Massimo Criscio has always loved entertaining guests and sharing his passion for good food and wine with friends and family. So, in 2004, while working for a big company in corporate America, he decided to leave behind a successful career path and head back home along the shores of the Adriatic Sea to see if he could turn that passion into a new career.
In 2006, he launched PALAZZO TOUR D’EAU (a restaurant/hotel) and ABRUZZO CIBUS (a cooking school). Now, he makes new friends from all over the world by sharing his own Italian lifestyle. This is nothing like most Italian commercial tours that tend to be overly structured, crowded and often focus on typical tourist destinations. Instead, Massimo has created a warm, welcoming, family atmosphere where guests can have an authentic Italian experience.
Combing all of his corporate America learnings, paired with his personal passion for hospitality, Massimo was able to create a travel and culinary experience like no other. And, because Massimo owns every aspect of the entire experience – from the palace to the chefs to the transportation – he and his dedicated staff treat guests like they are family.
Palazzo Tour D’eau is a unique destination and not the traditional restaurant/hotel kitchen found throughout Italy. The old wine cellar was transformed into an exclusive kitchen for their cooking classes. Guests can just feel the Italian history of the space as they learn how to make pasta, pizza and Italian staples. The Abruzzo experience is ideal for guests who want good food, great wine and pleasant company. The palace has just 13 rooms, so guests enjoy an intimate experience in a beautiful setting atop a hill with a breathtaking view of the region. Often one group will take over the entire Palazzo Tour d’Eau and if not, you make lifelong friends with your companions. The experience includes cooking classes, local touring, time for relaxing and exploring and of course eating and drinking just like the Italians. Guests will learn how to cook special Italian recipes that are delicious but also meant to easily be made and shown off to friends and family back home.
After 11 years, Massimo and his team have become the leading culinary travel destination in Abruzzo with some of the highest guest satisfaction ratings in Italy – just check out Tripadvisor.com to see just how much guests love Abruzzo, Massimo and the crew. It is no surprise that their motto is: When extraordinary isn’t quite enough!
Dino Alberto Paganelli
Born in San Buono, Abruzzo, Dino graduated from the top cooking school in Abruzzo as well as Villa Santa Maia, the oldest chef school in Europe. After his culinary education, Dino went back to college and received a degree in History and Philosophy. He has worked in many of the top restaurants in Italy and throughout Europe.
In 2006, he joined the highly rated Palazzo Tour d’Eau restaurant and also oversees the cooking classes for the Abruzzo Cibus Culinary Tours. Dino is also part of the Abruzzo Embassy Culinary Council, an exclusive organization of top chefs hailing from Abruzzo. Since 2002, Dino has been contributing to the development of products from Casina Rossa, which is one of the top gourmet food companies in Abruzzo that distributes and sells products all over the world in top gourmet shops under private label or for top culinary brands including Dean & De Luca, William Sonoma (USA), Viani (Germany), Riocoffee (AUSTRALIA) and Neuenschwander (SWITZERLAND).
Dino, in partnership with Abruzzo Cibus, often tours the US & Europe promoting the Abruzzo Cuisine and Italian products such as truffle salts, truffle honey, pear & zucchini jam, pasta sauces, specialty appetizers, dry pastry with amaretto or gourmet crunchy chocolate truffles.
Cristina Criscio (Tour Guide)
Cristina is a certified tour guide for the Abruzzo region and is also the host at the Palazzo.
Massimo & Cristina alternate themselves during the year in order to stay fresh through out the year. Cristina has a college degree as a teacher for English as a second language.
She gave up her job in order to be the host of the Palazzo for the last 5 years.
Her smile and her charming ways will help the guests to feel at home and always taken care of.