Active Gourmet Holidays
Active Gourmet Holidays

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(Option: Customized Itineraries)
Apulia (Puglia), Italy -  9 nights
Available year round (excluding July and August)
 

Puglia should be on every foodie's bucket list! This is a region rich in everything from delectable wines, golden olive oil, fresh homemade pasta and gorgeous cheeses to beautiful landscapes, stunning villages and must-see sites. This ten day tour takes you to the area's magical towns including Ostuni, Alberobello, Martina Franca and the UNESCO World Heritage site of the "sassi' in Matera in the neighboring Basilicata region. Too long of a tour? We can customize to make it shorter and to fit anyone's budget.


You will discover Apulia through an insider's lens - cooking with local women, making burrata with a local cheese maker at his farm, visiting a local olive oil estate for an oil tasting, participating in the local traditon of "fornello" and learning how traditional breads are made in this delicious southwest part of Italy. 

 

This will be a foodie expereince you will not soon forget!  

 

 

ITINERARY

 

DAY ONE

 

BENVENUTI IN PUGLIA!

 

Transfer and check-in to your hotel in Monopoli/Fasano.

 

Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure. 

 

Meals Included: Dinner

  

DAY TWO

 

FREE MORNING & ADVENTURES IN THE PUGLIESE KITCHEN

 

Enjoy your morning wandering around the lovely town of Monopoli.

 

This afternoon you will be immersed in the strong culinary traditions and the local, seasonal ingredients of the region. Get hands-on in helping to prepare the meal. As you chop vegetables and make the pasta, our local chef will share with you secrets of local dishes and ancient techniques of Southern Italian cooking.

 

After the lesson, sit down around the table and enjoy the beautiful meal you have created along with local Pugliese wine! 

 

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

 

DAY THREE

 

BARI VECCHIA, SEA CAVES & ARTISANAL GELATO

 

This morning we will shuttle you to visit the enchanting old part of the city known as Bari Vecchia made up of a labyrinth of small, winding roads. You will feel as though you have wandered into a storybook. Here we will see the twelfth century Norman Swabian castle, the Basilica of St. Nicholas and the local ladies who still make pasta by hand, sitting outside their houses. You will be amazed at their speed as they rapidly prepare the fresh pasta – most often orecchiette which is the small ear-shaped pasta typical of Puglia. 

 

Next we are off to the striking cliff top town of Polignano a Mare (which hosts the annual Red Bull Cliff Diving Championship). Weather permitting you will visit the dramatic sea caves by boat (a modern skiff) and imagine the many centuries of smugglers who used the caves. The town itself is a real must-see. Enjoy a tasting some of the delicious artisan gelato for which the town is famous. Back to your hotel and evening at leisure. 

  

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

 

 

DAY FOUR

  

MILLENARY OLIVE GROVE & OSTUNI (THE "WHITE TOWN") 

 

This morning travel to the olive plains of central Puglia to discover one of Puglia’s most important treasures: olive oil! Start with a short hike overlooking the extensive olive plains then visit an ancient olive oil estate, home to some of the oldest and most magnificent olive trees in the world. Walk the beautiful grounds of the estate and of course enjoy some olive oil tasting. 

 

For lunch, we have prepared an exclusive dining experience in the heart of the olive grove, a truly memorable moment. Lastly visit the nearby white city of Ostuni – an imposing citadel known as La Città Bianca.  The tiny winding streets of the oldest quarter are known by the Arabic term the “Casbah” and certainly look more Greek or eastern than the stereotypical piazzas of northern Italy.

 

Rest of the day at leisure. 

 

Meals included: Breakfast, Picnic Lunch 

 

DAY FIVE

 

BURRATA MAKING, TRULLI HOUSES, ITRIA VALLEY WONDERS & "FORNELLO" DINNER

 

Today you are off to discover the secrets of cheese-making in the ancient traditions of Puglia. You will meet a local cheese artisan at his farm, where he will demonstrate the art of making fresh burrata and will let you try twisting a knot of mozzarella or two!

 

Following we will go in search of Puglia’s famous trulli houses. These cone shaped dwellings are unique to the region and in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Alberobello, and you will see a concentration of over 1,000 trulli houses. Our expert guide and local superstar will bring the history of this picturesque town to life.

 

Next explore the town of Martina Franca – a must-see town for its marvelously intact historic center, beautiful Baroque architecture, and stunning palazzi; a jewel splendidly positioned on the hillside with wonderful panoramic views across the Itria Valley.

 

Next stop at stunning Locorotondo - nicknamed “città del vino” for its excellent dry white spumante (sparkling) wine made from local Verdeca grapes. In Locorotondo, you can meander the atmospheric alleyways bedecked with geraniums and citrus plants.

 

This evening drive to the charming hilltop town of Cisternino: for dinner you will take part in the local tradition of "fornello pronto" where local butcher shops transform into restaurants and serve excellent grilled meat. 

 

Meals included: Breakfast, Tasting Lunch, Dinner 

 

DAY SIX

 

OLD BAKERY TRADITIONS & AMAZING MATERA

 

Today visit the town of Altamura where you will stop at a DOP bread producer for an inside look at how the traditional breads of the region are made. Here you will be welcomed into the bakery where the techniques and secrets for making these special breads will be revealed. The visit will conclude with a tasting of the bread and some incredible focaccia. 

 

 
Next move to the nearby UNESCO site of Matera. Meet up with our guide for an in-depth visit of this unique and ancient city perched high on a beautiful hillside and only recently seen by foreign eyes. Our expert guide will lead you on a walking tour of the ‘sassi’, ancient cave dwellings restored for current use as homes and shops. Enjoy lunch at a cave restaurant. 

 

Back to your hotel and rest of the day at leisure. 

 

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

 

DAY SEVEN

 


CERAMICS OF GROTTAGLIE, WINES OF PUGLIA & BAROQUE LECCE

 


After check-out journey to Grottaglie, the famous centre for incredible ceramics. Due to the excellent natural clay found nearby, this ancient town has been a haven for talented potters for thousands of years. In the Ceramics district you can visit several workshops and hugely tempting showrooms! 

 

Then visit one of Puglia’s most renowned wineries. After a fascinating tour with the vineyard’s expert oenologist, you will be treated to a private wine tasting over-looking the aging barrels of wine.

 

Next we move south to Lecce. Known as the ‘Florence of the South’, the city hosts amazing Baroque masterpieces and treasures of Italy. Our guide will meet you at your hotel reception and take you on a fascinating and detailed walking tour of this city rich in history, architecture and culture. From the Roman amphitheater to the noble palazzi, the city is just brimming with imposing sites.

 

Check-in at your hotel in Lecce and evening at leisure. 

 

Meals included: Breakfast, Tasting Lunch

 
 
DAY EIGHT
 


WONDERS OF SALENTO

 
Today you are headed to Gallipoli to visit this renowned old center on the Ionian Coast. Known as the pearl of the Ionian, the name of the town means “beautiful city” in Greek and it is easy to see why. Cross the 16th century bridge to visit the historical city center located on a limestone island off of the mainland. Gallipoli is famous for its incredible seafood. Explore the seafood market before enjoying a delicious seafood lunch. On the way, stop in Galatina to explore the Basilica di Santa Caterina d’Alessandria where you will see frescoes depicting biblical stories, including the life and passion of Christ and the martyrdom of Santa Caterina. The town is also known for its pastries and we will make sure you will try some of the famous “pasticiotto leccese”.

 

Following we head to Otranto where our guide will take you to see the Aragonese Castle and the Cathedral, consecrated in 1088, which hosts an astonishing mosaic floor known as the “Tree of Life” depicting images from religions around the world. Skulls, bones, and relics of the Martyrs of Otranto, who perished in the 15th century siege, surround the high altar. Time for another gelato before returning back to Lecce for an evening at leisure. 

 

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

 

 
DAY NINE
 


SALENTINE COOKING


In the morning meet a local chef to visit the simple food market at Porta Rudiae, to buy produce for today’s cooking class. From there we take a short walk to her beautiful cooking school in the heart of Lecce’s old city. She will share the secrets of the region’s culinary traditions while you get hands-on in making a delicious 4-course lunch. The course lasts 2-3 hours, plus lunch time. Buon appetito! 

 

Afternoon at your leisure for packing and some last shopping and dinner on your own. 

 

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

 

 
DAY TEN

 

ARRIVEDERCI PUGLIA!

 

Breakfast at the hotel and check-out. 

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

*Menus are samples and may vary according to the season
 

 



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 - 49 miles/1 hour
Distance from Brindisi airport - 33 miles/40 minutes

 

*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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HOMESTYLE TUSCAN COOKING 

Hi Jo-Ann - We wanted to let you know that we had an AMAZING time at the cooking school. My mother and I could not have had a better time. Paola and Simonetta were such wonderful hosts and teachers. We were treated like family. The house and property were beautiful. The hands-on cooking classes were so much fun...we learned so many great recipes that I cannot wait to test on my friends back home. I will definitely be recommending this experience to all of my friends and colleagues. Thank you so much for all of your help in setting up this once-in-a-lifetime dream vacation. It is something neither one of us will ever forget!

 

Best, Erin S. and Flor V.,
New York, New York

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