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Discover why the southern Italian regions of Puglia, Basilicata and Campania are the newest foodie hot spots everyone's raving about. Take in the sights of the cave city of Matera while learning to cook with the locals, sample olive oil and homemade wine at a small, family-run farm just outside of Rome and munch mozzarella cheese, sip limoncello and learn to prepare the world's best pizza while soaking up the charming surrounds of Sorrento.
Day 1: Rome
Buongiorno! Welcome to the cobbled streets of Rome. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting tonight at 6 pm. Please ask reception to confirm the time and place of your meeting. Have your insurance details and next of kin information on hand for verification by your leader. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. After the welcome meeting, get to know your fellow foodies over a bowl of pasta in the rione (administrative division) of Monti, home to some of the city's most famous monuments. There are no activities planned before the 6 pm meeting, so if you arrive early consider doing as the Romans do and sipping an espresso at one of the tiny streetside cafes and sampling the many flavours of gelato that colour the city.
Day 2: Rome
Today you’ll visit a local family at their farm just outside of Rome and take a tour of their small vineyard and vegetable garden. The family's patriarch makes his own wine and refuses to drink anything else at home (and brings it along with him wherever he goes)! He's sure to offer you a drop, and once you've had a swirl and a sniff you won’t want to say no. Depending on the season, you may head to a local market or shop to pick up some extra ingredients before joining the family at home to cook up a Roman farmhouse feast. Eat, drink and be merry in a way only the Italians can, before returning to Rome in the late afternoon and doing as you please for the rest of the day.
Day 3: Avetrana
Rise and shine for a morning train to Brindisi. It’s a 5-hour journey, so you might want to pack a book for the ride. Or maybe just get to know your fellow travellers a little better. From here, take a private transfer to a masseria (fortified farmhouse) in Avetrana, a seaside town right in the heel of Italy’s boot where you will be spending the evening. Enjoy an afternoon stuffed with gastronomical delights. Taste rich olive oil and wine varietals made on site, then sit down to a rustic and delicious Puglian dinner. Though the exact menu will change depending on the season, expect to taste plenty of tomatoes and seafood!
Day 4: Matera
Drive to the World Heritage-listed city of Alberobello, famous for its white-washed, conical-roofed huts, called trulli. Stop en route for a tasting of fresh, soft mozzarella and a demonstration of how this cheese is made. Arrive in Alberobello and enjoy a guided walk with your leader before spending a few hours wandering among the hundreds of limestone houses. Continue to Matera, a stunning city built into caves and cliffs where you will stay for two nights in a Sassi hotel. The Sassi is an area of extraordinary dwellings, half-carved and half-constructed from the surrounding tufo (tuff) rock, in which people have been living since Palaeolithic times. Everything here is built into rock, including the restaurants, where you’ll find massive plates of antipasti, fresh produce and some of the best bread in Italy on the menu.
Day 5: Matera
Explore otherworldly Matera on a guided walking tour and learn about the fascinating history of a place once considered the shame of Italy. Up until the 1950s Matera was severly impoverished, and many residents lived in the Sassi caves without running water or electricity. Learn about this remote city’s transformation and go deep with a tour of the underground Ipogeo Materasum – a series of roads, cisterns and places of worship that lie up to 12-metres below. Then, journey into the other belly of Matera with a local Amaro Lucano tasting. This famed herbal digestive was first made in Matera. Cap off a full day by learning to craft orecchiette, the ear-shaped pasta that is popular in Italy’s south. After the pasta making demonstration enjoy dinner overlooking Sassi and make a toast to this surprising city.
Day 6: Sorrento
Bid arrivederci to limestone caves and wave buongiorno to lemon trees as you take a private transfer to Sorrento. Get right into the spirit of this historic resort town (Byron, Dickens, Tolstoy and more holidayed here) with a Limoncello tasting. Like all perfect seaside towns, Sorrento has a wealth of local gelato makers serving up soft, melt in your mouth goodness. Learn how this fine treat is made during a demonstration, and then spend the evening at your leisure. Why not soak up the beauty of this location with dinner by the water.
Day 7: Sorrento
No food trip to Italy would be compete without a pizza making demonstration, and we’ve saved the best for last. Learn to prepare this southern classic at an idyllic agriturismo outside of Sorrento and then settle in for a delicious farewell dinner with the group.
Day 8: Sorrento
Ciao! This mouth-watering adventure through southern Italy comes to an end today and there are no activities scheduled.
7 Breakfast(s) Included
1 Lunch(es) Included
4 Dinner(s) Included
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