Relish The Healthy Mediterranean Cuisine
Saturday – Arrival in Bari and a welcome dinnerYour beautiful hotel in the Bari city center will be our meeting point for the tour.
In the late afternoon, we will gather in the lobby for a welcome aperitif inside the beautiful Italian cafe.
We’ll enjoy traditional dishes for dinner at a classic trattoria in “Bari Vecchia,” the old heart of the city.
Sunday – Tour of Bari, orecchiette, and a guided visit through Alberobello
Sunday morning will begin with a guided rickshaw tour of this capital of the Puglia region. We’ll watch women in the streets making strascinati and orecchiette, two typical pastas of the area. You’ll be amazed at how fast they make these foods!
After our city tour, we will have lunch at our hotel terrace with an incredible view of the city center. We will then drive toward the Murgia area, close to Alberobello, where we will be staying for the next four nights at an enchanting countryside resort.
Once we have checked into our rooms, we will drive to Alberobello. This small town is the capital of Trulli (which are small, white buildings with conic roofs that are unique just to this region in Italy and are a UNESCO World Heritage Site). We will have a guided visit of the Trulli followed by dinner at an inviting restaurant in the area.
Monday – Visit an olive oil mill, tour Martina Franca and Locorotondo, and Fornello dinner in Cisternino
In the morning, we will visit a local olive oil mill that has been operated by the same family for almost 100 years. Piero will teach us everything we need to know about olive oil, and we will taste some of their best oils produced at the mill. We will then visit the elegant little town of Martina Franca with an English-speaking guide where we will learn about the town’s baroque architecture. We’ll visit one of the producers of the town’s famous “Capocollo di Martina Franca,” salume that is lightly smoked with local herbs, and enjoy many other specialties there for lunch.
We will return to our resort after lunch for a short rest. Later in the afternoon, we will drive to Locorotondo, which is a jeweled hilltop town that is considered to have the best views of the Valley of Itria and Murgia.
Our day will end in Cisternino, another beautiful hill town with stunning views. We will indulge in the town’s traditional dinner, which is held at the butcher shop with an annexed wooden oven. You will choose between lamb, veal, or sausage that will be cooked “al Fornello” just for you. An experience you can only have in Cisternino!
Tuesday – Cheese making visit, cooking class, tour Monopoli, and enjoy a fish dinner in Polignano
The morning will begin with a visit to a nearby cheese producer where we will get to see the interesting process of making fresh mozzarella and other cheeses. We’ll return to our hotel and take a cooking class in the kitchen of the restaurant. With instruction from the chef, we’ll prepare a full menu of traditional Apulia dishes that we will enjoy for lunch.
Lunch will be followed by a nice stroll through Monopoli. Soon after, we will drive toward the enchanting seaside town of Polignano for a delicious fish dinner.
Wednesday – Gioia del Colle, visit a winery for wine tasting, and tour Altamura & Matera
Wednesday morning will begin with a drive toward Altamura with a stop in Gioia del Colle at a terrific winery to taste Primitivo and other indigenous wines. We will have lunch at the winery and then continue our drive to Altamura, a town famous for making one of the best breads in Italy. Here we will visit a 100-year-old bakery where you will see how bread, focaccia, and other delicacies of the region are made. Afterward, we’ll visit a beautiful nearby cathedral and observe the unique architecture.
We will arrive in Matera in the early afternoon. This city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is located in the Basilicata region that borders Puglia. The Sassi district is the ancient heart of this city and still has existing prehistoric dwellings from thousands of years ago that are carved out of the face of the calcareous rock. We will take a tour of the Sassi with an English-speaking guide to learn more about these fascinating dwellings.
Dinner will be served in Matera at a charming restaurant. Here we will enjoy food with different flavors that belong to the Basilicata region. After dinner, we will return to our hotel.
Thursday – Visit Ostuni and Brindisi, a wine tasting, tour Lecce, and enjoy a fish dinner
We will begin the day with a drive south to the Salento area, where Lecce is the most prominent city. We will make a stop in Ostuni, known as “the white town,” that is a gleaming white hilltop city with sun-bleached streets and cobbled alleyways. We’ll continue on toward Brindisi, where we will visit a winery for a tasting followed by a light lunch.
We will arrive in Lecce after lunch. This lively university town is considered one of the most interesting cities in the region for its typical seventeenth century architecture. It is often called the Florence of the South for its monuments, mansions, and ornate buildings. Our deluxe hotel in Lecce is very close to the city center, and we will stay here for the remaining two nights of our tour.
In the late afternoon, after we have settled into the hotel, we will enjoy aperitif in the Lecce city center followed by a delicious fish dinner.
Friday – Guided visit of Lecce and food market, a cooking class, and farewell dinner
Friday morning we will meet our guide for a tour of Lecce. We’ll visit the central food market and then have some free time when you can enjoy shopping and strolling in the lively city center. You’ll have lunch on your own during this time.
In the afternoon, we will have one last cooking class where we will create local specialties that we will delight in for our farewell dinner. This night you will get to sleep at a lovely five-star hotel.
Saturday – Departure Day
Departure after breakfast at the hotel.
Price per person
Euros 2860 – Single Supplement Euros 250
Included in the price:
• 1 night in beautiful four star hotel, breakfast included in Bari center
• 4 nights in charming relais in Alberobello area
• 2 nights in deluxe five star hotel, breakfast included in Lecce center
• 2 hands-on cooking lessons with English assistance
• 7 dinners (1 of which is after the cooking class)
• 5 lunches (1 of which is after the cooking class)
• all meals include selected regional wines, mineral water, coffee and digestivo
• guided tours of: Bari, Alberobello, Matera, Martina Franca, Locorotondo, Lecce
• Visit to an Olive oil mill and tasting
• Visit to two Wineries and tastings
• Visit to cheese producer with tasting
• Visit to capocollo di Martina Franca producer and tasting
• Visit to a bakery in Altamura and tasting
• Our recipe book in English
• Traditional Italian hand printed apron
• Private transfers on return from Lecce to Bari
• Private minivan with driver for all the excursions listed in the program
• Tour director English speaking throughout (Marcello or Raffaella)
• Flight ticket
• Personal expenses
• Everything not written in the program
• Cancellation travel insurance (that we highly recommend)
• Local taxes (city taxes)