Puglia

2018 dates to be confirmed

Puglia is one of the most interesting regions in Italy, and its remote position in the ‘heel’ has helped to preserve its secrets.  Ruined Saracen towers line the coast – remains of an early-warning system against sixteenth-century marauding pirates, and the large, local farmhouses used to hide women, animals and harvested crops behind strong fortifications. This was part of Magna Grecia and the great secular olive trees dominate the landscape, while the sea is ever-present.

The fertile land and accessible coast line attracted foreign invasions and Puglia over the centuries was ruled by Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Normans and Spanish. Each left their traces in the buildings and fortifications, and today the local people can be seen as descendants of this rich history.

 

This will be based around  Nardo to enjoy the lovely buildings preserved from tourist development, and Ostuni, the white mirage city We will spend time in near-by Lecce, including a food tour in the local shops and market, and visit various small towns to cook and eat. We will explore historical Otranto with its picturesque seafront Promenade, and enjoy the sea and its bounty at Gallipoli. We will also visit wineries and olive oil producers.

The price of 2750 euros includes local private transport, accommodation and breakfast, one main meal a day, 2 cooking lessons, wine tasting, olive oil tasting and local experts. Guests should fly in to Brindisi.

The pre-trip (13-16 October) is optional. I will have just finished my Sicily trip and since two of the Sicily participants also want to do Puglia I have decided to spend three days in my favourite Masseria (farmhouse) relaxing in quiet, understated luxury, surrounded by lovely countryside, with spa facilities, lovely local food and a chance to experience the 'real' Puglia. While we are there we will steal a day to visit Ostuni and Alberobello and anyone who wants to can look into the kitchen to learn some local specialities. On the 16th we will transfer to Ostuni  1500 euros. All inclusive.