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My Dear Friends,
I am absolutely happy to announce that this year I will be doing a tour to my home region in Italy: The Puglia with Rossella Culinary Tour which will be during the week of Sept. 13 to Sept 20. Once again, to make this dream come true for all of you, I have teamed with my friends at Divine Amalfi Villas, who share the same love and passion as I do about Italy. Together, we will take you to some of the most traditional locations in Puglia where you will be able to witness the creation of the signature foods of my beautiful region.
Throughout the week, you will learn how to select the core of the dishes by visiting local markets, vineyards and manufacturers that produce the staples of the Italian cuisine. In the cooking lessons at the Trulli, where I will be assisted by local Nonne and chefs, we will teach you to cook the Pugliese way. To get another taste of the local perspective, you will also dine with us in various restaurants that are true representatives of the Pugliese cuisine.
I hope all of you will join me on this fantastic tour. This tour will have very limited openings available and I encourage you to make your reservations as soon as possible.
Video of Tour
Arriving to Tenuta Monacelle
On Saturday, transfers have been planned for you to be picked up from either the Bari airport or train station and have you on your way to Tenuta Monacelle by 3:30 PM. All travel arrangements need to be made accordingly, otherwise alternative methods will have to be arranged.
Upon reaching Tenuta Monacelle, there will be some time for you to unpack, relax and explore your Trullo. There is also a beautiful swimming pool available. On your first night at Tenuta Monacelle you will be greeted with a welcome dinner designed especially for you by your host Rossella and prepared by the incredible chefs of Tenuta Monacelle.
Tenuta Monacelle, situated on the Selva di Fasano, is a group of Trulli built in the 1800s that is now a unique location in the world to experience these magnificent stone homes with a unique architecture. The surrounding grounds (over 150 acres) are also a true example of the extraordinary landscape of this part of Puglia: the ancient olive trees, fig trees, the sea, the flowers and the unique tiny villages create an atmosphere that will detach you from the world and give you a sense of peace like nowhere else in the world.
Music: Tarantella del Gargano - Performed by John T. La Barbera
Celebrate! Celebrate! Celebrate!
Sunday - On this day you will visit the hometown of Rossella, Mola di Bari, and enjoy all the morning celebrations of the patron Saint of Mola: La Madonna Addolorata (Our Lady of Sorrow). Spend the morning in Piazza with the rest of the population of the town, view the procession and enjoy an aperitivo at one of the open bars in Piazza.
Then, enjoy an authentic Molese lunch at Tenuta Pinto, a magnificent Masseria just outside of Mola. In the afternoon, relax in your Trullo at Tenuta Monacelle and in the evening back to Mola to enjoy the festivities, the incredible light display and have a light dinner at a local trattoria.
Pasta and Polpi Day!
Monday - Visit the narrow streets of Bari Vecchia including the Basilica di San Nicola and meet the Nonne that every day sit in the narrow streets to make the traditional Pugliese Pasta: Orecchiette, Cavatelli, Maccheroni, etc.
Then sit at the outdoor tables of La Cantina di Cianna Cianne and enjoy the true and authentic Barese cuisine and its magnificent products.
In the afternoon, we will travel to a local beach where local sailors will demonstrate the art of Arricciare i Polpi (tenderize the octopus). You will have the opportunity to taste the octopus as the Pugliesi eat it... raw, and then we will dine at a local restaurant that specializes in polpi and other sea food specialties.
The Best Food paired with the Best Wines
Tuesday - Today we travel north and make a quick stop at the most famous and unique castle of Puglia: Castel del Monte. Then we travel to a tiny village, Montegrosso, to visit one of the top chefs of Puglia: Chef Pietro Zito. Chef Zito has created a very original concept. His restaurant, Antichi Sapori, is situated right next to a large farm where he and his family grow all the products that each season he uses in his restaurant. We will cook and dine with Chef Zito outdoors in his farm and eat some of the best foods ever. Do not be surprised if Chef Zito serves you some donkey meat!
The afternoon we will travel to the Tormaresca winery where some of the best wines in Puglia are produced and have a relaxing afternoon visiting the immense vineyards, their Cantina and then at night we will all cook dinner in their Masseria.
The Land of Olives!!!
Wednesday - Puglia is for sure one of the top quality producers of Olive Oil in Italy and the world. On this day we will visit the Galantino oil Mill and their olive groves in Bisceglie. Here you will have an opportunity to pick olives from the ancient trees and then go to the mill and process them. Ok, OK... you will not be making olive oil as at this time of the year it is too early. But you will be picking Olive Nolche (sweet olives), which we will take to the olive mill and cook for lunch. Of course lunch will be much more than the olives you picked. There will be many other local specialties to enjoy.
Thursday - Today we venture to the ancient city of Matera to explore "I Sassi", a very old and unique housing architecture that brings you back to the days of Christ. No wonder it was used as the background to film many movies dating back to those days. Then we travel to nearby Altamura to experience how the world renowned Altamura bread is made and of course we will have lunch in Altamura to taste all the local specialties.
In the afternoon we go back to our Trulli, relax and get ready for a cooking class and dinner with Rossella and a local Nonna.
Seize the Day
Friday - Spend the morning in lovely Alberobello to visit this very unique town and do some shopping. Lunch is on your own today.
Spend the late afternoon visiting the enchanting old town of Polignano a Mare and culminate the evening with a Grand Dinner at the picturesque Grotta Palazzese situated in a cave by the sea... truly enchanting.
Come as Guests, Leave as Friends
Saturday - There will be one final breakfast at Tenuta Monacelle and then we depart for Bari Airport or train station for your return home. If you need assistance making different travel arrangements, we are here to help you.
Dates: Sept. 13 - Sept. 20, 2014
Price: $3,300 per Person - Double Occupancy Only.
- 7 Night Double or Triple Occupancy in a Trullo at Tenuta Monacelle
- Welcome Dinner
- Professional Transfers to and from Bari Airport/Train Station
- Daily Breakfast
- 5 Lunches
- 2 Cooking Lessons Followed by Dinner
- 4 Dinners at Authentic Local Restaurants Including two Michelin-rated
- Cultural Excursions and Gastronomic Visits with Transportation provide by Professional Drivers
- Meals Include Wine, Soft Drinks, and Coffee
- Planned Entrance Fees, Guides, and Gratuities
- Your personalized Cooking with Nonna Apron to be used during the cooking demonstrations and a set of Cooking with Nonna Knives so that you can cook like a Nonna. Additional Aprons and Nonna Knives can be purchase HERE!
What is Not Included:
- Airfare to and from Italy, including to and from Bari.
- Travel insurance.
- Shopping and personal expenses.
- Meals and drinks that are not part of the itinerary.
Terms of Payment
A deposit of 30 percent of the total amount of the vacation is required for reservation. Once the deposit is received, Divine Amalfi, LLC will confirm the reservation by transmitting to you an itinerary for your vacation. Although Divine Amalfi, LLC will make every effort to abide by the schedule in the itinerary that sets forth the agreed-upon events for the vacation, Divine Amalfi, LLC reserves the right to alter the order and schedule of these events in order to accommodate for availability, unforeseen circumstances and/or other force majeure. Final deposit is due 60 days prior to departure. Personal checks, bank transfers, Visa, MasterCard, and AMEX are accepted forms of payment to Divine Amalfi, LLC.
Divine Amalfi, LLC reserves the right to cancel the vacation for any reason. In the event of cancellation by Divine Amalfi LLC, you will be refunded any amounts paid prior to the cancellation which shall release Divine Amalfi, LLC from any liability, including any consequential expenses you may have incurred in planning to attend. You may cancel your reservation via written notice to Divine Amalfi, LLC. Upon receipt of your cancellation, you will receive a refund less the cancellation fees noted below.
- If cancellation notice is received by Divine Amalfi, LLC more than 90 days before the first day of vacation, you will receive a refund of all amounts paid less 25 percent.
- If cancellation notice is received by Divine Amalfi, LLC between 60-90 days before the first day of vacation, you will receive a refund of all amounts paid less 50 percent.
- If cancellation notice is received by Divine Amalfi, LLC in fewer than 60 days before the first day of vacation, Divine Amalfi, LLC will not be responsible for any refund.
I understand and agree that Divine Amalfi, LLC, its employees, officers, and agents will not be liable for any claims, demands or causes of action of any kind or nature, foreseen or unforeseen, arising out of any injury, illness or damage to or loss of property or any other event or occurrence, including but not limited to acts of God, war, weather, strike or other cause. I understand that I am responsible for my own travel arrangements to and from Bari, Italy as well as obtaining any necessary travel documents.