • Rome Fiumicino airport pick up at 2:30 pm, transfer to Sulmona, the town of the Roman poet Ovid, the most illustrious son of Sulmona
  • Get to know your local guide and learn more about this 10-day Italian cultural vacation
  • Check in, relax and welcome dinner at Hotel Ovidius in the heart of Sulmona

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

After a leisurely traditional breakfast made of freshly baked bread, whole fruit country-style preserves, cake, pastries, coffee, tea and freshly squeezed juice:

AM

  • 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 Medieval aqueduct on Piazza Garibaldi and the Church of Santa Maria Annunziata with its majestic bell tower
  • We’ll have a wine tasting in the centre of Sulmona and learn all about Abruzzo wines
  • You’ll taste 3 different wines from local vineyards, with pairings from local cheeses, salami and other specialties

PM

  • We know that not every minute of your time must be packed with organised events, this way you will be able to explore on your own and actually live like an Italian
  • So today you’ll have a free afternoon for your own activities, which could be: visit Sulmona’s museums and art galleries, take part into some extra activities/excursions, to have a SPA experience in the Hotel wellness center (to book in advance) or just do some shopping visiting artisans or have a walk in the “piazza” to enjoy the relaxing Sulmona atmosphere
  • In the evening you may experience dinner on your own in one of the many restaurants of Sulmona. Obviously Fabrizio will suggest you his favorite places

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

AM

  • 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

PM

  • Lunch in a traditional restaurant in Scanno
  • Transfer to Vasto, check in at Hotel dei 7 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
  • Group dinner in a traditional restaurant in the heart of Vasto

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

AM

  • We’ll walk and visit Vasto’s colorful market to get seasonal products. Here you’ll have the possibility to practice a little bit of Italian even if you don’t speak any of it
  • Next we’ll drive to the beautiful countryside of Vasto where we’ll meet Fabrizio’s family to have an exclusive cooking class with them and we’ll learn how easy it is to make fresh pasta and we’ll be introduced to Abruzzo sauces
  • An example menu based on Fabrizio’s family recipes, includes Bread with meat sauce, Pasta alla chitarra with meat sauce, polpette (meatballs)  and a dessert

PM

  • Lunch with the scrumptious dishes that we prepared in the morning, while enjoying the relaxing family atmosphere
  • Free afternoon for your own activities, which could be: go to one of the many beaches, visit Vasto’s museums and art galleries, take part into some extra activities/excursions, or just do some shopping visiting artisans or have a walk in the “piazza” to enjoy the relaxing Vasto atmosphere
  • In the evening you may experience dinner on your own in one of the many restaurants of Vasto. After the big family lunch, based on our many years of experience, we know that nobody is looking for a rich dinner, so our travelers usually enjoy spending time like a local trying a simple aperitif, a gelato or a pizza. Obviously Fabrizio will suggest you his favorite places

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

AM

  • After breakfast we’ll explore the famous Trabocchi coast. We’ll start with 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, from where you can also admire snow-capped mountains
  • Next we’ll visit a trabocco (the symbol of the area), mostly built with acacia wood and railway iron sleepers
  • Weather permitting, Rinaldo our host will show us how to fish from it and the secrets and history behind Abruzzo’s unique fishing platforms that have been featured in the BBC TV show: Escape to the Continent
  • His wife Maria will prepare fish from the Adriatic Sea for our exclusive lunch on the ocean

PM

  • 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 a stunning view of the sea, mountains, hills and small towns, you can enjoy an artistic experience with Ettore, which will let you create your own Abruzzo souvenir (a postcard made with natural colors produced at the moment mixing leaves and flowers that you can pick at Ettore’s property)
  • We’ll have an aperitif and a traditional dinner with Ettore and his wife Barbara
  • If we’re lucky we could help Ettore’s wife make risotto with truffle that grows in Ettore’s land

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

AM

  • After check out, we’ll move to Puglia where we’ll meet the local guide and we’llhave a guided visit of the beautiful town of Trani: the little fishing port, the Church of the Templar Knights, the historical quarter

PM

  • 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
  • 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
  • Welcome to Puglia group dinner in traditional restaurant in the heart of Conversano

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

AM

  • 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

PM

  • 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 in one of the many restaurants of Conversano

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

AM

  • Guided tour of Bari: San Nicola’s church, Frederick II’s castle and the city center
  • Guided tour of a family-run winery and lunch with tasting of the wines and the famous mozzarella cheese of Gioia del Colle

PM

  • Visit of a small olive oil mill in the country side of Gioia del Colle where we’ll have an extra virgin olive oil tasting
  • Free time and dinner at your leisure in one of the many restaurants of Conversano

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

AM

  • 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)

PM

  • Free time for lunch and explore the city on your own
  • Farewell dinner at Hotel Corte Altavilla

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

  • After breakfast departure (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)

NOTE ABOUT YOUR ITINERARY

Your Itinerary is a guide to your activities during the week. However, sometimes we modify the final itinerary to take advantage of the season and the weather. Our goal is to ensure that everyone has a fabulous time, and that sometimes means tweaking the schedule even after your arrival. Your guide will provide suggestions during the week, and the group will decide if any modifications are desired. Be assured that only enhanced experiences are ever considered.

INCLUSIONS

INCLUSIONS

15 April – 24 April 2020: € 2.460,00*
06 October – 15 October 2020: € 2.460,00* SOLD OUT
13 October – 22 October 2020: € 2.460,00*

*Prices are per person and land only, with accommodation in a twin/double room with ensuite bathroom. Airfare and travel insurance are not included. Single occupancy supplement: + € 165.

 

Click here for exchange rate

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  • 2 nights in Sulmona at Hotel Ovidius, 3 nights in Vasto at Hotel dei 7 (or similar accommodation) and 4 nights in Conversano at Hotel Corte Altavilla
  • Daily breakfast buffet
  • 12 meals (food, water & house wine) in selected restaurants, a farmhouse, a private home, a winery and a trabocco fishing hut based on traditional regional dishes. Some evenings are free for you to explore the town by yourself
  • Guided tastings of wines, confetti, olive oil, mozzarella cheese and bread and visits to the producers
  • 2 Hands-on authentic Abruzzo and Puglia cooking classes and associated food costs
  • Personalized cooking booklet and apron
  • Daily trips, excursions and guided tours
  • All transports for daily trips and excursions will be in an air conditioned bus
  • Pick up in Rome Fiumicino airport or city center on request 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
  • Airfares. We recommend using www.skyscanner.com to check the flights
  • Money spent for personal interests
  • Snacks/Drinks between meals, or any meals not listed on the itinerary
  • Personal expenses like phone calls, visa costs, laundry or tips
  • Travel insurance (not obligatory, but recommended)
  • Drinks not listed in the itinerary (an extra bottle of wine, for example)
  • The cost of additional excursions or activities

During this tour you will stay at the centrally located 4* Hotel Ovidius in Sulmona, 3* Hotel dei 7 in Vasto and 4* Hotel Corte Altavilla in Conversano. All of them provide a high standard of service, are meticulously clean and equipped with modern conveniences, air conditioning, elevator,  free wi-fi and they are at walking distance to the main attractions and squares of their respective towns. At Hotel Ovidius and Hotel Corte Altavilla you have the opportunity to enjoy a SPA experience in their wellness center to be booked in advance.

Regarding your staying in Vasto, you can also choose to upgrade to a lovely boutique residence located in the heart of Vasto. Originally an 18th-century mansion, it has been renovated into an upscale B&B with 5 bedrooms, located on the Amblingh promenade overlooking the Adriatic Sea. Discover more here and inquire for a quote.

 

WHY US?

WHY US?

WE ARE PROUD TO BE LOCAL

  • Only 100% authentic experiences
  • Deep connections with the people who live here
  • We have a passion for our culture and our communities

ONCE-IN-A-LIFETIME TRIP

  • We know how to let you feel that at home
  • We keep our groups small to take care of all the details
  • Discover our guest reviews on Tripadvisor

SUSTAINABILITY AND PASSION

  • We promote the local culture as a sign of responsible travel
  • We are focused on preserving our way of life
  • We involve small, family-run and passion-driven businesses

FAQ

FAQ

Who are you and what do you do?

Italia Sweet Italia (ISI) is a small incoming tour operator specialised in organizing vacations around Abruzzo Italy, our home. ISI is a fully licensed company covered by insurance policy no. 402485101 by Axa Assicurazione S.p.A. and authorised by the local government to create and sell tour packages from 2011.

Our mission is to show people from all over the world the beauty of Abruzzo and other Italian regions so they can experience our homeland, traditions, arts and folklore in a unique way, also demonstrating the benefits of sustainable tourism to everyone. In order to help you discover everything Abruzzo has to offer, we organise small groups (up to 16 people) escorted tours including cultural, culinary, active, pottery, Italian language and ancestry experiences. We are happy to create a tailored vacation around your wishes. Our tours provide you with the rare opportunity to be invited into homes and farms, as well as into the daily lives of locals.

How do you organize your group pick up and drop off services?

Pick up

For all the small group tours listed in our calendar, the pick up at Rome Fiumicino airport is planned at 2:30 pm on day 1. Normally it takes 3-3,5 hours to drive to Vasto, our base on the Adriatic Coast for all the tours (except for The Abruzzo, Puglia & Matera experience tour in which we’ll drive for around 2 hours to Sulmona). The duration of the trip depends on traffic (on Sunday, when most of our tours start, usually there is no traffic) and if you need to stop at the motor service along the way for a snack or to go to the toilette. It is a beautiful and relaxing driving crossing three National parks,from where you can see many hilltop villages and the Apennines. A few weeks before the tour starts, we’ll send you a pdf with exact pick-up location and times. Please consider also this information:

  • If you want you can be picked up at an Hotel in Rome, but this service has an extra cost of € 50 that you can pay at your arrival. We’ll come earlier to pick you up at your accommodation (it depends on the exact location, but it is usually 1 hour before the pick-up at Rome F. Airport). Sometimes it could be also after the airport pick-up.
  • When we’ll have all flights and arrival information from all the travelers, if everybody that is joining the tour is supposed to arrive before 2:30 pm, we could anticipate the pick-up time.
  • You can also reach Vasto or other destinations in Italy by bus or train. Please take a look at this page. We’ll organize the taxi transfer from/to Vasto train station (10 minutes driving) or Vasto coach station to/from the hotel in Vasto (3 minutes driving).

Drop-off

For the drop-off to Rome we usually leave the hotel in Vasto after breakfast, at around 09:00 am so that we arrive at Rome Fiumicino airport at maximum 01:30 pm (if there is traffic, but it normally takes 3-3,5 hours). If anybody in the group has an earlier flight, we could leave 1-2 hours before (so at 07:00-08:00) but we make our evaluations from time to time. If there is any specific need, there are also public buses that shuttle from Vasto to Rome Fiumicino (or the city center) earlier in the morning and by night (take a look here). In this case we organize the taxi transfer from the hotel to Vasto coach station (3 minutes driving).

For the drop off to Bari for The Abruzzo, Puglia & Matera experience tour, we have this program: after breakfast, we will leave (usually 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). When we’ll have information from all the people who will join the tour (about their programs on that day) we’ll finalize this. If there is any specific need, we can organize a private transfer (before or after the planned one) from the hotel to Bari airport or train station that costs € 90.

Private pick-up and drop-off for group tours

Of course, we are always happy to support you to organize a private pick up/drop off only for you to let you join our small group tours listed in our calendar. Please keep in mind that a private transfer (before or after the planned one) from Vasto to Rome airport or city center costs around € 300.

Connecting to or from another part of Italy

If you are connecting to or from another part of Italy we are happy to assist you in planning your pre and post trip connections. If your planned arrival or departure does not coincide with the specified meeting time we can assist you in booking a private transfer at an additional cost or some extra nights in Vasto or Puglia. .

Once a complete booking is made you may also contact us directly for further details and assistance. We are always here to help and have the insider knowledge and on the ground support to ensure you find the best option available to arrive or depart from your tour.

Make sure to arrive at the meeting point on time but don’t get stressed

Please note that all guests joining our tours are responsible for ensuring they make it to the meeting point by 2:30 pm at Rome’s Fiumicino airport. Those who are unable to be on time will not be guaranteed a transfer from Rome to Vasto and will have to seek other arrangements to participate in the remainder of the tour. Anyway, don’t worry, there are many daily public buses that with less than € 30 connect Rome Fiumicino airport or Roma Termini coach station with Vasto as you can see here.

Who are your tours suitable for?

  • Our tours are suitable for everybody that travelled enough to know that touristy vacations are just not them and long for more authentic travel, ways to truly experience the culture and people they’re visiting
  • Our travellers appreciate la dolce vita and the pleasures of exquisite food, wine, and fellowship with others who share their passions
  • Our guests are not afraid to take bold steps…to learn something new…to explore something completely out of the ordinary
  • The minimum age for pre-arranged tours is 14 (14-18 accompanied by an adult) with no upper age limit. For tailor-made and private tours any age is fine
  • Our tours are perfect for solo travellers (we don’t charge single room supplements for our 7-day tours in Abruzzo), couples, groups of friends and even families are welcomed
  • Our guests don’t need to have any experience in cooking or painting or do pottery or speaking Italian to join our tours. Our experienced course tutors will soon discover your level of knowledge and will adapt their approach accordingly

All classes are taught in both Italian and English so you’ll have the opportunity to learn and practice a little bit of Italian

CLICK HERE FOR MORE FAQ

PHOTOS

PHOTOS

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ENQUIRE ABOUT AVAILABILITY

The Abruzzo, Puglia & Matera experience - Enquiry and Booking Form

To get more info and for booking enquiries, select your preferred starting date, add your personal data and we'll get back to you with a confirmation accordingly as soon as we can!
  • *All prices are per person, land only and based on double occupancy. There is no single room supplement. Airfare and travel insurance are not included
  • Number of adults (13+) wishing to attend our Italian Cultural & Culinary Tour
  • Not necessary, only fill in if you don't mind us getting in touch over the phone
    I authorise the processing of personal data transmitted pursuant to the Italian & EU law on privacy 679/2016

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REVIEWS

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