Wild Heart of Italy | Connoisseurs Food & Wine Cultural Tour Ciociaria & Molise

CIOCIARIA, Italy, Molise
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October 2024

An all-inclusive and immersive 8 day / 7 nights’ fine-dining and local food and wine cultural travel experience for cultural connoisseurs seeking to venture off the beaten track to discover a whole new authentic experience of regional Italy. Designed as a private group tour package and can be tailored for your group’s specific food and wine adventure desires.

Our itinerary traverses the Piglio DOCG, Atina DOC and Anagni IGT wine regions within Ciociaria, and will feature wine-tasting explorations of indigenous varieties such as Cesanese, Maturano, Passerina del Frusinate and Cabernet. It also includes two Michelin-star local dining establishments, as well as several fine-dining venues that all specialise in elevating traditional Ciociarian cuisine to exquisite levels using fresh, local ingredients – without losing any of the authenticity of the dishes.

We will be staying for in a very unique ‘Albergo Diffuso’ (diffused hotel) – in private luxury and self-contained apartments in a former Bishop’s Palace within the walls of a 1,000 year old castle in the picturesque mountaintop village of Picinisco.


We have hand-picked our favourite food, wine and cultural experiences of Ciociaria and Molise, including: a guided art history tour of the 9th-15th Century frescoes that surround the sacred cave of St Benedict at Subiaco Monastery (Monastero Sacro Speco), followed by lunch in the monk’s refectory; a private guided tour of The Garden of Ninfa (Il Giardino di Ninfa), renowned as one of Europe’s most beautiful gardens; two fine-dining meals at Michelin-star restaurants in Ciociaria plus several additional fine-dining experiences; truffle hunting in a Ciociarian forest followed by a truffle lunch; a long, degustation lunch with a noble family in their 16th Century palazzo – seated in the palace’s formal dining room, we will be treated to recreated medieval recipes sourced from the family’s original ancient cookbook and served with Cabernet wine from the family’s famous Atina DOC vineyard; exploring historic ancient Samnite civilisation sites in Molise with one of Italy’s most renowned authors on the subject; a fine-dining degustation in the remote hills of Molise; and finishing with a flourish with a fine-dining 8 course degustation farewell lunch.

Each morning or evening before we set off on our adventures we will be providing you with an introduction to each of the sites we will be visiting. This tour is suitable for people of all ages who are relatively active and healthy – there will be walking in countryside and forests and through cobbled stone villages.


You will be staying in private luxury apartments in an ‘albergo diffuso’ (diffused hotel) in a former Bishop’s palace within the walls of a 1,000 year old medieval castle. There are three 1-bedroom private apartments for couples (1-2 people) and two 2-bedroom private apartments (up to 4 people) available in the main complex. Each apartment has its own fully-equipped kitchenette, lounge area and a bathroom for each bedroom. The apartments all face a central inner courtyard with privacy from the village laneway and there is a shared communal terrace and garden.


This all-inclusive package can be tailored to your group’s interests and starts at at €4,797* EURO per person based on double occupancy (couples**). Fabulous Singles welcome for additional €1,200 to secure own apartment.

Minimum of 6 guests for this tour. Maximum 12 guests.

Please note: package cost is subject to change due to exchange rate volatility, however as soon as the first reservation deposit is received the package price is considered secured. We will also honour the advertised package rate for all guests who join the tour once the package rate has been secured.

* Package cost does not include flights, travel insurance, medical insurance, relevant visas, or any additional personal expenses. **Please note that as accommodation venue is a unique diffused hotel, all beds have been created bespoke and it is not possible to accommodate two friends sharing single beds in the same room. Trust us, you are going to want your own gorgeous room all to yourself for this experience!



There is a €500 EURO reservation fee per person to secure your place. This fee is non-refundable but completely transferable to an alternative tour date. An initial 25% payment is due within 4 weeks of reservation. Final balance payment is due 30 June. Payment Plans available on request.  For more information on our bookings and payments procedure for this special package, including details on our Cancellations & Refunds policies please visit our Booking Information page.


Download our ‘There’s something you need to know about Ciociaria’ Fact Sheet before booking to gain an understanding of visiting a region not set-up for mass tourism. Having travel insurance is a condition of joining our hosted travel experiences. We like World Nomads Logo


Tour commences at 11am on Day One with pick-up from designated tour hotel in Rome. Guests not staying at the hotel are required to make their own way there. Tour completes at 3pm on Day Eight with return transfer to Rome to designated tour hotel (arriving Rome at 5pm). Onward transfers to hotels or airport are responsibility of guests. We recommend you plan to arrive in Rome at least one day prior to the tour commencing and arrange onward transfers for one day after the tour.


We have an option to extend your stay with us for a week (7 days) in a gorgeous farmhouse in the food and wine region of Le Marche following our Ciociarian experience. We can also make recommendations on request for extending your food and wine travels to the Chianti region within Tuscany, including day trips to Florence and Siena – either prior to joining or following our Wild Heart of Italy tour. We also have contacts for a fascinating (and tasty!) truffle expedition to Slovenia. Ask us for more details.


“…just perfect for the adventurous, the curious, those who are tired of crowds and tourist restaurants, and for those who dislike moving from hotel to hotel to make the most of their vacation. It’s a great fit for those who want to learn more and appreciate more, and who want to extract the very essence of life from every day, and who are flexible enough to confidently do so.” Janette, Australia. Read the full review here >>


Our small, sustainable group tours to Ciociaria and Molise are aimed at preserving the charm and authenticity of each region for visitors. We hold our tours during low seasons, so by joining us you are also supporting the well-being of the local Ciociarian and Molisean communities we visit. Our immersive food and wine cultural experiences have been designed for fellow travellers with soul. We ask our guests to tread lightly, travel joyfully, act kindly and explore mindfully on our Wild Heart of Italy adventures throughout Ciociaria and Molise. Grazie mille, a thousand times thank you, on behalf of all our friends here.


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Package includes:

  • Group pick up from Rome on Day One at 11am from designated Tour Hotel meeting point. Guests not staying at the venue will need to make their own way there.
  • Accommodation for 7 nights' in private luxury apartments in a former Bishop's Palace within 1,000 year old castle walls. Breakfast inclusive and free wifi
  • 8 day travel experience through the Ciociaria & Molise food and wine regions, accompanied by Australian Tour Manager & dialect speaking native Host
  • All meals inclusive, including several fine-dining experiences. Table wine included. Additional wine list requests at own expense.
  • Welcome gift on arrival.
  • Orientation tour of home village.
  • Welcome Dinner at local fine-dining restaurant, table wine inclusive
  • Guided art history tour of 9th-15th Century frescoes in Subiaco Monastery, followed by lunch in the monk’s refectory.
  • Private access to the Garden of Ninfa (Il Giardino di Ninfa) with personal, guided tour
  • Two fine-dining meals at Michelin-star restaurants in Ciociaria. Wine list requests at own expense.
  • Truffle hunt, wine-tasting and truffle hunt.
  • Piglio DOCG & Atina DOC wine trails for Cesanese (red) and Cabernet (white) wine tastings.
  • Visit to organic farm and vineyard to sample Maturano wine (white), indigenous to Ciociaria.
  • 7-course degustation lunch and wine-tasting in a palace, wine included. Private tour of palace apartments.
  • Day trip to Molise for guided tour of ancient Samnite civilisation archeologic site (pre-Roman).
  • Fine-dining 6-course degustation lunch in the remote hills of Molise, table wine inclusive.
  • Finishing with a flourish with a fine-dining 8 course degustation farewell lunch.
  • All day-trips.
  • All wine-tasting fees.
  • Local guides, historic site and museum entry fees.
  • Group donation to Foundation of Subiaco Monastery.
  • Group donation to Caetani Foundation for the preservation of Il Giardino di Ninfa.
  • Group return transfer to Rome at 3pm on Day Eight, arriving Rome at approx. 5pm to designated Tour Hotel. Onward transfers to hotels or airport are guests' responsibility and at own expense.
  • * Flights, travel insurance, medical insurance, relevant visas, and any additional personal expenses are not included.


*All of our itineraries are subject to change and spontaneity. It makes life a little more fun!

CONTACT US for more information on our exclusive Wild Heart of Italy itineraries – designed for curious travellers, epicurean explorers and seekers of the extraordinary.