Small Group Italian Heritage Tour of Calabria 2025

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  • June 8-15, 2025
  • 8 Days
  • Heritage Tour

Embark on a Journey Through Time with Our Small Group Ancestry Tours in Italy

Welcome to our signature tour – the Small Group Heritage Tour of Calabria.

This 8-day tour is the only of its kind in the world, combining the best small group tour experiences with a private Heritage Tour to your family’s ancestral village.

An Italian heritage tour like no other…

With 4-star hotels on both the Ionian and Tyrrhenian coasts, you will immerse yourself in the rich culture and breathtaking beauty of Calabria by exploring ancient artisan traditions, wine tasting in stunning vineyards, and indulging in local delicacies like Tropea’s famous red onions and the Tartufo di Pizzo.

You’ll discover your family’s unique Calabrian heritage with your personal Heritage Specialist and will enjoy your very own “bella vita.”

Not ready to book just yet? Browse our other Small Group Trips to Calabria, Italy! If you have any questions, please get in touch

Price of Our Ancestry Tours in Italy Includes

Accommodations and Transportation:

  • 8 days, 7 nights accommodation
  • Private transportation throughout the itinerary

  • Group transfer from Lamezia Terme Airport on Day 1 and Day 8

Meals:

  • Breakfast daily in hotel
  • A welcome to Calabria dinner, with wine

  • Multi-course/abundant lunches, with wine
  • Group pizza dinner
  • Seafood extravaganza
  • A farewell sunset dinner

Private Heritage Tour in Italy:

  • Private heritage tour with advanced research prior to your trip
  • Private multicourse lunch with your heritage specialist in or near your town
  • Private transportation to/from your ancestral village to our hotel

Group Excursions and Experiences on This Calabria Small Group Tour: 

  • Wine tour and tasting near Pizzo Calabro
  • Tartufo (gelato) demonstration
  • Silk Coop Experience

  • Optional morning experience, as noted in itinerary

  • Entry into the Spa

  • Red onion excursion in Tropea
  • Private boating on Coast of the GodsAbundant wine is included with all meals

Price Excludes

Italian Heritage Tour of Calabria Highlights

  • Bilingual travel host throughout itinerary
  • All ground transportation with your group’s private driver
  • Breakfast daily
  • A PRIVATE heritage tour to your family's ancestral village
  • Abundant lunch with free-flowing wine daily
  • Welcome to Calabria dinner with free-flowing wine
  • Evening aperitivo
  • Food Tastings and Farm Visitsand more!

Ancestry Tour of Italy Itinerary

Day 1 - Sunday, June 8E Ni Scialamu!

You will arrive in Lamezia Terme Airport in time for the group transfer at 10:00AM and will be met by your bilingual travel host for the week, as well as your private driver.

You’ll transfer to your hotel, located on the pretty Catanzaro Lido lungomare, via a visit to meet my friend, Lucia, for a visit to her family’s olive grove. You’ll learn about their commercial production (and awards!), and see how they integrate their family’s dairy farm into the oil business.

You’ll learn how to tell good olive oil from the fakes, then will have a lunch picnic-style lunch on-site, complete with local specialties and of course – their olive oil.

Following lunch, you’ll continue to Catanzaro Lido where you will check into your 4-star hotel located directly on the seafront promenade, offering charming views of the Ionian Sea. We’ll meet for a Welcome to Calabria aperitivo at our favorite local bar.

Overnight Catanzaro Lido.

Day 2 - Monday, June 9From Farm to Fabric: Silk Coop Experience

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 and this evening, we’ll reconvene for an optional, private wine-tasting experience.

Overnight in Catanzaro Lido.

Day 3 - Tuesday, June 10Vino & Vistas: A Day in a Calabrian Vineyard

Today, you’ll visit a local cantina where you can enjoy the stunning panorama overlooking the sea and immersed in the green valley of olive groves. The excursion to their farm promises a day of relaxation, discovering nature and the beauty of this land. You can stroll through the vineyards and olive groves, tasting three types of wine: white, red, and rosé. You’ll also sample their olive oil and ricotta cheese with mosto cotto, that’s excellent on desserts, cheeses, and meats

Overnight in Catanzaro Lido.

Day 4 - Wed, June 11Embracing Your Roots, Part I

Travelers with heritage in central and northern Calabria 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 town, then will return to your hotel.

Other travelers will spend the day in one of our favorite seaside villages – Pizzo Calabro, where history, gelato, and breathtaking views collide to create an unforgettable experience. You’ll begin with a visit to the intriguing Chiesetta di Piedigrotta cave church, where you’ll learn about its unique mixture of local history and legend.

You’ll head into the heart of the village for a seafood lunch. You will indulge in a seafood extravaganza where the owner personally selects the freshest catch of the day each morning from the local waters, ensuring a delectable and authentic maritime dining experience. You’ll end your afternoon in time for dessert, where you will visit my friend, Franco, for a behind-the-scenes look into how he makes his famous Tartufo di Pizzo chocolate and hazelnut gelato truffles.

Happy and full, we will return to Catanzaro Lido. Evening on your own.

Overnight in Catanzaro Lido.

Day 5 - Thursday, June 12Embracing Your Roots, Part II

Travelers with heritage in central and southern Calabria will check out of your 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 Capo Vaticano.

Other travelers will check out of their hotel and then spend the day in one of our favorite seaside villages – Pizzo Calabro, where history, gelato, and breathtaking views collide to create an unforgettable experience. You’ll begin with a visit to the intriguing Chiesetta di Piedigrotta cave church, where you’ll learn about its unique mixture of local history and legend.

You’ll head into the heart of the village for a seafood lunch. You will indulge in a seafood extravaganza where the owner personally selects the freshest catch of the day each morning from the local waters, ensuring a delectable and authentic maritime dining experience. You’ll end your afternoon in time for dessert, where you will visit my friend, Franco, for a behind-the-scenes look into how he makes his famous Tartufo di Pizzo chocolate and hazelnut gelato truffles.

Happy and full, we will drive to our seaside hotel in Capo Vaticano. Evening on your own.

Overnight in Capo Vaticano.

Day 6 - Friday, June 13Day on the Coast

This morning we will hit the sea in our private boat to get a fish-eye view of the Coast of the Gods.

This breathtaking journey along the picturesque Tyrrhenian Sea showcases the stunning cliffs and crystal-clear waters of the Calabrian coastline. With a backdrop of dramatic landscapes and hidden caves, the ‘gods’ aren’t the only ones who will themselves into the natural beauty of the region. You will enjoy an aperitivo on board before returning to the marina.

Once on dry land, you’ll have the option of spending the afternoon in Tropea or you can choose to return to the resort to rest, relax, swim, go kayaking, or visit the spa.

In the evening, we’ll reconvene for a group pizza dinner.

Overnight Capo Vaticano.

Day 7 - Saturday, June 14Tropea's Treasures: Unveiling the Legacy of Sweet Onions

This morning, we’ll head outside of Tropea for a visit to a local farm that grows and harvests Calabria’s, and Italy’s, most famous “red onion” – the cipolla rossa of Tropea. We’ll learn why this regional onion is a kitchen staple in many Italian households and how it can be used in a variety of dishes including pasta, jams, spreads and even ice cream! We’ll visit the fields and have a robust tasting, complete with wine from the family’s vineyard, followed by a stroll to the famous lighthouse lookout.

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 sunset farewell dinner.

Overnight in Capo Vaticano.

Day 8 - Sunday, June 15Nivedemo Calabria!

At 8:00AM this morning, there will be a group transfer to the Lamezia Terme Airport.

Ciao Calabria!

Please Note

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.

Reviews

FAQs

Are Custom Vacations just for independent travelers or can I have a guide and/or driver with me during my trip?

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.

What is the differences in a travel consultant, a travel agent and a tour operator?

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.

Travel agents are paid by commission – why don’t you just accept commission?

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.

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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