Puglia Culinary & Cultural Tour 2022: The Mediterranean Diet & Beyond
Sunday October 9th – Saturday October 15th, 2022 (7 days and 6 nights)
Pending Pre-Approval by CDR: 33 Continuing Education Units for Registered Dietitians
This trip is targeted to registered dietitian-nutritionists, health professionals, culinarians, friends, and family who want an authentic, hands-on Mediterranean diet, lifestyle, and cultural experience in the heart of Southern Italy.
Hosted by award-winning culinary nutritionist and author Layne Lieberman, MS, RD, CDN, LDN
Tour Operator: Arrivederci Puglia Travel
Guides, experts and chefs are from the region of Puglia
Puglia’s diet, with emphasis on local olive oil, whole grains, vegetables, fresh cheese and fish has drawn attention as a prime example of a healthy and modern Mediterranean diet. Spend an unforgettable week learning the secrets of a deeply passionate food culture in an authentic region of Southern Italy. There is openness and rustic charm in Puglia that is reflected not only in the warmth of the people, but also in the sharing of food and dietary secrets. Local dishes are simple yet flavorful and have stood the test of time as they’ve been passed on from generation to generation. This unique “hands-on” trip is a celebration of healthy cooking and the Mediterranean lifestyle, and offers an insiders’ view of a culture that has maintained biodiversity in its growing regions for centuries.
Minimum number of attendees: 12
Maximum number of attendees: 16
COST: $3,700 US Dollars per person based on double occupancy (3.190 Euro)
Supplement for single room occupancy: $610 US Dollars per person (550 Euro) (We can match you with a roommate with similar sleep habits)
Early Booking Discount: Book by February 28, 2022 to receive $100 US Dollars discount per person.
DEPOSIT: 30% deposit is required to secure your reservation. Arrivederci Puglia Travel will accept the Client’s reservation after receiving the deposit payment.
COVID CONCERNS: In case Arrivederci Puglia Travel cancels the tour due to Covid-19 reasons and Italian Government travel restrictions, Arrivederci Puglia Travel will refund the client for the deposit paid.
DEADLINE FOR BOOKING: March 1st, 2022, however it’s recommended to book early. This trip sells out quickly!
- To share itinerary copy and paste this link: wordrd.njee.com/puglia-2022
- To register please email Antonella Susca: [email protected] (Italy time) and for more info email: [email protected]
Request “paid-conference leave” from your facility
OSTUNI PALACE, OSTUNI
Ostuni Palace has been newly constructed to bring space and light into the hotel with gorgeous views towards the historical center against the backdrop of the Adriatic sea with groves of ancient olive trees between the town and the sea. This four star hotel is the perfect place to start exploring Ostuni, ‘la citta bianca’, and the surrounding places in the Itria Valley. There is also a small Spa at the hotel if you want to indulge in a massage or treatment.
MASSERIA SALAMINA, PEZZE DI GRECO
Masseria Salamina, is a beautifully restored farmhouse in the very heart of Puglia. What makes this place stand out from other lodgings is how the owners have lovingly restored every detail to maintain harmony with the original architecture and above all with nature. The estate produces extra virgin olive oil and boasts many fruit trees and a garden brimming with vegetables. Guests are encouraged to explore the grounds and enjoy the abundance of fruits, flowers and vegetables grown and celebrated at the Masseria. Naturally breakfast each morning is made with produce from the estate and includes such delicious treats as house-made preserves and traditional freshly baked cakes.
RISORGIMENTO RESORT, LECCE
Risorgimento Resort is a stylish 5-star hotel located in a restored palazzo, just steps away from some of Lecce’s most amazing Baroque masterpieces including Piazza Saint Oronzo and the Duomo. The common areas and rooms of the hotel exude a relaxed ambience, which seamlessly blends the strong local traditions with a surprising modernity and elegance of style. Soak up the atmosphere of “The Florence of the South” and enjoy the convenience of visiting Lecce’s many treasures on foot. At the end of a long day of exploring you can treat yourself to a massage or a host of other relaxing treatments at their SPA Salus per Aquam.
Itinerary and Objectives/Outcomes
Day 1: Sunday, October 9: Nonna’s Pasta
The group arrival transfer will depart from Bari Airport around 11:30 am for all the guests arriving on the Alitalia flight from Rome and the Lufthansa flight from Munich (Correct at the time of going to press, but subject to variation in airline schedules). From the airport we will visit the center of Bari, including its fascinating old quarter known as Bari Vecchia. Here the local ladies still make pasta by hand sitting outside their houses. Their speed and precision will amaze you! Then we’ll enjoy the lunch at one of the city’s best fish restaurants, Biancofiore. After lunch we will transfer you to your first hotel, Ostuni Palace in the heart of Ostuni. Layne will present the itinerary for the week and go through the details of our culinary adventure. You are free this evening to rest and settle into the rhythms of Southern Italy. Your local guide will be at your disposal for the guided tour of Ostuni, the white-washed city on a hill known as “La Cittá Bianca”. Welcome to Puglia!
(L) Overnight: Ostuni Palace, Ostuni
Educational Objectives and Outcomes (3 hours):
To understand the strategic location of Bari, which is the capital of Puglia and the importance of the old medieval city of Bari Vecchia where old ways of making pasta haven’t changed for hundreds of years.
Attendees will see:
a) The technique for making orecchiette ear-shape pasta by hand with two simple ingredients
b) How pasta is handled, traded and sold on the streets of the Vecchia
c) The different sizes and cultural practices like why you may receive 1, 3, or 5- orrechiette gigante thrown in the batch.
d) Whole-wheat pasta and traditional semolina flour used in making the pasta.
e) Learn about other traditional food items that are sold from the homes in the old city.
f) Taste and experience a traditional seafood and pasta meal with local wine as you learn about local ingredients and types of preparation from one the best restaurants in Bari.
Experts: Antonella Susca, tour guide and owner of Arrivederci Puglia Travel tour operation; Diego Biancofiore, owner of Biancofiore Restaurant.
Day 2: Monday, October 10: The Bread & Matera UNESCO site
Today, departure at 8:30 am to the town of Altamura (2-hour drive), the most famous city for its wheat and DOP bread production. Our first stop in Altamura is at a local coffee shop for a quick coffee and restroom stop. Then we visit the Artisan Flour Mill to see the process of local organic and indigenous flours being milled. Then into the bakery, where we will learn about the ancient way of preparing the dough and rules of baking DOP bread using the wheat of Altamura. We will of course have a tasting lunch and understand why this bread stands apart from any other bread in the world!
Then we head to the famed UNESCO World Heritage Site Matera, perched high on a beautiful hillside and only recently seen by foreign eyes. In the afternoon guided walk of the town’s stunning Sassi (ancient cave dwellings restored for current use as homes, shops and restaurants). Afterwards we will shuttle you back to Ostuni. Dinner at the Hotel’s restaurant.
(B, L, D) Overnight: Ostuni Palace, Ostuni
Educational Objectives and Outcomes (6 hours):
2 hours: Experience the coffee culture (the romance, the intense love of coffee and the social experience), which was the inspiration for the Starbucks chain. See how the indigenous wheat varietals are being milled in an artisan flourmill. Understand the process and stages of milling, using an old-ways method.
2 hours: Attendees will learn about the old traditions of DOP bread making in the most famous bread making town of Altamura.
2 hours: Visit one of the 2019 European Capitals of Culture, Matera and learn about the diet and lifestyle of ancient cave dwellers.
a) Breakfast and learn– taste and learn about a typical fast breakfast and how coffee drinking plays a role in the Italian culture
b) See indigenous wheat varietals being ground into flour at an artisan flour mill
c) Understand why the town of Altamura plays an integral role in the traditions of DOP bread making
d) Learn about the type of wheat grown in the region
e) Learn how to identify DOP Altamura bread and how it is regulated
f) Understand how the dough is prepared and how the bread is baked according to DOP
g) Taste different types of bread and learn about traditional bread products of the region ie: taralli
h) Hear why McDonald’s could not survive in this area
i) Visit a community of ancient cave dwellings to see how people lived over a thousand years ago
Experts: Giuseppe Di Gesù, bread maker and owner of bakery; Di Bendetto family, 4th generation miller; Antonella Susca, tour guide and owner of Arrivederci Puglia Travel tour operation.
Day 3: Tuesday, October 11: The Olive Harvest and the Farming Culture of Puglia’s “Masserie”
This morning at 9.00 am, check out of your hotel in Ostuni.
This day’s experience is a full immersion into the vital nature of olive oil and all it means to the Puglia region and the health of its people. We go in search of Puglia’s green gold – olive oil! Visit of a local olive farm to participate in the harvest of the olives and understand modern versus ancient techniques used for making olive oil.
Driving through the Apulian countryside we reach the Masseria Salamina, and have the check-in, where we stay for the next two nights.
The passionate owner will describe the harvesting techniques and take us inside a modern mill to see the modern-day pressing process. The estate’s passionate and engaging owner, Filippo (a renowned expert on olive oil) will teach us how to taste olive oil, similar to how we taste wine.
Afterwards the group will start with an in-depth tour of the masseria’s estate. The estate is rigorously organic and the cultivation of indigenous crops, fruits and vegetables that in many other areas have died out. Chiara will demonstrate the use of the produce in the traditional cuisine of the area in a cooking class dedicated to pasta and focaccia bread. We will enjoy the food we made in a delicious lunch.
The agronomist and analyst Dr. Giuseppe Mezzapesa, will meet the group to share information about his work on the project “Fooding”. It is a book made by the Italian Government in partnership with the Greek Government about the nutritional and functional local food’s properties of the Mediterranean Diet.
After lunch, you are free to relax in this beautiful masseria. Enjoy the swimming pool, take a walk through the garden with its centuries old olive trees or just sit outside and relax with a cappuccino or a glass of Italian wine! You are free to dine at your hotel.
(B,L) Overnight: Masseria Salamina, Pezze di Greco
Educational Objectives and Outcomes (8 hours):
1 hour: To see some of the world’s oldest olive trees and understand how they are being protected. To learn about different varieties of olives in the region. To understand how different varieties of olive oil are pressed and stored.
2 hours: Participate in a cooking class to learn the techniques of homemade pasta and focaccia.
4 hours: To participate in a tour of an organic masseria and understand how crops are planted, rotated, and harvested. Learn about the importance of organic production on this well-managed farm. To partake in an olive oil tasting and learn how to identify fresh extra virgin olive oil. To understand the history of olive oil and why Puglia was and still is the most important region in Italy for olive oil production. To participate in harvesting olives and view the operation of a modern-day mill.
1 hour: Meeting with Dr. Giuseppe Mezzapesa and discussion about the nutritional properties of some of the most famous local food from the Puglia region included in the Mediterranean Diet.
a) Participate in a farm tour of ancient crops on the masseria’s estate
b) Gain knowledge about ancient varieties of local fruits and vegetables from the Mediterranean
c) Understand the importance of biodiversity and why organic farming has always been a way of life
d) Learn about the use of local products in traditional dishes
e) Take part in preparing pasta and focaccia in traditional ways from Filippo (family member/manager of masseria) and Chiara (in-house cook)
f) Witness the modern day olive harvest and learn about the full range of harvesting techniques
g) See the pressing process at a local mill; and learn how to taste olive oil for freshness and quality
h) Understand the history of olive oil was how it was exported and used for lighting lamps
i) Learn about the different types of olives and oils; when olives are harvested and how the region monitors and cares for the most ancient olive trees in the world. Experts: At the olive oil estate, the owner Filippo Angelini De Miccolis, 5th generation olive farmer. Dr. Giuseppe Mezzapesa, agronomist and analyst.
Experts: At the olive oil estate, the owner Filippo Angelini De Miccolis, 5th generation olive farmer. Dr. Giuseppe Mezzapesa, agronomist and analyst; Antonella Susca, tour guide and owner of Arrivederci Puglia Travel tour operation.
Day 4: Wednesday, Oct 12: Burrata & Trulli Houses
This morning we travel 40 minutes to visit the UNESCO site of Alberobello to meander around the famous Trulli Houses with a guided walking tour along the picturesque Trulli district. Away from the mass tourism, we will show you the charming area of Trulli houses where local people still live.
Then we visit a local farm specialized in organic Apulian cheese. Mariangela, the owner and cheese artisan, will demonstrate the art of making delicious fresh cheeses such as burrata and mozzarella at her farm. Mariangela, will prepare a traditional family lunch with hand-made mozzarella and organic cheeses of course!
After lunch return to your Masseria Hotel and enjoy free time for relaxation. Tonight’s dinner will be an incredible treat: an 8-course tasting menu at the beautiful Masseria Il Frantoio where all the produce is grown on site.
(B, L, D) Overnight: Masseria Salamina, Pezze di Greco
Educational Objectives and Outcomes (7 hours):
2 hours: To immerse oneself into life and operations at a cheese masseria. The master cheese maker will teach you how to make fresh mozzarella and you’ll have an opportunity to make it yourself. Then we’ll visit with the cows to learn about the feeding, milking and lifestyle on the dairy farm.
1 hour: Lunch, learn and taste a variety of the local cheeses and see how they fit into a healthy Mediterranean diet.
2 hours: To partake in a tour of the 16th century whitewashed Trulli homes of Alberobello (town in Puglia), known for their cone-shaped roofs, how cheese was stored and where children slept. Animals lived inside with the family, while bathrooms were outside. Smelly homes (and children) were a sign of wealth.
2 hours: In-depth visit to the orchard and gardens of Masseria Il Frantoio before dinner plus dine and learn about the wine, olive oil and food cooked just a few steps from the farm to your table.
a) Understand the types of fresh cheeses that are staples in the Mediterranean diet
b) Learn about how the less popular aged cheeses are made
c) Learn how to make fresh cheeses like burrata and mozzarella. To differentiate between the different types of local cheeses and learn how they are prepared and stored
d) Learn about burrata and how it originated from this region
e) View how cows are fed, milked and live happily on the grounds of the dairy farm
f) Learn about the architecture, history and understand lifestyle inside the ancient city of Alberobello (how it was in the 16th century and how it is today).
g) Tour the inside of a Trulli home to see and understand how families lived.
h) Experience a farm to table (0 kilometer) meal at an ancient masseria and tour the grounds to learn about the ingredients used to prepare the meal.
Experts: Mariangela organic cheese maker and dairy farmer. Armando & Rosalba Balestrazi, estate owners and bio-organic farmers at Masseria Il Frantoio; Antonella Susca, tour guide and owner of Arrivederci Puglia Travel tour operation.
Day 5: Thursday, October 13: Salento Vineyards & Lecce
We bid farewell to Masseria Salamina this morning. At 10:30 am, after checkout our driver will take us to visit one of Puglia’s most renowned wineries – Masseria Altemura.
After a fascinating tour with the vineyard’s expert oenologist, you will be treated to a private lunch and wine pairing. Our final destination is Lecce, the capital of the Salento Province. Known as the “Florence of the South”, the city hosts amazing Baroque masterpieces and treasures of Italy.
Afternoon and dinner at leisure in Lecce (free time for shopping or optional walking guided tour of the historical center).
(B, L) Overnight: Risorgimento Resort, Lecce
Educational Objectives and Outcomes (4 hours):
3 hours: Learn about the traditional grapes and wines of this region and why Primitivo is considered the real “Zinfandel”. Tour the vineyard and learn about harvesting and winemaking.
1 hour: Lunch and learn about food and wine pairing.
a) Learn about grape varieties
b) Learn about wine production in this region
c) Find out how much wine is produced and how much is exported vs. sold locally
d) Learn how to taste wine like an expert wine taster
e) Why wine of this region is so robust
f) Find out about organic vs. biodynamic wine production
g) Learn about pairing wine with food
h) Lunch & learn- how to pair wines with a traditional Mediterranean lunch
Experts: The Zonin family has been making wine for seven generations, first in Veneto and now in Puglia. The family will host our visit and share the many details of their decisions on grape varietals, planting, harvesting and blending; Antonella Susca, tour guide and owner of Arrivederci Puglia Travel tour operation.
Day 6: Friday, October 14: Flavors of Gallipoli
This morning you are heading west, to Gallipoli on the Ionian coast. We will meet with renowned chef and cookbook author Anna Maria Chirone on Corso Roma in the beautiful old town for your cooking class and lunch. First collect some seafood from the local fishermen. The fish market is lively and captivating; and Anna Maria is a skilled teacher and will be happy to welcome you to her cooking school for some delicious local dishes and treats.
Return back to Lecce for free time for shopping and relaxation. For our final dinner, we’ll enjoy a gourmet interpretation of the best Salentina cuisine paired with outstanding local wines.
(B, L, D) Overnight: Risorgimento Resort, Lecce
Overnight: Risorgimento Resort, Lecce
Educational Objectives and Outcomes (5 hours):
4 hours: To explore a strategic old seaside city of Gallipoli and its flourishing fish market. Then prepare a traditional Mediterranean-style meal from appetizer to dessert using local seafood and other local ingredients with an expert chef and cookbook author.
1 hour: Dine and learn about the food of the Salento region
a) Understand why Gallipoli was a strategic city on the Mediterranean coast and the history of its ports
b) Tour the old city and watch how the locals buy fresh seafood at the old city open air seafood market
c) Spend the day with Apulian chef and cookbook author Anna Maria Chirone
d) Choose fresh, local seafood at the market
e) Learn Anna Maria’s techniques of healthy Mediterranean cooking and prepare a meal with Anna Maria and colleagues at a local cooking school in Gallipoli
f) Learn and dine: Experience a Salentine meal in an authentic local restaurant of Lecce
Experts: Anna Maria Chirone, dedicated food expert and chef; Antonella Susca, tour guide and owner of Arrivederci Puglia Travel tour operation.
Day 7: Saturday, October 15: Check out and Departure
After our final group breakfast at the hotel, our team will shuttle you to Brindisi Airport and bid you Arriverderci!
According to current flight schedules the group transfer will arrive at Brindisi Airport at around 9:00 am. If this is too late for your flight, you will need to make alternative arrangements. Our tour operator will be on hand to assist anyone with additional transfers. (B)
In addition to the educational objectives and outcomes, the following details are included in your tour cost:
- 6 nights lodging at 4-and 5-star historical and modern hotels
- 6 breakfasts Visit to the old quarter of Bari “Bari Vecchia”
- Visit to a burrata and mozzarella cheese farm
- Visit to the UNESCO site of Alberobello Exclusive visit to an olive oil estate during the olive harvest
- Visit to the White City of Ostuni
- Cooking class at Masseria Salamina
- Bakery experience in Altamura
- Visit to the UNESCO city of Matera Private winery tasting experience
- Visit to the baroque city of Lecce Cooking class in Gallipoli with chef & cook-book author
- 6 lunches and 3 dinners based on Apulian typical food and wine.
- All group transfers during the itinerary; and daily private tour guides
- Group arrival transfer from Bari Airport around 11:30 am on October 9, 2022
- Group departure transfer around 9:00 am to Brindisi Airport on October 15, 2022
Guidelines for making flight arrangements:
We advise that you do not book flights until the minimum number of participants has been reached and that the trip has therefore been confirmed.
We will provide this notification as soon as we have reached the minimum number of participants, no later than April 15th 2022.
Please book one of the following arrival and departure flights in order to participate in the group transfers. A supplemental fee for private transfers will apply if you book flights that do not coincide with these arrival and departure times:
Please, note that the following flights are based on recent flight schedules (July 2021). We will give you more information about flight dates and times for October 2022 as soon as the airline companies will update the 2022 schedules.
Sunday October 9th 2022
Rome Fiumicino to Bari with Alitalia. Departing Rome at 9:30 am and arriving in Bari at 10:35 am.
Flight AZ 1617
If you would like to fly with Lufthansa, which operates a convenient direct flight from Munich to Bari, you can take the below arrival flight that will coincide with the group arrival.
Munich to Bari with Lufthansa (operated by Air Dolomiti). Departing Munich at 9:45 am and arriving in Bari at 11:20. Flight LH9468
Saturday October 15th 2022
Brindisi to Rome Fiumicino with Alitalia: Either of these options departing as follows:
- 11:15 am flight AZ 1624. Arrives Rome 12:25 pm
There is also another flight early in the morning:
- 6:30 am flight AZ 1620. Arrives Rome 7:40 am
For this you need to book a private transfer from the Hotel to Brindisi Airport.
There are also flights from Bari to Rome but you need to book a private transfer from Lecce to Bari Airport.
LUFTHANSA – no direct flight from Brindisi to Munich
If you would like to fly with Lufthansa, which operates a direct flight from Bari to Munich, you can take the below flight
- Bari to Munich with Lufthansa (operated by Air Dolomiti). Departing Bari at 12:05 pm and arriving into Munich at 1:50 pm. Flight LH9469
Please note there will be a $250 supplement for a private transfer to Bari Airport for the return flight, since the group departure is from the much closer Brindisi Airport. The supplement is per vehicle and can be shared with other guests if they are on the same flight. Alternatively, there are trains from Lecce to Bari starting at €15 per ticket, but please check before the train schedule and timing. See www.trenitalia.com for details.
To register for this trip please email Antonella Susca at Arrivederci Puglia Travel: [email protected]
For questions, contact us using the form below. You may also email: [email protected]
About Layne Lieberman:
Layne Lieberman, MS, RD, CDN, is an award winning registered dietitian/culinary nutritionist, author, journalist and innovator in the food and health industries. With a lifelong passion for wholesome food and better health and wellbeing, Layne helps consumers achieve a healthy balance in diet and lifestyle.
In the restaurant field, she has teamed with a number of high-profile chefs to create and market healthy menus and provide recipes and nutritional analysis.
In the mid-1980s, Layne created the Nutrition Learning Centers, a storefront center for weight loss and medical nutrition that combined cooking classes, a health food store and nutritional counseling. Following that successful venture, she served for 20 years, from 1991 to 2010, as Director of Nutrition for America’s first supermarket chain, King Kullen Grocery Company. She proceeded to turn the chain into a national leader, selling organic foods and other healthy alternatives to conventional supermarket fare.
In addition, Layne headed the chain’s consumer and industry health communications, initiating a roster of health bulletins and circulars that reached one million homes weekly. Her nutrition newsletter won over 30,000 subscribers in the metropolitan New York region, and also she was editor of King Kullen’s quarterly Diabetes Newsletter.
Philanthropically, she has devoted over 25 years to the American Heart Association as a board member, event chairperson, menu consultant, spokesperson, and a driving force behind the AHA’s annual Hamptons Gala. In June of 2012, the American Heart Association with their “Humanitarian with a Heart Award” honored Layne. She acted as an advisory board member and lecturer for Dr. Mehmet Oz’s Foundation For The Advancement Of Cardiac Therapies. Since 2015, Layne’s recipes and nutrition messages are prominently featured in the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America’s quarterly magazine. She is a member of Les Dames d’Escoffier Colorado and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the largest organization of food and nutrition professionals with close to 72,000 members.
From 2010 to 2012, Layne lived abroad in Geneva, Switzerland, to study the food, health and dietary habits of other countries. There she wrote and published her first book titled Beyond the Mediterranean Diet: European Secrets Of the Super-Healthy, which is successfully being sold worldwide through all major wholesalers and retailers. The book was named one of the “Best Indie Books of 2015” by the Independent Book Publishing Professionals Group, as a book that “deserves to reach a wide audience.” The Next Generation Indie Book Awards is the world’s largest not-for-profit book awards program for independent publishers and self-published authors.
Layne has extensive media experience in both print and television. She has been featured on Good Morning America, The New York Times, Fox News and has been quoted in hundreds of articles. She regularly blogs for Huffington Post, Boulder Bubble and WorldRD and on other sites including the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ Food & Nutrition Magazine, Diets In Review, Access Hollywood, Shape, Kroger’s magazines and Fox News.Layne received a Bachelor of Science in Nutritional Biochemistry from Cornell University and earned a Master of Science in Clinical Nutrition from New York University. During her Masters studies, Layne worked in Public Relations for Ketchum Health Communications. After completing her Masters degree, Layne spent two years at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine doing a research fellowship as the General Clinical Research Nutritionist in the areas of diabetes, heart disease, and other chronic illnesses.
Later, at the Culinary Institute of America, Layne completed the Chef-RD training program. She and her husband now divide time between Colorado, Florida and New York.
Please see Layne’s Huffington Post blog about Puglia here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/layne-lieberman/puglia-italys-land-of-ple_b_8494386.html
Award-Winning Culinary Nutritionist & Author: Beyond The MediterraneanDiet
Passion for Puglia: a Journey Through the Mediterranean Diet
Puglia – Tips and Trivia:
• Italian coffee (caffé) is a form of art with a specific coffee drink for every time of the day. Caffé corretto is thrown back like a shot. Cappuccino and brioche are for breakfast. You’ll never find a Starbucks here.
• Almond milk is local and the Mediterranean diet is alive and well.
• California Zinfandel (red wine) is thought to be a replica of Puglia’s Primitivo, both derived from an ancient Croatian grape variety.
• According to Beyond The Mediterranean Diet: European Secrets Of The Super-Healthy, southern Italian food was considered a peasant diet, which rates high on modern nutrition standards because of the abundance of grains, vegetables, fruits, dairy and legumes.
Veggies are plentiful
• Whole-wheat pasta is on the menu. To cook fresh pasta boil for 3 to 5 minutes.
• People of all ages walk and bike and the older folks still meet in the square to chat and watch the flow of visitors.
• In the town of Altamura, McDonald’s had to close down because the locals used it as a respite for air conditioning but wouldn’t dare to eat the offerings.
• The 14th century whitewashed Trulli homes of Alberobello (town in Puglia) are known for their cone-shaped roofs, where cheese was stored and children slept. Animals lived inside with the family, while bathrooms were outside. Smelly homes (and children) were a sign of wealth.
• Women are the bosses. When mamma says lunch is ready, everyone shows up at the table, even from miles away.
• Ancient olive trees know the secrets to longevity for they have been producing olives for thousands of years.
• It only costs about 2 euros or 10 cents to buy 20 to 25 figs in Alberobello.
• Apulia means land without water. The region is known for its sunny dry climate.
• Locals love to eat greens. My favorite dish is Fava beans with Wild Chicory.
Fava Beans (and Potato) with Wild Chicory
• Burrata, a fresh cow cheese made from mozzarella and cream originated here. Learn how to make mozzarella at a local dairy farm.
Making Fresh Mozzarella
• Besides feeding dairy cows grass and grain, the diet is supplemented with orzo (barley) and fava beans.
• Old cities with ancient architecture include: Lecce (known as the “Florence of the South”), Ostuni, Otranto, Locorotondo, Gallipoli and Matera.
Old City of Matera
Taste the local wines
In the kitchen at Masseria Il Frantoio (notice-all women)
- Dip taralli, a dry crunchy biscuit that is tied in a knot and is either sweet or savory, into wine.
- There are multi-generational family farms (masserias) producing olives, grapes, almonds, cherries, apricots, plums, peaches, hand harvested wheat, fava beans, chicory, tomatoes, fennel, onions, figs, lemons, limes, dates, herbs, pomegranates and so on.
- Farm animals such as cattle, pigs, lamb, chickens, donkeys and horse are part of life outside the old city walls. Historically, the region is known for shepherding.
Catherine Johnson, PhD, RD, LD “There were so many jewels of information.” Puglia 2019 Culinary Tour
The program and contributors were very well organized and professional.
I loved learning about the trulli houses, the cave houses and Altamura bread. There were so many jewels of information.
Puglia is a hidden treasure. I have toured all of Italy three times before but never to the Southern region. This was a wonderful surprise to me. I would go again."
Catherine Johnson, PhD, RD, LD
Mary Dubinin, MS, RDN “Thank you so much for your time and talent in making this a memorable trip!” Puglia 2019 Culinary Tour
"Puglia is a great destination to study the Mediterranean lifestyle. I greatly appreciated all of the culinary and cultural activities and gained immense knowledge from each activity.
There were so many enjoyable aspects of the trip! The cooking classes, dairy farm, grain mill, wineries and olive farms. Being from that region, our guides were able to provide additional commentary.
I now have a greater understanding of durum wheat and semolina flour, and their properties for making pasta and focaccia bread. Taste testing extra virgin olive oil and understanding the characteristics from a renowned expert in the field was a unique experience.
I cooked and ate cuttlefish for the first time!
The trip was an amazing experience that helped me better understand the land, culture, food and people of this region of southern Italy! Highly recommend!
Thank you so much for your time and talent in making this a memorable trip!"
Mary Dubinin, MS, RDN
MaryEllen Grimes, RD “This was an amazing culinary and cultural experience.” Puglia 2019 Culinary Tour
"The culinary experiences and cultural activities were great. I learned things that I am sure I would not have learned on another tour.
Everything was healthy and delicious and has inspired me to make more changes at home. I made pasta as soon as I got home! Being able to make pasta and attend the cooking class makes learning more meaningful – a great experience!
I enjoyed most learning about the foods of this region and the history and culture of the people.
Learning about ancient grains was new for me. Of course making pasta and foccacia was great. I used to make my own pasta years ago and I am glad that I am returing back to it. Just learning about the Italian culture was very important to me- learning to slow down and enjoy things instead of rushing and eating, which is what Americans do.
I really can’t think of anything negative to say. I think I enjoyed the space at the masseria so much I would have preferred to stay there longer and relax.
This was an amazing culinary and cultural experience. Layne and Arriverderci Travel were very knowledgeable and provided an understanding not only about the food but also the history, culture and customs of southern Italy."
MaryEllen Grimes, RD
Deborah & Ed Zadagin, “Layne is an expert in the field of diet and nutrition… engaging and fun!” Puglia 2019 Culinary Tour
On a scale of 1 to 5, the meals and food experiences were a 5+++.
The App was amazing!
What we enjoyed most... the company, food, wine, weather and experiences.
Lisa’s dinner at her home was spectacular.
As far as new information and skills that we learned, too numerous to mention, which included learning to make focaccia, olive harvest and oil, wheat production, pasta making, etc...
The quality of the lifestyle in Puglia is truly remarkable.
Authentic food, wine and cultural experiences in beautiful seaside villages with genuine hospitality!"
Deborah and Ed Zadigan, November 13, 2019
Barbara and Dr. Bob M. “We highly recommend this trip and would definitely go on another WorldRD trip” Puglia 2019 Culinary Tour
"Puglia as a destination for the Mediterranean lifestyle was heaven- truly a dream place!
There was not a single thing I would change about the organization and content of the culinary and cultural activities.
We had the best guides and drivers.
The meals and food experiences were outstanding.
Our favorite experience was at the bread factory.
We highly recommend this trip and would definitely go on another WorldRD trip."
“Layne, 3 cheers to you and molto grazie!!!”
Barbara and Dr. Bob M.
Heather Bessee, MS, RDN “The entire experience was just amazing and inspiring in so many ways-both professionally and personally.” Puglia 2019 Culinary Tour
I have never been to a UNESCO site before (I don’t think) and now I have been to two. I am in awe of all of the olive trees and the diverse landscapes of Puglia. I adore that the nonnas are making pasta in the streets and are faster than machines. I love that the tradition still lives and feel so humbled that I was able to not only witness the nonnas, but to experience Old Bari and be part of their local street life.
The cooking classes were exceptional and well organized! The chefs in Italy work magic in very small spaces! Each experience was wonderful and deeply appreciated! The foods that we sampled were heart healthy and many were high fiber, high nutrient content, etc. Delicious and healthy—my kind of meals.
Hands down staying at the masseria was my FAVORITE accommodation because of the charm and character- from the location and room décor to the food. The room space and décor were stunning, unique and comfortable. The spacious location was lovely, open and beautiful. The food here was my favorite for breakfast- the roasted tomatoes, cheese, prosciutto and hard-boiled eggs with capers. Simple and so very satisfying.
Our driver, Antonio was amazing! What can I say? Those ties!!!! Magnificent. Antonio has a pleasant personality and is very respectful and safe. Grazie for having the water available to us at all time—and for finding my wallet! Our guides, Antonella and Sandro were so knowledgeable and translated exceptionally well. Their English is so much better than my own.
The meticulous care that was taken to plan, prepare and present the meals was evident. The food quality was exceptional and fresh; and the flavors were crafted together so artfully. I was exposed to some combinations of foods that I had not thought of putting together. Especially the beans…the fava bean puree was one of my favorite dishes. I never got tired of homemade pasta and beans, and bread and cheeses, etc.
The transfers to and from the airport were convenient, quick and easy.
I enjoyed reviewing the itinerary prior to the trip and felt that it was detailed and thorough. I read it over several times before traveling to Italy and was excited and inspired every time I read it. I knew I was making the right decision in choosing to take this trip because the details of the trip were well thought out and laid out. Each venue was described meticulously. I know there were a few changes to the itinerary due to unforeseen circumstances and I felt that it was explained and handled professionally and meticulously as well.
Every part of the itinerary was fabulous, however I was so touched by being able to go to Lisa’s house! We had a private, intimate, local, homemade dinner shared with our group and I felt so lucky, privileged, grateful, humbled, etc! And even meeting Sandro’s wife and baby was very special to me. I truly felt like I was part of an amazing family in Puglia. I loved that everywhere we went in Puglia the people made us feel welcomed, appreciated, and valued. We were so blessed to have those experiences as most tourists never have the opportunities that we had.
My two top favorite foods were the ravioli with turnip greens on the last evening and the orecchiette with pumpkin, scamorza, and capicola at Altemura Winery. The potato flan and the pureed fava beans with chicory that Anna Maria made were delicious as well. The DiGesu bread was amazing! Best bread EVER! I enjoyed all of the gelato that I ate, too! Perhaps Sandro can teach us how to make gelato next time?
At Lisa’s House I loved the beans and greens and the eggplant.
In all honesty I enjoyed everything that I ate in Puglia. I am glad that I tasted everything and it was all so delicious. I think I am good on octopus now for awhile. I like it, but only in small amounts. I have tried it a few times, but prefer the squid and cuttlefish much better.
I learned how to make three easy homemade pasta shapes by hand. I had never made foccacia before and now know how to make that as well. I loved watching the mozzarella cheese being made so easily. You can tell that all of the chefs that taught us literally perform labors of love everyday. And they make it look so easy. I learned about the organic farming of wheat, cheese, olives, and wine production. I enjoyed learning about the production side of things and then putting it to the plate. This really made a difference to me as I always want to know where my food comes from, how it was produced and how it was prepared. I feel that all of our food in America is processed in a plant and packaged and eaten right out of the bag. It really is sad in so many ways... but understandable to a certain degree.
I learned about the towns like Trulli Houses/Alberobello, Ostuni, Lecce, Gallipoli. Visiting Matera and Alberobello (Trulli houses) the UNESCO sites was exciting as I had never been to an UNESCO site prior to this trip.
I learned about local foods grown in Puglia such as cherries, almonds, olives, Verdeca (white) and Susumaniello (red) grapes, figs, etc.
The entire experience was just amazing and inspiring in so many ways-both professionally and personally. I am curious as to how the trip would have been with more RD’s as opposed to being comprised mostly of significant others/friends. The week may have had a different vibe to it, but I truly adored everyone that went on the trip. They were a special group and so generous and welcoming as was everyone that we met in Puglia.
I am proud of our Puglia group! I loved Mama Mia, Ethelina, Katarina, Lucia, Roberto, Eduardo, etc. and I ADORE my Italian name of Fiore!!!! Giving us all Italian names was such a nice little touch on the trip."
Heather Bessee, MS, RDN
MaryEllen Grimes, RD “Everything was healthy and delicious” Puglia 2019 Culinary Tour
“This was an amazing culinary and cultural experience. Layne and Arriverderci Travel were very knowledgeable and provided an understanding not only about the food but also the history, culture and customs of southern Italy.
The culinary experiences and cultural activities were great. I learned things that I am sure I would not have learned on another tour.
Everything was healthy and delicious and has inspired me to make more changes at home. I made pasta as soon as I got home! Being able to make pasta and attend the cooking class makes learning more meaningful – great experience!
I enjoyed learning about the foods of this region, and the history and culture of the people. Learning about ancient grains was new for me. Of course making pasta and foccacia was great. I used to make my own pasta years ago and I am glad that I am returing back to it. Just learning about the Italian culture was very important to me- learning to slow down and enjoy things instead of rushing and eating which is what Americans do.
I would definitely consider another WorldRD tour. How about Spain? But I would go anywhere.”
MaryEllen Grimes, RD, 11-17-19
Dr. Anthony and Nancy Ciancimino, RDN, “I cannot say enough positive things about the trip with Layne, Sandro and Antonella” Puglia 2019 Culinary Tour
The uniqueness of the area, the land, people, food and wine. I experienced tastes that I had not experienced before. I learned a new grape varietal and love it. I enjoyed visiting the olive oil producers, the cooking classes, the lunch at the vineyard, and the dairy farm with cheese making and tasting. I SO ENJOYED THE PEOPLE IN OUR GROUP! ALL were wonderful, interesting, fun, adventurous, and amazing!!!!.....this includes Layne, Michael, Sandro, and Antonella!
I learned of a new grape varietal indigenous to the area, that produces amazing wine.
Increased knowledge on taste distinction and antioxidant properties of olive oil, and future medicinal uses for extra virgin olive oil. Some new recipes ...using fava beans and black chickpeas.
All guides were 5 stars in each venue that we visited!"
Dr. Anthony and Nancy Ciancimino, RDN