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.
*Please click on each day to view daily itinerary.
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Today you will be transferred to the airport for your flight back home.
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