For the ultimate Italian food & wine experience visit us in Lecce, Puglia for authentic Salentine cooking lessons, award winning wines and fine dining experiences.
Famous across Italy for its amazing food, wine and terrain our home of Puglia is a top destination for Italian cuisine. At the heart of Puglia's Salento region is the beautiful Salentine capital of Lecce. A beautiful baroque town away from the tourist hustle and bustle of Rome and Florence it remains as it was. Respected by Italians Puglia is a favourite holiday destination for its delicious authentic foods, locally produced wines, sunshine, cultural sites and beaches.
"Unspoilt Italy: Fall head over heel for Puglia's Salento region" The Guardian
"Lecce - a must see - one of the best baroque towns in the world" - Tripadvisor
"Salento is also full to brimming with small sleepy towns that are off the tourist trail but greatly worth visiting for their unspoilt historic centres and their unassuring genuineness" - Thethinkingtraveller.com
Our 7 DAY ITINERARY Day 1:Arrivals - Benvenuti! Welcome to Puglia! You will be met by our meet and greet service at Brindisi Airport and transported in our comfortable transport to the luxury accommodation in the historical centre of Lecce. Once at the accommodation you will be warmly welcomed and shown to your stylish room. Your welcome basket of goodies and welcome pack will be waiting for you.
Day 2: Pasta Masterclass in the country with Zia Rosa and an evening in Lecce After breakfast you will be collected from the accommodation by our private shuttle and transported to the house of Zia Rosa in the countryside just outside of Lecce. You will have fun making fresh pasta with our cook Zia Rosa who has many years of experience making popular pasta dishes by hand. The pasta masterclass will be held outside in the beautiful countryside and later you will enjoy the fresh pasta as your lunch with a wonderfully paired local wine. Our private shuttle will return to collect you and take you back to the accommodation for a couple of hours of relaxation. Once early evening arrives you will be met at the accommodation and walk around the centre of Lecce for a lovely evening of sightseeing. You will be free to wander around the historical centre and take in the sights of "Piazza duomo" the cathedral square, Piazza Sant'oronzo and the many beautiful churches and shops. We have many recommendations of where you could enjoy a special evening meal.
Day 3: A day trip along the coastal road with fresh seafood in Gallipolli and sightseeing in Santa Maria di Leuca After breakfast you will be collected and taken on a beautiful scenic drive along the coast of Puglia from Lecce down to Santa Maria di Leuca. Stopping off at Gallipoli which is a very interesting town on the Ionian sea in the Salento peninsula of Puglia which is famous for it's fresh seafood. It's seafood is so fresh in fact that many Italians enjoy eating it raw or "crudo". Whilst in Galipolli you will visit the wonderful fresh fish and seafood market along the popular seaside port and have to opportunity to try it's famous shellfish and fish caught fresh that morning. Gallipoli is a beautiful town to walk around and to do a spot of shopping. Once you have had adequate time to wander around you will continue your tour along the coast to the breathtaking Santa Maria di Leuca.
Day 4:Wine tasting with tour and an evening in Otranto After breakfast you will be collected from your accommodation by our private shuttle and taken on a guided tour of an award winning vineyard. You will be taken around the vineyard by our wine expert and be shown the wine making process. After the guided tour you will be taken to the wine tasting area and receive an expert tasting session which will be accompanied by a tasty light lunch of local cheeses, meats, fresh bread and taralli. You will have the opportunity to purchase your favourite wines before our private shuttle returns to accompany you back to the accommodation in Lecce. In the late afternoon our shuttle will arrive at your accommodation to take you to the breath taking Otranto. This wonderful seaside village will stay in your heart forever with its picture-perfect blue waters, white buildings and gothic castle which make Otranto an absolute must see. You will be free to take a stroll around the village and choose the perfect place to eat dinner. Our shuttle will collect you at the end of the evening to take you back to the accommodation in Lecce.
Day 5: Visit to Ostuni, an afternoon Cookery Class in a Trulli and an evening trip to Alberobello After breakfast you will be collected from your accommodation and taken to visit the incredible Ostuni. You will spend the morning wandering around this spectacular white coastal town and taking in it's amazing sights. After Ostuni you will be taken to the nearby beautiful Alberobello. You will enjoy a cookery class in a restored white "trulli" house over looking the breath taking countryside. The cluster of "trulli" houses make up a fantastic location where you will take an "al fresco" meaning "in the fresh" cookery course on the outdoor terraced area with panoramic views over looking the olive trees and and vineyards. You will prepare a seasonal meal using the time old traditional methods described by our outstanding chef Maurizio. Maurizio will share his traditional recipes with you and later you can enjoy your meal with a view and a choice of wines. In the early evening you will be taken to centre of Alberobello for a wonderful evening in this unusual town. Known for its streets filled with only trulli houses the whitewashed stone huts with conical roofs are delightful to wander around and to look inside. Today the trulli are often shops where you can buy souvenirs and restaurants where you can enjoy your evening meal. After your afternoon of sightseeing and evening meal our shuttle will collect you to take you back to your accommodation.
Day 6: Wine class with lunch and an evening in Locorotondo & Polignano a Mare After breakfast you will be given a wine masterclass on the locally produced wines paired perfectly with a delicious lunch. You will learn about the exceptional Apulian wines with our passionate wine expert and be talked through them individually as you taste. After a few hours of relaxation you will be taken to the picturesque village of Locorotondo and the famous coast line of Polignano a Mare. Here you will have the evening free to stroll and discover this incredible seaside town which is best discovered after dark. Our shuttle will collect you at the end of the evening to take you back to your accommodation.
Day 7:Cookery Masterclass in the Masseria and an evening in Martina Franca & Taranto After breakfast you will be collected from Alberobello by our private shuttle and taken to a beautiful Masseria for a cookery masterclass. Here you will take a traditional cookery masterclass where you will be shown how to make famous dishes using local ingredients with our expert chef. After you have made and cooked your fantastic lunch you will sit down to enjoy your lunch with a glass of locally produced wine in the spectacular scenery. Our private shuttle will arrive in the afternoon to take you to Martina Franca and Taranto for the evening. In Taranto you can enjoy the beautiful sights and dine out at your leisure. At the end of the evening our shuttle will collect you to take you back to your accommodation.
Day 8: Departures - Arrivederci In the words of the famous song "Time to say goodbye", sniff. On the day of departures you will be escorted back to Brindisi airport with all of your fantastic memories and experiences ready to share with your friends back home. Buon Viaggio!
Some of the best traditional foods in Italy come from Puglia, the region in the heel of Italy’s “boot.” But while we love cuisine (and travel) across Puglia, you'll leave your hearts (and stomachs!) in the region’s peninsula of Salento.
Puglia’s Salento boasts gorgeous beaches, lush farmland, ornate churches, and ancient ruins. It’s also home to many of the foods Italy is famous for! Its deeply-rooted cucina povera tradition means its cuisine tends to be simple and delicious, relying on fresh, local produce. And Puglia and the Salento have lots of fantastic ingredients to choose from—like chickpeas, homegrown herbs and spices, olives and olive oil, tomatoes, and, of course, fresh seafood. Plus, even the act of eating itself is a serious local tradition in Puglia. Walking along the cobblestoned streets, you’ll notice that families usually eat lunch and dinner with their windows and doors open, filling the air with fragrance—and sometimes inviting curious passers-by in for a bite. Discover how to create the best traditional Salentine dishes with our home cooks and professional chefs where you will be taken into their homes and kitchens for an unforgetable Southern Italian experience of a lifetime. You will be taken through the regions favourite recipes step by step creating memories and a passion for Italian food that will last a lifetime.
Fine Seafood Dining in puglia
Puglia is famous for it's fine dining. Being perfectly positioned for the fresh fish and seafood of Porto Cesareo it doesn't get better than this. As part of our Food & Wine Holiday we provide an insiders guide to the local food, shops and restaurants for you to experience the unforgettable fine dining of Puglia. Our top restaurant list includes an extra special restaurant where the menu changes to accommodate the best seafood catches of the day ensuring the tastiest and freshest offerings. Enjoy an evening here tucked away in the Puglian countryside with the locals of Lecce. It is a true gem off the tourist beaten track.
The Vineyards of Leverano
Taste the award winning DOP wines from the famous vineyards of Leverano. Cantina Vecchia Torre produces over 2500000 bottles of wine every year including it's award winning Negroamaro, Arneide Salento IGP Rosso and Leverano DOP Riserva Rosso. Take a tour of the award winning vineyards with wine tasting and try a typical Puglian tasting menu including cheeses, meats and taralli.