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Puglia:

Tradition, Ritual and Sacred Spaces

8 - 14 September 2024

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itinerary 

day 1 arrival 

Transfers from Bari and Brindisi to our masseria south of Bari. First group meeting in the early evening for an orientation cocktail and group supper. 

 

day 2 Valle d'Itria, olive oil and wine 

Out and about exploring the villages of the Valle d’Itria we’ll visit a producer of super high quality extra virgin olive oil to learn about how it’s made and how to recognize the perfumes and flavors of high quality olive oils. Lunch with a great chef in Putignano and an afternoon visit to a natural winemaker who works with the region’s primitivo grapes. Evening cooking lesson and group supper.

day 3 Barivecchia 

Tour of the maze that is the ancient historic center of Bari. The warren of little lanes hides, surprisingly, the ponderous Norman cathedral dedicated to San Nicola, fry shops and one of the best bakeries in the city for iconic foccaccia barese.  Barese recipes for lunch and free time to explore the city. Seaside aperitivo and group supper. 

day 4 cheese, breads, Ostuni 

Visit artisan laboratories for traditional cheeses (like burrata and ricotta forte) and breads (frise and taralli) in San Vito dei Normanni. Lunch served by two brothers who opened a restaurant in their grandmother’s house in order to exalt her recipes. Afternoon in Ostuni for a visit to their imposing Norman cathedral and and excellent antique ceramics shop. Supper on your own in Monopoli (restaurant suggestions provided).

day 5 the Salento

In the Salento, the most southern part of the region for a traditional pastry demo and lunch and free time to explore the lively little village of Nardò. Tour of the city of Lecce with its particular brand of baroque architecture .. exuberant architectonic detail carved from the warm colored local tufa and free time to explore and have an aperitivo. 

day 6 Grottaglie and Martina Franca

Head west this morning for a visit with ceramic artisans in Grottaglie practicing Puglia’s millennial artisan craft in a more modern key. Tasting lunch and a visit to an artisan producer of capocollo, Martina Franca’s signature pork that's cured in wine. Farewell group supper.

day 7 departure

Transfers to Bari and Brindisi. 

Please note that this is an initial itinerary to provide a template of what to expect.

The people and places that we will be visiting are not typical tourist destinations

so plans may be modified at the last minute. We will craft the final itinerary

to provide the experience as described above.

details

With a group of 10 - 12 travelers we’ll stay at a simply yet beautifully restored masseria /  humble farmhouse in the area between Bari and Brindisi, easily accessible to airports in both cities and the areas included in our itinerary. We will have a private van and driver for all ground transportation.

Your activity level should allow you to walk for 2 - 4 miles per day including up and down steps, on uneven cobblestone streets and through vineyards and olive groves that are planted on hills and terraces. 

The total program cost is $5,975 per person in double rooms, $6,575 in single rooms. 

During a late summer visit to Puglia from a base in a typical masseria / farmhouse in the area between Bari and Brindisi we'll explore from Bari down into the Salento, the tip of the heel of the boot. Experience life in the small villages of the interior and along the Adriatic sea, taste with artisan producers of Puglia’s food staples, visit the ponderous Norman cathedrals and ancient sites. Barivecchia (the original historic center of Bari) is the original mixed use concept: the Norman cathedral dedicated to the revered San Nicola shares the narrow lanes with garage fry shops, old fashioned bakeries and women making orecchiette in the garage. The Valle d’Itria is animated with trulli  / domed stone farmhouses and an agricultural community of producers of wine, cheese, salame and spectacular olive oil. The Salento is noted for Baroque architecture and a heartfelt sense of tradition that infiltrates every facet of life from music to feast days to the local pastry shop. 

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