Welcome to the Pasta Grammar Tour! Come join Harper and Eva of Pasta Grammar on a culinary tour of southern Italy. From Naples to Sicily, we will explore the sights, smells and flavors of this enchanting land.
This tour is for adventurous eaters! While there will be no shortage of pizza and pasta, be prepared to see a side of Italian cuisine you won't find on mainstream tours. If you prefer learning how to make Calabrian fried potato donuts over sipping an overpriced cappuccino in Piazza San Marco, this is the trip for you!
With a small group of no more than twelve guests, it is our goal to create an intimate trip where we can all make new friends and enjoy some of the most delicious food in the world together.
Without further ado, here's our plan for the trip! We hope to see you there.
Dates: September 29 - October 8, 2021 SOLD OUT
October 13 - October 22 ACCEPTING RESERVATIONS!
Day 1 - Arrival in Naples
We will meet at the historic Hotel Decumani in Naples. After checking in to the accommodations, a travel briefing will be conducted. Time to meet and greet!
For a “typical” Neapolitan dinner, we will visit the Taverna in Santa Chiara, a quality restaurant in the heart of Naples. Naples is the capital of southern Italian cuisine, so there’s much to try!
Return to the hotel.
Day 2 - Naples: The Gateway to the South
After breakfast at the hotel, we will rendezvous with a guide for a walking tour of the historic center of Naples. As we traverse the “Spaccanapoli,” the colorful main street of the city, our tour will be interspersed with tastings of the local “o cuoppo” street food and the peculiar fried pizza local vendors hawk.
The tour will end with a tasting of the delicious Neapolitan sfogliatella and coffee at the famous Leopoldo Infante pastry shop.
We will finish the day with a pizza masterclass taught by a Neapolitan chef who has graciously agreed to reveal his secrets. Dinner will, of course, be pizza! Together we will enjoy the fruits of our labor (along with a selection of gourmet pizzas prepared by our masterful instructor).
Return to the hotel.
Day 3 - Ancient Flavor
Breakfast at the hotel and departure from Naples.
As we make our way south, we will stop at the ancient city of Pompeii to tour the ruins covered by the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD. Truly an unforgettable experience, walking the well-preserved streets of Pompeii is as close as one can get to time travel. Like modern Italy, the ancient Roman world was full of unique tastes as well as sights, so we will eat lunch in a restaurant that serves recreations of ancient dishes, along with wine still made by the same grapes which have grown on the volcanic slopes since antiquity.
The historical theme continues with a visit to the Magna Graecia ruins of Paestum. Here we will see temples and tombs of those who shaped southern Italy long before the birth of Rome: the Greeks.
Finally, we will reach the fishing village of Ascea Marina and check in to our accommodations at La Petrosa, a beautiful agricultural estate, where we will be served dinner made from the on-site produce.
Day 4 - Tasting Our Way to Calabria
At La Petrosa, we will enjoy a breakfast made from the estate’s products: honey, jams, eggs, warm bread and cheeses, before participating in a fun demonstration of how ricotta is made. If you’ve never had real Italian ricotta before, you’re in for an eye-opening treat!
Before departing Ascea Marina, we will visit the Chirico Estate to taste fresh buffalo mozzarella and olive oil gelato. Yes, you heard that right!
Return to La Petrosa for lunch.
Along the way to Calabria we will stop in Amantea to see the production of (and taste, of course!) one of the delicacies of southern Italy: dried figs.
After arriving in Tropea and checking in to our accommodations at the Villa Vittoria, we will have dinner at a local bistro. Tropea is a true Calabrian gem, with white sandy beaches, towering cliffs, crystal blue waters and unique food. This year it was named the most beautiful village in Italy by the Borghi Più Belli d’Italia association, and for good reason!
Day 5 - ‘Nduja
Breakfast at the hotel.
In the morning, we will visit Zungri. This unique 8th-century rock settlement consists of about one hundred cave grottoes carved from solid stone. A local women’s association, dedicated to preserving traditional bread-making methods, will treat us to a demonstration of their wood-fired art.
Finally, we will tour a family-run business: Livasi di Spilinga. Here we will see how the king of Calabrian products is made: ’NDUJA! A tasting banquet will follow to try this delicious, spicy, spreadable salami, along with a selection of other Calabrian cured meats.
Return to the hotel.
Day 6 - In Vino Veritas
Breakfast at the hotel.
We will make a day trip to a local Monte Poro winery: Casa Comerci. Here we will, of course, taste the delicious local wine while learning about its cultivation and production.
For lunch, Eva will teach us how to make handmade fileja pasta, using the incredible local products we have learned about to cook pasta with ‘nduja.
Evening free time to explore Tropea.
Day 7 - Sweet Sicilia
A visit to southern Italy wouldn’t be complete without a trip to Sicily! After breakfast at the hotel, we will cross the Strait of Messina to visit the city of Taormina, famous for its natural beauty and historic monuments.
A guided tour will include a visit to the ancient Greek theater which offers spectacular views of the surrounding countryside, including the towering Mount Etna volcano.
Free time for lunch.
On the way back to Tropea, we will stop in Messina for a must-have Sicilian delicacy: cannoli!
Dinner in Tropea. Return to the hotel.
Day 8 - Gelato on the Coast of the Gods
Breakfast at the hotel.
We will travel to the gorgeous seaside village of Pizzo and tour the area by tuk-tuk (an automobile rickshaw). After visiting the unique cave church of Piedigrotta, we will return to the village center to try Pizzo’s world-class gelato. The must-tries are the gelato truffle, a ball of ice cream with a liquid chocolate center, and the gelato con brioche where a generous scoop is served within a fluffy brioche bun.
Afternoon free time for exploring Tropea (beach day, anyone?) and shopping.
Dinner in a beautiful restaurant overlooking the “Costa degli Dei:” the Coast of the Gods.
Day 9 - Southern Feast
Breakfast at the hotel. But save room, because . . .
To truly experience Italy, one must leave the beaten trail. On our final full day of the trip, we will make the short drive to Dasà, Eva’s hometown. You won’t find it in any guide books, but here we will experience the unforgettable southern Italian feast. Bring a big appetite!
Eva’s family and friends will cook and prepare a host of southern specialties with us: curujicchi, crocchette di riso, pitta chjina, Mamma Rosa’s meatballs, local cheeses and salami, nacatole, cannoli, and more. Time to celebrate our journey with music, dance and LOTS of food!
Return to Tropea for our final night.
Day 10 - Arrivederci
Breakfast in the hotel, and departure for Lamezia Terme airport. A presto!
The Decumani Hotel de Charme is housed in the Palazzo Riario Sforza, a splendid 18th century palace which was the official residence of Cardinal Sisto Riario Sforza, archbishop of Naples from 1845 until his death. The Decumani Hotel was opened in 2008 with the ambition of creating a small hotel that captures the best of Naples by giving guests an intimate atmosphere, full of charm and comfort. It occupies two floors of the spectacular 39-bedroom palazzo. Each of the rooms is unique, combining ancient Neapolitan splendor with contemporary style.
La Petrosa is a working agricultural tourism farm. In the heart of the Cilento and Vallo di Diano National Park, the 120-acre estate is crossed by the Palistro river and is surrounded by olive and eucalyptus trees, orange groves, orchards, wheat fields, alfalfa crops, and vegetable gardens. Wood-fired bread, biscuits, cakes and freselle are produced every day, along with tomato passatta, pickles, compotes, jams and marmalades. All the crops are grown with sustainable, organic agriculture techniques.
The Villa Vittoria Bed & Breakfast is located in the heart of Tropea, a few steps from the central square of the town and the historic center. The sea, with its idyllic beaches, is easily reached on foot. It is a noble Art Nouveau villa with a rich history. The Villa has a beautiful common garden, offering a welcoming relaxation area for your holiday. Every morning, right in the green of the garden, a rich and abundant buffet breakfast is served, with both sweet and savory products. The newly renovated rooms are beautiful, comfortable and very bright, recalling the style of the Villa itself.
Transportation by bus for the duration of the trip
Hotel accommodation for 9 nights
Activities as per the itinerary, with meals where indicated*
Visits and excursions with English language guides
Attraction entrances: Chapel of San Severo in Naples, Pompeii, Paestum & Velia, Greek Theater of Taormina, Church of Piedigrotta
Workshops, cooking classes and tastings as per the itinerary
Initial transportation to the hotel in Naples
Tourism tax (to be paid locally, ranging from €2 to €4 per person per day)
Anything not expressly listed in the inclusions
*The itinerary is subject to change due to weather and other unforeseen events.
This tour is presented in cooperation with Sognare Insieme Viaggi, an agency operating out of Calabria, Italy. Their experienced team is ready to help you plan your trip, assist with airfare bookings, and extend your accommodations should you wish to make a longer sojourn in Italy!
Price Per Guest (Double Room Occupancy): $3750
Price Per Guest (Single Room Occupancy): $4200
Reservations will be made on a first-come, first-serve basis.
A 25% non-refundable deposit will be collected at the time of booking. The remainder of the payment will be due 45 days before the first day of the tour. Commencement of the tour is dependent on the number of reservations sold; full refunds will be issued in the event of under-booking. Payment will be accepted through bank transfer or with major credit cards.
Up-to-date information on Italian travel regulations can be found here. US citizens may find the US Embassy page more helpful. It is your responsibility to determine and abide by the specific restrictions for your country of origin and the travel requirements of your chosen airline.
In the event that the tour cannot commence during the given dates due to regulatory changes pertaining to COVID-19, guests will be issued a voucher for a rescheduled tour. If an individual guest cannot join the tour due to changes in regulation or contraction of COVID-19, the included travel insurance will cover a full refund.