Italian Cooking & Culture Holiday in Abruzzo

From £1198 pp


7 Days


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!

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.

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.

Fabrizio and friends

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
– 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

Cheese making at a local farm & Roccascalegna Castle

– You’ll be heading off to a local farm this morning, learning all about sheep and cows (try your hand at milking them!)
– After a cheese tasting, you’ll learn the secrets of making Ricotta in the creamery, followed by making a traditional bread (known as “pizza scema”, or, stupid pizza – a pizza without yeast)
– Enjoy a traditional lunch with fresh, warm ricotta
– In the evening you will explore a castle in Abruzzo, then enjoy dinner out on the town

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


– 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 (1)

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.

Location Info

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. Bas..

  • 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

Italian Cooking & Culture Holiday in Abruzzo