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7 Days Cooking Holidays in Puglia, Italy

  • Bed and breakfast Villa Giuliana, Via Carretti No. 6 Arnesano, Lecce, Salento, Puglia, Italy

Wine Tasting and Cookery Holidays Italy

This holiday offers the best way to discover Puglia with a unique food adventure that puts together sightseeing and field trips with hands-on experiences of the Pugliese tradition. Dinners under the stars with guided food markets and shopping, authentic flavors of Puglia, homely cooking of local recipes and traditional dishes from the Salentine Peninsula, an introduction to the wines of Puglia, and coastal walks to keep fit guarantee the best value and let you get the most out of your time.

Highlights

  • 1 hands-on cooking class
  • Extra virgin olive oil tour and tasting
  • Taste some of the freshest cheese of the area
  • Visit boutique Apulian wineries and local producers
  • Visit charming villages and local markets
  • Private cultural tours of art and history
  • 6 nights accommodation
  • 6 days with instruction
  • English
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La Fiermontina Urban Resort, Lecce (Day 1-4)

La Fiermontina is an urban resort of 16 unique guestrooms and suites built around a 17th century private home in the heart of Old Lecce, known for its Baroque architecture and storied past. Set amid the baroque structures of Puglia’s historic city of Lecce, La Fiermontina is a modern-day masseria that mirrors its storied surroundings. This private retreat makes for a memorable holiday in Puglia. Olive trees surround the swimming pool in the sculpture garden, a rarity in the old quarter and the restaurant offers a modern, light take on traditional Pugliese cuisine.

Don Ferrante, Monopoli (Day 5-6)

Don Ferrante is a boutique hotel ideally located in Monopoli old town. Once an ancient fortress on the reef, now, an enchanting atmosphere welcomes the guests waking them up with the morning sea-breeze and looking after their comfort all day long. The stunning natural view of the Mediterranean Sea makes the Dimora and Suites, elegantly furnished and fully equipped, unique and exclusive.

Day 1: Arrival in Lecce

Upon arrival to Lecce, Path, Walks, Talks and Beyond will pick up and transfer you to your accommodation.

Day 2: Lecce and Galatina, cheese and extra virgin olive oil

Your tour starts with a gourmet tour of the Apulian countryside to visit the town of Galatina and taste the famous pasticciotto Leccese at the Pasticceria Ascalone, right in the old center and close enough to the Basilica of Santa Caterina d'Alessandria, where you can admire the amazing cycle of paintings completely covering this amazing church, built in the 1369 thanks to Raimondello Orsini del Balzo, prince of Taranto.

Having strolled the old center of Galatina you will drive through the small village of Vernole, famous for its olive oil and many producers including Oleificio Sant 'Anna, Olieficio San Basilio, and Azienda Pascali. From there, you will move to Pisignano, with its menhirs, and Galatone, to finally reach a cheese producer and taste some of the freshest cheese of the area. At this Masseria, a typical farmhouse of Salento, you will be introduced to the cheese making process and will taste the dairy products and cheeses, made from both sheep’s and cows’ milk.

Day 3: Gallipoli fishing market, cooking class, family lunch

Your culinary tour of Puglia continues with a day trip to the fishing town of Gallipoli and a visit to its amazing fish market. Today's cooking class and lunch will be based on the fresh catch of the day. You will be introduced to the local fish varieties by the fisherman and understand more about how to prepare and cook the typical fish of the Mediterranean.

The cooking class will take place at a family museum of local tradition in the small town of Tuglie, a real and authentic experience in a remote corner of Salento, away from the crowds and touristic routes. This hands-on cooking experience enables you to learn how to make the famous "orecchiette" ear-shaped pasta. Then, enjoy a family lunch in a private familiar and authentic atmosphere. After lunch, a digestive stroll will give you a chance to admire Gallipoli Old Town.

Day 4: Otranto, the Adriatic Coastland, and local boutique wineries

This food adventure in Puglia would not be complete without a wine tour and tasting experience at local winery. Puglia is rich of DOC areas and indigenous grapes that grow only on the Salento peninsula. Your guide, Angela, an AIS and ONAV certified wine expert, will introduce you to the local grapes and history of wine production in Salento. Today's wine tour offers many options to talk and meet the people behind the wines of Puglia.

Day 5: Martina Franca and Alberobello, extra virgin olive oil tour, and UNESCO sites

Today, you will travel to the north of Lecce to visit the verdant Valle d'Itria. You will visit local producers specialized in the cold press of the finest extra virgin olive oil, EVOO, who will help you to understand more about the quality of extra virgin olive oil and the production process. After a stop at Frantoio d'Amico, a café in Locorotondo, and a lunch at a typical fornello in the center of Cisternino, to enjoy the tasty bombette, your trip through the Itria Valley continues with a stop in the UNESCO site of Alberobello, for a guided tour of the trulli monumental area.

Day 6: Lecce Baroque extravaganza, delightful cheese, and ancient pastries

This morning, you will explore the center of Lecce, stroll its narrows streets and lively squares, enjoy an aperitivo at the Alvino bar in front of a Roman amphitheater, admire the noble Palazzo Personè Tamburino, visit the churches of Santa Croce and the Duomo, and do some food shopping at local grocery and food market, before enjoying your farewell dinner at local trattoria.

Day 7: Departure

You vacation comes to the end and it is time to say goodbye. You will be transferred to Brindisi - Salento Airport (BDS).

Day trip to Gallipoli and its fish market

Gallipoli is located by the Ionian Sea, on the west coast of the Salentina Peninsula. The town is divided into two parts, the modern and the old city located on a limestone island, linked to the mainland by a bridge built in the 16th century. According to a legend, the city was founded in ancient times by Idomeneus of Crete, while Pliny the Elder attributes the foundation to the Senones Gauls, but more likely, it was a Messapic settlement.

Of great interest in Gallipoli, are the Cattedrale di Sant' Agata, along via Antonietta de Pace, together with the Church of Santa Maria della Purita, as well as the richly decorated interior houses, and a canvas by Luca Giordano at the marble high altar. The imposing Angevine-Aragonese Castle, built in the 13th century by the Byzantines, is also a place that you must visit.

Alberobello’s trulli monumental area

The Rione Monti and Aiai Piccola host over 1000 trulli houses, making Alberobello a unique and fascinating town.

Local boutique wineries in Otranto

Some of the wineries you can visit in Salento include Azienda Cantele in Guagnano, Schola Sarmenti in Nardo, and Leone de Castris in Salice Salentino.

Local producers of extra virgin olive oil in Martina Franca

You will enjoy a tutored tasting of many different varieties and sharpen your knowledge about the property and importance role of Polyphenols from olive oil in the Mediterranean diet.

Other excursions

  • Explore the Lecce streets and visit its churches
  • Stroll around the old center of Galatina
  • Visit Pisignano and Galatone
  • Walk through Gallipoli old town and visit interesting cathedrals and churches

This vacation will take place in and around Puglia, Italy.

Activities
  • Cooking classes
  • Cycling
  • Fishing nearby
  • Hiking nearby
  • Mountain biking
  • Mountain walking/trekking
  • Outdoor swimming pool
  • Shopping nearby
  • Wine tasting / tour
General
  • Air-conditioned rooms
  • Beach nearby
  • Café nearby
  • Concierge desk
  • Garden
  • In-room safe
  • Kitchen
  • Mini bar
Services
  • Bicycle rental
  • Convenience / grocery store nearby
  • Free parking
  • Hair dryer
  • Local market
  • Parking lot
  • Scooter / motorcycle rental
  • Tour assistance
  • Wedding

During this culinary experience, you will be delighted with five tasty lunches and five delicious dinners. Some of the local delicacies that you will taste are: pasticciotto leccese; local cheeses like ricotta, giuncata, cacio ricotta, pecorino, caciotta leccese from the Aia Vecchia, fresh mozzarella, caciocavallo podolico, and cheese flavored with the many herbs grow widely in the area of the Macchia Medeterrane; local fish varieties; bombette, typical pork meat rolls grilled on the premises; and extra virgin olive oil made from many olive varieties, such as leccina, nocellara, bella di cerignola, nirdo, and ugghialura.

Cheeses

Burrata cheese: A fresh cheese made from an outer shell of solid mozzarella with an inside containing both mozzarella and cream, giving it an unusual soft texture. It is a real delicacy, produced from cow's whole milk mostly around Andria, Corato, and Martina Franca, a not to be missed ingredient of your culinary tour of Puglia.

Cacioricotta cheese: Made from mixed goat's and sheep's milk through a process half way between the cheese and the ricotta.

Wines

The wines you will taste come from different DOC areas, down in the peninsula of Salento, which include as main grape the negro amaro and primitivo, together with the malvasia nera di Lecce. Other DOC wines are the Primitivo di Manduria and the more recent DOCG Primitivo di Panduria Dolce Naturale, with the wines from the DOC of Salice Salentino, the DOC Gravina, the one from Martina Franca, and Locorotondo’s wine.

All guests of Villa Giuliana who desire to know more about the local tradition have plenty of opportunities to enhance their stay by taking one coastal walking or cycling trails, renting one hybrid bikes, enjoying a self-guided cycling excursion along country roads, or exploring the coast south of Otranto with a ride along the Adriatic sea. You can also rent a Vespa 125LX and transform your sojourn into a scooter holiday to explore Salento.

Grab a group of friends and enjoy a private cooking course and holiday in Puglia. This is the perfect opportunity to experience Apulia culinary heritage. All private cooking classes in Lecce can be themed to suit your requirements and culinary desires. You can choose to either focus on homemade pasta, pizza, or simply choose a selection of your favorite dishes from Apulian or Italian regional cuisine.

  • 1 boat trip and fish excursion
  • 1 gelato making demo and tasting in Ostuni
  • 1 guided tour of Alberobello UNESCO site
  • 1 hands-on cooking class at private house in Gallipoli
  • 1 mozzarella demo and making at local cheese producer in Corato
  • 1 private olive oil tasting tour at local producer
  • 1 private wine tasting tour at boutique local winery in Galatina
  • 1 visit to local tradition museum
  • 6 nights accommodation with breakfast
  • Fish market visit and tour in Gallipoli
  • Food and wine tasting stroll of Lecce
  • Food market visit in Lecce
  • Hands-on olive picking workshop (only in season)
  • Round trip airport transfers
  • Additional meals
  • Airfare
  • Everything not specified in the program
  • Optional activities
  • Personal expenses
  • Travel insurance

Driving directions from Lecce

  • Coming from Bari or Brindisi, take the Brindisi-Lecce motorway
  • A couple of miles before you get to Lecce, take the exit marked Tangenziale Ovest, which will get you on to the Lecce ring road
  • Once on the ring road, immediately after the tunnel, take the exit number 14 marked Monteroni-Arnesano
  • At the stop sign, turn left and at the following circle, turn right taking the first exit and following the Arnesano direction
  • At the following 3-way intersection, turn left, following direction to Arnesano - Porto Cesareo - Citta di Lecce Hospital
  • Drive ahead for about 1 kilometer; do not follow the Lecce direction
  • Pass the Hospital Citta di Lecce and the traffic lights and continue straight ahead
  • Having passed the gas station marked AGIP, to your right, take the first right turn into via Carretti. If you reach a 3-way intersection with an auto fill garage on your right, you have missed the turn
  • Villa Giuliana is 100 meters ahead, on the left at number 6, a big black gate after the IDROSUD deposit
  • If the petrol station AGIP is on your left and after it, there is a cross road with a traffic light and a chemist on the left, you are in Lecce. Do a U turn and drive in the opposite direction until you are out of town. Follow the Porto Cesareo direction until you get to the other AGIP gas station on the right hand side and, at that point, take the right into via Carretti.

Arrival by airplane

Arrive at Brindisi - Salento Airport (BDS). Path, Walks, Talks and Beyond will pick you up from the airport. The pick-up is included in the price.

Arrival by train

Freccia Argento trains are available from Rome and will take you straight to Lecce. At your arrival in Lecce, Path, Walks, Talks and Beyond will pick you up from the train station. The pick-up is included in the price.

Distances

  • Brindisi - Salento Airport (BDS) - 40 minutes