Welcome to Lecce the Florence of the south, a city famous for its food, wine and kaleidoscopic architecture. We’ll whisk you away to dine like kings on your very own homemade fresh pasta, antipasti, meat and fish.
You’ll learn about the production process and taste some of the region's finest olive oil, seafood, cheeses and wine and what's more, you’ll learn how to pair them in the perfect harmony with local DOC and IGT wines to create the perfect menu, under the supervision of our expert team of chefs and wine makers. We’ll transport you back in time taking you to meander the narrow winding cobbled streets, of the region’s most spectacular towns, rich in character, history, art and culture.
You’ll see breathtaking landscapes on this unforgettable sensory journey, enabling you to experience firsthand exactly what characterises “la bella vita” in Salento. And, to top it off, you’ll be staying into unique palaces and ancient farm house Nouveau designs, breathing life into its ancient surroundings.
Day 1 Arrival
On arrival at Brindisi or Bari Airport you’ll be transferred to one of our exclusive palaces located right at the heart of the historic centre of Lecce. The stylish, elegant and comfortable rooms are a great choice combining the best of classic design and modern technology and comfort.
We’ll give you plenty of time to settle in and get your bearings before your evening welcome dinner.
Lecce and Salento Cuisine and Culture package
6 nights, 7days
4 cooking class
4 walking tour
6 nights in a private palace or villa
Custom dates on request
Day 2 Pasta Making cooking class
Take a journey through the Salento countryside to taste and buy the best local “0 kilometre food” producer available in the area for your evening cooking class, before a visit to Gino and Sofia’s pasta factory, for hands-on workshop, learning how to make the region’s delicious traditional pasta, then sit down at their family table to break bread and swap recipes with these local expert pasta producers. You have a short time to relax at the hotel before creating your evening meal in your introductory cooking class covering the meat, fish and vegetable dishes and desserts, that you will learn about throughout the week.
Day 3 Otranto and Hind Valley
Visit ‘the gateway to the east’s’ most spectacular arts, that formed the basis of literary and cultural references during our walking tour around Otranto. Gaze at the breathtaking harbour views over the Adriatic sea from Otranto Castle. Visit 11th Century Romanesque cathedral, home to the world’s largest Mosaic and wander the labyrinth of streets selling traditional local handmade goods followed by a drive down the panoramic south coast, to taste some of the region’s best local organic cheeses and take in the view of the Albanian mountains from Saint Emiliano tower. Dinner at a marvellous fish restaurant in Lecce’s historic town.
Day 4 Cooking class and winery tour
Visit a traditional local market to seek out the freshest ingredients before having your next cooking class in the heart of Lecce’s historic centre. Under the watchful eye of our expert chef and sommelier Francesca, you’ll learn the secrets of preparing traditional local recipes before sitting down to dine. We’ll whisk you away into the heart of Minervino’s medieval village for a guided tour of one of Salento’s landmark wineries in the luscious Salento countryside. You’ll meet the producer and taste a selection of different wines including the classic Primitivo, as well as some of the newer vine wines like Fiano, Malvasia Nera and Negroamaro.
Day 5 Gallipoli
Meander the winding medieval streets of Gallipoli, taking in the artistic magnificence of this floating fortress island connected to the mainland and chic new town by an 17th century drawbridge. We’ll visit 13th Century Byzantine built Angevine-Aragonese Castle, ancient Greek fountain and local fish-market before visiting new town to catch a glimpse of the Cathedral's opulent interior. “Catch of the day” is served at fantastic local fish restaurant where you’ll dine gazing out over the spectacular view of the historic centre and coastline. On returning to Lecce you’ll have some free time before being served a traditional local evening meal prepared by the palace’s top chef.
Day 6 LECCE COOKING LESSON
A guided walking tour through the narrow streets, courts and squares which unfold around Piazza S.Oronzo, taking in the perfectly chiseled limestone buildings that make Lecce such a spectacular example of Baroque architecture. Stop off at the best coffee shop in town for a Pasticciotto and tell you the stories passed down through time about the lives of those who created the spectacular buildings, churches and sprawling “underground” network beneath them. Taste some great locally produced cheese, breads and cold-cuts in a sophisticated wine bar and spend the afternoon and evening learning to cook seafood with our local specialist chef before dinner.
Day 7 Departure
We’ll take you to the airport in good time for your return flight and bid you farewell but not before ensure that you have had a delicious and substantial breakfast.