PUGLIA CULINARY ADVENTURE BY THE SEA
7 Days | 6 Nights
Available the Week of September 17th and October 1, 2017
Discover romantic and pristine Puglia where time stands still. Framed by the Adriatic Sea to the east and the Ionian Sea to the west. Your hands-on cooking classes are created with authentic local recipes, with most handed down by family members. Your experience will begin at Brindisi Airport or Lecce Train Station. These locations can easily be reached from US departure points with an easy connection in Rome or Milan. We can arrange pre or post-travel in Rome or Milan, or into other parts of Italy at your request.
Day 1 – Arrival at Brindisi Airport or Lecce Train Station
Upon arrival in Rome, take a quick and easy connecting flight, or travel to Puglia by high speed train. You will be met and escorted through the countryside, enjoying stunning coastal views all the way to your Hotel.
II Tabacchificio Hotel (Based on Double Occupancy)
The II Tabacchificio is a family owned and operated 4-star hotel that once was a tobacco factory. The owners, Paola and Antonella came across the ruins of the tobacco factory on vacation and discovered their grandmother had worked there. Inspired, they restored it as a hotel, and renovations focused on recovery of the original structure of the building. Upon arrival you will be greeted by your hosts with a welcome drink and snacks. Use your free time to relax, settle into your room or go for a swim before dinner. To kick off your culinary experience your Italian dinner will feature an abundant round of starters (up to ten tasty cooked vegetables, cheese and local hams), orecchiette con cime di rapa (ear shaped pasta with greens), mozzarella in carrozza (local mozzarella fried in a crispy shell of bread and fresh eggs) and dessert. Over dessert, you will learn about the week’s activities and receive a short lesson on the Cucina Pugliese.
Day 2 – Market Shopping | Walk to Ciolo | Picnic Lunch
After you finish breakfast, take a trip to Alessano’s Vegetable and Cheese Market. View the variety of regional fruits and vegetables, and learn how to choose the very best through a fun shopping game. Upon your return to the hotel, join Paola for an easy stroll to the private natural fiord Ciolo, where you will harvest wild Mediterranean spices that grow along the path. This gorgeous path winds along the Adriatic Sea, and on very clear days, Greece and Albania are both visible. At the end of the path is a breathtaking cave, where you will enjoy a picnic lunch (weather permitting). Bring your bathing suit, snorkeling mask, as you will certainly want to swim in this amazing cave.
Apulia Cooking Class of Vegetable Appetizers
Today’s class will explore fava beans with wild chicory, burst tomatoes, stuffed eggplant with capers and pecorino cheese, smoked eggplant with pecorino cheese, sweet peppers with anchovies and olives, and vegetables and potatoes, a traditional dish originating in Puglia. This class will be followed by dinner with wine with your new friends.
Day 3 – Guided Visit to Otranto
After your breakfast, make a visit to Otranto, Italy’s eastermost town. This is a gem of mixed history, architecture, vistas and white sandy beach, which makes it one of the region’s charming and scenic towns. This will be a guided tour, but rest assured there will be time for shopping. Once back at the hotel, enjoy a leisurely lunch and free time for a dip in the pool.
Hand-Made Pasta Cooking Class (with three different sauces)
In the late afternoon, you will join a local pasta legend for a class on the preparation of homemade pasta and ravioli. In addition to pasta that has been described as “the best I have ever tasted,” your chef will let you in on the secrets of three Italian sauces, making certain you have successful Italian-themed dinner parties for years to come. Learn the traditional way to make pasta, and the best ways to create pasta and sauces that make it unique. After all your work, relax as dinner follows with local wines.
Day 4 – Learn Italian | Wine Tasting and Olive Oil Mill | Ancient Masseria Lunch
Today you will learn some Italian words and phrases. After breakfast, you will visit an ancient winery, where you will discover the origin of the celebrated wines, Negramaro and Rosato. In the underground olive mill, learn the process of producing AAA wine. Next, onto a visit and lunch at Masseria Le Stanzie, an impressive 16th century estate beautifully restored to showcase the ancient crafts of the period. You will find the food delectable, and the countryside of ancient olive trees absolutely magnificent.
Santa Maria di Leuca Tour
As your afternoon progresses, you will make a stop to see where the Adriatic and Ionian Seas meet, and it is particularly amazing. The view is spectacular from any point in the town and along the coast of Southern Puglia. Once back at the hotel, rest and relax with some time at leisure.
Day 4 – Learn the Secret of Parmigiana Three Ways | Afternoon at Leisure | Dinner
After breakfast, get ready for an exciting cooking class on the secrets of Italian Parmigiana. First you will prepare classic eggplant parmigiana as Nonna Tetta did, followed by the low-fat version and finally, a recipe of zucchini, potatoes and mozzarella parmigiana. This class will be a lot of fun and hard work, but will have fantastic results. Enjoy your lunch outside at the hotel. For your leisure afternoon, you are free to discover something new, hike in the countryside, bike rental, rest and swim in the pool or visit to Lecce on the electric train. Regroup back at the hotel for a delicious dinner.
Day 6 – Tour of Gallipoli | Fish Market Buying Tour
After breakfast, tour Gallipoli (means beautiful town in Greek), an island on the Ionian Sea connected by a bridge to the mainland. Gallipoli is home to many impressive Baroque churches and aristocratic palizzi. A visit to an ancient oil mill brings you back into history as you learn about Salento’s liquid gold mine. After taking in the beauty of the town, it is time for a stop at the fish market. The port comes alive as all the boats come in, laden with their catch of the day for the daily fish auction. This fresh caught fish will grace your plate at the farewell dinner tonight, but first you will return to the hotel for lunch.
Seafood Cooking Class | Farewell Dinner | Entertainment
You will be using the seafood purchased during the fish market visit. You will be making pasta with beans and mussels. This exceptional dish highlights the ingredients of health Mediterranean cuisine: fish, pasta and legumes. Top it off by toasting to your wonderful week together with the staff as you consume amazing wine and are entertained with live music.
Day 7 – Check-Out and Departures
Transfers to the airport or train station.
Airport or Train Transfers
6 Nights Accommodations
All Meals and Wine
4 Cooking Classes
Ancient Masseria Lunch
Guided Visit to Otranto
Santa Maria di Leuca Tour
Tour of Gallipoli
Fish Market Tour
Italian Words and Phrases Lessons
Morning Beach Walk
For more information email moc.l1508264739evart1508264739yrova1508264739sdnat1508264739eews@1508264739nerak1508264739 or call 903-686-0134