This year’s our 10th anniversary of running Villasfor2 in the Italian region of Abruzzo.
And because blogs like this can crop up in the oddest places, and you’re wondering, “what’s Villasfor2 ?”…or “where’s Abruzzo ?”, Villasfor2 is a (very) small holiday rental business with just three villas – plus stunning views, plus pool (natch) – just for couples, midway between the Adriatic coast and the magnificent Majella National Park.
And Abruzzo is on Rome’s doorstep. Drive east for an hour – and you’ve arrived. It’s also off Italy’s well-beaten tourist track. Loads to see/do/eat/drink – but without the crowds. Or the prices.
To mark our 10th birthday season, we wanted to go a step further than just providing holidays for couples, by opening up a whole range of special things for our guests to see and do in Abruzzo that’ll make their stay with us extra-memorable.
And each of these can be just for the two of you – which, if you’ve come across primarily group-based activities on other holidays you’ve taken, you’ll know is a real and rare bonus.
Worth mentioning too that on all our special activities English is spoken throughout ! Take a look…
Cook Like An Italian !
…or more accurately, ‘Cook Like An Abruzzese’ ! Join Rosy and Annabella in their kitchen and learn how to prepare a delicious Abruzzo-style lunch, with two types of home-made pasta and a secondi. And when it’s ready – tuck in ! Wine and digestivi are included too – as are copies of the recipes you’ve made, so you can show-off your skills back home.
All produce used is locally and organically-grown, (much of it from Rosy’s own garden and vegetable plot), and special dietary needs can be looked after. These are hugely popular days and a lot of fun.
Abruzzo Wine Tasting
Abruzzo is Italy’s fifth-largest wine-producing region and thanks to a few far-sighted growers and wineries, has developed over the past 20-odd years from back-water to world-beater.
You’ll be visiting the Chiarieri winery – which has been in the same family since it was founded in 1927 – and joining Francesco Chiarieri in the impressive barrel-lined tasting room to try their Montepulciano D’Abruzzo red…plus white, pink and spumante wines.
Then – it’s outside to enjoy a delicious al fresco picnic (with wine !) prepared by Rosy and Annabella against a backdrop of Chiarieri’s vineyards.
A Food and Drink Walk Round Pescara
This is a great way to sample a whole range of Abruzzo food and wine, as you stroll through coastal town of Pescara – the biggest and most cosmopolitan in the region.
Tucked away down side-streets in Pcscara’s centre are a host of family-run artisan food producers, and led by your guide Anna, you’ll be visiting around half-a-dozen – and a local produce market too – to sample local cheeses, salami and prosciutto, breads, coffee, wine, pizza – and gelato !
The walking is all on level terrain; the pace is extremely leisurely; and the tasting portions tend to be generous – so arrive hungry !
A Secret Truffle Hunt
Truffles are extremely fussy and unpredictable in their choice of where to grow, and consequently they’re difficult to find, highly-prized – very expensive.
Not surprisingly then, places truffles can be found are a closely-guarded secret – (if they weren’t they’d get cleaned-out overnight). So when you join the hunt, you’ll be given a rendezvous point to meet your guide Anna – and then taken off to join the foragers and their truffle hounds.
Such is the nature of finding truffles, we can’t guarantee your hunt will be successful, but – and this is the good bit – anything you do find, you keep !
And you are guaranteed a picnic afterwards with the foragers !
The World’s Most Expensive Spice
For a few brief weeks from mid-October, the crocus fields surrounding the town of Navelli produce some of the finest saffron in the world.
With some 500,000 crocus stamens needed to produce a singe kilo, saffron is the world’s costliest spice – and the the entire production process is done by hand.
Very early one morning, you’ll be joining local grower Nicola in his fields to help gather the crocus flowers, and separating the petals from the saffron-producing stamens. You’ll then watch these dried over an open fire, where one wrong move can literally mean the entire year’s work goes up in smoke.
And rounding things off to reward your labours will be a hearty breakfast of local produce.
Want To Find Out More ?
Our cookery days, wine tasting and tour of Pescara can be arranged for you year-round.
With three types of truffle found in Abruzzo, the season’s quite long, from mid-May until late winter (when, if you’re incredibly lucky, you *might* come across a fabled white truffle. Which has actually happened. Once…
The saffron harvest takes place over just a few weeks from mid-October. If you can, it’s best to set aside two or three days during your stay here to join the harvest in case bad weather intervenes.