Grape & Truffle Harvest Cuisine and Culture Tour
8 Days/7 Nights: September/October, 2019
Reviews 1 Review5/5
Vacation Style Holiday Type
Activity Level Food & drink
Group Size Large Group
Abruzzo’s mouthwatering, simple, and honest regional cuisine has roots in ancient empires, agricoltural traditions, and ingenious seafaring strategies.
We’ll visit the “City of Pasta” – Fara San Martino – known for its gorgeous waterfalls, the mountains and for being home to prominent pasta factories. Our one-of-a-kind Italian Sensory Experience will includestaying in the De Luca Winery and Agriturismo, where guided tastings and pairings of the region’s world-class wines will be led by owner/winemaker Dr. Luciano De Luca.
The Heart of Italy tour also features hands-on cooking classes and workshops highlighting local specialties such as pasta alla chitarra and polpette cacio e uova as well as guided tastings of the region’s most famous olive oils, liqueurs, torrone, candy, honey, and pastries.
Travelers on this tour will witness how the reverie that the local land, sea, and UNESCO heritage sites evoke influenced the work of Gabriele D’Annunzio, one of Italy’s most prominent writers and poets.
Culture buffs will enjoy viewing the traditional mosaics, the visit to Abruzzo’s iconic medieval castle in Roccascalegna, as well as a stroll along the idyllic San Giovanni in Venere Abbey.
Our journey concludes with a day and evening in Rome where Chef Amy will lead a tour of the city’s notable food culture.
Join us in this unparalleled opportunity to enjoy, learn, and appreciate Italian cuisine and culture from the heart of Italy!
Tariff: $2,995 per person (double or single occupancy*) inclusive of:
- Culinary Leadership Services of Chef Amy Riolo
- Tour and Cultural Leadership Services of Antonio Iuliano, Italian Sensory Experience
- Transfers from/to Rome International Airport
- Lodging, including taxes, Abruzzo
- Daily Breakfasts, lunches, and dinners
- Private ground transportation on itinerary throughout, including driver tip
- Guided tour of Sulmona, Mozzagrogna, De Luca Winery
- 2 private hands on cooking classes with Chef Amy and resulting meals
- 2 private cooking demonstrations with local chefs and resulting meals
- A Sensory Notes Workshop
- An olive oil workshop/tasting
- A guided red wine tasting and pairing
- A guided white wine tasting and pairing
- A guided honey tasting, liqueur tasting, torrone tasting
- Other Included Meals: Street Food Tasting in Lanciano, dinners at the De Luca Winery, in Casoli, and on a trabocco. Lunches include a feast of local specialties at the L’alveare agriturismo, and in Sulmona
- Above mentioned tours and tastings at various workshops and establishments
*Note that guests desiring a single room will not be lodging at the De Luca winery but at a nearby 4-star Hotel Castello di Septe, as the agriturismo only offers double occupancy. There is no price difference.
The additional supplement trip to Rome ($500) includes:
- Culinary Leadership Services of Chef Amy Riolo
- Tour and Cultural Leadership Services of Antonio Iuliano, Italian Sensory Experience
- Additional expert talks (schedule permitting)
- An exclusive guided “culinary walk” through Rome’s Centro Storico
- Ground transportation
- Entry to the Villa Borghese Museum
- One night accommodations in a 4-star hotel
- Lunch, Dinner and Breakfast
Day 1 - September 20, 2019
Rome – Transfer to Abruzzo
Named “Italy’s new hot destination” by CNN, Abruzzo is also “The Greenest Region in Europe.” An oasis of culture and nature, this up and coming tourism destination will leave you captivated by the tastes, sights, textures, sounds, and aromas of central Italy. We will arrive in Rome and transfer via private car to the enchanting family owned and operated De Luca Winery and agriturismo. Located in Mozzagrogna, Abruzzo, in the Castel dei Sette region, the vineyards are situated perfectly in between the mountains and the sea, with comfortable, modern, well-appointed guest rooms. Here we’ll enjoy classic Abruzzese-style hospitality as well as gourmet food and world-class wines produced onsite. We will check in and enjoy a typical Italian aperitivo. Then we’ll head to Il Gusto Pizzeria – a local landmark where Pizzaiolo Costantino makes his special crust out of a mixture of 8 local and ancient grains which he leavens with a natural starter for 48-hours. We’ll enjoy a pizza workshop and dinner at the pizzeria.
Day 2 - September 21, 2019
Mozzagrogna/San Vito/Fossacesia/Sensory Notes Workshop
One of Abruzzo’s greatest charms is the close proximity to culture and nature that it offers. We’ll start the day with a tour of the agriturismo grounds including the wine-cellar, the vineyard, and the olive orchards. We’ll also enjoy a brunch of hand-made artisan bread, locally produced cheeses (some aged in the skins from the winery’s grapes), homemade marmalades, fresh, local yogurt, house-cured meats, homemade local cakes and pastries – just to name a few of the items available. Next, we’ll transfer to Fossacesia to visit the St. John in Venus Abbey. Overlooking the Adriatic Sea, grapevines, olive orchards, and gardens, the abbey’s grounds alone are enough to evoke reverie. The abbey takes its’ name from the original temple to Venus which was built on the same site in 80 BCE. The abbey is a monastery complex in the commune of Fossacesia, built at 107 meters above sea level, it includes a basilica and the monastery proper, both built in the early 13th century on a pre-existing convent.
In the afternoon, we’ll head to the marina to experience a trabocco – a traditional wooden fishing vessel – originally designed by fisherman to take advantage of the rough seas which are now becoming popular tourist destinations. We’ll enjoy a presentation of the history and use of the trabocco and a leisurely lunch. Then we will return to the agriturismo for a Sensory Notes Workshop with Chef Amy to teach the skills needed for the upcoming wine and honey tastings and dinner.
Day 3 - September 22, 2019
Roccascalegna/Truffle Hunting/Honey Tasting/White Wine Tasting
Today starts with a traditional breakfast at the De Luca agriturismo and then we’ll head to Roccascalegna to visit the famous Medieval castle, which has become the symbol of the Abruzzo region. Situated over 100m on top of the larger of a pair of limestone formations protruding from the valley floor, it was constructed on top of an existing Lombard fort in the 11th century CE, and expanded in the 16th century CE. Its restoration, begun after the 2nd World War was finished in 1996, included a great deal of Norman influences.
After touring the castle, we’ll head to L’agriturismo L’alveare – a gastronomic treasure in the mountains – known for its on ground apiary and for taking local cuisine to new heights while maintaining their rustic roots. Here Chef/Proprietor Cosimo will lead us on a truffle –hunt with his team of trained dogs. Then, we’ll head back to his kitchen for a “pasta alla chittara” workshop and enjoy a multicourse truffle-based lunch onsite.
Later in the day, we’ll head to Tornareccio to visit the Iacovanelli honey-making factory. Here we’ll enjoy an artisan honey – tasting seminar.
In the evening, we’ll head back to the De Luca agriturismo for the evening for a guided white wine tasting. In addition to the well-known Montepulciano d’Abruzzo wine, we will also experience scores of other varietals that the local cantina has to offer, as well as learn how owner/winemaker Dr. Luciano DeLuca has successfully brought many almost forgotten varietals back onto the market. The day ends with dinner in the agriturismo.
Day 4 - September 23, 2019
Our day begins with a traditional breakfast at the De Luca agriturismo and then we’ll head to the property’s vineyards to experience the vendemmia – the annual grape harvest with the owners. You’ll learn how grapes make their journey from the vines to the bottles as well as ancient and cutting-edge traditions in practice at the winery. Later in the day, we’ll enjoy a guided tour of the village and head to Atessa at noon. Atessa is located on top of two hills – with a gorgeous panoramic position of its 18th and 19th century buildings. The area is also home to pre-Roman ancient settlements. We’ll explore the city and experience regional specialties with a liqueur and torrone tasting. Next, we’ll experience a lecture on the local honey-based cuisine with a sampling by local chefs in a landmark restaurant. Our evening will conclude with a hands-on cooking class and dinner featuring a menu based on local olive oil and ingredients that is perfect for today’s palates led by Chef Amy.
Day 5 - September 24, 2019
Our day begins with a traditional breakfast at the De Luca agriturismo and then we’ll visit the city of Lanciano – known for its historic churches and nativities. We’ll enjoy a tour of the Miracle of the Eucharist Church built on top of Roman ruins – and spend some time shopping. In the evening, we’ll sample the arrosticini meat skewers and bocconotti desserts as well as other local specialties. At the end of the evening, we’ll return back to the De Luca agriturismo for a guided red wine tasting/pairing experience and dinner.
Day 6 - September 25, 2019
Atessa/Rocco San Giovanni/Casoli
After breakfast at the agriturismo, we’ll head back to Atessa for a hands-on cooking class at the Fondaco dei Domeniani again. Today’s menu with Chef Amy is Classic Sauces and Beyond – you’ll learn to make four traditional Italian sauces and transform them in to culinary masterpieces. In the late afternoon, we’ll take a trip to the breathtaking olive orchards at Trappeto di Caprafico for a guided olive oil tasting with Chef Amy and the owner. We’ll enjoy dinner in the town of Casoli…. situated on a foothill of the Majella mountain, at the base of the Aventino River known for its ancient settlements as well as Norman and Lombard ruins.
Day 7 - September 26, 2019
We’ll start the day with a traditional breakfast at the De Luca agriturismo and then head to the enchanting food-mecca ancient town of Sulmona, birthplace of Roman poet Ovid. We’ll take a guided tour of the Medieval city, which is in walking distance from an ancient Roman wall. We’ll visit the famous William Di Carlo sweet confection factory, known for its candy-covered almonds, and enjoy a confetti-flower making workshop. Sulmona is home to many confectioners, some of whom were known for hosting Jewish families during WWII. We’ll experience a typical lunch made with local products (think desserts made out of custard cream –filled cake with crumbled candy-coated almonds on top). In the mood for shopping? Local linens, pizzelle-irons, and gourmet goods are also not to be missed. We’ll also stop for a Ca’ffetto – a sweet brew containing ground confetti candies and espresso at the landmark Caffe Ovidio.
Later in the day we’ll visit Scanno, nestled in between narrow alleys with Bourbon palaces, cafes, and shops, where we’ll spend some free time exploring. Situated in the Sagittario Valley and encircled by the Majella mountains Scanno’s natural heart-shaped lake was created by a feud between a white witch and a sorcerer; the lake marking the spot where the witch finally fell. Scanno’s historic wealth derives from its pastoral fortunes which even allowed its inhabitants the luxury of developing the fine gold filigree jewelry craftsmanship. There is also a strong tradition of making textiles and wool in the city. Resting on a ridge in a beautiful valley, Scanno is a well-known tourist destination offering recreational, cultural, folkloric, artistic beauty, crafts, and culinary delights.
In the evening, we will return to the agriturismo for a farewell dinner with the owners.
Day 8 - September 27, 2019
We’ll have breakfast at the agriturismo and head back to Rome where the tour ends.
Day 8-9 (with overnight in Rome) - September 27-28, 2019
Supplemental Rome Tour $500
For those choosing to spend additional time with Chef Amy and Antonio in Rome – We’ll start the afternoon with a quick walking tour of Rome’s ancient centro storico. Chef Amy will lead us through all of her favorite spots in the city. Beginning with a stroll through the famous Campo dei Fiori food and flower markets, we’ll then go to the Villa Borghese – Rome’s famous park – to stroll with the locals, eat a quick open-air bite, and enjoy the beautiful Bernini statues in the property’s museum. Next, we’ll head down the chic Via Veneto for a trip down the Spanish Steps and down Via Condotti – one of Rome’s most exclusive streets. From there we’ll go to a traditional Roman trattoria for lunch. After lunch, we’ll take in the sites at the Trevi Fountain and one of Chef Amy’s favorite bread bakeries and food shops. Finally, we’ll make our way back to the Piazza Navona to Chef Amy’s favorite coffee roaster and shop – Caffe Tazza d’Oro. After a quick “pick-me up” there will be time for touring the nearby Pantheon and Santa Maria Sopra Minerva church. We’ll head back to our hotel for a siesta before dinner and then enjoy a trip across the Tiber to Trastevere to enjoy an evening passeggiata with the locals.
A non-refundable deposit of $1,000 per person is due by July 20, 2019
Balance of payment, $2,995 = $1,995 per person is due by August 20, 2019
For questions, Antonio can be reached via skype @ logout.srls or via Whatsapp +39 3491995783 or via email: email@example.com.
Amy can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Only deposits—payable to Antonio Iuliano, LOGOUT Srls”—are accepted;
visit www.italiansensoryexperience.com for payment and registration procedures.