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10 Days Culture and Cooking Holidays in Italy

10 Days Culture and Cooking Holidays in Italy

  • Ostuni - Martina Franca - Bari

Culinary Tour and Wine Tasting in Italy

Get your sense of adventure and taste buds ready to explore one of Italys best kept secrets, the gastronomic travel destination of magical Puglia, in southern Italy. Although virtually undiscovered by overseas visitors, it is a unique landscape of magical cone-shaped trulli and thick, gnarly, ancient olive groves as far as the eyes can see. This tour is designed so you can do as little or as much as you like, while allowing you plenty of free time to explore and immerse yourselves in the sights, shopping and eating that you want to experience.

Highlights

  • 2 Puglian cooking classes
  • Wine tastings of Puglias famed wines
  • Cellar tour in Puglias famous wine region in the Salento
  • Visits to some of Puglias most beautiful villages and UNESCO world heritage sites
  • Tour escort and tour photographer during duration of tour
  • Visit one of Puglias historic olive estates
  • 9 nights luxury accommodation
  • 2 daily scrumptious meals
  • 8 days with instruction
  • English
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Hotel Grande Albergo delle Nazione, Bari

Located in the chic and popular of Bari, not far from the Basilica di San Nicola, Grande Albergo delle Nazioni redefines the waterfront with a new image of Bari, bringing to life the legendary Hotel, thanks to a facelift that combines the original charm of its glorious past with the latest trends in contemporary luxury lifestyle. Grande Albergo delle Nazioni is proposed as a new landmark of the city, with a strong visual impact of proposed accommodation over six floors topped by a spectacular terrace overlooking the sea and the swimming pool: 115 rooms, including one presidential suite and two of 120 square meters executive suite, two exclusive restaurants, and meeting rooms.

Its historic roots of the agora that elects ideal location for exclusive events and meeting place, is reflected in the direct Nazario Sauro promenade through a luminous compass glass that opens in the lobby area with a strong visual impact, which also involves reception and restaurant. The game's water fountain with a waterfall, the colors of the sea and the sun heat the wood paneling on the walls, the house of the stylized lobby that recalls the historic boats of the fishermen, the game of huge tents that are reminiscent of theatrical sets, homage Bari recalling precisely the element of water, the rite of navigation inherent in this people called 'navigators'.

Grande Albergo delle Nazionis rooms and suites have an environment perfectly calibrated for the careful choice of materials, the delicacy of the furniture and lighting design, creating a harmony of textures and shades unique. The scenery is attractive and prestigious as the most innovative blend harmoniously into the old building. High ceilings in the early twentieth century surmount elegant parquet floors and modern furnishings with original decorative motifs predominating in warm tones of the earth, sun, sea, and characterize all that warm environments.

The furniture is distinguished by an elegant and essential style, characterizing part of Grande Albergo delle Nazioni. The concept was created for the pleasure of living spaces, where the interior design is the extension of the imagination to recreate different environments in a single format.

Comfort rooms

Rooms with a refined design and equipped with all comforts. The furnishings are distinguished by an elegant essential style, in warm Mediterranean colors.

Executive suite

Exquisite interiors, refined furnishings and large windows featuring the beautiful apartments on the fifth floor, from which the view reaches the picturesque old town and the promenade that runs along the light old port. A perfect harmonious environment separates the living area from the bedroom and the large space to enjoy moments of relaxation in front of the sea, in the whirlpool. Wherever floors natural wood, precious marble, Corian and a unique design.

Panorama room sea view

A splendid sea view lends light and magic to these luxurious rooms, where comfort and elegance blend with the colorful freshness of the furnishings. Original glass panels decorated with floral motifs separate the bedroom from the bathroom, enhanced by sand-colored marble.

Presidential suite

An area of 120 square meters overlooking the sea, furniture glamor and cutting-edge technological equipment for exclusive and private events. The innovative materials and a precious white marble cover all the surfaces. The entrance to the Suite opens into the living room, large bright windows allow access to the terrace of the most charming old Bari decorated with mosaics that surrounds all around. The panoramic view of the seafront and Bari's historic center is unique.

Superior rooms

Large bright rooms where the refinement of the materials creates new combinations of surfaces and a bright colorful harmony. The furnishings are distinguished by an elegant essential style, in warm Mediterranean colors.

Masseria Cervarolo

Masseria Cervarolo is one of Puglias fortified farm estates (masserie) that dates back to the 16th century. The term masseria is the local name for these types of properties, which were fortified due to the continual invasions along the coast by the Saracens and other invading nations. As soon as one of the many coastal castles (torre ) raised the alarm of a potential invasion, all the farmers and livestock would move within the walls of the masseria and they would remain for months at a time, relying on produce grown on the property, as well as huge underground storerooms holding reserves of food.

As families may be within the walls for many months, the masserie had their own church; olive oil mill; wood-fired ovens; stables; farming equipment and livestock, to carry on a simple agricultural life. Masseria Cervarolo dates back to the 16th century; it includes the main building, some trulli and a small church built in 1798 and dedicated to Our Lady of Dolours with a baroque altar and various frescoes. The farmhouse is located on a hill 250 meters above sea level and 6 kilometers from Ostuni, so that you can enjoy magnificent views over the Itria Valley. The name Cervarolo comes from the Italian cervo (deer), as the area was once covered by forests and inhabited by deer.

The restoration has carefully preserved the original architectural features and materials of the property, which now combines past and present through the use of modern techniques for energy saving and environmental protection: photovoltaic system, recycling, reduction of air, water and soil pollution, protection of biodiversity in the property areas, local and healthy food.

Classic rooms

Located in the main building of the hotel, these spacious rooms feature antique furniture and handcraft. All rooms have an area of 15 to 20 square meters, and are equipped with one double bed, linen 100% cotton, self-regulation of the temperature, telephone with direct dial, TV and radio Brionvega, safe, mini-bar with organic drinks, line MALIN + GOETZ bath, hair dryer, and free Wi-Fi. The room cannot accommodate extra beds.

Junior suites

Housed in the typical Apulian trulli or in the main building of the hotel, these spacious rooms from 25 to 34 square meters, are equipped with either a terrace or a garden, one double bed with possibility of adding one to two single beds, linen 100% cotton, self-regulation of the temperature, telephone with direct dial, TV and radio Brionvega, safe, mini-bar with organic drinks, line Malin+Goetz bath, hair dryer, and free Wi-Fi.

Superior rooms

Located in the main building of the hotel, these spacious rooms feature antique furniture and handcraft. All rooms have a terrace or garden, have an area of 20 to 22 square meters, and are equipped with one double bed, linen 100% cotton, self-regulation of the temperature, telephone with direct dial, TV and radio Brionvega, safe, mini-bar with organic drinks, line Malin+Goetz bath, hair dryer, and free Wi-Fi. The room cannot accommodate extra beds.

Relais La Sommita

Ostuni welcomes its visitors with a group of white stone buildings standing on a hill rising up over plain land on Puglias Adriatic coast. Relais La Sommit is housed in a building featuring a Catalan-style portal, discreetly hidden away in the highest part of Ostuni, hence its name (La Sommit translates as the Summit in English), behind the towns main church. The 5-star hotel is tucked away and comprises a number of buildings housing the 15 beautiful and charming suites and rooms of Relais La Sommit . With its view over endless stretches of olive groves down to the sea and the towns white rooftops, the hotels terrace brings to mind the infinite, the sensation of finding yourself in a new dimension.

La Sommit is a retreat, a refuge, a location that welcomes rather than impresses, which allows you to turn a holiday in Puglia into a chance to switch off from the excessively hectic, everyday life. The natural stone walls and floors, wood and fabrics join together in a blend of materials and finishes and hence of touch and colors that conjure up complete simplicity and naturalness. Bulgari bathrobes, slippers and amenities complete the sophisticated and elegant, yet modern and relaxed style of Relais La Sommit .

Il Camino suite

This 52 square meters suite, characterized by cozy and intimate lounger with open fire and well-lit bedroom thanks to the extremely characteristic light shaft located alongside the king-size bed. The adjacent bathroom features a natural stone shower and bath tub.

Il Cielo suite

A 49 square meters suite comprising a room on two floors. The first floor features a small and cozy lounge with two sofas (can be converted into beds) and bathroom with natural stone shower. While the second floor features two comfy twin beds and a Twiggy lamp (Marc Sadler Design) by Foscarini. A skylight, typical of buildings from this period, lets the light in to illuminate the whole suite.

Il Colle suite

A 37 square meters suite on two floors. The first floor features a delightful lounge area and bathroom featuring a natural stone shower; while the second floor, which can be reached by a charming staircase, features a bedroom with a king-size bed.

Il Mare deluxe view

A deluxe view room with 37 square meters which takes its name from the panoramic view. It features a room with king-size bed placed on a central platform in front of the window opening onto the beautiful beach at Ostuni, and a lounge area.

Il Sole deluxe view room

With its charming 30 square meters, it features a double bed, wardrobe and natural stone shower. You can enjoy a magnificent panoramic view from the small corner terrace while sipping a glass of crisp white wine.

LAffresco deluxe

Deluxe cozy 24 square meters with king size bed, more windows on the fascinating lanes Ostuni and feature bathroom with stone shower. This room owes its name to the ancient fresco which came to light during renovation of the building.

LArancetto deluxe view room

With 35 square meters, its name comes from the orange trees in the garden which it looks out on. It features a room with king-size bed placed on a central platform in front of a large window with panoramic view and a bathroom with shower.

L'Aurora suite

legant 70 square meters suite on two floors. The first floor features a lounge area with sofa (that can be converted into a double bed) and charming balcony with a view of the town center and surroundings. The bathroom with natural stone shower can also be found on the first floor. While the second floor features a room with king-size bed and bath tub.

La Cattedrale suite

An elegant 49 square meters suite on two floors. The ground floor features a small and cozy lounge while the first floor, which can be reached by a charming staircase, features a room with a king-size bed and spacious bathroom with natural stone shower and bath tub. The suite is well-lit thanks to a skylight in the highest part of the wall.

La Corte deluxe

Deluxe room with 25 square meters, cozy with king-size bed, handy business corner with table and chairs, bathroom with large natural stone shower. This room does not have a window, but rather a typical skylight in the highest part of the wall.

La Loggia deluxe

Deluxe room with 30 square meters, characterized by a large star-shaped ceiling which is atypical feature of homes in this area, complete with king-size bed. The comfortable bathroom features a spacious natural stone shower.

La Grotta deluxe

Charming deluxe room, with 28 square meters dug out of characteristic Apulian stone, overlooking a large terrace with window offering panoramic view.

La Torre e la Palma deluxe view room

Cozy and intimate, its 25 square meters feature a double bed, wardrobe, bathroom with natural stone shower, and small terrace where you can enjoy the charming sunsets while sipping a glass of crisp white wine.

Day 1, Saturday - Arrival

Upon your arrival into Bari or Brindisi, a private transfer will take you to your hotel in Ostuni.

At 14:00, check in to your hotel. The charming medieval town of Ostuni is the starting point for your journey through Puglia. With its lime-washed white buildings seemingly tumbling down from three hilltops of the village, this is one of Puglias most attractive towns. Traces remain from its first founding in 600 BC, but much of what you can see today dates from between the 1400s and 1700s, including the magnificent 15th century Gothic cathedral which sits proudly atop the hillside and directly beside your stunning accommodation, Relais La Sommita.

At 18:00, you will be served aperitivi (pre-dinner drinks) on the hotels balcony, with stunning views over the Adriatic Sea, prior to your welcome dinner at the hotels Michelin-starred Cielo Restaurant.

At 19:00, you will have your welcome group Michelin dinner in the beautifully appointed Cielo restaurant. Your introduction to Pugliese cuisine will be explored through Cielos chef who stylishly combines the traditional recipes of Puglia with Michelin creativity to highlight the quality, goodness and intensity of flavors from the Puglian countryside.

Day 2, Sunday - Alberobello, the land of trulli

After a leisurely breakfast, you will have the day at your leisure. You can explore Ostunis cobblestoned lanes and alleyways and grab a light lunch at one of the many cafes or bakeries located in town.

At 16:00, you will depart to the UNESCO world heritage village of Alberobello to experience the magical beauty of Puglias famous cone-shaped stone houses called trulli which you will see scattered across the countryside of the Itria Valley.

At 17:30, your group will depart to the stunningly beautiful cliffside village of Polignano a Mare for a pre-dinner stroll amongst the limestone cliffs with incredible views over the Adriatic Sea. As well as its spectacular beach and cliffside grottos, Polignano a Mare is the birthplace of Domenico Modugno whos song Volare became world-famous after its release 50 years ago.

At 21:00, enjoy your group dinner at one of Polignanos most beautiful restaurants.

Day 3, Monday - Altamura and Matera

Breakfast at your leisure.

At 10:00, your group will depart for Altamura and Matera.

At 11:30, arrive in Altamura, a lovely town in the center of Puglia, which is particularly famous in Italy and the whole world for its delicious bread. For a taste of Altamuras most famous product, Pane di Altamura, you will visit an ancient wood-fired oven dating back to 1724.

At 13:30, take a guided walking tour of Matera and its famous sassi.

At 18:00, arrive back in Ostuni and spend the evening at your leisure.

Day 4, Tuesday - Pugliese cooking class

Have breakfast at your leisure.

At 10:00, check out from La Sommita and then, take a 100 meters short walk to a Pugliese cooking lesson.

At 10:30, enjoy a cooking demonstration at Osteria del Tempo Perso, one of Ostunis most famous restaurants. Situated in the heart of the village, the restaurant is in an ancient cave-like structure dug in the rocks and once used, in the 16th century, as a bakers oven. Your lesson will be with a chef, who will show you how to prepare Pugliese bread and focaccia, as well as an antipasto, primo piatto, secondo piatto, and dessert. After the lesson, you will enjoy the dishes that have been prepared for a pleasant lunch in the restaurant.

At 14:00, your group will transfer to Masseria Cervarolo. Settle into your room and then relax by the swimming pool (a natural karst sinkhole) which is surrounded by rocks and terraces. Enjoy an aperitivo at the pool bar or on the grounds of the property before dinner.

At 19:30, you will have your group dinner at the masseria.

Day 5, Wednesday - Free day

Have breakfast at your leisure.

Today has been set aside as an opportunity for you to recharge and enjoy the amenities of the wonderfully peaceful masseria.

Day 6, Thursday - Winery visit and cellar lunch

Have breakfast at your leisure.

At 11:00, your group will depart to Puglias famous Salice Salentino wine region for a visit to the 16th-century winery Castello Monaci.

At 12:00, enjoy a winery visit as well as a tour of the beautiful castle and grounds. You will then indulge in a private wine tasting lunch within the winerys cellar and winemaking museum.

At 15:30, you will return to Masseria Cervarolo.

At 16:00, take part in a Pugliese cooking class with Masseria Cervarolos resident chef. Learn about some authentic Pugliese recipes that the locals cook at their home, simple, healthy, and delicious. The food of Puglia is one of simplicity, where the produce is of such a high quality that it needs very little embellishment.

Spend the rest of the evening at your leisure.

Day 7, Friday - Valle dItria

Have breakfast at your leisure.

At 10:00, your group will depart for a visit to Puglias famed Valle dItria. This picturesque part of the region is filled with wooded slopes, vineyards and endless olive groves and the peculiar coned farmhouses of trulli scattered across the landscape. You will visit an olive oil estate to sample some of Puglias famous oils as well as visiting the picturesque Baroque village of Martina Franca.

At 12:00, visit a frantoio, a traditional olive oil estate to learn about extra virgin olive oil production followed by a tasting.

At 16:00, you will have a wine tasting session at Masseria Cervarolo.

At 20:00, enjoy a group dinner at Masseria Cervarolo.

Day 8, Saturday - Castel del Monte

Have breakfast at your leisure.

At 09:00, check out from Masseria Cervarolo; then, depart for one of southern Italys most prominent and talked-about landmark, the UNESCO world heritage site of Castel del Monte, dating back to Puglias 13th century King Frederick II. Castel del Monte is a unique masterpiece of medieval architecture. The octagonal form is perfect, its design a harmonious blend of cultural elements from Classical antiquity, Muslim architecture, and the Cistercian Gothic of northern Europe.

At 13:00, you will have a group lunch is in the small village of Montegrosso, only a few minutes from Castel del Monte, where one of Puglias most acclaimed and awarded chefs, Peitro Zito will prepare you a degustation of some of Puglias most typical dishes.

At 17:00, arrive in Bari, check in to Grande Albergo delle Nazioni Hotel and spend the evening at your leisure.

Day 9, Sunday - Bari Vecchia

Have breakfast at your leisure.

At 10:00, you will tour the historic center of Bari (Bari Vecchio) with its maze of medina-like alleyways that date back to the Middle Ages. Life continues in the old part of Bari and you will also witness the famous little corner of the area (La via delle orechiette) where women continue to hand make orecchiette, out on the street, to be sold for Sunday family gatherings.

At 13:00, you will have a final group Sunday lunch at a traditional Pugliese restaurant.

Later, spend the evening at your leisure.

Day 10, Monday - Departure

Have breakfast at your leisure.

At 10:00, check out from your hotel and say a final arrivederci and wish everyone well on the next part of their journeys. Private airport transfers will return you to either Bari Airport or Baris central train station for your onward travels.

  • 16th century winery Castello Monaci in Salice Salentino
  • Altamura
  • Bari Vecchio historic tour
  • Castel del Monte, King Frederick II Masterpiece
  • Explore Ostunis cobblestoned lanes and alleyways
  • Matera guided walking tour
  • Montegrosso village for lunch
  • UNESCO world heritage village of Alberobello
  • Valle dItria olive oil estates and tasting and Baroque village of Martina Franca
  • Village of Polignano a Mare

This retreat will take place in Puglia region, Italy. Puglia is a region not many people outside of Italy might know about, yet on a map it is probably one of the most easily recognizable. Known commonly as the heel of the Italian boot, it is the easternmost point of Italy and feels more like Greece, which sits a mere 70 kilometers east, than some of its regional Italian cousins in the north.

You will be served two daily meals, including olive oil and wine tastings. What Puglia lacks in being recognized for, it more than compensates for as being a food lovers heaven. Puglias cuisine is the quintessential cucina povera (peasant cooking) using locally sourced ingredients which reflect the region, prepared extremely simply. Its dishes are the blueprint for the classic Mediterranean diet, fresh vegetables abound in many of the classic Puglian antipasti served before meals; extra virgin olive oil is used abundantly; local wild greens (chicory) found mainly in Puglia are served along with legumes (fave); and fresh seafood from along Italys longest coastline also deserve a special mention.

Cielo restaurant

The 5-star Relais La Sommit will make your stay an enchanted one with stylish menus featuring seasonal offerings in their elegant Cielo restaurant. The past symbolizes tradition, the future innovation: this is the philosophy embraced by their Chef, whose cuisine evokes distant memories, while at the same time guiding palates into unexplored terrain. His stylishly combined dishes promise a journey through the senses of the past and present, with projection into the future where the comforting flavors of the earth will reign strong.

Masseria Cervarolo

Food plays an integral role with any stay at a masseria, and you will have the pleasure of not only enjoying delicious Puglia dishes for our evening meals within the masserias restaurant, catering exclusively for hotel guests, but will also experience a cooking class with the masserias resident chef.

Osteria del Tempo Perso

Osteria del Tempo Perso is both a restaurant specializing in preparing Puglias most-loved dishes and a museum with the walls of the eaterys second dining room hung with old agricultural tools and everyday farming objects.

Pane di Altamura

Pane di Altamura is made of durum wheat flour cultivated in Altamura, it has a round shape and a massive size. It is characterized by an external crust of 3 millimeters in thickness, which guarantees its long lasting, and soft crumb. Its roots date back to the Roman times, as the Latin Poet Horace wrote about a bread made in this area of Puglia as pane migliore del mondo (the best bread of the world). In 2003 Pane di Altamura was granted DOP status (Protected Designation of Origin).

Bari

Bari is the capital of Puglia and a large port city on the Adriatic coast. Its medieval historic center known as Bari Vecchia (Old Bari), is a wonderfully atmospheric labyrinth of tiny streets and alleyways resembling a North African medina, and is famous throughout Italy for its mazelike effect. Visit Baris high street, Via Sparano, and enjoy an evening passegiata and a spot of shopping with the locals. Once the shops close, enjoy a seaside walk along Baris lungomare esplanade and maybe a pizza with the locals at one of the many pizzerias in town or stop for aperitivi at some of the many small bars hidden down the back lanes and piazzas of this magical town.

Castel del Monte

The Puglian masterpiece of King Frederick II, an awe-inspiring octagonal castle of 1229 that became a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1996.

Castello Monaci

Castello Monaci dates back to the 16th century when it was established by Basilian monks who used it as a place to worship, meditate and give refuge to those who needed it. Noble families through the centuries chose it as their residence and the castle and winery is still privately owned.

Masseria Cervarolo

Enjoy some downtime around the masserias stunning pool, book a massage, or if you would like to venture out, Urban Provider can arrange for a chauffeur for you to visit some nearby sights.

Matera

Known as la Citta Sotterranea (the subterranean city), it is one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world and the most outstanding, intact example of a troglodyte (cave-dwelling) settlements in the Mediterranean region. The ancient city is steeped in history and is home to the famous Sassi, which in 1993 was designated as a UNESCO world heritage list dating back over 7000 years with some of the oldest inhabited parts dating back from the Paleolithic period.

  • 2 meals daily (breakfast and lunch or dinner)
  • 2 Puglia cooking classes
  • 9 nights luxury accommodation
  • All land transfers
  • Group pre-trip briefing (Perth)
  • Guided excursions as per the itinerary
  • Michelin-starred dinner at Cielo restaurant in Ostuni
  • Olive estate visit with olive oil tasting experience
  • Private airport transfers
  • Puglia dining experiences including some of Puglias most famous regional restaurants
  • Tour photographer during the whole tour
  • Wine tasting experience

Arrival by airplane

Please arrive at Bari-Palese Airport (BRI) or Brindisi - Salento Airport (BDS).

Arrival by train

Please arrive at Bari train station.