Cookery Holidays in Abruzzo, Italy: Sapori D'Abruzzo
The leading provider of cooking vacations since 1994

Sapori d'Abruzzo
Carunchio, Abruzzo

< Previous

About the location: Abruzzo is an unspoiled, authentic part of Italy situated due east of Rome on the Adriactic coast. It boasts miles of seaside and pristine beaches, medieval villages perched on hilltops and nestled in valleys, and natural wonders in its famous parks. Indeed, a full third of the region is protected parklands full of lush forests, majestic mountains, and charming towns. Your home for your fabulous cooking vacation is the town of Carunchio, an ancient borgo perched on the top of a hill in southern Abruzzo.


Situated at the top of Carunchio is the recently restored Palazzo Tour d’Eau. Owner Massimo Criscio left a job in corporate America to return to his homeland and provide an authentic and unforgettable culinary vacation for his clients. As a result, Massimo has created a lovely small hotel in the middle of Abruzzo complete with a gourmet restaurant and a charming, separate teaching kitchen for the cooking classes. The hotel has just 6 rooms and boasts amazing panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. The size of the hotel ensures a superior level of personal attention and enables Massimo and his staff to dedicate the week entirely to the guests participating in the cookery holiday. One of Massimo’s passions is wine, and during your stay in Abruzzo you will enjoy that most famous of central Italian wines, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo.


About the cooking lessons: Abruzzo combines some of the finest of tradtional Italian products—cured prosciutto and salami, sheep’s milk cheese, homemade pastas—with fresh seasonal produce to create a regional cuisine that is both simple and full of natural flavors. Its natural landscape (mountains to coast) means access to both wonderful meats and fresh seafood. Your cooking lessons will explore healthy Mediterranean cuisine, homemade pastas and sauces, mouth-watering desserts, and the wonderful preserved fruits and vegetables that are such a staple of Italian life. No more going to the store to buy pickled peppers, canned tomatoes or eggplant sott’olio! Soon you will be able to create these scrumptious delicacies on your own. Your cooking lessons will be led by the wonderful chef of the Palazzo Tour d’Eau, Dino Paganelli, and by American Cheryle Molano. After 25 years of restaurant experience and studying cooking in both Europe and America, she has settled with her husband in his native homeland, Abruzzo. She combines her restaurant experience with the traditions of Italian cooking to create a simple approach that will enable you to recreate your experiences and meals when you return home.

Sapori d'Abruzzo Itinerary

Day 1 - Sunday

  • Arrival transfer from the Rome airport across the beautiful Central Apennine mountains directly to Palazzo Tour D’Eau in Carunchio, where you will be staying.
  • In the evening you will attend a multi-course welcome dinner to help you get acquainted and settled in.

Day 2 - Monday

  • The day starts after breakfast with a visit to a salame production plant and olive press to learn how these incredible products are made, with some sampling.
  • After your leisurely lunch at the palace, some time to rest before the afternoon cooking class.
  • Explore the basic ingredients of Abruzzo cuisine and make some delicious apetizers, which you will be able to use back home!
  • Dinner based on your culinary efforts and overnight.

Day 3 - Tuesday

  • For your second cooking lesson, you will learn how much fun pasta making from home can be! You’ll be amazed at the variety of shapes, colors and types pasta has—ranging from pasta all alla chitarra, gnocchi, lasagna, stuffed pasta and so on. You will be taught the tricks of the trade so your pasta turns out perfect every time.
  • Today’s lunch will be based on your cooking efforts.
  • After lunch, sample some Abruzzo wine and learn how to pair food with wine with the guidiance of your sommelier.
  • Return for dinner and overnight.

Day 4 - Wednesday

  • Your day starts off with a trip to the Adriatic Coast in Vasto for sunbathing, shopping and a little sightseeing of the coast’s unique trabocco fishing houses.
  • Enjoy a seafood lunch or dinner at the finest restaurant in Vasto.
  • You can also plan on having time for shoe shopping at a huge outlet store.
  • Return to the Palace and overnight.

Day 5 - Thursday

  • Breakfast followed by an excursion to Agnone, in the region of Molise.
  • Watch real family production of mozzarella, ricotta cheeses and cacio cavallo.
  • Afterward, visit an ancient bell foundry, which provides bells to the Vatican city, and learn about the phases of the manufacturing.
  • After a leisurely lunch and small break, you will learn how to preserve fruits and vegetables the Italian way. Make fruit preserves and a variety of pickled vegetables, plus learn how to preserve using oil. Taste and discover how these ingredients are a big part of the Abruzzese cuisine.
  • Return for dinner and overnight.

Day 6 - Friday

  • Following breakfast, learn how to make mouth watering desserts and pair them with the liquors made the previous day.
  • After lunch, enjoy your afternoon at leisure.
  • Dinner at the Palace and overnight.

Day 7 - Saturday

  • Following an early breakfast, finish any last minute shopping in the town and return transfer to the Rome airport.