(Option: Customized Itineraries)
Apulia, Italy - 5 nights
Available year round
This enchanting region of southern Italy is a destination that you do not want to miss. It is located in the south eastern tip of the Italian peninsula and forms the "heel" of the boot of Italy. Apulia (or "Puglia" in Italian) is one of the richest archaelogical regions in Italy. During this five night stay, you will stay in two 4 star accommodations. One hotel is located in a small village and the other is a historic mansion in the Salento region, the southernmost area. You will be able to experience the area through guided visits to points of interest and of course you will be immersed in the area by indulging in the delicious cuisine this area offers through cooking classes and tastings of local products.
You will see the famous "Trulli" white dry stone conical roofs in the Itria valley, you will visit authentic masserias (working farms), you will have a walking tour of the Salento area, and you will experience two cooking classes with professional chefs as well as visiting a cheese farm and olive farm. You will also see the biggest church in Puglia, in the most eastern part of Italy.
This tour provides you with enough discovery of the region but also allows you some free time to explore the many restaurants and trattorias with also some relaxation time. So, treat yourself to another part of Italy that will surpise you with all it has to offer!
Polignano a Mare
Arrival at Bari or Brindisi Airport and private transfer to the enchanting village of Polignano a Mare, a small village located on the coast between Bari and Brindisi. This village features a lively, untouched historic center characterized by the many balconies with breathtaking sea views and the white walls of the houses.
Accommodation will be at a beautiful 4 star hotel, built on the rocks overlooking the sea and featuring private terraces with a breathtaking view of the sea and of the rocks which characterize the village.
Dinner will be at the gourmet restaurant of the hotel.
Cooking Class at the Masseria & Working Farms
Pick up from your hotel for an excursion which will be an immersion into the world of the Apulian working farms ("masserias"). You will first visit a Masseria where you will meet the owners and you will harvest vegetables and fruits that you will use during your cooking lesson in the afternoon. You will taste the best authentic gastronomic products such as Taralli, home-made bread, local cheeses and cold cuts.
Then we will drive to another Masseria where you will have your hands on cooking lesson, held by two professional chefs. You will experiment and prepare some of the typical Apulian recipes, using some products collected in the morning (you will prepare a typical tasty menu including : doughnut with small tomatoes and “ricotta forte”, pasta with the local traditional pesto (ricotta, almonds and baked tomatoes), vegetable quiche with gratinée vegetables, typical cake filled with cream and black cherries). Dinner will be in the enchanting courtyard of the Masseria.
Transfer back to Polignano.
The Itria Valley – Alberobello, Ostuni and Martina Franca
Pick up from your hotel for a full day excursion by car and English speaking driver throughout the enchanted landscape of the Itria Valley, pointed by centuries old white Trulli, visit Alberobello, Ostuni and the surprising Baroque village of Martina Franca.
We will first visit Alberobello, the capital of the Trulli and Unesco World Heritage site since 1996 thanks to the artistic and historic heritage present here. In Alberobello we will meet our private guide, for a guided walk through the neighborhoods of ‘Aia Piccola’ and ‘Rione Monti’ comprising 1030 Trulli on a hillside, which features 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 communicating with the other rooms of the house via arches.
Time at leisure for lunch. Then we will drive together with our private guide throughout the Itria Valley and we will stop for a visit of the enchanting untouched villages of Martina Franca and Ostuni. The Baroque village of Martina Franca is a must-see town famous for its marvelous, intact historic center and for the Baroque architecture and the stunning Palaces. It’s a true jewel positioned on a hillside with wonderful panoramic view across the Itria Valley.
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) and 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.
Transfer back to Polignano, enjoy a walk through the lively historic center where you will find so many great restaurants and trattorias. Dinner and evening on your own.
Apulia Cheeses & Lecce
In the early morning we will visit a cheese farm producing some of the best Apulian cheeses such as burrata, mozzarella, ricotta, caciocavallo cheese. You will learn about the dairy products preparation, taking part to the full process of how milk turns into cheese, followed by the preparation of mozzarella and ricotta, and of course a final cheese tasting will follow together with the lunch at the Farmhouse.
Private transfer to Lecce with accommodation at a 4 star historic Mansion in the historic center of Lecce (in the Salento area). This luxury accommodation is a recently restructured Noble Palace dating back to 1550, which will give you the opportunity to stay in an elegant noble Palace with impeccable service and amidst wonderful private gardens, roof top terraces with an enchanting view on the historic center and the underground wine cellar.
The Salento area 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. Salento was a land of conquest with the passing of the Greeks, the Byzantines and the Barbarian pirates, there each of those cultures left some signs, and it’s a part of the Magna Grecia, the 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. 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.
In the afternoon you will meet your private guide for a walking tour through the historic center.
Dinner on your own this evening.
Otranto, Specchia and Cooking Lesson
This morning we will meet our professional chef in Lecce. We will walk to the fruit and vegetable market to buy fresh seasonal vegetables, then we will return to the school, located in a historic baroque Palace in the center of Lecce, for the hands on cooking lesson. We will prepare some typical first courses such as Orecchiette (local hand-made pasta) with some different typical sauces : homemade tomato sauce, broccoli rabe, ricotta forte cheese (local fermented ricotta cheese), eggplants; hand – made Sagne 'ncannulate (short homemade tagliatelle-shaped pasta) with tomato sauce and cacio ricotta cheese, small meatballs, or with pork rinds. The second dish will be a fish or meat recipe. Lunch will follow your private lesson.
In the afternoon we will drive through the enchanting Salento landscape and we will visit Otranto, also called "The Door to the Oriental", the most eastern point of Italy. Otranto 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 we will visit the small untouched villages of Specchia (one of the most beautiful villages in Italy) and Ruffano. You will be stupefied by the enchanting Baroque Palaces of these small perfectly preserved villages.
Overnight in Lecce.
Private transfer to Bari or Brindisi Airport.
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 Polignano a Mare : 38 km ( 23.6 miles ) - 40 minutes by car
Distance from Brindisi airport to Polignano a Mare : 80 km ( 49.7 miles ) - 1 hour by car
*These details are provided as additional information. Please check below to see if transfers are included in this tour.
*Please inquire about lower pricing based on 4 or more persons
*Pricing may vary depending on market fluctuation
After availability is confirmed, a 30% per person deposit and the completed and submitted registration form will secure your reservation. Final payment is due in full 75 days before your arrival date.
Available year round based on availability.
*Three (3) nights' accommodation at a 4 star hotel in Polignano a Mare, superior sea view room, breakfast included
*Two (2) nights' accommodation at a 4 star historic Palace in Lecce, deluxe room, breakfast included
*Transfers and private excursions by luxury car and English speaking driver
*One (1) hands on cooking lesson and dinner (Day 2, drinks included)
*One (1) hands on cooking lesson and lunch (Day 5, drinks included at both cooking lessons)
*Visit to the cheese farm and tasting (Day 4)
*Full day private guides on Day 3 and 5, half day private guide on Day 4
*One (1) dinner (Day 1, drinks not included)
*Two (2) lunches (Day 2 and Day 4, drinks included)
Airfare, personal expenses, meals not mentioned above are not included
For further inquiries or to register, click here.
Please contact us for cancellation policy information. Travel insurance is highly recommended.
Furnished upon request.