Active Gourmet Holidays
Active Gourmet Holidays

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(Option: Customized Itineraries)
Apulia, Italy - 7 nights
Available year round

 

Come with us on a discovery of the art, food and wines of this enchanted land. The Salento area is the most interesting and rich in masterpieces of art in the Puglia (Apulia) region.Salento is a land full of history and traditions whose strong points are its natural and architectural beauties, its hospitality, its magical atmosphere, its warm sun, its crystal sea and its dreamlike coast.     

 

 
Puglia is located between two wonderful seas: the Ionic (West) and the Adriatic (East). In the eastern part it was a land of conquest with the passing of the Greeks, the Byzantines and the Barbarian pirates where each of those cultures left some signs. Salento is a part of the Magna Grecia, Italy’s area that includes Puglia, Campania and Sicily where you can find the masterpieces of the Greek culture. But there you will see also the magnificence of the Leccese Baroque masterpieces. 

 

The Puglia and Salento areas are also lands of flavors and fragrances.With their mastery bakers, dairymen and farmers they turn the fruits of the land into products that owe their rich flavors and fragrances to their simplicity. The most characteristic aspect of the region of Puglia is surely the presence of ancient and fragrant olive groves that fill the hills with their harsh stillness.

 

Puglia is a land where the taste of the sea and that of the land meld, creating magical recipes, which express all their distinct flavors.                                                                                        

 

 

 

ITINERARY

 

DAY ONE

 

NARDO - SALENTO AREA

 

Arrival at Bari airport and transfer to the beautiful small town of Nardò, an art city, rich in Baroque Palaces, towers, eclectic villas, castles, masserie, monumental gardens. Although Nardò keeps precious vestiges of its history, since the Messapic settlement, the Baroque Palaces and Churches are the main distinctive and fascinating traits of this still authentic Apulian small town, far from the crowd of Lecce. The Ionian sea with crystalline water, which encompasses the Park of Porto Selvaggio, is just 7 km away. The countryside, amid hundred-years old olive trees and expanses of vineyards, is dotted with masserie (farmhouses). The Nardò area is also home of the renowned Negroamaro wine. 

 

The accommodation in Nardò will be a 4 star historic Palace in the center of the town. This fascinating accommodation is a recently restructured Noble Palace which will give you the opportunity of staying in an elegant noble Palace, with impeccable service and amidst wonderful private gardens, roof top terraces with an enchanting view of the historic center. 

 

Dinner on your own this evening.

 

 

DAY TWO

 

LECCE  


In the morning we will enjoy a private excursion to Lecce, just 20 km away, where you will meet our guide for a walking tour throughthe historic center. The local sandstone, tinged a warm pink, is so easy to work with that it fostered the rise of a local style (Leccese baroque) as ornate and intricate as any the world has seen. More than the architects, it was the local stone masons who left their mark on this city, crowding its buildings with fanciful cherubs, monsters, flowers, fruits, beauties and beasts. Far off the beaten track for most of Italy's art-loving visitors, Lecce sits on the southeast tip of Italy's boot, waiting to stupefy us with its little-known magnificence.

 

Time at leisure and transfer back to Nardò. On the way to Nardò you will stop for the visit of a hidden masterpiece in Galatina renowned for its exquisite church of Santa Caterina d’Alessandria with its medieval frescoes.   

 

Dinner on your own.

 

DAY THREE

 
OTRANTO, CHEESE FARM & WINE ESTATE

 

Today you will have a private excursion by car and English speaking driver to Otranto, the most eastern point of Italy, where you will meet your guide, touring the most wonderful places of the Salento area. You will be marveled by old centuries olive groves, the red fields and the many small Baroque villages so rich of art treasures. Otranto, also called "The Door to the Oriental", offers its visitors the Cathedral that was finished and opened to prayer in 1088. It is considered the biggest church in Puglia. Otranto is also home to the Aragonese castle with its towers, bastions and fortified walls.                

 

Then you will visit a cheese factory. The location of this farm is enchanting and an unforgettable experience : an ancient tower overlooking the sea (starting from the VIII century AD, the threat of the Saracens forced the Manor houses to create defensive structures as walls and towers), large groves where more than a thousand sheep graze. Here you will enjoy a visit and demonstration of mozzarella, ricotta and cheese making, followed by a cheese tasting and a light lunch in the farm where we will taste local products such as ham, salami, capocollo, local cheeses, “friselle” with tomato.                                                                                                                                                                             

 

In the afternoon we will drive through the enchanting Salento landscape and we will visit a wine farm producing typical Apulian award winning wines such as Metiusco, Albarossa, white Salento IGT - wine tasting and snacks.

 

Back to Nardò and dinner on your  own.          
 

DAY FOUR

 

NARDO, COOKING CLASS, OLIVE OIL & WINE

 

Today you will enjoy truly special experiences. In the morning you will have a hands on cooking class with a chef in a private villa just a few km from Nardò city center in the Cenate area. By private car and driver you will reach the Cenate area characterized by a sequence of eclectic private villas immersed in lush Mediterranean parks and Italian gardens. A unique area that, in a few km, concentrates about forty splendid suburban residences, mainly built between the 1700s and the early 1900s. The oldest nucleus of villas develops around the Portoselvaggio Regional Park, the green heart of the vast and rich territory of Nardò, a place where - between the rows of Negroamaro and Malvasia - the original wine vocation is perpetuated with renewed vigor and excellent results. Sober and elegant houses with Baroque references give way to sumptuous villas in neoclassical, neo-Gothic and Moorish styles. They stand out for their bright plasters, harmonious lines, scenic stairways and rich textures in Lecce stone. 

 

You will have your private hands on cooking class in one of these villas, followed by lunch. After lunch our English speaking driver will lead you to a historic winery producing the best Negramaro wine and an excellent extra virgin oil.

 

Transfer back to Nardò. Dinner on your own.  

 

 

 

 

DAY FIVE

 


OSTUNI & ALBEROBELLO - WINE FARM

 

Today you will leave the Salento area and drive North : you will visit two jewels of Apulia - Ostuni and Alberobello. Ostuni, this city of art, is certainly one of the most beautiful cities of Apulia. It is situated on the latest Murge (the hills of Apulia). The white color of the houses that form the historical center is due to lime, which for centuries has been used for painting the walls of the village. White City is another name for Ostuni.  Alberobello - its characteristic center includes the Monti district, comprising 1030 trulli on a hillside; it has some of the oldest buildings still preserving the original features of construction. The trulli are white dry-stone houses with conical roofs made of lapidary stones. Inside, the trulli have a square central room connecting with the other rooms of the house via arches.

 

You will visit a renowned winery in Locorotondo. This wine tour is a short journey through every step of the wine making process: the vineyards, the cellars, up to the packaging point. We will taste Negramaro doc, Salice Salentino doc, Primonero Salento igt.

 

Then you will reach your 4 star accommodation in Ostuni.

 

Dinner on your own.           

                 

 

DAY SIX

 

POLIGNANO A MARE & MONOPOLI

 

Today you will have a full day excursion to two enchanting sea side villages : Polignano a Mare and Monopoli. You will have time at leisure to explore. Polignano, a small village located on the coast between Bari and Brindisi, featuring a lively, untouched historic center characterized by the many balconies with breathtaking sea views and the white walls of the houses. Polignano a Mare is also home to one of Italy’s most photographed beach, a pebbly cove sitting below the Lama Monachile bridge. For the best views, in the old town find La Balconata sul Mare.

 

Monopoli, just along the coast from Polignano a Mare, is a quiet medieval port town with a sandy beach. Enjoy a stroll along the promenade while admiring the traditional blue fishing boats bobbing in the Porto Vecchio harbour and the Castle built on the promontory overlooking the sea.

 

Back to Ostuni. Dinner on your own. 

 

DAY SEVEN

 

MATERA


Today you will have a full day private excursion to Matera, where you will meet our guide. Matera, a remote and timeless corner of Italy, now regenerated, remains one of the Europe’s hidden gems. The old Matera called “ I Sassi “ is a maze of caves, churches — some dating back to Roman times — zigzagging steps and stone facades carved from a massive slope of yellowed tufa. This unique town of stone houses, a group of renowned cave buildings set in the Gravina Valley is a UNESCO Wolrd Heritage Site. Matera has been home to communities from the Stone Age to the Bronze Age. In more recent times it was a monastic settlement and a center of a vibrant peasant culture which made its living in the surrounding hills and plains. The city’s unique landscape is characterized by a series of caves excavated into the rocks.

 

Afternoon at leisure and transfer back to Ostuni.

 

DAY EIGHT                                                                                                                                                                                                      

 

DEPARTURE

 

Private transfer to Bari airport.       

 

*The schedule of the itinerary may change due to holidays, weather, festivals, etc.

 



GROUP SIZE

 

A minimum of 2 participants is required to run this tour and the tour is limited to a maximum of 12 participants.

 

(The number of participants refers to how many persons are required to run the tour, not to how many persons you must have in your party. Please inquire.)

 

 

 

HOW TO ARRIVE

 

Distance from Bari airport to Nardò  : 175 km (108.7 miles) - 2 hoursby car
Distance from Brindisi airport to Nardò  : 62 km (38. miles) - 45 minutesby car


DEPARTURE

Distance from Ostuni to Bari airport  : 83 km (51.5 miles) - 1 hourby car
Distance from Ostuni  to Brindisi airport: 39 km (24.2 miles) - 35 minutesby car

 

 

*These details are provided as additional information. Please check below to see if transfers are included in this tour.

 

 

 

BOOKING INFORMATION

 

 

For further inquiries or to register, click here.

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CANCELLATION POLICY 

 

Please contact us for cancellation policy information. Travel insurance is highly recommended.

 

 

 

CLIENT REMARKS

 

Furnished upon request. 

 

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MAP*

This exciting region is depicted below. You can also access Google MapsTM by clicking HERE

 

 

*In some cases mapping may give clients a general sense of location due to changes in venue. Please inquire about specific location.

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THE FLAVOURS OF TUSCANY

"Dear Jo-Ann - We just had the most amazing week. It was everything we could have hoped for and more. We are already planning a "make your own pasta party" at our house to introduce friends to the very unique flavours we tried and made! Jo-Ann, the others who came through Active Gourmet - Ed, Cathy and Kelly were all very complimentary about the service they had received from you, as were we. I was hugely impressed with your immediate attention to every detail and I will certainly recommend friends to your website if they are considering similar trips to ours." - Joneen and Ray S., Auckland, New Zealand

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