ABRUZZO ITALY 9 DAY TOUR
The Grande Tour
Overview of activities
- small group tour of Abruzzo Italy
- travel off the beaten path
- meet the local people and artisans
- roam untouched villages
- scenic routes
- authentic dining
- leisurely pace
- charming accommodation
- cooking classes with local produce
- ancient olive oil mill oil tasting
- wineries & wine tasting
- seafood lunch on trabocco
- alfresco lunch in alpine plateau
- farmer’s market
- hidden hermitages
- follow the shepherds
- farm visit
- national parks
- castels & forts
Let’s go! Get ready for your ultimate Abruzzo Italy 9 Day Tour!!
10:30 am – Marco and Katri will meet you this morning out the front of Termini Train Station. Look for the Italian Provincial Tours sign which we will be holding up.
We will leave Rome together and make our way into Italy’s hidden gem region of Abruzzo for a fun filled tour! Be ready to see some spectacular scenery along the way as this is Italy’s most beautiful stretch of freeway.
We will begin our Abruzzo tour at a very special winery set in the mountains which prides itself on producing sophisticated wines which showcase Abruzzo’s native grape varieties including the infamous Montepulciano d’Abruzzo.
After a tour of the vineyards we will enjoy lunch paired with their finest wines.
This afternoon we will reach our lovely agriturismo accommodation within the Majella National Park which will be home to us for the next 4 nights. Agriturismi are a popular type of accommodation in Italy. They are family-run farm stays which also provide breakfast and dinner. Everything served must be from the farm itself of from within only a few kilometres of the property. This is the epitome if regional cooking!
Read a blog and see photos of others on this tour by clicking here
During our stay at the agriturismo, an Italian-style breakfast will be served each morning in the dining room. Please make your way to breakfast when you are ready, taking note of the departure times.
9:30 am – Board the van out the front of our accommodation.
Today, we will venture into the “Golden Triangle” known for producing the best quality extra virgin olive oil in Abruzzo. We will visit Loreto Aprutino, a charming hilltop village surrounded by olive groves where Marco and Katri have their home.
We will have a guided tour of Abruzzo’s most extensive collection of Castelli Ceramics, which provide us with stories of the past. Then, we will visit the town’s ancient frantoio (olive oil factory) with a distinct gothic facade.
Afterwards, we will take a stroll to visit our neighbour’s birroteca (micro brewery) in the historical centre and enjoy a few drinks with lunch while taking in the views of the Majella Mountain.
Late this afternoon, we will meet in the dining room of our accommodation where we will join our host Donatella, for a fun and hands-on cooking class. Donatella will teach us how to cook some regional specialty dishes using seasonal produce, while sipping on a glass of Montepulciano of course!
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9:30 am – Board the van out the front of our accommodation.
Today, we will be spent on the coast of Abruzzo. With the glittering Adriatic Sea on our left, rolling hills lined with olive groves and vineyards and the Majella Mountain on our right, the drive is simply stunning! We will visit the Abby of San Giovanni in Venere, perched up high overlooking the Adriatic Sea and see the oldest olive tree in Abruzzo.
We will travel along the 15 km of pebbled coastline, known as the Costa dei Trabocchi (Trabocchi Coast). All along the coastline are the traditional fishing houses which sit out over the water, called Trabocco, or Trabocchi (plural). Most are over 130 years old and they are unique to Abruzzo.
Lunch today will be a truly unique experience. We will enjoy a leisurely lunch on our favourite Trabocco restaurant and enjoy a seafood feast on the trabocco itself, surrounded by water. After a chat about how the trabocchi are used to catch seafood, we will enjoy traditional seafood dishes.
After lunch, we will continue our drive along the coast to the beach in Pescara where you can enjoy a swim with the locals, or walk along the beach.
Dinner tonight will be at our agriturismo accomodation.
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It’s Day 4 of our discovery of Abruzzo and we will be in need of a lazy morning to rest so we are recharged for the second half of our journey together. Not to mention, tonight will be a late one! Enjoy some time to yourself to take in the peaceful setting.
This afternoon we will make our way the hilltop village of Bucchianico, where we will spend time with the locals. Weather permitting, we will take a detour to a lookout high on the Majella Mountain.
In Bucchianico, we will meet with Francesca, a producer of fine extra virgin olive oil. In her private ancient olive oil mill that has been in her family for generations, she will teach us all about extra virgin olive oil, with tastings.
A little way down the narrow lane and around the corner, we will descend the stairs into an ancient cellar that has been turned into an enoteca (wine bar). Here, we will enjoy an educational wine tasting with the enoteca’s own charismatic host, and a grazing-style dinner.
We will return to our accommodation late this evening.
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9:00 am board the van out the front of our accommodation along with your luggage.
Today, we say goodbye to our hosts and to the foothills of Abruzzo, and head inland, to the town of Sulmona.
In Piazza Garibaldi, overlooked by mountains, we will enjoy the theatrics of the farmer’s market and check out the local produce, such the renowned platted garlic, called Aglio Rosso di Sulmona.
Enjoy time to yourself to wander through the main streets of Sulmona. You could try the Pelini Confetti (sugared almonds which feature at Royal weddings) check out the honey store, or refill your water bottle with the fresh mountain water from the renaissance fountain, supplied by the medieval aqueduct.
12:30 pm – Meet at the predesignated spot to board the van.
A short drive up into the mountains is the gorgeous little village, Pacentro. Here, we will climb the stairs of the Castle to take in the stunning views. There is also a little house to find which has been unchanged since before electricity and you can see what village life used to be like!
Lunch today will be at a Michelin recommended restaurant with a wonderful view over the plateau of Sulmona.
After lunch, we will continue on to Santo Stefano di Sessanio, a medieval village in the Gran Sasso Mountains. Here in Santo Stefano di Sessanio, we will be staying in “difuso” accommodation, where each of us will have our own little apartment within the village. You will be shown to your apartment to settle in to what will be your home for the next 2 nights.
Enjoy a night to yourself tonight. There are a few fantastic restaurants within the village to choose from.
During our stay in Santo Stefano di Sessanio, an Italian-style breakfast is provided in your own accommodation, along with coffee and tea making facilities.
Enjoy time to yourselves this morning to wander the cobbled alleyways. Visit the stores to meet the local artisans for a first-hand look at the wonderful crafts and food produced in the area. Most notably are the production of honey, farro, chickpeas and a smaller version of brown lentil, for which this region is famous.
The production of wool has been an important commodity in the area for thousands of years, be sure to visit the store where locals are carrying on the traditional way of dying the wool using natural, traditional means.
12:00 pm we will meet at reception and head into one of the highest pastures of Europe, the alpine meadow of Campo Imperatore, known fondly as “Italy’s Little Tibet”. Here, at 1800m above sea level, we can see the highest peak in the Apennines, The Corno Grande.
Within the plateau, we will enjoy an alfresco lunch of Abruzzo’s most famous dish, arrosticini (sheep’s meat skewers) at an old set used to film “spaghetti westerns”. Learn to cook arrositicini amongst the locals, on the especially designed BBQs.
Afterwards, we board the van and make our way to Calascio. From here we will take a walk up to the nearby impressive tenth century Fortress of Rocca Calascio. At 1460, above sea level, it is the highest fort in Italy.
Enjoy another night to yourself tonight, Marco and Katri can help with restaurant suggestions.
8am – Meet at the van with your luggage ready to load.
Note: Be sure to wear your hiking-style boots today.
Today, we will leave the accommodation in Santo Stefano di Sessanio and drive to Anversa degli Abruzzi, at the doorstep to the National Park of Abruzzo. In Anversa degli Abruzzi, we will be the guests at a Bio-Agritourismo (Bio-organic Farm).
We will accompany the shepherds into the national park, to graze their sheep in the fields, breathe in the in the pristine alpine air and enjoy the splendid views of the mountains all around.
A fun cheese making class will follow with the farm’s own fresh milk!
After Lunch, we will make our way through Le Gole di Sagitario, a beautiful drive through the Abruzzo National Park. Along the way we will stop at the hermitage of Sant Domenico, situated on the wonderfully green Lake of Sant Domenico.
We continue along this scenic route until we reach the village of Barrea. We will stay the last night of our discovery of Abruzzo in a quiet B&B in Barrea, overlooking the lake.
8:00 pm meet in the foyer to walk together to a restaurant nearby for dinner.
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Breakfast today and tomorrow will be served at our accommodation, either inside or in the garden with a gorgeous view overlooking the lake. Make your way down when you are ready, keep in mind the departure times.
10:00 am Meet in the foyer to walk to the van together.
Sit back and enjoy the relaxing drive through the national park, to the medieval village of Scanno.
Explore the village which really feels like you are stepping back in time and maybe you will spot one of the elderly women who still wear the traditional dresses of Scanno. In an artisan jewellery store, you can see the trade that Scanno is famous for, handmade filigree jewellery.
This afternoon, we will visit a reserve nearby to Barrea, where we will have the chance to see the pack of Apennine Mountain Wolves, who live there.
8:00 pm – Dinner tonight is in a village nearby, Villetta Barrea, which can include the locally caught trout.
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Enjoy breakfast with a wonderful view overlooking the lake of Barrea.
This morning, we leave our lovely accommodation in Barrea. Take your time to pack and reflect on the wonderful experience you’ve had over the last 9 days. Perhaps enjoy one last stroll around Barrea, one of Abruzzo’s untouched villages.
At 11am, we will board our van for the last time, and bid farewell to wonderful Abruzzo.
We will stop off for a break and snack along the way back to Rome and arrive in Rome around 2pm where we will bid you farewell out the front of Termini Train Station.
Please note: This is an example itinerary. Although every effort is used to stick to the advertised itinerary, some experiences may be shuffled around or replaced with simular experiences when it is necessary to do so.
Fabulous experience- every detail lovingly looked after and the food is to die for. Kathryn and Marco are outstanding hosts.
To experience the real Abruzzo you need to be with passionate people like Katri & Marco that alone is an experience !!
Upcoming Tour Dates
Contact us with your preferred dates.
18 – 26 July 2022 – seats available.
$5,300 AUD per person twin share
$3,950 USD per person twin share
Low Cost Single Supplement
Near Termini Train Station in Rome.
Fully escorted tour by English speaking tour leaders Marco & Katri, private air conditioned minibus/van or SUV, charming and well appointed accommodations with private ensuite, all meals (except 2 dinners) and drinks with meals including table wine, entry fees and activities. Vegetarian meals and food allergies can be catered to.
Air fares, travel insurance, food and beverage outside of meal times unless stated in itinerary, personal purchases, other activities not listed in the itinerary and personal travel costs.