Tuscany Villa Culinary Workshops in Italy

Poggio Etrusco, a Bed & Breakfast in Tuscany, Italy
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A Taste of Puglia

Map of Italy highlighting the Puglia region, the "heel of the boot".Puglia, Italy's "heel of the boot," is a unique region strategically placed in the Mediterranean on the historic path to vanquish new lands. This narrow peninsula has seen waves of conquerers from the Greeks of Magna Graecia, ancient Romans, and Byzantines to the Normans, Swabians, Angevins, Aragonese, the Spanish, and Ottoman Turks. This has created a colorful tapestry of culture which we'll see this in the amazing baroque architecture of Lecce, the curious stone trulli of Alberobello (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), and the Castello del Monte (also UNESCO), a true fusion of Arabic, medieval europe, and eastern features.

We will visit just a few areas, Murgia and the Itria Valley, Bari, and the Salento to the south, areas that are quite diverse. With 60 million olive trees in the region (1 olive tree for every Italian citizen), some of them very ancient, there is no shortage of olive oil in Puglia, and we will learn much about this very essential ingredient. We'll taste the DOC and DOCG wines from traditional grapes such as Primitivo, Negroamaro, Bombino Nero, Nero di Troia, and more.

Pamela Sheldon Johns standing next to an olive tree in Puglia.

Along the way, we will discover the typical products of the area:

  • Sea urchins in Puglia Semola breads (including the famous Basilicatan bread of Altamura);
  • Other specialties made from semola flour: taralli, focaccia barese, pasta such as orecchiette and cavatelli, and a peasant recipe made from 'burnt' wheat;
    • exquisite fresh local seasonal vegetables;
    • creamy burrata and other divine cheeses;
    • fresh, fresh seafood including sea urchins; and
    • irresistible sweets such as pasticciotto.


  • 5 nights accommodations in unique properties (inquire about the 6-night program that includes one night in Matera)
  • Breakfast and most meals
  • Morning and afternoon activities (cooking classes, village visits, artisan visits, tastings). Sample itinerary on request.
  • Ground transportation arrive/depart Bari

The six-night program includes a stay in the UNESCO zone of Matera.

Other info:

  • Fishing boat in Puglia, ItalyEasy flights from Rome (not included)
  • Group transfers by van can be arranged from Rome or Naples, pricing on request
  • Typically 1 night Bari (arrival), 2 nights Ostuni, 2 nights Lecce. Rooms can be booked through us for early arrivals.
  • Food sensitivities are no problem if we are informed in advance.

PRIVATE GROUPS OF SIX OR MORE CAN BOOK AN EXCLUSIVE PROGRAM, contact us directly for more details.

Olive trees in front of the the curious stone trulli of Alberobello.

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