Make lunch with a family that lives just outside of Rome, sampling homemade wine and olive oil before sitting down for a farmhouse-style feast.. In Bari, join a local expert for a masterclass where you will learn to make Apulian focaccia and the famous orecchiette (little ears pasta).. Lose yourself in the ancient cave-city of Matera, which sits dramatically on the edge of the Gravina gorge.. Get your hands doughy in a cooking class by learning how to prepare the world’s best pizza at its birthplace in Naples.
Discover why the southern regions of Puglia, Basilicata and Campania are Italy’s newest food hot spots that everyone’s raving about. Explore breathtaking Bari, take in the sights of the cave city of Matera while learning to cook with the locals, sample olive oil and homemade wine at a small, family-run farm just outside of Rome, and munch mozzarella cheese, sip limoncello and learn to prepare the world’s best pizza in the place where it was born, Naples! This eight-day Italian culinary odyssey is set to get you salivating.
Breakfast Included: 6 Lunches Included: 2 Dinner Included: 2
Buongiorno! Welcome to the cobbled streets of Rome. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting tonight at 6 pm. There are no activities planned before the meeting, so you can arrive any time before then. There are so many things to do in Rome – the Colosseum, the Forum, Piazza Navona, the Spanish Steps, Via Condotti, Piazza Venezia, the Vatican City and St Peter's Basilica – so arriving a day or two early is recommended. Don’t forget to do as the Romans do and sip an espresso at one of the tiny cafes and sample the many flavours of gelato that colour the city. For those captivated by the eternal city, throw a coin into the Trevi Fountain to ensure a return visit to Rome. After the welcome meeting, get to know your fellow foodies over a bowl of pasta in the rione (administrative division) of Monti, home to some of the city's most famous monuments.
Today you’ll visit a local family at their farm just outside of Rome and take a tour of their small vineyard and vegetable garden. The family's patriarch makes his own wine and refuses to drink anything else at home (and brings it along with him wherever he goes)! He's sure to offer you a drop, and once you've had a swirl and a sniff, you won’t want to say no. Depending on the season, you may head to a local market or shop to pick up some extra ingredients before joining the family at home to cook up a Roman farmhouse feast. Eat, drink and be merry in a way only the Italians can, before returning to Rome in the late afternoon and doing as you please for the rest of the day.
Take a train from Rome to Bari (approximately 4 hours). Bari a port city on the Adriatic Sea and is widely known for its maze-like alleyways, Old Town churches like the Basilica di San Nicola, food markets and long sandy beaches. On arrival your leader will take you on a city orientation walk. This evening is free for you to discover the food of this region – perhaps ask your group leader to recommend some dinner options that feature local specialties, particularly with freshly-caught seafood, then stroll the coastal boulevard and perhaps sip some of the local limoncello.
Explore the region with a visit to a masseria (fortified farmhouse) in Rutigliano for an olive oil and wine tasting. You’ll get the chance to taste varietals grown on the property. Also, enjoy the local specialty burrata – a luxurious version of freshly made mozzarella. Later on, join a local expert for a masterclass where you will learn to make Apulian focaccia and the famous orecchiette (pasta shaped like little ears). By using a thumb imprint technique, you’ll be continuing the tradition of nonnas across the region.
Transfer to Matera and explore the otherworldly architecture on a guided walking tour. Learn about the fascinating history of a place once considered the shame of Italy. Up until the 1950s, Matera was severely impoverished, and many residents lived in the Sassi caves without running water or electricity. Learn about this remote city’s transformation and go deep with a tour of the underground Ipogeo Materasum – a series of roads, cisterns and places of worship that lie up to 12-metres below. Then, journey into the other belly of Matera with a local Amaro Lucano tasting. This famed herbal digestive was first made in Matera. Enjoy dinner overlooking Sassi and make a toast to this surprising city.
Travel to the hub of industry in Naples, most well-known as being the birthplace of pizza. Once arrived, take an orientation walk around town to get your bearings, and head on a street food crawl, where you’ll taste the best of the region. By now, you will have realised the regional specialties of each place you visit, and Naples (in Campania) is no different. Naples boasts a robust cuisine with influences ranging from Greek, Spanish, French and Arab cultures. Learn about street food traditions and sample local delicacies such as cuoppo (fried fish), portafoglio (fried and folded pizza), zeppole (rich donut fritter with sweet cream) and sfogliatella (shell-shaped sweet pastry). Delicioso!
After breakfast, the day is free for you to explore the city. If you’re feeling active, you could head out of Naples visit the historic grounds of Pompeii in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius (approximately 1 hour by train). You leader can help you with logistics of getting there and back in time for your final evening. No food trip to Italy would be complete without a pizza making demonstration, and you’ll save the best for last. In the evening, learn to prepare this southern classic in the place in which it was born and then settle in for a delicious dinner with the group.
With no activities planned for today, you are free to leave at any time. That doesn’t mean that your adventure has to come to an end! If you would like to spend more time in Naples, we’ll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability).