Our Journeys

Off the Beaten Path in Central Italy with Cathy Whims - October 2023
October 5 -15, 2023


Off the Beaten Path in Central Italy with Cathy Whims – October 2023

You will have the unique opportunity of traveling through off the beaten path areas of Central Italy with Chef Cathy Whims, owner of Nostrana. Cathy is excited to explore these regions where she will share her secret dining spots with you and introduce you to local producers. Central Italy is known for its spectacular scenery, rustic charm and its delicious foods and wines! We’ll visit ancient villages and local food producers in the Abruzzo, Le Marche, Umbria, Tuscany and Lazio regions, giving us a taste of all that Central Italy has to offer.

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Off-the-Beaten-Path in Central Italy with Cathy Whim: Zoom Info Session
Time: Mar 19, 2023 04:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

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*Please click on each day to view daily itinerary.

DAY 1- Thursday, October 5: Pacentro & Sulmona

Our group will meet this morning at Rome FCO airport. We will drive together to small hill village of Pacentro where you will get your first glimpse of a classic Abruzzo village. We will wander its streets and take a glimpse at its historic castle before an excellent welcome lunch of local specialties. After lunch, we will head to our hotel in the nearby city of Sulmona, birthplace of famed Latin poet Ovid, where you can begin exploring on your own. Sleep in Sulmona

DAY 2 - Friday, October 6: Scanno & Sulmona

This morning we will travel back in time to Scanno where local young women still wear a dress found only here. The women will tell you about their dresses and why they don’t want the tradition to disappear. In the afternoon, we will visit a production of the famed confetti candy made in Sulmona. Sleep in Sulmona

DAY 3 - Saturday, October 7: Caramanico Terme

Today we will head deep into the mountains near to the Majella National Park where we will visit a women-owned sheep farm focused on preserving the traditions of sheep herding. We will enjoy a cheese making demonstration, learn more about the shepherds of this region and feast on lunch of arrosticini, best eaten hot off the homemade wood burning grills used exclusively to grill this local specialty. After lunch, we will enjoy a walk through the natural beauty of the Ofrento Valley. Time permitting, we will check out the ancient hermitage of Santo Spirito. This evening we will check into our quaint hotel in the spa town of Caramanico Terme whose spas are known for their restorative properties. Sleep in Caramanico Terme.

DAY 4 - Sunday, October 8: Pescocostanzo & Cooking Demonstration

Today we will enjoy a scenic drive through the valley between the Majella and Morrone mountains on our way to visit the charming village of Pescocostanzo. We will visit its beautiful Basilicata Maria de Colle and learn the secrets of “merletto al tombalo” (hand-made lace). Later today, we will enjoy cooking demonstration by a local chef followed by a delicious meal that highlights the natural bounty of this region.Sleep in Caramanico Terme

DAY 5 - Monday, October 9: Rocca Calascio & Castelli

Today we will visit Rocca Calascio, an unforgettable rock-top fortress, taste the area’s fabulous “Canestrato” sheep cheese and admire local ceramic arts in the village of Castelli. We will also enjoy a lunch in the tradition of the “slow food” movement before we transfer to our hotel in Ascoli Piceno.Sleep in Ascoli Piceno

DAY 6 - Tuesday, October 10: Citta Sant’Angelo and Trabacci Coast

This morning we visit the medieval city of Sant’Angelo, the old Roman center of Silvi Paese and an ancient Roman cistern in Atri. We will then venture south along the coast to the “Trabacci” route where you will view and visit these interesting fishing contraptions built on stilts over the sea that dot the coast. It will be a surreal pleasure to enjoy a lunch of extremely fresh seafood while sitting over the sea at one of these trabacci. Sleep in Ascoli Piceno

DAY 7 - Wednesday, October 11: Norcia

Today we will discover another region of Central Italy as we make visits off the beaten path in Umbria. We will visit the village of Norcia, famous for its prosciutto and black truffles where we will enjoy tastings of boh. We will end the day outside of the charming town of Viterbo in the Lazio region. Sleep near Viterbo

DAY 8 - Thursday, October 12: Villa Lante, Bormaro & Civita Bagnoregio

Today we will visit the gardens of Villa Lante near to Vitberbo where we will learn of its many surprises. We will also visit the Sacro Bosco, often called the Park of Monsters. This 16th century garden is filled with ghoulish sculptures. After we will stop to explore the beautiful, crumbling, historic village of Civita di Bagnoregio where you will enjoy its stunning views and medieval and Etruscan past. You will also sample typical bruschettas and great local wines. Sleep near Viterbo

DAY 9 - Friday, October 13: Sovana, Sorano & Pitigliano

Today we will reach the Fiora Valley in the southernmost part of Tuscany.We will start with visits in Pitigliano which is in an area called the “borghi del tufo” where towns were carved out of the tufo stone. We will enjoy tastings of the locally made breads. Later we will enjoy a walk in the Etruscan made caves near to Sovano and Sorano before we return to Viterbo area for the night. Sleep near Viterbo

DAY 10 - Saturday, October 14: Tarquinia & Seaside

Today we will make our way towards the coast of the Tyrrhenian Sea to visit the hilltop town of Tarquinia where we will the largest collection of archaic tomb painting in all the Mediterranean. The tombs are located on a hill where more than 6000 burial chambers have been located and where about 200 are beautifully painted – in a time frame of about five centuries. After our visit, we will enjoy a farewell meal at one of Cathy’s favorite seafood restaurants near to Civitavecchia. We will end our day at our airport hotel near to Rome FCO. Sleep near Rome FCO airport

DAY 11 - Sunday, October 15: Departure

Today you will be transferred to the airport for your flight back home.


Trip Details:
2 nights in Sulmona
2 nights in Caramanico Terme
2 nights in Ascoli Piceno
2 nights near Viterbo
1 night near Rome FCO airport
Total: 10 nights, 11 days

$4,650 USD per person (double occupancy)
Single Supplement: $695 USD
12 travelers minimum

What is included in the trip

  • Individual private transfers upon arrival
  • Accommodation in centrally located hotels and charming country inns with breakfast everyday
  • Group transportation in a deluxe private bus
  • Breakfast and one main meal per day, including wine
  • Entrance fees, cooking class and tastings per the itinerary
  • Hotel shuttle for departure transfer

What is not included

  • International airfare
  • Personal expenses
  • Tips for tour leader, drivers and local guides
  • Travel insurance


    New website coming soon!

    Hi Friends & Travelers,

    Big changes to our website are on the way this year! At times, our website might be down or some pages may be “under construction”. If you have any questions on itineraries or other materials, feel free to email us at info@customizedjourneys.com. We can send you full copies of itineraries and answer any other questions you may have.

    Looking foward to seeing you on an upcoming or future trip!!

    The Customized Journeys Team