Calabria Small Group Heritage Tour

Your Calabria!

Spend a week exploring the the region you’ve always dreamed of – your homeland. Your Calabria!

Join Cherrye Moore, owner of My Bella Vita Travel as she and her team of Heritage Specialists help you understand your family history like never before.

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Overview

This one-of-a-kind small group tour will lead you into the heart of Italy’s most untouched region. You’ll visit some of the area’s most beautiful villages, taste food reminiscent of your grandmother’s and best of all – have a private visit to your family’s ancestral town.

You will dine on local Calabrese dishes, enjoy exclusive wine-tastings and learn about some of Calabria’s most ancient artisan traditions in an intimate, hands-on small group setting.

Join Cherrye Moore, owner of My Bella Vita Travel as she and her team of Heritage Specialists help you understand your family history like never before.

After booking your place on the tour, you will be assigned a personal Calabrian Heritage Specialist who will review your ancestral information, coordinate with the local comuni to access your family records and spend a day on the ground, in your town, researching on your behalf.

On a pre-arranged day during the tour, you’ll meet your Heritage Specialist who will personally escort you to your ancestral village. You’ll walk into the anagrafe office where Italian records are kept and see the registry that contains your ancestors’ life records. You’ll meet the people your specialist met during the research and possibly see the homes, neighborhoods or streets from your family’s past. You’ll go to the church where your grandparents were Baptized, visit the cemeteries, if you like, and talk to locals in the town. You can choose to have a coffee in the local bar, if you like and you will have lunch in or near your ancestral town. At the end of this magical day, you’ll meet back up with your group.

Contact Cherrye today to book your place in this exclusive tour!

June Small Group Heritage Tour of Calabria

This 8-day small group heritage tour of Calabria visits the provinces of Cosenza, Crotone, Catanzaro and Vibo Valentia. It gives travelers a unique chance to explore their personal family ancestry while enjoying the energy and one-of-a-kind opportunities available only to small groups.

ITINERARY

Day1

Day 1:

Benvenuti in Calabria

You’ll arrive at Lamezia Terme Airport by 2:00PM and will transfer to your luxury B&B in the center of Cariati – an almost-undiscovered Medieval town located on the northern Ionian Coast. After settling into your room, you’ll meet the group for a welcome dinner, complete with local Calabrian wines. Overnight in Cariati.

Day2

Day 2:

Discovering Calabria’s Greekest Grape

You’ll have breakfast, then will set out to explore Calabria’s most famous wine region – Ciro’. You’ll visit a local vineyard for a wine tour and tasting and will have lunch nearby. In the late afternoon, you’ll return to Cariati for a rest, then will meet up for an evening stroll and aperitivo.

Day3

Day 3:

Licorice and Local History

This morning you’ll head north on the Ionian Sea for a visit to Italy’s most famous licorice factory and museum. You’ll have a tour of the factory and can sample assorted licorice candies, gelatos and coffees, then we’ll head into the historical center of Rossano for a visit to one of Calabria’s most stunning churches. Afterwards, it is on to lunch at one of our favorite family-owned trattorias. In the late afternoon you will return to Cariati. Overnight in Cariati.

Day4

Day 4:

Heritage Tours and Catanzaro’s Coast

Today we will check out of the B&B and bid farewell to Cariati.

Some travelers will depart with your private Calabrian Heritage Specialist. You will visit your ancestral town, learn what your specialist discovered during his on-the-ground research and learn more about your family in the village. You will have lunch in or near your village, then will drive to Serra San Bruno to reconnect with the group. Overnight in Serra San Bruno.

If you aren’t exploring your ancestry today, you will check out of your B&B and travel south to Serra San Bruno. Along the way, you will stop for a seafood lunch on one of Calabria’s prettiest beaches and will visit one of our favorite gelaterie in the region. You will continue on to Serra San Bruno and check into your agriturismo in the Serre Mountains. Overnight in Serra San Bruno.

Day5

Day 5:

Heritage Tours and Catanzaro’s Coast

Travelers who didn’t visit ancestral villages on Wednesday will depart with your private Calabrian Heritage Specialist. You will visit your ancestral town, learn what your specialist discovered during his on-the-ground research and learn more about your family in the village. You will have lunch in or near your village. In the evening, you will return to the agriturismo.

Other travelers will head north along the coast for a seafood lunch on one of Calabria’s prettiest beaches. After lunch, you will visit one of our favorite gelaterie in the region. In the afternoon you will return to the agriturismo. Overnight in Serra San Bruno.

Day6

Day 6:

Borgo di Badolato

Today you will visit one of Calabria’s most up-and-coming villages – Badolato! You’ll explore the small village and learn about Medieval life in the village as you visit the town’s churches, convents and palazzi. For lunch, we’ll visit a nearby agriturismo for a sampling of Catanzaro province’s traditional dishes.

Day7

Day 7:

La Festa!

This morning you will visit the certosa of Saint Bruno and have a light picnic lunch in a pine tree forest. After lunch, you will return to the agriturismo to rest and pack. In the evening, you will have a farewell dinner festa … al fresco, complete with local folk music!

Day8

Day 8:

Nivedemo Calabria!

You’ll have breakfast, then at 8:00AM, the group transfer will depart for the Lamezia Terme airport. Arrivederci bella Calabria!

Please note:
– Group airport transfers are included. Travelers arriving outside these times should inquire about private transfers.
– The day of your private ancestry tour will be based on the location of your town in relation to the group’s location.

Tour DATES

-The tour is scheduled for June 17-24, 2018. The tour is designed for approximately 10 travelers.

PRICE AND RESERVATIONS

The price of the tour is €2,850 per person based on double occupancy. A single supplement of €440 will apply to single travelers. For more information or for a registration form, terms, conditions and payment schedule, please contact Cherrye at cherrye@mybellavita.com.

WHAT’S INCLUDED?

Accommodations and Transportation:
– 8 days, 7 nights in a double-occupancy room with private bath
– Group transportation throughout the itinerary
– Private transportation on day of heritage tour

Meals:
– Breakfast daily
– Multicourse dinner with wine on Day 1 and 7
– Abundant Group Aperitivo on Day 2
– Multicourse lunch with wine daily

Private Ancestry Tour:
– All travelers will be assigned a personal Calabrian Heritage Specialist who will organize their family ancestral information, liaison with the city hall and spend a day on-the-ground researching on their behalf prior to the tour.
– During the tour, their Calabrian Heritage Specialist will pick them up and drive them to their ancestral town where they’ll visit the city hall, see the records books, visit the neighborhood, streets, homes, churches and/or cemeteries from their family’s past.

Group Excursions and Tours
– Walk in historical center of Cariati
– Wine Road Excursion with lunch and tastings
– Visit to licorice factory and museum with tastings
– Excursion to Catanzaro’s coast with seafood lunch and gelato
– Excursion to Badolato
– Visit to the Charterhouse of Saint Bruno with picnic lunch
– Farewell “festa” in the mountains of Serra San Bruno

* Unless indicated as “light/picnic” all meals are multi-course meals. Wine is included with all meals.

WHAT’S NOT?

– Airfare to/from Calabria
– Transportation outside of group airport transfers
– Travel insurance
– Shopping and personal expenses
– Meals not listed as ‘included’ in the itinerary
– Drinks or other cocktails not included in the itinerary
– Additional pre or post-tour ancestral research, including translations, follow-ups and procuring documents
– Transportation and transfers not included in the itinerary
– All other expenses incurred during free time

The tour is designed for a small group, so space is limited to a maximum of 11 travelers. To reserve your spot, email cherrye@mybellavita.com. Your reservation will be confirmed upon receipt of your deposit. Payments are made in USD based on the exchange rate at time of payment.

Contact us today with questions or to book this tour!

Email Cherrye at cherrye@mybellavita.com or contact us using our contact form today!

Southern Calabria Heritage with Sicily Extension

This small group tour visits some of our favorite, local places in central and southern Calabria before spending the final two nights in beautiful Taormina. Travelers on this tour have the option of extending their tour and staying three extra nights in Sicily!

ITINERARY

Day1

Day 1:

Benvenuti in Calabria

You’ll arrive in Lamezia Terme Airport by 2:00PM where you will meet Cherrye, your bilingual travel host for the tour and Leo, your private driver. You will transfer to an agriturismo near Serra San Bruno, located in the mountains in southern Calabria. You’ll check into your room and have time to relax and explore the grounds, then you will enjoy a welcome dinner feast. Overnight in Serra San Bruno.

Day2

Day 2:

Miracle in the Mountains

This morning you will explore the small village of Serra San Bruno, then you’ll visit the 11th century Monastery of Saint Bruno – home of the “Lake” of Miracles. You’ll have a picnic lunch near the charterhouse, surrounded by pine trees and will continue to explore the area. In the late afternoon you’ll return to the agriturismo. Overnight in Serra San Bruno.

Day3

Day 3:

Central and Southern Calabria Heritage Tour

Today will be your private heritage tour! You’ll learn what was discovered in our advanced research, visit the city hall and explore the family church and other local areas. You’ll have a full Calabrese lunch with wine. You’ll continue your visit, then in the late afternoon you’ll return to the agriturismo. Overnight in Serra San Bruno.

*Travelers who don’t have heritage in the area can choose from a variety of other excursions for the day. Please inquire for more details.

Day4

Day 4:

Tyrrhenian Sea and Tartufo

This morning you’ll set out for an excursion to Pizzo Calabro (approx 1 hr). You’ll visit the intriguing Chiesetta di Piedigrotta cave church and have a seafood lunch near the port of Vibo Marina. Energy and appetite-permitting, you will finish off your visit with chocolate and hazelnut gelato truffles in one of our favorite gelateria bars in the south! You’ll return to the agriturismo. Overnight in Serra San Bruno.

Day5

Day 5:

Graffiti Pottery and Dairy Farm Dining

Today you will set out for a visit to the pretty Medieval village of Squillace, a town well-known throughout the country for its graffiti pottery. (approx 1 hr). After exploring the town and recently restored castle, you’ll have lunch at a local dairy farm. In the late afternoon you’ll return to the agriturismo. Overnight in Serra San Bruno.

Day6

Day 6:

Scilla and Sicilia

Today you will check out of your agriturismo and travel to Sicily, via a stop for lunch and visit in stunning Scilla – a seaside village on the registry of “100 most beautiful villages in Italy.” After lunch, you will travel across the Straits of Messina and onto Sicily. You’ll arrive in Taormina where you will check into your hotel located in the center of town. You will have the evening on your own. Overnight in Taormina

Day7

Day 7:

Taking it Easy in Taormina

You will wake up in beautiful Taormina where you will spend the morning on your own exploring the shops, winding streets and breathtaking views. You will have time for lunch on your own, then in the afternoon, you will meet your guide for a tour of the world-famous Greek Theater, followed by a farewell dinner. Overnight in Taormina.

Day8

Day 8:
Nivedemo Southern Italy!

You’ll have breakfast, then at 8:00AM, the group transfer will depart for the Catania airport. Arrivederci bella Italia!

*** Travelers choosing the 11-day option will continue with ***

Day 8: Stunning Siracusa

Today you’ll have a full day excursion to historical Siracusa! You’ll explore the Greek Ruins and visit the enchanting “island” of Ortigia. (approx. 1.5 hrs each way). You will have time to explore the town and have lunch on your own. In the afternoon, you will return to Taormina. Overnight in Taormina.

Day 9: A Day in the Valley

Today you will visit the enchanting Alcantara Valley, an area well-loved by locals (and virtually unknown to tourists!) You will explore the gorge, which was formed by Mt. Etna’s runoff and have time for an optional swim before having lunch with a local Sicilian “mamma.” After lunch, you will return to Taormina where you will spend the evening on your own. Overnight in Taormina.

Day 10: Mount Etna and Volcanic Wine Tasting

After breakfast, you will set out for an excursion to Mt. Etna where you will learn about Europe’s largest active volcano and see lava flows and craters. You will have lunch with wine-tasting on the slopes of the volcano. Return to Taormina. Dinner on your own. Overnight in Taormina.

Day 11: Ciao Southern Italy!

You’ll have breakfast, then at 8:00AM, the group transfer will depart for the Catania airport. Arrivederci bella Italia!

PLEASE NOTE
– Group airport transfers are included. Travelers arriving outside these times should inquire about private transfers.

Tour DATES

-The tour is scheduled for September 9-16, 2018 (September 9-19 for 11-day tour). The tour is designed for approximately 12 travelers. Guaranteed maximum is 14 travelers.

PRICE AND RESERVATIONS

The price of the tour is €2,850 per person based on double occupancy. (The 11-day option is €3,585.) A single supplement will apply to single travelers. For more information or for a registration form, terms, conditions and payment schedule, please contact Cherrye at cherrye@mybellavita.com.

WHAT’S INCLUDED?

Accommodations and Transportation:
– 8 days, 7 nights in a double-occupancy room with private bath
– Group transportation throughout the itinerary
– Private transportation on day of heritage tour

Meals:
– Breakfast daily
– Multicourse dinner with wine on Day 1 and 7
– Multicourse lunch with wine on Day 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6

Private Ancestry Tour:
– All travelers will be assigned a personal Calabrian Heritage Specialist who will organize their family ancestral information, liaison with the city hall and spend a day on-the-ground researching on their behalf prior to the tour.
– During the tour, their Calabrian Heritage Specialist will pick them up and drive them to their ancestral town where they’ll visit the city hall, see the records books, visit the neighborhood, streets, homes, churches and/or cemeteries from their family’s past.

Group Excursions and Tours
– Visit to the Charterhouse of Saint Bruno with picnic lunch
– Excursion to Squillace with “light” lunch at dairy farm
– Excursion to Pizzo Calabro with seafood lunch and gelato
– Visit and lunch in Scilla
– Tour of Taormina

Included with Three-Night Extension
– Three additional nights in Taormina, with breakfast
– Visit to Siracusa
– Excursion to Alcantara Valley with lunch
– Mt. Etna excursion with lunch and wine-tasting
 
* Unless indicated as “light/picnic” all meals are multi-course meals. All meals include wine.

WHAT’S NOT?

– Airfare to/from Italy
– Transportation outside of group airport transfers
– Travel insurance
– Shopping and personal expenses
– Meals not listed as ‘included’ in the itinerary
– Drinks or other cocktails not included in the itinerary
– Additional pre or post-tour ancestral research, including translations, follow-ups and procuring documents
– Transportation and transfers not included in the itinerary
– All other expenses incurred during free time

The tour is designed for a small group, so space is limited to a maximum of 14 travelers. To reserve your spot, email cherrye@mybellavita.com. Your reservation will be confirmed upon receipt of your deposit. Payments are made in USD based on the exchange rate at time of payment.

Contact us today with questions or to book this tour!

Email Cherrye at cherrye@mybellavita.com or contact us using our contact form today!

We’ve compiled a list of common questions that you might have regarding the tour. If your question isn’t answered here, please email cherrye@mybellavita.com. We look forward to answering your questions about the tour and hope you will join us soon!

Small Group Heritage Tour of Calabria

What type of traveler would enjoy the Small Group Heritage Tour?

This tour caters to English-speaking travelers with Calabrian heritage who want to immerse themselves in authentic Italy. Many of the excursions in our itinerary are exclusive to our tour, meaning you won’t find them anywhere else online. In fact, many of these activities are so exclusive that we can’t even offer them to our private clients or guarantee they’ll be included in future tours.

How many people can join the tour?

Besides the fact that we believe the most memorable travel experiences happen in small groups, our hotels, restaurants, chefs, cooks and guides are either part of a family-run business, an independent provider … or someone’s mamma, all of which cater specifically to small groups.

The June Small Group Heritage Tour of Calabria is limited to a maximum of 11 travelers, while the September Calabria Heritage and Sicily Tour is limited to 14.

What’s so great about Calabrian cuisine?

Calabrian cooking is loved throughout Italy and is gaining in popularity abroad. However, when you really examine Calabrian cuisine, you’ll see that it is as diverse as the region from which it hails. Although strong wine, homemade bread, fresh pasta, seasonal fruits and vegetables and the famous peperoncino are seen throughout the region, each area has its specialty. It is the unique ingredients and traditional dishes that we explore in our tours.

What happens if I can’t make the group transfer to the first hotel?

We hope everyone can make it to the airport in time for the group transfer to our first hotel. However, if you can’t, we will help you arrange a private transfer so you can catch up with the group. Additional fees apply.

How do I reserve my spot?

To reserve your spot, email Cherrye at cherrye@mybellavita.com. We’ll send you a registration form and a copy of our terms and conditions. Your reservation will be confirmed when we receive your deposit.

How do I make a payment?

Payments are made in US dollars to My Bella Vita Travel, LLC. We accept all major credit cards and US checks and are happy to set up an installment plan for you.

Detailed information and a payment schedule will be sent with your registration form.

What should we pack for the trip?

I’ve written a variety of posts on packing for Calabria and southern Italy, including How to Pack a Carry-on Suitcase, Carry-on Packing List, Essential Travel Gear for Your Trip to Southern Italy, Five Things to Pack for Your Trip to Italy and Five Things to Skip When Packing for Italy. Additionally, a packing list will be sent to you in your final packet.

What if I want to extend my vacation?

If you want to extend your vacation, you are in luck. We design custom vacations and private tours and are happy to assist you in adding days either before or after any of our group tours. Additional fees apply.

I’d love to do the tour, but I’m unavailable for your published dates. Do you anticipate adding new dates this year?

We are open to adding new dates or even helping groups who contact us find a mutually-agreed upon date that works for everyone. If you have a group of six or more, we can do the Small Group Heritage Tour of Calabria as a private tour – exclusive for your group. Contact us for details and availability.

What does “advanced research” mean?

Each case is slightly different because what and how much we can do is directly influenced by how much accurate information we get from the traveler. In general, our advanced research time could start with your Heritage Specialist translating information you give us from English into Italian and contacting the local city hall(s) to confirm and correct the information the traveler gives us. He then travels to the village, meets with the city hall employees and continues to search for more documents, if needed. We use the information we find to locate the neighborhoods, street, piazza or home where ancestors were born. We look for the church they attended and inquire about cemetery information. We talk to locals about the family, how the town would have been during that time and in some cases, we inquire about and search for Italian relatives. It’s important to note that although we refer to this as “advanced” research, research continues up until and including the day of your ancestry tour.

Do you book flights?

I don’t – but I can either coordinate with your travel agent, recommend an agent to you for group travel or tell you about the airlines I personally choose when I’m traveling.

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Contributing Writer for:

DKTravel1Michelin
Calabria Travel Tips

Calabria Travel Tips e-Book!

Don't Get Caught with Dirty Drawers … and 98 other tips for traveling in Calabria!

I’m Cherrye Moore, a Texas-born freelance writer, travel consultant and bed and breakfast owner in Calabria. This 13-page PDF booklet is the result of my personal experiences of traveling throughout Calabria, this as well as a compilation of the most common mistakes Calabria-bound travelers make when visiting this region.