Culinary Travel Adventure through Puglia, the sun-kissed heel of Italy
October 20 – October 27, 2018
Puglia is a masterpiece of nature and one of the richest archeological regions in Italy. The history, landscape, and architecture reflect the myriad civilizations that were drawn to the region because of its influential port towns and position on the Adriatic. The Greeks, Romans, Venetians, Normans, and Spanish all left their mark here.
Life in Puglia is intimately linked to the sea with 500 + miles of stunning, sun-drenched coastline where roads can dip and dive along the tops of sheer white cliffs. Gargantuan gnarled olive trees, pictorial whitewashed villages, charming locals, and luscious food and hospitality sampled against the stunning aquamarine Adriatic Sea– all play a part in this adventure through Puglia and its enchanting historic towns, capturing the true magic of old Italy.
We will experience the bustle of some of the oldest cities in Italy, as well as the peace and tranquility of remote uplands. We’ll bask in the warmth, elegance, and beauty of the Baroque city of Lecce, and in the sophistication of the metropolitan capital, Bari.
Looking for great food and wine? You will find Puglia a veritable paradise! An ancient land offering lush and fruity EVO, great cheeses, friselle, and an unbeatable array of fresh garden vegetables and fruits, like no where else on the Italian peninsula awaits you. Relish the variety and bounty of seafood on offer from the nearby seas. Pairing the local cuisine with the local wines completes the experience. Through a taste of Primitivo di Manduria and Negroamare wines you will understand the strength of the land. In Salento, by the coast, a delicate taste of Rosè, perfectly matches with light dishes and sunny days.
We’ll meet on our yoga mats each day, bring attention to our intentions, becoming aware of and tapping into the energy of the region, elevating our frequencies and laying the foundation for manifestation.
Does Italy pull you? I find there is an energy here like no other place in the world. Want to feel it too? If this resonates with you, I offer the wisdom given to me by my late, beloved yoga teacher- JUST GO – the time is right!
We found our villa down a one lane country road in Montefalco. This was the beginning of our week long adventure. Mornings started with a yoga session (my first time) followed with a light breakfast of fresh fruit, yogurt, homemade jams on toast or muffins.
We went to a olive grove in Trevi and tasted the season’s first batch of olive oil freshly pressed that day. Oh my gosh- I can’t begin to describe the flavor. Please bring me a bottle back….
We hand a hands on lesson on how to make homemade pasta. We rolled, shaped, stuffed, and cooked our pasta for our evening meal. It was like eating pillows- very delicate.
The country was so beautiful to see as we travelled to the small towns on mountain tops where we experienced open air markets, learned about their culture and how they lived hundreds of years ago walking down the same cobblestone roads. We experienced the cave where St. Francis prayed at his nature retreat. We explored an underground Etruscan city and strolled across a Roman bridge.
Have I mentioned the wonderful, delicious food and wine -bene, bene. We were treated very special at each restaurant. The table-side made dessert was a highlight as well as the pizza in Foligno. Let me say it was the best pizza I have ever had. It is still true to this day. Hope you get to try it. Winery tours, local wines at every dinner, our own private chef and the wonderful dinner prepared for us at our villa, monks, gelato, pastries…….
Ciao Ciao CiaoSheree
My wife and I joined Janice on her first Italian “Yoga and Food” trip in November 2014. The trip was incredible. Janice joined forces with a local guide and his daughter about 2 hours train ride from the beautiful city of Florence, Italy.
We loved the relaxed and local approach that let us sleep in, enjoy a daily yoga session, experience Italy and eat great food. I will never forget the bucolic scenery, our morning truffle hunting and then the farm house feast of fresh truffles for lunch!
Janice is a great host and she’s partnered with an excellent local guide. If you enjoy great food and wine, love to immerse yourself in local culture and want to do some yoga — this trip is for you!Brett & Debra
Janice, how exciting to hear about this opportunity to enjoy Italy with you as a guide. I can’t think of anyone more competent to undertake this adventure. I have had the joy of sampling many of your delicious dishes. Combine that with your yoga skills and that will make for an amazing experience. Congratulations!Olivia McCormick
Saturday, October 20
Arrival in Bari and welcome dinner
Our adventure begins at our beautiful hotel located in the city center of Bari, the sophisticated capital of the Puglia region. We will meet in the late afternoon in the lobby for a welcome aperitif in the molto bella Italian café. We will imbibe in traditional, local cuisine for dinner at a classic trattoria in the “old town” of Bari- Bari Vecchia.
Sunday, October 21
Tour of Bari, orecchiette, guided visit through Alberobello, fabulous dinner
Yoga – tuning in, setting intentions. Guided city tour of Bari to explore this interesting seaside city that is modern and upscale as well as historical. Take a step back in time and watch in surprise as resident women expertly and swiftly making stascinati and orecchiette, like their mothers and grandmothers before them, right on the streets! Enjoy lunch at a nearby café-pastry shop and tasting of local delicacies. We will then drive toward the Murgia area, close to Alberobello, where we will be staying at an enchanting countryside resort for the next four nights. After checking in, we will be off to explore Alberobello. This small town is the capital of Trulli and features the distinctive, whitewashed cone shaped houses that are unique just to this region in Italy and are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here we will have a guided tour of the Trulli followed by dinner at and inviting restaurant in the area.
Monday, October 22
Cooking class at Masseria, visit Locorotondo and Fornello dinner in Cisternino
Yoga outside in nature. In the morning, Chiara will teach us how to make orecchiette and focaccia barese, typical of Puglia. We will have an array of vegetables from the on site massive garden at our disposal for the remainder of our cooking class. We will then feast on what we have created for lunch. Visit Locorotondo, a jeweled hilltop town that is considered to have the best views of the Valley of Itria and Murgia. Our day will conclude in Cisternino, another beautiful hill town with stunning views. We will indulge in the town’s traditional diner, which is held at the butcher shop with an annexed wood-burning oven. You will choose between “bobette”, lamb, veal, or sausage that will be cooked “al Fornello” personally for you. It is an experience that you can only have in Cisternino.
Tuesday, October 23
Mozzarella making, wine tasting in Giogia del Colle, Matera visit, dinner
After yoga class, we will visit a nearby cheese producer where we will get to see the very interesting process of making fresh mozzarella, burrata and other cheeses. On our way to Matera we stop in Gioia del Colle at a terrific family winery to taste the local Primitivo, the red indigenous wine. Primitivo tastes of dark fruit like fresh figs, blueberries, and baked blackberries. There’s a distinct dried fruit-leather character to it as well. The word Primitivo doesn’t mean primitive in Italian, but actually means early ripening, resulting in wines that are big, luscious and full of fruit. A great lunch at the winery with the family will follow. Then onto Matera, a city famous for its sassi and stunning landscapes. It is located on the border of Basilicata and Puglia and is one of our favorite cities in Italy. Matera is not only breathtaking, but also fascinating: its history goes back more than 30,000 years. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Sassi district is the ancient heart of this city and still has existing prehistoric dwellings 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 in Matera at a charming restaurant. Here we will enjoy local food highlighting the different flavors that belong to this Basilicata region.
Wednesday, October 24
Guided tour of Martina Franca, Capocollo tasting, Monopoli, Fish dinner in Polignano
Yoga class. We will visit the elegant hilltop town of Martina Franca today with an English-speaking guide where we will learn about the town’s baroque architecture. The town’s jewel is its lovely historic center, a memorable maze of winding alleys, where whitewashed simplicity sits side by side with baroque extravagance. The town is built on a hill in the green Valle d’Itria, the trulli area of Puglia, and is an incredibly photogenic town. 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 other specialties there for lunch. We’ll return to our hotel for a bit. In the late afternoon drive toward the coast for a nice stroll through the pretty town of Monopoli. Soon after, we will drive toward the enchanting seaside town of Polignano, where Domenico Modugno -singer and author of the song “Volare”- was born, for a delicious fish dinner at an amazing restaurant.
Thursday, October 25
Ostuni and Brindisi, wine tasting, arrival in Lecce, fish dinner
After yoga, we will begin the day with a drive south to the Salento area, where Lecce is the most prominent city. We will stop in Ostuni, known as “the white town,” that is a gleaming white hilltop city with sun-bleached streets and cobbled alleyways that make you think you’re somewhere in Greece. We’ll continue on toward Brindisi, where we will visit a winery for a tasting of Negroamaro red wine, followed by a light lunch. Negroamaro in Italian means, “black bitter”. This dry red wine has flavors of ripe plum, baked raspberries, and spice – anise, allspice, and cinnamon. Even though Negroamaro is full bodied it is not too tannic or acidic and makes it an easy to drink wine. We will arrive in Lecce after lunch. Our deluxe hotel in Lecce is located in the heart of the city 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 an aperitif in the Lecce city center followed by a delicious fish dinner. This night you will get to sleep at a beautiful five-star hotel.
Friday, October 26
Guided visit of Lecce, a cooking class and farewell dinner
Yoga class. Friday morning we will meet our guide for a walking tour of Lecce. 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. After the visit we 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.
Saturday, October 27
Departure after breakfast at the hotel
€2650 (for a minimum of 8 people)
€350 single room supplement optional
Included in the package:
- Private transfers on arrival from Foligno train station to the agriturismo and on departure from the agriturismo to Foligno train station
- 7 nights accommodation in agriturismo (remove 8 bedrooms, 8 baths)
- 7 breakfasts (yogurt, fresh fruits, tea, coffee, milk jam, honey, local bread, home made cakes, cheese, eggs, fruit juice, cereals….)
- 4 lunches
- 7 dinners:
- 4 at local restaurants
- 1 dinner in agriturismo (prepared by a local cook)
- 2 dinners after the cooking classes
- 2 cooking classes
- Mineral water and local wines at meals
- 1 wine aperitif
- Olive oil mill visit and olive oil tasting
- 2 winery visits and wine tastings
- Guided visits in English in Assisi and Perugia with an English speaking guide
- Truffle hunt
- 2 local food market visits
- Deruta ceramic laboratory visit
- Excursions and visits as written in the program
- Private minivan with driver for all the excursions/visits
- Marcello tour guide during all the excursions/visits
- Recipe book
- Traditional hand printed apron
- Personal expenses
- Travel and cancellation insurance
- What is not written in the program
- Local taxes (city taxes)