Food and Wine of Calabria Tour
Bilingual travel host throughout itinerary
All ground transportation with your group’s private driver
Abundant lunch with free-flowing wine daily
Welcome to Calabria dinner with free-flowing wine
Michelin-starred dinner with free-flowing wine
Farewell to Calabria dinner, with free-flowing wine
Evening aperitivi EVERY NIGHT
Three hands-on cooking classes
Wine tours and tastings
This 12-day gastrotour includes stops in four strategically selected towns - Diamante, Camigliatello, Pizzo, and Catanzaro. You will feast on Calabria's most famed food and wine, will visit with small producers and international associations, will eat specialities you have always heard of, and try things you never knew existed. We explore Diamante's Citron Riviera and peppers, we head into the mountains to hunt for truffles, we learn about and cook with La Sila's potatoes, we dine at a Michelin restaurant and inside tiny trattorias. You'll imbibe on free-flowing wine daily and evening group aperitivi. You'll cook, meet farmers, talk with locals, but most of all, you'll fall in love with the beautiful and unique region of Calabria through it's food and wine. Buon appetito!
DAY 1: FRIDAY, JUNE 16
BENVENUTI IN CALABRIA!
We will meet you at the Lamezia Terme Airport in time for the group transfer at 10:00AM, or - if you are able to take our advice and arrive a day early, we’ll pick you up directly at your airport hotel in Lamezia Terme.
Our first stop is Fiumefreddo Bruzio, named one of Italy’s “Most Beautiful Hamlets.” We will explore this enchanting borgo with its ancient castle, impressive noble residences, and charming piazzas that overlook the Tyrrhenian sea. We’ll stop at one of our favorite restaurants in Fiumefreddo Bruzio, tucked away in the maze-like streets of the town, and enjoy a delicious meal made with local ingredients made by small producers which are guaranteed to be IGP, DOP, and/or Slow Food certified, and environmentally sustainable.
After lunch, we will visit a multi-generational family business dating back to 1910 which is praised for its high-quality signature sweets made with figs. We will learn how figs are used to create some of Calabria’s most treasured sweets including the much-loved Crocette, named for its cross shape. After sampling some of these delicious treats, we will make our way to Diamante, located on the Tyrrhenian Sea. We’ll have time to rest, get settled in, and explore the hotel before meeting for an aperitivo and welcome drinks.
DAY 2: SATURDAY, JUNE 17
You'll have breakfast, then we’ll discover first-hand why this breathtaking coast of Calabria is known as the Riviera dei Cedri. This citrus has been grown and harvested in this part of Calabria for centuries. Not only is it unique to the region, it is the reason why Rabbis come here every year to handpick cedri to be used in a very important Jewish ceremony. We will meet up with Chef Vincenzo, who is not only an expert when it comes to cooking with cedro, he is also a bonafide chef of the Accademia Italiana del Peperoncino. He will show us around his trattoria located on the foothills of the Pollino mountains. He will lead us in a special cooking class and demonstrate how he uses these key local ingredients in various dishes. Afterwards we’ll feast on our delicious creations.
In the late afternoon we'll return to the hotel, then reconvene for an optional evening aperitivo. Overnight in Diamante.
DAY 3: SUNDAY, JUNE 18
POLLINO TREASURE HUNT
After breakfast, we’ll immerse ourselves in the lush forests of the Pollino National Park as we go on a treasure hunt for Calabria’s prestigious tartufo nero (black truffle). We will join an expert truffle hunter and his exceptionally trained dogs and embark on an expedition in search of this sought-after delicacy hidden in the rich soils under the shade of oak, chestnut, and maple trees. Calabrian black truffles will enhance any dish and tease your palette thanks to their unique and intense aroma and flavor.
Following our truffle hunt, we’ll be guests of our truffle expert where he will show us how truffles are preserved and used in recipes. We will then feast on a delicious plate of pasta with truffles accompanied by some of the best wines in the area. Following lunch, we’ll return to our hotel for a rest before meeting up for optional evening drinks.
DAY 4: MONDAY, JUNE 19
INTO THE PARK, WE GO
After breakfast, you’ll check out of your hotel and move inland to the La Sila Mountains. Along the way, we’ll visit the “Green Heart of Calabria,” and learn why this area has the purest air in all of Europe. For lunch, we’ll dine at the incomparable Tavernetta, where Chef Pietro will immerse you in the rich mountain flavors of the Sila region. Here you’ll sample the restaurant’s specialties that pay homage to the traditional cuisine and the genuine local ingredients of this region including Podolica beef, reknowned for its appetizing and mouth-watering flavors.
You’ll check into your mountain hotel and have time to get settled. We’ll reconvene for evening drinks. Overnight Camigliatello.
DAY 5: TUESDAY, JUNE 20
FARM TO PLATE - SILA POTATO COOKING EXPERIENCE
This morning you'll have breakfast, then we’ll drive through the mountains for a hands-on cooking class and exploration of the famous potatoes of La Sila. We’ll visit a potato farm where we’ll dig in and get our hands dirty, harvesting La Sila’s most prized tots. Then, we’ll clean up and head into the kitchen for a hands-on cooking class. We’ll make homemade gnocchi, learning from one of the best gnocchi cooks in Calabria, as well as other Calabrese specialties. Then, we feast.
After lunch, we’ll return to the hotel. In the late evening we’ll regroup for an optional evening aperitivo.
DAY 6: WEDNESDAY, JUNE 21
You’ll check out of your mountain retreat post-breakfast and head south towards Pizzo Calabro. Along the way, we’ll stop at a family-owned vineyard in the heart of the Cosenza province where you’ll get a personal tour of their family's vineyard and wine cellar. This boutique vineyard is owned by a pair of brothers who, together with their mom and dad, bought a piece of land and a plow and set out to make some of the best Calabrian wine you'll ever taste.
After the tour, you’ll indulge in a multi-course wine-pairing lunch, exquisitely prepared by one of the brothers. Following lunch, we’ll continue the drive south towards the enchanting seaside town of Pizzo Calabro. We'll check into our hotel and have time to rest before meeting for an optional evening aperitivo.
DAY 7: THURSDAY, JUNE 22
CHEESE AND TRUFFLES, OH MY
After breakfast, we’ll visit Calabria’s largest dairy farm where we’ll learn about their dairy production, including their famous pecorino di Monte Poro cheese. This local cheese is made with whole sheep’s milk that is made without preservatives and additives, not to mention it is 100% Calabrese. They may be well-known for their pecorino cheese, but they produce a wide variety of other cheeses from ricotta to caciocavallo, as well. And if that wasn’t enough, they also produce cured meats, including Calabria’s much loved spicy spreadable sausage, ‘nduja. We will also get insight into their renewable energy program and get a behind-the-scenes tour of this amazing and unique company.
We’ll have lunch in a repurposed barn from the 1950s and taste firsthand the high-quality, fresh, and local products produced on this farm. Following lunch, we’ll return to Pizzo Calabro. In the evening, we’ll meet at my friend, Franco’s, for a backstage look into how the famous tartufo di Pizzo - chocolate and hazelnut gelato - desserts are made. Cocktails optional.
DAY 8: FRIDAY, JUNE 23
DAY IN THE LIFE
Today you’ll experience a day in the life of a Vibonese native and learn why they are so fiercely proud of their region. We’ll begin our day with a group breakfast alla Calabrese at the bar, then we will have a guided tour of the romantic little village. of Pizzo Calabro You’ll visit the Murat Castle, where Napoleon’s brother-in-law, Jacques Murat, faced his executors, and visit the intriguing Chiesetta di Piedigrotta cave church. For lunch, we’ll visit my buddy, Enzo, where we’ll learn about Pizzo’s famous tuna and dine on the balcony of his restaurant, with views of the aqua-green waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea.
We’ll return to the hotel for an afternoon break, then we’ll venture a few miles north to a nearby winery that has revived an almost extinct grape variety. Their signature white wine has not only received praise as one of the Top 10 Best White Wines in Italy from the New York Times, but it is also garnering attention from wine enthusiasts and wine competitions all over the world. We’ll have a chance to taste some of these wines with a sunset aperitivo before heading back to Pizzo Calabro.
DAY 9: SATURDAY, JUNE 24
This morning you’ll check out of your hotel and drive to Catanzaro. Along the way, we’ll detour into the lower La Sila Mountains for a visit to Monte Covello. Home, not only to Acqua Calabria, creator of the famous Brasilena, but also beloved for its amazing porcini mushrooms, and fagioli di Cortale - white beans from the nearby village of Cortale that are part of the Presidio Slow Food in Calabria. We will have a mountain feast at one of the area’s most beloved restaurants, complete with samplings of all of the local specialties.
Following lunch, we’ll drive to Catanzaro Lido where we’ll check into our seaside hotel, overlooking the Ionian Sea. You’ll have the rest of the evening on your own. Evening cocktails optional.
DAY 10: SUNDAY, JUNE 25
CALABRIA - THE PAST AND THE FUTURE
After breakfast, we will visit one of the most significant monuments in Medieval Calabria, the 12th Century Byzantine Basilica of Santa Maria in Roccelletta which just happens to be sitting proudly amid an olive plantation. We’ll explore ruins they say may have been discovered by Ulysses and walk through time with a visit to the archeological museum which features statues, coins, columns, and other relics that were discovered beneath the olive grove and date back to the 6th Century BC. We’ll have a quick visit to the olive oil museum, which is home to numerous mills from over the centuries. We’ll have a light lunch nearby before returning to the hotel for an afternoon rest.
In the evening, we’ll meet for dinner in the Michelin-star restaurant, Abbruzzino. This family-owned fine dining restaurant was the first in Calabria to receive a Michelin star and its reputation has gained international attention. We’ll have the chance to taste some of Calabria’s traditional dishes “with a twist”.
DAY 11: MONDAY, JUNE 26
This morning we’ll visit Calabria’s answer to the world-famous “Eataly.” Located in the region offices, this delectable gastroshop features the best Calabrese products - all under one roof. We’ll have an opportunity to sample some items we haven’t yet tried and will have time to browse and shop before enjoying lunch on-site. We’ll return to the hotel for a break and have time to swim or relax on the beach, then in the early evening we’ll meet at my friend, Alessio’s, new restaurant - AMO - for a hands-on Calabrese cooking class where we’ll go through a mini masterclass in Calabrese cooking. We'll sample everything we make and enjoy a farewell to Calabria dinner, with wine and amari.
DAY 12: TUESDAY, JUNE 27
You’ll have breakfast, then at 8:00AM, the group transfer will depart for the Lamezia Terme airport. Arrivederci bella Calabria!
The price of the tour is $5,500.00, per person, based on double occupancy. Single supplement is $780.00.
Accommodations and Transportation:
– 12 days, 11 nights in a double-occupancy room with private bath
– Group transportation throughout the itinerary
– Group transfer from Lamezia Terme Airport on Day 1 and Day 12
– Breakfast daily in hotel
– Abundant lunch with free-flowing wine daily
– Multicourse Welcome dinner, Day 1
– Michelin dinner, Day 10
– Multicourse Farewell dinner, Day 11
– Surprise stops for aperitivi and cocktails throughout the tour
Group Excursions and Experiences
– Cooking Class near Diamante
– Truffle hunt, with lunch
– Excursion into La Sila National Park
– Farm visit and Hands-on cooking class
– Wine Tour enroute to Pizzo
– Wine tour, tasting and homemade lunch near Pizzo Calabro
– Dairy Farm Excursion
– Tartufo (gelato) demonstration
– Evening wine tour and sunset aperitivo
– Visit to Scolacium
– Visit to Calabria's "Eataly"
– Hands-on cooking class, farewell dinner
Abundant wine is included with all meals.
What Not Included
– Airfare / transportation to Calabria
– Transportation outside of group airport transfers
– Travel insurance, which is highly recommended. We can make recommendations.
– Shopping and personal expenses
– Meals not listed as ‘included’ in the itinerary
– Drinks or other cocktails not included in the itinerary
– All other expenses incurred during free time