“I love places that have an incredible history. I love the Italian way of life. I love the food. I love the people. I love the attitudes of Italians.” – Elton John
PUGLIA September 19 - 26, 2023
Full immersion in local culture, without the mass tourism!
A combined tour that explores not only cuisine, but also culture, history and tradition
City tour of Lecce, with highlights at: Piazza Duomo, Piazza Sant’Oronzo, Anfiteatro Romano, La Via dei Palazzi di Lecce, Porta Napoli
Wine lesson in local enoteca
Day trip to Galatina and Gallipoli
Street food tour in Bari
Seaside lunch with the most majestic view
3 Hands-on Cooking lessons in various locations with locals
Visit to Alberobello and Ostuni to see the famous cone-shaped homes
A perfect blend of guided time and time to explore on your own
Overview Ready to head to Italy but mass tourism isn't your idea of fun travel? Than benvenuti to Puglia, the country's least exploited region! Come visit before word gets out that this region will surely be the next Tuscany! Hundreds of miles of golden beaches with azure water, a breathtaking combination of whitewashed hilltop villages and the Baroque beauty of cities such as Lecce are just some of the highlights of Puglia. All combined with some of the simplest and tastiest food in Italy. This trip has been designed especially to immerse you in the local culture. Every day you’ll explore a part of the region and discover its incredible beauty, architecture, sacred sites, characteristic historic towns, locals and of course, plenty of food and wine. Puglia is the ideal backdrop for a relaxing experience and a rustic-chic holiday to remember. Come discover Puglia’s many small towns and villages, a treasure trove of lifestyle, art, architecture, history, design and culture. Simply relax and soak in Puglia’s simple, laid back way of life. Enjoy the landscape, the food, and the warm hospitality of the locals. It is that special beauty that makes it clear that you are absolutely nowhere else but Puglia.
No trip to Puglia is complete without a visit to Alberobello
The group and I enjoying a welcome glass of vino in Lecce.
Day 1 - Arrival & Welcome Dinner
Welcome to Puglia! For our first evening together, we will enjoy a welcome drink before heading towards a delicious welcome dinner in the historic town center savoring traditional culinary delights of Puglia and Lecce. During dinner, we will introduce ourselves, get to know each other, and discuss the week ahead.
Day 2 - Market Visit & Cooking Class Today we explore the town of Lecce, capital of Baroque art. A walk through the magnificent elegance of Lecce will be a great way of discovering the city of Baroque and lifestyle, before heading to the market to purchase our ingredients for our first hands-on cooking class.
At the end of our walk, we will head towards the cooking school for our cooking class utilizing the products we just purchased. After working for our meal, we will enjoy a leisurely sit down lunch in a very charismatic location.
You'll have the late afternoon and evening to stroll the lovely streets of Lecce.
Enjoying a typical pasticciotto at the places where they were born, Pasticceria Ascalone in Galatina.
Day 3 - Gallipoli & Galatina Today, we explore two fascinating towns of the Salento peninsula: Galatina with its elegant flair, and Gallipoli, meaning "beautiful city." Well, it does live up to its name! We start with Galatina, a small and elegant hidden gem and home to the delicious pasticciotto and taranta traditional music. Then we move to Gallipoli, the beautiful city of greek origins with a Mediterranean style, a fishing village on the coast and a very scenic Old Town center, built on an island now connected to the mainland by a bridge. Both quaint and very unique to stroll through their maze of alleys and beautiful streets, this will give us the opportunity to walk off our upcoming "pranzo."
Lunch awaits us in the town of fishermen with a stunning seaside view.
Return to Lecce in late afternoon.
Grab your apron for our cooking class with the locals!
Day 4 - Cooking Lesson with Local Nonnas Today, we get out the aprons and head to the kitchen for our Pugliese cooking lesson.
Our experiential day begins with the visit of a “frantoio,” where olive oil is made and where we learn how to taste the quality of real olive oil. We will later immerse ourselves in the local food culture of “cucina povera” with local moms. Under their guidance, we will prepare a delightful menu and tasting all of your preparations along the way. A delicious lunch is sure to be savored by all.
We return to Lecce in the mid afternoon to spend the rest of the day at your leisure.
Get your aprons ready for cooking!
Day 5 - Full Immersion Culinary Experience Today is sure to be a delight as we spend the full day in a wonderful masseria for a delicious cooking class, olive oil and wine tasting experience, with a complete meal to follow and enjoyed under the Pugliese sun. The farmers will lead us to the heart of true Apulian cuisine, the bran and flour, as we learn to prepare a local pasta dough for preparing the local orecchiette and cavatelli pasta. Learn anecdotes related to the tradition and history of these local shapes. We will also stroll the farm, reaching vineyards and thousands of olive trees connected to the local production of wine and olive oil. We will have the opportunity to taste these products and learn how they differ from similar products produced outside of Puglia. An experience and destination that is sure to leave an impression.
With the trulli of Alberobello behind us, we're ready to take on the day!
Day 6 - Alberobello, Ostuni & Cisternino Make sure your camera is charged today as an adventure awaits us! Today we pack our bags as we go towards the fairy-tale like Puglian villages. Nowhere else in the world will you find such unique towns of charming, narrow streets where the inhabitants live in "trulli," small conical-roofed houses and picturesque white washed stones. These are unusual little towns indeed. We will also enjoy a photo walk tour of Ostuni, capturing the many details of its all white stones-style houses. Lunch will be enjoyed at a local trattoria.
After lunch, we will stop at the memorable town of Cisternino for a short walk among the this famed small town.
The streets of Bari are sure to be picture worthy.
Day 7 - Bari Street Food Tour Today we head north and visit the town of Bari for not only a city tour, but a combination cultural and street food!
Arrive in Bari for a walking tour in its charming town, filled with customs and traditions. Our guide will take us for a leisurely stroll over the town, where we will not only learn about this important town's history, but also its food culture. We will chat with the local fishermen and with the women who make fresh pasta by hand while sitting outdoors, in front of the door of their houses.We will stop to taste typical local products, prepared by hand according to ancient traditions such capocollo, taralli, jarred tomatoes in oil, of course, gelato. After our group time, you can enjoy some time on your own wandering the lanes and alleys and shops!
Day 8 - Check-Out Our time in Puglia is sadly coming to an end.
After breakfast, you will be transferred to Brindisi airport.
*Day to day specifics subject to change*
PRICE, INCLUSIONS, EXCLUSIONS
7 nights accommodation in Lecce
Daily breakfast, most lunches, 3 group dinners
Private ground transportation throughout the week
Visits to Lecce, Galatina, Gallipoli, Bari, Alberobello, Ostuni, Cisternino
Guided market visit
3 hands-on cooking classes with lunch and wine included
1 cheese experience at a local cheese farm
2 wine tastings
Street food tour in Bari
1 olive oil farm experience
1 wine tasting in Lecce at an “enoteca” paired with local foods
Airfare / Flights
Tips / gratuities for guides, instructors and drivers (Appox. 150 USD or Euros for the week)
Hotel incidentals such as phone calls, mini bars and other amenities
Travel Insurance: As of 2023, we will require everyone traveling with us to carry some form of Travel Insurance.Click here for info.
Anything not listed in the inclusions above
Price & Details 8 Days / 7 Nights $4,700 USD Per Person for Double Occupancy / Single Supplement is $1,000 USD. $1,700 USD Non-Refundable Deposit is required to secure your spot.
Francesca Montillo, Native Italian, Owner and Tour Leader Accompanies all Activities Contact Francesca at email@example.com for booking/reservation and further details.
If you would like to reserve a spot for this tour, or have any questions, please use the contact form below and we will send you the necessary booking instructions or additional information.