SILVER COMPASS TOURS PRESENTS:
TOUR DATES AVAILABLE:
Sunday 23 to Sunday 30 September 2018
A bespoke 8 day / 7 night itinerary designed for complete immersion in regional Italy – far away from the hordes of tourists in the big cities and ideal for families. Follow us off the beaten path through the undiscovered food and wine region of Ciociaria (cho-sha-ria) in Central Italy – just one hour south from Rome it’s a whole world away. We have curated plenty of educational and fun experiences for the kids, and plenty of amazing food, wine and shopping experiences for the big kids!
Your ALL-INCLUSIVE Wild Heart of Italy hosted experience package includes:
Pick up and transfer from Rome; boutique accommodation for 7 nights in a farmhouse with daily breakfast; eight days of hosted regional food + wine discovery, with Paolo as your Ciociarian host; 8 lunches and 7 evening meals focused on introducing you to unique local dining experiences, with local table wine inclusive for both lunch and dinner; tour transport and local driver; all entry fees to museums and places of interest; return transfer to Rome.
Our carefully curated itinerary for families includes:
>> a day trip to the ancient Roman town of Alba Fucens and the 1,000 year old Subiaco Monastery
>> visits to several perfectly preserved medieval mountaintop villages
>> boutique and retail outlet shopping in the town of Sora
>> a local market day experience (traditional street food & shopping!)
>> a day trip to the ancient Roman city of Pompeii
>> a visit to the 18th century Royal Palace of Caserta
>> a day trip to the favourite seaside destination of the ancient Romans, Terracina
>> a medieval dining experience in an ancient tavern underneath a castle.
We pick you up from Rome international airport and transfer you to Ciociaria, which is just a one hour drive from Rome. Accommodation is on a working farm with rooms in a restored farmhouse, set alongside a picturesque river and nearby lake. Welcome dinner at the farmhouse for the group.
We are going to dive into the Renaissance, Medieval, Roman and Etruscan history of the Ciociaria and nearby Abruzzo regions by taking you on a scenic drive to Alba Fucens – the site of an ancient Roman town and amphitheatre, with an amazing castle on the way. We will stop in a nearby village for supplies and have a picnic lunch on the grass overlooking old Roman streets and temples.
From here, we are going to visit Subiaco Monastery, which is over 1,000 years old and built into the side of a cliff. It’s actually built on top of the 2,000 year old ruins of Emperor Nero’s Summer Palace. Along the road on our travels, we will also stop by Emperor Trajan’s hunting lodge, which has only just been rediscovered. Dinner will be at a local pizzeria.
Today we are going to introduce you to the beautiful medieval mountaintop villages of Paolo’s region, including Alatri and Veroli. First we will stop in the large town of Sora in the Liri Valley for espresso coffees in the piazza to start the day the traditional Italian way. There are gorgeous boutique shops in Sora if you’re looking for fine Italian clothes and shoes – and everything is a lot more reasonably priced than Australia.
To get acquainted with the Ciociaria region, we will be taking you for a scenic drive through the countryside through the Comino, Liri and Roveto Valleys of Ciociaria which are nestled in the arms of the Apennine Mountains. The mountains are dotted with hillside medieval villages which have been settled since Roman and Etruscan times, and we are going to visit two of the most picturesque villages: Alatri and Veroli. Lunch will be at a local trattoria in Veroli. For an early evening adventure, we will be taking you to the village of Arpino, with dinner at a local restaurant specialising in truffles.
We are going to spend the day in the amazing medieval mountaintop village of Anagni (an-an-yee), also known as the ‘City of Popes’ as this was where the first Popes ruled the Holy Roman Empire from in the 12th and 13th centuries. Wednesday is market day, and Paolo is going to introduce you to his favourite fresh produce and streetfood as we wander the narrow cobbled streets. The Anagni markets are also famous for well-priced clothing and accessories, if you want an Italian leather handbag buy it here!
Lunch will be in a scenic courtyard piazza with views over the mountains and valleys, right next to the ancient Cathedral (which has a Roman temple underneath it, and an Etruscan temple under that). We will go exploring in the afternoon to the nearby Posta Fibreno lake close to our accommodation, with dinner at a local trattoria in Broccostelle which specialises in local cuisine (and truffle pizza!) and has a great list of regional wines.
A day trip to the ancient Roman city of Pompeii, just a 2.5 hour drive from our accommodation in Ciociaria and heading towards Naples. We will leave early in the morning to arrive at 9am when the gates open, as this is the best time to wander through the incredible streets and houses of Pompeii before the crowds arrive. We will have lunch in the nearby town and get to experience the signature Naples cuisine and hospitality. The afternoon is free to relax on our return – after such a big day we will have a casual evening dinner at the farmhouse.
We are going to go on a discovery trip to the Royal Palace of Caserta (Reggia di Caserta) – the 18th century Baroque Royal Palace of the Bourbon Kings (descended from the Kings of France and Spain) who ruled The Kingdom of Two Sicilies in Southern Italy (Naples and Sicily) from the 1400s until Italy became a unified country in 1871. The Reggia di Caserta was one of the largest palaces in Europe, and was designed as a mirror image of the Palace of Versaille in France. It is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
After this heady day of palatial luxury, we are going to head back to Ciociaria to Paolo’s home village of Isola del Liri for pizzas by fountains and to watch the village streetlife on Friday evening. The whole town comes out to drink coffees, eat pizza and gelato and stroll around the main streets to chat to each other. It’s an experience not to be missed!
A day trip to Terracina, the ancient Roman seaside resort. It’s a fantastic place to stroll by the seaside and eat gelato, and it has one of the most spectacular Roman temple ruins perched on a cliff. We will take a ramble through the Temple of Jupiter and Temple of Venus, and afterwards enjoy a seafood lunch on the beach front.
We have also saved the best for last. On our return to Ciociaria after our day out at the seaside, we are going to an incredible medieval village built around a castle on top of a mountain. We will take a walk through the village, and a guided tour of the castle (watch out, there are ghosts!) and finish our fabulous last day with prosecco in the piazza and dinner at a medieval tavern underneath the castle, featuring traditional Ciociarian cuisine.
Time to head back to Rome. We can leave early and spend the day with you in this marvellous city, to help you get your bearings and find all the main sights. You can also choose to extend your trip with our 3-day add-on package for exploring Rome, and our add-on packages to other food and wine regions in Central and Southern Italy, more details available below.
AUD$2,497* per adult (based on twinshare). This is all-inclusive with accommodation, all meals (including table wine for lunch and dinner), tours and transport.
AUD$1,997* per child aged over 5, and children younger than five are free.
* Please note that these are special introductory prices available for September 2018 only.
There is an AUD$500 reservation fee per person (adults and children over 5) to secure your place, which is non-refundable but completely transferable to an alternative tour date in the future. An initial 50% payment (minus reservation fees) is due 6 months prior to the tour, with the remaining 50% payable in full 2 months prior to departure. Payment plans are available on request.
Feel free to CONTACT US for more information or with any enquiries.
#1 ROAM AROUND ROME:
Get acquainted with one of the world’s most vivacious cities with our 3-day insider’s exploration of Rome, staying in the heart of the bohemian foodie quarter of Trastevere and including a walking exploration of all main sights plus the Roman Forum and the Palatine Hill & Museum, as well as unique Roman dining experiences. MORE DETAILS HERE >>
#2 REGIONAL ITALY SLOW FOOD + WINE:
We also have recommendations for further unique food and wine hosted 5 day/4 night or 7 day/6 night experiences travelling onwards through Southern Italy in the little known (and incredible) Basilicata and Puglia regions, for an additional experience of authentic Italy. MORE DETAILS HERE >>
A 25% DEPOSIT IS REQUIRED FOR ALL ADD-ON OPTIONS TO SECURE THE BOOKING. The remaining amount will be added to your total package payable, with an initial 50% payment due 6 months prior to the tour (minus reservation fees and deposits), and remaining payable in full 2 months prior to departure.
SCROLL DOWN FOR MORE DETAILS ON CIOCIARIA, TOUR TESTIMONIALS AND A MAP OF THE REGION ⬇️
Overflowing with artisanal cheese makers, pastry chefs, olives, olive oil, salumi and wine producers and with wild truffle and porcini in the mountain forests, the Ciociaria region is a food and wine lover’s dream destination. The most attractive thing about the Ciociaria region? There is hardly another international visitor in sight. You will be guided by locals to meet the locals resurrecting the region’s ancient cultural traditions through food, wine and song, and with a renewed focus on biodynamic and organic cultivation of produce.
WHERE WILL WE BE?
The Ciociaria region is 1 hour south from Rome, heading towards Naples. It was actually part of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies (Naples and Sicily) until Italy became a unified country in 1861. Our home for the week is in a farmhouse near Lake Posta Fibreno. It will take us around 1.5 hours to arrive there from Rome. We are close to to the regional city centre of Sora, which has amazing boutique shopping. And the ancient Etruscan and Roman villages of Arpino, Alatri, Fumone, Veroli and Anagni are all near.
September is Autumn in Italy and essentially you’ll enjoy pleasant weather around 20 to 25 degrees Celsius. This is the time of year following the three-month summer holiday period for Italians, and is wonderfully quiet and relaxed for touring. It’s also the time of year when Italians start bringing in the harvest and it is vintage season for wine – a fantastic opportunity to see the local producers in action! Many villages additionally hold their local food and wine festivals during this period, and we will be factoring in some spontaneous visits to these (it’s impossible to know the exact dates, they change every year!).
Carolyn from the USA joined us in Ciociaria in September 2017:
“My trip to the Ciociaria food and wine region in the wild heart of Italy with Silver Compass Tours was the best thing I did in all of Italy! I can’t thank our local tour guides, Michele and Gaia, enough for taking the time to share their Ciociarian food, culture and countryside with us. We were completely blown away by everyone’s hospitality and generosity, and swept away by the beauty of Ciociaria.”
Chloe from Australia joined us in Ciociaria in May 2017:
“I’d been living and working in northern Italy for four months – this was my first time to southern Italy and it was also the first time I felt that I had *really* experienced authentic Italian food. I haven’t eaten better the entire time I’ve been in Italy. I’ll be back, absolutely!”
CONTACT US for more information or with any enquiries.