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Flavors of the Italian Countryside

(This premium tour lies midway between Rome and Naples in a region called Ciociaria)

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Priced From
$3,998 USD *
(For One Person, Double Occupancy)
* Plus taxes. Tours sold on an availability basis.
7 days | 6 nights

The Best of Central Italy’s Countryside
Ancient Cultures, Regional Cuisine & Quaint Hamlets

Characterized by lush hills and forested mountains, offering spectacular sceneries and enchanting hillside villages. Castro dei Volsci lies halfway between Rome and Naples in an area best known for its simple, savory and healthy cuisine. Discovering regional foods is a priority on this tour, and you’ll learn the secrets of such dishes as gnocchi, spaghetti carbonara, rigatoni alla pajata and saltimbocca alla Romana to name just a few. You will also learn the process of making extra virgin olive oil, visit a farmer’s market, learn the secrets of making perfect buffalo mozzarella, assist in preparing an amazing array of antipasti and visit regional vineyards famous for producing some of Italy’s finest Cabernet wines. But it’s not all about the food. Day trips to historic sites and medieval hamlets are also on the agenda.

Flavors of the Italian Countryside

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Small Group Friendly
Itinerary Accommodations Map FAQ Testimonials
Please note: Our tours are designed with flexible itineraries to accommodate seasonality and desired dates of travel.
6 Nights Palazzo Accommodations
All Meals Each Day
Round-Trip Rome Airport Transfers
Olive Mill Tour & Cooking Class
Val Comino Wine Tour & Visit to Atina
Farmers Market Tour & Cooking Class
Cheese Makers Tour & Terracina
Salumeria & Prosciutto Tour
Fettucine & Gnocchi Cooking Class
Frosinone Shopping & Pizza Class
Multi-Course Farewell Dinner
While our tours are designed as soft adventure experiences, walking, climbing stairs, and in rare cases mild hiking may be required. If you have mobility issues, you should speak with one of our culinary travel specialists to determine if this tour is appropriate for your situation.
April through November. Tours start on Sunday and end on Saturday.
Please note: Actual itineraries are subject to change due to seasonality.
(click item for details)
Day 1
Round Trip Transfers | “Benvenuti” Dinner | Pofi You will be met at Rome Fiumicino Airport upon your arrival and transferred to your Italian home for the next 7 days. Benvenuti and check-in at the Palazzo is followed by a welcome aperitivo and light lunch. Afterwards, you will set off for a guided walk acquainting you with the medieval historical village of Castro dei Volsci. This is, after all, the heart of the Ciociaria and an area of exceptional beauty. Having taken some time to relax back at the Palazzo, unwind and unpack, you will then depart for the town of Pofi and the Pizzeria Borgo Antico, where all will gather for your first night's welcome dinner.
Day 2
All Meals | Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Our premier tours such as Culinary Adventures into the Italian Countryside include a full breakfast buffet, lunch with wine and dinner with wine each day. Your time in Italy will be filled with exciting excursions and activities, with the tastes of this region being a highlight of your stay.
First Hands-On Cooking Class | Olive Mill Tour| Arpino After breakfast you set off for the town of Arpino, birthplace of Cicero and land of the "Olives". This morning’s visit is to a traditional olive oil mill (Frantoio) where you are shown the process of making Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Proceeding to a local estate, you will enjoy tasting fresh olive oil. A light lunch with flavors of the oil and a sample of some of the owner's organic wine accompany our visit. Prior to leaving olive country, you may just decide to bring home a bottle of "Terra di Cicerone" extra virgin oil. As you return to the Palazzo, you will visit Meringo's for the best gelato in Ciociaria! In the late afternoon it is time to meet your Pastry Chef Dayana and begin bake! Your first hands-on cooking class is followed by dinner in the Casa's dining room, where you will enjoy the fruits of your labor with new friends.
Day 3
All Meals | Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Our premier tours such as Culinary Adventures into the Italian Countryside include a full breakfast buffet, lunch with wine and dinner with wine each day. Your time in Italy will be filled with exciting excursions and activities, with the tastes of this region being a highlight of your stay.
Farmer’s Market | Second Cooking Class | Cheese Tour | Terracina After breakfast at the local bar in Castro dei Volsci, you set off for a visit to a local cheese caseificio to sample fresh ricotta, buffalo mozzarella, and provolone. A visit to the local town’s farmers’ market is next, to gather what is needed for tonight's antipasto extravaganza, while getting a feel for how the locals live. The morning continues with a visit to the Abbey of Fossanova on your journey to the Tyrrhenian seaside town of Terracina. Thrill to a view of the sea, stroll by a few shops, then stop for lunch at a seafood co-operativa. Upon return to the Casa, relax for a short time, then jump into your second hands-on cooking class, as you all prepare together a variety of Antipasti. The day's activities culminate in dinner with wine, bruschette, crostini, frittate, grilled peppers and eggplant, frittelle di zucchine, and stuffed zucchini accompanied by the sampling of various formaggi e olive, surrounded by new friends in the Palazzo’s dining room.
Day 4
All Meals | Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Our premier tours such as Culinary Adventures into the Italian Countryside include a full breakfast buffet, lunch with wine and dinner with wine each day. Your time in Italy will be filled with exciting excursions and activities, with the tastes of this region being a highlight of your stay.
Prosciuttificio | Third Cooking Class – Pasta! | Guarcino Today you will head off to La Pastorella and are shown the process of making fresh sausage. We continue our tribute to the "miale" and visit a “Prosciuttificio” in the town of Guarcino (the Parma of Ciociaria), and there you share a picnic lunch of fresh hand-cut prosciutto or porchetta. Upon your return to the Palazzo, you will relax for a short time, then begin your third hands-on cooking lesson with resident pasta-maker, Pasqualina. A variety of “Primi Piatti” such as zuppa di pane, sagna con fagioli, fettucine con tartufo and gnocchi al sugo is a sample of what you will learn to prepare and then enjoy tonight at dinner with a great wine.
Day 5
All Meals | Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Our premier tours such as Culinary Adventures into the Italian Countryside include a full breakfast buffet, lunch with wine and dinner with wine each day. Your time in Italy will be filled with exciting excursions and activities, with the tastes of this region being a highlight of your stay.
Wine Tour | Val Comino | Fourth Cooking Class | Atina Today's journey begins at Cantina Tullio, a vineyard in Val Comino, a region in Italy famous for its Cabernet wines. You will have the opportunity to see one of their vineyards, visit the cellar and bottling plant, and learn the vinification process, capped by a wine-tasting. Then continue your journey to the town of Atina, famous in Italy for its annual Jazz Festival. You will have lunch at the Old Cantina Visocchi, now totally restored with antique winery relics into a sophisticated restaurant, Le Cannardizie. Your host Patrizia Pattini, a sommelier, will give everyone a taste and sampling of yet another fantastic wine of the region. In the afternoon you will begin to prepare a list of Secondi Piatti such as involtini, salsiccia con patate e peperuola, and scaloppine alla mela, along with the proper contorno to accompany the main course. Dinner with wine will be enjoyed in Casa’s dining room.
Day 6
All Meals | Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Our premier tours such as Culinary Adventures into the Italian Countryside include a full breakfast buffet, lunch with wine and dinner with wine each day. Your time in Italy will be filled with exciting excursions and activities, with the tastes of this region being a highlight of your stay.
Frosinone | Pizza Class | Multi-Course Farewell Dinner After breakfast, you will discover how to make a perfect authentic Italian pizza with fresh vegetables and wonderful cheeses. Lunch follows our class and you will have a couple of hours to relax or go for a walk. After a rest, it's time for some shopping in Frosinone! Later there will be a multi-course farewell dinner at “Ristorante il Frantoio”, in the historical town of Boville Ernica.
Day 7
Italian Breakfast Buffet You will have one final opportunity to savor the Italian breakfast you have come to cherish. After breakfast, gather up your luggage, souvenirs...and memories. It's time to say Arrivederci!
Check-Out and Departure | Transfers back to Rome Time flies when you’re having so much fun, but alas…it is time to check out and depart this delicious, “Edible Destination.” Remember, short excursion packages are often available in nearby cities or historic destinations. Should you desire an extension, please let your culinary travel specialist know prior to check-in. Early in the morning on your departure day, you and your newly acquired friends will be transferred in luxury back to the Rome International Airport in accordance with your travel plans. May your future travels come from sweet dreams, and create tasty memories!
Palazzo Castro dei Volsci
The "Dimora Storica" occupies a 1797 structure in the heart of the historic center of Castro dei Volsci. The date is still visible on the keystone of the arch framing the original entrance door. The three-story high dimora storica belonged to the nobility of the town, was completely renovated and restored in 2010 and today still preserves coffered wooden ceilings, antique wooden beams, and some original tile flooring. The interior décor reflects the ancient look while giving visitors luxury modern day conveniences. The Frantoio, an old traditional olive oil mill dating back to the 16th century, is located on the ground floor and is attached to the old three-story high residence. Even though it is no longer operable, the Frantoio with its stone mill's press and various components, is a fascinating sight for the curious visitors interested in learning how the extra virgin olive oil was extracted from the handpicked olives by the natives in the surrounding olive groves.
Castro dei Volsci, ItalyArpino, ItalyTerracina, ItalyGuarcino, ItalyAtina, ItalySperlonga, Italy
What Currency is being quoted?
The Currency Code is listed directly after the published amount. If it states USD, then the quoted price is in United States Dollars. If it states CAD, then the quoted price is in Canadian Dollars. If it states EUR, then the quoted price is in European Union Dollars…etc. However, please note that all charges are processed in USD, and Epitourean’s Merchant Bank automatically calculates the currency conversion on the day of the charge.
What does Double Occupancy mean?
Two persons traveling together, and staying in the same room. Tour prices are normally quoted as “per person, double occupancy” in case two people are traveling together and staying in the same room, but paying separately. The cost of the lodging is also shared by two people, thereby reducing costs. This could be a married couple, two friends or relatives.
What is a Single Supplement?
Whenever a person travels alone, the cost of their lodging cannot be shared by another person. When tour products are priced, they are normally stated as “per person, double occupancy.” Whenever a guest occupies a room as a solo, the whole cost of the lodging must be incurred by that one individual. Tour companies accommodate this by charging a Single Supplement. Epitourean does its best to keep the single supplement as low as possible, but it is a real cost that tour companies must absorb, and must pass along to the single traveler.
If I am a Solo Traveler, will I be paired with another person?
Epitourean never pairs a solo traveler with another person without a special request. If you book Single Occupancy, you will have a room entirely to yourself. However, should you wish to be paired with another solo traveler to save on the single supplement, you may make this request. We cannot guarantee that we can accommodate such requests, since it would take another solo traveling on the same tour for the same dates. But if requested, we will certainly try.
Is a Deposit required to book a tour or getaway?
Yes. We require a 30% refundable deposit for all our domestic (USA and Canada) getaways and tours, and a 50% refundable deposit for international destinations outside of the USA and Canada. Reservations made for destinations within the USA and Canada must be paid in full 30 days prior to departure. Reservations made for destinations outside of the USA and Canada must be paid in full 60 days prior to departure.
Are flights included in the tour price?
No. Flights are never included in the price of our land-only tours. Epitourean does not provide air, rail or sea travel, unless expressly noted in the itinerary.
May I give a culinary tour as a gift?
Yes. Epitourean has a special program designed specifically for this purpose. Our Gift Packages come with features such as special messages to the recipient, gift box option, gift link (without pricing), and floating dates (should you not know when the gift recipient wants to travel). Contact a Culinary Travel Specialist at 800-390-3292 or to receive additional information about this unique offering.
May we request separate beds if sharing a room?
Yes. In most cases, Epitourean can accommodate a request for two beds to be placed in one room. Just make sure to make this request in the comments section of the reservation process.
Does each guestroom have a private bathroom?
Yes. Epitourean partners with the best lodging options in each destination, and private (en suite) bathrooms are a requirement. However, you should inquire as to the configuration of bathrooms should you have a special need. For example, some tours include accommodations in medieval villages, where either a shower or bath(but maybe not both) are present.
Can your tours accommodate my dietary restrictions?
In almost all cases, Epitourean can accommodate dietary choices and restrictions. But we do request that you ask a Culinary Travel Specialist prior to making your reservation so that we can assess your individual situation.
What is your Cancellation Policy?
Generally, you may cancel any tour or getaway package within 30 days of making a reservation, and receive a full refund of any deposit or payments made, as long as the cancellation is made at least 31 days in advance of departure for domestic tours or 61 days in advance of departure for international tours. Cancellations made 30 days or less in advance of departure for domestic packages (60 days or less for international packages) cannot be refunded due to loss of inventory.
If I am unable to use a portion of the tour, can I get a partial refund?
Unfortunately, due to vendor and supplier contracts, we are unable to provide partial refunds for unused portions of any tour or tour component.
Are Transfers included in the Itinerary?
Round-trip transfers from the airport or train station are normally included in our international tours. Transfers to the destination (for both international and domestic tours) are not included in the tour price. Please see the Sample Itinerary. If it mentions that transfers are included, then yes, transfers are included at no additional cost.
What meals and excursions are included in the tour?
The Sample Itinerary should be your reference. If the meal or excursion is described in the Sample Itinerary, then it is included at no additional charge. For those days where it expressly notes Free time, then any optional activities you elect to participate in might have an additional cost. In addition, if the itinerary states "evening on your own," it would imply that you have the opportunity to visit a restaurant of your own choosing, and at your own expense. If you have any question about inclusions, please submit an inquiry by clicking on the blue "Ask Us a Question" button under the price section.
Is it possible to book pre or post tours or stays through Edible Destinations?
Yes, we often do have optional 2 and 3 night excursions that are priced separately from the tour. We can also assist with pre and post night stays in a hotel if you choose to come in early before the tour starts, or stay on after a tour ends. The price of those hotel stays are not included in the price of the tour, but we would be happy to provide a quote. Simply ask your Culinary Travel Specialist, or submit an inquiry by clicking on the blue "Ask Us a Question" button.
Are Guide or Host Gratuities included in the price of the tour?
Since tipping guidelines and customs vary widely between countries, we do not include gratuities in the price of the tour. Your Culinary Travel Specialist can provide you with recommendations. But the general rule is to tip modestly when you are pleased with a guide’s services, either at the end of the tour, or at the conclusion of a specialty day excursion where you will only be with that guide (or chef) on that day.
Should we plan on any personal expenses during the tour?
All lodging, meals, transfers, classes and excursions mentioned in the Sample Itinerary and Vacation Highlights are included in the price of the tour. However, we highly recommend taking local currency for purchasing personal items, souvenirs, tipping, etc. You can either get the local currency at an airport exchange service, ATM or from your local bank prior to travel. However, you should note that many hosted destinations do not accept credit cards for personal purchases.
Do you recommend Travel Protection?
We recommend that you purchase a travel protection plan to help protect you and your travel investment against the unexpected. Travel protection plans can include coverage for Trip Cancellation, Trip Interruption, Emergency Medical and Emergency Evacuation/Repatriation, Trip Delay, Baggage Delay and more. For more information on the available plans or to enroll, click on the link below or contact Travelex Insurance Services at 800-228-9792 and reference location number 06-0248. The product descriptions provided here are only brief summaries and may be changed without notice. The full coverage terms and details, including limitations and exclusions, are contained in the insurance policy. Travelex CA Agency License #0D10209. All products listed are underwritten by, Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Company (formerly known as Stonewall Insurance Company), 1314 Douglas Street, Suite 1400, Omaha, NE 68102. 11.17 E7N
The Epitourean trip to Castro dei Volsci, Italy, was absolutely wonderful. Casa Gregorio is a unique type of farm to table cooking school and boutique hotel, nestled atop the ancient Castro dei Volsci in the high hills of Lazio (Latium). A team of travel, cooking and culture experts take a small group of fortunate travelers every day to markets and visit food and wine purveyors in the region while also visiting points of cultural interest. In the late afternoon cooking classes commence and these are delightful! We learned many essential cooking and baking techniques and ate some of the best regional Italian Food obtainable. The state of the art cooking facility and the dining rooms are exceptional--you eat in a different uniquely appointed room each day. You also are taken to wonderful, farm sustaining restaurants for some meals, another treat. This property is a private home and you are treated by Gregory and his superb staff as well pampered family members We couldn't have hoped for a better, more uniquely genuine food and cultural experience.
Marianne - September 2018
Wow, what can I say...way above our expectations on the whole trip!!! We ended up joining 10 people that were all siblings and spouses who were great party animals and they adopted us the first day and it was a crazy wonderful group of people to eat, drink and travel with! We will be your biggest booster of this trip...will highly recommend this to any of your clients. The Duke hotel was also fabulous and staff were first class. Thanks again for an unforgettable trip!
Lew & Sue - October 2017
I can't even begin to tell you how much we enjoyed this all inclusive tour. In fact we are looking forward to do it again soon. It was over the top exceptional. I would do it again in a heartbeat and have nothing but wonderful things to say about this edible destination. Not only was it classy, it was medieval, exciting, delicious, informative, engrossing, accommodating, inspiring, creative, enjoyable, and many many other adjectives I can't think that fast. It was such a whirlwind of a tour that we're thinking about doing the 2 week tour. Gregorio & his entire staff are top of the line exquisite hosts. It's a 10 star establishment and we are so happy we went. And now we have a whole new bunch of friends.
Barbara R. - November 2016
What a wonderful experience we had at Casa Gregorio. It was magical from the moment we stepped through the door. Everything was thoughtfully done. The chefs were fun, the tours to the surrounding areas were informative and the food and wine was to die for.
Ramona - April 2016
Our trip was absolutely fantastic! Thank you for all your work with Edible Destinations. We had cooking tours during the day to wonderful little towns like Arpino, Pofi and Terracina which were so entertaining and guided by Petrizio and others who were so knowledgeable and fun. I think we were the only tourists there or at least it seemed so. In the evening there were cooking classes taught by Dayana and Valero. The people we were with were such fun and so diverse. And how we laughed!!!! The food was outstanding to say the least. Much of the food - pastries, antipasto, pasta and pizza we made ourselves but then Gregory's staff added even more delicious dishes. And the wine flowed!! My suitcase gained 11 pounds but I only gained three pounds which I have already lost. The Casa Gregorio is just a beautifully and classically decorated home. The kitchen we worked in was better than any I have seen on the Food Network. Our villa was stellar and the terrace views to die for!!!!! Highly recommended tour!
Nancy - November 2015
Regarding Casa Gregorio – From the start of being picked up at the airport it exceeded my wildest expectations. The rooms were beautiful and well prepared for a comfortable stay. The view from the bedroom window was exquisitely beautiful overlooking the mountains. A tour of the facility and the teaching kitchens was incredible. I can't say enough about Chef Dayana! She patiently & entertainingly taught us how to cook so many things. A huge part of this magnificent culinary experience were the employees at Casa Gregorio. Without question, they are a team who work together and really enjoy their jobs! The week was full of tours and culinary lessons that I will never forget. I have traveled extensively and can say without a doubt, Casa Gregorio is one the best vacations I've ever had. I can see in the future that it will be heralded as one of the top 10 destinations in the World.
Mandy - October 2015
Just wanted to let you know that we had a fantastic time on this trip to the Italian countryside. Everything was wonderful and even my husband, who went "kicking & screaming", admitted he had a great time! We've told all our friends about it, and I've passed your name on to several people who are looking into trips for next year. Thank you again for recommending it, it was the perfect size class for us in the most perfect place!
Lisa and Wayne - July 2015
I have never been on such a fabulous vacation as this one to Casa Gregorio. It was everything that I could have asked for and more, from the pickup at the airport, to the accommodations, the food and the staff who are absolutely outstanding. All the day trips and the wonderful people we met, I would go back tomorrow if I could. It is such a beautiful place and the accommodations are just beautiful, all within a stunning 16th century village. Thank you for booking this for me, I have given your name out to a few people.
Roblyn - July 2015
All I'm going to say is... WOW, WOW, WOW!!! Casa Gregorio was STUPENDOUS!!! I can't thank you enough for working with me on such a fabulous vacation.
Lorraine and Mike - June 2015
I just wanted to say what a wonderful experience we had at Casa Gregorio March 29 to April 4, 2015. Absolutely the 5 star location as advertised and Gregory and his entire staff were first class. The cooking classes and the tours of the local countryside were great. The staff at Epitourean were so helpful and patient with me since I'm not a world traveler. Would recommend to anyone who wants a relaxing but educational vacation. I'm making fresh pasta and loving my purchase at the farmers market. Thanks for a super time.
Carole - April 2015
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