Explore Puglia aim to make your inclusive  holiday in Puglia an experience of a lifetime.  Our Italian cooking holiday and culinary tour is perfectly balanced between cooking classes, culinary/wine excursions and discovering the delights of Puglia, and when the week is over you will have made new friends and have experienced the real Italy …….. because you will have lived it!

Below is an example of a typical itinerary.

7 night/8 day cooking Italian Cooking and Culinary Tour

Day 1     Friday Evening Collection from Bari/Brindisi airport, welcome drinks and food on arrival at Locanda Ventura followed by an introduction to Explore Puglia cooking and culinary tour by our local representative  and the opportunity to get to know your fellow foodies.
Day 2 Saturday Morning After breakfast at Locanda Ventura you will be taken to ‘al solito posto’ our cooking school where you will have your first cooking lesson.  This lesson will include learning to make Orchiette, the small ear shaped pasta Puglia is famous for with a Ragu sauce followed by a primi piatti of Braciola (stuffed meat slices) and finish with a delicious Tiramisu.  Lunch is as a group enjoying the fruits of your labour.
Afternoon Today you will visit Alberobello, a UNESCO World Heritage site famous for its unusual districts of trulli, the characteristic white-washed conical-roofed houses unique to Puglia
Evening Dinner at Gli Ulivi, a popular local restaurant that offers excellent simple fresh  home style Pugliese  cooking at its best.
Day 3   Sunday Morning After breakfast at Locanda Ventura you will be collected and taken to visit a seafood and fish market in Savelletri, a small traditional fishing port on the coast, near Fasano.
Afternoon Lunch at al solito posto, then a visit to the charming seaside town of Polignano al Mare, located on the top of limestone  cliffs, with restaurants built into the caves giving the town a magical quality. Here you will have several free hours to explore and meander the narrow  roads and winding alleys twisting in a maze of houses, shops and bars in the medieval historical centre.
Evening Dinner is at Lido Bizzarro, a seafood restaurant with its enchanting sea views and fresh daily catch.
Day 4   Monday Morning After breakfast at Locanda Ventura you will be collected for your second cooking lesson.  During this lesson you will learn to make Cavatelli al  Frutti di Mare, followed by a primi piatti of Frittura mista di pesce (mixed fried fish) finishing with a dessert of Torta al limone. Lunch is as a group enjoying the fruits of your labour.
Afternoon This afternoon you will visit the local wine museum for a tour and tasting of the local primitivo wines.
Evening Dinner is at le grande querce a traditional family run restaurant offering local specialities and a particularly lovely anti pasta della casa.
Day 5  Tuesday Morning The morning is free to spend as you wish.  There are local taxis you can hire to visit some other local attractions – Fasano Zoosafari, Castellana Grotte, Ostuni ‘white city’
Afternoon Late afternoon you will be collected for your third lesson.  During your third lesson you will learn to make traditional Lasagne al forno, followed by a primi piatti of  Polpettone di Carni (stuffed meat loaf) and dessert of Crostata alla Ricotta an Italian type of baked cheesecake.
Evening Dinner is as a group enjoying the fruits of your labour.
Day 6 Wednesday Morning After early breakfast at Locanda Ventura you will visit the Forno where Foccacio and Taralli (the local biscuit) is baked in traditional ovens then on to the Casaficio to watch Mozzarella, Ricotta and Burata and other local cheeses being made.
Afternoon Today we sample an aperitivo, a light lunch with a glass of something stronger!
Evening In your fourth lesson you will cook Fave Cicorie (broad bean puree with chicory, a particular favourite of Rick Stein when he visited Puglia) Parmigiana a baked layered dish usually made with aubergine, tomato and cheese (delicious!) followed by a Torta al cioccolato.  dinner is as a group enjoying the fruits of your labour.
Day 7 Thursday Morning After breakfast you will be taken to Martina Franca, an elegant town a beautiful ‘old city’ surrounded by stone walls,  to visit a local market selling seasonal delicacies (porcini for penne ai funghi in autumn, turnip tops for orechiette al cima di rape in September).
Afternoon Free time to browse, sample,  shop and lunch at leisure in Martina Franca
Evening During your fifth lesson you will learn to make Papardelle ai porcini e speck, Risotto agli asparagi and Focaccia alla cipolla (Focaccia with onions) followed by a special desert of Cartellate (crisp pastry spirals, deep fried then drizzled with honey).
Day 8     Friday Morning A guided walking tour of Fasano historical centre with a history dating back nearly 1,000 years, popular with visitors keen to explore the tangle of narrow streets winding between white painted houses, ancient churches, palaces and the remnants of the town wall and towers. Leave for the airport

Typical local town

4 night/5 day cooking Italian Cooking and Culinary Tour

Day 1     Friday Evening Collection from Bari/Brindisi airport, welcome drinks and food on arrival at Locanda Ventura followed by an introduction to Explore Puglia cooking and culinary tour by our local representative  and the opportunity to get to know your fellow foodies.
Day 2 Saturday Morning After breakfast at Locanda Ventura you will be taken to ‘al solito posto’ our cooking school where you will have your first cooking lesson.  This lesson will include learning to make Orchiette, the small ear shaped pasta Puglia is famous for with a Ragu sauce followed by a primi piatti of Braciola (stuffed meat slices) and finish with a delicious Tiramisu.  Lunch is as a group enjoying the fruits of your labour.
Afternoon Today you will visit Alberobello, a UNESCO World Heritage site famous for its unusual districts of trulli, the characteristic white-washed conical-roofed houses unique to Puglia
Evening Dinner at Gli Ulivi, a popular local restaurant that offers excellent simple fresh  home style Pugliese  cooking at its best.
Day 3   Sunday Morning After breakfast at Locanda Ventura you will be collected and taken to visit a seafood and fish market in Savelletri, a small traditional fishing port on the coast, near Fasano.
Afternoon Lunch at al solito posto, then a visit to the charming seaside town of Polignano al Mare, located on the top of limestone  cliffs, with restaurants built into the caves giving the town a magical quality. Here you will have several free hours to explore and meander the narrow  roads and winding alleys twisting in a maze of houses, shops and bars in the medieval historical centre.
Evening Dinner is at Lido Bizzarro, a seafood restaurant with its enchanting sea views and fresh daily catch.
Day 4   Monday Morning After breakfast at Locanda Ventura you will be collected for your second cooking lesson.  During this lesson you will learn to make Cavatelli al  Frutti di Mare, followed by a primi piatti of Frittura mista di pesce (mixed fried fish) finishing with a dessert of Torta al limone. Lunch is as a group enjoying the fruits of your labour.
Afternoon This afternoon you will visit the local wine museum for a tour and tasting of the local primitivo wines.
Evening Dinner at Locanda Ventura eating fresh produce from the farm.
Day 5  Tuesday Morning Leave for the airport

 

 

Dining room, Locanda Ventura

Dining at Locanda Ventura

Best time to visit

All year round.  Taking a holiday in Puglia in October and November, you will experience the wine/olive harvesting, and in Spring/Summer the many music and food festivals.

Other activities

For those not wanting to partake in the Puglia Cooking Programme there are plenty of activities and entertainment to keep you busy – walking, hiking, horse riding, golfing (5* San Domenica Golf resort just 10 mins) fishing, bird watching, shopping or just chilling on the beach.

To book or find out more about our inclusive Italian cooking holiday and culinary tour please contact us