This sun-baked land is scattered with fortified castles and whitewashed trulli, Puglia’s distinctive conical shaped dwellings, and carpeted with a silvery sea of olive groves. It also has an incredibly rich natural pantry. The area produces most of the country’s extra virgin olive oil, full-bodied wines and is famous for its intensely flavoured olives, almonds and figs. Other local specialities include orecchiette, an ear-shaped pasta, seafood risotto, fave beans (which are dried and made into a paste) and burrata, a creamy cheese similar to mozzarella. Sights to savour along with the turquoise sea and long sandy beaches are the 13th century Swabian castle, the city of Lecce’s glorious Baroque churches, a legacy from the Spanish, and the cathedral in Otranto’s amazing mosaic floor, the work of a 12th century monk.
Accommodation is in a lovingly restored 17th century hunting lodge in rural Salento which has been converted into a luxurious country retreat. Think formal gardens, a picturesque pool, and shady courtyards planted with lemon and orange trees – perfect for delicious meals alfresco.
|DEPARTURE||2018: 28 Apr | 5, 12, 19 May | 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 Jun 7 Jul | 1, 8, 22, 29 Sep | 6 Oct|
Brindisi – Salento Arrive and enjoy welcome drinks and dinner prepared by the local chef. (D)
Santa Maria di Leuca First cookery lesson, followed by lunch. In the afternoon, visit Santa Maria di Leuca located at the very tip of the Salentine Peninsula, where the Ionian and Adriatic Seas meet. Enjoy an aperitivo before dinner at the villa. (B,L,D)
Salento After breakfast, enjoy another hands-on cookery lesson followed by lunch. Afternoon is free to relax by the swimming pool or take a cycle ride to a nearby village. Dinner at the villa. (B,L,D)
Lecce – Otranto Today enjoy shopping and sightseeing in Lecce, the ‘Florence of the South.’ Lunch is at a local trattoria. Drive to Otranto situated by the sea, and visit the famous cathedral. Return late afternoon for dinner. (B,L,D)
Salento This morning, another cooking lesson followed by lunch. In the afternoon enjoy a private wine tasting at a local winery. Dinner at the villa tonight. (B,L,D)
Gallipoli Morning cooking lesson followed by lunch. Late afternoon visit to Gallipoli and wander around the old town. Enjoy a dinner at an excellent local fish restaurant. (B,L,D)
Salento Enjoy your final cookery lesson this morning and then lunch. The afternoon is free to sunbathe or relax. A farewell dinner will be prepared for you. (B,L,D)
Salento – Brindisi Tour ends after breakfast. (B)