Italian Cooking Vacation in Abruzzo

A view of the palazzo that is your home during your cooking vacation in Abruzzo.Abruzzo is an unspoiled, authentic part of Italy situated due east of Rome on the Adriatic coast, and is a perfect spot for an Italian cooking vacation. The region 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 our fabulous cooking vacations in Abruzzo is the town of Carunchio, an ancient borgo perched on the top of a hill in southern Abruzzo.

The olive harvest in Abruzzo.Situated at the top of Carunchio is the recently restored palazzo that will be your home during your Abruzzo cooking holiday. Owner Massimo 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 result is one of our best Italy food and wine tours.

One of Massimo’s passions is wine, and during your stay in Abruzzo you will enjoy one of the most famous of central Italian wines, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, during vineyard tours and a wine tasting, and will learn how to pair the wines with traditional Abruzzese food.

Pasta "alla chitarra," a specialty of the Abruzzo region.Abruzzo combines some of the finest of traditional Italian products such as cured prosciutto and salami, sheep’s milk cheese, and homemade pastas, with fresh seasonal produce. You will discover how this has created a regional cuisine that is both simple and full of natural flavors.

The natural landscape of Abruzzo (mountains to coast) means access to both wonderful meats and fresh seafood that you can taste (and cook!) during our cooking vacations in Abruzzo. Your cooking lessons will explore healthy Mediterranean cuisine, homemade pastas and sauces, and mouth-watering desserts.

Latest Review

I gave this trip 5 stars
Even though there were 24 of us participating, the staff made our experience a personal one. I can't say enough wonderful words about these people and the Palazzo. We were fed very high quality food at all meals. Breakfast is Italian which is home cooked baked goods, yogurt and fresh fruit. The cappuccinos were amazing. Our day trips were very appropriate and interesting (wine, cheese, Vasto and bell foundry). We were able to purchase fine wines and foods at a low cost. The staff were very attentive and entertaining. They handled any problems, which were minimal with calm and expertise. They speak English very well. We were all very happy, comfortable and stimulated. Four people in our group were on a return trip. I would recommend this experience to anyone!

Sapori d'Abruzzo Cooking Tour Details

Your amazing Abruzzo cooking tour will take place in a small, authentic Italian village. You will discover the authentic cuisine of Abruzzo on this Italian food and wine tour, including such traditional pastas as pasta alla chitarra, gnocchi, cavatelli, and regional “peasant” dishes that have been made for centuries.

Abruzzo Cooking Vacation Itinerary

Discover our day-by-day itinerary, during which you can experience one of the most authentic cooking vacations in Italy during our Abruzzo culinary tours.

A view of the palazzo that is your home during your cooking vacation in Abruzzo.Day One

  • Meet the arrivals transfer at 1:00 pm at the Rome airport, then head across the beautiful Central Apennine mountains directly to the Palazzo in Abruzzo where you will be staying.
  • In the evening you will attend a multi-course welcome dinner to help you get acquainted and settled in.

A cooking class during your cooking holiday in Abruzzo.Day Two

  • The day starts after breakfast with a visit of the town to get you oriented for the week.
  • Next, explore the basic ingredients of Abruzzo cuisine and make some delicious and quick Italian meals, which will be easy to reproduce at home.
  • Lunch to follow based on your efforts.
  • In the late afternoon visit a local olive oil mill for a visit and tasting.
  • Dinner at the palazzo and overnight.

Pasta "alla chitarra," a specialty of the Abruzzo region.Day Three

  • For your second cooking lesson, you will learn a variety of shapes, colors and types pasta—the menu might include everything from pasta all alla chitarra to gnocchi, lasagna, and stuffed pasta. 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 guidance of your sommelier.
  • Free time to relax.
  • Dinner at the palazzo and overnight.

Visiting a trabocco fishing hut during our cooking vacations in Abruzzo.Day Four

  • Your day starts off with a trip to the Adriatic Coast. In Vasto you will have the chance to sunbathe, shop, and do a little sightseeing of the coast’s unique trabocco fishing houses.
  • Enjoy a seafood lunch at one of the finest restaurants in Vasto. After, enjoy time on your own exploring the town.
  • Return to the Palazzo for dinner and overnight.

Enjoying homemade gelato during your culinary tour of Italy.Day Five

  • Breakfast at the palazzo.
  • Today you will learn some recipes of the old world, known locally as “peasant food.” While it used to be the food of the poveri, it is now considered some of the most authentic regional food. For dessert, learn to make the best almond biscotti, with an Abruzzo twist.
  • After lunch, time to walk around the town and enjoy the peaceful environment, to take a nice hike on a nearby trail, or (weather permitting) as seasonal activity such as truffle hunting.
  • Dinner at the palazzo and overnight.

Traditional caciocavallo cheese.Day Six

  • 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.
  • Lunch will be an authentic local street food specialty: a porchetta sandwich.
  • Head back to the palazzo for a rest.
  • This evening, it is time to learn authentic Italian pizza, made in a wood fired oven.
  • Overnight.

Day Seven

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

Sapori d'Abruzzo Cooking Tour Details

Included in the 6-Night Abruzzo Cooking Vacation Package


6 nights in a beautiful, restored private ‘palazzo.’

Food & Beverages

  • All meals included, with local red wine (white wine is avaiable for purchase)

Classes & Instructors

Your four cooking lessons will be led by the wonderful chef of the Palazzo, Dino Paganelli. Dino is a native Abruzzese who graduated from the top cookign school in Abruzzo. He is a wonderful, patient teacher who will lead you on your exploration of Abruzzese cuisine.


  • Olive oil press
  • Adriatic Coast and trabocco fishing houses
  • Agnone with cheese producer visit
  • Bell foundry
  • Shopping

Transfer Details

  • Roundtrip group transfers from Rome airport at pre-arranged time, with pickup around 1:00pm.
  • Departure transfer from Abruzzo after breakfast, please plan your flight accordingly.
  • If the transfer times necessitate an overnight stay in Rome, we would be happy to assist you in making arrangements.
  • Transfers are also possible from Pescara (please inquire).

Accommodation Information

In a small hillside town near the Apennine mountains sits the lovely Palazzo that will be your home. Restored in 2002, the residence features a gourmet restaurant and just six spacious bedrooms with stunning panoramic views of the valley and countryside.



Pricing & Dates of Cooking Holidays in Abruzzo, Italy

Find pricing and dates for our authentic cooking vacations in Abruzzo below, and contact us to start planning your Italian cooking holiday.

Abruzzo Cooking Vacation Pricing:
April through November

6-night Program

US$2750 per person based on double occupancy

  • Add US$500 for single occupancy (use of a double room by 1 person)

30% deposit due to confirm booking.
Balance payment due 60 days prior to tour start date. Questions? Please contact us!

Tour Dates

Our cooking vacations in Abruzzo are available the following weeks, Sunday to Saturday, April to mid-November. Please inquire for updated availability!

April 3-9
April 10-16
April 17-23
April 24-30
May 1-7
May 8-14
May 15-21
May 22-28
May 29-June 4 (sold out)
June 5-11 (sold out)
June 12-18 (sold out)
June 19-25
June 26-July 2 (sold out)
July 3-9 (sold out)
July 10-16
July 17-23
July 24-30
July 31-August 6
August 7-13
August 14-20
August 21-27
August 28-September 3 (sold out)
September 4-10 (sold out)
September 11-17 (sold out)
September 18-24 (sold out)
September 25-October 1 (sold out)
October 2-8 (sold out)
October 19-15
October 16-22
October 23-29 (sold out)
October 30-November 5
November 6-12
November 13-19


I gave this trip 5 stars
Even though there were 24 of us participating, the staff made our experience a personal one. I can't say enough wonderful words about these people and the Palazzo. We were fed very high quality food at all meals. Breakfast is Italian which is home cooked baked goods, yogurt and fresh fruit. The cappuccinos were amazing. Our day trips were very appropriate and interesting (wine, cheese, Vasto and bell foundry). We were able to purchase fine wines and foods at a low cost. The staff were very attentive and entertaining. They handled any problems, which were minimal with calm and expertise. They speak English very well. We were all very happy, comfortable and stimulated. Four people in our group were on a return trip. I would recommend this experience to anyone!
We gave this trip 5 stars
Barbara & Ellen
Our cooking vacation, Sapori D Abruzzo was fabulous. Every aspect of our time at the Palazzo was beyond our wildest dreams. Our host and the entire staff was perfect in every way. They made us all feel like family. The classes were fun and informative. The views from the Plazzo, at the top of the mountain were spectacular. It was hard to leave such a beautiful place. We would do it again in a heart beat.
We gave this trip 5 stars
Christine & Kari
We really enjoyed the class in Abruzzo. The region was different from the others we have visited. Massimo was a great host, having grown up and lived in the area. The palace was great, a wonderful place to relax while not cooking or out on trips. Cheryle and Dino were very good instructors. The recipes were adapted to the season and what was available, however Cheryle shared other tips and recommendations based on what might be avilable in other seasons or once we got back to the states. Everyting was very adaptable to doing at home. The trips around the region were also very interesting. We have been to Amalfi, Tuscany and Spoleto through the International Kitchen, and all have been different. On this trip we were treated to some of the unique charecteristics and experiences of Abruzzo. The trip to the fishing house was wonderful, even though it was off season. Massimo made sure we were treated to some of the unique food items there. We were especially impressed by the sausage place in town, and were sad that we could not bring any of it back to the states. The cheeses were great, also. Happily we were able to bring home freshly pressed olive oil that has continued to remind us of the great experience there. It was nice that they had a seperate kitchen to hold the classes in, also. We were treated to some of the regional foods when we ate out while we were on trips, which was fun. All in all, a great experience. We have come to expect great experiences from your trips, and this was no exception.
We gave this trip 5 stars
James & Cheryl
All in all we had a great time on the Sapori D'Abruzzo cooking vacation. Enjoying both the cooking classes and the field trips. Cheryle was an outstanding instructor and Dino was an excellent chef. All of the recipes are managable and we will try them out at home. I liked best the peperoni ripieni and polpettine cacio e uova, and Cheryl enjoyed the baked amaretti peaches. Dino is welcome to come to my house and cook anytime. All of the field trips were fun. Highlights included visiting a salami maker and having lunch with him, visiting Massimo's cosmetic lab, think donkey milk soap, and touring the Di Pasquo dairy. We also had a great day in Vasto. Carunchio is a very small friendly town.
We gave this trip 5 stars
Linda & Cindy
Trip taken March 2009
I have just completed a cooking vacation to Abruzzo, Italy. It was much, much more than I expected. We were delighted with the way we were treated. Since we went "off-season", we were the only ones in the class so it felt less like a class and more like a visit to an old friend. The chef was very knowledgeable and taught us, not only Italian cooking, but tips on cooking in general. We stayed in an out-of-the-way part of Italy and never ran into another tourist. It was delightful. My Italian was minimal, but the people were cheerful and gracious. Our host, Massimo, went far beyond the expected to help us have a marvelous vacation. He seemed to anticipate our every need. He was so knowledgeable and all of his tours were not only fun, but very informative. I especially liked the wine class where he showed us various wines and how to appreciate them. The trips to the little towns in the area gave us memories of a unique Italy. We got to know and love Abruzzo during that week. It is a beautiful area with warm, friendly people and few tourists. Our chef, Cheryl, gave us great recipes as well as many helpful cooking techniques. She had a great understanding of Abruzzo foods and how to prepare them, but most of all, she was very entertaining company. We thoroughly enjoyed our cooking lessons. This week will be one of my best memories. Thank you so much.
No rating given with this review
This was our first cooking school experience and our host Massimo did a superb job. Everything was well organized and enjoyable. From the time he met us at the airport until he made final arrangements for our departure our experiences were delightful, educational, and fascinating. Massimo, Sheryl, and Dino were our chef instructors. They encouraged everyone to participate, and expertly guided us in the preparation of numerous dishes. We will highly recommend that our friends enjoy this program. Thanks to the International Kitchen for making arrangements for our participation in the program.

We Can Help Plan Your Best Cookery Holiday in Abruzzo, Italy!

Enjoying our cooking vacations in Abruzzo Italy.
We can help you bask in the beauty of unspoiled, authentic Abruzzo during your Italian cooking vacation. Come enjoy cooking courses that take advantage of Abruzzo’s natural landscape, where the coast provides access to wonderful fresh seafood, its mountains are home to succulent meats, and its terrain produces the well-known Montepulciano d’Abruzzo wine. Contact us today to plan your Abruzzo cooking tour and experience the trip of a lifetime! Contact Us

You May Also Like Our Other Abruzzo Cooking Tours and Vacations

Please see the full list of our cooking vacations and tours in Abruzzo below, and don’t forget to take a moment to peruse all of the decadent cooking tours we have available.

View of Abruzzo from a distance

Authentic Abruzzo Cooking

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Toasting with Mamma during your cooking vacation in Italy

A Culinary Quest in Vasto

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Enjoy a week in authentic Abruzzo, one of the greenest and friendliest regions of Italy. Stay in the center of the charming town of Vasto while exploring the area’s natural and gastronomic wonders!

FAQ about Cooking Holidays in Abruzzo, Italy

What is Abruzzo traditional cuisine famous for?

Abruzzo cuisine is considered some of the purest of Italian regional cuisines. The region was relatively isolated for centuries due to the largest tracts of unpopulated mountains and park lands resting between it and other regions. This resulted in a unique and well preserved local cuisine that draws on the presence of the sea, mountains, and plains. It is known for its pastas, meats in the interior, and seafood along the coast.  It is also known for its full-bodied red wine, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo.

What to do in the Abruzzo region?

The interior of Abruzzo is full of national parks and nature preserves, making it a wonderful place to hike and explore. The coast has miles of pristine beaches to enjoy, as well as its iconic fishing huts (trabocchi), restaurants, and shops. And there are numerous hilltop towns that date back to the Middle Ages and Renaissance. 

What is Abruzzese pizza?

Abruzzese pizza is a rustic type of tart made with thin pastry and filled with any number of ingredients including cheese, eggs, meats, and vegetables. In the Teramo area, “Easter pizza” is actually a sweet leavened bread. 

What is the most popular food in Abruzzo?

One of the most popular foods in Abruzzo is maccheroni alla chitarra, which are long, thing strands of pasta similar to spaghetti, but square in shape instead of round. Lamb is popular, due to the presence of so much pastoral land, including arrosticini, grilled lamb skewers that are served with a simple bruschetta. And of course seafood is popular on the coast, including cozze di Vasto, an appetizer of stuffed mussels.