Discover the magic of Calabria’s rich heritage on this 10-day tour, featuring stops in the charming towns of Morano Calabro, Catanzaro, and Capo Vaticano. Begin your journey amid the breathtaking Pollino Mountains in Calabria’s northern region before unwinding at a seaside hotel in the bustling beachfront neighborhood of Calabria’s capital.
Conclude your adventure at one of the region’s most exclusive and picturesque resorts, nestled along the pristine Tyrrhenian Sea. Indulge in mouthwatering local cuisine, fine wines, and unique artisan experiences on this one-of-a-kind heritage tour.
Delve into the heart of Italy’s most unspoiled region, visiting enchanting villages, savoring dishes reminiscent of your grandmother’s home cooking, and enjoying a private visit to your family’s ancestral town. This exclusive experience is truly unparalleled!
Under the guidance of Cherrye Moore, owner of My Bella Vita Travel, and her team of Heritage Specialists, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of your family history like never before.
Upon booking your tour, you’ll be assigned a personal Calabrian Heritage
Specialist who will review your ancestral information, liaise with local comuni to access your family records, and conduct on-site research in your ancestral town.
On a pre-arranged day during your tour, your Heritage Specialist will escort you to your ancestral village, where you’ll visit the anagrafe office housing your ancestors’ life records, explore the church where your grandparents were baptized, and even have the option to visit local cemeteries.
Meet the people your specialist encountered during their research, and perhaps even see the homes, neighborhoods, or streets from your family’s past. Enjoy conversations with locals, savor a coffee at a nearby bar, and relish a delicious lunch in or close to your ancestral town.
At the end of this unforgettable day, you’ll reunite with your group to continue exploring the wonders of Calabria.
(Hungry to discover more of Calabria? You may also like our Food and Wine of Calabria Tour.)
Accommodations and Transportation:
Private Heritage Tour:
Group Excursions and Experiences:
Group Excursions and Tours:
You will arrive in Lamezia Terme Airport in time for the group transfer at 10:00AM. There, you will meet Cherrye, your bilingual travel host for the week, as well as your private driver. You’ll transfer to your farmhouse hotel, located near Morano Calabro. Along the way, we will visit a multi-generational family business dating back to 1910 which is praised for its high-quality signature sweets made with figs. We will learn how figs are used to create some of Calabria’s most treasured sweets including the much-loved Crocette, named for its cross shape. We will have lunch nearby, before making our way to the farmhouse. We’ll have time to rest, get settled in, or dip your toes in the pool, before meeting for a poolside aperitivo and welcome dinner. Overnight Morano Calabro.
This morning you’ll visit a boutique vineyard in the beautiful hills that surround Cosenza for a tour and hands-on wine experience. You’ll learn about how these two brothers invested in a plot of land and started their young company giving us an up-close look at how they run their family business. You’ll have a homemade lunch – beautifully prepared by one of the brothers – complete with pairings from the family’s wines, then you will return to Morano. You’ll have time to rest and relax at the farmhouse, then in the evening, we’ll head into the charming historical center for an optional walk and group aperitivo. Overnight Morano Calabro.
This morning you’ll head into the nearby Pollino Mountains on a search for the famous fungi – Calabria’s beloved porcini mushrooms. Along with your expert guide, you’ll learn what to look for and put your eyesight to the test searching beneath centuries-old pine trees. We’ll have a delicious mountain picnic before returning to the farmhouse. We’ll have a break, but then it’s back to work as we push up our sleeves and prepare a homemade meal using the mushrooms we found. We’ll enjoy an aperitivo as we cook, then will feast on our creations! Overnight in Morano Calabro.
Travelers with heritage in central and northern Calabria will check out of your farmhouse hotel and depart with your private Calabrian Heritage Specialist. You will visit your ancestral town, learn what your specialist discovered during our on-the-ground research and learn more about your family in the village. You will have lunch in or near your town, then will drive south to your seaside hotel in Catanzaro Lido.
Other travelers will head south to the lovely seaside village of Pizzo Calabro, famous for its tuna and gelato truffles. Our first stop will be to visit the enchanting Chiesetta di Piedigrotta cave church, before heading into the nearby hills for a visit to a winery that has revived an almost extinct grape variety. Their signature white wine has not only received praise as one of the Top 10 Best White Wines in Italy from the New York Times, but it is also garnering attention from wine enthusiasts and wine competitions all over the world. We’ll have an exclusive wine-tasting and aperitivo, before heading to one of the area’s most loved seafood restaurants. Following lunch, we will hit the center of town for dessert and a behind-the-scenes look at how to make Pizzo’s famous tartufo di Pizzo gelato truffles. Happy and full, we will drive to our seaside hotel in Catanzaro Lido.
In the evening, those who are interested are invited to an optional aperitivo at my favorite local bar. Overnight in Catanzaro Lido.
Travelers who didn’t visit their ancestral village on Wednesday will depart with your private Calabrian Heritage Specialist. You will visit your ancestral town, learn what your specialist discovered during our 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 your seaside hotel in Catanzaro Lido. Overnight Catanzaro Lido.
Other travelers will head south to the lovely seaside village of Pizzo Calabro, famous for its tuna and gelato truffles. Our first stop will be to visit the enchanting Chiesetta di Piedigrotta cave church, before heading into the nearby hills for a visit to a winery that has revived an almost extinct grape variety. Their signature white wine has not only received praise as one of the Top 10 Best White Wines in Italy from the New York Times, but it is also garnering attention from wine enthusiasts and wine competitions all over the world. We’ll have an exclusive wine-tasting and aperitivo, before heading to one of the area’s most loved seafood restaurants. Following lunch, we will hit the center of town for dessert and a behind-the-scenes look at how to make Pizzo’s famous tartufo di Pizzo gelato truffles. Happy and full, we will return to our hotel for a rest.
In the evening, those who are interested are invited to an optional aperitivo on the outskirts of the historical center of Catanzaro. Overnight in Catanzaro Lido.
This morning we’ll take an in-depth look into Catanzaro’s ancient silk tradition. Since the 1600s, Catanzaro has been home to one of the most important silk industries in Europe, and once supplied tapestries to the Vatican. We’ll join our good friends, Miriam and Domenico, who have brought new life to this dying tradition. From their base nestled in a beautiful Mulberry Tree orchard, they breed silkworms and give visitors hands-on experiences at extracting silk. Following our visit, we will be their special guests for a delicious multi-course lunch, with wine. After lunch, we’ll return to Catanzaro Lido.
In the evening, we’ll reconvene for an optional, private wine-tasting experience at a local wine bar. Overnight in Catanzaro Lid.
This morning we’ll check out of our hotel in Catanzaro and head across the peninsula to the stunning Capo Vaticano. Along the way, we’ll visit my friend, Francesco, for a guided walk through his hometown, including a visit to the Jewish Quarter, the largest in Calabria. For lunch, the locals will spill out of their homes and prepare a private feast for us, directly in their piazza. We’ll dine alongside them, practice our Italian/Calabrese words, and enjoy a unique once-in-a-lifetime local experience.
Following lunch, we will continue our drive to the “Coast of the Gods” and to the lovely Capo Vaticano, where we’ll check into our seaside resort. You’ll have the evening on your own to enjoy the resort’s grounds. Those who are interested can meet up for an optional evening drink. Overnight in Capo Vaticano.
This morning, you’ll awaken and have your choice of experience: yoga, canoeing, snorkeling, relaxing by the pool, or enjoying the tennis courts, then we will have a light lunch near the resort, followed by a leisurely walk near the lighthouse.
In the early evening, we will hit the sea in our private boat to get a closer look at Stromboli – an active volcano that erupts every 10 minutes. We’ll see the red flares of lava hit the air and have breathtaking views of the mini explosions as we enjoy our group’s private aperitivo on board. Return to the hotel. Overnight in Capo Vaticano.
This morning you’ll head to Tropea, recently named one of the “The Most Beautiful hamlets in Italy,” for a walking food tour of the town. With our local guide we’ll taste a variety of local specialities, most notably the famous “red onion” of Tropea, then we’ll head outside of town to an onion farm to meet the local producers. For lunch, we will feast on southern Calabrian specialties, including, of course, the famed cipolla di Tropea, n’duja, the Calabrian chili pepper, and more.
We will return to the hotel where you will have a break and will have access to the spa! Bring your suit if you plan to partake. In the evening, we’ll meet for a farewell sunset apericena. Overnight in Capo Vaticano.
At 8:00AM this morning there will be a group transfer to the Lamezia Terme Airport. Ciao Calabria!
Group airport transfers are included at the scheduled times. 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 ancestral town in relation to the group’s location and activities. Heritage specialists and dates of private heritage tours are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis.
We love private tours and can often include extra fun elements that aren’t available to individual travelers. If you’d like a bilingual escort or driver, just let us know. We’ll be happy to plan your custom vacation accordingly.
This is a great question because there is sometimes overlap amongst the three which leads to confusion. To keep it quick though, a travel consultant is a local expert, meaning she only focuses on a specific part of the world, in some cases one country, in other cases (like mine) part of one country. This person usually lives (or has lived for an extended amount of time) in the place she consults on and has an intimate knowledge of the area.
A travel agent is similar in that she helps her clients put their trips together. A travel agent can specialize in a country but oftentimes hasn’t lived there and/or may not have traveled to all of the places her clients are going. A travel agent can search for and book flights and cruises that travel consultants can’t or choose not to book.
I often work with travel agents who want to ensure they are offering the best service to their clients. The travel agent will contact me and together we’ll put the Calabria/southern Italy section of their client’s vacation together.
A tour operator packages trip elements into travel packages that they either sell directly or through travel agents. Some travel consultants (like me) are registered as a tour operator for legal business purposes.
When you book a custom vacation, there is more going into your trip than simply recommending a hotel or a cooking class. I am invested in my clients’ trips and I work with them to choose the right base locations, to map out their ideal route and to ensure the hotels, guides, excursions and activities are right for them.
It’s been estimated the average person spends 100 hours researching, planning and booking a vacation. My clients either don’t have this kind of time to devote to planning their trip or they want to ensure they are making the right decisions for their vacation.
Besides the fact that I’m being paid by my clients to plan their trips, I choose not to accept commissions from hotels, car companies, chefs or other vendors because I don’t like the potential conflict of interest. If I don’t accept commission from anyone, then my clients know I always have their best interest in mind.
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.