Puglia Culinary Vacation

Puglia Culinary Vacation

Cook, eat, drink and discover this amazing “off-the-tourist-track” region at the heel of the boot in Southern Italy. This Puglia Culinary Vacation 7-night accommodations are at a gorgeous masseria restored into a luxury boutique hotel in Puglia’s southernmost province, Salento. They say Salento is “kissed” on both sides by the deepest blue of the Ionian Sea to the west and the Adriatic Sea to the east. Often called the “California of Italy” and referred to as “Tuscany without the crowds,” Salento boasts a cuisine based on the creativity of cucina povera (poor kitchen), grains, a variety of vegetables, local olive oil and seafood. The countryside is an endless stretch of olive trees and blue skies. Salento’s capital is the baroque beauty of Lecce, and your masseria is located just minutes from the sea and the city of Lecce.

This delicious food and wine lover’s journey is specially designed to completely immerse you in the culture, lifestyle and traditions of the people through its food. You will meet, cook eat and drink with many friendly locals that love sharing their culture and food with guests. Enjoy EXCLUSIVE access and “behind-the-scenes” entrance inside professional kitchens and homes of locals. This will be a truly local and memorable experience where you’ll go home having made many new Pugliese friends!

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DATES AND PRICING

2017 Vacation Dates:

  • October 14 – 21, 2017

2018 Vacation Dates:

  • April 14 – 21, 2018

Vacation Price:
$3,790 per person (based upon double occupancy)
Single room supplement: $600

Maximum Group Size: 12 people

MAKE THIS A PRIVATE GROUP VACATION: This vacation is also availabile for private-group bookings from 4 – 12 people throughout the year.
 

BOOKING AND PAYMENT:

  • To secure you spot on the trip, a non-refundable deposit of $1,250 per person is required.
  • The remaining balance is due 90 days prior to vacation start date.
  • You can make payments by credit card, bank transfer, or check.

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ALL THIS IS INCLUDED IN YOUR PUGLIA CULINARY VACATION:

  • 8 days/7 nights stay at a luxury masseria
  • Experience Puglia like a local – We’ll have a locals with us the entire trip
  • All meals: breakfasts, lunches and dinners, local wines included with all lunches and dinners
  • Private driver to and from the Brindisi Airport and to all destinations during the trip
  • Guided walking tours of Lecce, Otranto, Galatina and the Trulli and other sights of the Itria Valley
  • Three hands-on cooking classes, one with one of our favorite Italian Nonnas
  • Cheese-making experience with a seated tasting afterwards
  • Guided visit to a Salentine pastry shop with tastings
  • Guided visit to the Lecce market with tastings
  • Two guided winery visits and tastings
  • Food Lover’s in Puglia recipe booklet
  • Food Lover’s Odyssey in Puglia apron and welcome gift bag
  • Alumni Reward: Receive $200 credit towards your next Food Lover’s Odyssey Vacation
  • Assistance with making your travel arrangements to the Brindisi airport and any pre- and post-tour travel arrangements

**Airfare, transportation to Brindisi (if flying in from elsewhere in Italy/Europe), travel insurance and expenses of a personal nature (souvenirs and other personal items) are not included in the vacation package price.

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WHAT PREVIOUS GUESTS SAY ABOUT THIS VACATION:

“I felt like a queen for nine days! Every single person we visited welcomed us into their place of business and/or homes like we were honored guests.” – Helen (San Diego, CA)

“It felt like a group of friends getting together and enjoying the food and culture of Puglia. It was clear that all of you enjoyed what you were doing….You truly wanted us to experience the best of Puglia and we did!” – Nancy (Boston, MA)

“I’ve never been a group tour person, but now I don’t think I can travel to Italy again without Kathy. It was one of the best vacations ever.” – Teri (McLean, VA)

“I can’t thank you enough for such an outstanding culinary and cultural trip to Puglia. I know I said this to you earlier, but the trip was far beyond my expectations. I could never have experienced the culture and people of Puglia in this way traveling on my own. I will cherish these experiences forever.” – Linda (Gaithersburg, MD)

SEE PHOTOS FROM OUR VACATIONS: FLO Vacations Photo Gallery

 
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THE COOKING CLASSES
You will have three cooking classes and a hands-on cheese making experience during your week in Puglia. Two of the classes will be full-meal classes where you’ll make typical Pugliese dishes. You’ll have a fun pasta-making class with one of our favorite Italian mammas and a Pugliese pastry-making class with a renowned Pugliese chef. You’ll receive a recipe booklet that includes recipes for all the dishes we’ll make during the week. All classes and activities will be in (or with a translation into) English. However, those who’d like to improve their Italian language skills are in for an added treat because you’ll also hear a lot of Italian on this tour.

THE SIGHTS, ACTIVITIES AND EXPERIENCES
In addition to the cooking classes, there are even more food-focused activities included in the week. We’ll have a unique olive oil tasting class right inside an ancient underground olive mill! You’ll visit two wineries and learn about the wines of Puglia and the history of each winery. Spend the morning at a local food market and shop for ingredients for our evening cooking class. Learn about the sweets of Puglia with a guided visit to a pastry shop, and gelato stops will be included daily.

CITIES AND TOWNS YOU’LL VISIT DURING THE WEEK:

  • Lecce
  • Otranto
  • Alberobello
  • Ostuni
  • Locorotondo
  • Galatina
  • The Grecia Salentina village of Martignano

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Day 1 – Welcome to Puglia
Arrival at Brindisi Airport with scheduled pick up at the airport and transport to the masseria.
At the masseria, you’ll be welcomed by me and Claudia with a light welcome lunch, your “Food Lovers in Puglia” apron and a fabulous gift bag.
After an afternoon relaxing by the pool or strolling the grounds, we’ll get the Puglia party started with a guided walk through the historic center of Lecce, followed by a welcome dinner in Lecce.


Day 2 – Olive Oil Class – Otranto – A Very Special Dinner

Enjoy breakfast in the masseria’s dining room
Explore of one of the towns of the Grecia Salentina and its ancient undergroun olive oil mill
Inside the olive mill, we’ll have a fun and educational class on tasting olive oils
Lunch at a trattoria in Otranto
Explore the seaside town of Otranto with our local guide and visit the Cathedral that houses the “Tree of Life” mosaic and the chapel to the 800 martyrs.
Tonight we have a very special dinner for you at the masseria.

Day 3 – Galatina – Winery Visit – Evening Cooking Class
Enjoy breakfast in the masseria’s dining room
You’ll visit the historic town of Galatina and its cathedral. Learn all about the beautiful frescoes of the cathedral and the history of the local dance that legend says started in Galatina.
After our visit to Galatina, you’ll go to a nearby winery for a wine tour and tasting along with a light lunch.
Tonight is our first hands-on cooking class and four-course dinner of typical Salentine dishes

Day 4 – The Trulli of Puglia and the Itria Valley
Enjoy breakfast in the masseria’s dining room
We’ll spend the day exploring the Itria Valley, with guided visits to the “white city” of Ostuni, the trulli of Alberobello and the round village of Locorotondo
Lunch will be in the Itria Valley at a trattoria featuring the local specialities
After our day out and about, we’ll have a relaxing dinner at the masseria

Day 5 – Farmers’ Market Visit – Pastry Shop Visit – Lecce – Evening Cooking Class
Experience a local farmer’s market with me and tastings at the market
We’ll head to Lecce’s historic center for a visit to a pastry shop and tastings of typical Pugliese pastries.
You’ll have some free time to shop and enjoy the city on your own before our lunch at a favorite trattoria in Lecce
Enjoy an afternoon to relax by the pool before our second hands-on cooking class this evening. We’ll make and four-course dinner of typical Salentine dishes

Day 6 – Pugliese Cheese – Pasta- Making Class – Pizza Dinner
We’ll spend the morning at a cheese-making farm where we’ll make primo sale together and then sample the cheese farm’s specialties at a seated tasting
We’ll spend the afternoon making pasta with one of our favorite Italian nonnas. Learn to make orecchiette, maccheroni and sagne ncannulate by hand. Lunch will include the pasta dishes we made in class and Eggplant Parmigiana that Mamma Franca will demonstrate how to make.
Because you just can’t go to Italy without having pizza, we’ll join the locals this evening for a Pugliese-style pizza dinner.

Day 7 – Winery Visit – Relax at the Pool – Night out in Lecce – Farewell Dinner
Breakfast at the masseria
We’ll visit one of the most famous wineries in Salento. After our guided tour of the winery, we’ll have a special lunch and sample some of their wines.
You’ll have the afternoon to soak up the sun and the beauty and serenity of the masseria.
In the early evenining, we’ll head to Lecce where you’ll have free time for any last-minute souvenir and gift shopping before we meet back up for our final and farewell dinner together at a restaurant in Lecce

Day 8 – Arrivederci Puglia
Breakfast at the masseria
Private transfer to the Brindisi Airport – 8:00am departure from the masseria

**Sequence of classes, activities and excursions may vary. The final itinerary will be given to each guest on the first day of the vacation. Whenever there are local festivals or events happening during a tour, we will try to include them with adjustments to the itinerary to enhance your vacation experience.

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