Italy Culinary Adventure (9 days)

This 9-day journey will take you around the region of Puglia, Italy, which lies in the heel of the boot, along the sun-drenched Adriatic Sea. On this trip you will tour the region by car, by bike and by foot, and partake in one-of-kind culinary experiences – a cooking class, wine, gelato and olive oil tastings, a visit to the famous Li Veli winery, and decadent dinners at the most indulgent restaurants in Puglia. Puglia offers access to the freshest seafood, crowd-free open spaces, irresistible desserts and pastries, distinct wines, and the 50 million olive trees that make this region the world’s leading producer of olive oil.

Daily Itinerary

Day 1

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Arrive in Matera, Italy

Accommodation: Sextantio

Meals: D

Welcome to Italy!

Upon arrival, meet your guide and driver and take a quick tour of the enchanting old city of Bari Vecchia. Here the local ladies still make pasta by hand sitting outside their homes. Their speed and precision will amaze you!

From here, transfer to Matera to settle into your hotel in the amazing “Sassi” district, now a UNESCO site.

To finish the evening, an exclusive welcome dinner awaits you in the enchanting cave church.

Day 2

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Matera:

  • Explore the city with a local guide
  • Take an exclusive tour of a local bakery

Transfer: to Savelletri di Fasano

Accommodation: Masseria Torre Coccaro

Meals: B

 

This morning, an expert local guide will meet you for a detailed walk around the Sassi and reveal the many secrets of this fascinating city, only recently seen by foreign eyes.

Next, you’ll enjoy a behind-the-scenes visit to one of Italy’s only DOP bread producers at a fabulous bakery in nearby Altamura.

Afterwards, you will be shuttled to your luxury home for the next four nights – the beautiful Masseria Torre Coccaro (approx. 90 minutes’ drive).

Day 3

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Savelletri di Fasano and surrounding area:

  • Enjoy a full day cycling tour of the region
  • Visit the hilltop town of Cisternino
  • Enjoy views of Itria Valley
  • Tour Ostuni for breathtaking sea views
  • In-depth tour and olive oil tasting

Accommodation: Masseria Torre Coccaro

Meals: B, L

It’s time to explore Puglia on two wheels! Your ride begins with a lovely climb into the chic and beautiful hilltop town of Cisternino, where you will enjoy sweeping views of the Itria Valley. You will have time for a coffee or gelato to recharge your batteries before continuing along the ridge of the Murgia plateau to Ostuni, a stunning white citadel with breathtaking sea views.

After lunch in Ostuni, visit a fascinating olive oil estate for an in-depth tour and tasting.

Then, it’s back on the bike to return to your hotel for a relaxing evening and dinner.

Day 4

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Savelletri di Fasano and surrounding area:

  • Ride in a vintage car along the coast
  • Tour the cliff-top-town, Polignano a Mare
  • Indulge in a gelato tasting experience
  • Enjoy the spectacular views from the Murgia Plateau

Accommodation: Masseria Torre Coccaro

Meals: B, L

What better way to explore the gently rolling hills of the Itria Valley and Murgia Plateau then from behind the wheel of a vintage car?

This morning, drive along the coast to Monopoli and then to Polignano a Mare, a striking cliff-top town famous for its amazing gelato.

After a thorough gelato-tasting experience, head up the Murgia Plateau for some driving along the lovely gently rolling hills, decked with almond and cherry trees. Enjoy the spectacular views across the sweeping olive plains as you descend back to the coast and your hotel.

Day 5

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Savelletri di Fasano and surrounding area:

  • Explore the UNESCO heritage site of Alberobello to visit the famous trulli houses
  • Visit a cheese maker for an insider’s look at the indulgent burrata cheese
  • Meander the atmospheric alleyways of Locorotondo
  • Explore the historic town of Martina Franca

Accommodation: Masseria Torre Coccaro

Meals: B, L

This morning you will be shuttled to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Alberobello to visit the famous trulli houses with an excellent local guide. These cone shaped dwellings are unique to the region and in Alberobello you see a concentration of over 1,000 trulli houses. We’ll also stop at a cheese maker for an insider’s look at the wildly indulgent burrata cheese.

Today’s route is a circular ride deep into the Itria Valley to visit stunning Locorotondo –known for its excellent dry white wine made from local Verdeca grapes. Here in Locorotondo, meander the atmospheric alleyways bedecked with geraniums and citrus plants.

Continue on to Martina Franca – a must-see town for its marvelously intact historic centre, beautiful Baroque architecture, and stunning palazzo.

After your ride, return to your hotel for a relaxing afternoon and evening.

Day 6

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Transfer: to Lecce

En route to Lecce: 

  • Visit renowned winery, Li Veli – tour with the vineyard’s expert oenologist
  • Private lunch and wine tasting

Accommodation: La Fiermontina

Meals: B, L

Following check-out at your hotel, your guide will take you to visit one of Puglia’s most renowned wineries – Li Veli. After a fascinating tour with the vineyard’s expert oenologist, you will be treated to a private lunch and wine tasting over-looking the ageing barrels of wine.

Your final destination is Lecce, the capital of the Salento Province. Known as the Florence of the South, the city hosts amazing Baroque masterpieces and treasures of Italy. Here you will check-in to the gorgeous, La Fiermontina and have the rest of your evening at leisure!

Day 7

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Lecce and surrounding area:

  • Collect some seafood from the local fishermen at the colourful fish market
  • Learn how to create local dishes in a private cooking class

Accommodation: La Fiermontina

Meals: B, L

This morning you are heading west, to Gallipoli on the Ionian coast!

Your driver will take you to the beautiful old town for your cooking class and lunch. First collect some seafood from the local fishermen. The fish market is lively and captivating and you are sure to see some colorful and unusual produce.  Create some delicious, local dishes then have the rest of the afternoon and evening at your leisure.

Day 8

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Lecce:

  • Enjoy a walking tour of the city

Accommodation: La Fiermontina

Meals: B, D

For your last day, embark on a dedicated walking tour where your guide will reveal the secrets of the imposing architecture and millennia of fascinating history revealed before your very eyes.

This evening for dinner, you are in for a final treat at one of Lecce’s best restaurants!

Day 9

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Depart: Lecce, Italy

Meals: B

Italy Shop

Take some time this morning to shop in a few of Lecce’s lovely artisan boutiques before departing Italy.

Transfer to the Brindisi Airport for your departure flight, only a 25 minute drive from Lecce. Have a safe flight!

Accommodation

Sextantio Hotel, Matera, Italy 

The Sextantio hotel “Grotta della Civilità” is a fascinating building. The lodging is carved out of the rock and you are effectively staying in a cave! However, this “cave” has all the comforts of modern living and a stylish regeneration. The owners of the Sextantio group are passionate about preserving the history and architecture of Southern Italy’s historic centers and with this fabulous hotel, you can experience the real heritage of ancient Matera from within.

http://www.sextantio.it


Masseria Torre Coccaro, Savelletri Di Fasano, Italy 

The imposing Masseria Torre Coccaro is one of the most prestigious hotels in the area. Dating back to the 1600s, this lovely estate is now surrounded by beautiful courtyards, walled orchards and secluded gardens. The wonderful location, only 2 kilometers from the Adriatic Sea, makes Torre Coccaro a perfect base for exploring this fascinating region. With only 30 suites, it retains an air of exclusivity hard to find in larger hotels. This hotel was one of the first real 5 star retreats in Puglia and its reputation is now secured throughout the world. A first-class Aveda spa, 9 hole golf course and exclusive beach club mean you are never short of things to do.

http://www.masseriatorrecoccaro.com/it/home/


La Fiermontina, Lecce, Italy

Throughout its sixteen unique guestrooms and suites, La Fiermontina features the traditional pietra di Trani floors seen in noble homes throughout the Salento region. Star-pinnacle ceilings, fireplaces and intimate balconies enhance many of these private quarters, with graceful Italian furniture, custom textiles and organic, locally produced bath products. The hotel is just steps from some of Lecce’s most amazing Baroque masterpieces!

http://www.lafiermontina.com

Italy Culinary Adventure (9 days)