A Culinary Adventure in Puglia

With more than 300 days of sun a year and 500 miles of coastline, the heel of Italy — known as Puglia — is a beautiful region known for its warm climate, full-bodied wines, and fresh seafood. The rural landscape is populated with fortified castles, olive groves, and whitewashed Trulli, distinctive conical shaped dwellings that distinguish Puglia from other parts of the country. The region may be a lesser known area of the country, but its offerings are immense.

The gastronomy in Puglia is influenced by Italy’s neighboring countries and past invaders — Greeks, French, Germans, and Arabs — as well as both the agriculture and the sea. You’ll find olives here, as well as grapes, figs, and almonds. Local cuisine specialties include seafood risotto, fava beans, orecchiette (ear-shaped pasta), as well as burrata, a creamy cheese somewhat like mozzarella.

Similar to an agriturismo, masserias are country homes that operate in Puglia both as hotels and working educational farms. To use the name a property has to have existed for over 20 years, and must offer educational activities in addition to their farming work. During this cooking adventure, your accommodations are located near Brindisi in a masseria surrounded by olive trees that were planted more than 400 years ago. The unique estate has been renovated and altered over the past few centuries; rooms that were once noble quarters are now charming rooms for guests. The masseria is a family affair, run by a brother and sister team, and the latter, Chiara, will be your cooking instructor during your Puglia adventure.


Latest Review

We gave this trip 5 stars
Anne & John
WCape
We had an excellent experience all round. Just the right combination of sight-seeing and cooking. The Masseria Salamina was superb: both the accommodation and the staff suited us perfectly. We were met at Bari airport and driven straight to the Masseria where we were warmly welcomed by Chiara and we met Augusto who introduced us to the other guests and discussed our schedule with us. Chiara and her staff were charming, friendly and helpful and the cooking classes both fun and instructive. The meals were delicious. Augusto was a superb guide, friendly, helpful and interesting in his explanations of the local geography, history and customs. The choice of places to visit was excellent: interesting farms, winery, dairy, butchery and smoked meat business. He paced us just right in walking around towns and places of interest.

Trip Details

Your 4 hands-on cooking classes take place in the kitchens of your masseria and will be led by either Chiara or one of the other family members, or by the chef of the property, Damiano. Chiara has managed the masseria’s restaurant since 2007, and has led cooking shows for the Puglia Region Authority, as well as an educational laboratory for a group of foreign journalists. In the past, Chef Damiano has worked for a number renowned Puglia restaurants. Both specialize in Apulian cuisine, and look forward to sharing a rich culinary tradition with you!
Classes will feature:

  • fresh and filled pastas and focaccia
  • pizza and traditional Apulian savory pastries
  • fish and seafood
  • desserts


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We might not be able to pack for you, but there are tons of things we can help with to make your vacation that much better.

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Itinerary

Day One

  • Arrive at either Bari or Brindisi airport, and group transfer to the masseria, your accommodations for the week.
  • Take some time to settle in and relax.
  • Get to know the family, and enjoy an aperitivo with them before dinner.
  • Overnight.

Fresh cheese in Puglia


Day Two

  • Following breakfast, visit an ancient oil mill in the Ostuni area to learn about this “green gold.”
  • Next, visit a cheese factory for a live demonstration of how they make mozzarella and burrata, and enjoy a tasting of this wonderful cheese.
  • After, take a walk through the old town’s small alleys and enjoy an apperitivo overlooking the sea.
  • Return to the masseria for your first hands-on cooking class, which will focus on fresh and filled pasta and the local glory – focaccia.
  • Dinner to follow based on your efforts.
  • Overnight.

Matera, Italy


Day Three

  • Breakfast.
  • In the early morning, depart for Matera in the Basilicata region, an awe-inspiring UNESCO World Heritage Site that has become famous worldwide for its ancient town “Sassi di Matera” which translates to “stones of Matera.” This prehistoric settlement is thought to be among the first human settlements in Italy, and it’s been featured in a variety of filmmakers as the setting for ancient Jerusalem.
  • Lunch on your own.
  • Enjoy some free time on your own in the afternoon.
  • Dinner tonight is in the masseria.
  • Overnight.

Woman making pasta in Bari


Day Four

  • Breakfast.
  • In the morning, take part in your next cooking class to learn about traditional pizza and other local specialties like panzerotti, friselle, and taralli.
  • Lunch to follow based on your efforts.
  • In the afternoon, head to the capital city of Bari to explore the old town. This guided walk will take you to remarkable historical attractions — such as the beautiful St. Nicola’s Basilica, home to Saint Nicolas, a beloved saint and father of the Santa Claus legend — as well as the seaside promenade and busy pedestrian shopping area.
  • Finish your day with a wonderful dinner al fornello, where you’ll be served various cuts of meats from the local butcher. This is a rustic and completely Pugliese experience!
  • Overnight.

Polignano a Mare, Italy


Day Five

  • Breakfast.
  • In the morning, visit the picturesque town of Polignano a Mare to admire the impressive panoramas from the seaside terraces. Perhaps indulge in a gelato while there.
  • From there take a very picturesque drive through Itria Valley to visit Alberobello, the UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its fairytale trulli. While there, experience a guided visit of the site. Finish the tour with a stop at a local winery to taste their best wines along with some fabulous appetizers.
  • Return to the masseria to participate in a cooking class that focuses on fish and classical seafood dishes, from linguine to octopus, in a Mediterranean style.
  • Overnight.

Field of vegetables at the Masseria


Day Six

  • Following breakfast, depart for an excursion to Locorotondo, a beautiful town in the Itria valley, and visit their local market, where you’ll enjoy an apertivo like the locals.
  • Transfer to a renowned factory to taste the local cold cut, capocollo.
  • Return to the masseria for your final cooking class, where you’ll discover the tricks of Pugliese desserts and cakes, such as biscotti, and Italian limoncello.
  • Farewell dinner to follow based on your efforts, along with a certificate of attendance.
  • Overnight.

Day Seven

  • Breakfast and check out. Group transfer to Bari or Brindisi airport.

Trip Details

Included in the 6-Night Trip

Accommodations

6 nights accommodation at the Masseria

Food & Beverages

  • Daily breakfast
  • 4 lunches (including light tasting lunch day 2)
  • 6 dinners
  • Wine, water, and coffee with all meals

Classes & Instructors

Your 4 hands-on cooking classes take place in the kitchens of your masseria and will be led by either Chiara or one of the other family members, or by the chef of the property, Damiano. Chiara has managed the masseria’s restaurant since 2007, and has led cooking shows for the Puglia Region Authority, as well as an educational laboratory for a group of foreign journalists. In the past, Chef Damiano has worked for a number renowned Puglia restaurants. Both specialize in Apulian cuisine, and look forward to sharing a rich culinary tradition with you!
Classes will feature:

  • fresh and filled pastas and focaccia
  • pizza and traditional Apulian savory pastries
  • fish and seafood
  • desserts

Excursions

  • Excursion to Matera
  • Visit of Bari
  • Visits of Ostuni, Polignano a Mare, and Alberobello
  • Excursion to Locorotondo
  • 1 winery visit
  • 1 cheese factory tour and tasting
  • 1 salami factory tour
  • 1 oil mill factory tour

Transfer Details

Round-trip group transfers from/to Bari or Brindisi airport. (Late arrivals or early departure transfers may incur an additional fee. We would be happy to confirm transfers with you before you finalize your travel arrangements.)

Accommodation Information

Surrounded by 400-year-old olive trees, the Masseria Salamina, located just a short distance from the Adriatic sea, is a relaxing getaway full of historic charm. The rooms are located in three wings of the masseria and reflect the history of the area. All rooms offer air conditioning, heating, safe, LCD TV, Wi-Fi, and hair dryer. The property itself features a restaurant specializing in traditional Puglian cuisine as well as a swimming pool with a beautiful view of the sea.

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Pricing & Tour Dates

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2019 Pricing:

(excluding July and August)

6-night Program
US$2990 per person based on double occupancy
  • Add US$350 for single occupancy (use of a double room by 1 person)

30% deposit due to confirm booking.
Balance payment due 60 days prior to tour start date. Questions? Please contact us!

July and August supplement: please inquire

Custom Biking and Cooking or Walking and Cooking itineraries also available.


Tour Dates

Available the following weeks for a minimum of 2 people. Other start dates also possible, please inquire.

2019

June 9-15
June 16-22
June 23-29
June 30-July 6
July 7-13
July 14-20
July 21-27
July 28-August 3
August 4-10
August 11-17
August 18-24
August 25-31
September 1-7 (sold out)
September 9-15
September 15-21 (sold out)
September 22-28 (sold out)
September 29-October 5
October 6-12
October 13-19
October 20-26
October 27-November 2
November 3-9
November 10-16
November 17-23
November 24-30
December 1-7
December 8-14
December 15-21
December 22-28

2020
Available weekly for a minimum of 2 people.

Pricing & Dates

Class Pricing

Reviews

We gave this trip 5 stars
Anne & John
WCape
We had an excellent experience all round. Just the right combination of sight-seeing and cooking. The Masseria Salamina was superb: both the accommodation and the staff suited us perfectly. We were met at Bari airport and driven straight to the Masseria where we were warmly welcomed by Chiara and we met Augusto who introduced us to the other guests and discussed our schedule with us. Chiara and her staff were charming, friendly and helpful and the cooking classes both fun and instructive. The meals were delicious. Augusto was a superb guide, friendly, helpful and interesting in his explanations of the local geography, history and customs. The choice of places to visit was excellent: interesting farms, winery, dairy, butchery and smoked meat business. He paced us just right in walking around towns and places of interest.
We gave this trip 5 stars
Thomas & Ilona
Virginia
Cooking school was beyond expectations
No rating given with this review
The Pinto home is absolutely gorgeous. Although plain in its decor, the simplicity is a large part or the charm and beauty. Our room was accessed from the vestibule of the house, straight ahead from the main entrance. It was actually 2 rooms; 1 with two twin beds on opposite walls, a desk and a rear door to the terrace. Wall decorations were actually beautifully done needlepoint farm scenes. To the right was the entrance to the other bedroom which had the queen-size bed, a bureau for clothes, bedside tables and a baby crib (which we used to hang clothes). The bath was enormous with a walk-in shower with jets in the wall, a handheld and the traditional overhead sprayer. The old "barn" next to the house was where the industrial kitchen and the 2 rooms for meals; one large to serve 40 -50, the other small with 2 tables for 4 -6 each. This room also served as our area for making bread, pastas and desserts. The Pinto family couldn't have been more gracious. Dominico, the Dad; Isa, Mom and Chef; Nicole & Chiara, the 2 Daughters; and Vito, the 8 year old son, were so much fun. Chiara was with us the most (of the 3 siblings) and was most helpful. Isa was not only a fantastic cook, but a talented instructor. She never used a recipe, but focused on technique. Portions were relative; 2:1 or 3:1 or pinches and palmfuls were the measures; except when it came to baking; then everything was carefully measured, actually weighed. The entire family made us feel like we were part of their family, more than visitors. What wonderful people! Augusto was the first person we saw when we landed in Bari. He was a waiting for us with a sign. We were so happy to see him. Augusto was with us at least 11 hours every day (except Thursday afternoon when during our "free time" we elected to sit by the pool at Tenuta Pinto). Augusto was our tour guide, translator, companion, and, by the end of the week, our friend. He was with us when we cooked and ate. He was our guide on all of our adventures; olive oil factory, open air markets, pasta factory, meat processing plant, touring quaint towns in the countryside, and restaurant visits. He spoiled us, always saying if that's what you want, or we can, always making sure we were doing what we preferred. Not only was he very accommodating, he was always punctual. When he took us to the airport on our last day, we felt sad leaving, and also vulnerable; we were going out on our own off to Venice. Augusto truly made our stay a once in a lifetime experience. Summary: The International Kitchen folks (Karen Herbst and Richard Davis) did an excellent job coordinating our visit. They made it easy for us to enjoy our time in Italy. Their choice of accommodations with Tenuta Pinto and selection of Augusto as our guide could not have been more perfect. Our thanks to everyone! Herbert and Beverly D.
No rating given with this review
I was thoroughly impressed with your European partners! They were like family. We toured by day and cooked at night it was a fun filled adventure. The accommodations were amazing and it was wonderful to have all our meals taken care of. Our experience was unbelievable the sights and tours were amazing. [Regarding the cooking vacation packet:] It was good. [Regarding The International Kitchen staff:] Everything went smoothly. [Additional comments:] Augusto our tour guide was so knowledgable and so connected with the local region...we enjoyed ever moment with him! Courtney B. & Brittany G., UT
No rating given with this review
When I first decided to book a cooking vacation, you might remember that I called you as I had narrowed down the selection to either Tuscany or Puglia.  Your input helped me make the decision to go to Puglia.  What a perfect choice that was.  We absolutely loved Puglia.  What a beautiful place. The masseria was beautiful as well.  The people were incredibly accommodating and friendly.  Our room was great and the terrace outside the room had a wonderful view.  We could see the Adriatic from it.  Our guide for the week, Augusto, was outstanding.  His knowledge of the area made every excursion so much more than we had anticipated.  The tours he took us on were so very interesting.  As the week progressed and we got to know each other better, we so enjoyed laughing and chatting about Italy and Canada and many other topics.  I think one of the things we will remember most was how much fun we had. Chiara, the chef at the Masseria, was a terrific teacher.  She took us patiently through many recipes.  The hands-on experience made each item come alive.  I know I am going to be making several things from the many we learned.  And having the recipes given to us to bring home will make sure whatever we make here will turn out perfectly (or at least I hope so!). I cannot say enough about how the week exceeded our expectations.  I would, without hesitation, recommend Puglia, the masseria, and The International Kitchen to anyone looking for a cooking vacation. Bonnie N.
No rating given with this review
The experience was amazing! We spent a week in the Pulia region of Italy. At the end of six days and four cooking classes, we had a special appreciation and understanding of the culture and people. We visited family owned producers of olive oil, cheese, and meat. The family owned Masseria made us feel at home as soon as we arrived and were very attentive. Chiara made the cooking classes fun and informative. Augusto was our guide throughout the entire time of our visit. We visited several towns as he narrated the history, suggested good restaurants as well as shopping and helped us translate to communicate better. He was very flexible and helpful throughout our stay. The International Kitchen staff was very courteous and knowledgeable. We truly enjoyed ourselves and had a great vacation. This program is comprehensive and well organized. We learned so much in the classes and were introduced to new foods and cooking techniques. We were always made to feel welcomed and comfortable. We did have a full schedule everyday as there was so much to see and do. Perhaps there would be a way to create some down time. We had a wonderful post trip and were able to meet and visit with family. Many beautiful memories were created on this trip! Rosemary, OH
No rating given with this review
Took great care of us. I became ill the first few days of trip and they treated us like family. Augusto is in love with Puglia and it showed in all of his tours and question/answers. Chiara is lovely. If i ever go back to Italy I dont want to go anywhere else. Maresa in the kitchen was a patient and caring assistant. Fillipo welcoming and the staff very patient with language attempts. Best trip ever. Janice, MI