2007 The Abruzzo & Croatia


Friday, September 28: Fly from USA Saturday, September 29: 

Arrival in Rome. Since we will be arriving independently, I will not arrange for an airport transfer. Getting to central Rome and the Hotel is simple. After you arrive FCO and exit customs, find an ATM (called a Bancomat in Italy) which you should be able to see after you exit customs. Get yourself some euro and then follow the signs to the train station (stazione). When you get to the station, buy a ticket (11.00 euro) and take the next train to Roma Termini. Make sure that you board the train for Termini! When you get to the Termini station, follow everyone to the front of the station, exit left when you can and immediately and look for a major street, Via Cavour. Go down the street and you should see the Hotel Mediterraneo on your right. Let’s meet in the lobby at 7:00 to get reacquainted and then walk to dinner nearby. Overnight in the Hotel Mediterraneo (+390 64884051.
Sunday, September 30: Breakfast at the hotel (and every morning on the tour).

10:00 a.m. coach transfer to Sulmona and the Hotel Ovidius (+39086454578). On our way to Sulmona, we will first stop at L’Aquila at around 12:00, 12:30, the capital of Abruzzo. We will first find some lunch (independent) and then visit the Castle at 3:30, followed by a visit to the nearby San Bernardino church. We should arrive in Sulmona in the late afternoon. Dinner and overnight in the Hotel Ovidius.

Monday, October 1: Depart hotel at 9:00 for half day city tour of Sulmona, first visiting Pelino, a “Confetti” factory. Note: Confetti is the name of candy coated almonds that have been made in Sulmona since the 15th century. We will then visit the major churches and La Tomba. Afternoon free. Dinner at nearby Clemente Restaurant. Overnight in the Hotel Ovidius.

Tuesday, October 2: Depart hotel at 9:00 for full day excursion to Anversa, Villalago and Scanno. This will be a full day with, among other things, visits to a sheep dairy (peccarino cheese), ceramic factory, a local goldsmith, and a visit to a small church on the lake. Return to Sulmona in the late afternoon.

Dinner and overnight in the Hotel Ovidius.

Wednesday, October 3: 
Wander down to the outdoor market in Piazza Garibaldi after breakfast. Our local guide will meet us there at 10:00 for an excursion to Pescocostanzo. We will drive directly to Pescocostanzo before everything shuts down for the afternoon. We will visit a fine Baroque church which is far richer than one would imagine for such a small town. We will also visit the museum where they demonstrate the making of bobbin lace, a local specialty. After lunch (independent) we will return to Sulmona with a detour through the mountains.
Dinner and overnight in the Hotel Ovidius.

Thursday, October 4: Depart hotel at 8:00 for full day excursion first to Chieti to visit the Archaeological Museum and the famed Warrior of Capestrano. Also, make sure that you visit the room with the coin collection as it explains the economic history of the entire region. We will then drive to Bolognano to visit, among other things, a grotto which served as a place of worship from the Neolithic period through the iron age. After lunch (independent) we will visit Zaccagnini, one the local cantinas. Return to Sulmona in the late afternoon.
Dinner and overnight in the Hotel Ovidius.
For Croatia only, fly from USA

Friday, October 5: Check out of Hotel Ovidius and 9:00 departure for the Rome airport (FCO) with en route visit of a wonderful Medieval castle in Capestrano. Time permitting, we will also visit Bominaco, another Abruzzo hill town. Those of you leaving the tour now can either spend the night in the Hotel Diana or travel independently and take your included night at a later date. Croatia only: Those of you just joining the tour, arrive FCO (Rome) and wait for arrival of the rest of the group from the Abruzzo tour. For everyone doing Croatia, check in at 16:00, depart FCO at 18:00, arrive SPU (Split) at 19:05.  We will be met at the airport by our host, Ivana Juric, +385 (0) 91 539 00 89. and transferred to the Hotel Le Meridien Lav, (385)(21) 500500. Dinnerand overnight in the hotel.

Saturday, October 6: (Abruzzo) Transfer to FCO for return flight. (Croatia) After breakfast, we will have a sightseeing tour of Split with a local guide. We will visit the Diocletian Palace, St. Duje Cathedral, Grgur Ninski, Golden and Silver gate. After lunch at the F-Restaurant  (15 euro per person, drinks included), we will have free time in the center for personal explorations. Late afternoon return to the hotel. Dinner and overnight in Hotel Le Meridien Lav.

Sunday, October 7: After breakfast, a full day excursion to Island of Hvar. Hvar straightway presents itself as a monument. Centuries have ground its stone, epochs have shaped its appearance. There are monuments within monuments, monuments on monuments. Besides marveling at the town, we will have a wine tasting at one of the famous wine cellars on the island. Lunch (18 euro per person, drinks included) at a restaurant in Hvar. Afternoon return to the hotel. Evening village party in the village Rumin, near Cetina River, Following a warm reception by our hosts with home-made brandy and dried figs, dinner will be served in a traditional village atmosphere, accompanied by folklore and music. Return to the Hotel Le Meridien Lav.

Monday, October 8: After breakfast, full day excursion near NP Plitvicka Jazzier, a magical world of forests and 16 lakes connected by 92 waterfalls We will take the full day to enjoy the breathtaking scenery of this natural wonder, which is under UNESCO protection. Lunch at Macola Restaurant (15 euro per person, drinks included). Return to the hotel. Dinner at Bota Restaurant. Overnight in Hotel Le Meridien Lav.

Tuesday, October 9:  After breakfast, check out of hotel. Our journey is along the spectacular Adriatic coast past old fishing villages and new resorts to Dubrovnik with a short stop at Neretva River Delta. Here we will embark on ancient wooden boats, known as “trupice”, and sail through this magnificent marshland. The Neretva River Delta is a completely untouched natural environment offering shelter for numerous birds, fish and other species. Lunch (included) will be served along the way in a very attractive location just next to the water. Arrival in Dubrovnik late in the afternoon. Dinner and overnight at the Hotel Ariston, Dubrovnik ,+385 21 456-456.

Wednesday, October 10: After breakfast, transfer to Pile gate for a walking tour of the old city. Our expert guide will lead you through the narrow streets of the Old Town introducing you to the history and culture of this magnificent city. After lunch (included), free time for leisure and individual activities. Return to the hotel. In the evening we will enjoy our dinner on a historical galleon while sailing around the nearby islands. Relax in an idyllic atmosphere and enjoy the tastes, smells and sounds of the Mediterranean. Return to the hotel. Overnight.

Thursday, October 11:  After breakfast, transfer to Cavtat and sightseeing tour of this beautiful small town. Continue to the Konavle valley, a fascinating region in the hinterland of Dubrovnik. Known for its traditional way of living, pure olive oil, green honey, sweet-smelling herbs and embroidery it is a real ethnographic and natural jewel of Croatia. We will visit the old mill and see the presentation of the old way of making the flour and bread. Short walk to the restaurant. Our lunch (included) will be typical meal in an unforgettable setting next to the cascading Ljuta river. The day will be rounded off with a visit to the home/gallery of Mijo Sisa Konavljanin – the regions only primitive painter. And finally before ending this eventful day we will make a stop at the Gray Falcon viewpoint which offers a splendid view at the whole area including the surrounding islands. Return to the hotel. Dinner. Overnight

Friday, October 12:  After breakfast, departure for Montenegro, the pearl of the Mediterranean, unique in many ways, and situated in the south of the Adriatic. There is nowhere else that one can find in such a small place so much natural wealth, beauty, mild beaches, clear lakes, fast rivers and gorgeous mountains. Its a place that cannot leave you indifferent. We will visit Kotor, Njegus and Cetinje, where we will stop
for lunch (included) and than after a short break proceed toward Budva. Late in the afternoon, return to Dubrovnik. Dinner. Overnight.

Saturday, October 13: After breakfast, morning free to explore Dubrovnik and perhaps do a bit of last minute shopping. Lunch will be on your own. We will meet at the designated place and then transfer to the airport for 15:55 flight on Croatia Airlines to Rome. Transfer from Rome airport to Hotel Diana (+390 6478681). Dinner nearby, overnight in Hotel Diana.

Sunday, October 14: Tour ends after breakfast. Independent transfer to FCO.

Laurence Barker
Judy Vallery
Alan Cutler,
George Beddingfield,

Catherine Gilbert
Mickie McElroy,

Jay & Evelyn Rogers
Dale Fleishman & Ron Jenkins
La Rue Atterbury & Beverly Baucum
Joe & Diane Dondero

Judy Vallery & Carrol Smith,
La Rue Atterbury & Beverly Baucum
Jim Ernest & Sue Edwards

Sara & Charlie Lewis