Renaissance Puglia™

Puglia Street Food, Visit Bari & Alberobello ~ 8 Day

puglia_cooking2   Puglia Trulli Sea View05Puglia Cooking School1sicily_market3puglia_cooking4 Puglia Trulli Sea View07 DSC_8445

Join Letizia in the town of Conversano, just 45 minutes south of Bari for cooking and touring in the heart of Puglia. Set in Italy’s geographic heel, your Cooking Vacation week will bring you into the kitchen for hands-on cooking. You will experience this magical region, while tasting its foods, wines and learning about its history and culture in our women only tour. In the kitchen you will be cooking with fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables, naturally raised local meats, fresh fish from the Adriatic Sea, while uncovering the secrets of Puglia’s cuisine along with cultural visits to Alberobello and Trani!

Puglia Cooking Classes

Our cooking classes in Puglia are hands-on while immersing you into the culture and cuisine. Start with regional antipasti of roasted stuffed eggplant and zucchini, fresh pasta like fusilli, main course, of fish, meat and vegetarian along with regional bread –taralli. Give your hands a try to a traditional dessert making class too, where you will learn to prepare a variety bignè, zeppole, a traditional sweet flash-fried dough filled with cream and a savory calzone di cipolla, a rustic pizza filled with onions.  You will also learn how to make artisan bread and taralli, the famous Puglian baked treasures.  And this is just a sample of the menu of the many great things you will be cooking! Menus vary with the seasons; vegetarian and any special requests are always met.

Explore the street food of Alberobello or take a traditional hands on home cooking class near the cliffs of Matera, a rocky outcrop in the region of Basilicata, in southern Italy. Visit Bari and explore their local and authentic foods throughout Bari food tours and cooking classes!


Situated at the heel of Italy’s boot, Puglia is noted for its excellent food, picturesque towns and villages and rich history. The surrounding countryside is covered in olive and almond groves growing with silvery grey leaves and deep orange-hued soil creating some of Italy’s most striking landscapes. The region’s superb olive oil is present in every facet of cooking here too, from garnishing salads to pastas to main courses. Fish is fresh, abundant, and is prepared in many ways, for example it is marinated (or ceviche-style), be it swordfish, sea bream, shellfish, octopus, sea urchin and calamari to name a few. You will taste some of Italy’s best cheese in this region as well, from mozzarella, scamorza and burrata.

Puglia Accommodations

During your Cooking Vacations you will be accommodated at the 4 star villa property. The elegant palazzo offers guest rooms with a sweeping view over the Romanesque cathedral on a historical Medieval court in the center of Conversano. The property was completely renovated in 2002, keeping the old-world charm and structure, while incorporating modern amenities for each guest’s comforts. The property offers a reception area, beautiful luxurious suites with elegant furnishings and a spa. The accommodations offer private ensuite baths, 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 spa treatments at the Villa’s full-service Spa center.

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.

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 airport and transfer to villa hotel.
  • Check in and relax. Later in the afternoon, take time to enjoy 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 views over the ancient landscape and cathedral. Dinner includes an antipasto, pasta, main course and dessert, based on local, organic ingredients. (Wine and drinks are not included).

Sunday: Cooking Class 1 & Spa Treatment 1

  • Breakfast is served.
  • Cooking Class 1 set in the country house in Conversano.  Tie on your apron for hands-on cooking learning how to prepare a full course lunch while learning about local cuisine and ingredients.  Lunch follows with the foods prepared in class. Water and local wine included.
  • Late afternoon, enjoy your first spa treatment at the villa.
  • Suggestions: In your free time, stroll through the winding streets of the old town. Visit the Romanesque Cathedral and Monastery of St. Benedict, and 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.
  • Dinner on your own with suggestions included.

Monday: Guided Tour of UNESCO Castel Del Monte & Vineyard Visit

  • Breakfast is served.
  • In the morning, visit Trani, home to the Moscato di Trani wine and the old center of town. Visit the All Saints Church of Saint Antonio, and the great Apulian Cathedral built in Romanesque style.
  • Then, continue on to a prized vineyard (driver included) where you will learn about the local wine making process with a visit to the underground cellar. The oenologist explains the production of high quality DOC wines, stroll the vineyard and taste the Estate’s award-winning wines. Wine tasting & lunch included.
  • After lunch, continue your excursion with a visit to the strangely octagonal-shaped castle, Castel del Monte, a UNESCO World Heritage site, built by Federico II of Svevia, in the 13th Century as his castle and citadel.
  • Return to the villa in the afternoon.
  • Dinner on your own with suggestions included.

Tuesday: Cooking Class 2  & Spa Treatment 2

  • Breakfast is served.
  • After breakfast, enjoy your next spa relaxing treatment.
  • Lunch on your own.
  • Afternoon Cooking Class 2.  Tie on your apron for hands-on cooking learning how to make artisan bread and taralli.  Learn how to carefully prepare dough, mix, need and proof, followed by making delicious traditional taralli, with an artisan baker.  Following the cooking class enjoy the bread and taralli that were made in class with local wine included.

Wednesday: Cooking Class 3 – Artisan Bread and Taralli Making

Optional – Add on A Guided Tour to Matera’s Sassi & Altamura

  • Breakfast is served.
  • In the morning, learn how to make artisan bread and taralli in your Cooking Class 3. After the class, enjoy the foods you made in the cooking class.
  • In the afternoon, you can choose to add on a guided tour to Matera’s Sassi & Altamura. Please reserve the excursion in advance.
  • If you add on Matera, you are off to the ancient town of Sassi, a UNESCO heritage site. Lunch is included in a traditional restaurant near the Sassi. Wine and beverages not included. In the afternoon the tour continues to the town of Altamura, famous for the production of “il pane di Altamura” DOP and focaccia. Tastings included at the bakery. Return to the Villa in the afternoon.
  • Dinner on your own, ask about our favorite agriturismo, a beautiful restaurant set among olive groves, vineyards and almond trees. The restaurant offers appetizers of a full-course dinner option and is noted for their milk blancmange, almond cream paired with a rosolio, rose petal liquor.

Thursday: Full-Day Guided Tour Martina Franca, Locorotondo & Alberobello

  • Breakfast is served.
  • After breakfast, departure for Martina Franca to visit the historical center and visit the main palaces of the 16th and 17th century. Visit Saint Martin’s collegiate church, the Duke’s Palace, Saint Dominic’s church and the church of Carmine. Going on to Locorotondo, visit the Wine farm “I Pastini” and enjoy a tasting of DOC wines with the help of expert sommeliers.
  • Next on to Alberobello. Lunch in a trullo. Wine and beverages included.
  • Afternoon visit of Alberobello ~ famous for its trulli, cone-shaped houses, traditionally built in the region. Start in the town’s main square and visit to the Trullo Sovrano, D’Amore house, Aia Piccola, medieval-style quarter, Monti quarter as well as a visit to the Trullo Siamese.
  • Return to the villa in the later afternoon.
  • Dinner on your own with suggestions included.

Friday: Bari Excursion with Street Food Tastings

  • Breakfast is served.
  • After breakfast, departure for Bari, a city rich in gastronomic traditions. You will take part in the life of the city, tasting its typical food along the way. You will find stalls and kiosks where you can taste fried polenta (sgagliozze), the typical focaccia barese, panzerotti (a closed fried pizza stuffed with mozzarella and tomato) and fresh raw fish. In the famous Nicolai, Montegrappa, Japigia and Mazzini markets that take their names from the streets or from the neighborhoods where they are situated, we can find food or other products which are ideal souvenirs to take home.
  • Return to the villa.
  • Dinner on your own with suggestions included.

Saturday: Departure

• Breakfast served.
• Departure and transfer to Bari airport or train station.

*Note: This schedule may vary due to inclement weather, saint days or festivals. All activities, in the event of rescheduling, are always included during the week.

Program Includes:

  • 8 days, 7 nights in in a 4-star villa hotel in Conversano, based on 2 guests. Click to view!
  • Daily breakfast and maid service.
  • Three hands-on cooking classes followed by lunch including the food that was prepared in the cooking class. Local wine and water included.  One cooking class is making artisan Pugliese bread and traditional taralli.
  • Welcome dinner with full course Chef’s Tasting Menu featuring local fare, wine/beverages not included.
  • Marketplace tour; informal discussion and tastings included.
  • 2 spa treatments to be enjoyed at the villa.
  • Guided tour of Trani and Castel del Monte, lunch, tastings of typical products and wine included.
  • Full day guided tour to Martina Franca, Locorotondo and Alberobello, lunch and wine tasting included.
  • Excursion to Bari with private driver and local guide in Bari, with street food tastings along the way.
  • Arrival & departure transfers from Bari Airport or Train Station.
  • Cooking Vacations welcome bag with chef’s apron, recipes and Prosecco.
  • A copy of Lauren’s cookbook, It’s A Dream Place – Stories & Recipes of Food, Love and the Amalfi Coast
Program Prices

$5,295 per person, based on 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.  Train station pick up is Conversano.  Airport pick up is at Bari Airport.

*Arrival transfer from Brindisi Airport or Brindisi train station is available on request prices based upon group size. Call us for details.

Check Availability

2024 Dates: This program is available throughout the year. Check in is Saturday to check out on Saturday. 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.