Puglia & Lecce Cooking & Landmark Tour™

Cooking, Food Tours & Landmarks 8 Days

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Join Signora Letizia in the town of Conversano, just 45 minutes south of Bari for an unforgettable cooking and touring experience in the heart of Puglia with hands-on cooking classes and pasta making classes too!  Our Tasting Apuglia Program is a one-of-a-kind tour rich in food, culture and visiting two cities – Conversano and Lecce.

This special Cooking Vacation week will bring you into the colorful cooking of Puglia with two nights in the beautiful Baroque town of Lecce, too. In the kitchen, you will be cooking with fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables, naturally raised local meats, fish caught fresh daily from the Adriatic Sea, these are the ingredients for the perfect Puglia culinary experience. Chop, slice, cook, eat and tour your way through this amazing region of Italy, off the main tourist track, yet so rich in history and culinary traditions.

Puglia Cooking Classes 

The cooking program consists of three lessons, 2 traditional classes and 1 bread-making class. You will learn about Puglia’s cuisine, products and traditions. Cooking class 1 includes roasted lamb with potatoes, a fresh fish of the day or vegetarian; and taralli ~ traditional baked dry biscotti. For your second cooking class, you will prepare focaccia, eggplant or zucchini parmigiana, traditional handmade pasta as well as a sauce and a traditional dessert. The third class is a bread-making workshop, where you will learn to prepare traditional Apuglian breads which are famous in all of Italy. After the class you’ll taste the bread prepared in class with the very best local capocollo. Menus vary with the seasons, and special attention is always given to allergies and/or dietary needs.

Culinary Tour Puglia

Puglia set in the very the heel of the Italian boot is known for its culinary delights, natural landscape, incredible art & architecture, and splendid churches. With the Adriatic Sea on the eastern coast and the Gulf of Taranto in the instep, the peninsula of Puglia offers something for every traveler.

Alberobello is called ‘the Trulli capital’ and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Trulli are the stone houses with coned roofs, traditionally built without any cement or mortar that characterize the southern town. At the top of the roof there is either a pinnacle or a painted symbol, ranging from crosses, to planetary symbols, and mythological symbols to ward off the evil eye and bring good luck to the household. Alberobello is also known for its olive oil and olive trees. You’ll see talented artisans carve olive wood into cucchiarelle, wooden spoons, cutting boards, furniture, woven baskets and much more.

Otranto’s most treasured sites include the pentagon-shaped Aragonese Castle and the Cathedral with its incredible mosaic floor, dating to 1166AD.

Lecce is known as the Florence of Southern Italy, and true to its nickname, is a city rich in art and culture. Monuments include Medieval castles, Renaissance churches, Roman amphitheaters and Greek ruins. Today, Lecce produces artisan ceramics, olive oil with a unique Puglia taste, and red and white wine.

The town of Martina Franca holds its annual summer opera festival, Festival della Valle d’Itria. The historic center of this small city enchants its visitors with local products including the Martina Franca DOC sparkling wine, as well as an assortment of local salumi and capocollo.


Puglia Accommodations

During your Cooking Vacation you will be accommodated at the Villa. An elegant palazzo is home to charming guest rooms boasting a dreamlike view over the Romanesque cathedral.  The 4-star property has an air of elegance and charm. The villa sits on a historical Medieval court in a residential area at the center of Conversano, the City of Art. The property was completely renovated in 2002, keeping the old-world charm and structure, while blending modern amenities for guests’ comfort. The historical Villa, which is located within the walls of the Medieval court, was transformed into a beautiful property with a reception area, suites with elegant furnishings and a spa. Each guest suite offers large bedrooms with a private baths and modern comforts.  Accent barrel ceilings and wooden beams add a magical effect.

All rooms are equipped with direct-control air conditioning, satellite TV, direct telephone, security safes, free Wi-Fi internet connection, and a minibar. A solarium terrace, an information and concierge desk, complimentary bikes for each guest’s use, transfer facilities for area excursions, and a friendly staff add the finishing touches. Guests can also reserve a relaxing massage or spa treatment at the Villa’s full-service Spa.

A large buffet breakfast is served in the sunny garden room each morning. Freshly squeezed orange juice, yogurt, a choice of cereals, homemade croissants baked daily, biscotti, traditional cakes, fresh local cheeses, seasonal fruit, along with cappuccino, coffee and tea, are served.

You will also have 2 nights in our centrally located 4-Star Accommodations in Lecce.

Itinerary: 8 Days, 7 Nights 

Check in Saturday and check out Saturday. Other check-in days may be available upon request, please call for details.

Saturday: Arrival & Welcome Dinner

  • Arrival to Bari and transfer to villa hotel.
  • Check in and relax.  Later in the afternoon, take time to relax with an Italian aperitivo and explore the area on your own, bike or walk through the gardens.
  • In the evening, a Chef’s Tasting Dinner is served on the terrace with view over the ancient lanes and cathedral. The Restaurant offers an Apulian Tasting Menu. Dinner includes an antipasto, pasta, main course and dessert, based on local organic ingredients. (Wine and drinks are not included).

Sunday: Conversano City of Art & Spa

  • Breakfast is served.
  • Morning free.

 Discover “le Vie d’Arti” walking along the streets of some artists, a path starting from the cathedral square continuing to via Martucci, XX September square, and via porta antic. You will see the art gallery of Lucilla, the art gallery of Vittoria Rutigliano, and the art shops of excellent artisans (ceramics, pieces of jewelry, paintings, various objects).

  • At the end, don’t miss the Norman castle, home to the masterpieces of Paolo Finoglio, 6th century court painter. The collection includes: La Gerusalemme Liberata and frescoes in the Baroque church of Saint Cosma and Damiano. 
  • Afternoon: Meet up at the Spa to enjoy the Thermarium Spa and a 30-minute body massage.
  • Dinner on your own. The concierge service at the hotel will inform you about the top restaurants in the city.

Monday: Full Day Tour To Polignano, Monopoli & Alberobello.

  • Breakfast is served
  • After breakfast, meet your driver for your excursion to Polignano a Mare, a small village on the rocks of the Adriatic sea. Self-guided walking tour of the old town. Take time to enjoy a snack (not included), ice cream, or do a little shopping.
  • Visit a bar and ask for a “special coffee. Delicious! It is an espresso made with lemon zest, amaretto di Saronno liquor, and some cream.
  • Around noon, head to Monopoli, a Mediterranean town along the coast, and do not miss a stroll in the harbor area.
  • Your driver will drop you in the early afternoon at Alberobello, famous for its Trulli, cone-shaped houses, traditionally built in the region.
  • Return to Conversano in the evening.
  • Dinner on your own. Suggestions available on request.

Tuesday: Apulian Wine Tasting & Cooking Class 1

  • Breakfast is served.
  • After breakfast, meet your driver and enjoy a trip to Gioia del Colle and visit one of the best ‘winefarms’ in Puglia, winner of many awards. The winefarm produces an excellent Primitivo di Puglia and some organic wine, too. Wine tasting included.
  • Lunch on your own.
  • Afternoon: head to a masseria, an heritage country house for your Cooking Class 1, followed by dinner on the foods prepared in class. The dinner will be served in the orchard of the house. In the house you will enjoy a unique atmosphere of ancient time.


Wednesday: Visit to Lecce

  • Breakfast is served.
  • After breakfast, transfer to Lecce with your private driver.  Meet your English-speaking guide for an unforgettable half/day tour of the most baroque city in Apulia. Walk through the old district of the city, considered the ultimate expression of baroque in Apulia and visit the most symbolic buildings of 17th and 18th century.
  • Lunch is on your own.  Ask the guide suggestions for a tipical trattoria where you can sample delicious local food such as pittule, flash fried savory bites, lagane e ceci, pasta with chickpeas, sagne n’cannulate, homemade pasta.
  • If your preference is for a sweet snack, in any coffee bar you can have a pasticciotto, a sweet pastry shell filled with cream
  • Free afternoon for shopping or walking. In this area there are lots of artists’ workshops with their creations (pottery, paper pulp).
  • Dinner is on your own.
  • Overnight in Lecce in our central 4-Star Accommodations.

Thursday: Visit to Galatina, Gallipoli & Otranto

  • Breakfast is served.
  • After breakfast: meet your driver for your excursion Galatina to visit the old town and its important cathedral. Proceed to Gallipoli for a stroll along the sea side. Visit to the fish market, which is one of the biggest in the Region.
  • Departure to Otranto, the most easterly city in Italy.  Have a stroll around this charming old town facing the turquoise sea. Take some time to visit the romantic cathedral (1080 A.C.) and the castle and explore the old town.
  • Return to Lecce.
  • Dinner on your own. Suggestions available on request.
  • Overnight in Lecce in our central 4-Star Accomodations.

Friday: Grottaglie, Martina Franca & Cooking Class 2

  • Breakfast is served.
  • After breakfast meet your driver and depart to Grottaglie to visit this well known pottery district. Free time for shopping.
  • Next head to Valle d’Itria for a stroll in the old town. Stop at a masseria for your Cooking Class 2, a bread lesson. Enjoy a welcome drink and a tour of the organic farm, surrounded by very old olive trees.
  •  Besides the bread prepared in the class you will taste the best capocollo in the South Italy.
  • Return to Conversano
  • Dinner at a delicious local trattoria. This is one of the best restaurant in the town.
  • Overnight in Conversano.

Saturday: Departure & Arrivederci

  • Breakfast is served.
  • Check out and departure for Bari Airport or Train Station.

Program Includes

  • 7 nights and 8 days total – see details below.
  • 5 nights accommodations in a 4-star villa hotel in Conversano, based on 2 guests.
  • 2 nights accommodations in a 4-Star hotel in Lecce, based on 2 guests.
  • Daily breakfast and maid service.
  • Welcome Prosecco with dinner featuring a Chef’s tasting menu included, wine and beverages not included.
  • 1 cooking classes with dinner + 1 cooking class with capocollo and bread tasting.  Toast of local wine included.
  • Spa treatment including 30-minute massage.
  • Full-day excursion with private driver to Polignano, Monopoli & Alberobello.
  • Wine tasting at a local wine farm and visit to the vineyards
  • Half day tour of Lecce with English-speaking guide.
  • Full day excursion with private driver to Galatina, Gallipoli, Otranto.
  • Full day excursion with private driver to Grottaglie and Martina Franca.
  • Farewell dinner at a tipical trattoria. Wine and beverages not included.
  • Round trip transfers from Bari Airport or Train Station.
  • Cooking Vacations welcome bag with chef’s apron, recipes and Prosecco.
Program Prices

$4,695 per person, based 2 guests.

For Single Guests: If you are traveling on your own, please call us for the best group price. We are happy to welcome you into an already scheduled group.

Check Availability

2023 Dates: This program is available throughout the year and cooking classes are held every day. Cooking classes begin at 5pm and are approximately 3 hours. Rates are subject to change, based on currency exchange. Call for updated rates. Airfare not included. Group transfers for any cooking tour or tours that include transfers, are for the group and are not private. Transfers before, after or to another destination outside of your cooking tour are not included in the program price. If you would like to add on a private transfer or transfers, let us know and we will send you pricing.