“2016 was a big year for me, with my September wedding in Puglia, Italy as the highlight. My wife and I love Puglia because it is the distillation of everything that is wonderful about Italy, with an extra dose of sunshine. So it was a great pleasure to get married there and be able to share a part of the world that is very special to us with our families and friends. Puglia did not disappoint. We spent a week before the wedding day exploring ancient towns like Ostuni, Cisternino, and Grottaglie. We hired a catamaran in Monopoli and sailed the Adriatic coast towards the cliffs of Polignano a Mare where we anchored and swam at the base of its sea caves. If you have not yet been to Puglia, I highly recommend changing that in 2017!”
“My Italian-themed 2016 doesn’t stop in Puglia though. The year also took me to the Amalfi Coast, where I visited with our good friends at Relais Oasi Olimpia; to Umbria where I had the pleasure of meeting our wonderful partners at Palazzo Seneca in Norcia; and to Tuscany, home to many of our most popular cooking vacations. Tuscany’s charms are undeniable, in every season. Even in November while I was there, the landscape is captivating. And of course Tuscany’s famous food and wine are always a constant. It was great to visit with several of our closest collaborators in the Chianti area and in Florence, but my favorite part of the trip was the time spent at Villa Casagrande, the new home starting in 2017 of our longtime favorite culinary program, A Classic Tuscan Table. Villa Casagrande has a fascinating history as a noble estate and residence for Pope Leone X, whose apartments are still very much intact and integrated into the contemporary hotel. For example, Chef Anna, who leads the cooking classes, welcomes everyone with a tour of the 14th century residence followed by a tasting of their estate wines right there in the historical gallery overlooking the Italianate gardens. How cool is that?”
What about you? What were your most memorable moments – travel or otherwise – of 2016? If you’re interested in following in Adrian’s footsteps, check out our Puglia cooking vacations or give us a call!
By Peg Kern
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