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Easter in Abruzzo 7 Days


A Cultural & Gastronomic Experience!  March 22-28

Abruzzo is untouched Italy — charming visitors with its rugged landscape, lush fields, and medieval castles. These ancestral elements find parallels in the people’s time-tested traditions: ancient Easter rituals that thrill participants and onlookers alike. During the Easter season, Abruzzese residents reenact scenes from the Gospel – drawing attention to humanity’s universal suffering and the joy of the Resurrection. In this tour, you’ll experience some of Abruzzo’s most striking hilltop villages and medieval towns. You’ll also have the chance to observe authentic local rituals. In the hilltop town of Lanciano, we’ll observe the night-time procession of Holy Thursday. In Chieti, we’ll hear the Good Friday chants of Miserere before watching the Madonna che scappa procession – when residents race through the main square, hoisting the Virgin Mary overhead.


TOUR ITINERARY  { 7 days / 6 nights }

Tuesday March 22

ARRIVAL IN ITALY (ROME AIRPORT) – TRANFER TO ABRUZZO

Arrival in Italy late in the morning (Fiumicino/Ciampino Airport – Rome). Meet our guide at the airport and depart as a group to Abruzzo. From Rome, it will take about to 2 ½ hours. Arrival in the reserved hotel on the Adriatic Coast (in the central part of Abruzzo — between Giulianova, Silvi, Montesilvano or Pescara Accommodation in the reserved rooms and free time at travelers’ disposal. In the evening: dinner in hotel and overnight stay.

Wednesday March 23

COOKING CLASS ABRUZZO STYLE IN ATRI

Breakfast in hotel and departure for the stunning countryside near the town of Atri. Arrival in the small village of Mutignano, situated on a hill facing the Adriatic Sea. Stroll through the center of the town to reach a family-run restaurant. Here, you’ll experience a special cooking class. With the help of the restaurant cooks, you will prepare traditional tastes from the region — from pasta to lamb arrosticini. Have fun working the flour and eggs in order to make hand-shaped pasta like Maccheroni alla Chitarra. Lunch in the restaurant, dining on the food you’ve made. In the afternoon, visit to Atri — an architectural jewel. The town is emblematic of the Renaissance history of the region, when the D’Acquaviva Dukes ruled the area. Visit the St. Maria dell’Assunta Cathedral. In the cathedral, you’ll note an extraordinary fresco series — dating back to the 15th century — by the painter Andrea De Litio. Walking the small streets of the town, you will admire the Town Theatre, the St. Agostino and St. Francesco Church, the Palazzo Duchi D’Acquaviva and the Belvedere.  Then enjoy a tasting of local licorice and free time for shopping. In the evening: return to the hotel, free time for dinner and overnight stay.

Thursday March 24

LORETO APRUTINO – Olive Oil Tasting & LANCIANO – Holy Thursday Procession

Breakfast in hotel and leave in coach for Loreto Aprutino, a medieval village sitting on a hill. You’ll be surrounded by thousands of olive groves overlooking the Gran Sasso Mountain and the Adriatic Sea. In the countryside, you will visit the Romanesque Church of Santa Maria in Piano, built in the 13th century. A hidden art treasure is painted on the interior side of its façade: the Judgment of Souls, which is an encaustic painting that depicts Armageddon. Then, enjoy an extra virgin olive oil tasting in the nearby countryside. Lunch in a typical restaurant. Return to the hotel in the late afternoon. Departure for Lanciano in the evening. Lanciano is one of the most striking and ancient towns in the region. In the evening, you will observe the local procession of Holy Thursday. You’ll see members of several fraternal orders of the town, dressed in dark tunics and a black-hood, parade through Lanciano. Late in the evening, return to the hotel for overnight stay.

Friday March 25

CHIETI & GOOD FRIDAY PROCESSION (the oldest ancient in Italy)

Breakfast in the hotel and some time on your own. Late in the morning: departure for Chieti. We will go to the Cathedral of St. Giustino and listen to the rehearsal of the Polyphonic Choir. You’ll hear their chants of Miserere, which will be performed in the evening during the Good Friday Procession. Lunch in a typical restaurant. In the afternoon, you’ll step into Abruzzo’s charming past at the National Archaeological Museum of Abruzzo in Chieti. At night, prepare to be awed by the Good Friday procession through the streets of Chieti. Starting only after sunset, the procession winds through Chieti’s center. Along the path of the procession, darkness is lit by ceremonial torches. Rooted in ancient rituals, this tradition has been handed down from generation to generation. Free time for dinner and then return to hotel for overnight stay.

Saturday March 26

S.STEFANO DI SESSANIO – NAVELLI – BOMINACO

After breakfast, departure to visit the mountainous zones of the region and the medieval hamlet of Santo Stefano di Sessanio. Afterward, we’ll visit Navelli — one of the most interesting medieval villages in the Abruzzo.  Navelli is famous for the production of saffron. Lunch in a typical restaurant in the evocative historical center – dining on saffron-infused dishes. In the afternoon visit to Santa Maria di Bominaco, situated next to the Navelli upland. Santa Maria di Bominaco is a masterpiece of Medieval architecture: the complex is composed of the medieval abbey of S. Maria Assunta and the Oratorio of San Pellegrino. This Oratorio preserves a medieval fresco series depicting Christ’s Childhood, the Passion, the Final Judgment, and the life of Saint Pellegrino. Late in the afternoon return to the hotel for dinner and overnight stay.

Easter Sunday March 27

SULMONA AND THE DASHING MADONNA PROCESSION – PESCARA

Departure in the morning to go to Sulmona, the most important center of the Peligna Valley. Well- known for its Jordan almonds (confetti), Sulmona’s history dates back to Ancient Rome. After a brief sightseeing promenade in Sulmona’s center, we will head to the main square – Piazza Garibaldi.  In the piazza, we’ll observe the most awaited Easter performance of Abruzzo: the Madonna che scappa in piazza (the Dashing Madonna).  In the procession, members of the Confraternity of the Holy Trinity first carry statues of John the Baptist and St. Peter to Salumona’s church. There, they knock three times. After knocking, a statue of the Virgin Mary is revealed – announcing the Resurrection of her son. On the opposite side of the piazza, a sculpture of Christ awaits the Virgin Mary. Lifted aloft by the brothers of the Confraternities, the Virgin Mary sees Jesus and begins to run towards him – all while carried on the backs of local men.  Lunch in a typical restaurant in the surroundings of Sulmona. On the way back to the hotel: stop in Pescara, Abruzzo’s most modern town, for a lovely walk along the coast. Return to the hotel for dinner and overnight stay.

Monday March 28

END OF THE TOUR

Breakfast in hotel and transfer to to Rome/Pescara airport.

+
DAY 1

Tuesday March 22

ARRIVAL IN ITALY (ROME AIRPORT) – TRANFER TO ABRUZZO

Arrival in Italy late in the morning (Fiumicino/Ciampino Airport – Rome). Meet our guide at the airport and depart as a group to Abruzzo. From Rome, it will take about to 2 ½ hours. Arrival in the reserved hotel on the Adriatic Coast (in the central part of Abruzzo — between Giulianova, Silvi, Montesilvano or Pescara Accommodation in the reserved rooms and free time at travelers’ disposal. In the evening: dinner in hotel and overnight stay.

+
DAY 2

Wednesday March 23

COOKING CLASS ABRUZZO STYLE IN ATRI

Breakfast in hotel and departure for the stunning countryside near the town of Atri. Arrival in the small village of Mutignano, situated on a hill facing the Adriatic Sea. Stroll through the center of the town to reach a family-run restaurant. Here, you’ll experience a special cooking class. With the help of the restaurant cooks, you will prepare traditional tastes from the region — from pasta to lamb arrosticini. Have fun working the flour and eggs in order to make hand-shaped pasta like Maccheroni alla Chitarra. Lunch in the restaurant, dining on the food you’ve made. In the afternoon, visit to Atri — an architectural jewel. The town is emblematic of the Renaissance history of the region, when the D’Acquaviva Dukes ruled the area. Visit the St. Maria dell’Assunta Cathedral. In the cathedral, you’ll note an extraordinary fresco series — dating back to the 15th century — by the painter Andrea De Litio. Walking the small streets of the town, you will admire the Town Theatre, the St. Agostino and St. Francesco Church, the Palazzo Duchi D’Acquaviva and the Belvedere.  Then enjoy a tasting of local licorice and free time for shopping. In the evening: return to the hotel, free time for dinner and overnight stay.

+
DAY 3

Thursday March 24

LORETO APRUTINO – Olive Oil Tasting & LANCIANO – Holy Thursday Procession

Breakfast in hotel and leave in coach for Loreto Aprutino, a medieval village sitting on a hill. You’ll be surrounded by thousands of olive groves overlooking the Gran Sasso Mountain and the Adriatic Sea. In the countryside, you will visit the Romanesque Church of Santa Maria in Piano, built in the 13th century. A hidden art treasure is painted on the interior side of its façade: the Judgment of Souls, which is an encaustic painting that depicts Armageddon. Then, enjoy an extra virgin olive oil tasting in the nearby countryside. Lunch in a typical restaurant. Return to the hotel in the late afternoon. Departure for Lanciano in the evening. Lanciano is one of the most striking and ancient towns in the region. In the evening, you will observe the local procession of Holy Thursday. You’ll see members of several fraternal orders of the town, dressed in dark tunics and a black-hood, parade through Lanciano. Late in the evening, return to the hotel for overnight stay.

+
DAY 4

Friday March 25

CHIETI & GOOD FRIDAY PROCESSION (the oldest ancient in Italy)

Breakfast in the hotel and some time on your own. Late in the morning: departure for Chieti. We will go to the Cathedral of St. Giustino and listen to the rehearsal of the Polyphonic Choir. You’ll hear their chants of Miserere, which will be performed in the evening during the Good Friday Procession. Lunch in a typical restaurant. In the afternoon, you’ll step into Abruzzo’s charming past at the National Archaeological Museum of Abruzzo in Chieti. At night, prepare to be awed by the Good Friday procession through the streets of Chieti. Starting only after sunset, the procession winds through Chieti’s center. Along the path of the procession, darkness is lit by ceremonial torches. Rooted in ancient rituals, this tradition has been handed down from generation to generation. Free time for dinner and then return to hotel for overnight stay.

+
DAY 5

Saturday March 26

S.STEFANO DI SESSANIO – NAVELLI – BOMINACO

After breakfast, departure to visit the mountainous zones of the region and the medieval hamlet of Santo Stefano di Sessanio. Afterward, we’ll visit Navelli — one of the most interesting medieval villages in the Abruzzo.  Navelli is famous for the production of saffron. Lunch in a typical restaurant in the evocative historical center – dining on saffron-infused dishes. In the afternoon visit to Santa Maria di Bominaco, situated next to the Navelli upland. Santa Maria di Bominaco is a masterpiece of Medieval architecture: the complex is composed of the medieval abbey of S. Maria Assunta and the Oratorio of San Pellegrino. This Oratorio preserves a medieval fresco series depicting Christ’s Childhood, the Passion, the Final Judgment, and the life of Saint Pellegrino. Late in the afternoon return to the hotel for dinner and overnight stay.

+
DAY 6

Easter Sunday March 27

SULMONA AND THE DASHING MADONNA PROCESSION – PESCARA

Departure in the morning to go to Sulmona, the most important center of the Peligna Valley. Well- known for its Jordan almonds (confetti), Sulmona’s history dates back to Ancient Rome. After a brief sightseeing promenade in Sulmona’s center, we will head to the main square – Piazza Garibaldi.  In the piazza, we’ll observe the most awaited Easter performance of Abruzzo: the Madonna che scappa in piazza (the Dashing Madonna).  In the procession, members of the Confraternity of the Holy Trinity first carry statues of John the Baptist and St. Peter to Salumona’s church. There, they knock three times. After knocking, a statue of the Virgin Mary is revealed – announcing the Resurrection of her son. On the opposite side of the piazza, a sculpture of Christ awaits the Virgin Mary. Lifted aloft by the brothers of the Confraternities, the Virgin Mary sees Jesus and begins to run towards him – all while carried on the backs of local men.  Lunch in a typical restaurant in the surroundings of Sulmona. On the way back to the hotel: stop in Pescara, Abruzzo’s most modern town, for a lovely walk along the coast. Return to the hotel for dinner and overnight stay.

+
DAY 7

Monday March 28

END OF THE TOUR

Breakfast in hotel and transfer to to Rome/Pescara airport.


Price per person in Double/Twin room     $ 2,400.00
* $ 300 USD supplement for individual travelers / single rooms


INCLUDED:

  • 3 dinners with beverages (3 star Sup. / 4 star)
  • All breakfasts
  • 1 cooking class, 3 lunches in typical restaurants + 1 lunch in a restaurant with saffron dishes
  • 1 Extra virgin olive oil tasting
  • English tour guide
  • Private coach included for the whole itinerary
  • R/T Rome airport transfer


NOT INCLUDED

  • International flights and domestic flights
  • All meals not mentioned above
  • Entry tickets for monuments
  • Gratuities
  • Items of a personal nature