Puglia for Foodies

8 days in a Paradise for foodies & winies

If you like great food, a tour in our Amazing Puglia is absolutely a must!

For centuries, Puglia has been mostly an agricultural region, producing around 40% of Italy’s olive oil, wine and durum wheat.

Nowadays many inhabitants continue to grow their own produce and Apulian cuisine is called ‘povera’ (poor) precisely because is based on local produce but cooked in a delicious and tasty way.

Apulian cuisine is home-country inspired, using the plentiful vegetable produce and beef and lamb. But above all, we Apulians pride ourelves on our orecchiette, (little ears in Italian), concave shaped pasta with ridged exterior and cup-like interior. So, they capture well chunky sauces and scoop up small vegetables.

Our orecchiette are rigorously made from durum wheat flour, water and salt. Orecchiette pasta is still often produced by hand on a daily basis by many mammas or grandmothers. an served with tasty sauces such as meat ragu, broccoli and lard or turnip tops and salt cured anchovies. With our Apulian foodies experience tour we offer you full-days of culinary experience and excursions. You’ll learn from mammas and chefs the secrets of our ancient recipes and visit award winning wineries and Masserie producing genuine olive oil, cheese and other produce. If you like red wines, in Puglia you’ll find excellent fruit-forward, ripe, red wine.

Some of the best Italian wines come from our sunny and dry region. Most Apulian wine is red and full-bodied. They pair well with a wide variety of foods. Most important red wines are Negroamaro and Primitivo. With us you’ll taste local deli foods, visit vineyard and cellars and sip excellent wines and meanwhile you can discover our traditions and gems during our guided excursions.

Day 1

We will meet you at Bari or Brindisi airport or the nearest train station and drive you to your hotel Masseria in Crispiano.

Set in an 18th Century farm, it is a wine resort among the wonders of a garden vineyard. The farm is situated on a plateau, 210 meters above sea level near Crispiano, surrounded by about 170 hectares of land, mostly planted with vineyards and olive trees, bounded by dry-stone walls. It is completely surrounded by the wonders of the garden vineyard where you can taste the organic wines of the wine cellar and the authentic flavors of Apulia. You will soon enjoy a welcome Italian aperitivo, tasting small ‘pettole’ and ‘focaccia’ paired with Masseria organic wines.

We ‘ll talk about our tour program give you some hints about our region. You’ll start your Apulian adventure wit a tour of our Masserie (ancient fortified farmhouses, newly restored). A fantastic experience during which you will visit 4 local farmhouses in a horse-drawn carriage and discover the different activities of the farmhouses. A light lunch with their produce will take place, of course! Afterwards we’ll visit with our guide the elegant and baroque Martina Franca.

The main town of Itria Valley rich in baroque noble palaces and so charming with its narrow streets of cobblestone. It will surprise you! There, we ‘ll have a dinner in a friendly local restaurant to taste our Apulian dishes. If you’ll still have energy, you can have some free time for shopping (in summertime shops close late at might), have a drink or gelato in one of the nice cafès in the main piazza ore come back in hotel for a well-deserved rest!

Day 2

After breakfast, we drive to Locorotondo for a guided stroll through the narrow streets of the beautiful hilltop town awarded as one of the Italian prettiest towns.

The tour goes on by visiting a vineyard in Locorotondo where you’ll taste their award-winning wines. You’ll discover the wine tradition of our country, the spirit of revival in search of the traces of our origins through a guided tour in the original farm of 1700, the cellar and picturesque vineyards of native grape variety such as Minutolo Verdeca, Bianco d’Alessano. After the wine tasting, you will experience a traditional light lunch with a wonderful view in Locorotondo.

Afterward, in few minutes we’ll reach Alberobello, the Unesco World Heritage Site, famous for its small white conical-shaped trulli dwellings, built from limestone with rooves stacked of stone tiles without mortar. A fairy tale village! A guided stroll in the town of Trulli will show you the narrow pedestrianised streets, conical dwellings, little shops selling local produce and a few nice cafes. It will impress you! We end the day in Polignano a Mare, renowned for its breathtaking balconies with views over the crashing waves of the Adriatic Sea and the birthplace of the Italian singer, Domenico Modugno famous for ‘Volare’ song. Dinner will be in a cosy restaurant where tasting our mouth-watering fresh food in a warm and friendly atmosphere is a must!

Day 3

After a delicious breakfast, you ‘ll be headed to an ancient Masseria to visit an underground olive oil mill dating back to the 15th century.

You will taste their excellent organic extra virgin olive oils and admire their century-old olive trees reputed to be 2000 years old and a real hidden gem: an underground oil mill dating back pre- Roman age.

You’ll continue the tour at a cheese farm where you will watch the fascinating process of mozzarelle and burratine cheese making. We will then have a light lunch before continuing the tour. In the afternoon, you’ll experience a guided visit to Ostuni, the white town The most distinguishing characteristic of Ostuni, and the reason why it is called La Città Bianca (the white town), is its typical white buildings.

Wandering through the streets you’ll be charmed by Ostuni’s mediaeval layout and its narrow back streets and little passages. In the evening we will move to Cisternino, a quaint small town where you’ll taste the local ‘fornello pronto’. The town is famous for its barbecuing butchers! Usually you choose your meat – mainly the local speciality, bombette, and have a seat outside with a carafe of local wine.

The butcher will barbecue the meat you chose and bring it out to you once cooked. So, we will do it, but with a reserved table! A truly local (and delicious) eating experience! Time for an after-dinner stroll as locals do in summer time. Return to the hotel.

Day 4

After a delicious breakfast, you will reach Altamura. It is an interesting little charming city located inland on the way to Matera. It is famous for the Altamura Man, the perfectly preserved 400,000-year-old skeleton of a pre-Neanderthal hominid discovered in a limestone cave near the town. But it is worldwide renowned for its flavourful bread.

Il pane, the bread, is one of the best products in this area together with its mouth-watering focaccia. We visit an ancient bakery where they’ll show us how to make a tasty bread and we’ll have a light lunch with local yummy focaccia. After lunch, we’ll reach Matera, the town of Sassi. (Unesco site and European Capital of Culture 2019). With its colours, light and views visitors will be enchanted by the town.

The town has an incredible history and a deep sense of spirituality and authenticity. During our guided tour, you will visit the Casa Grotta, a kind of small museum that recreates the atmosphere of a typical sasso dwelling, to fully understand how people used to live in the Sassi. An Italian aperitivo and a dinner at sunset in an elegant and gourmet restaurant with a superb view over the evocative Sassi will be the reward of this intense day. Return to your hotel.

 

Day 5

After breakfast and check out, you will be headed to Lecce. During the trip, you will visit a vineyard with cellars in Manduria area, land of Primitivo DOC wine. There, you will taste their excellent wines.

In 20 minutes you’ll reach the most ancient winery in Manduria. There, you visit their peasants’s museum and have a traditional lunch paired with their prize-winning wines.

In the afternoon, arrival in Lecce, check in at your charming hotel. Time for relax and freshen up. Now you are ready to experience the wonders of the town, known as ‘Florence of the South’ thanks to its richly decorated Baroque architecture flourished in the 17th century. We will see Piazza Sant’Oronzo and the magnificent Roman Amphitheatre. There you’ll have time for shopping before dinner. Our first night in the majestic Lecce will be celebrated by a dinner in a gourmet Restaurant run by a young but award-winning chef. A delightful experience for all the senses!

Day 6

After breakfast, you’ll reach Maglie for a guided visit to this beautiful town. During the tour you ‘ll visit an award-winning pasta factory. A fascinating glimpse into the world of pasta making. We will learn the processing method called ‘Delicate’, the long kneading, slow pressing, drawing and drying at low temperature.

We continue with a visit to a prize-winning Chocolate Show Room to taste their delicious chocolate and Italian gelato. Aperitivo and lunch in a one-star Michelin restaurant for a great foodie experience.After lunch, in less than half an hour, you arrive in Galatina to visit the beautiful cathedral and taste the famous and delicious pasticciotto.

The incredible 14th-century church’s interior is a kaleidoscope of frescoes and is absolutely beautiful, with a pure-white altarpiece set against the frenzy of frescoes. For a pasticcotto tasting we’ll go to the Pasticceria (pastry shop) where this delicious pastry was born.

The pasticciotto is a small oval shaped pastry made from short crust and filled with pastry cream. It is eaten throughout southern Puglia, but was born in Galatina. Return to your hotel in Lecce and relax before dinner in a Pizzeria to taste an original and delicious Italian Pizza.

Day 7

After breakfast, you will attend an original cooking class with a professional local chef. In the ancient heart of Lecce, the lesson begins with a pleasant walk among the main streets of the Baroque enjoying the slow pace of bygone days. You will go into the small local market where you can learn and choose with the chef local products such as fruits, vegetables and seasonal vegetables and even local meats and cheeses to be transformed into excellent dishes.

All strictly km0. Before returning to school, a nice stop to enjoy together the “Lecce” coffee, ice coffee with almond milk, typical of the city. At school, every guest will have ready his workstation; you will find everything you need to prepare together with the chef tasty traditional menu, from appetizer to dessert. You can collect directly from the school’s garden fresh herbs to flavour the food. Finally, you will taste together, around a convivial table, dishes prepared paired with Apulian wines. You will be guided in a technical tasting of selected wines.

The school’s apron will be your gift to take home with you, as a souvenir of this wonderful experience. After lunch, a pizzica dance lesson with local dancers will be held at the cookery school. In the afternoon, you’ll experience a surprising guided tour of Lecce. Churches and noble palaces are built in the local soft creamy limestone with impressive architectural surprises.

The town is a Baroque masterpiece. You will be enchanted by Baroque architecture of the Duomo church, Santa Croce Basilica and the beautiful piazza with Roman ruins. You’ll visit a papier-maché artist who will show us how to create the beautiful statues, famous all over the world. Farewell dinner in a typical restaurant.

Day 8

After breakfast, according to your flight schedule, you ‘ll be headed to the airport .