Italy·May 10 - 16 2024

Eating Your Way through Puglia

Discover the heel of the boot of Italy. Puglia boasts golden beaches with crystal-clear waters, intense flavors, and charming villages.

BOOK NOW INQUIRE
iStock1370960993

Overview

Join us for a historical, cultural, and culinary adventure to “the heel of the boot,” one of Italy’s least-exploited tourist destinations. The Salento Peninsula has been conquered and influenced by many ancient civilizations, from the Byzantine Greeks to the Romans, the Arabs to the Bourbons. Puglia has hundreds of miles of golden beaches lapped by azure waters, a breathtaking combination of whitewashed hilltop villages, and beautiful Baroque cities like Lecce and Bari. This is one of the most fascinating, history-filled destinations you'll ever visit. Puglia is ground zero for some of the most classic Italian dishes as well as many you've never heard of. All are mouthwatering. From the famous Pane di Altamura, an ancient traditional bread made in the hilltop town of Altamura since 1420, to orecchiette (ear shaped pasta) with broccoli rabe or turnip greens to focaccia (yes we've all had it but it's better here) to cartellate, a fried rose-shaped pastry flavored with honey or vincotto. Be prepared to be awestruck. You'll be savoring a multitude of delights during meals out as well as getting your hands dirty during two unique cooking classes. Wine is very important in this region and you can find world class wines here such as the Nero di Troia, an unctuous red. Equal to the food is the scenery. You're surrounded by water, both the Adriatic and Ionian seas, and the views are often dramatic. On this trip you'll visit the UNESCO World Heritage town of Alberobello where you'll stay in a Trullo resort hotel. A Trulli is a conical shaped traditional Puglian farmhouse. Later in the town of Matera, you'll stay in a cave hotel These unique structures can only be found in this region. Add to that the olive oil farms which are dotted with 1000 year old olive trees and you've got the makings of a delectable excursion.

Highlights

Taste the famed pane (bread) of Altamura

Taste the famed pane (bread) of Altamura

Wander the gorgeous streets of Baroque Lecce

Wander the gorgeous streets of Baroque Lecce

Tour and stay in a Trulli house in Alberobello

Tour and stay in a Trulli house in Alberobello

Stay in a luxurious 1000 year old cave - you have to see it to believe it!

Stay in a luxurious 1000 year old cave - you have to see it to believe it!

Explore the jaw-dropping coastal town of Polignano a Mare

Explore the jaw-dropping coastal town of Polignano a Mare

Learn to make Puglian orecchiette pasta by hand

Learn to make Puglian orecchiette pasta by hand

Visit and taste in a centuries old family-run olive mill

Visit and taste in a centuries old family-run olive mill

Explore the white washed village of Ostuni

Explore the white washed village of Ostuni

Itinerary

A day by day itinerary in Puglia

Previous

Next

iStock1125403547

Day 1, Friday May 10th

Bari, in Italy, is the capital of the Puglia region. Plan to arrive there in the morning, by train or air. A driver will pick you up at the airport. If you'd prefer to arrive early and shake off the jet lag, we can recommend several Bari hotels for a pleasant and comfortable stay. 

Our van will take us to the ancient town of Conversano for our first cooking class. We're about to prepare a local pasta called “orecchiette” (“small ears”). We'll savor the fruits of our labor for lunch. 

In the afternoon, we're off on a guided tour of Conversano. The town has existed since the Iron Age, and you're about to discover a legendary castle, monastery, and cathedral. 

Next, we'll drive to Alberobello, a UNESCO World Heritage town. It is famous for its iconic “trulli,” conically shaped Apulian houses. We're staying at an authentic Trullo resort, away from touristy streets. Dinner is at a local restaurant not far from the hotel.

Included

Lunch & Dinner

Cooking class

Not Included

Breakfast

iStock1162011508

Day 2, Saturday May 11th

After breakfast at our Trullo hotel, we'll take a guided tour of Alberobello. Here, we'll walk the narrow streets between the cone-shaped trulli houses, breathing in the distinctive atmosphere. We'll have time to stop at small shops to browse for local products and souvenirs. 

Today, we'll savor lunch in a traditional trattoria, followed by a tour of Locorotondo. It's one of the most beautiful, whitewashed towns in the Itria Valley. We'll walk through ancient olive groves at an organic olive farm. Take the time to savor the delicious, extra-virgin olive oil produced here. 

Later, we'll dine at Braceria Pietranuda. The restaurant boasts a lovely stone vaulted dining space and a tree-lined patio. They specialize in steaks made from local organic meat. 

Having eaten our fill, we'll return to Alberobello for a relaxing night.

Included

All meals

iStock1459731590

Day 3, Sunday May 12th

Today, after breakfast, we'll check out of the Palazzo Hotel and head to Matera, one of the most distinctive cities in Italy. We'll stop in Altamura, a hill town known for its traditional durum wheat bread – “pane di Altamura.” Here, we'll visit a legendary local bakery to discover how the local bread is made and savor fresh creations. Bread produced here is a designated protected designation of origin (PDO).

Lunch today is on your own - choices abound. 

After lunch, we'll continue our drive to the extraordinary hillside town of Sassi di Matera, a UNESCO Heritage site known for its ancient cave dwellings. It is thought that the first human Italian settlements originated here. 

We'll enjoy the unique experience of staying in a cave hotel for the next two nights, dine at Baccanti Ristorante, and experience underground cave dining. 

Prepare for full immersion into this ancient and extraordinary destination. We have the pleasure of spending two nights at Sant'Angelo Luxury Resort

Included

Breakfast & Dinner

Not Included

Lunch

iStock1503214893

Day 4, Monday May 13th

This morning, we’ll explore the fascinating Matera archaeology and landscapes with its caves, grottos, and natural ravines. We'll also visit some of the Rupestrian Churches, built into the caves of the Murgia, a large limestone plateau. 

In the afternoon, you'll enjoy a culinary cooking experience at a nearby Masseria, a traditional stone farmhouse. You'll learn to prepare (two) Matera authentic dishes, like fresh pasta with beef ragu or fresh spaghetti with capers and olives. Other favorites include spinach and ricotta puff pastry, asparagus with eggs, roast chicken and potatoes, creamy panna cotta, or homemade “panzerotti." The choices abound. Tonight, we'll feast on these culinary creations for dinner. 

Included

Cooking Class

Breakfast

Not Included

Lunch

masseria3_1024

Day 5, Tuesday May 14th

After breakfast, we check out of our hotel and drive to Ostuni. We'll explore the “white city” named for its whitewashed hilltop houses overlooking the sea. Gaze in awe at the breathtaking valley and coastal views. 

Today, we'll savor a gourmet lunch at the Osteria Cattedrale. 

This afternoon, we'll take a leisurely drive into the countryside. We'll spend the rest of the day relaxing at an ancient farmhouse, “Masseria,” where culture and tradition mingle with modernity. 

Dinner is cooked exclusively from excellent raw materials, like durum wheat, tomatoes, artichokes, fava beans, rocket, fennel, peppers, onions, beef, and lamb, all processed as little as possible to retain their natural flavors and nutrients.             

We'll lay our heads down in Ostuni at the Masseria il Frantoio, where we'll stay for the next two nights.

Included

All meals

iStock638225856

Day 6, Wednesday May 15th

We'll dedicate today to exploring the beautiful Baroque town of Lecce, the “Florence of the South.” We'll take a guided tour of the historical center, visit a paper-mache artesian shop, and taste local street food, like crispy pizza with melting cheese or homemade meatballs with sauce.  

In the afternoon, we'll delight in a local wine tour. We'll visit the cellars and vineyards and, of course, taste the rich and traditional local wines. 

After a busy day, we'll head to Ostuni for a light meal and a peaceful rest.

Included

All meals

iStock1288258653

Day 7, Thursday May 16th

After breakfast and check out, we'll move to the last destination of our Apulian trip – Polignano a Mare. The town is perched atop dramatic limestone cliffs. This stunning location was the inspiration for Domenico Modugno's song “Nel blu dipinto di blu" - known in English as Volaré!  

We'll stroll around and admire the breathtaking views from the Terrace of Santo Stefano. Then, we'll enjoy our final lunch together at Terrazze Monachile and gaze at the panoramic view of the cliffs, white-washed houses, and the beautiful Adriatic Sea.

We'll make our way back to Bari in the afternoon. We should arrive at around 4:30 pm and say our sad goodbyes. Take a late flight home or stay in Bari for the night at our recommended hotel, Vis Urban Suites, and fly out the next day. 

Included

Breakfast & Lunch

Not Included

Dinner

Hotel in Bari

You'll Be Staying Here

Palazzo Scotto - Alberobello

Palazzo Scotto - Alberobello

The combination of a 19th century palazzo and an authentic trullo makes for a uniquely beautiful hotel and a real step back in time but with added comfort and style.

Sant Angelo Resort - Matera

Sant Angelo Resort - Matera

A one thousand year old cave turned into a five-star hotel. Now that's alluring!

Masseria Il Frantoio

Masseria Il Frantoio

Since 1,500 Masseria il Frantoio has been the answer to travelers who have wondered where to stay in Puglia. Located in the countryside near Ostuni, this transformed ancient farmhouse in one of the most authentic hotels in Puglia, where culture and tradition are alive and well.

Hosts

Meet Leigh- Intense Foodie, Lover of Italy, Wanderer, and guaranteed to offer you mint green tea.

Leigh Rhoads

Leigh Rhoads

Your host for this trip is L. Leigh Rhoads (“Linda Leigh” to her friends, which you will assuredly be after your travels). Leigh calls Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains home and is a true Southerner, replete with the warmth, manners, and charm for which that region is known. A Civil Rights attorney by trade and a yogi at heart, Leigh has taken every gift of time, between practicing law and being a mother to fun and mischievous twins, to seek out adventurous and meaningful travel experiences like this one. She is so looking forward to sharing it with you!

Price

Private Room

Private Room

Everyone gets their own private room!

FROM$8,995

Add Ons

Arrive one night early in Bari

Arrive one night early in Bari

Includes one night at the Bari Grande Albergo Hotel and breakfast

PRICE$415.00

ADD THIS

The Heel of the Boot of Italy

Puglia

Dreamlike bays, stone villages, olive groves, wilderness, unique architecture and four UNESCO sites, each one is more fascinating than the next. Puglia has been named the "most beautiful region in the world" and for good reason. Scattered across the seashore and hilltop villages lie cathedrals, castles, whitewashed houses and flowered balconies. Puglia's captivating charm and delicious rustic food should not be missed.

Puglia

What's Included

What's Included

Lodging at unique hotels

All guides, experts and entry fees

All in-country transport including airport transfers

A small group experience

All meals as indicated in the detailed itinerary

A GG2W gift

Additional wine, beer, or spirits beyond what is offered at meals.

All personal souvenir purchases

Travel and Medical Insurance (required)

Round Trip Airfare to Bari, Italy

Reviews

iStock504585059

Puglia was more than I imagined. Beyond beautiful! The friendships and memories that were made will last a lifetime. I can't wait to do another trip.

Rebecca W-Houston Texas,USA

FAQs

The trip officially starts on May 10 2024 in the morning. If you’re traveling across an ocean to get to Italy, consider arriving a day or two early so you have time to relax and adjust to the local time zone. If you do decide to arrive early, let us know and we’ll help you with arrangements if you like.


Fly into Bari International Airport-Karol Wojtylat. If you plan to see more of Italy you can fly to any other major airport and take the train to Bari. If you need assistance with trains let us help. 

Other nearby airports include Brindisi (BDS) (105.3 km) and Dubrovnik (DBV) (196.4 km).

We will have a Zoom call about six weeks before the trip starts to discuss all that information and give you a packing list. Here is a great website that we love that will help you with packing and travel trips.

The weather in Puglia in May is dry and warm. It's the start of the summer season with an average high temperature 71°F. Evenings are mild, the sea is now nudging 55°F and it's one of the driest months with only 1.5" of rain falling over a handful of days.

Inquire about this trip

Eating Your Way through Puglia

Italy· May 10 - 16 2024· 6 nights

FROM$8,995/pp