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This Italian cooking and yoga retreat will be immersed in nature, only few kilometers away from the sea, in the south of Italy. During this holiday in Puglia, mornings will begin with relaxing Hatha yoga sessions. You will learn how to cook many typical Mediterranean dishes, receiving a certificate upon completion. Cooking classes will be taught by an expert from the village, who will reveal the secrets of delicious Italian cuisine. The retreat will include many tours, excursions, and tastings.
Montepaolo is a farmhouse built in the 15th century. The masseria sits on top of a hill, overlooking a valley that used to be a lake, and is now filled with local flora and fauna. In the front, there is an enclosed large yard with colorful plants and flowers within high dry stone walls, giving a welcoming feeling of intimacy and protection.
On the side garden, there is a rural chapel with 17th century frescos, deemed to be Saint Antonio hermitage. Behind the main structure, there is a wide green lawn, a lovely swimming pool reserved for room guests only, a playground, and a four-season gazebo for events such as weddings and business meetings. Two hundred meters from the main structure, there is the “bandit’s tower”, a 14th century stone tower rising out of the typical Mediterranean vegetation.
There are ten rooms in the main building, located on either the second or third floor, reached by stairs. The rooms are comprised of a variety of layouts, sleeping either two, three, or four guests. All rooms are very comfortable, providing tranquility and repose in a refined and welcoming environment. Montepaolo also has two junior suites which are one-bedroom lofts with a kitchen, as well as two two-bedroom apartments in the "bandit's tower". Amenities include Wi-Fi, heating, TV, telephone, mini-fridge, ceiling fan, security box, and hair dryer.
During the Italian cooking classes, you will prepare a wide range of typical Mediterranean and Puglian appetizers, such as stuffed meatballs, rolls, tomatoes under oil, bruschetta, pancakes with sauce, and plenty of others. You will learn how to prepare in the authentic way different types of fresh pasta, like cavatelli and orecchiette. You will acquire knowledge of how to make pizza and focaccia barese with different stone ground flour.
All participants at the cooking classes will receive a cookbook including recipes of all the dishes made during their stay, an exclusive apron, and a certificate on completion of the Italian cooking course. Vedaguru Centre will choose dishes that can easily be made at home, using ingredients that you can find in any market in the wold.
Yoga does not only mean poses. It also includes what happens along the way, how you breathe, how you are listening to your body, and how your mind is focused on the present moment. Yoga is about how you feel on the inside. Every morning, there will be warm-up exercises, asana, pranayama, mantras, mindfulness, mudra, and relaxation. You will have daily morning Hatha yoga lessons before breakfast, from Sunday to Friday.
Lucrezia D' Alessandro
Lucrezia is a local chef, whose passion for food and cooking has been her devotion for a number of years. Working with only the freshest and most authentic ingredients gives a delightful originality, as well as a superior flavor, to everything she makes or bakes. She will be teaching you some of the secrets of the famous Italian cuisine.
This retreat will take place in Conversano, Puglia, south of Italy.
During this retreat, you will be served daily breakfast and dinner. Lunch will be available at extra cost. The restaurant areas are the old milestone, the stable, the carriage room, the back enclosed patio and the four season garden.
Meals will be prepared using primarily Montepaolo produce, olive oil, fruit, vegetables, and spices. Only local, traditional Puglia recipes will be used, customized by the owner’s own creativity.
For breakfast, you will enjoy homemade jam, cookies, pies, fresh fruit from the grounds and harvested the same morning, traditional Italian coffee, cappuccino, tea, yogurt, juice, toast, cereal, and croissants.
Typical lunch and dinner dishes are black wheat focaccia, fried bites, fried calzones (panzerotti) , fried pancake (frittelle), meatballs, fried garden vegetables, broccoli pasta, black wheat pasta with dry ricotta cheese, bean and chicory cream, vegetable quiche, chicken stew, roasted beef, sage beef, and provolone veal. There are also fresh dairy specialties such as mozzarella, ricotta, and caciocavallo cheese, made each day by a Conversano creamery.
This retreat will not include fried food, except if you want to try something typical, like panzerotti. Vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free meals will be offered.
Ayurvedic treatments for relaxing the body and mind are available at an additional cost of 35 to 45 EUR each.
Please book your flight to arrive at Bari Karol Wojtyła Airport (BRI).
If you want to reach Puglia by boat, the coast towns from Vieste to Taranto offer mooring facilities and hospitality to seafarers. The ports of Bari and Brindisi, popular stopovers for cruise ships, provide services for both watercrafts and crews.
From Bari Karol Wojtyła Airport (BRI), you can take the metro and reach the railroad station from which you can take train to Conversano. Free transfer from Conversano train station is included in the retreat price.
From Bari Karol Wojtyła Airport (BRI), you can book a taxi. One way to Masseria Montepaolo will cost 60 EUR.
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