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.

You have two itineraries to choose from. The June Small Group Heritage Tour of Calabria explores central and southern Calabria. In addition to visiting our favorite towns in the province of Catanzaro, you will also visit parts of Reggio Calabria, including stunning Scilla and eerie Pentidattilo, you’ll “meet” the famous Bronzi and have dinner in a hidden bay leaf garden.

The September Small Group Heritage Tour visits towns in the provinces of Catanzaro and Cosenza, including the pretty medieval town of Squillace, beautiful Belvedere Marittimo and other towns on the Cedri Coast. The tour also features an evening at Calabria’s famous peperoncino festival! (Navigate the links above for more information on each tour.)

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!

Small Group Heritage Tour Itinerary

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

ITINERARY

Day1

Day 1:

Benvenuti in Calabria

You’ll arrive at Lamezia Terme Airport by 4:00PM and transfer to your hotel on the Catanzaro Lido lungomare. You’ll have a chance to settle into your room, then in the evening, we’ll drive into the historical center for a guided walk and a welcome dinner.

Day2

Day 2:

Ancient Artisan Traditions and Outdoor Dining

This morning we’ll enjoy a tour and in-depth look into Catanzaro’s ancient silk tradition. Since before the medieval times, Catanzaro has been home to one of the most important silk industries in Europe, once supplying tapestries to the Vatican. In a lonely village near Catanzaro, a group of Calabrian youth has gathered to rejuvenate this dying tradition. From their base inside a Mulberry Tree plantation they breed silkworms, experiment with new all-natural colors and give travelers a hands-on experience at extracting silk. You’ll have lunch beneath an ancient pine tree. In in the early evening we’ll return to Catanzaro Lido. Evening on your own.

Day3

Day 3:

Robust Wine and Gelato Truffles

This morning we will visit a nearby vineyard. We will tour the grounds and sample various wines and olive oil, then head to nearby Pizzo Calabro. We’ll have lunch at one of our favorite seafood restaurants in the region, complete with Pizzo’s famous homemade chocolate and hazelnut gelato truffles. We’ll visit the intriguing Chiesetta di Piedigrotta cave church, then return to Catanzaro Lido. Evening on your own.

Day4

Day 4:

Pottery, Pecore and (Wine) Pairing

We’ll have breakfast, then will enjoy a leisurely visit to Squillace – one of Italy’s most famed pottery villages. We’ll visit our friend, Tina, a local artist from Squillace who’s devoted her life to preserving their ancient “graffiti” art. We’ll have a private demonstration and continue to visit this beautiful medieval village. Then, we’ll drive into the nearby mountains for lunch at a local dairy farm. We’ll return to the hotel for a late afternoon rest, then, in the evening we will meet up for an exclusive, dinner and wine-tasting of Calabria’s finest DOC wines.

Day5

Day 5:

Heritage Tours and Stunning Scilla

Today we will check out of the hotel and bid farewell to Catanzaro.

If you are a traveler with ancestry in central or northern Calabria, you 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 drive to Reggio Calabria to rejoin the group.

If your ancestry is not in central or northern Calabria, you will check out of the hotel in Catanzaro and travel to Reggio Calabria via a stop in the pretty fishing village of Scilla. You’ll learn why the Chianalea neighborhood is considered one of the most beautiful places in Italy and will have a seafood lunch overlooking the Straits of Messina.

After lunch, you’ll continue to Reggio Calabria and check into your B&B in the center of town. After settling into your room, you have the option of visiting the archaeological museum and seeing the famed Bronzi statues or you could choose to spend the afternoon shopping on the main street or visiting the beach. Evening on your own. Overnight in Reggio Calabria.

Day6

Day 6:

Heritage Tours and Stunning Scilla

If you are a traveler with ancestry in southern Calabria, you 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 Reggio Calabria.

If your ancestry is not in southern Calabria, you will have the option of visiting the archaeological museum and seeing the famed Bronzi statues. Then, it is off to the pretty fishing village of Scilla. You’ll learn why the Chianalea neighborhood is considered one of the most beautiful places in Italy and will have a seafood lunch overlooking the Straits of Messina.

After lunch, you’ll return to Reggio Calabria where you can spend the afternoon shopping on the main street or visiting the beach. Evening on your own.

Day7

Day 7:

Ghost Stories and Garden Dining

After breakfast, you’ll explore the tip of the toe by visiting one of the region’s most interesting towns – Pentidattilo. This abandoned ghost town takes its name from the Greek word meaning “five fingers” – so-called for the eerie geographical rock formation that beckons travelers from afar. We’ll visit the village museum, the main church and learn about the tragic events of 1686 that supposedly haunt this tiny village. We’ll have lunch nearby, then will return to Reggio Calabria for a mid-afternoon rest.

In the evening, we’ll travel a few miles outside of town for a farewell dinner in our friend, Gabriella’s bay leaf “garden.”

Day8

Day 8:

Nivedemo Calabria!

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

Please note:
– This trip begins at Lamezia Terme Airport and departs from Reggio Calabria Airport. 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 11-18, 2017. 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 €465 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, 4 and 7
– 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 Catanzaro with dinner
– The silk excursion to local mulberry orchard with lunch
– Excursion to Pizzo Calabro with lunch and wine tasting tour
– Excursion to Squillace, with lunch at dairy farm
– Excursion to Scilla with lunch
– Walk of Reggio Calabria with visit to archaeological museum
– Excursion to Pentidattilo with lunch

* Unless indicated as “light,” all meals are abundant, multi-course meals with wine.

WHAT’S NOT?

– Airfare to/from Calabria
– Transportation outside of group airport transfers; from Lamezia Terme Airport and to Reggio Calabria Airport
– 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 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!

Small Group Heritage Tour Itinerary

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

ITINERARY

Day1

Day 1:

Benvenuti in Calabria

You’ll arrive at Lamezia Terme Airport by 4:00PM and transfer to your hotel on the Catanzaro Lido lungomare. You’ll have a chance to settle into your room, then in the evening, we’ll drive into the historical center for a guided walk and welcome dinner.

Day2

Day 2:

Ancient Artisan Traditions and Outdoor Dining

This morning we’ll enjoy a tour and in-depth look into Catanzaro’s ancient silk tradition. Since before the medieval times, Catanzaro has been home to one of the most important silk industries in Europe, once supplying tapestries to the Vatican. In a lonely village near Catanzaro, a group of Calabrian youth has gathered to rejuvenate this dying tradition. From their base inside a Mulberry Tree plantation they breed silkworms, experiment with new all-natural colors and give travelers a hands-on experience at extracting silk. You’ll have lunch beneath an ancient pine tree. In in the early evening we’ll return to Catanzaro Lido. Evening on your own.

Day3

Day 3:

Pottery, Pecore and (Wine) Pairing

We’ll have breakfast, then will enjoy a leisurely visit to Squillace – one of Italy’s most famed pottery villages. We’ll visit our friend, Tina, a local artist from Squillace who’s devoted her life to preserving their ancient “graffiti” art. We’ll have a private demonstration and continue to visit this beautiful medieval village. Then, we’ll drive into the nearby mountains for lunch at a local dairy farm. We’ll return to the hotel for a late afternoon rest, then, in the evening we will meet up for an exclusive, dinner and wine-tasting of Calabria’s finest DOC wines.

Day4

Day 4:

Heritage Tours and the Cedro Riviera

Today we will check out of the hotel and bid farewell to Catanzaro.

If you are a traveler with ancestry in central or southern Calabria, you 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 drive to Belvedere Marittimo to rejoin the group.

If your ancestry is not in central or southern Calabria, you will check out of the hotel in Catanzaro and travel to Belvedere Marittimi along the Rivieria dei Cedri. We’ll visit a local citron producer and learn more about this ancient fruit. We’ll have lunch nearby. In the late afternoon, you’ll check into your agriturismo and have a chance to visit the animals, swim in the pool or relax in your room. You can have dinner at your leisure at the agriturismo. Overnight in Belvedere Marittimo.

Day5

Day 5:

Heritage Tours and the Cedro Riviera

If you are a traveler with ancestry in northern Calabria, you 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.

If your ancestry is not in northern Calabria, you will travel along the Riviera dei Cedri. We’ll visit a local citron producer and have lunch. In the late afternoon, you’ll return to your agriturismo and have a chance to visit the animals, swim in the pool or relax in your room. You can have dinner at your leisure at the agriturismo. Overnight in Belvedere Marittimo.

Day6

Day 6:

Spicing Things Up

This morning we will have a guided visit to the agriturismo’s vegetable garden, then you will push up your sleeves for a hands-on cooking class with Signora Anna. You’ll learn to make local specialties using ingredients you gathered from the garden, then you’ll enjoy your feast!

In the evening, we’ll head a few miles down the coast to stunning Diamante and the world-famous Peperoncino Festival. Evening on your own at the festival.

Day7

Day 7:

Wine Tasting Farewell

After breakfast, we’ll drive north to Verbicaro for a glimpse at the village’s vineyards. We’ll visit a local wine-maker for a tour and tasting and will have lunch nearby. In the evening we’ll return to the agriturismo for a farewell dinner festa … al fresco, complete with local folk music! Dancing optional.

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:
– The airport is approx. 1.5 hrs from the last hotel. Please keep this in mind when booking your flight. Group airport transfers are included. Travelers arriving outside these times should inquire about private transfers.
– The Diamante Peperoncino Festival is currently scheduled for these dates. If the festival dates change, we will find a suitable replacement for the Friday evening excursion.
– 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 September 3-10, 2017. 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 €465 will apply for 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
– Transportation to/from Peperoncino Festival on Day 6

Meals:
– Breakfast daily
– Multicourse dinner with wine on Day 1, 3, 4, 5, 7
– 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 Catanzaro with dinner
– The silk excursion to local mulberry orchard with lunch
– Excursion to Squillace, with lunch at dairy farm
– Excursion to Santa Maria del Cedro area with lunch
– Cooking class with lunch
– Excursion to Verbicaro with wine tasting and lunch

* Unless indicated as “light,” all meals are abundant, multi-course meals with wine.

WHAT’S NOT?

– Airfare to/from Calabria
– Transportation outside of group airport transfers; to/from Lamezia Terme Airport
– 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 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 Small Group Heritage Tour(s) of Calabria is limited to a maximum of 10 travelers.

The Best of Southern Calabria and Eastern Sicily Tour and The Calabian Table Tour are both limited to 12 travelers.

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 may 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. 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. Cherrye designs custom itineraries and vacations and is happy to assist you in adding days either before or after the tour. Additional fees may 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 couples and individuals 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. If you have a private group of 8 or more we can do the Calabrian Table Tour or Southern Calabria and Eastern Sicily Tour. 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.

So, will you be with us on our tour?

You bet! I’m part of the team that created the Calabrian Table Tour, The Small Group Heritage Tour of Calabria and The Yoga in Calabria Retreat and the Best of Calabria and Sicily Tour. I wouldn’t miss ’em!

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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.