SILVER COMPASS TOURS PRESENTS:
A food + wine + cultural encounter through the magical region of Ciociaria within the Lazio region of Central Italy. Just one hour south from Rome, but a whole world away…
TOUR DATES FOR 2018/19 :
May 2018 – BOOKED FOR PRIVATE GROUP
9-16 September 2018 – BOOKINGS OPEN
12-19 May 2019 – BOOKINGS OPEN
Bookings are now open for our WILD HEART VIP members. To request to join, CONTACT US.
Imagine if you could wander off the beaten track in regional Italy, and encounter authentic and traditional local food and wine experiences – far away from the tourist hordes. Just one hour south from Rome, there’s a magical secret : the untapped food and wine region of Ciociaria (cho-sha-ria).
A region within the Lazio region of Central Italy, Ciociaria was famed as a foodie destination in Roman times with venison and wild boar roaming wild in its forests. It still boasts an abundance of incredible fresh produce and local artisans, encompasses the Piglio DOCG wine region, and is one of Italy’s most renowned truffle regions. Vines have been cultivated here since the Etruscan civilisation flourished, and the Romans were fond of the local Cesanese varietal (which is now experiencing a renaissance).
PHOTO BELOW: The Ciociaria region borders on the National Park of Abruzzo. Photo Credit: © horseman82
FOOD + WINE + CULTURE
One of the last undiscovered regions of Italy, Ciociaria is a well-guarded secret food and wine destination. Many Romans today still make the trek on weekends to experience its traditional cuisine and rediscover their connection to the countryside. However, there’s not an international tourist in sight. BLISS!
You will truly be able to immerse yourself in an authentic, local food and wine and cultural experience – hosted by Paolo of Silver Compass Tours, whose family has lived in the region for centuries. Our accompanied tour will take you on a guided journey throughout the region to vineyards, farm gates and medieval villages to sample the many amazing regional specialties.
This includes foodie tours of local markets, a Ciociarian cuisine cooking class, a medieval banquet at an ancient tavern underneath a castle, a cheese-making class and a truffle expedition. It also includes day trips to a monastery built into a cliff on top of the ruins of Emperor Nero’s summer palace, a visit to the remains of Emperor Trajan’s hunting villa, a wander through the streets and temples of an abandoned Roman town, and a trip to the ancient Roman seaside resort of Terracina and its temple ruins.
EAT, DRINK & EXPLORE – LA DOLCE VITA
Throughout all of this, we will be merrily eating and drinking to our hearts content. This is a region known for its generosity. All meals are included in the tour package, with table wine provided for all lunches and dinners. There’s also plenty of time to rest and relax, and our itinerary has been designed to give you time to unwind and fully immerse yourself in the regional Italian experience.
Get ready to live the Italian sweet life – which means coffee and pastries for breakfast, prosecco for morning tea, mandatory siestas (everything closes between 1pm to 4pm, may as well do as the Romans do…), and evening adventures. Oh, and throw away your Italian phrasebook. Everyone speaks a charming dialect in this region, luckily for us Paolo is fluent.
Spontaneity and a sense of fun and adventure is also essential. We plan to take you to local village food and wine festivals, which occur practically every week in the springtime. However Italy being its marvellous self, we never know the exact dates and they change every year. So live a little and embrace a few random detours when you join us on our itinerary, if we hear about a local food festival in a nearby village, we’ll take you!
PHOTO BELOW: The mountaintop of Arpino in Ciociaria has been settled since Etruscan times, and was the birthplace of renowned Roman philosoper, Cicero.
UNIQUE FIVE-STAR ACCOMMODATION
We will be staying in a five star ‘Albergo Diffuso’ (diffused hotel) in a medieval mountaintop village. The concept of a diffused hotel is unique to Italy, and is based on the revival of ancient buildings and villages to create an entirely new concept for accommodation. Our ‘diffused hotel’ is in fact a beautifully restored palace on top of a mountain on the fringes of a medieval village and bordering a National Heritage Park. Guests will have their own apartments with bathroom and sitting room, and a shared communal terrace for us all to gather for afternoon aperitivi and to gaze at the inspirational view over the Ciociarian valleys.
PHOTO BELOW: Built upon the banks of the Liri River, the city of Sora in Ciociaria was an ancient Volscian town, before being conquered by the Romans circa 300 BC. Photo Credit: © horseman82
CAN WE TEMPT YOU TO JOIN US?
Our all-inclusive and immersive food and wine tours to the Ciociaria region for 2018 will be in May (Spring) and September (Autumn), which are both ideal times to visit. The weather is still warm and sunny at both times of year (around 25-30 degrees), and these are the seasons of the local mountaintop village Sagra (food and wine festivals).
Our tours for 2018/2019 are limited to a maximum of 8-12 guests to ensure an intimate and enjoyable experience with individual attention and care. We have additionally opened up bookings for our exclusively designed itinerary for 2018/19 to our WILD HEART VIP members as a priority.
You are welcome to REQUEST TO JOIN US as a WILD HEART member to receive access to priority bookings, member offers and more detailed information on our tour itineraries.
It is almost impossible to co-ordinate tours specifically for the Sagras, as the dates seem to constantly fluctuate. We tell our guests to prepare for spontaneity, and when you’re with us if we hear through the grapevine that a festival is on in a nearby village, we’ll take you!
Our all-inclusive 8 day / 7 night hosted experience packages include 5-star accommodation, transfers to and from Rome, and focus on deeply immersing you into authentic local food and wine and cultural experiences. We have a team of local guides supporting us fluent in English and Italian (and Ciociarian dialect, very important!). Kelly is your Australian host and Paolo, as a native Ciociarian who now lives in Australia, is thrilled to be introducing guests to his homeland and culture.
Places are limited to four separate apartments, for individual guest bookings (whether as a couple or fabulous single), as this is a small and intimate tour experience designed especially for people who wouldn’t normally go on group tours.
Feel free to CONTACT US if you would like to learn more.
PHOTO BELOW: A typical Ciociarian countryside scene in the springtime: fields of poppies and forests along riverbanks in the valleys, encircled by the Apennine Mountains. Photo Credit: © Mirko Macari
“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.”
“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!”
Foodie and foraging tours to local mountaintop villages to explore regional specialties such as truffles; olives, olive oil; sheep milk pecorino, buffalo mozzarella; chestnuts; porchetta, proscuitto, Ciociarian biscuits and pastries and more.
Visits to local food, fashion and antique markets, as well as Ciociarian cooking and cheese-making classes.
Wine-tasting and Zero Km local produce lunch at biodynamic vineyard.
Market day at Anagni, the medieval City of Popes packed full of Etruscan, Roman, Medieval and Renaissance history.
Regional wine tour, stopping at local vineyards for wine-tastings and meeting the vignerons.
A medieval banquet in an ancient tavern underneath a castle, in one of the most perfectly preserved mountaintop villages in the region.
The same boutique accommodation venue throughout the entire adventure, featuring your own bedroom, bathroom, kitchen with shared garden terrace. HEAVEN
CONTACT US to request to join our WILD HEART VIP members for access to more information on the exclusive itinerary we have designed for fellow travellers with soul for our 2018/19 tours.