Culinary immersion tours with La Cucina Di Sandra

  • Italy Food Tours
  • Landing Page Food trio

A gastronomic tour through Abruzzo: National Parks, stunning mountain scenery, beautiful medieval villages, accompanied by great food and wine in Italy’s green Heart.

Sandra 2


I was born in Pescara, the largest city in Abruzzo and migrated to Australia with my family in the 1970’s, I have returned to Abruzzo many times to visit my family and to explore my beautiful region. This way I have maintained my deep connection to my homeland and its gastronomy. For many years it has been my dream to take people to Abruzzo and introduce them to the joy of discovering this magnificent but little-known part of Italy.

Abruzzo is quintessential Italy where you will find hospitable, generous people who still tightly hold on to their traditions. Lush hills close to the sea which run up to the towering mountains of the Apenines. The region is dotted with beautiful medieval villages, many of which remain real working towns. And of course, experience outstanding gastronomic products, superb restaurants and great wines. This is a region of infinite variety and contrast.

”Come with me to my homeland, Abruzzo the greenest region in Europe. Let me show you how to slow down and discover the real heart of Italy. Quickly you will see why I am so passionate about the absolute beauty of my land and the extraordinary riches of its unique culinary heritage.” – Sandra

    When you explore Abruzzo and its gastonomic culture with me you will:

  • Stay in unique luxury-class accommodation
  • Visit some of the most beautiful villages in Italy
  • Eat in outstanding slow food restaurants
  • Visit vineyards and discover outstanding Abruzzese wines
  • Learn about the food traditions of the region at specially organised cooking classes. Discover rare and delicious artisan cheeses
  • Meet and spend time with locals
  • All set in a sublimely beautiful landscape.

Day 1/Night 1 Arrive Loreto

Loreto Aprutino is an amazingly beautiful village with a wonderful hilltop setting and is the centre of production for the famed Aprutino Pescarese Extra Virgin olive oil DOP. Far from being a museum Loreto is a real working town where you will be able to observe and join in the life of a typical Abruzzese village.

Our accommodation, was originally a fortress founded by the Normans that has been converted to a luxury hotel. The view from the hotel terrace across rolling hills to the highest peaks of the Apennines is breathtaking.

Wander the streets of Loreto Citta’ Vecchia, you will see the Churches of Santa Maria in Piano with its spectacular medieval frescos and San Pietro Apostolo. Visit the fascinating Olive Oil Museum and the Ceramic Museum devoted to the world famed Castelli maiolica ware.

Aperitivo in the hotel will be followed by our welcome dinner. You will be introduced to the wonderful flavours of Abruzzese cuisine at a Slow Food endorsed restaurant experiencing the best of Cucina Abruzzese with a menu especially designed by Sandra with the restaurant’s chef.

Day 2/Night 2 Loreto

Travel to Penne for a guided tour of the town, one of I Borghi Piu Belli d’Italia (The most beautiful villages in Italy).

The day will be spent in the region’s best vineyards discovering why the delicious wines of Abruzzo have a growing reputation for outstanding quality.

To begin we will tour and taste (wine, cheese and salumi) in one of the regions’ best and the oldest commercial wine producers.

Return to the hotel, there will be time for you to relax on the hotel terrace, take a swim or continue with your exploration of the village.

Drive through lush, hilly countryside to Torre Raone – taste award winning organic wines. Then onto a nearby typical agriturismo for  dinner featuring Abruzzo’s specialties and seasonal produce.


Day 3/ Night 3 Trabocchi Coast/Travel to Vasto

The Trabocchi Coast – Drive along the Trabocchi Coast and visit San Vito Chietino for the wonderful view over the Adriatic coast and then visit the ancient and peaceful San Giovanni in Venere Abbey.

Drive on to Vasto (a small city with pre-roman origins.) to explore the old towns’ historical centre.

Today’s highlight is a scrumptious lunch including wine tasting and a cooking demonstration. Our chosen vineyard produces lovely wines from the area, they mill their own flour and have designed a special day just for our group.
We will journey among authentic flavours of the region, with rare local cheeses and salumi, as well as many “bites” according to the availability of produce from their organic garden.

In the evening stroll leisurely through Loreto, enjoy aperitivo with the locals followed by a late dinner in the grounds of the Palazzo Valentini Corsi.

Day 4/Night 4 Moscufo/Farindola

Travel to Moscufo to an Organic Olive grove for an Extra Virgin Olive Oil degustation.
Then through lush green hill country to Farindola, a typical Abruzzese village in a spectacular mountain setting.

Visit a“Caseificio” and witness the process of making Pecorino di Farindola, a Slow Food Presidium Product. These products are among the rarest and most culinary significant in Italy. A light lunch and cheese tasting will be enjoyed on the terrace of a local restaurant.

In the evening enjoy memorable dinner at a luxurious Michelin starred restaurant. The menu features exciting contemporary interpretations of classic local cuisine.


Day 5/Night 5 Maiella National Park/Pacentro

Today we leave the coastal hills, travel to Caramanico Terme and Sant’Eufemia, and via Passo San Leonardo to Pacentro through the wild splendour of the Maiella National Park.

We will pause to buy fresh local cheeses in Sant’Eufemia’s Caseificio and stop on the way for a small simple picnic (morning tea).

In Pacentro, another of the Most Beautiful Villages in Italy, we will take time to absorb the medieval atmosphere before a light lunch in a typical restaurant.

Then over the mountains, through the Navelli plain and up to fascinating Santo Stefano di Sessanio, a pastoral village once controlled by the Medici.

Our unique accommodation for the next two nights is in traditional village houses transformed into a superb hotel, and as guests we will experience a sense of living in a past time.

Free time to explore the village, the shops, wonder at the hardiness of the people who lived in this remote spot and take the time to admire the sublime mountain vistas.

Later we will gather in the Piazza for Aperitivo.

We will enjoy a private tasting of superb Abruzzese wines in the hotels atmospheric wine bar followed by an unforgettable feast featuring typical local fare and a menu designed especially for our group by the Hotel’s Chef and Sandra.

Day 6/Night 6 Santo Stefano di Sessanio/Campo Imperatore

After breakfast there will be time to leisurely explore Santo Stefano di Sessanio before joining in an exclusive private cooking class, getting to know the Chef, learning how to use regional cooking utensils, preparing simple, delicious dishes using the finest local ingredients.

Next drive to Campo Imperatore, a high plane of incredible natural beauty with views of the tallest mountains south of the Alps. In the past this was pasture where great flocks of sheep grazed and even today it is possible to meet shepherds with their flocks. This spectacular drive through the mountains will lead us to lunch in the open air in true Abruzzese style with arrosticini (traditional lamb skewers), BBQ meats, traditional cheeses and salumi.

Return to Santo Stefano di Sessanio through the spectacular Parco Nazionale del Gran Sasso – stop for a stroll through Castel Del Monte, a village of rare beauty perched on a hilltop.

This evening we will meet in the piazza for Aperitivo before our farewell dinner at a renowned local restaurant set in an ancient palazzo. Savour a menu designed by Sandra in conjunction with the local chef. Here the quality is exceptional, every detail is exquisite.


Day 7 Calascio and onward travel

As a truly memorable end to our trip we will visit Calascio a village a few minutes away. Above the village is one of the most impressive places in Abruzzo. We will walk to an ancient fortress, Rocca di Calascio, the highest castle in Italy. The atmosphere and the incredible panorama will stay in your memory forever.

After coffee in Calascio, travel to L’Aquila, the regional capital for the best pizza in Abruzzo at a gem of a restaurant. This will be a delicious finale to our journey of discovery together.

Before departing on your onward travel we recommend you spend some time exploring L’Aquila to discover how this city, one of the architectural jewels of regional Italy, is being restored.


TRIP LENGTH: 7 Days/6 Nights
DEPARTURE DATES: May 1-7, 2019; May 15-22, 2019
GROUP SIZE: Maximum 12
MEALS: 6 Breakfasts, 6 Lunches & 6 Dinners as per itinerary including wine.
ACTIVITIES: Guided tour as per itinerary hosted by Sandra. Inclusions as per itinerary.
PRICE FROM: Euro 3,595
DEPOSIT: AU$ 1,500


Full booking conditions and payment details available on request.

La Cusina Di Sandra have partnered with Wandering the World for these amazing Italian food and wine tours. Wandering the World specialises in creating and tailoring exceptional walking, trekking and touring holidays in some of the most beautiful places on earth. This includes both escorted small group and self-guided trips, as well as individually tailored itineraries for privately organised trips.

We are passionate about sharing the places we love and offer our expertise to ensure our travellers enjoy rich and authentic travelling experiences. Wandering the World select authentic and comfortable accommodation and our itineraries are focused on immersing travellers in the local culture and uncovering the hidden gems of a destination.

We are committed to ensuring our travellers have a trip of a lifetime.