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8 Days Olive Oil, Wine & Cooking Vacations in Italy

8 Days Olive Oil, Wine & Cooking Vacations in Italy

  • Bari - Alberobello - Lecce

Italy Culinary Vacations in Puglia

The Puglia region will be yours to explore nice landscapes and taste culinary treasures. Travel to the south of Italy, where fine cuisine defines a big part of the local culture. Each day will have several opportunities to discover traditional dishes and regional wines, as well as to get involved with the history, architecture, and ambiance of many Puglia's provinces. Fun cooking classes will put you even closer to the Italian way of life. Come feel the Italian richness during this very special holiday.

Highlights

  • Hands-on cooking classes
  • Visit two wineries and enjoy tastings
  • Taste Primitivo and other indigenous wines
  • Visit an olive oil mill and taste some of the best oils produced there
  • Visit cheese, salumi, and bread producers
  • Tour of beautiful towns in Puglia
  • Visit prehistoric dwellings
  • 7 nights accommodation
  • 7 days with instruction
  • Italian, English
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During your vacation, you will spend one night in a beautiful four-star hotel in the center of Bari, four nights in a charming relais in the Alberobello area, and two nights in a deluxe five-star hotel in the center of Lecce.

Day 1, Saturday - Arrival in Bari and a welcome dinner

  • A beautiful hotel in the Bari city center will be your meeting point for the tour.
  • In the late afternoon, you will gather in the lobby for a welcome aperitif inside the beautiful Italian café.
  • You will enjoy traditional dishes for dinner at a classic trattoria in Bari Vecchia, the old heart of the city.

Day 2, Sunday - Tour of Bari, orecchiette, and guided visit through Alberobello

  • Your Sunday morning will begin with a guided rickshaw tour of Bari, capital of the Puglia region.
  • You will watch women in the streets making strascinati and orecchiette, two typical pastas of the area. You will be amazed of how fast they make these foods! After the city tour, you will have lunch at your hotel terrace with an incredible view of the city center.
  • You will then drive toward the Murgia area, close to Alberobello, where you will be staying for the next four nights at an enchanting countryside resort.
  • Once you have checked in, you will head to Alberobello. This small town is the capital of Trulli (which are small, white buildings with conic roofs that are unique just to this region in Italy and are a UNESCO world heritage site).
  • You will have a guided visit of the Trulli followed by dinner at an inviting restaurant in the area.

Day 3, Monday - Visit an olive oil mill, tour Martina Franca and Locorotondo, and Fornello dinner in Cisternino

  • In the morning, visit a local olive oil mill that has been operated by the same family for almost 100 years. Piero will teach you everything you need to know about olive oil, and you will taste some of their best oils produced at the mill.
  • Afterwards, visit the elegant little town of Martina Franca with an English-speaking guide where you will learn about the town's baroque architecture.
  • You will visit one of the producers of the town's famous Capocollo di Martina Franca, salumi that is lightly smoked with local herbs, and enjoy many other specialties there for lunch.
  • After lunch, you will return to your resort for a short rest.
  • Later in the afternoon, you will drive to Locorotondo, which is a jeweled hilltop town that is considered to have the best views of the Valley of Itria and Murgia.
  • Your day will end in Cisternino, another beautiful hill town with stunning views.
  • You will indulge in the town's traditional dinner, which is held at the butcher shop with an annexed wooden oven.
  • You will choose between lamb, veal, or sausage that will be cooked al fornello just for you. An experience you can only have in Cisternino.

Day 4, Tuesday - Cheese making visit, cooking class, tour Monopoli, and enjoy a fish dinner in Polignano

  • The morning will begin with a visit to a nearby cheese producer where you will get to see the interesting process of making fresh mozzarella and other cheeses.
  • You will return to your hotel and take a cooking class in the kitchen of the restaurant.
  • With instruction from the chef, you will prepare a full menu of traditional Apulia dishes that you will enjoy later for lunch.
  • Lunch will be followed by a nice stroll through Monopoli.
  • Soon after, you will drive toward the enchanting seaside town of Polignano for a delicious fish dinner.

Day 5, Wednesday - Gioia del Colle, visit a winery for wine tasting, and tour Altamura and Matera

  • Wednesday morning will begin with a drive toward Altamura with a stop in Gioia del Colle at a terrific winery to taste Primitivo and other indigenous wines.
  • You will have lunch at the winery and then continue your drive to Altamura, a town famous for making one of the best breads in Italy.
  • There, you will visit a 100-year-old bakery where you will see how bread, focaccia, and other delicacies of the region are made.
  • Afterwards, visit a beautiful nearby cathedral and observe the unique architecture.
  • You will arrive in Matera in the early afternoon. This city is a UNESCO world heritage site and is located in the Basilicata region that borders Puglia. The Sassi district is the ancient heart of this city and still has existing prehistoric dwellings from thousands of years ago that are carved out of the face of the calcareous rock.
  • You will take a tour of the Sassi with an English-speaking guide to learn more about these fascinating dwellings.
  • Dinner will be served in Matera at a charming restaurant. Here, you will enjoy food with different flavors that belong to the Basilicata region.
  • After dinner, you will return to your hotel.

Day 6, Thursday - Visit Ostuni and Brindisi, a wine tasting, tour Lecce, and enjoy a fish dinner

  • You will begin the day with a drive south to the Salento area, where Lecce is the most prominent city.
  • On the road, you will stop in Ostuni, known as the white town, that is a gleaming white hilltop city with sun-bleached streets and cobbled alleyways.
  • You will continue on toward Brindisi, where you will visit a winery for a tasting followed by a light lunch.
  • Arrive in Lecce after lunch. This lively university town is considered one of the most interesting cities in the region for its typical seventeenth century architecture. It is often called the Florence of the south for its monuments, mansions, and ornate buildings.
  • Your deluxe hotel in Lecce is very close to the city center, and you will stay here for the remaining two nights of your tour.
  • In the late afternoon, after you have settled into the hotel, enjoy aperitif in the Lecce city center followed by a delicious fish dinner.

Day 7, Friday - Guided visit of Lecce and food market, cooking class, and farewell dinner

  • On Friday morning, you will meet your guide for a tour of Lecce.
  • You will visit the central food market and then have some free time when you can enjoy shopping and strolling in the lively city center.
  • You will have lunch on your own during this time.
  • In the afternoon, you will have one last cooking class where you will create local specialties that you will delight in for your farewell dinner.
  • This night, you will get to sleep at a lovely five-star hotel.

Day 8 Saturday - Departure day

  • Departure will be after having breakfast at the hotel.
  • Explore Lorocotondo
  • Explore Martina Franca
  • Guided visit of the trulli in Alberobello
  • Tour of Bari
  • Tour of Lecce and visit to the central food market
  • Tour of the Sassi in Matera
  • Visit a butcher shop with an annexed wooden oven and dine there
  • Visit a salume producer
  • Visit local wineries
  • Visit to a cheese producer
  • Visit to a local olive oil mill

This vacation will take place in Puglia, Italy.

During this vacation, you will savor Puglia's exclusive cuisine. Along the way, you will taste many local specialties, such as bread, olive oil, capocollo di Martina Franca salumi, cheese, and of course, wine. You will dine in local restaurants where you will discover a wide assortment of regional dishes, some of which, you will also learn to cook during your cooking lessons. This holiday includes three breakfasts, five lunches, and seven dinners; two of them with fish. All the meals include selected regional wines, mineral water, coffee, and digestivo. One of your lunches and one of your dinners will be after your cooking classes, so you can taste the results of your hard work at the kitchen.

  • Attend local events
  • Discover the local restaurants
  • Explore the nearby towns
  • Go shopping
  • Learn about the region's history
  • Relax at the facilities of your hotel
  • Sightseeing
  • Visit the local cafés
  • 2 hands-on cooking classes with English assistance
  • 2 visits to wineries with tastings
  • 3 breakfasts
  • 5 lunches
  • 7 dinners
  • 7 nights accommodation
  • English speaking tour director
  • Guided tours of Bari, Alberobello, Matera, Martina Franca, Locorotondo, and Lecce
  • Meals with selected regional wines, mineral water, coffee, and digestivo
  • Private minivan with driver for all the excursions listed in the program
  • Private transfers on return from Lecce to Bari
  • Recipe book in English
  • Traditional Italian hand printed apron
  • Visit to a bakery in Altamura and tasting
  • Visit to a cheese producer and tasting
  • Visit to a salumi producer and tasting
  • Visit to an olive oil mill and tasting
  • Activities and meals not mentioned in the program
  • Airfare
  • Local city taxes
  • Personal expenses
  • Travel insurance

Arrival by airplane

The closest airport to Bari is Bari Karol Wojtyła Airport (BRI).