September 11- September 19 2012
Rosetta and our Italian tour leader, Fernando Cossari, will pick you up at Lamezia Terme International Airport at 5 p.m. Our well-equipped touring bus takes us to our first stop: Hotel San Lorenzo in Camigliatello Silano, about an hour away. Enjoy some of Calabrian wines and local salumi in the wine cellar while you have a chance to meet your fellow tour members. We will follow with a traditional dinner featuring some of La Sila specialties. During the meal, we’ll discuss what to expect in the coming days of our Calabrian tour, and answer all your questions.
The day starts with a mushroom-hunting excursion. We’ll spend the day in the Sila woods, hunting for porcini, the prized Italian mushroom for which Calabria is the main producer in Italy. Bring comfortable shoes and be prepared to hike a little. Enjoy your picnic lunch al fresco before heading back to your hotel. Later, you’ll learn how to clean and prepare the fruits of your labor, wrapping up the day with dinner at Ristorante La Tavernetta, renowned for its scrumptious mushroom dishes.
We head to Santa Severina, one of Italy’s most charming historical towns, where a Norman castle overlooking the sea gives us a view of the Ionian coast. Enjoy a light lunch before heading to Dattilo in the wine region of Cirò. One of Calabria’s most renowned estates, Dattilo not only hosts the region’s best restaurant, but also is home to an extensive organic farm, a vineyard, and an olive grove. Enjoy the estate’s hospitality by sampling its excellent olive oils and wines. Attend a cooking demonstration of some of the dishes you will eat at dinner.
Before we leave La Sila, learn about its remarkable cheese and prestigious salumi. The region is the home of Caciocavallo Silano, a DOP certified cow’s milk cheese named for the way it straddles (a cavallo) a piece of wood. We will also visit a family-owned dairy farm to see Caciovallo and other cheeses being made, and taste all of them. We will tour a salumi producer, peeking into the curing cellars to view famous Calabrian salumi, followed by a tasting. We then head to Rende for a tour of this charming town and lunch at Pantagruel, a restaurant famous for its fish dishes. We end the day in Cetraro on the west coast. We will check in at Grand Hotel San Michele, high on a cliff overlooking the sea, and have dinner at one of the restaurants there, sampling regional specialties made from organic food grown in the surrounding garden.
Enjoy a leisurely pace today. Gather together in the late morning for a cooking class at the hotel, using fresh vegetables grown on the property’s farm. We will lunch on the dishes we prepare. After lunch you can relax at the pool or at the hotel’s private beach. Later in the day we will show you around Diamante, known as the “City of Murals”, where you can shop for foods made with the local citrus (cedro) and peperoncino. Then we’ll head to La Taverna del Conte restaurant for a seafood dinner prepared with the local catch of the day.
Heading south on the west coast, we will stop in a charming agriturismo in Curinga to enjoy a Sunday meal featuring homemade farm products. In the afternoon we will check in at the Panta Rei resort, where we will get a chance to enjoy the breathtaking view of the sea, take a stroll on the white sandy beach or swim in the pool with its view of the Mediterranean. We will regroup for dinner in Pizzo, and then head to Piazza Belvedere in the town of Pizzo to eat a local specialty, tartufo gelato.
Our day will start in the town of Vibo Valentia where we will explore the vegetable market, the foraging stands, the local bakery, the butcher shop and all the homemade goods that are available. We will have lunch in the Tropea area to taste its specialties, such as the red onions of Tropea, the famous ‘nduja di Spilinga and the Monte Poro pecorino. After lunch we explore the beautiful seaside town of Tropea and shop or just enjoy the view. Later in the afternoon Signora Rita Callipo will welcome us to her home, Casa Janca, where she will show us the preparation of some typical Calabria dishes before a delightful dinner.
For our last full day of activities, we will head back to where we started, in Lamezia Terme. Lamezia wine has always been famous and its history bears the names of vines whose grapes were brought here by the Greeks: Gaglioppo, Magliocco, Mantonico Bianco, Greco Bianco and Greco Nero. We will get to learn about them at the Statti estate, where we will taste the local wines and olive oil production. We will wrap up our day at the Ashley Hotel, and enjoy dinner at a local restaurant that features specialties of the area.
After breakfast we will part ways and say goodbye to Calabria!