2024: Available as a Private Tour for 6 or more Travelers

Ready to head to Italy but mass tourism isn’t your idea of fun travel? Than benvenuti to Puglia! 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. This is a full immersion experience with local culture, but without mass tourism!

A combined tour that not only explores the cuisine of Puglia, but also the culture, history and traditions. 


  • 8 days/7 nights accommodation in 4* hotel in Lecce
  • Daily breakfast, most lunches, 2 group dinners
  • Private ground transportation throughout the week
  • Visits to Lecce, Galatina, Gallipoli, Bari, Alberobello, Ostuni, Cisternino and Matera in nearby Basilicata
  • Guided city tours throughout the week
  • Hands-on cooking classes with lunch and wine included
  • 1 cheese experience at a local cheese farm
  • Street food tour in Bari with guided tour
  • 1 olive oil farm experience
  • wine tasting in Lecce at an “enoteca” paired with local foods
  • Learn to make orecchiette pasta with a local
  • Tasting of local Pasticcioso Leccese​​


  • Airfare / Flights (Folks should fly into Brindisi Airport). 
  • Transfer from / to airport
  • ​Tips / gratuities for guides, instructors and drivers  
  • Travel Insurance: As of 2023, we will require everyone traveling with us to carry some form of Travel Insurance. Click here for info. 

Day 1 - Welcome to Puglia! Arrival with Welcome Drinks & Dinner

Welcome to Puglia! Arrive and check in your 4* hotel in Lecce! Settle in, unpack and get to know your home base for the week.

For our first evening together, we will enjoy a welcome drink at our favorite wine bar with dear friends, 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 - Guided Tour of Lecce & Hands-on Orecchiette 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 and getting to know our home base.

At the end of our walk, we will head towards the cooking school for our cooking class where we will prepare a local favorite, orecchiette pasta. Learn about the traditional ear-shaped pasta and how it became a specialty of this region. After class, we will enjoy a light lunch with wine and get to know my dear local friends!

You’ll have the late afternoon and evening to stroll the lovely streets of Lecce.

Day 3 - Authentic Pasticciotto Tasting in Gallipoli + Seaside Lunch in 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 for some time on your own.

Day 4 - Winery Visit & Visit to Olive Oil Mill in Ostuni

Our experiential day begins with a visit to a well known winery in northern Salento. After sampling the local wines, we move towards Ostuni, where we will get a listen on how to properly taste olive oil. Yes, there is a special way! After our oil tasting lesson, we sit down to enjoy a lovely lunch on the property.

After lunch, we will walk off our calories during a guided walk in the lovely town in Ostuni, known as the “white city” for its impeccably clean white stone walls.

​We return to Lecce in the late afternoon to spend the rest of the day at your leisure.

Day 5 - Day Trip to Bari with Shopping Time, & Time on Your Own in Polignano a Mare

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! 

After Bari, we visit another jewel of Puglia, Polignano a Mare. Enjoy some time on your own wondering the little streets and alleys of this majestic little seaside town.

Return to Lecce in the afternoon for time on your own. 

Day 6 - Day Trip to the Magical Villages of Alberobello, with Lunch on Location + Visit to 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 Cisternino, capturing the many details of its all white stones-style houses. Lunch will be enjoyed at a local trattoria.

Day 7 - Visit to Matera in Nearby Basilicata + Group Farewell Dinner

Today, we leave Puglia for a day trip you’re sure to remember! Today we visit Matera, a UNESCO world heritage site since 1993. A popular destination for film crews, this town is known as the city of rocks, rich in caves, history, and even delicious food. We will enjoy both a cultural tour, as well as enjoy local foods along the way.

​In the evening, we will enjoy a final celebration dinner.

Day 8 - Breakfast at the Hotel Before Checking Out

Our time together has come to a close, enjoy a leisurely breakfast at the hotel before checking out.

Price & Details

​8 Days / 7 Nights
For 2024 this tour is available for private groups of 6 or more. Modifications can be made to itinerary for all private tours.

Inquire below for pricing and details. The above is a sample itinerary.

Francesca Montillo, Native Italian, Owner and Tour Leader Accompanies all Activities​​. Contact Francesca at 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.

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