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This program is for lovers of wine and gourmets who want to experience the Italian cuisine of the Puglia and Molise regions and learn culinary skills from local Italian chefs. The program involves cooking classes that will be accompanied by wine tours, cultural tours, and street food tasting. On this tour, you will explore Agnone for its bell foundry and cheese tasting, enjoy a wine tour in Monteroduni, visit artisans shops and historical sights in Bari, explore the sea caves of Polignano a Mare, visit Alberobello which is famous for its unique trullo buildings, as well as enjoy street food galore in Monopoli, Martina Franca, and Ostuni. The best thing is everything is inclusive so you won't have to worry about anything!
During this tour, you will be staying in Hotel Santoanni in San Martino In Pensilis for four nights, Archita Guest House & Apartment or La Corte San Francesco (depending on availability) for four nights, and two nights at a B&B in Monopoli.
There will be a free airport pick up from Rome's Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino Airport (FCO) or Naples International Airport (NAP). Drive from the airport onwards to San Martino in Pensilis to your hotel. Once you’re settled, there will be a briefing on your tour followed by a welcome dinner.
You’ll leave for Agnone, the center for important archaeological vestiges of the old Oscan-Samnite civilization. The first visit will be to the Marinelli Bell Foundry. The Pontificia Fonderia Marinelli is an ancient factory for bells that have been operating in Agnone for nearly a millennium. It ranks as one of the oldest companies in the world, where the Marinelli family has run the foundry for the last 1000 years.
After the foundry, you’ll visit the “Francesco Gerbasi” Museum of Copper, one of the last places where you can learn about the ancient art of copper making. The final visit of the day will be the Di Nucci Cheese Makers renowned for their aged Caciocavallo di Agnone. The visit will include the chance to taste some of these beautiful cheeses for yourself. Lunch will be at La Panonda where you be treated to some of the best cuisines the local area has to offer.
After a drive back the days, there will be some free time to relax before the cooking class. After class, you'll settle down for dinner.
After breakfast, you will head off to Monteroduni, a town situated on a slope of almost 460 meters above sea level, for a fabulous wine tasting and lunch at the Wine cellar Campi Valerio. Since 1974, the Valerio winery has been producing fine wines with great character. You will get a guided tour with Sonia the sommelier and lunch followed by lunch prepared by Chef Leonardo.
In the afternoon, you will have some free time to relax before you meet for the evening cooking class. After the cooking class, you will take a walk around Termoli.
The day will be spent relaxing and sunbathing on Tremiti Island. The island is located a short ferry ride from Termoli. Tremiti is known for its beautifully clear waters. You will also visit the Island of San Nicola. Lunch will be included. After a day of sun and sea, you’ll catch the ferry back to Termoli.
After breakfast, you head off to Bari which is about a two-hour drive. On arrival, you will check in to Archita Guest House & Apartment or La Corte San Francesco (depending on availability). After you have settled into your rooms and taken a short rest, you will go for lunch and walk through the old town and port visiting numerous artisans' shops and historical sights with your guide.
Bari plays host to some of Puglia's most beautiful sites. Details of some of the sites you will be visiting during the afternoon are below. The Castello Svevo (Swabian Castle) was built around 1132 by Norman King Roger II and stands on the outskirts of the old city. Bari Cathedral (Italian: Duomo di Bari or Cattedrale di San Sabino) is senior to, though less famous than, the Basilica of St Nicholas (Basilica di San Nicola) which is also located in Bari. The cathedral is the seat of the Archbishop of Bari-Bitonto. It is dedicated to Saint Sabinus, a bishop of Canosa, whose relics were brought here in the 9th century.
You will also visit Chiesa di San Marco dei Veneziani (San Marco Venetian) located in Vico San Marco. The facade of the church retains some of its Romanesque appearance, gabled, with a pitched roof, enclosed by two high pilasters on either side, that were originally divided into three naves. Finally, you will visit Basilica di San Nicola, an important pilgrimage destination both for Roman Catholics and Orthodox Christians from Eastern Europe. After a full day of sightseeing, you and your guide will meet that evening for dinner in a local Bari restaurant.
Today, you’ll be able to immerse yourself in a private dining experience at a Cesarina’s home, enjoy exclusive show cooking and taste authentic Bari recipes treasured in family cookbooks passed down by real Italian Mammas.
After lunch, you will have a short rest and then head into Bari for a guided tour of the city before heading to dinner.
Today you will set out by boat to explore the sea caves of Polignano a Mare. You will cruise out to sea and admire the coastline views as your guide takes care of the navigating. You will get an opportunity to see unique rock formations along the coast. You will pull up for some free time on the beach. After a full day of boating, you’ll have time in the evening to freshen up before dinner.
Today, you will visit the world-famous Alberobello, a small town and comune of the Metropolitan City of Bari, Apulia. In Italian, Alberobello means literally “beautiful tree”. It has 10 735 inhabitants and is famous for its unique trullo buildings. This trulli of Alberobello has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1996.
Like so many towns on the Adriatic, Monopoli’s history has been thoroughly influenced by its east-facing position and its fortified sea-front walls and castle tell many a story. Around Piazza XX Settembre, is the location of a colorful street market, and the cathedral. Built-in 1693, the tower is over 60 meters high, completely dominating the town below. You will also visit the castle Charles V Castle, built-in 1552. The castle is visitable and the view from the top is wonderful.
Passing under an archway outside the castle, you will arrive at the port, comprised of a series of little harbors. Wandering halfway round the first one, busy with fishermen mending their nets or unloading the day’s catch, a little street will take you back into town and, along with Via Cimino. Lunch will be Madià street food, a true example of excellent local street food. That evening, you will check in to a B&B before dinner.
After breakfast, you will head off to Martina Franca and Ostuni. Martina Franca is the capital of the Valle D’Itria. You will spend the day sampling street food, wine tasting, and a guided tour.
In the afternoon, you will leave for Ostuni, a beautiful old whitewashed town. That evening, dinner will be at Osteria del Munacello.
After breakfast, your guide will provide a transfer back to the airport.
During this holiday, you will have visits to the Agnone Bell Foundry, Termoli, Tremiti Islands (relaxing day trip), Bari, a Polignano a Mare boat trip, Alberobello, Monopoli, Martina Franca, and Ostuni.
Loriana De Sanctis will be your tour guide throughout the tour.
Nicola Vizzarri was born in Sardinia, Cagliari in 1973. In his adolescences he's dreamt to become the best chef. He then went to Villa Santa Maria, one of the most renowned hotel schools in Italy. He stood out among the others. After finishing his studies, he started working in the most prestigious restaurants and hotels in central and southern Italy. He took part in national and international food events and brought his research on new ways of cooking on TV. He's received many awards, but perhaps the greatest satisfaction came in 2002 when he became a member of the Italian National Cooks.
Her house is just a few minutes away from Bari's historic center and is easily reached by bus. Cesarina loves opening her comfortable and luminous home to friends and guests to share her Barese cooking. “Cooking is my way of taking care of myself and others,” she explains.
San Martino in Pensilis is an Italian town in the province of Campobasso in Molise. The historic center of the village is located on a hill, at an altitude of 281 meters above sea level. The hill is partly overhanging and very steep on the south and west sides.
Agnone is sometimes called “the Athens of the Sannio” due to a large number of ancient ruins of the Samnites culture. According to tradition, the name of Agnone derives from the old city of Aquilonia that was destroyed by the Romans. Agnone also lays claim to the most important ancient Molise document: the so-called “Oscan Tablet” (“Tabula Osca”), a bronze inscription is written in the Oscan alphabet that dates from the 3rd century BC and is now kept in the British Museum.
Sitting on Puglia’s Adriatic coast around 30 kilometers south of Bari, Monopoli is a lovely town for a day trip, mixing a dip in the sea with a good lunch and a wander around the old town center.
All food and drink during this tour are included in the price. All the meals will be Italian, specifically Molisane and Pugliese dishes. Wine and water will be provided during meal times. For special diets or allergies, please advise Molise Cuisine Traditional Cooking Classes and Wine Tours.
Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino Airport
Naples International Airport
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