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Automotive Traveler Magazine: 2011 04 Abruzzo Italy Undiscovered Page 11

Standing beside Chef Gianfranco, I got a better appreciation of the process, all while trying to stay out of his way.

I would be photographing several of the courses while he finished his preparation. I set up a mini studio in the main dining room, taking advantage of filtered light pouring through the curtains. Photographing food requires a completely different skill set from shooting cars.

Yet looking through the viewfinder, I was convinced I had captured a series of publication-worthy photographs. You'll have to be the judge as you view the photos of Gianfranco's mouthwatering creations on the previous page.

When it comes to the hotel itself, the Villa Danilo is top notch, so it's not surprising that Leonardo would select it to host his photography and cooking schools. The rooms exude a quiet elegance and the furnishings were built by Pasquale, the owner.

He was a furniture-maker before trying his hand as a hotelier. If the hospitality he and his family extended to us during our visit was any indication, his furniture company must have been extremely successful.

This is just the start of our Abruzzo adventure. In the five days to come, we will be visiting three more exceptional hotel properties: one on the coast, one that offers what can be characterized as one of the top-25 hotel suites in the world, and lastly, a castle that has been converted into a four-star hotel--where a suite that is larger than my home is available for less than 180 euros per night.

Watch for part two of our Italian adventure next week. I think you'll be glad you came along for the ride.

Sidebar: How to Get There, Where to Stay, What to Do

The Abruzzo region is served by multiple airlines flying into Pescara, including low-cost carrier Ryanair flying from locations in the U.K. The Fuminchino International Airport in Rome, served by multiple carriers, is less than three hours away.

Villa Danilo, Contrada Stazione 1
66040 Gamberale (Chieti)
+39 0872-946220

Cooking and photography schools
Frui Holidays
+44 020 7241 5006