March 16-23, 2013

Oldways, Oleana, and Oldways Italia enjoyed a magnificent journey throughout “the heel of Italy’s boot.” We discovered Puglia’s traditional cuisines, olive oils, wines, cheeses and cultural treasures, with visits to its farms, castles, groves and trulli and we walked in the footsteps of civilizations east and west that, over hundreds of years, came through this rich region. We experienced historic and spectacular springtime in Puglia, and learned about the wonderful ingredients, preparations and flavors that make the dishes of Puglia a perfectly delicious representation of the Mediterranean way of eating.
Puglia Culinaria highlights included:

  • Cooking classes with Ana and local chefs from north to south in Puglia, featuring the traditions of Pugliese home cooking – pasta, vegetables, olive oil, fish and seafood.
  • A visit to Castel del Monte, the magnificent octagonal Norman castle built in 1240 by Frederick II.
  • Incredible traditional Pugliese meals and visits to food markets.
  • Explorations of Puglia’s architectural treasures – from cone-shaped trullis in Martina Franca, to the magnificent Baroque monuments in Lecce, to the seaside cathedrals of Bari and Trani, to the “white town,” Ostuni.
  • A primer on olive oil. Learn about this essential Mediterranean ingredient from tree to the bottle, along with guided tastings of Puglia’s best extra virgin olive oil.
  • A visit to Matera, a UNESCO heritage town in Basilicata, best known for its stone dwellings (the Sassi), with lunch in one of the Sassi.
  • Guided tastings of the DOC wines of Puglia (north, central and south).
  • Producer visits with tastings of the cheeses, olives and other food specialties of Puglia.
  • Great camaraderie typical of Oleana-Oldways culinary tours.
  • Oldways Italia experience and knowledge.
  • Much, much more!

We met in Conversano at Corte Altavilla, in the land of the trulli, and stayed in Conversano for five nights, exploring north and west from our home base. Then we moved on March 21 to the Patria Palace, a historic hotel in the center of Baroque Lecce for the final two nights. The price of the culinary tour included most meals, hotel accommodations for 7 nights, cooking classes and tour activities. Airfare was not included. Cost per person: $3,150 (double occupancy)