What to expect on our 5 night Italian cultural and culinary programme

What to expect on our 5 night Italian cultural and culinary programme

5 nights of Italian food and culture AWAY from the tourist trail. A unique opportunity to become immersed in an authentic community.

Live the slow life, discover ancient traditions.

  • All-inclusive MOLISE and Agnone
  • For groups of 7 – 10 guests
  • Our programme can be adapted according to preferences and the seasons
  • Private or family groups can be organised with a minimum of 5 people

Day 1

Arrival at Rome Fiumicino Airport (pm), greeted by a private driver in a minibus for transport directly to accommodation in Agnone.

Welcome aperitivo and orientation followed by dinner.

Day 2

Tour of the centro storico and stories of town history. A medieval town crafted by Venetian stonemasons, with 46 separate artisan guilds - expert gold and silversmiths, watchmakers, tailors, musicians and scholars, bell makers….. there’s a story around every corner.

Light lunch in Agnone.

Visit to the Fonderia Pontificia Marinelli and Museum, the world’s oldest bell foundry. It takes 3 months to make a bell, no two are the same - the methods used today have not changed for centuries and through umpteen generations of Marinellis.

Carlo’s cantina to taste home-made wine and salami - The ‘Carlo cantina experience’ with wine and stories - life traditions of yesterday and today.

Dinner in Agnone

Day 3

Explore the town shops, meet family food producers: cheese, salamis, pastries, sweets, honey, olive oil and ice cream. See how they create with such careful attention, and generations of experience.

Lunch with local specialities.

Hike from Capracotta to Agnone. 1421 meters above sea level. The views are stunning, the landscape as it has been for centuries.

Dinner outside of Agnone - My favourite restaurant is unassuming, charming, and you’d never find it on your own!

Day 4

Visit countryside caseificio for cheese making - many to choose from, all making exceptional daily produce of which they’re rightly proud.

Tour of the copper foundry and museum - step back in time, film and artefacts tell part of the story - today’s work continues the tradition.

Lunch outside Agnone, il Rifugio.

Guided tour of Pietrabbondante Samnite ruins. A stunning site, hear the fascinating history of the origins of the Molisani.

Aperitivo and walk around Carovilli, famous for truffles.

Dinner at Monte Pizzi - More exceptional cooking and attention to detail in this charming hillside home.

 Day 5

Azienda Agricola to explore the land, vines, animals, and vegetable garden. See how it’s done and get involved. Making sausages, harvesting grapes, producing honey - every season has its flavour.

Tasting lunch – produce and local dishes.

Back to Agnone for free time for visiting the shops and the town.

Cooking and eating dinner together in private home with Molise wines and homemade digestivi. Sharing food around a family table brings visitors right into the heart of the community - see how the pasta is made, and have a go yourself! 

Departure day 6

Departures in the minibus to Rome.

  • In a shared room with en-suite bathroom €1,000
  • In a private room with en-suite bathroom €1,150

Our accommodation is in beautifully restored family run B&Bs within walking distance of events and visits.

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La Madonna di Loreto

La Madonna di Loreto

La Madonna di Loreto

 

Read my guest blog post about this tri-annual festival in the extraordinary town of Capracotta - featured by the National Italian American Foundation.

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The Master Coppersmiths of Agnone

The Master Coppersmiths of Agnone

My guest blog post for the National Italian American Foundation 20.03.2017

Copper has a long and important history in Agnone. At one time it brought great wealth to the town. Read about this tradition in my article for NIAF, Remembering the Coppersmiths of Agnone

You can see an interview with Franco himself on our Live and Learn Italian You Tube channel, and practice your Italian at the same time!

Credit: Reposted with permission from The National Italian American Foundation ‘Remembering The Coppersmiths of Agnone’

And you can find more of my guest blog posts on the National Italian American Foundation blog. For further reading about the bell foundry, let me point you to a brilliant article on Google Arts & Culture also titled ‘The Bells of Agnone’.

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Making wine in Molise

Making wine in Molise

Traditional wine making in Agnone

In October, Agnone opens the door to one of the important traditions of our region. Making wine in Molise dates back to very ancient times and has been handed down from generation to generation through farming methods and peasant traditions as well as for the importance of its cultural and traditional aspects that characterize vintage as an annual event of work and sharing social in the territory.

The social and ritual role that characterizes vintage has been even stronger in recent decades when friends, relatives and neighbours gathered together in the vineyards, all together to work on grapes in the vineyards and then celebrate with a rich banquet.

Today, tradition is still alive, thanks to a few willing, who cultivate this passion with sacrifice and love to their own land.

Work in the vineyard:

It involves many activities: pruning, verderame every week, removing the weeds between the rows and making sure that the various diseases and parasites of the grape do not attack the grapes. Tinned, tinose cassettes the presser and the press must be carefully washed to avoid parasites and moulds that can spoil the must during the fermentation period.

The harvest

In the morning he prepares breakfast and awaits the arrival of friends and relatives who work together to grab the grapes, making breakfast start to the countryside to start work. Once you arrive in the vineyard you download all the necessary tools; cassettes and buckets, ready to be filled with bunches that pickers break away from the trunk of the vine with a net scissor blade or with a blade of a knife.Racing the one is transported to the place where it is transformed, generally in the cellar of the owner of the vineyard.

While transporting the grapes from the vineyard to the cellar, vending machines take advantage of a mid-morning breakfast with various omelettes and cold meats, all washed with fine wine.

The transformation

The traditional methods used for vinification are different, each family uses their own method such as:

Cotto (baking of must)

The baking is obtained by pressing and pressing the grapes:

The Must, which is placed in copper boilers and boiled slowly in direct fire until the 50% reduction in volume. When the baking is completed, the decanted must still be warmed up with the spices of the sprouts and pasted to the press and mixed with raw must.

The Cotto II Method (Cooking the Cucumbers)

The berries  are placed in copper boilers and boiled slowly in direct fire to a 50% reduction in volume. When the baking is completed, the decanted must still be warmed up with the spices of the sprouts and pasted to the press and mixed with raw must. .

The Navellato

The “wine” obtained from this first stage of processing must be placed in a container.

The container must be washed and disinfected.

All must be left to macerate for one to two days in the container-

During this phase, it will be necessary to check the must more than once to check the temperature, but also to carry out the so-called tarnishing , which consists of treating the skin peels on a surface to spread natural dyes in the wine.

The fermentation times vary depending on the final result we want to obtain; for a less alcoholic wine and sweeter we stop the process after 5 or 6 days. For a bitter taste and a higher alcohol content, we continue for at least 20 days. Always proceed with temperature control and grip throughout the period.

I decided the fermentation times, at the end of these we have to start with the ripping. With a sieve, divide the skins from the liquid. Before you throw away the peels’s, make sure torchiarle properly, because they contain still very liquid: we can do it by hand squeezing (less effective) or using a special press.

All the liquid obtained at this point is put to rest in a well-sealed barrel or container. The first transfer to remove the residual pose can be done after about a month, to be done with the help of a siphon (without touching the bottom of the container) and making sure that the wine is not shaken. After another month, a second transfer can be made in the same mode, while the third can be performed even after 15 days from the second.

Dinner

After the transformation of the grapes and after washing for benino, comes the time of the traditional dinner I will expose you the menu of the vintage 2016:

Appetizer : Braised, Suppressed, ham, bacon, rustic sausage.

Plate: Sagne to Tacconi with pork chops

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In the hills of Alto Molise, Mercedes rises at 3.30 to prepare her loaves for the wood-fired oven, using logs from her woods, and grain from her fields. Traditional bread baking for Mercedes, is all about the grain. The 'pane casaerecio' of her childhood was nothing...

Immerse yourself in Italy

Let's discuss what works best for you...

 

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Caseificio Di Nucci, Agnone: Cheese in the Apennine hills

Caseificio Di Nucci, Agnone: Cheese in the Apennine hills

A visit to Di Nucci

In 1662 Leonardo Di Nucci was a shepherd moving his herds along the traturra. the wide tracks that weave through Abruzzo and Molise down to the plains of Puglia. The Di Nucci family have been making award-winning artisan cheese here in the Apennine hills, in Alto Molise, ever since.

Today, the 11th generation of the family use the same methods and ingredients of their forebears – a whey starter and raw milk, avoiding the use of any preservatives or milk enzymes. Their milk is sourced from carefully chosen local producers resulting in an amazing product in which you can actually taste the grasses and herbs of the seasons. No two cheeses are the same.

Franco Di Nucci took us around the small factory where the hand-made cheese is formed by a dedicated team of craftsmen.

The visit was unforgettable – incredible smells and tastes. Franco is a superb speaker, giving us the family story in slow and very clear Italian and explaining carefully when we got a bit lost. He is passionate about his family history and the rich artisan culture of this region. The love and attention that is poured into his produce is evident.

Caseificio Di Nucci continues to win international recognition, in 2013 gaining the ‘Supergold’ of the World Cheese Awards. Ricotta, Stracciata, scamorza and caciocavallo are the most distinctive cheeses of this region. The Stracciata also won 1st place in the Italian Cheese of the Year Awards 2017. Congratulations!

As a surprise bonus to the visit we discovered that our driver, Fernando, is one of Franco’s valued milk suppliers!

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What to expect on our 5 night Italian cultural and culinary programme

5 nights of Italian food and culture AWAY from the tourist trail. Be immersed in an authentic community, live the slow life, discover ancient traditions.

A guide to Molise, Italy’s smallest province punching above its weight

One of Italy’s smallest, and certainly its youngest province, Molise was once part of Abruzzo. Just above Puglia with 35 kilometres of Adriatic coast, ancient Apennine hill towns, and a wealth of natural beauty, it’s still pretty undiscovered. Those who do come are...

Baking bread with Mercedes

In the hills of Alto Molise, Mercedes rises at 3.30 to prepare her loaves for the wood-fired oven, using logs from her woods, and grain from her fields. Traditional bread baking for Mercedes, is all about the grain. The 'pane casaerecio' of her childhood was nothing...

Immerse yourself in Italy

Let's discuss what works best for you...

 

EnquirePrices

A visit to the Sanniti sacred temple ruins in Pietrabbondante

A visit to the Sanniti sacred temple ruins in Pietrabbondante

A letter from Jenny to the guests who had only stayed one week and missed this visit

Cari tutti. Sunday dawned overcast and the Birthday Girl (!) enjoyed a festive prima colazione including a baby tiramisu with one candle on top! Afterwards we made a visit to the Sanniti sacred temple ruins in Pietrabbondante.

This was previously thought to be the ruins of a town but is now considered more likely to have been a sacred place consisting of a large temple flanked by smaller side temples and workshops or services, with, at its centre, an arena - for plays or meetings.  All this was built on the side of a hill with a sacred bosco behind, overlooking a stunning view. The arena is notable for its acoustic, but especially for the first three rows of seats. Each section of these is made from one piece of stone giving a curved integral back, ergonomically supportive and sound. There are a few examples of carvings, words and images, including the names of the patrons - one of whom went on to become a Roman senator after the Sanniti had been “taken over”.  Also a statue of Atlas.

Photos attached (courtesy of my official photographer David) show the arena with a glimpse of the setting and another of your correspondent making friends with Atlas!

Alessandro joined us for a super long lunch at a local agriturismo where, after a prosecco on the terrace we returned inside as the clouds became more threatening. As we finished dining the “deluvio” started! I’ve had downpours of rain on my birthday in England before, but never had thunder, lightning and hail as we did on our way back to Agnone. So we just had to finish the day with more prosecco ………!

Must sign off now, as tomorrow your correspondent has to rise early and, suitably coffered and made presentable, accost various men in the Cafe Letterario to find Tim Peters, the guy who is coming to buy a house in Agnone - well someone has to look after him as Jenifer has other commitments!

We missed you all today and hope you got home safely.

Abbracci grandissimi - scriverò ancora fra poco.

jm

 

Explore how the site used to look in this incredible computer-generated short film from Capware.it

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Welcome to our programme. Not so much a language school, but an experience. When I went to Agnone, no one spoke to me in English, yet everyone was willing and ready to communicate. So I had to speak Italian! It’s not so easy to meet locals in Italy and even harder to...

What to expect on our 5 night Italian cultural and culinary programme

5 nights of Italian food and culture AWAY from the tourist trail. Be immersed in an authentic community, live the slow life, discover ancient traditions.

A guide to Molise, Italy’s smallest province punching above its weight

One of Italy’s smallest, and certainly its youngest province, Molise was once part of Abruzzo. Just above Puglia with 35 kilometres of Adriatic coast, ancient Apennine hill towns, and a wealth of natural beauty, it’s still pretty undiscovered. Those who do come are...

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In the hills of Alto Molise, Mercedes rises at 3.30 to prepare her loaves for the wood-fired oven, using logs from her woods, and grain from her fields. Traditional bread baking for Mercedes, is all about the grain. The 'pane casaerecio' of her childhood was nothing...

Immerse yourself in Italy

Let's discuss what works best for you...

 

EnquirePrices

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