Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive
 

Hands in the dough

The thought of hands working dough conjures up things coming straight out of the oven, piping hot, fragrant and smelling so good.
In the Abruzzo region bread and cakes are still often made in the most traditional ways with old-style wheat and corn which is often low in gluten and sown, harvested and milled with natural yeasts to yield products that are eminently digestible, deliciously crispy and wonderfully healthy.
Abruzzo dough, however, is not only the soft type used for bread: there exists another form of ‘dough’ that comes from milk. In skilful and experienced hands, this is transformed into various delicious kinds of Italian cheeses and cheese products, in particular those known as fiordilatte, trecce, nodini’, bocconcini, scamorza and caciocavallo.
Over a whole day you will be able to view and take part in the production of one or more of these specialities of which Abruzzo is so proud.

Full day (7/8 hours maximum)

 

PROGRAMME A)

This is the village of which Edward Lear said he was struck by “the magnificence of its panorama”

9.00

Meet in Piazza Capograssi (on Mondays, Tuesdays Thursdays, Fridays, Sundays), Sulmona. Meet in V. XXV Aprile near the basketball stadium (on Wednesdays and on Saturdays).

10.00

Arrive at Villalago, one of the most spectacular villages in the Valley of Sagittarius (Valle del Sagittario), perched on a rocky ridge directly above the river of the same name. The village still has an old water mill complete with millstone and fulling machine all recently refurbished and in working order. This visit will help to prepare us for when we ... get our own hands in the dough.

11.00

Panoramic tour to Lake Scanno (Lago di Scanno), then break to relax on the lake shore for photos (and selfies?).

12.30

We arrive at Introdacqua and are given a warm farm welcome by Enrica, an expert in bread making and everything from the oven: bread, pizza and traditional home-made Abruzzo cookies. Then aperitif and lunch with produce from the establishment including salami, local cheeses and other specialities as well as wine from the region.

14.30

Everyone to work! What fun making bread, pizza and Abruzzo cookies, which we will tuck into later at break time. Apart from revealing the techniques and secrets of oven cooking to guarantee the most delicious and healthy products, Enrica will also tell us how the various kinds of flour differ from one another and how best to use them.

Ore 17.00

We all get together and have a taste of the freshly made stuff we have produced. Everyone will be able to take home with them anything that is left to remind them of the creative time they have had.

Ore 18.30

Group photos, goodbyes and return to Sulmona.

ph +39 0864 53276 (9/13 - 15:30/19:30 every day)  |  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  |  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

PROGRAMME B)

The most photographed village in Abruzzo

9.00

Meet in Piazza Capograssi (on Mondays, Tuesdays Thursdays, Fridays, Sundays), Sulmona. Meet in V. XXV Aprile near the basketball stadium (on Wednesdays and on Saturdays).

10.00

Arrive at Scanno, one of the most beautiful and evocative villages in the Sagittarius Valley (Valle del Sagittario), with its famous heart-shaped lake. Panoramic tour of the lake and break to relax on the shore for photos (and selfies?).

We are taken on a guided tour of the village, which was much loved by the Grand Tour travellers of the 17th/18th century and has been a favourite of poets and photographers. The ancient traditions still exist, the buildings still have their old austere beauty and many of the women still wear their local costume with pride. All this lends an unforgettable charm to this mountain village. We are taken back to past ages and it is almost as though time has stood still.

11.00

Mid-morning break at the famous Pasticceria Di Masso cafe where we sit down to taste some traditional sweet things from Scanno (for example mostaccioli and Pan dell’Orso) with coffee, cappuccino or tea.

12.30

We arrive at Introdacqua and are given a warm farm welcome by Tonino, a person typical of the farmers of the region in his courteous ways and the resilience he shows in managing to produce every year, at great sacrifice to himself, a large variety of cereals, vegetables and fruits from his hillside lands. He also obtains fine wines from his vineyards and excellent virgin oil from his olive groves.

After a short walk in the countryside to see all this, we return to the farm buildings to see the machines used to extract and grind the cereal from the corn to obtain premium flour. Part of this relies on a small wooden mill built by Tonino himself which comes into action just at the right moment in the process.

13.30

Lunch with various specialities of the house prepared by Wilma, the tireless resident cook whose food is the last word in inspiration, originality and taste.

15.00

We enter Wilma’s kitchen to do dough mixing and to learn recipes for pizza, sweet bagel-shaped buns called ciambelline and special waffles called ferratelle. All of these are made with the Solina flour which comes from traditional mountain wheat (known as “the mother of all wheats”) and is typically found in the interior part of the Abruzzo region. It is famous for its low gluten content and eminently suited to people with gluten intolerance.

17.30

We all get together for a taste of the freshly made stuff we have produced ourselves. Everyone will be able to take home with them some sweets or other products to remind them of the day they have experienced.

18.30

Group photos, goodbyes and return to Sulmona.

ph +39 0864 53276 (9/13 - 15:30/19:30 every day)  |  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  |  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

PROGRAMME C)

The most beautiful villages in the Majella mountain range …

9.00

Meet in Piazza Capograssi (on Mondays, Tuesdays Thursdays, Fridays, Sundays), Sulmona. Meet in V. XXV Aprile near the basketball stadium (on Wednesdays and on Saturdays).

9.30

Arrival at Pescocostanzo, one of the mountain villages in the region most deserving of attention. It breathes authenticity in every stone of its buildings and you stand and admire every item fashioned in its special bobbin lace and every piece of gold watermarked jewellery displayed in its goldsmiths’ workshops.

We visit a farm establishment to see how pulled-curd cheese is made and to get some fresh cow’s milk and the soft ricotta cheeses which are both essential ingredients of the sweets we will be preparing in the afternoon.

We are taken on a guided tour of the old district in search of the most important monuments in a village that was originally the home of sheep herders. The men would be absent for long months of the year and their wives would look after home, woods and fields. The women were incredibly strong and proud and, as well as looking after the household, made lace products by candlelight, so keeping their families going and keeping alive long traditions.

13.00

We arrive at Pacentro, one of the most spectacular villages of the Peligna Valley (Conca Peligna), straddling as it does Mount Morrone (Monte Morrone) and the Majella mountain range and lit all day by the sun reflecting on the white stone of its small houses and churches which from a distance seem to form a single mass with the medieval castle. This is a village full of brightly coloured flowers where the air is pure and where sitting down outside to eat is always the greatest pleasure.

At Cooking School we are welcomed by Giuliana, who will offer us an aperitif and a delicious buffet lunch and guide us through the tastes and smells of a true Abruzzo food and drink sensation among olive presses, wine cellars, dairy rooms and kitchens where are produced salami, pasta, bread, sweetmeats and much more.

14.30

We visit an establishment making local sweets where the proprietor’s imagination and inventiveness will help us transform into scrumptuous sweetmeats the fresh milk and ricotta we obtained earlier. Everyone will take home with them at least one of the sweet things they have made. We leave at Pacentro a small piece of our heart promising to return again for more lessons and further experiences.

17.30

Guided tour of Pacentro to discover some of its unique traditions: e.g. the so-called ‘Gypsy Race’ (Corsa degli Zingari), an event for local young men, as well as the place’s traditional artistic endeavours such as craft creations in white Majella stone and hand-painted nativity statuettes in terracotta depicting local men and women of more than a century ago.

18.30

Group photos and return to Sulmona.

 

COST PER PERSON

request adults

request children (lunch only)

LUXURY COACH TRANSPORT

request

The price includes:

- Bilingual (Italian/English) fully qualified guide (whole day service)

- Half-day visits to the places shown on the programme

- Aperitif, lunch and cooking class (4/5 hours)

- Insurance cover 

The price does not include:

- Any additional visits

- Tips or possible small ‘extras’ 

Dress advice: comfortable and informal.

Groups: small mixed Italian/non-Italian groups of 4 minimum, 15 maximum. Period: July-September.

Time of week: usually Sundays, but also possibly Wednesday or Thursday on request with minimum of 5 people.

Booking: at least 72 hours before start of visit.

Place of departure: Sulmona.

N.B.: Our guides are normally chosen from our regional lists and are always subject to rigorous checking procedures to ensure that their knowledge, reliability and motivation are up to the standard required by Sulmona Tourist Services.