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Italian Cooking & Culture Holiday in Abruzzo (Choose your Itinerary)

From £1149 pp

Abruzzo, Italy

7 days

Join a small group 1-16 people

Italian Cooking & Culture Holiday in Abruzzo (Choose your Itinerary)

(4)

What You'll Do

Experience Abruzzo, Italy’s best kept secret, on this 6 night cooking holiday, where the weather is warm, people are friendly, and you will get to experience a variety of gastronomic delights from cheese & wine to fish & pasta dishes - this is an experience no foodie should miss!

Different itineraries are scheduled on different dates and The Truffle Hunting and Gelato holidays can be booked as a private group of min. 4- please contact us for group prices.

If you’re looking for an immersive culinary holiday adventure, where you really get to know the food, region and people, Fabrizio, together with his family & friends, has put together the perfect Italian experience that combines passion, land and locals to bring you the best of Abruzzo.

Fabrizio, your host and guide for the week, uses his hometown, the history packed, medieval town of Vasto, as your base for the week. Each day will bring a new adventure as you head out to farmhouses, seaside traboccos (exclusive to the region), markets, and wineries, and with each day comes another taste of the region and a new recipe to master.

The cooks, farmers and producers you will meet are all native to the region of Abruzzo and part of Fabrizio’s family, there is simply no better way to get an insider’s view of Abruzzo daily life. They can’t wait to share their family secrets and tricks of the trade with you.

This holiday is very hands-on and you’ll experience every excursion first hand, so be prepared to roll up your sleeves as you cook delicious meals, don’t be nervous about milking a cow, trying your hand at fishing, or even helping out with the cheese making process, it is all a part of the experience! It isn’t every day you get the opportunity to work side by side with knowledgeable producers.

The hands-on cooking is simple, rustic and true to its roots, taught by people who have been living off the land, mastering family recipes passed down through generations, and using the best seasonal produce. If there is a dish you are missing during your stay, it simply isn’t the right season – there are perfect dishes that reflect different times of year. Trust us – no one knows better than the producers.

Each holiday start date has the same itinerary so you get the highlights of the Abruzzo and the foods it’s famous for, but on the 4th day of every week, there is a focus on one specialty that is seasonal at that time. If you have a passion for truffles, really need to master your passata, or can’t get enough of gelato, find the date that suits you.

You’ll stay in a family-run 3-star hotel is fitted with every modern convenience right in the heart of the city. It is known its caring staff who is always on hand to help and offer some advice on what to see.

On this incredible culture and cooking holiday in Italy, leave a fast paced life behind, bring a bigger belt, and discover the wonderful region of Abruzzo and its people – without a doubt, one of Italy’s best kept secrets.

Experience
Highlights

Let your guide, Fabrizio & his friends and family, show you their beloved Abruzzo

Learn to cook regional specialties using the best locally sourced ingredients

Meet the local producers and gain insight into farming, wine and cheese production, and more!

Your Local Host:

Fabrizio and friends

Fabrizio is your tour guide and host extraordinaire on his Italian gastronomy holidays. Native to the region of Abruzzo in central Italy, he is immensely proud of its history and heritage. Fabrizio’s passion for keeping everything local also means that guests on his holidays will be joining his family for cooking lessons, meeting local pro Read More

Experience Itinerary

Arrival & welcome to Abruzzo dinner

– Arrive in Rome, where you will be collected at the airport and taken to Vasto (transfers depart at 2:30pm)
– Check in, relax, meet your guide and fellow guests, and enjoy a welcome dinner and discuss the plans for the week

Market visit, cook pasta with Mamma & explore Vasto

– Start the day with a trip to the colourful Vasto market
– Enjoy your morning in a local’s kitchen and learn to cook some regional dishes, followed by the beautiful lunch you have just prepared
– After lunch you’ll head out to explore a medieval coastal town, complete with castle and cathedral, then meet some local artisans
– In the evening you are free to try one of the many local restaurants of Vasto

Exploring Punta Aderci Nature Reserve & trabocco fishing house

– After breakfast you’ll explore the Abruzzo coast line, with a short and easy walk inside Punta Aderci Nature Reserve, one of the 10 most beautiful Italian beaches according to the British Daily Telegraph
– Next you’ll visit a trabocco that is constructed mostly from acacia wood and railway iron sleepers
– Weather permitting, host Rinaldo will show you how to fish from the trabocco, and tell you the secrets and history behind Abruzzo’s unique fishing platforms that have been featured in the BBC TV show: Escape to the Continent
– Rinadlo’s wife, Maria, who comes from a family of well-known cooks will give us you a fish cookery demonstration sourcing fish from the Adriatic when possible; expect some wonderful local dishes like marinated fresh anchovies, mariner’s-style clams, octopus in tomato sauce with polenta, stuffed mussels, fish soup alla vastese, and Pizzelle (typical sweets from Abruzzo) with home-made fruit conserve
– In the afternoon feel free to relax, try your luck at fishing, or take some great photos of the surrounding beautiful marinescape
– On the way home, you’ll visit the enchanting San Giovanni in Venere Abbey that sits on a hill dominating the coastline, surrounded by orange, olive, oak and pine trees
– Have the dinner of your choosing at a traditional restaurant in the heart of Vasto

Visit a trabocchi fishing house (February and November dates only)

– Following breakfast, you will get hands-on learning traditional stuffing dishes, including stuffed vegetables and ravioli (amongst others!) and then enjoy lunch
– Your afternoon is based by the sea, discovering the “Trabocchi” (fishing platforms typical to Abruzzo), try your hand at fishing, and enjoy a seafood aperitif
– Dinner will be at your choice in Vasto

Speciality day

– The morning of day 4 focuses on the specialty dish of the week; depending on your course, you may be focusing on either salami making, truffles, gelato, passata making, the grape harvest, oil harvest, or Christmas.

Please note that the different courses are held on specific dates throughout the year marked on the calendar.

– Enjoy a free afternoon/evening to focus on what you love; if you would like some help planning, your host will be happy to help. This is the perfect afternoon for a hike at your leisure

Cheese making at a local farm & Roccascalegna Castle

– After breakfast, you’ll make your way to a farmhouse where hosts Pina and Berardino will reveal the secrets of farming – letting you immerse in an authentic slow food experience.
– You can relax in the beautiful Abruzzo countryside, or feel free to join in and milk the sheep or cows, and bake a regional bread
– After collecting some organic wine from their winery, you’ll all have an aperitif and taste some of the farm’s production: cheeses, salami and extra virgin olive oil
– Next you’ll prepare ricotta cheese, and then collect the fresh vegetables from their garden that will be used for a beautiful farm-to-table lunch! Almost everything you will 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)
– In the afternoon, you’ll drive inland to explore the enchanting hilltop towns. In the evening, you may enjoy a dinner or aperitif on your own in one of the many restaurants and wine bars of Vasto

Olive oil & wine tasting and learn to make pizza and tiramisu

– After breakfast you’ll head out to an olive farm and learn all about the production, followed by an olive oil tasting
– Next you’ll be whisked off to an award winning winery where you’ll enjoy wine tastings paired with local salamis and cheeses
– The afternoon will be filled making Italian classics such as pizza, bruschetta, and tiramisu, followed by a fantastic meal

Goodbye

– After breakfast, you will set off for the airport (around 9:30 am) complete with new skills, recipes, and hopefully some local delicacies

*Please note dishes may be altered according to seasonal availability

Reviews (4)

K Faustin

Saturday 30th May, 2020

So good that we came back! Thanks to a recommendation, we first took a tour of Abruzzo with Fabrizio in Spring 2019. It was our first time to Abruzzo after many years of coming to Italy. Fabrizio custom planned our 4 day trip and he did not disappoi...

So good that we came back! Thanks to a recommendation, we first took a tour of Abruzzo with Fabrizio in Spring 2019. It was our first time to Abruzzo after many years of coming to Italy. Fabrizio custom planned our 4 day trip and he did not disappoint in the least. We learned so much about the region, the food and how lovely the people are. We had wine/oil/cheese tastings, a cooking class, a boat trip to the Tremiti islands and an excursion to Sulmona. Fabrizio handled all details for us and was VERY responsive and flexible, focusing on what we wanted to do and making changes for the weather and for our energy levels. Was truly one of the best experiences we have had in many years. And we will be back!!! UPDATE: We did come back to Abruzzo in September 2019 and took another tour with Fabrizio to Roccascalegna castle, a tour of Vasto, a wonderful lunch on a trabocco (look those up..amazing) and a stop by Fonte Fico for another wine tasting. It was a wonderful couple of days and his love of Vasto and Abruzzo has caused us to decide we want to buy property around Vasto. He's that good.

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Jan P

Friday 22nd May, 2020

If you travel to Abruzzo you must spend time with Fabrizio and friends! Not like your typical large group tourist groups that I cannot imagine enjoying. Fabrizio and his family and friends make this small group trip beyond memorable. There is not mu...

If you travel to Abruzzo you must spend time with Fabrizio and friends! Not like your typical large group tourist groups that I cannot imagine enjoying. Fabrizio and his family and friends make this small group trip beyond memorable. There is not much English spoken in this part of Italy so if you don’t speak Italian you will be especially glad of Fabrizio’s help. My grandparents are from Vasto and he also tracked down information on them — and great and great great grandparents. My friend said it was one of the absolute best travel experiences of her life and she had no connection to Abruzzo or Italy. We did the hiking and cooking tour and it was amazing. I am sure all the options with Italia Sweet Italia are equally amazing. A high light for me was swimming in the beautiful blue green Adriatic and then lunch on a Trabeccho family fishing pier. Really words do not describe how happy I am to have had this experience and look forward to going again in the future!!!

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Katie C

Tuesday 14th April, 2020

An absolute must! Fabrizio’s tour was fantastic. Having travelled to many places, often as part of an organised group, this one certainly didn’t disappoint. One of the attractions for me personally was that whilst it included food and drink, it ...

An absolute must! Fabrizio’s tour was fantastic. Having travelled to many places, often as part of an organised group, this one certainly didn’t disappoint. One of the attractions for me personally was that whilst it included food and drink, it wasn’t a ‘sterile’ cooking holiday, in fact as far from that as you could wish for, and that is exactly what I wanted. The holiday was an experience of life in Abruzzo region. Meeting Fabrizio’s family, friends and business partners and enjoying their welcome, hospitality and company was truly delightful. The area itself is beautiful and there are not many places where one can enjoy mountains and sea together but here, it’s possible. The tour encompassed visits to local markets, to the amazing old fishing platforms called trabuccos, to olive groves, vineyards, cheese-making agriturismo, castles, great restaurants and more! Fabrizio is an excellent host. He is passionate about his home town of Vasto, its traditions and those of the wider area. He takes real pleasure in introducing the wonderful regional food and exceptional wines to his guests. Everywhere we visited we were met with a very warm welcome and the generosity of each host was outstanding.

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A Andres

Monday 20th May, 2019

I would recommend this tour to one and all. Fabrizio, the owner and guide, was very solicitous of us. The welcoming and warm people, the great food and wine, what can I say!?! This tour made for a very memorable week in Vasto, Abruzzo, Italy.

I would recommend this tour to one and all. Fabrizio, the owner and guide, was very solicitous of us. The welcoming and warm people, the great food and wine, what can I say!?! This tour made for a very memorable week in Vasto, Abruzzo, Italy.

Read more

Location Information

Set in the central region of Abruzzo, which boasts the Adriatic sea to the east and a lush mountainous landscape to the west, this unique Italian cooking holiday will prove to be a culinary adventure through your host Fabrizio’s home region. Based in his hometown of Vasto, a charming seafront town, you are perfectly placed to experience the tastes, culture and people of the area, where you will learn to cook in local kitchens or farms during the day, and have the nights to explore the city.

Nearest airports:
Roma Fiumicino Airport (around 3.5 hours away)

Return airport transfers:
Free airport transfers to and from Roma Fiumicino are included in the price.

  • 6 nights 3-star hotel accommodation in a twin/double room with ensuite bathroom
  • Prices are person and there are no single supplements for solo travellers
  • Various hands-on cooking lessons, tastings and cultural excursions every day with an English speaking tour guide for the duration of the holiday
  • 8 meals (food, water, house wine) in selected restaurants, farmhouses, private homes, wineries based on traditional regional dishes
  • Breakfast daily and lunches with occasional dinners (some evenings are free for you to explore the town yourself)
  • Personalized cooking booklet and apron
  • All cooking classes and ingredients
  • Transfers to and from Rome Fiumicino airport
  • Check in any time between 11am - 8pm on day 1 and check out by 9.30am on day 7

FAQs

- Suitable for all levels and experience of cooking
- Minimum age 18 with no upper age limit (under 18s accepted accompanied by an adult)
- All classes are taught in both Italian and English
- Perfect for solo travellers and even families are welcome
- Each holiday offers a different foodie experience on the fourth day depending on the arrival date

- The lovely coastal town of Vasto is very walkable, with plenty of restaurants, shops, and medieval gems
- Don’t hesitate to ask the hotel staff for a bike rental for the day
- Beaches and a nature reserve are also nearby
- If there is anything you would like to see or do during your time in Abruzzo, please let your host know and he can help you plan

- Cook and spend time with local producers, farmers, Italian mothers, fisherman and families in the region
- Learn first hand about the production of olive oil, wines, cheeses, and fishing from generations old family farms
- Have a personal guide and translator with you for the week, who is native to the region
- This holiday provides you with the rare opportunity to be invited into homes and farms, as well into the daily lives of locals
- Stay in a lovingly cared for, modern family-run hotel right in the historic centre of Vasto
- All rooms are twin/double ensuite, with air-conditioning, TV and WiFi
- Around 3.5 hours from Rome Fiumicino airport, your transfers are included in the price
- Close to gorgeous, quiet beaches and a nature reserve for lovers of the outdoors
- Perfect for the whole family