Each day of our relaxing foodie adventure we will explore the best of Italy’s diverse regional cuisine.
On our arrival in Venice we will depart for Tuscany’s San Gimignano. After a leisurely walk through the vineyards, we’ll enjoy lunch and a wine tasting. Wines included are:
Vernaccia di San Gimignano DOCG
Chianti Colli Senesi
Afterwards we’ll continue our coach journey through some of central Italy’s most enchanting landscapes onto Sulmona, Abruzzo.
You’ll be swept away from the crowds to the restored Benedictine Monastery of Grancia dei Celestini, where George Clooney stayed whilst filming The American.
It’s set in the middle of the stunning medieval town of Sulmona, the birthplace of Ovid and the world’s favourite sugared almonds known as confetti. This lively mountain town sits in the heart of the Peligna Valley where 3000 years ago the name Italia was first given to the Italian peninsula in 90 bc.
For aperitivo and dinner we are invited for a light 4-course tasting menu of the best from each of Abruzzo’s 4 provinces recreated by Chef Claudio of Grancia dei Celestini.
We will follow breakfast with a gentle canoe excursion down the turquoise Il Tirino river from Bussi that sits within the Gran Sasso National Park. This is an incredible, colourful trip to relax both your mind and body whilst discovering the heritage of the mountains and sampling water celery.
We will make our way up to the spectacular high basin shaped plateau Campo Imperatore (Little Tibet), for a traditional Abruzzese picnic at the mountain refuge, Ristoro Mucciante. Picnics in Abruzzo always include arrosticini, the delectable grilled skewers of lamb that the shepherds used to eat and which has now become one of Europe’s most popular street foods.
After our long lunch we will make our way back to Sulmona.
We will meet up for a short guided tour of the Sulmona that explores its sacred sites, cultural quarters and tangle of interesting cobbled alleys and provides an opportunity to go shopping.
Pack your beach gear as after breakfast we will depart for the Adriatic and the Trabocchi Coast. For lunch you will be wined and dined aboard a trabocco for 3.5 hours, delighting in a 10-course fish feast in what we guarantee will become your most memorable beach dining experience! Expect a succession of fish and shellfish served sushi-style, drizzled with local olive oil, mixed into salads, served with fresh pastas, grilled, baked whole fish and crunchy breaded fillets.
Since 1887, these sustainable fishing machines positioned on stilts above a sparkling sea have been used by the local population to catch fish, and some now enjoy a double role as Abruzzo’s most novel restaurants.
After our traditional passegiato (mid-afternoon walk) on the beach, we’ll make our way back to Sulmona for a wine tasting in the original room where Monks used to make wine for medicinal use and to serve pilgrims at our monastery base. We’ll sample Abruzzo’s 5 most established grapes whose wines are glorious enough for US wine dealers stock and have a light dinner.
Departure to Rome after breakfast. A bus shuttle is provided to Fumincino Airport.