We offer our culinary programs in Puglia (Ostuni, Lecce and Bari) Sicily (Syracuse and Catania) and the Amalfi coast (Sorrento, Positano and Castellammare).
DISCOVER THE BEST OF APULIA’S FOOD AND WINE ON OUR AUTHENTIC, WEEK LONG COOKING TOUR WHERE YOU WILL BE WELCOMED MORE AS FAMILY THAN GUESTS!
If you like great food and you are visiting Puglia, one of our culinary tours should be an absolute must on your list. Green Italy tours offer you full-days of culinary and heritage excursions. Learn from cooks who reveal the secrets of recipes handed down through generations of their families on our relaxed and fun cookery courses. Visit award winning wineries, a cheese farm, an olive oil Masseria, where you can experience olive oil tasting and dine at the best restaurants.
DAY 1: Welcome to Puglia, check in at a charming boutique hotel and the start of your culinary journey.
We will meet you at Bari or Brindisi airport and drive you to your hotel, the luxurious and relaxing Masseria Salinola in Ostuni, where you will spend your first 4 nights. This charming boutique hotel is a refurbished 16th century, fortified, farmhouse surrounded by centuries old olive trees in the quiet Apulian countryside. Equipped with all comforts it is furnished in a luxurious, rustic style and embellished with antique furniture. We will enjoy a quick lunch by the beautiful swimming pool before our first cooking class in Ostuni where we will experience the culinary delights of the region.
First we will prepare tiramisu, layering liqueur soaked biscuits and mascarpone cheese and decorating with flaked chocolate. Then we put together “braciole” little rolls of meat with cheese, garlic, parsley and seasoning. Time for the preparation of the tomato sauce, slow cooked to enhance and sweeten the flavour. Learning to make traditional handmade pasta, orecchiette, is one of the highlights of the day; its unique shape (like little ears) and the combining of Apulian wheat flour and semolina, produces little domes of heaven. Our pasta preparation will be enhanced with olives, focaccia, taralli and a glass of prosecco! Next we prepare the “pastella”, for the medley of fried vegetables. The vegetable pieces are rolled in flour, then dipped in a mixture of eggs beaten with finely chopped parsley, salt, pepper and just a bit of grated pecorino cheese and then steeped in hot olive oil. We will then make another speciality, delicious eggplant parmesan (parmigiana di melanzane) using the sweet tomato sauce that has been cooking for about an hour, and delicious local ingredients. While preparing the eggplant we will start to fry the zucchini flowers filled with locally produced, ricotta and enjoy tasting them while they are hot from the pan. Time to relax, sit down at linen covered tables for our restaurant style four-course meal and award winning wines. After our delicious food we will take a stroll in the picturesque streets of the historic centre of Ostuni, known as the ‘white city’ where we will enjoy the sights and take a leisurely coffee.
DAY 2: See the fascinating trulli of Alberobello and savour award winning wines.
After a delicious breakfast in your accommodation we will drive to Locorotondo where we will stroll through the narrow streets of the pretty hilltop town. We continue the day by visiting the enchanting town of Alberobello, the famous Unesco World Heritage Site, famed for its small white conical-shaped trulli dwellings, built from limestone with rooves stacked of stone tiles without mortar. Lunch will be at one of the best restaurants in Puglia, the family-run “La Cantina” , where the chef Francesco will cook a delicious meal in front of us in his open kitchen. After lunch we will taste some award winning wines produced by the famous wine-maker Riccardo Cotarella at Cantina Albea. It is one of the region’s oldest and most accredited wineries, the building is constructed entirely in stone, with wine vats set into the rock in the same manner used to install water supply tanks for the "trulli" dwellings. The architecture is reminiscent of a mosque, with star vaults that merge into the overhead supporting pillars, formed by overlapping rock. We end the day in Polignano a Mare, renowned for its breath taking balconies with views to the crashing waves of the Adriatic below. It is also the birthplace of the Italian singer, Domenico Modugno famous for 'Volare'. We will take a short boat tour where you can watch the sunset whilst enjoying a prosecco and enjoying views of Polignano from the sea. Dinner will be at the cosy restaurant “Mint Cucina Fresca” where the Brazilian chef and his Italian wife have created the perfect mix of mouth watering fresh food and warm and friendly atmosphere.
DAY 3: Olive oil tasting, a cheese farm visit and delicious desserts Cookery Class.
We begin our day at the historic Masseria Brancati which features an underground oil mill dating back to the 15th century. You will have the opportunity to taste five of their excellent organic olive oils and see three olive trees reputed to be 2000 years old. We continue our day at a cheese farm where you will watch the fascinating process of how to prepare mozzarelle and burratine. We will then have a light lunch before continuing our tour. In the afternoon we begin our delicious desserts cookery class, will show you how to create beautiful desserts using a range of techniques, a chocolate, cherry and kirsch delice with cherry ripple ice cream, cacao nib tuile, crystallised chocolate and spiced cherry compote. You will also master the elegant art of ‘spun sugar’ or chocolate decorations. Finally and an important part of any dish, you will learn how to present your dessert beautifully. For our evening meal you will experience a barbecue typical to the Cisternino area, “fornello pronto”, where you select your choice of meat from the various fresh cuts on offer and enjoy its wonderful barbecued flavor.
DAY 4: Breathtaking Matera, bake bread in Altamura and see its stunning cathedral.
Feel awed today as we explore the fascinating Sassi of Matera. A Unesco World Heritage Site, where the people of Matera once made their homes in dwellings scooped out of the rock and had virtually no amenities. Today we can see how the Sassi are gradually being renovated, keeping true to the original structures but also installing modern amenities and technology. We will also see some extraordinary ancient churches, called Rupestrian chapels, containing beautiful paintings these were also gouged out of rock. Our morning will end with a delicious lunch at Falco Grillaio. In the afternoon we will travel to Altamura famed for its bread, made from grano duro wheat and grown in the surrounding countryside. Here we will watch the experts make this special bread. Altamura is also known for having one of only four Palatine Cathedrals in Puglia. It is late Romanesque-Early Gothic in style and has the most intricately carved portal in Puglia. It features a section showing the last supper with Jesus, unusually, seated on the far left of the group. We return to Ostuni for a light dinner at Solito Posto which serves typical dishes of Puglia cuisine, presented in a modern way earning the chef the title “most popular in Ostuni”.
Day 5: Fast food Italian style – learn to cook authentic Focaccia and Pizza
Want a snack? Dinner not ready? Don’t have much time? Eat a piece of focaccia it’s our delicious fast food and today you will learn how to make it. The secret lies in the combination of ingredients and the working of the dough. You will prepare focaccia with a variety of fillings and when it’s in the oven you will learn how to make another Italian favourite, pizza. We will have fun experimenting with your favourite toppings. By the end of the day you will also have learned how to make bread sticks and tin loaves. Here in Italy these breads were traditionally cooked in wood fired ovens and many Italians still cook this way to give the breads that special wood smoke flavor. In the afternoon we will drive to your hotel in Lecce where you will spend three nights at the Palazzo Personé, situated in the heart of the city and formerly a 15th century synagogue. This beautifully restored ancient building retains its historic atmoshphere whilst providing all modern comforts. After a quick freshen up we will experience the delights of the city, where much of the architecture is in the highly decorative Baroque style, which flourished in the 17th century and earned the city the name“ Florence of South”. We will see Piazza S.Oronzo and the magnificent Roman Amphitheatre and there will also be an opportunity to visit the shops.
Dinner at Primo Restaurant run by the award winning, young chef Sara Latagliata who creates food that is an experience for the senses and the mind. This experimental chef worked in Milan for many years at a Michelin restaurant and now creates dishes such as chocolate flavoured pasta.
Day 6: Watch pasta making, visit an award winning winery in Tricase and spend the afternoon in Gallipoli, evening meal at a fantastic fish restaurant.
We begin our day with a fascinating glimpse into the world of pasta making when we visit the award winning Benedetto Cavalieri factory. We will watch the processing method called ‘Delicate’, the long kneading, slow pressing, drawing and drying at low temperature. We continue on to the delightful town of Tricase where we will visit the centuries old organic winery “Castel di Salve” owned by the Winspeare family. Here they bring together wines produced from four of their vineyards, which are geographically very close but fall into four very distinct microclimates and soil environments. You'll have a chance to taste them all and also enjoy a light lunch. In the afternoon we visit Gallipoli, from the Greek “Kalle Polis” meaning beautiful city. This quaint fishing town is situated on the Ionic coast of southern Puglia where the Old Town is built on an island now connected to the mainland by a bridge. It is very picturesque and the perfect place to stroll through its maze of alleys. We will see the 17th century Baroque Saint Agata Cathedral in the center of the town. Next we visit an underground oil mill before enjoying a fantastic dinner at “Puritate” one of the best fish restaurants on the Salento peninsula.
Day 7: Choosing fresh fish at market, fish cookery course, farewell dinner
The day will start with a visit to the colourful fish market where we will show you what to look for when buying fresh fish. Then we will prepare an appetizer, gratin mussels, we will combine breadcrumbs with herbs and cheese and sprinkle over the mussels before cooking. Then it’s time to make the mouthwatering octopus salad with red onion and peppers before steeping our carefully selected fresh fish, prawns, red fish and anything that looks good when we go to the market, in piping hot, locally produced, olive oil. Then a highlight of any cooking day, making the fresh pasta, fettucine, combining the region’s best flours and egg to make a smooth dough for rolling flat and cutting into narrow ribbons which we will serve with a variety of seafood. You’ll come away armed with lots of recipes for a variety of fish dishes and the skills how to create them. You will also learn how to cook shellfish perfectly. In the evening we will enjoy a farewell dinner at the celebrities favourite restaurant, Le Zie in the centre of Lecce. As we walk to and from the restaurant we will experience Lecce beautifully lit at night, the Palazzos and the stunning facade of the highly decorated Santa Croce.
Day 8: We say goodbye
After breakfast we will visit a local pastry shop (pasticceria) and watch the skillful preparation of the almond and marzipan based pastry and cakes before escorting you to your airport for your return journey. We hope that you will come and visit us again soon and continue your exploration of our colourful region :)
We offer 3 options:
Silver: hotel or villa (minimum party of six, minimum seven nights) from 1,950 Euros pp. (six to ten participants)
Gold: Four star hotel or villa (without pool, minimum seven nights) from 2,450 Euros pp. (six to ten participants)
Platinum: Five star hotel or villa (with pool, minimum seven nights) from 2,950 Euros pp. (six to ten participants)