Cooking, wine and walking holiday

Abruzzo Region, Abruzzo, Italy

7 days from
per person
$1,705

Holiday Itinerary

This fantastic 6 night / 7 day cooking and walking holiday has been thoughtfully put together by local guide Fabrizio, together with his family & friends, to ensure you get 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 meal 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.

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.

As well as meeting the locals and hands-on cooking lessons, you’ll be taking in some of the finest scenery Abruzzo has to offer at a slow easy pace during two guided walks.

The walks are well off the beaten track, and you are escorted by your local guide so you can learn about what you are seeing and take in some culture and history while you walk. You’ll discover mountains, the coast line, old, remote hermitages as well as the chance to take a dip in the Adriatic Sea.

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.

Who is it suitable for?
- 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
- You must have a reasonable level of fitness for the walking (distance and durations are detailed below in the itinerary)

When can I start?
- Course arrival days are on Sundays on 2 June & 8 September in 2019

Typical itinerary
This itinerary acts as a guide only and is subject to change based on the weather and the group’s needs and wishes.

Day 1 - 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

Day 2 - 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 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 Vasco

Day 3 - Walk in the amazing Abruzzo mountains & ancient hermitages
- Following breakfast, you’ll head up to the mountains and through the National parks for a beautiful, easy paced walk with amazing views, breaks and a picnic lunch (5.1 km, 3.2 miles - walking time 3-4 hours, including breaks and picnic)
- The evening is yours to sample a new restaurant in Vasto

Day 4 - Walk along the Abruzzo coastline, visit trabocchi fishing houses & a free afternoon
- Today you will take a gorgeous drive along the Abruzzo coastline and enjoy a walk in the Punta Aderci Nature Reserve, home to one of the most beautiful beaches in the area (6 km, 4.1 miles - walking time 3-3.5 hours including a short break to swim in the Adriatic)
- You’ll then discover the trabocchi (wooden fishing platforms native to Abruzzo), were Rinaldo, your local fisherman and the day’s host, will teach you the fishing secrets of the region and treat you to a fresh seafood and fish inspired lunch
- The afternoon is free for you to revisit your favourite area, or explore somewhere new, and a leisurely dinner of your choice

Day 5 - Visit a local farm to learn to make cheese & 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

Day 6 - Olive oil & wine tasting, 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

Day 7 - 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

About the cooking school
- This is not your typical cooking school, instead classes take place outside of any school-like environment and happen in local’s homes, on local farms, or in the hills on the lands of local suppliers and families
- Fabrizio will be your tour guide and host extraordinaire for the week, while his extensive family and friends in the area will be teaching you everything they know about Italian produce and cuisine
- There is no “professional chef” on this holiday, you are learning from housewives, mothers, fathers, brothers, farmers and fisherman, as well as wine makers, olive producers - basically everyone in the community
- Most of the things you will learn, see and experience are not taught it in schools but refined and passed down through the generations

About your guide and hosts
- Each person you meet during the week has a vital role to the community and will give you the insight
to recipes, production, and daily life in Abruzzo:
Fabrizio - your tour guide
Berardino - farmer
Adele - mother and housewife
Nicola and Emanuele - winemakers
Rinaldo - fisherman
Ettore - artist
Giovanni and Elio - olive oil makers

What will I learn?
- You will learn to make simple rustic Italian home cooked dishes; including, pizzas, pastas, sauces, stuffed dishes, tiramisu, seafood dishes and others from the region
- You’ll learn about Abruzzo’s unique fishing methods and even have a go at it!
- You’ll learn about olive oil and wine production, as well as sheep and cow farming and cheese making
- Throughout the week, you will get your fill of culture and history from Roman through medieval times, and visit various castles, cathedrals and an Abbey
- The arranged walks will get you familiar with the diversity of the area and off the beaten track

Where will I be staying?
- You will be staying in the lovely family owned 3-star Hotel San Marco, right in the historic heart of Vasto, just a 5 minute walk from the cathedral, or a similar standard of accommodation
- Each room is a twin or double ensuite, and there are no single supplements for solo travellers who wish to have their own room
- Rooms are modern, spacious and spotless, with tiled floors, private bathrooms with hairdryers
- All bedrooms are fully air conditioned, have a bathroom with a shower, TV and internet access
- The hotel also offers bike rentals as an alternative way to explore the city
- An Italian breakfast is served daily with cappuccinos, croissants, baked goods and fruit
- Accommodation is included for 6 nights / 7 days
- Check in upon arrival on day 1 and check out by 9:30 (for your airport return) on day 7
- If you want to stay for extra days in the accommodation you are welcome and an additional day cooking class can also be added, just email or call us to chat through what you’d like to do – we’ll be happy to help

What can I do in my free time?
- This lovely coastal Roman town 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