Culinary Immersion in Calabria
CULINARY IMMERSION IN CALABRIA
May 31 - June 8, 2021
This nine-day food and wine trip is specially designed to completely immerse you in Calabria’s culture, lifestyle and traditions, from the Ionian Sea to the Pollino mountains; amidst olive and clementine orchards, in a medieval town.
This trip is relaxing and you’ll have plenty of opportunities to unwind and rejuvenate. We’ll stay at just two locations in Calabria: the Casa Solares estate in Rossano, amidst their clementine and olive groves by the Ionian Sea and the Barbieri family-run hotel in the medieval town of Altomonte. During your stay, you’ll participate in five hands-on cooking lessons featuring local specialties, including the freshest local seafood and, of course, olive oil pressed at the estate, then savor your creations over lunch or dinner. You’ll taste the best wines from different areas of Calabria -- hand-picked to complement the dishes you’ll enjoy. The group is limited to 16 participants.
This 9-day culinary immersion features:
Five hands-on cooking classes learning local specialties
Daily excursions to fish market, cheese producer, wineries
All meals, breakfast, lunches and dinners
All lunches and dinners paired with top wines from Calabria
One spa treatment
Hike in the Pollino National Park
Stays at two locations:
- Casa Solares (5 nights). A large country estate where one of Calabria’s oldest nobilities dating to the 12th century, the Mascaro family, still lives. You’ll be staying on the estate at a private residence that has been converted into a guest house, in an oasis of peace and tranquility surrounded by 24,000 clementine trees and 15,000 olive trees, right on the Ionian Sea, with access to its private beach, pool and spa. Rooms are furnished in a fresh Mediterranean style, with private baths and air conditioning.
- Hotel Barbieri (3 nights). This family-run hotel with its own farm that grows all the food served at its restaurant, sits on a high ridge on the crescent of Altomonte in Calabria, across from the town's historic and famous castle. The four-star rooms are well appointed and the pool and spa on the premises offer plenty of relaxation. You’ll fall in love with the delicious food and amazing people in this medieval mountain town.
DAY 1: Arrival
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.
DAY 2: ROSSANO, Cooking class
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.
DAY 3: Cheese making, fish auction, cooking class
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 to visit an artisanal cheese maker that shows us how he makes caciocavallo, mozzarella, and ricotta. You will get the opportunity of a lifetime: to eat hot, freshly made ricotta straight out of the cauldron, which has a taste of its own, followed by a sample of all his cheeses. 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.
DAY 4: Ciro wine region
We adventured to the Ciro wine region of Calabria. We have a private tour of Librandi, one of Calabria’s best known wineries, with Paolo Librandi who also hosts us for lunch at his winery. Later in the afternoon we visit Roberto Ceraudo’s organic farm, vineyards, and olive groves, the first organic estate in Calabria. He takes us for a ride in his tractor and shares his passion for growing all organic. Afterwards we enjoy an amazing meal prepared by Caterina Ceraudo, Roberto's daughter, at their Michelin star restaurant, Dattilo.
DAY 5: cooking class, licorice tasting
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.
DAY 6: Corigliano Calabro, Altomonte, cooking class
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.
DAY 7: Civita, Cooking class
We’ll have the morning free to relax at the pool or spa or walk to the farm and enjoy mulberries and cherries right under the trees.
Afterwards we will visit the Arbëresh town of Civita where we will enjoy Arbëresh specialties for lunch, only to be found in these unique towns. We’ll head back to our hotel and relax a bit before our evening cooking class where you will learn how to shape various pastas of Calabria by hand. Dinner featuring dishes prepared in class.
DAY 8: Pollino hike, farewell dinner
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.
DAY 9: Arrivederci Calabria!
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.
The price of the tour for 2021 is $4,895 USD per person based on double occupancy. A limited number of single rooms are available for a supplement of $600.
Tour is limited to 16 guests. Reservations are secured by deposit on a first-come, first-served basis.
9 days, 8 nights in a double-occupancy room
All meals throughout the tour, including top Calabrian wines at each meal.
Five hands-on cooking classes with local chefs and Italian mammas.
Tour of the medieval town of Altomonte.
Tour of Rossano Calabro with private guide.
Tour of Corigliano castle with private guide.
Tour of the Amarelli liquorice factory.
Visits to top producers of wine, cheese and fish auction.
Souvenir apron and recipes.
One spa treatment (massage or Turkish bath)
Farewell dinner party
Private bus to and from the La Mezia Airport and to all destinations during the trip
Airfare to and from Italy, including to and from Lamezia Terme International Airport in Calabria
Shopping and personal expenses
Drinks or other cocktails not included in the itinerary
Tips for the bus driver (it is customary to tip the bus driver after the tour if you have been happy with the service)
All other expenses incurred during free time
“This trip was an emotional journey back to "Il paese del mio padre." The sights, smells, tastes all brought back the memories of my Calabrese family: those passed and those yet in Bisignano. Rosetta, Lino and Fernando were superb organizers and congenial hosts. They would be welcome in my home at any time. The bus driver, Paolo, was an artist also. This is a trip NOT TO BE MISSED!” Laurance J. Guido, MD, FACS
"Imagine yourself surrounded by beauty for eight days, with exquisite food, lovely people, extraordinary hosts, and grand accommodations, and you might be able to conjure up the Calabria Tour with Rosetta. She is an amazing and gracious host, and I learned so much about this gorgeous area. The history of Calabria is remarkable, the people are welcoming, and the food is sublime. Many thanks!" Maureen, Oakland, California
"We felt as if we were hosted by locals and entertained in their homes. What a wonderful adventure and real food experience. Plus, Rosetta's trip attracts the fabulous fellow travelers." Diane and Scott, Oakland, California
"I will always remember this trip as being not only fun but interesting, educational and truly a worthwhile experience. Having the opportunity to not only taste the magnificent flavors of Calabria but to be able to experience the history and beauty of the region at the same time was phenomenal.” Tony, Novato, California
"Rosetta did a fantastic job introducing us to the food of Calabria. It was a wonderful experience; we all gained a deeper insight and appreciation for this culture." Linda, California
"Amazing to have an inside look at a country that is so rarely thought of as a vacation spot. Rosetta did a fabulous job with everything food, wine, cooking, accommodations, tours, etc. if we did not do this tour with Rosetta we would of not seen and experienced the true Calabria." Tony & Anita, Los Angeles, California
"We loved the special tour of Calabria with real insiders and saw things that we would have never seen on another tour. We highly recommend touring and cooking with Rosetta and Lino." Andrea and Joe, San Jose, California
"The trip to Calabria was all about the food. If you love food and love Italy, then this is an experience you will treasure. Rosetta is a master at connecting you to the food experience and to her love for Calabria." Ben and Kathie, San Jose, California
"We left Calabria with the sense that we had experienced the best that the area had to offer. Rosetta's knowledge and enthusiasm for the food and culture of her homeland is contagious. We had a fabulous experience!" Susan and Steve, Walnut Creek, California
"Whether you are of Italian descent or are just interested in a great food and wine experience this is a great trip. True Farm to Table insights into a region of Italy not often visited, led by someone who's passion and caring are contagious. Grazie mille di cuore for a fantastic experience."
"An adventure into the Region's culinary traditions that you don't want to miss! Rosetta's passion for Calabria, its food, people & traditions is contagious."
"The trip was incredible. Rosetta's warmth, knowledge and excitement brought Calabria, Calabrian foods and cooking to life for all of us. We learned a lot, got to know the other wonderful people on the tour and had an amazing time."
"I thoroughly enjoyed my travels through Calabria with Rosetta. This trip should be called: Eat with Rosetta, Pray your clothes still fit, Love Calabria."
It was a lovely visit at an area of Italy that is not on the usual Italian tour; the people are gracious, the scenery is breathtaking and what more can I say about the food, if you are in to local and slow food...this is a good trip."
State of California Seller of Travel # 2125765-40