CULINARY IMMERSION IN CALABRIA -- ITINERARY
We’ll meet you at the Lamezia Terme International Airport at 10 a.m. or, if you arrive earlier, at the Bram Hotel near the airport. Our well-equipped touring bus will take you to the Casa Solares estate in Rossano.
Arrival at Casa Solares, unwinding, unpacking, enjoying the pool, getting to know their beautiful estate and our host Maria Pia. Settle in with an aperitivo and an amazing dinner at their restaurant.
After breakfast we’ll walk on the farm and pick what is growing this time of the year in their organic vegetable garden: fresh peas, fava beans, zucchini blossoms. Along the way we’ll forage chicories and chamomile that grow wild nearby. We’ll start our cooking class preparing local Calabrian dishes and end with our prepared lunch. In the afternoon, we’ll head to the historic town of Rossano, the center of the Byzantine culture in Calabria. We’ll visit the cathedral and the museum to admire the Codex Purpureus, a unique Gospel handwritten in the 6th Century on red parchment paper, believed to be the oldest illustrated manuscript of the New Testament. We’ll wander around the town and end in the piazza for our gelato or granita. Dinner at Casa Solares restaurant.
For those who are interested, and are early risers, there is an option on this day before breakfast to attend Sunday mass in the estate’s private chapel.
We’ll start our cooking class in the morning and learn how to knead pizza dough. We’ll leave it for a long rise to be ready in the evening for our pizza making class with a pizzaiolo. Later in the morning we’ll stop at a cheese producer that raises buffalo, taking some of their specialty, buffalo mozzarella, to use in our pizza later. Lunch at Casa Solares. Later in the afternoon we’ll venture out to watch a fish auction at the port -- it’s a sight to behold, with all the wonderful fish available in the area. We’ll finish our day baking our own pizza, roasting vegetables and whatever else we decide to bake in the wood burning oven.
Relaxing morning to stroll around the farm, go to the private beach, sit by the pool or relax with a massage at the Casa Solares spa. We’ll enjoy lunch prepared by chef Roberto and then we’ll adventure in the Ciro wine country. We’ll go wine tasting and see how many wineries we can hit before our dinner at a private villa in the wine country.
In the late morning we’ll have our last cooking class at Casa Solares. Lunch featuring dishes prepared in class. Time to relax in the afternoon, stroll along the farm or by the beach, or take a tour of the Amarelli Factory, famous for its licorice.
We’ll be the dinner guests of the Baronessa, our hostess at Casa Solares, at her private Casello located on the estate. Dinner will feature traditional old noble recipes of Calabria.
We’ll leave Casa Solares in the morning and on our way to Altomonte we’ll stop in the town of Corigliano to visit one of the most beautifully restored castles of Calabria. We’ll arrive in Altomonte and after checking in we’ll enjoy our luncheon on the outdoor patio located on their organic farm.
After lunch we’ll walk to town or you can take the shuttle to the historic center of Altomonte and enjoy the beauty of this medieval town along with its churches and museum. We’ll get back in time to start our cooking class featuring homemade pastas of Calabria. Dinner featuring dishes prepared in class.
We’ll go visit a local cheesemaker in Morano Calabro and watch them as they make ricotta, you will get to taste it warm just as it is made. We'll lunch in the hilltop town of Saracena at one of the best restaurants in Calabria. We’ll head back to our hotel and relax a bit before our evening cooking class. Dinner featuring dishes prepared in class.
Today we’ll hike with a guide in the largest national park of Italy, the Pollino. If you choose not to hike you can relax and enjoy the pool or a spa treatment. We'll take a break on our hike to enjoy a picnic fit for a king, featuring Pasta China (baked Calabrian lasagna) and many more specialties stuffed inside large loaves of bread as it was traditionally done to bring food to the farm.
In the afternoon you can relax, go tasting liqueurs down the street from our hotel, or wander into town for a gelato. The evening will conclude with our farewell dinner in Barbieri’s cantina in the historic center of Altomonte with a dinner featuring local specialties and, of course, some Calabrian music.
Departure after breakfast, the shuttle takes you to the Lamezia Terme International Airport for your return home or to your next destination. We’ll have you back at the airport by 11 am.
**Sequence of activities and excursions may vary. The final itinerary will be given to each guest on arrival day.