Do you enjoy a variety of landscapes, architecture, layers of history, healthy country style food, fine wines and the sea? Puglia offers you an incredible visual and sensual array like: elaborate Baroque facades and piazzas, imposing castles, bustling fishing ports, long sandy beaches, groves of ancient olive trees for as far as you can see.
Major cities are Foggia in the north, Vieste on the Gargano Peninsula, Bari midway on the coast, Brindisi in the south on the sea and Lecce in the south about 10 km from the sea.
Vieste attracts vacationers with its many sea resorts. The Gargano Peninsula is home to a forested national park, Foresta Umbra with lots of hiking paths.
The Itria Valley, land of the quaint, cone roofed, white trulli houses has gentle, fertile hills dotted with olive trees. Trulli towns like Alberobello and Locorotondo draw lots of tourists to stroll, admire and shop.
Picturesque, brilliant white hill towns like Ostuni, Martina Franca and Cisternino look Greek and have very narrow, maze-like streets with colourful corners, perfect for photography.
Seasidetowns in the south like Otranto on the Adriatic or Gallipoli on theIonian Sea tempt you with sandy beaches, fishing ports and cafes by the sea.
Lecce will amaze you with its ornate Baroque churches and piazzas, and buildings and streets of local golden stone that casts a golden glow over the city. In its magnificent historic centre, you can also marvel at well preserved Roman amphitheatres and then relax at one of the many wine bars or restaurants “al fresco”.
Sample dishes: many kinds of focaccia, frisella (small, hard bread roll pieces soaked in water topped with olive oil, fresh tomatoes and salt), many kinds of pasta with vegetable sauces of broccoli florets, eggplant, arugula, chick peas, turnip greens, Tiedda (layered casserole with pasta, rice, mussels, potatoes), breaded mussels with parsley, fava bean puree with chicory and olive oil. Puglia is famous for its fine olive oil too.
25 DOC wines. Many good wines. Reds like Primitivo di Manduria, Salice Salentino and Nardo in the south, Gioia del Colle nearBari, Castel del Monte nearFoggia. Whites like Martina, Ostuni, Locorotondo in towns of the same names.
End of April. Sagra (local food festival) del Tarallucci e Vino in Alberobello to celebrate savoury taralli (hard bread snacks in circle shapes) and wines.
May cherry festivals in Leverano (Lecceprovince) and Conversano (Bariprovince)
End of May. Lecce. “Cortili Aperti” – Open Courtyards. Ramble in and out of courtyards and historic buildings in Lecce’s exquisite historic centre.
End of August. In Martina Franca, at Sagra dell’Arrosto (roast meats), they feast on lamb and lamb innards with a motto of “eat, drink, joke and laugh”.
Weather in Naples
Winter December 9-13 C/ 47-55, January & February 6-13 C/ 43-55 F
Spring March 9-13 C/ 47-55 F, April 13-17 C/ 55-63 F, May 17-21 C/ 63-70F
Summer June 21-27 C/ 70-80 F, July & August 24-30 C/ 76-86 F
Fall September 20-27 C/ 68-80 F, October 15-21 C. 58-70 F, November 12-18 C/ 53-65 F
October to March see moderate to light rain with least amount of rain in July, also the hottest month. Spring and fall are the best times with warm temperatures.
Getting There and Away
Airports: Foggia, Vieste,Bari,Brindisi
Trains run from Rome and Naplesto the Adriatic coast .Lecce is the end of the train line that runs up the Adriatic coast to Venice.
Mama Margaret’s Italian Cooking Tours in Puglia
Immerse yourself in the slow, healthy life of Puglia’s Salento region in the heel of Italy’s boot, famous for its fine wines like Salice Salentino and Primitivo, its olive oil, seafood from its clear blue seas and vegetables like chick peas, chicory, eggplant.
Cook genuine, peasant style dishes, eat, drink and laugh with welcoming local mammas in their home and restaurant kitchens.
Your exuberant, local guides take you to visit their favourite people: drink with wine makers in their cellars, share a picnic with a very hospitable olive oil producer on their land where all you can see is olive trees, learn about mozzarella and ricotta making with a cheese making family, visit a papier mache artist couple in their outdoor studio. You feel like you’re visiting local friends!
On this southern Italian cooking school tour, you’ll marvel at the exquisite historic centre ofLecce, bathed in golden light from the amber stone that sets off its magnificent Baroque buildings and Roman amphitheatres.
Relax on the sunny shores of two seas in two picturesque towns: Otranto on the Adriatic and Gallipoli on the Ionian. Explore brilliant, white, Greek-like hill towns like Ostuni and the countryside dotted with gnome-like trulli houses. You even visit a local mamma in her trullo home.
Phone or email us today for more information or to reserve an Italian cooking tour in Puglia.