Visit some of Puglia's most beautiful spots, and be immersed in the deep history and culture of Puglia on this week long trip. Including visiting the National Park of Gargano, UNESCO sites of Castel del Monte and City of Matera. Then there will be visiting the capitvating towns of Lucera, Troia, Trani, Peschici and Montecorvino.
You will be a part of a local olive harvest and will share food stories over lunch with the family. You will meet the small family farmers and food producers behind the Especially Puglia farmshare program. You will be able to relax in a unique, cozy masserie and be fully immersed into the history, traditions and culture with local Pugliese Michele Iadarola, including cooking and wine tasting with his family.
Day 1 Bari Airport to Lucera area
We begin with a group transfer from Bari Airport to our masseria (a local organic farm offering elegant accommodation and food) set into the tranquil countryside and surrounded by the Dauni Mountains. We chat with the owner of the masseria and set off on foot to explore the area, with him as our guide. Along the way, you taste locally-made wines. We punctuate the day enjoying Pugliese recipes in Pietramontecorvino, uno dei Borghi piú Belli d’Italia (one of the Most Beautiful Villages of Italy in English). We'll dine in a town landmark, overlooking the spectacular vista of Puglia's rolling hills, your home for the next three days.
This is a project that promotes the great heritage of history, art, culture, environment and traditions found in small Italian towns off the beaten paths.
Day 2 Around Lucera
Today we have the extraordinary opportunity to be a part of an olive harvest. During a visit with one of the Especially Puglia local producers and tasting of their organic olive oils, we participate in the timeless magic of the harvest. Over a delicious lunch with the producer’s family, we learn how this magnificent product is made and share the stories of Pugliese recipes and traditions.
Other highlights of the day include: a visit to the local mill for a tasting of the oil from just-picked olives; a mozzarella demonstration and tasting; and a hands-on cooking class and dinner at our masseria featuring zero-miles Pugliesi ingredients.
Day 3 Gargano National Park
Today we visit the seaside town of Peschici and a Trabucco, for an aperitif in a traditional fishing rock- anchored wooden platform. We are in the Gargano National Park that we’ll enjoy on a stroll after lunch in an agriturismo. (Agriturismi are a unique type of accommodation in Italy,featuring room and board in a farmhouse. In Puglia they are called masseria when the original structure was a fortified farm.) This place features also a Slow Food Presidium (Slow Food Presidia are worldwide initiatives to support quality production methods that are at risk of extinction) of the Gargano Podolica cow, which has been bred here for centuries and that we’ll discover on an informative visit during lunch.
After a visit to the quaint town of Lucera and its castle, dinner tonight is on your own. Please ask us for suggestions.
Day 4 Troia
We start our day meeting another Especially Puglia food artisan, a producer of tapenade and preserved veggies to learn the secrets behind tomato sauce and canning in this area of Puglia, that we’ll savor tonight at dinner. Then we transfer to the small village of Troia for a walk and visit to its Romanesque cathedral, followed by lunch on own.
Our last dinner is at our masseria and it features the local orecchiette (hand-made short pasta shaped like small ears) made by Michele’s mamma and aunt during a cooking demo, in addition to focaccia and other typical foodstuffs to complete the delicious menu.
How could we top this off? Why not with some local folk music for a fun night of dancing and listening to a local band? Welcome to Puglia!
Day 5 Trani and the Murge Plateau
We say “arrivederci” to the northern part of Puglia and head south into the Murge Plateau, a rugged landscape not often visited by tourists that offers extensive views of farmlands. Before we reach our masseria (elegant and eco-friendly countryside accommodation) for the night, we stop by Trani for a nice amble through this quaint sea town.
After lunch on your own we visit the UNESCO site of Castel del Monte, a 13th-century castle built by Frederick II, originally used as an hunting lodge and now one of the most fascinating castles built by the Swabian emperor.
On reaching our masseria, the owner gladly shows us around and explains what sustainability means for them in this organic farm before we enjoy an exquisite dinner of traditional recipes, washed down with locally-made wines.
Day 6 Matera
Our final full day begins with a border crossing into Basilicata and visit to the UNESCO site of Matera. Originally founded by the Romans in the 3rd century BC, this area is suspected to be one of the first pre-historic settlements in Italy. Our local guide curates our learning experience around this enchanting city famous for “I Sassi” (houses dug into the calcareous rock). You may recall this unique setting as it was chosen as the backdrop for Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of Christ.”
Lunch is on your own today. Discover the local cuisine and unique delicacies of Basilicata (we are happy to make suggestions!) before we return to Puglia.
Stopping by Altamura, we visit an Especially Puglia pasta maker and a bread maker. Altamura boasts the only bread D.O.P. (Denomination of Protected Origin) in all of Italy, which makes this product distinctive in quality and specific characteristics that you can only find here. It is also a Slow Food Presidia, protecting food at risk of extinction.
Day 7 Bari Airport
On the morning of Day 7, after breakfast at 8:30am we offer one 1-hour group transfer to Bari airport to meet your departing flight. Or, feel free to extend your stay in the area. Don’t hesitate to ask us, we are glad to help you with your travel plans.
- One week tour
- Small group tour - 6 to 8 people
- $3,200 per person for double occupancy room
- November 3rd - 9th, 10th - 16th
What is included?
6 nights of accommodation in 3- or 4-star hotels and masserie (farm stay)
• 6 breakfasts, 2 lunches and 5 dinners with either a 3- or 4-course menu
• Entry fee to the UNESCO site of Castel del Monte hunting lodge
• 1 guided visit of UNESCO Site of Matera
• 1 visit to an olive oil producer and tasting during the harvest!
• 1 hands-on cooking class and 1 pasta and focaccia cooking demo with Michele’s mamma and aunt
• 1 wine tasting and visit to local winemaker and 1 to a pasta maker
• 1 visit an tasting to a mozzarella and 1 to tapenade & preserved veggie maker
• 2 visits to Slow Food Presidia: Gargano Podolica (cow's milk cheese) & Altamura D.O.P. bread
• 1 music event with local folk group and 1 visit to a trabucco fishing platform
• Comfortable transportation by 9-seat van for all travel on tour as cited in the itinerary
• Bilingual, professional Tour Leaders
• Group transfers to/from Bari airport at beginning and end of the tour
• Local taxes and gratuities for luggage porters and restaurant servers during tour
• 4 lunches and 1 dinner on your own
• Alcoholic beverages at group dinners (including wine and spirits)
• Round-trip airfare and expenses to/from the tour
• Trip cancellation, baggage loss or travel delay insurance (this optional coverage is highly recommended and is not provided by Especially Puglia)
• Gratuities for your driver
• Personal expenses, such as, but not limited to, phone calls, laundry, emails, snacks, gifts