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The Abruzzo, Puglia & Matera Experience

Fabrizio Lucci

Founder & Tour Guide of Italia Sweet Italia

Fabrizio Lucci

Founder & Tour Guide of Italia Sweet Italia 

Price: from € 3,565

Fully escorted small groups tour up to 12 travelers

16-27 June 2024

15-26 September 2024

13-24 October 2024

10-21 November 2024

6-17 April 2025

11-22 May 2025

8-19 June 2025

21 September-2 October 2025

12-23 October 2025

9-20 November 2025

Why a small group of travelers and a local tour operator

Here’s why we believe that traveling with a small group of people and a local tour operator as we are can really make the difference:

We love our region – Attention to details – Local knowledge and experience – Support sustainable and responsible travel - Live like a local – Feel part of a big family – Make new friends – Explore on your own – Everybody feels at home – Small groups tour up to 12 travelers. Click here to learn more!

Join us on a 12-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.
Your hosts and local guides, Fabrizio and Katia, together with their families & friends, have put together amazing experiences that combine passion, beautiful places and locals to show you the best of Abruzzo & Puglia, allowing you to live an immersive adventure in the Italian culture and traditions, where you really get to know the food, region and people. This is a fully escorted tour that will give you insights to daily life, food & wine, culture and production and will let you discover the authentic Italy in a balanced mix of experiences, relaxation, adventure and learning.
The highlight of this tour is the chance to discover and experience different local cultures that have in common, the warm hospitality of local people, great food and wine traditions.

Who is this tour suitable for?

Like-minded travelers - Everybody that travelled enough to know that touristy vacations are just not them - Travelers that appreciate la dolce vita and want to learn something new - Solo travelers - Couples - Group of friends - Families

HIGHLIGHTS

ITINERARY

Day 1 | Sunday | Rome Fiumicino airport pick-up, Sulmona and welcome to Abruzzo dinner (dinner)

PM

  • Rome Fiumicino airport pick up at 12:30 pm, transfer to Sulmona, the town of the Roman poet Ovid, the most illustrious son of Sulmona (click here to discover more about Sulmona)
  • Get to know your local guide and Italia Sweet Italia founder Fabrizio and learn more about this 12-day Italian cultural vacation
  • Check in, relax and enjoy a welcome dinner at Hotel Ovidius in the heart of Sulmona
Day 2 | Monday | Confetti Museum, explore Sulmona’s historic center and traditional lunch (breakfast, confetti tasting and lunch)

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 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 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 traditional lunch in the centre of Sulmona

PM

  • We know that not every minute of your time needs to be packed with organized events; you will also 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 include: visiting Sulmona’s museums and art galleries, taking part in some extra activities/excursions, having a SPA experience in the Hotel wellness center (must be booked in advance) or just do some time shopping, visiting artisans or taking 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 to you his favorite places

Day 3 | Tuesday | Amazing Abruzzo mountains landscapes, Scanno and Vasto on the Adriatic Coast (breakfast, lunch, dinner)

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) in the mountains with its fabulous alleys, churches, landscapes and artisans boutiques

PM

  • Lunch in a traditional restaurant in Scanno
  • We’ll also visit an artisanal jewelry shop where they make the “Presentosa”, a famous traditional jewel from Abruzzo, a very ancient piece of art which dates back to the 18th century
  • Transfer to Vasto, check in at Hotel in the historical downtown
  • Group dinner in a traditional restaurant in the heart of Vasto
Day 4 | Wednesday | A visit to the market, make homemade pasta with Mamma and explore Vasto (breakfast, cooking lesson, lunch)

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 of a menu based on Fabrizio’s family recipes, includes Bread with meat sauce, Pasta alla chitarra with meat sauce, polpette (meatballs) and Tarallucci (typical biscuits from Abruzzo) 

PM

  • Lunch on the scrumptious dishes that we prepared in the morning, while enjoying the relaxing family atmosphere
  • After a short break to relax, in the afternoon 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 (click here to discover more about Vasto)
  • 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
Day 5 | Thursday | The Trabocchi Coast and Punta Aderci Nature Reserve, visit a winery with tasting and easy walk in the nature and make your own souvenir with an artist (breakfast, wine tasting, lunch, dinner)

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 12 most beautiful Italian beaches according to the National Geographic, from where you can also admire snow-capped mountains at certain times of the year
  • Next we’ll visit an award-winning winery that sits between a marine park and the mountains. We’ll sample wine tasting and lunch with pairings from local cheeses and salami and a tour of the vineyard and cellars organized by winemakers Emanuele and Nicola

PM

  • After lunch in the winery and 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 enchanting landscape with breathtaking views of the sea, mountains, rolling hills, and charming villages, you can indulge in an easy walk and a unique artistic experience with Ettore. He will guide you in creating your own special Abruzzo souvenir—a postcard crafted with natural colors made from leaves and flowers that you can gather from Ettore’s property. (For those who prefer not to join the artistic activity, there are other delightful options: wander through nature amidst captivating artworks, unwind with a glass of fine wine, or simply marvel at the stunning panorama of the sea, majestic mountains, olive groves, vineyards, and picturesque hilltop villages)
  • We’ll have an aperitif and a traditional dinner with Ettore and his wife Barbara
Day 6 | Friday | Explore Roccascalegna Medieval Castle, fish-based lunch on a trabocco fishing hut and free time (breakfast, lunch)

AM

  • After breakfast, immersed in the nature and surrounded by amazing sceneries, we’ll drive inland to explore Abruzzo’s enchanting castle in the sky in the charming village of Roccascalegna, ranked by Condé Naste Traveler as one of the 9 Most Beautiful Hilltop Towns in Italy
  • 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 us

PM

  • Free afternoon for your own activities, which could include: going to one of the many beaches, visiting Vasto’s museums and art galleries, taking part in some extra activities/excursions, or just doing some shopping, visiting artisans or having a walk in the “piazza” to enjoy the relaxing Vasto ambiance
  • In the evening, you may experience dinner on your own in one of the many restaurants of Vasto
Day 7 | Saturday | Welcome to Puglia, exploring Trani and Conversano (breakfast, dinner)

AM

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

PM

  • Free time and lunch on your own in one of the many restaurants of Trani
  • 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
Day 8 | Sunday | Exploring Bari, traditional lunch and guided tour of Polignano a mare (breakfast, lunch)

AM

  • After breakfast we’ll drive to Bari, the capital city of Puglia. We’ll have a guided tour to discover San Nicola’s church and the city center called Bari Vecchia (Old Bari) where you can meet local ladies making fresh pasta in the middle of enchanting streets

PM

  • We’ll drive to Polignano a mare to enjoy a traditional lunch and to discover its wonderful sea views and charming alleys 

After the lunch in Polignano, 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 Katia will suggest to you her favorite places

Day 9 | Monday | Cooking class in a masseria, exploring Monopoli (breakfast, cooking lesson, lunch)

AM

  • After breakfast we’ll move to an ancient masseria (typical Apulian farmhouse) in Monopoli and cooking class with traditional recipes such as orecchiette pasta, melanzane alla parmigiana (eggplant  parmigiana) and Almond sweets (a typical Apulian dessert)

PM

  • Lunch will consist of the scrumptious dishes that have been prepared in the morning
  • Next we’ll have a guided tour of Monopoli, an enchanting seaside town with a lot of history, surprising corners and fascinating alleys
  • Dinner at your leisure in one of the many restaurants of Conversano

After the lunch in the Masseria, 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 Katia will suggest to you her favorite places

Day 10 | Tuesday | Olive oil tasting, explore Locorotondo and the UNESCO site Trulli of Alberobello (breakfast, extra-virgin olive tasting, lunch)

AM

  • After breakfast, we’ll drive south to visit an ancient olive oil mill where we’ll have an extra virgin olive oil tasting
  • Next we’ll explore the charming village of Locorotondo, whose name derives from the Latin Locus Rotundus and literally means “round place” recalling the circular shape, which is repeated on several rings between suggestive alleys and streets
  • Next we’ll move to the UNESCO site of Alberobello to enjoy a traditional lunch in this unique town
  •  

PM

  • Next we’ll have a guided tour and walk among the trulli
  • Dinner at your leisure in one of the many restaurants of Conversano
Day 11 | Wednesday | Matera and its UNESCO site, focaccia tasting, and farewell dinner (breakfast, focaccia tasting, light lunch, dinner)

AM

  • After breakfast, we’ll drive to spectacular Matera in the Basilicata Region 
  • Next we’ll have a guided tour of the Unesco site of  “the Sassi” (cave houses and rocky churches where time seems to stop)
  • After some free time to explore Matera by yourself or to relax, we’ll have a Focaccia and bread tasting with a light lunch in a traditional bakery in Matera

PM

  • Next we’ll come back to your Hotel in Conversano
  • You will have more free time to relax and pack or do last minute shopping, before we enjoy a farewell dinner at Hotel Corte Altavilla
Day 12 | Thursday | Departure and goodbye (breakfast)

AM

  • 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)

Want to read it later?

Download this tour's PDF brochure and start tour planning offline

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.

PRICE

16-27 June 2024: € 3,565.00*

15-26 September 2024: € 3,565.00*

13-24 October 2024: € 3,565.00*

10-21 November 2024: € 3,565.00*

6-17 April 2025: € 3,745.00*

11-22 May 2025: € 3,745.00*

8-19 June 2025: € 3,745.00*

21 September-2 October 2025: € 3,745.00*

12-23 October 2025: € 3,745.00*

9-20 November 2025: € 3,745.00*

*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 (double room for single use): + € 270.

Click here for exchange rate

During this tour you will stay at the centrally located 4* Hotel Ovidius in Sulmona, 3* Hotel San Marco 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?

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

Italia Sweet Italia (ISI) is a small incoming tour operator specialized in organizing vacations around Abruzzo Italy, our home. ISI is a fully licensed company covered by insurance policy no. 4378340 by Europe Assistance Italia S.p.A. band 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 and other Italian regions have to offer, we organize small groups (up to 12 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.

ABRUZZO TOURS

Yes, Fabrizio will be happy to guide you to let you discover his Abruzzo although there may always be some unforeseen events that may make it necessary to replace Fabrizio with another experienced and trusted Abruzzese guide who has worked with Fabrizio for many years.

ABRUZZO AND PUGLIA TOUR

Yes, Fabrizio will be happy to guide you for the first 5 days of the tour to let you discover his Abruzzo although there may always be some unforeseen event that may make it necessary to replace Fabrizio with another experienced and trusted Abruzzese guide who has worked with Fabrizio for many years. In Puglia there will be Katia, an enthusiastic local guide who share our philosophy and we prefer to have people that love and know everything (or almost) about their region just like Fabrizio does for Abruzzo. It’s best to have the knowledge of a local to appreciate all that is local. Rest assured that we designed the tour together and Fabrizio has personally met the local suppliers to make sure they share Italia Sweet Italia’s philosophy and style to create new and unique trips to support small local businesses and sustainable tourism.

TOURS IN OTHER ITALIAN REGIONS

No, Fabrizio won’t personally lead these tours. We prefer to entrust our trips to enthusiastic local guides who share our philosophy. While it would be wonderful to have Fabrizio accompany the tour, we believe in giving space to individuals from the area who have a deep love and knowledge of the region. Nonetheless, Fabrizio has worked closely with local suppliers to ensure they align with Italia Sweet Italia’s values and style. This collaboration allows us to create new and unique trips while supporting small local businesses and sustainable tourism.

Here are some general information, please read in the final part of the tour brochure that you can download by clicking on the Download free brochure button (button you will find on the page you are reading) all the details about the pick up time, drop off, the duration of the transfer to and from the hotel and the meeting point which is very simple.

Pick up

For all the small group tours listed in our calendar, the pick up is planned at 12:30 pm on day 1 at Rome Fiumicino airport  for tours in Abruzzo and Le Marche, at 2:30 pm at Bologna and Palermo airports for tours in Emilia Romagna and Sicily, at 1:00-1:30 pm or at 4:00-4:30 pm at Bari airport or Train station for the 7-day Puglia tour (see details in the brochures).

Drop-off

For the drop-off we usually leave the hotel at 9:00 am after breakfast.

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

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.

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 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 the indicated time. Those who are unable to be on time will not be guaranteed a transfer from the airport and will have to seek other arrangements to participate in the remainder of the tour. Anyway, don’t worry, in most cases, there are public buses or trains that connect the airport with our locations. 

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 which needs to be quoted as an extra cost.

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 inItaly. 

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.

For arriving in Italy (Rome or other airports) from abroad, we recommend allowing an average of 1.5 to 3 hours before our meeting.

This timeframe accounts for the time needed for the customs clearance process, baggage retrieval, and reaching our meeting point.

Our travelers typically take between 40 minutes and 1 hour to complete these procedures.

Arriving early will allow you to manage any delays and complete the checks without rushing.

As for returning from Italy ((Rome or other airports) to your Country, we suggest arriving at the airport at least 2 or 3 hours before the scheduled departure time of your international flight.

This additional time is necessary for check-in, security screening, and customs checks for international flights.

Please note that these times are indicative and may vary depending on passenger flow and the efficiency of checks at the time of travel.

Therefore, it’s advisable to plan with some extra time to avoid stressful situations.

To book your flights and check available schedules, we recommend using the website www.skyscanner.com.

This tool allows you to compare different flight options and find the best solution for your travel needs.

  • 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

The booking process with Italia Sweet Italia is very simple. All you have to do is follow the 2 easy steps. At any stage you are welcome to contact us and we will help you with any doubts or problems:

  1. To Pay a deposit of 25% per person by:
  2.     Credit card using the book now button on the tour page
  3.   Bank Transfer

(Italia Sweet Italia Holidays di Lucci Fabrizio)

Account number: 1231254113 IBAN: IT21R0526277910CC1231254113 SWIFT: BPPUIT33 Banca Popolare Pugliese – Società cooperative per azioni Via XXIV Maggio, 25 66054 Vasto (CH) – Italy. Motivation of the payment: Deposit for Tour… to add name of the tour, month and year). Please inform your bank to make it directly in €.

  1. You pay the 75% balance within 45 days before arrival

You can pay the balance by Bank Transfer or Credit card (you will receive an automatic email from our booking platform).

Tours booked less than 45 days before their start date must be paid in full

Welcome to Italia Sweet Italia, where each day blends cultural immersion, scenic beauty, and culinary delights. Arriving at Rome Fiumicino airport, our team whisks you away to Sulmona or Vasto amidst the stunning Abruzzo landscape. After settling in, explore at your leisure before a warm welcome briefing with our guide. Indulge in authentic Italian cuisine at local eateries, with flexibility to accommodate preferences. From optional activities to leisurely strolls, every moment promises an unforgettable Italian adventure. Read more 

PHOTOS

MAP

REVIEWS

Price: € 3,565

Download Free Brochure

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Cultural, Culinary and Active Tours in Italy - Enquiry

To get more info and for booking enquiries, select your preferred starting date, add your personal data and needs and I’ll get back to you with more information accordingly as soon as I can! Thanks, Fabrizio

Download Free Brochure

Enter your email to get the "Secrets of Puglia: a Journey into Charming villages, Ancient Traditions and Authentic Flavors" brochure containing all the important information right to your inbox.

Cultural, Culinary and Active Tours in Italy - Travel Privately

To get more info and for booking enquiries, select your preferred starting date, add your personal data and needs and I’ll get back to you with more information accordingly as soon as I can! Thanks, Fabrizio, Founder and Tour guide

  • This tour can be booked privately from a minimum of 6 travellers
  • There may be an additional fee when booking this tour privately

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