The Double Soul of Abruzzo Experience

Fabrizio Lucci

Founder & Tour Guide of Italia Sweet Italia

Fabrizio Lucci

Founder & Tour Guide of Italia Sweet Italia

17-23 October 2021

16-22 October 2022

Fully escorted small groups tour up to 12 travelers

Book with flexible conditions

Need to cancel your trip due to COVID-19? You can reschedule your booking free of charge or receive a credit for your non-refundable deposit and re-book anytime. Find out more here about our FLEX AND SAFE Booking Policy

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 7-day Italian cultural and food vacation in Abruzzo, one of the most stunning and culturally rich regions in Italy. 
For anyone eager to live an immersive adventure in the Italian culture and traditions, where you really get to know the food, region and people, your host and local guide Fabrizio, together with his family & friends, has put together amazing experiences that combine passion, beautiful places and locals to show you the best of the region’s off-the-beaten-track secrets. This is a fully escorted tour that will give you the insights to daily life, food & wine, culture and production in Abruzzo and will let you discover the authentic Italy in a balanced mix of experiences, relax, adventure and learning. 
The highlight of this tour is the chance to “live” in two historic town centers (Sulmona, the capital of confetti on the mountains and Vasto on the Adriatic Sea) among the most beautiful in the region so that you can experience the Abruzzo “double soul”: the coastal and mountainous areas, with their unique geographical, cultural and enogastronomic peculiarities. 

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 (there is no single room supplement) - Couples - Group of friends - Families

HIGHLIGHTS

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 7-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 of freshly baked bread, country-style fruit preserves, cakes, pastries, coffee, tea and freshly squeezed juices

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 visit (for those who want to walk 40 min. inside Majella National Park) the Hermitage of Sant’Onofrio, that was enlarged by order of Pietro from Morrone in the last decade of the XIII century; here the monk lived a hermit’s life from the 1293 to the beginning of 1294, when he ascended the papal throne with the name of Celestino V

PM

  • We’ll have lunch in a traditional restaurant of Sulmona
  • Next we’ll discover Sulmona visiting the Roman aqueduct on Piazza Garibaldi and the Church of Santa Maria Annunziata with its majestic bell tower
  • 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 4 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 and polpette (meatballs), Cavatelli with vegetables and Tarallucci (typical biscuits from Abruzzo) – of course this depends on seasonal availability

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 make our way to a farmhouse where Pina and Berardino will reveal the secrets of farming, letting you immerse in an authentic slow food experience. You could relax in the beautiful Abruzzo countryside or take part into some or all of these experiences
  • We’ll milk a sheep or a cow
  • We’ll learn how to make a special bread called “pizza scima – stupid pizza”, a pizza without yeast
  • After picking some organic wine from their winery, we’ll have an aperitif including a taste of their production: cheeses, salami and extra virgin olive oil
  • Next we’ll learn how to prepare ricotta cheese
  • Finally we’ll collect the fresh vegetables from their garden that will be used for our farm-to-table lunch
  • A delicious traditional farm-to-table lunch will be prepared and served
  • Almost everything we’ll eat is produced in the farm (wheat to produce the organic flour to make different kinds of breads, cookies and fresh pasta together with eggs from their hens, organic extra virgin olive oil, wines, liquors, juices, jams, cheeses, many varieties of salami, meats and vegetables)

PM

  • In the afternoon, immersed in the nature and surrounded by amazing sceneries, we’ll drive in the inland to explore the enchanting Abruzzo’s 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
  • After the big lunch at the farm, in the evening you may enjoy a dinner or aperitif on your own in one of the many restaurants and wine bars of Vasto

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

AM

  • After breakfast we’ll visit an Olive Grove that has been farmed by Giovanni’s family for three generations to produce DOP olive oils. He will unfurl the secrets of what Homer described as “liquid gold” and we will finish with an olive oil tasting
  • Next we’ll visit an award winning winery that sits between a marine park and the mountains. We’ll make a wine tasting with pairings of bread and their extra-virgin olive oil, and a tour of the vineyard and cellars organized by the winemakers Emanuele and Nicola
  • Next we’ll explore the famous Trabocchi coast with a visit of 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 lunch and some free time to relax and pack or do a last minute shopping, 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 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 including a farewell party with Ettore and his wife Barbara
 

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

After breakfast we will leave (usually at 09:00 am) for Rome Fiumicino airport or your next destination (Rome Fiumicino is about 3,5 hours driving from Vasto) so make sure to get an afternoon flight.

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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

17-23 October 2021: € 1,495.00*
16-22 October 2022: € 1,545.00*

*Prices are per person and land only, with accommodation in a twin/double room with ensuite bathroom. Airfare and travel insurance are not included. There are no single supplements for solo travellers.

Click here for exchange rate

During this tour you will stay at the centrally located 4* Hotel Ovidius in Sulmona and  3*  Hotel dei 7 in Vasto. 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 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

  • Read the glowing reviews from our  guests on Tripadvisor
  • We know how to make you feel right at home
  • We keep our groups small so we can  take care of every detail

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 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 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.

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.

  • 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

To book this tour with us, check availability contacting Fabrizio (fill in the form or send an e-mail to fabrizio@italiasweetitalia.com) and go ahead with his instructions to pay by credit card. The booking becomes binding only after the payment of a 25% deposit per person and the confirmation e-mail from Italia Sweet Italia. The 75% balance has to be paid within 45 days before arrival. Tours booked less than 45 days before their start date must be paid in full. 

If you prefer, you can also pay the 25% deposit and 75% balance by 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. Headquarter: Via Luigi Luzzatti, 8, 73046 Matino (LE). 

Before the balance is due, we’ll send you an e-mail to remind you about the payment including a link to be used in case you prefer to pay the balance by credit card. 

PHOTOS

MAP

REVIEWS

Price: € 1,495

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, Founder and Tour guide

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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