I'm thrilled to announce the first of what I hope will be many food-focused tours with Food Lover's Odyssey. The first invitation is to join me in Puglia to cook, eat, drink and discover this amazing "off-the-tourist-track" region in Southern Italy!
With the help of my friend and Lecce native, Ylenia of YL Tours, we've specially designed a delicious 9-day/8-night food and wine lover's journey in Puglia. One in which you'll not only taste the many delicacies of the region, but you'll also cook them! You'll be immersed in the culture, lifestyle and traditions of the people of the region. With Ylenia by our side the entire way, and she has been in the tourism business in Salento for over 10 years, it will be so much more than a culinary journey. It will be a truly local and memorable experience. Each tour is limited to 12 participants, and we have two tours scheduled for 2012: one running May 26 through June 3 and the other September 1 through 9.
Where we'll be. Puglia is the region at the "heel" of Italy's "boot." We'll be staying in the southernmost province, Salento. It's surrounded on three sides by the deep blue sea - the Ionian to the west & the Adriatic to the east. Often called the "California of Italy" and referred to as "Tuscany without the crowds," Salento boasts a cuisine based on cucina povera (poor kitchen), vegetables, local olive oil & seafood. The countryside is an endless stretch of olive trees and blue skies. Salento's capital is the baroque beauty of Lecce, and we'll stay in the gorgeous and spacious Masseria Provenzani located just minutes from the sea and the city of Lecce.
On the first day, you'll be welcomed to the masseria by your local guide and me with a private wine & olive oil tasting, followed by a welcome dinner where we'll break bread and bond over a typical Salentine meal. The masseria has a large kitchen where mamma Giulia will prepare our daily breakfasts. It's also where three of our cooking classes will be held. And there will be plenty of time for relaxing poolside and/or beachside.
Imagine preparing local seasonal dishes at a winery and then dining on these dishes with the local wines. Making hand made Pugliese pasta and traditional meals with an Italian mamma. Watching fresh cheese being made and digging into the still-warm freshly-made, creamy ricotta. Sampling seafood right out of its shell just minutes after it's been caught. Visiting a pastry shop to learn about the sweet side of Salento, with samples, of course. Walking tours of Baroque Lecce, the fisherman's village of Gallipoli, the seaside resort town of Otranto, the Trulli of the Itria Valley and the "white city" of Ostuni. These are just a few of the highlights of this trip, and there's so much more...
What's included in the tour:
- 9 days/8 nights stay at the gorgeous Masseria Provenzani (less than 1 mile from the beach and a 10-minute drive to Lecce)
- Experience Puglia like a local - We will have a local guide with us the entire trip
- All breakfasts, lunches and dinners
- Local wines included with all lunches and dinners
- Private shuttle to and from the Brindisi Airport and to all destinations during the trip
- Welcome private wine & olive oil tasting
- Guided walking tours of Lecce, Otranto, Gallipoli and the Itria Valley - Alberobello, Ostuni & Locorotondo
- Four cooking classes (two hands-on and two demonstration)
- Two cheese making demonstrations with tastings
- Gelato making demonstration & tasting with Luca, who has been making gelato for more than 20 years
- Guided visit to a Lecce pastry shop with tastings
- Guided Local market tour
- Cortili Aperti Festival (during the May 26th trip)
- Two winery visits and tastings
- Liqueur tasting
- Beach time to enjoy the gorgeous Puglia coastline and lapis-lazuli sea
- All recipes to take home
- Cook in Puglia apron and welcome gift bag
- Assitance with making your travel arrangements to the Brindisi airport and any pre- and post-tour travel arrangements
*Airfare, transportation to Brindisi and travel insurance is not included.
Dates: Two tour dates are available for 2012
- May 26 to June 3, 2012
- Sept 1 to Sept 9, 2012
Price: $3,200 per person based on double occupancy
Single supplement: $300
Deposit: A nonrefundable deposit of $1,000 per person is required to confirm enrollment.
Final Payment: The final payment is due no later than 90 days prior to the start of the tour.
We recommend travel insurance to protect against loss of enrollment fees for late cancellations.
The following website has been recommended:
Please note that we make this information available for your convenience. We have no financial interest in the web site or the services it offers, and any contract you make is your right and responsibility.
To make a reservation or for additional questions, contact me at chefkathyayer [at] yahoo.com.