Saturday, October 17 – Monday, October 26, 2020
Join tour host Lori Chisholm on this foodie and cultural adventure to the “heel of the boot” where orecchiette pasta and primitivo wine rule the food menu and trulli houses and expansive olive groves rule the landscape. The enchanting port town of Trani will be our first home base and from there we’ll move to “the white city”, Ostuni. Matera, Locorotondo, Lecce, Martina Franca and Alberobello – all are on our agenda for their beauty, their architecture or their special cuisines. Walking and food tours, market visits, winery and farm visits, and a cooking class are all part of the package in this as yet under-touristed region of Italia. **Please note, you will have to travel on Friday, October 16
Check in to Trani’s beautiful Palazzo Paciotti luxury B & B (https://www.bbtrani.com/en/bb-trani-palazzo-paciotti-en/), in time to freshen up before welcome cocktails followed by our first group dinner at a local restaurant. Overnight Trani.
This morning after breakfast, we’ll meet our local guide for a walking tour of Trani. Then, wine will become the focus for the afternoon as we enjoy a transfer to a local winery for a tasting and a light lunch. Overnight Trani.
After breakfast, we’ll board our coach for a visit and walkabout at Castel del Monte, a 13th century citadel and UNESCO World Heritage Site which stands high above the olive groves with views to the sea. Then, we’ll transfer to the coast to Bischeglie for a tour, tasting, and lunch in the garden at a lovely, family-owned olive oil facility. Puglia is, by far, Italy’s greatest producer of extra virgin olive oil and we’ll enjoy some of the best today at Frantoio Galantino whose chef prepares every dish with one of their oils. Back in Trani, your evening will be free. Overnight Trani.
After breakfast and checkout, we are headed to Matera in the province of Basicalata. Matera has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is the 2019 European Capital of Culture. We’ll have a historical walking tour of the fascinating sassi, ancient cave dwellings still inhabited today. I’ve arranged for a special pasta for lunch today, one of the best I have ever had. Stroll the streets during free time here before we move on to Ostuni, our home for the next six nights. Your evening is free once we have checked in to Relais Sant Eligio (https://www.santeligiorelais.it/en/) , our nicely-situated, 4 star hotel.
After breakfast, we’ll start our day’s activities with a historical walking tour of the white city lead by a local guide. Then, we will transfer to I Pastini, a family-run winery near Locorotondo, where we will tour some original trulli houses and taste some of the finest wines Puglia has to offer. Back in Ostuni, you’ll have lunch and dinner on your own. Overnight Ostuni.
Today it’s all about the cheese! After breakfast, we’ll make our way to Martina Franca with my friend Marco Punzi to visit the self-contained Masseria Cappela. We’ll meet the cheese makers, the cows, the bakers, and the chefs who will help us prepare our lunch from their own and local products. The property is stunning and the hosts most welcoming. Back in Ostuni, you’ll have the rest of the afternoon and evening free. Overnight Ostuni.
After breakfast, we’ll head south along the coast to Lecce. Like so many cities in Italy, Lecce has its own particular food specialties. We’ll sample a number of these today during a city walking tour with our local guide, Antonella. This is a lovely city so we’ll take some extra time to explore, shop or relax before returning to Ostuni. The evening will be free. Overnight Ostuni.
As always, we have a free day in my itinerary. Ostuni is on the train line: Monopoli and Polignano are 20 and 30 minutes up the coast, Brindisi is 20 minutes down the coast. There are lots of options. Overnight Ostuni.
The iconic trulli houses are not to be missed so after breakfast this morning. We’ll make our way to Alberobello where we’ll have a private tour of these fascinating buildings with a local guide. When we’ve finished here, we’ll stop at a family-run salumeria for a tour and lunch featuring Puglia’s most famous cured meat, capocollo. Back in Ostuni, the rest of the afternoon is free but we’ll gather later for cocktails and our farewell dinner.
Our Puglia tour is officially over after breakfast. Safe home or happy trails!
- 9 nights’ accommodation in centrally-located 4 star hotel and luxury B&B - 9 breakfasts - Local city taxes - Welcome cocktail, farewell cocktail - Welcome dinner and farewell dinner, both with wine, water and coffee - 4 lunches - 3 winery visits with tours and tastings - 3 farm/production visits with tours and tastings - Cooking experience with lunch - 4 city walking tours with local guides - 1 food/city tour with local guide - All entrance fees for castle and churches during tours - All ground transportation by private coach/minivan from start to end of tour - Guide and driver gratuities - Dedicated tour leader throughout -nTwo-hour Toronto airport lounge pass if you book your flights through Pauwels Travel)
- Items of a personal nature - Air transportation and taxes - Ground transportation to and from airports - Beverages with meals unless stated in the itinerary - Insurance: please call the Pauwels Travel office for information
January 19 - 27, 2021
$5,474 from Toronto based on double accommodation
March 02 - 19, 2021
$4,995 from Toronto based on double occupancy
April 13 - 26, 2021
$4,895 from Toronto, including air, based on double occupancy