The Agricultural Heritage
of Puglia

Italy's Heel ‚Äď Puglia

Puglia is an agricultural region, producing around 40% of Italy’s olive oil and a large proportion of its wine. Vast tracts of the region’s territory are given over to farming, and many inhabitants continue to grow their own produce. This essentially agricultural nature means that the region’s cuisine is home-country inspired, predominantly using local produce.

In terms of pasta, Puglians pride themselves on their orecchiette, little ear-shaped shells that are still produced by hand on a daily basis by many signore. It is usually served with tasty sauces such as meat ragu, broccoli and lard, or turnip tops. The pasta itself is made  from durum wheat flour, water and salt. Eggs, once considered a luxury, are not used in traditional Puglian pasta-making.

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Puglia’s rocky interior is ideal for sheep-farming and, in terms of meat, lamb reigns supreme, a trait that Puglia shares with its near neighbour, Greece. Feast days are characterised by the fragrances of roasting lamb wafting through the streets and most restaurant menus will feature at least a couple of lamb dishes. Horse meat and pork are also popular while beef, traditionally a minor player in the region’s cuisine, is more and more popular.

Puglia’s¬†pecorinos¬†and¬†ricottas¬†are excellent, especially¬†Burrata di Andria,¬†a fresh, soft cheese that has to be eaten within 24 hours of production. Puglia’s long coastline and fishing tradition bring large quantities of seafood to the table and the many seafront restaurants in towns like¬†Gallipoli,¬†Otranto, Brindisi and Taranto serve up feasts of just-caught fish.

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Sample Itinerary

Day 1
Arrive at Bari Airport, pick up your car and drive to Trani. Check-in to your hotel in the heart of Trani and relax before an evening stroll in town. The tiny fishing port has an array of sea-side bars, while the historic centre, with its medieval churches and faded palazzi is a beautiful area to explore. The cathedral, pale against the deep-blue sea, is the town's most arresting sight. Dinner at leisure. Overnight in Trani. Stay at Mare Resort.
Day 2
Breakfast at hotel. Depart after breakfast and enjoy a visit to Bitonto with a stroll in the Roman town and an exclusive focaccia, taralli and  bocconotto tasting. Drive to nearby Giovinazzo and prepare a fish lunch (including crudo), pastry and gelato, with Chef Francesco. Enjoy an afternoon walk in Bari old-town and see orecchiette making in the street. Evening and dinner at leisure. Overnight in Trani.
Day 3
Breakfast at hotel.Start the morning getting to know the native varietals, Nero di Troia and Bombino at a local bio-dynamic estate, set in the heart of the Alta Murgia national park.  Afternoon guided tour to UNESCO World Heritage site Castel del Monte - a 13th-century citadel and castle situated on a hill, before returning to Trani. Evening and dinner at leisure.  Overnight in Trani.
Day 4
Breakfast at hotel and check out. Depart for a panoramic drive along the Adriatic coast, for an introduction to extra virgin olive oils, almonds and fig wine before reaching the beautiful village of Polignano a Mare. A private guided walk plus a caffè speciale and gelato tasting.  Stop at San Vito fishing village for a lunch by the water. Visit Alberobello, an astonishing Unesco World Heritage site known for its trulli, whitewashed stone huts with conical roofs. Drive to Fasano and check-in to your hotel. Evening and dinner at leisure. Stay at Masseria Montenapoleone Overnight in Speziale.
Day 5
Breakfast at hotel. Start the day with traditional burrata, mozzarella and scamorza making and tasting. Drive towards the Itria Valley admiring the beautiful scenery that leads up to Martina Franca. Enjoy a walk in the baroque capital of central Puglia and a Slow Food presidia capocollo tasting. Continue to Manduria for a Primitivo organic wine tasting and a light lunch. Finally, a stroll and visit to the Ceramics Museum in the town ofGrottaglie. Evening and dinner at leisure.  Overnight in Speziale.
Day 6
Breakfast at hotel. Drive to Lecce and enjoy a morning tour of this unique baroque town with our expert tour guide. See the Cattedrale, Basilica di Santa Croce, Chiesa di San Matteo, Roman theatre and Piazza Sant’ Oronzo. Enjoy lunch in one of the oldest trattoria in town before driving to the whitewashed town of Ostuni, for a walk before returning to your hotel. Evening and dinner at leisure.  Overnight in Speziale.
Day 7
Breakfast at hotel. Full-day discovery of the Adriatic side of the coast, all the way down to Leuca with countless opportunities for incredible swimming, pictures and views; including Capo d'Otranto, Santa Cesarea and Santa Maria di Leuca, the southern most cape of Eastern Italy. Evening and dinner at leisure.  Overnight in Speziale.
Day 8
Breakfast at hotel and checkout. Drive to Bari Airport.

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‚ÄĘHotel accommodation
‚ÄĘHire care and transportation to/from airports
‚ÄĘCooking classes
‚ÄĘTastings and guided tours


Cost: On request
Single Supplement: On request

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