Cooking School Tours In Italy with Mama Margaret & Friends

Cook, Eat, Drink, Make Friends With Local People In Authentic Italy

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Cooking With Mammas, Wine & Olive Oil In Puglia’s Salento Country


** This set itinerary gives you ideas for a custom designed tour for your private group. Or perhaps you like this delicious itinerary just as it is!  Please ask us for current prices.

Immerse yourself in authentic local life in southern Puglia through truly special, private cooking, food and wine experiences with a warm, fun loving  cast of local people. The slower, sweeter life of Italy’s past is still alive there.

Cook genuine, healthy peasant style dishes, eat, drink and laugh with welcoming mammas in their home and restaurant kitchens.  Take part in behind-the-scenes, private visits: wine makers in their cellars, olive oil producer on their land, mozzarella making family, papier mache artists in their studio. Exceptional experiences with new local friends so you feel part of their lives.

Puglia’s extraordinary  Salento country, offering you everything from fine wines to turquoise seas to exquisite Baroque towns to brilliant white, Greek-like hill towns, is getting discovered. Actresses Meryl Streep and Helen Mirren bought homes in smaller towns.

7 Night Italian Cooking School Puglia Itinerary

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View Detailed Itinerary

Travel Consulting

Let your Italy travel expert, Mama Margaret, plan and book your whole Italy trip before and after your Italy cooking school tour so you save time and stress and have more fun. Contact us today.

Day 1: Welcome to country estate home, welcome dinner at home

Arrive at Brindisi airport or Lecce train station. Private transfer to Masseria Provenzani, a lovely country property northeast of Lecce.

This peaceful former farm estate has been beautifully renovated, keeping its historic charm: warm, brick buildings, lush gardens, a trullo house and shady courtyards. Take a refreshing dip in the unique swimming pool with an olive tree growing in the centre. Bedrooms with private bathrooms combine historic touches with high quality linens and modern bathrooms. The whole place exudes “relax”: lots of space to read in the lounge or outside, do yoga on the lawns or talk to the chickens and geese.

On arrival, your hosts welcome you with a glass of great local wine.

Take a siesta or relax by the pool.

At home Mamma Giulia prepares a welcome Salento dinner for you. Over dinner, discuss your week ahead with your fun loving, local guides, both passionate about their native Salento.

Day 2: Cooking class at home, guided walk in Lecce, artist studio visit

Every morning start your day with great Italian espresso and local goodies in the lounge.

10:30 Cook local “peasant” dishes at home in the masseria kitchen with Mamma Giulia. Enjoy an informal wine discussion in the kitchen on Puglia wines and grapes, taste two wines. Lunch of your creations.

Note: Two of your four cooking classes include appetizer, pasta, vegetable plate, dessert. Two of your four cooking classes include appetizer, meat/fish plate, vegetable, dessert.

Time for a relaxing siesta.

On guided tour of Lecce, marvel at its exquisite historic centre, bathed in golden light from the amber stone that sets off its magnificent Baroque buildings, and Roman amphitheatres. Stroll along lively streets full of locals out for a walk.

Private visit with a famous artist couple carrying on an ancient tradition in their outdoor studio. Discover how they create Lecce’s unique papier mache figurines and make their own paper from scratch.

Free time to explore Lecce’s historic centre.

Dine on delicious local fare in a traditional trattoria in Lecce with your guides.

Day 3: Lecce food market tour, cook with a mama in her home, winery visit

Shop with your guide in a colourful food market in Lecce.  She introduces you to everyone: fruit & vegetable sellers, baker, delicatessen owner. At a cheese shop, see how they make mozzarella right in the shop and taste their fresh mozzarella.

With an exuberant mamma at her home in Lecce, cook her favourite dishes hands-on in her kitchen and eat your dishes together for lunch around her table.

Drive back home to relax.

Tour a local winery to meet the producer, learn about and taste their wines with appetizers—the perfect light dinner.

Day 4: Olive oil mill visit, picnic in olive grove, tour Otranto

At a nearby olive oil producer with 17,000 olive trees, tour their olive oil mill with the owner or his manager to learn how they make this treasure. Take a short drive among the olive trees until you see tables set under a big olive tree. Bask in their warm hospitality, enjoy food and wine at a picnic buffet with them.  The manager shows you how to taste olive oils the right way and you follow his example to learn first hand. A “wow” experience!

Drive home for a siesta.

Explore picturesque town, Otranto on the Adriatic Sea, with its imposing castle, pretty seafront promenade and fishermen’s port on a walk with your guides.

Savour dinner at a traditional trattoria in Otranto.

Day 5: Cooking class in Lecce, winery visit, explore Gallipoli

Drive to Lecce to a restaurant where two delightful sister owners teach you genuine, local dishes, especially pasta. With lunch of your creations there, taste two Puglia wines and home made liqueurs.

Drive home for a siesta.

On the way to Gallipoli, visit a local winery for a wine tasting and aperitivo.

Explore white town of Gallipoli on the Ionian Sea on a walk with your guides and take in the sunset.

Sit back and enjoy a light dinner by the sea in Gallipoli.

Day 6: Cooking class with a mama, visit cheese making family

Drive into Lecce to meet another “simpatico” local mamma for a cooking class and lunch of your efforts around the table in her home.

Drive home for a siesta.

Near Lecce on their country property, visit a friendly cheese making family who show you how they make ricotta & primo sale cheeses.

Dine light in a typical wine bar, trattoria or good pizzeria.

Day 7: Full day excursion to valley of trulli houses

Full day excursion to the Itria Valley and its lush lands dotted with gnome-like trulli houses.  With your guide, explore stunning white towns like Cisternino, Ostuni and Locorontondo.

Light lunch in a trattoria in one of the towns.

Free time in Alberobello to walk among the trulli houses and shop.

Visit a local mamma in her trullo home for a cooking demonstration on a traditional cake, followed by cake and a drink.

Drive back to the masseria for a farewell dinner of Mamma Giulia’s fine fare.

Day 8: Ciao for now

After breakfast at home, reluctantly depart with your guides in your private van to Brindisi Airport or Lecce train station.

View the Route



  • private transport from/to Brindisi airport or Lecce train station
  • 7 nights accommodation in room with private bath & abundant continental breakfast
  • 4 hands-on cooking classes with 4 dishes and lunch following
  • 6 lunches & 7 dinners: all meals
  • 2 winery visits with tour & tastings + casual wine tastings with some cooking classes
  • olive oil producer visit with picnic lunch and olive oil tasting under olive trees
  • cheese maker family visit and tastings
  • guided walking tours of 6 towns including Itria Valley home to trulli houses
  • private visit and demonstration with papier mache artists

Not Included:

  • Wines with restaurant meals so you can choose the wines you prefer

Tour Dates

** This set itinerary gives you ideas for a custom designed tour for your private group. Or perhaps you like this delicious itinerary just as it is!

Please ask us for the dates you’d like.

Tour Prices

Please ask us for current prices.

Per person, double occupancy.
# of people in group 2-7

Prices are subject to currency fluctuations.

Group of 2-3 people:

CDN: $4485 about
U.S.: $3410 about
Euros: about €2990

Group of 4-7 people:

CDN: $3595 about
U.S.: $2730 about
Euros: about €2395


Single Occupancy

CDN: $300 about
U.S.: $230 about
Euros: about 200 Euros

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