“We rarely book tours. We like to travel independently and we don't really enjoy big groups. So, huge credit goes to Marino at Experience Bella Vita for giving us an unforgettable excursion, which we thoroughly enjoyed. Marino has local contacts and extensive knowledge, to be able to share an authentic experience that one wouldn't have access to otherwise.”Kieran PackardUK, London
“The Bella Vita Experience was probably one of my best choices so far. I've been to Italy before, but mostly to the well-known touristic places. But this trip to Abruzzo, with Marino as tour-guide has presented a whole new Italy to me.”Shaked S.Israel, Tel Aviv
“We had many laughs, learned recipes we cannot wait to replicate and savored every single bite of our delicious preparations. Marino is also fluent in English, so conversation and explanations are easy and clear to understand. When I return, Marino will be my first phone call! Don't think twice to join him and his amazing family; just book it!”Karey RegalaUSA, Washington
“Amazing hospitality and we learned so much and it was truly so, so special. Many many thanks to Marino for setting up this beautiful adventure- we will definitely do other excursions and meet again whenever we are back to visit family in the area.”Corina P.USA, California
A Unique Cultural Experience Never Organised Before.
Immerse yourself in the local culture and discover the 3 most intriguing Fire Festivals of Abruzzo.
Limited to 8 people
9days-8nights, all included Immersion with the locals
Exclusive Access inside the private celebrations
12-20 January 2020 & 10-18 January 2021
This is the first tour in Abruzzo featuring the 3 most famous Fire Traditions of Italy. This will be a unique opportunity to immerse yourself into the local culture, bond with the locals and have a remarkable & touching exeperience that will stay with you forever.
- Exclusive access to the best 3 St’ Anthony Fire Festivals of Abruzzo
- Connections & bonding with real locals
- Food & wine specialties included on your meals, NO touristic menus
- Professional olive oil tasting
- Wine tastings at historic winery
- Visit to local wood artisans
- Visit to the largest fortress of Italy & more historic towns.
- Flexibility: time for relaxing, shopping & extra activities.
- Traditional pasta cookery class with my Nonna (grandma) Amina.
- Marino’s knowledge, local stories of the territory and his food & wine expertise.
When we design our tours, we always try to be in your shoes, taking care of the minimum details and leaving extra time for spontaneous things that might happen along the way, such as spending more time talking with a winemaker, attending a local festival or while sharing a caffè and a good chat between us. Hence, the itinerary might receive small changes.
Meals Included: B (breakfast) – L (lunch) – A (aperitivo) – D (dinner) – T (Tastes)
Meet your Cicerone Marino with a Buongiorno at Rome Fiumicino Airport at 11am.
We will drive directly to Abruzzo through the scenery of the Natural Parks before settling into the magic of one of the most beautiful hamlet in Italy and the stunning landscape around. For the next 5 nights we will be staying between the province of Chieti & L’Aquila.
After a relaxing afternoon to recover from your Jetlag, we will enjoy together our first traditional dinner with a glass of Montepulciano D’Abruzzo.
Meals: Snack, D
We are what we eat, and that’s definitely right.
Quality Olive oil for us Italians and Mediterranean people is LIFE and vital part of our life. In Abruzzo we produce quality olive oil and you will learn how to taste good oil.
At the end of this professional olive oil tasting, you will understand what is an extra virgin olive (EVO) oil, how is made and all the process and tips around the life of the olive oil. You will see the big amount of work behind a simple bottle of pure Extra Virgin Olive oil. and will be able to identify a bad, compared to a good quality EVO oil.
We will visit one of the most historic cantina of Abruzzo, learning about their philosophy before settling in for our wine tastings. Relax, breath and enjoy a spectacular view of the Majella mountain, rolling hills & view of the sea, all in between and the most peaceful surroundings. We will taste a selection of 4 wines, such as the Montepulciano D’Abruzzo, Trebbiano, Cerasuolo while enjoying a talk with the winemaker and tasting their home-made extra virgin olive oil, some antipasti, pasta & other traditional delicatessens.
We will continue our day driving to the top of the Majella mountain to admire a spectacular sea-view from from 1500mt! Corretto! A heaven for skii lovers.
Meals included: B, L, D
Let’s meet and bond with the ‘Faresi’, that’s how they are called the people from Fara Filorum Petri, or shortly Fara. Fara is a small town in the province of Chieti, where every year the 12 districts build enourmous torches, called Farchie (more info below). We will bond with the Faresi and together we will help building the farchie. The cold night will be accomopained by food, wine and traditional St’Anthony’s songs & ballets. Get pronto! (Get ready!)
Meals included: B, L, D
Respecting the tradition each 16th of January the faithful Faresi (locals) of each district, accopained by the sound of accordions and trumpets, carry by shoulder the Farchie in the main square of Saint Antony’s church.
In a fascinating and dangerous ritual the farchie are manually raised from the ground. At the first shadows of the evening the Farchie begin to glow illuminating the night and around them we will sing, dance and drink wine and fried sweets in honor of Sant’Antonio.
We will have the special priviledge of walking & supporting the ‘Faresi’ along the procession, getting with them inside the restricted area during the lighting ritual.
”This moment for me was something magical, I felt part of the community since the first moment…and watching the Farchie glowing takes away all the tiredness accumulated for days & tension that somethiing could go wrong” “A touching moment, full of hugs, joy, wine & songs. Connections that will stay with me forever” Marino Cardelli
Meals included: B, L, D
You will be surprised to see a weird carnival in a cold January. Anthropologists from all over the world come to this uknown town to study this weird but important tradition.
Accompained by the band, the locals wearing weird masks, costumes and inside huge paper puppets will parading through the main street of the town, before arriving to the main piazza where they will exhibit in the traditional dance. After the show, the paper puppes will be set on fire and the locals will serve to everyone fava beans from huge copper pots.
B, L, D
What better than a traditional cooking class & meal together with my Nonna Amina. We prepare the most traditional dish of Abruzzo, ‘la Chitarra Teramana‘ with its ‘Pallottine’ (tiny meatballs) and share a special Italian meal with my family.
We will also have time for shopping and taking something special home!
Meals Included: B, L, A
No one likes to say goodbye, so we say Arrivederci!
After a goodbye breakfast together, you will be dropped off at Teramo bus and/or train station.
Meals included: B
Dates & Prices
9 Days with activities:
- 8 nights in selected 4-star boutique Hotels & B&B (Sustainable where possible)
- 8 breakfasts
- 17 meals with wine, coffe & dessert included
- Escorted tour by your friendly 100% local Abruzzese tour Leader Marino, and local professional guides
- Private transportation
- Private pickup from Rome Fiumicino Airport (11am)
- Guided visits to castles, untouched medieval villages and local artisans
- All entry fees for the activities listed in the itinerary
- Assistance on planning the pre and post trip connections
What's not included
- Trip cancellation insurance or any other travel insurance (but recommended),
- Return transfer from Abruzzo to Rome or elsewhere, (can be arranged for a fee)
- Snack/Drinks not listed on the itinerary (an extra bottle of wine, or a sandwich for example).
- Anything not described in ‘what’s included’
On the departure day, you will be welcomed by our Founder Marino or one of his colleagues, at Rome Fiumicino Airport at 11 am*. Together you will embark on a panoramic drive to Abruzzo.
In case your arrival or departure doesn’t coincide with our departure time mentioned above, we can assist you in booking the most suitable transfer at an additional cost. Please get in contact with us and we will help you find the most suitable option to arrive at your destination.
If you need assistance in planning your pre and post trip connections from other parts of Italy than Rome, please just get in contact with us and we will be happy to assist you.
*You as the traveller are responsible for arriving at the meeting point in time for your tour. Please read our Terms & Conditions for additional details, and please don’t hesitate to get in contact with us if you have any concerns.
Departure / Post Trip
On the last day of the tour you will be dropped off to the Bus or Train station of Teramo city.
From here, regular train and bus schedules depart to Rome City, Rome Airports, Ancona, Naples, Milan and other main cities of Italy. Just get in contact with us and we will be happy to assist you further.
Private transfers to airports or other parts of Italy can be arranged upon request for an additional cost.
If you desire to plan the rest of your stay in Italy, we can help you connect with like-minded tour operators around Italy & Europe.
An Introduction to one of the fire festivals: ‘Le Farchie’ from Fara Filorum Petri (Chieti)
Fara Filiorum Petri, is located within the province of Chieti in Abruzzo. Here the residents celebrate Sant’Antonio Abate (Saint Anthony Abbot) by lighting the Farchie, large bundles of wild reeds that reach a diameter of about one meter and the height of seven to nine meters. The farchie, twelve in number as the town’s districts, are characterized by their big size compared to the other fires of Italy. The farchie, according to a local legend, represent the forest of Fara that Sant’Antonio (Saint Anthony) burned to prevent the French troops to invade the village.
Respecting the tradition each 16th of January the faithful locals of each district, accopained by the sound of accordions and trumpets, carry by shoulder the Farchie in the main square of Saint Antony’s church.
In a fascinating and dangerous ritual the farchie are manually raised from the ground. At the first shadows of the evening we witness a unique sonder: the Farchie begin to glow illuminating the night and around them the Faresi sing, dance and drink wine and fried sweets in honor of Sant’Antonio.