Guys, let’s go to Italy together! Here’s the story: I first visited Abruzzo, the Italian region sprawling to the East of Rome, four years ago. It was absolute love at first sight. The area combines historic, small town charm with an innate kind of sophistication. It feels homey and relaxed, but there’s still this amazing energy running through the streets of the towns. The people who live there are incredible – friendly, charming, and seemingly very happy. I’ll never forget an older lady we ran into on an empty street of a quiet village, with no one else in sight. She was sitting in her rocking chair opposite a stone wall, doing nothing more than admiring the wall and enjoying the fresh air. What struck me was how put together she was, wearing a black dress, pearls, and an updo. She greeted us with a smile and proceeded to look at the wall quite contently. It’s a very different, slow way of life that’s able to offer a shift of perspective, and it had a very lasting, therapeutic effect on me.
And the food! I can’t say enough about the quality of the food there, since the climate in the region supports the growth of extraordinary produce like truffles, saffron, wine grapes, lentils, various grains, and endless fruits and vegetables. Farm-to-table is just the way of life there, and I definitely had some of the most incredible meals of my life in Abruzzo.
I was very surprised to see that the whole region is still completely off the beaten path and hugely undiscovered – we barely saw any tourists the whole time we were there. It’s also there that I met Anna from Abruzzo with Gusto, an incredible woman living in Abruzzo. Anna is an Italian cuisine expert and a food and travel journalist, who organizes unforgettable gastronomic tours in Abruzzo and knows the area like the back of her hand. We’ve become good friends over the years, and have been talking about organizing a foraging and cooking Abruzzo retreat for just as long. We finally set the date for September 2018, and we are starting the process of gathering participants for our first retreat now. We would love to see you there to experience this incredible part of Italy with us! Read on for all the retreat details, including the sample itinerary, accommodations, and price.
Book Now! Click here to book your stay on our retreats website :)
Click here to book your stay on our retreats website :)
When and Where
— September 30th – October 6th, 2018.
— Abruzzo, Italy
In our opinion, this is the best time to visit Abruzzo. The weather is perfect – warm but not too hot, with deliciously refreshing mountain air and soft light. It’s also the harvesting season for a bunch of amazing produce: persimmons, figs, pears, grapes and pumpkin.
—Anya and Masha of Golubka Kitchen + Anna of Abruzzo with Gusto
Singles, couples or small groups, interested in experiencing the culture, food, and slow way of life, unique to the magical region Abruzzo. We are looking to gather a group of 5-12 people.
The first half of the trip, we will be staying at Sextantio in the medieval village of Santo Stefano, which is an absolutely unique and stunning hotel, with rooms in a series of medieval buildings, with handmade detailing.
We will spend the second half of the trip at Pietrantica, which is a converted farmhouse guesthouse with an organic garden in the small village of Decontra.
Price and What’s Included
— $2500/person, price is USD
— A double occupancy room with a private bath for 6 nights or a single occupancy room with an additional cost of $500
— Three vegan or vegetarian meals daily: breakfast, lunch and dinner, wine included
— All ground transportation via private coach and drivers
— All excursions and tours
— Two cooking classes
— Transfers between Abruzzo and Rome, upon arrival and departure
— Taxes and service charges
— Airfare to Rome
— Trip insurance
— Optional activities during free time
*details are subject to change
We’ll pick you up in Rome (location TBC) at 12 PM and drive you to Abruzzo. You’ll have time to unpack and relax in a restored monastery, where you will stay for the next three days. After settling in, we will have a welcome aperitif and dinner.
In the morning, we will head to visit the Castle of Bominaco and the frescoed Oratory of San Pellegrino, then have a picnic-style lunch with local produce. Afterwards, we will hike to Rocca Calascio, a medieval fortress and visit the hill town of Santo Stefano, where we will have dinner at a local restaurant.
In the morning, we will go truffle hunting with a local and learn the tricks and secrets of the trade. We’ll enjoy the truffles we find with our lunch. In the afternoon, Anya will teach a vegetarian cooking class, and we’ll enjoy the prepared dishes for dinner.
After breakfast, we’ll move to our next location, a small hamlet in the mountains where we’ll spend the next three nights staying in a restored farm. Once we arrive, our host Marisa will take us on an herb foraging walk. She’ll show us how to cook with the herbs we find, and we’ll get to cook with ancient grain flours such as solina and farro, grown right on Marisa’s farm. We’ll have lunch after the cooking class. In the afternoon, we’ll visit an olive oil mill for an olive oil tasting and a picnic-style dinner in an olive grove.
We’ll explore the stunning town of Sulmona on a food tour. After lunch, you’ll have free time for a leisurely walk in the town and souvenir shopping. In the evening we will head to the mountain village of Pacentro for dinner.
We’ll begin the day with a visit to two local wineries to taste their exquisite wines. After lunch, we will collect wild herbs and flowers to make cocktails (or mocktails!) combining century-old local traditions with modern techniques.
Join Us: Click here to book your stay on our retreats website :)