WILD HEART OF ITALY ⋆ Silver Compass Tours

CIOCIARIA
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Description

“Italy today is far more Etruscan in its pulse than Roman: and will always be so. The Etruscan element is like the grass of the field and the sprouting of corn, in Italy: it will always be so.”

DH Lawrence, ‘Etruscan Places – travels through forgotten Italy’ (1932)

Ciociaria in Central Italy was famed in Roman times and was a flourishing food and wine destination – many of Rome’s aristocrats and Emperors had their villas and summer palazzi in the region. The forests teamed with venison, wild boar, truffles and porcini mushrooms and it was renowned even then for its pecorino (sheep milk cheese). Olive groves and vines have been found to have been cultivated in the region dating back to the Etruscan civilisation, which was subsumed into the Roman Empire around 300 BC. It’s also home to the Piglio DOCG wine region and the native Cesanese varietal (favoured by the Romans) is experiencing a current renaissance.

Ciociaria is Silver Compass Tour Co-Founder Paolo’s birthplace, and through his father we can (very roughly) trace his ancestry back to the Ernici tribe of the Etruscan civilisation through the city of Veroli (or Verulae as it was known in Roman times). We have designed an 8-night / 7-day tour for a small and intimate group to join us to experience this magical region through the eyes of Paolo as a passionate, local foodie – to meet the region’s vignerons, cheese-makers, truffle-hunters, market stallholders, cooks, chefs and more. We will be hopping along to local fresh produce markets and seasonal food festival events (Sagra) at villages where each has their own particular specialties, and we have a local chef lined-up to introduce you to how to cook in the traditional Ciociarian style. A farm visit to learn how to make fresh cheese with sheep and goats milk is also on the itinerary.

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