Sapori d'Abruzzo

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 that will be your home. 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. 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. 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.


Latest Review

We gave this trip 5 stars
Barbara & Ellen
Ohio
Trip taken May 2014
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.

Trip Details

Your four cooking lessons will be led by the wonderful chef of the Palazzo, 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.


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We might not be able to pack for you, but there are tons of things we can help with to make your vacation that much better.

Contact us for more information, or you can indicate your interest during check out and we will follow up directly!

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Itinerary

Day One

Arrival transfer from the Rome airport across the beautiful Central Apennine mountains directly to the Palazzo 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 Two

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 Three

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 Four

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 Five

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 Six

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 Seven

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


Trip Details

Included in the 6-Night Trip

Accommodations

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

Food & Beverages

  • All meals included, with local wine.

Classes & Instructors

Your four cooking lessons will be led by the wonderful chef of the Palazzo, 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.

Excursions

  • Salame producer and olive 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.

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Pricing & Tour Dates

Looking for tour date information?


Pricing:
April to mid-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

Available the following weeks, Sunday to Saturday, April to mid-November.

2019
March 31-April 6
April 7-13
April 14-20
April 21-27
April 28-May 4
May 5-11
May 12-18
May 19-25
May 26-June 1
June 2-8
June 9-15
June 16-22
June 23-29
June 30-July 6
July 7-13
July 14-20
July 21-27
July 28-August 3
August 4-10
August 11-17
August 18-24
August 25-31
September 1-7
September 8-14
September 15-21
September 22-28
September 29-October 5
October 6-12
October 13-19
October 20-26
October 27-November 2
November 3-9
November 10-16

Pricing & Dates

Class Pricing

Reviews

We gave this trip 5 stars
Barbara & Ellen
Ohio
Trip taken May 2014
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
Michigan
Trip taken October 2010
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
Linda & Cindy
Texas
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
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. James P., IL
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.
No rating given with this review
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! Janet M., PA