Itinerary and Objectives/Outcomes

Lodging

PALAZZO INDELLI, MONOPOLI

PALAZZO INDELLI, MONOPOLI

Palazzo Indelli is a newly restored 16th-century palazzo in the heart of Monopoli’s old town.  Facing onto the enchanting Piazza Garibaldi, this central location  allows for easy exploration on foot of this untouched historical quarter.  On just the other side of the piazza is the town’s picturesque harbor with its colorful fishing boats and refreshing sea breeze.  Palazzo Indelli has just 22 rooms and offers friendly and professional service to all their guests.  The lovely stone floors and elegant high ceilings recall the elegance of a by-gone age.  We are sure you will love the style and the perfect position for discovering the charms of Monopoli.

MASSERIA MONTENAPOLEONE, PEZZE DI GRECO

MASSERIA-MONTENAPOLEONE,-PEZZE-DI-GRECO

 

Masseria Montenapoleone, is a beautifully restored farmhouse in the very heart of Puglia. What makes this place stand out from other lodgings is how the owners have lovingly restored every detail to maintain harmony with the original architecture and above all with nature. The estate produces extra virgin olive oil and boasts many fruit trees and a garden brimming with vegetables. Guests are encouraged to explore the grounds and enjoy the abundance of fruits, flowers and vegetables grown and celebrated at the Masseria.

Naturally breakfast each morning is made with produce from the estate and includes such delicious treats as house-made preserves and traditional freshly baked cakes. The rooms are individually decorated and feature wooden beams, original antique floors and country-style furnishings. www.masseriamontenapoleone.com

SUITE HTL SANTA CHIARA, LECCE

SUITE HTL SANTA CHIARA, LECCE

Suite Hotel Santa Chiara is located just steps from the ornate baroque church of Santa Chiara, in the very heart of Lecce’s enchanting old quarter. The 21 elegant suites are furnished using the very best in modern Italian design and comfort. The roof garden offers beautiful views and the opportunity to soak up the atmosphere of the bustling streets below in an oasis of calm. The hotel offers its own restaurant, bar, meeting room and private parking. Hotel Santa Chiara provides one of the best locations for enjoying the highlights of the city: the extraordinary main piazza of S. Oronzo with its magnificent roman amphitheater; The Basilica of Santa Croce with its rose-window, one of the best examples of baroque architecture in Lecce, and finally the spectacular Piazza Duomo are all within a few minutes’ walk.

Day 1:

Welcome to Puglia & Bari Vecchia

Day1

On arrival on the first morning in Bari, take a quick tour of the enchanting old city of Bari Vecchia. Here the local ladies still make pasta by hand sitting outside their houses. Their speed and precision will amaze you! Then we’ll transfer to your first hotel, Palazzo Indelli in the heart of the historic centre of Monopoli.

Layne & Robyn will present the itinerary for the week and go through the details of our culinary adventure before kicking-off the first night with an ‘aperitivo’ and a welcome dinner.

Overnight: Palazzo Indelli

Educational Objectives and Outcomes (2 hours):

To understand the strategic location of Bari, which is the capital of Puglia and the importance of the old medieval city of Bari Vecchia where old ways of making pasta haven’t changed for hundreds of years.

Attendees will see, first hand,

  1. The technique for making orecchiette ear-shape pasta by hand with two simple ingredients
  2. How pasta is handled, traded and sold on the streets of the Vecchia
  3. The different sizes and cultural practices like why you may receive 1, 3, or 5 gigante orrechiette thrown in the batch.
  4. Whole wheat pasta and traditional semolina flour used in making the pasta.

Expert Guide: Local Chef Anna Maria Chirone for the culinary aspect (see CV translated into English to follow). For walking tour of Bari: Silvia Sessana, expert cultural and historical tourism guide. Credentials to follow

Day 2:

The Olive Oil Day

3

Today Next visit a fascinating organic olive mill where we will walk the grounds with the owner and visit the underground mill that has been in use for olive oil production since the Bronze Age. This experience is a full immersion into the vital nature of olive oil and all it means to the Puglia region. The visit will include a detailed breakdown of the pressing process through the ages and a tasting of the estate’s various oils with the owner (who teaches olive oil tasting). For lunch we enjoy a fabulous picnic in the idyllic setting of the monumental olive grove. Ostuni,

5

The white washed city on a hill known as “La Cittá Bianca” follows for a gentle stroll and gelato before heading back to our hotel. Tonight you are free for dinner in old town Monopoli. Why not wander down to the harbor and see what the fisherman are bringing in and then enjoy some deliciously fresh seafood?

Educational Objectives and Outcomes (3 hours):

To understand the history of olive oil and why Puglia was and still is the most important

region in Italy for olive oil production.

(Time at olive grove = 2 hours, lunch and learn = 1 hour) Attendees will:

  1. View an ancient underground olive mill and understand how olives were pressed
  2. Understand how olive oil was exported and used for lighting lamps
  3. Learn about different types of olives and oils; when olives are harvested and how the region monitors and cares for the most ancient olive trees in the world.

Experts: At the olive oil estate: the owner, Corrado Rodio 7th generation olive farmer and registered olive oil

tasting expert and also Michele Miccoli – tourist guide and recently qualified in a local “agroalimentare” project specializing in the production and maintenance of indigenous crops and traditions of Puglia. Details to follow.

 

Day 3

The Grains of Puglia, Burrata Cheese & Trulli Houses

4

The morning starts with an in-depth tour of the masseria’s estate with the passionate and engaging owner Giuliano. The estate is rigorously organic and specializes in biodiversity and the cultivation of indigenous crops,  fruits and vegetables that in many other areas have died out. Giuliano will demonstrate the use of the produce in the traditional cuisine of the area in a class dedicated to pasta and focaccia bread. After lunch we travel half an hour to the UNESCO site of Alberobello for an evening wander to see the famous Trulli Houses and also visit a local cheese artisan Giorgio, who will demonstrate the art of making delicious burrata and other fresh cheeses

such as ricotta at his farm. Tonight’s dinner will be an incredible treat: an 8- course tasting menu at the beautiful Masseria Frantoio where all the produce is grown on site.

Overnight: Masseria Montenapoleone

Educational Objectives and Outcomes (8 hours):

3.5 hours: To participate in a tour of an organic masseria and understand how crops are planted, rotated and harvested. Learn about the importance of biodiversity on this well-managed farm; Partake in a cooking class; 2 hours: To partake in a tour of the 14th century whitewashed Trulli homes of Alberobello (town in Puglia), known for their cone-shaped roofs, where cheese was stored and children slept. Animals lived inside with the family, while bathrooms were outside. Smelly homes (and children) were a sign of wealth;   2 hours: To immerse oneself into life and operations at a cheese Masseria; 0.5hrs in-depth visit to the orchard and gardens of Masseria Il Frantoio before dinner.

Attendees will:

tour

 

  1. Participate in a farm tour of local animals and ancient crops on the hotel’s estate
  2. Gain knowledge about ancient varieties of local fruits and vegetables from the Mediterranean
  3. Understand the importance of biodiversity and why organic farming has always been a way of life in the region
  4. Learn about the use of local products in traditional dishes
  5. Take part in preparing pasta and focaccia in traditional ways from Giuliano (family member/manager of masseria) and Teresina (in-house nonna)
  6. Understand the types of fresh cheeses that are staples in the Mediterranean diet
  7. Learn about how the less popular aged cheeses are made
  8. Make fresh cheeses like ricotta and mozzarella and differentiate between the different types and how they are prepared and stored
  9. Learn about burrata and how it originated from this region
  10. View how cows are fed, milked and live happily on the grounds of the cheese farm
  11. Learn about the architecture, history and understand life inside the ancient city of Alberobello (how it was in the 14th century and how it is today).
  12. Visit with a couple that owns a Trulli home and take a tour inside the home to see and understand how families liv
  13. Taste dried figs made the traditional way: stuffed with almonds and citrus
  14. Experience a farm to table (0 kilometer) meal at an ancient masseria and tour the grounds to learn about the ingredients used to prepare the meal

Experts: Masseria owner and dedicated organic farmer, Giuliano Monteneve. Teresina, local nonna and life long cook. Mimmo, qualified tourism guide of Alberobello and life-long resident. Giorgio Spalluto, 3rd generation cheesemaker and dairy farmer. Armando & Rosalba, estate owners and bio-organic farmers  and life-long cooks (in the the case of Rosabla) at Masseria Il Frantoio.

 

Day 4:

The Bread & Sassi Day

6

Today we have a very early start so we can experience the bread making process in the town of Altamura from start to finish. We will help the master bakers at a DOP bread producer make the dough and then head off for a well-deserved breakfast in the historical center of Altamura while the dough rises. Once the dough is ready we can get involved in the next stage of creating the many different traditional loaves. Once ready, we can bake them and eat the fruits of our labor! Next, we will head to the famed UNESCO World Heritage Site Matera, perched high on a beautiful hillside and only recently seen by foreign eyes. You are free for lunch here before enjoying an afternoon guided walk of the town’s stunning sassi (ancient cave dwellings restored for current use as homes, shops, and restaurants). Afterwards we will shuttle you back to the Masseria for a well-deserved rest and a light dinner prepared in the Masseria’s country kitchen.

Overnight: Masseria Montenapoleone

Educational Objectives and Outcomes (5 hours): Attendees will learn about the old traditions of DOP bread making and will bake their own bread in a DOP bread-producing bakery. In between and after baking, attendees will experience breakfast and lunch like the locals.

(Total time at the bakery = 3 hours)

Attendees will:

  1. Understand why the town of Altamura plays an integral role in the traditions of DOP bread making
  2. Learn about the type of wheat grown in the region
  3. Learn how to identify DOP Altamura bread and how it is regulated
  4. Prepare the dough and make the loaves along side expert DOP bakers
  5. Taste different types of bread and learn about traditional bread products of the region ie: tarralli
  6. Breakfast and learn– taste and learn about a typical fast breakfast and how coffee drinking plays a role in the Italian culture (The idea of Starbucks was conceived in Italy, but no Starbucks exist here); and how Italians drink almond milk! (1 hour)
  7. Lunch and learn–taste and learn about fresh local cheeses of the region (1 hour)
  8. Hear why McDonald’s could not survive in this area
  9. Visit a community of ancient cave dwellings to see how people lived over a thousand years ago

Experts: bread maker/ owner of bakery, guide (Silvia)

 

Day 5:

Lecce & Salento Vineyards

7

At 10.00 am our driver will take us to visit one of Puglia’s most renowned wineries – Li Veli. After a fascinating tour with the vineyard’s expert oenologist, you will be treated to a private lunch and wine pairing over-looking the ageing barrels of wine. Our final destination is Lecce, the capital of the Salento Province. Known as the ‘Florence of the South’, the city hosts amazing Baroque masterpieces and treasures of Italy.

Afternoon and dinner at leisure in Lecce (free time for shopping or optional walking tour of the historical centre here) Overnight at Suite Hotel Santa Chiara.

Educational Objectives and Outcomes (4 hours at the vineyard): To learn about the traditional wines of this region and why Primitivo is the real “Zinfandel”.

Attendees will:

  1. Learn about grape varieties
  2. Learn about wines production in this region
  3. Find out how much wine is produced and how much is exported sold locally
  4. Learn how to taste wine like an expert wine taster
  5. Why wine of this region is so robust
  6. Find out about organic v biodynamic wine production
  7. Lunch & learn- how to pair wines with a traditional Mediterranean lunch

Expert: Li Veli’s manager and chief wine maker, Giovanni Dimitri who has managed the winery since its inception in 1999 and was previously trained on the family’s Tuscan wine estate.

 

Day 6:

Flavors of Gallipoli

8

This morning you are heading west, to Gallipoli on the Ionian coast. We will meet with Anna Maria on Corso Roma in the beautiful old town for your cooking class and lunch. First collect some seafood from the local fishermen. The fish market is lively and captivating and Anna Maria is a skilled teacher and will be happy to welcome you to her cooking school for some delicious local dishes. Back in Lecce a leading local nutritionist will deliver a closing lecture to place into context the many techniques and traditions experienced during the week. For our final dinner, we’ll enjoy the best of Salentine cuisine paired with outstanding local wines.

Educational Objectives and Outcomes (6 hours): To explore a strategic old seaside city of Gallipoli and its flourishing fish market. Then prepare a traditional Mediterranean-style meal using local seafood and other local ingredients.

(Shopping and cooking = 4 hours, Meeting with local dietitian/nutritionist = 2 hours)

Attendees will:

  1. Understand why Gallipoli was a strategic city on the Mediterranean coast and the history of its ports
  2. Tour the old city and watch how the locals buy fresh seafood at the old city open air seafood market
  3. Spend the day with Puglia’s most renowned chef and cookbook author Anna Maria Chirone
  4. Learn how to choose fresh, local seafood at the market
  5. Learn Anna Maria’s techniques of healthy Mediterranean cooking and prepare a meal with Anna Maria and colleagues at a local cooking school in Gallipoli
  6. Meet with a local dietitian-nutritionist in the ancient city of Lecce to learn about the dietary problems he/she assesses most often in her hospital and private practice settin Review local foods and typical dietary practices that keep Italians at the top of list for the world’s healthiest countries.
  7. Learn and dine: experience a zero kilometer Salentine meal in the ancient city of Lecce

Experts: Chef Anna Maria Chirone  and Biologist Nutritionist-Dr. Barbara Natalizio

 

Day 7: Farewell

After our final group breakfast at the hotel, our team will shuttle you to Brindisi Airport and bid you arriverderci.

In addition to the educational objectives and outcomes, the following details are included in your tour cost:

  • 6 nights lodging at 4 star historical hotels
  • 6 breakfasts
  • All transfers during the itinerary
  • Group departure transfer to Brindisi Airport
  • Visit to the old quarter of Bari “Bari Vecchia”
  • — lunches (wine not included)
  • — dinners (wine not included)
  • Exclusive visit to an olive oil estate
  • Visit to the White City of Ostuni
  • Cooking class at Masseria Montenapoleone
  • Visit to a burrata cheese farm
  • Visit to the UNESCO site of Alberobello
  • Bakery experience in Altamura
  • Visit to the UNESCO city of Matera
  • Private winery tasting experience
  • Visit to the baroque city of Lecce
  • Cooking class in Gallipoli

The tour starts in Bari. 

Passion for Puglia: a Journey Through the Mediterranean Diet

Puglia – Tips and Trivia:

• Italian coffee (caffé) is a form of art with a specific coffee drink for every time of the day. Caffé corretto is thrown back like a shot. Cappuccino and brioche are for breakfast. You’ll never find a Starbucks here.

• Almond milk is local and the Mediterranean diet is alive and well.

• California Zinfandel (red wine) is thought to be a replica of Puglia’s Primitivo, both derived from an ancient Croatian grape variety.

• According to Beyond The Mediterranean Diet: European Secrets Of The Super-Healthy, southern Italian food was considered a peasant diet, which rates high on modern nutrition standards because of the abundance of grains, vegetables, fruits, dairy and legumes.

2 - 1 (1)

Veggies are plentiful

• Whole-wheat pasta is on the menu. To cook fresh pasta boil for 3 to 5 minutes.

• People of all ages walk and bike and the older folks still meet in the square to chat and watch the flow of visitors.

• In the town of Altamura, McDonald’s had to close down because the locals used it as a respite for air conditioning but wouldn’t dare to eat the offerings.

• The 14th century whitewashed Trulli homes of Alberobello (town in Puglia) are known for their cone-shaped roofs, where cheese was stored and children slept. Animals lived inside with the family, while bathrooms were outside. Smelly homes (and children) were a sign of wealth.

• Women are the bosses. When mamma says lunch is ready, everyone shows up at the table, even from miles away.

• Ancient olive trees know the secrets to longevity for they have been producing olives for thousands of years.

• It only costs about 2 euros or 10 cents to buy 20 to 25 figs in Alberobello.

• Apulia means land without water. The region is known for its sunny dry climate.

• Locals love to eat greens. My favorite dish is Fava beans with Wild Chicory.

2 - 1 (2)

Fava Beans (and Potato) with Wild Chicory

• Burrata, a fresh cow cheese made from mozzarella and cream originated here. Learn how to make mozzarella at a local dairy farm.

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Making Fresh Mozzarella

• Besides feeding dairy cows grass and grain, the diet is supplemented with orzo (barley) and fava beans.

• Old cities with ancient architecture include: Lecce (known as the “Florence of the South”), Ostuni, Otranto, Locorotondo, Gallipoli and Matera.

Matera

Old City of Matera

• Bike from old city to old city through the back roads of the farms (with a guide).

• Eat or stay at these 2 masserias: Masseria Montenapoleone and Il Frantoio.

Cooking with Giuliano

Cooking with Giuliano and master pasta-maker Teresina

Masseria Monte

On the farm at Masseria Montenapoleone

Il frantoio

In the kitchen at Masseria Il Frantoio (notice-all women)

• Dip taralli, a dry crunchy biscuit that is tied in a knot and is either sweet or savory, into wine.

• Visit a D.O.P. (Protected Designation of Origin) bakery

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D.O.P. Altamura Bread

• A reliable travel company that specializes in authentic food and biking tours is Southern Visions– the team is awesome!

• There are multi-generational family farms (masserias) producing olives, grapes, almonds, cherries, apricots, plums, peaches, hand harvested wheat, fava beans, chicory, tomatoes, fennel, onions, figs, lemons, limes, dates, herbs, pomegranates and so on.

• Farm animals such as cattle, pigs, lamb, chickens, donkeys and horse are part of life outside the old city walls. Historically, the region is known for shepherding.

Buon Appetito!

Lois Robbin

Passion for Puglia changed my way of looking at food!  After spending a week learning about farm fresh vegetables, fresh pressed olive oil, homemade mozzarella cheese, fresh breads and focaccia and viewing local fishes, supermarkets at home are completely mundane!  Not only was the trip a lot of fun, but full of rich culture!  As a group we toured different regions of Puglia, each with a unique flare of food and tradition.  Friendships were made as we learned the ways of the local people and dined at their Masseria and vineyards.  Passion For Puglia combined travel and a wealth of information into a packed, fulfilling week!

Thanks for such a wonderful adventure!
4.0
2016-12-13T12:53:20+00:00
Passion for Puglia changed my way of looking at food!  After spending a week learning about farm fresh vegetables, fresh pressed olive oil, homemade mozzarella cheese, fresh breads and focaccia and viewing local fishes, supermarkets at home are completely mundane!  Not only was the trip a lot of fun, but full of rich culture!  As a group we toured different regions of Puglia, each with a unique flare of food and tradition.  Friendships were made as we learned the ways of the local people and dined at their Masseria and vineyards.  Passion For Puglia combined travel and a wealth of information into a packed, fulfilling week! Thanks for such a wonderful adventure!

Marsee Israel, RN

How do you pack pasta making, bread making, cheese making, historic towns and local olive oils and wines into six days?  Take a trip with Passion for Puglia. This highly orchestrated tour packed in as much as we could see in six days using a continuous Italian guide, knowledgeable in history and all things Italian, along with local guides to enrich the experience.  No other tour offers more at this excellent price. Conscious effort was made to mix our hotels stays with small authentic cities, Masseria farms for the country view and the bigger historic old city of Lecce.  All hotels were four to five stars with excellent locations to experience the vast region of Puglia.

Meal planning was provided at top-notch restaurants and portions were plentiful and healthy.

My favorite part was learning how the locals prepare and appreciate their local organic seasonal food and ancient grains.

Highly recommend this trip.
5.0
2016-12-13T08:58:57+00:00
How do you pack pasta making, bread making, cheese making, historic towns and local olive oils and wines into six days?  Take a trip with Passion for Puglia. This highly orchestrated tour packed in as much as we could see in six days using a continuous Italian guide, knowledgeable in history and all things Italian, along with local guides to enrich the experience.  No other tour offers more at this excellent price. Conscious effort was made to mix our hotels stays with small authentic cities, Masseria farms for the country view and the bigger historic old city of Lecce.  All hotels were four to five stars with excellent locations to experience the vast region of Puglia. Meal planning was provided at top-notch restaurants and portions were plentiful and healthy. My favorite part was learning how the locals prepare and appreciate their local organic seasonal food and ancient grains. Highly recommend this trip.

Paul Nelson

Thanks for including me I want to compliment and thank you for putting together a wonderful and unforgettable program, you really knocked this one out of the park! I hope you can do it again and again!

Our memories every step of the way are definitely keepers. The only stand out that I would have changed is dressing warmer on a couple of evenings. Yes, overall it was that good. I'm grateful to have been included. Based on my personal experience, and what I've heard from the other non-RD's, I think traveling with a mixed group is a winning formula -- at least for us non-RD's. Although we really benefited, I wouldn't want to deprive an RD from experiencing the same. Those who are educating need the Puglia encounter to get it right.

Based on the trip, I'm feeling challenged on 3 fronts:
1. to enjoy expanding my minimalist food prep and cooking skills;
2. to better source farm-to-table foods, and
3. to share usable elements of that balanced Puglia/Italian lifestyle.

The trip was definitely a working vacation. As such, I think the pace was necessary. I wouldn't want to have missed anything. To make more efficient use of my time I could have been more prepared. Research and communications on the fly were difficult given the poor Wi-Fi connections and busy schedule. An admonition and specific guidelines on preparedness might be helpful to the next group. I chose that word 'admonition' because impossibly busy as we tend to be before travel, I tend to have a care for admonitions (Attenzione!). Had I downloaded and opened the app, it might have been enough. Wish I studied it everyday for a couple weeks! The app is an awesome piece of work.

Do it again!
5.0
2016-12-13T12:55:33+00:00
Thanks for including me I want to compliment and thank you for putting together a wonderful and unforgettable program, you really knocked this one out of the park! I hope you can do it again and again! Our memories every step of the way are definitely keepers. The only stand out that I would have changed is dressing warmer on a couple of evenings. Yes, overall it was that good. I'm grateful to have been included. Based on my personal experience, and what I've heard from the other non-RD's, I think traveling with a mixed group is a winning formula -- at least for us non-RD's. Although we really benefited, I wouldn't want to deprive an RD from experiencing the same. Those who are educating need the Puglia encounter to get it right. Based on the trip, I'm feeling challenged on 3 fronts: 1. to enjoy expanding my minimalist food prep and cooking skills; 2. to better source farm-to-table foods, and 3. to share usable elements of that balanced Puglia/Italian lifestyle. The trip was definitely a working vacation. As such, I think the pace was necessary. I wouldn't want to have missed anything. To make more efficient use of my time I could have been more prepared. Research and communications on the fly were difficult given the poor Wi-Fi connections and busy schedule. An admonition and specific guidelines on preparedness might be helpful to the next group. I chose that word 'admonition' because impossibly busy as we tend to be before travel, I tend to have a care for admonitions (Attenzione!). Had I downloaded and opened the app, it might have been enough. Wish I studied it everyday for a couple weeks! The app is an awesome piece of work. Do it again!

Tina Gowin Carlucci, RDN

You've likely never heard of Puglia before - I know I didn't until I saw the itinerary for this culinary adventure - but if you're looking to explore one of the lesser-known, but truly authentic, regions of Italy and experience the Mediterranean diet at its best, I highly recommend adding this trip to Puglia to your bucket list. There's so much that goes into food before it hits your plate. It was an absolute pleasure to meet with the people who produce and create the magnificent food in the region and to get a little taste of the Italian life.

If you're interested in a sneak peek, I've highlighted my favorite parts of the Passion for Puglia tour here (LINK: http://gowinnutrition.com/passion-puglia-journey-mediterranean-diet/).
5.0
2016-12-13T12:58:53+00:00
You've likely never heard of Puglia before - I know I didn't until I saw the itinerary for this culinary adventure - but if you're looking to explore one of the lesser-known, but truly authentic, regions of Italy and experience the Mediterranean diet at its best, I highly recommend adding this trip to Puglia to your bucket list. There's so much that goes into food before it hits your plate. It was an absolute pleasure to meet with the people who produce and create the magnificent food in the region and to get a little taste of the Italian life. If you're interested in a sneak peek, I've highlighted my favorite parts of the Passion for Puglia tour here (LINK: http://gowinnutrition.com/passion-puglia-journey-mediterranean-diet/).

Kaitlyn Dickert, RDN

Passion For Puglia was a valuable culinary and cultural travel program because I got to experience the Mediterranean lifestyle firsthand by visiting farms and exploring the bountiful region of Puglia.

The cooking class at the Masseria was my all-time favorite part of the trip. It was so informative, fun, and set in such a beautiful location. I loved going to the dairy farm, but would have loved to see the outdoor location in the daylight instead of at night. The Masseria lodging was absolute gorgeous as well, and it was a highlight of the trip!

Overall, I would recommend this trip to my colleagues and anyone interested in learning about a healthy Mediterranean lifestyle and exploring this unique area of southern Italy.
4.0
2016-12-13T13:00:10+00:00
Passion For Puglia was a valuable culinary and cultural travel program because I got to experience the Mediterranean lifestyle firsthand by visiting farms and exploring the bountiful region of Puglia. The cooking class at the Masseria was my all-time favorite part of the trip. It was so informative, fun, and set in such a beautiful location. I loved going to the dairy farm, but would have loved to see the outdoor location in the daylight instead of at night. The Masseria lodging was absolute gorgeous as well, and it was a highlight of the trip! Overall, I would recommend this trip to my colleagues and anyone interested in learning about a healthy Mediterranean lifestyle and exploring this unique area of southern Italy.

Brittany I. Cines, RDN

As I return from a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Puglia exploring the Mediterranean diet and lifestyle I am asked by my friends and family: "what was the best thing?" To choose just one part of the trip seems impossible. Tasting olive oil, making pasta, visiting a fish market, touring old towns, exploring wineries, and the list goes on and on. The combination of waking up in quaint cities to the endless views of the 2,000 year-old olive trees was incredible. I can honestly say that there is no better way for a dietitian to experience Italy than with a group of dietitians led by Layne Lieberman and Robyn Webb on the Passion for Puglia trip.

Thanks again for such a wonderful trip! I can’t tell you enough how much I enjoyed myself and wish we could go back right now 🙂
5.0
2016-12-13T13:01:01+00:00
As I return from a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Puglia exploring the Mediterranean diet and lifestyle I am asked by my friends and family: "what was the best thing?" To choose just one part of the trip seems impossible. Tasting olive oil, making pasta, visiting a fish market, touring old towns, exploring wineries, and the list goes on and on. The combination of waking up in quaint cities to the endless views of the 2,000 year-old olive trees was incredible. I can honestly say that there is no better way for a dietitian to experience Italy than with a group of dietitians led by Layne Lieberman and Robyn Webb on the Passion for Puglia trip. Thanks again for such a wonderful trip! I can’t tell you enough how much I enjoyed myself and wish we could go back right now 🙂

​Georgie Evans

The places we stayed and sites we saw and the things we did were amazing.  Had I tried to go to Puglia myself I would never have been able to see the things we saw.  Michele was amazing.  His personality and professionalism were top notch.  He is a true Puglian promoter and he has a lot to be proud of.  The region is amazing.

As a non-RD, I understood there was programming designed to earn CEU's for the RD's and this was a significant component of the trip.  The programming was of interest to me so when asked by my sister to join her on the trip I was very interested in going and am still very happy that I went.

Everyday I find myself remembering something about that week and I appreciate those memories very much.

I would definitely go back to Italy.  I would love to see each region someday.

Ciao!
5.0
2016-12-13T13:02:06+00:00
The places we stayed and sites we saw and the things we did were amazing.  Had I tried to go to Puglia myself I would never have been able to see the things we saw.  Michele was amazing.  His personality and professionalism were top notch.  He is a true Puglian promoter and he has a lot to be proud of.  The region is amazing. As a non-RD, I understood there was programming designed to earn CEU's for the RD's and this was a significant component of the trip.  The programming was of interest to me so when asked by my sister to join her on the trip I was very interested in going and am still very happy that I went. Everyday I find myself remembering something about that week and I appreciate those memories very much. I would definitely go back to Italy.  I would love to see each region someday. Ciao!

Danielle

Passion For Puglia was really a wonderful experience. I loved learning all about the region and really appreciated our guide Michele for his expert knowledge on all things Puglia. He was a top notch tour guide and really made the trip enjoyable. I thought all of the guides were really great.

The only thing that was missing was more free time to enjoy the beautiful accommodations, shop, have a drink at the bar, sit outside and people watch, read a book and relax.  Other than the lack of free time to explore and experience on our own, I had a lovely time and enjoyed getting to know the group.

I hope this is helpful.

Warmly.
5.0
2016-12-13T13:03:33+00:00
Passion For Puglia was really a wonderful experience. I loved learning all about the region and really appreciated our guide Michele for his expert knowledge on all things Puglia. He was a top notch tour guide and really made the trip enjoyable. I thought all of the guides were really great. The only thing that was missing was more free time to enjoy the beautiful accommodations, shop, have a drink at the bar, sit outside and people watch, read a book and relax.  Other than the lack of free time to explore and experience on our own, I had a lovely time and enjoyed getting to know the group. I hope this is helpful. Warmly.

Helga Fisch

Passion for Puglia was indeed an unforgettable experience not only for nutritionists but anyone interested in healthy and balanced eating. We were exposed to this magical region of Italy, where traditional agriculture and cooking methods are displayed with pride and enthusiasm. The trip was filled with hands-on experiences in preparing and eating exceptionally fresh food, as well as visits to relevant sites in the region. A must go to experience of a lifetime!
5.0
2016-12-13T13:04:19+00:00
Passion for Puglia was indeed an unforgettable experience not only for nutritionists but anyone interested in healthy and balanced eating. We were exposed to this magical region of Italy, where traditional agriculture and cooking methods are displayed with pride and enthusiasm. The trip was filled with hands-on experiences in preparing and eating exceptionally fresh food, as well as visits to relevant sites in the region. A must go to experience of a lifetime!

Nayana Gowin

Dear Layne,

Hope you had a great Thanksgiving with your family. Sorry, it took me so long to reply.

My decision to go to Passion for Puglia trip was inspired by my wonderful daughter , Tina Carlucci, RD. I am so glad I decided to join her on this trip - it was an amazing experience.

This was one of the best gifts a mother can receive from a daughter. Spending one-on-one time with her and of course all the amazing ladies I had the pleasure of interacting with on this trip.

"Passion for Puglia " was a very well planned trip and the whole experience was amazing. For me the highlight was all the vegetarian dishes included in the Mediterranean diet. The simple ingredients used gave such tasty flavor to all the dishes. It inspired a lot of ideas to add to my own cooking adventures at home.

Overall I enjoyed this trip tremendously.

Thank you!
5.0
2016-12-13T13:05:02+00:00
Dear Layne, Hope you had a great Thanksgiving with your family. Sorry, it took me so long to reply. My decision to go to Passion for Puglia trip was inspired by my wonderful daughter , Tina Carlucci, RD. I am so glad I decided to join her on this trip - it was an amazing experience. This was one of the best gifts a mother can receive from a daughter. Spending one-on-one time with her and of course all the amazing ladies I had the pleasure of interacting with on this trip. "Passion for Puglia " was a very well planned trip and the whole experience was amazing. For me the highlight was all the vegetarian dishes included in the Mediterranean diet. The simple ingredients used gave such tasty flavor to all the dishes. It inspired a lot of ideas to add to my own cooking adventures at home. Overall I enjoyed this trip tremendously. Thank you!

Raquela Suchinsky

Passion for Puglia was the trip of a lifetime! As a dietitian, I felt the itinerary was the perfect integration of food science/nutritional concepts with the cultural background of Puglia. Tours of farms, estates and small towns in combination with exquisite farm to table dining experiences made for an unforgettable journey! After this experience, I have a deeper passion and appreciation for the local produce and cuisine of Puglia, as well a better understanding of the benefits of utilizing organic farming methods. By focusing on different aspects of the Mediterranean diet each day (grains, olive oil, fish, etc.), we were able to have in-depth and enjoyable learning experiences. A lecture by a local nutritionist on the Mediterranean diet tied together our whole trip beautifully. Layne and Robyn were excellent trip leaders along with our tour guide and local experts - would recommend this trip to all nutrition professionals.

Thank you again for the experience! Please stay in touch!!

Raquela Suchinsky, MS, RD

5.0
2016-12-19T01:56:09+00:00

Raquela Suchinsky, MS, RD

Passion for Puglia was the trip of a lifetime! As a dietitian, I felt the itinerary was the perfect integration of food science/nutritional concepts with the cultural background of Puglia. Tours of farms, estates and small towns in combination with exquisite farm to table dining experiences made for an unforgettable journey! After this experience, I have a deeper passion and appreciation for the local produce and cuisine of Puglia, as well a better understanding of the benefits of utilizing organic farming methods. By focusing on different aspects of the Mediterranean diet each day (grains, olive oil, fish, etc.), we were able to have in-depth and enjoyable learning experiences. A lecture by a local nutritionist on the Mediterranean diet tied together our whole trip beautifully. Layne and Robyn were excellent trip leaders along with our tour guide and local experts - would recommend this trip to all nutrition professionals. Thank you again for the experience! Please stay in touch!!

Jennifer Nelson

This trip more than met my expectations! The  schedule was jam packed with culinary experiences, but allowed for lots of great sightseeing in the  process. As the week progressed, one could see how all the different foods that we were learning about  tied in to the region of Puglia. I particularly enjoyed the visit to the flour mill, observing and participating in the cheesemaking, and the hands on experience preparing and shaping pasta.

It was a great trip all around, and I thank you so much for organizing it all. I do recognize the amount of work that went into it!

Also, I thank you for being such a great hostess!!!

Owner NutritionMasters, LLC 28441 Las Arubas Laguna Niguel, CA 92677 phone: 310-497-5116

5.0
2016-12-19T01:57:08+00:00

Owner NutritionMasters, LLC 28441 Las Arubas Laguna Niguel, CA 92677 phone: 310-497-5116

This trip more than met my expectations! The  schedule was jam packed with culinary experiences, but allowed for lots of great sightseeing in the  process. As the week progressed, one could see how all the different foods that we were learning about  tied in to the region of Puglia. I particularly enjoyed the visit to the flour mill, observing and participating in the cheesemaking, and the hands on experience preparing and shaping pasta. It was a great trip all around, and I thank you so much for organizing it all. I do recognize the amount of work that went into it! Also, I thank you for being such a great hostess!!!

Annette O’Neill, RD

Sensory overload from the moment I peered out the airplane window taking in the coastal line of the Adriatic Sea landing in Bari, Italy to begin my unique culinary and cultural tour of southern Italy, Passion for Puglia.  As a Registered Dietician Nutritionist, I signed on to Passion for Puglia to explore the Mediterranean diet and got that and so much more.  A region rich in history, art, culture, and soulful people, with an ideal climate and soil to produce an abundance of grains, legumes, nuts, olives, vegetables, and fruits, all within ideal access to all the seafood the Ionian Sea and Adriatic Sea provide.  We explored cities, farms, and coastal towns providing a vast range of culinary and cultural experiences.  Pasta, bread and cheese making, biodiversity farms, cooking classes, farm-to-table meals, a winery run with Tuscan knowledge in a region ideal for grape growing and wine production. Befriending RD Nutritionists who came together from cities across the United States to share the experience.   The trip organized by Layne Lieberman, RD and Ali Pike of Southern Visions travel, assisted by Robyn Webb, MS and guided by local historian, Michele Miccoli packs a great deal into one week.  Ideal for RD Nutritionists as well as non-nutritionists – truly ideal for everyone!
Best!

Annette O’Neill, RD

5.0
2016-12-19T01:59:08+00:00

Annette O’Neill, RD

Sensory overload from the moment I peered out the airplane window taking in the coastal line of the Adriatic Sea landing in Bari, Italy to begin my unique culinary and cultural tour of southern Italy, Passion for Puglia.  As a Registered Dietician Nutritionist, I signed on to Passion for Puglia to explore the Mediterranean diet and got that and so much more.  A region rich in history, art, culture, and soulful people, with an ideal climate and soil to produce an abundance of grains, legumes, nuts, olives, vegetables, and fruits, all within ideal access to all the seafood the Ionian Sea and Adriatic Sea provide.  We explored cities, farms, and coastal towns providing a vast range of culinary and cultural experiences.  Pasta, bread and cheese making, biodiversity farms, cooking classes, farm-to-table meals, a winery run with Tuscan knowledge in a region ideal for grape growing and wine production. Befriending RD Nutritionists who came together from cities across the United States to share the experience.   The trip organized by Layne Lieberman, RD and Ali Pike of Southern Visions travel, assisted by Robyn Webb, MS and guided by local historian, Michele Miccoli packs a great deal into one week.  Ideal for RD Nutritionists as well as non-nutritionists – truly ideal for everyone! Best!

Danielle Omar, RDN

Passion For Puglia was really a wonderful experience. I loved learning all about the region and really appreciated our guide Michele for his expert knowledge on all things Puglia. He was a top notch tour guide and really made the trip enjoyable. I thought all of the guides were really great.

The only thing that was missing was more free time to enjoy the beautiful accommodations, shop, have a drink at the bar, sit outside and people watch, read a book and relax.  Other than the lack of free time to explore and experience on our own, I had a lovely time and enjoyed getting to know the group.

I hope this is helpful.

Danielle Omar, RDN

5.0
2016-12-19T02:02:40+00:00

Danielle Omar, RDN

Passion For Puglia was really a wonderful experience. I loved learning all about the region and really appreciated our guide Michele for his expert knowledge on all things Puglia. He was a top notch tour guide and really made the trip enjoyable. I thought all of the guides were really great. The only thing that was missing was more free time to enjoy the beautiful accommodations, shop, have a drink at the bar, sit outside and people watch, read a book and relax.  Other than the lack of free time to explore and experience on our own, I had a lovely time and enjoyed getting to know the group. I hope this is helpful.

Georgie Evans

The places we stayed and sites we saw and the things we did were amazing.  Had I tried to go to Puglia myself I would never have been able to see the things we saw.  Michele was amazing.  His personality and professionalism were top notch.  He is a true Puglian promoter and he has a lot to be proud of.  The region is amazing.

As a non-RD, I understood there was programming designed to earn CEU's for the RD's and this was a significant component of the trip.  The programming was of interest to me so when asked by my sister Danielle to join her on the trip I was very interested in going and am still very happy that I went.

Everyday I find myself remembering something about that week and I appreciate those memories very much.

I would definitely go back to Italy.  I would love to see each region someday. Ciao!

Georgie Evans

5.0
2016-12-19T02:05:34+00:00

Georgie Evans

The places we stayed and sites we saw and the things we did were amazing.  Had I tried to go to Puglia myself I would never have been able to see the things we saw.  Michele was amazing.  His personality and professionalism were top notch.  He is a true Puglian promoter and he has a lot to be proud of.  The region is amazing. As a non-RD, I understood there was programming designed to earn CEU's for the RD's and this was a significant component of the trip.  The programming was of interest to me so when asked by my sister Danielle to join her on the trip I was very interested in going and am still very happy that I went. Everyday I find myself remembering something about that week and I appreciate those memories very much. I would definitely go back to Italy.  I would love to see each region someday. Ciao!

Paul Nelson

Thanks for including me I want to compliment and thank you for putting together a wonderful and unforgettable program, you really knocked this one out of the park! I hope you can do it again and again!

Our memories every step of the way are definitely keepers. The only stand out that I would have changed is dressing warmer on a couple of evenings. Yes, overall it was that good. I'm grateful to have been included. Based on my personal experience, and what I've heard from the other non-RD's, I think traveling with a mixed group is a winning formula -- at least for us non-RD's. Although we really benefited, I wouldn't want to deprive an RD from experiencing the same. Those who are educating need the Puglia encounter to get it right.

Based on the trip, I'm feeling challenged on 3 fronts:
1. to enjoy expanding my minimalist food prep and cooking skills;
2. to better source farm-to-table foods, and
3. to share usable elements of that balanced Puglia/Italian lifestyle.

The trip was definitely a working vacation. As such, I think the pace was necessary. I wouldn't want to have missed anything. To make more efficient use of my time I could have been more prepared. Research and communications on the fly were difficult given the poor Wi-Fi connections and busy schedule. An admonition and specific guidelines on preparedness might be helpful to the next group. I chose that word 'admonition' because impossibly busy as we tend to be before travel, I tend to have a care for admonitions (Attenzione!). Had I downloaded and opened the app, it might have been enough. Wish I studied it everyday for a couple weeks! The app is an awesome piece of work.

Do it again!

Paul Nelson (husband of Jennifer Nelson, RD)

5.0
2016-12-19T02:08:06+00:00

Paul Nelson (husband of Jennifer Nelson, RD)

Thanks for including me I want to compliment and thank you for putting together a wonderful and unforgettable program, you really knocked this one out of the park! I hope you can do it again and again! Our memories every step of the way are definitely keepers. The only stand out that I would have changed is dressing warmer on a couple of evenings. Yes, overall it was that good. I'm grateful to have been included. Based on my personal experience, and what I've heard from the other non-RD's, I think traveling with a mixed group is a winning formula -- at least for us non-RD's. Although we really benefited, I wouldn't want to deprive an RD from experiencing the same. Those who are educating need the Puglia encounter to get it right. Based on the trip, I'm feeling challenged on 3 fronts: 1. to enjoy expanding my minimalist food prep and cooking skills; 2. to better source farm-to-table foods, and 3. to share usable elements of that balanced Puglia/Italian lifestyle. The trip was definitely a working vacation. As such, I think the pace was necessary. I wouldn't want to have missed anything. To make more efficient use of my time I could have been more prepared. Research and communications on the fly were difficult given the poor Wi-Fi connections and busy schedule. An admonition and specific guidelines on preparedness might be helpful to the next group. I chose that word 'admonition' because impossibly busy as we tend to be before travel, I tend to have a care for admonitions (Attenzione!). Had I downloaded and opened the app, it might have been enough. Wish I studied it everyday for a couple weeks! The app is an awesome piece of work. Do it again!

Lois Robbin

Passion for Puglia changed my way of looking at food!  After spending a week learning about farm fresh vegetables, fresh pressed olive oil, homemade mozzarella cheese, fresh breads and focaccia and viewing local fishes, supermarkets at home are completely mundane!  Not only was the trip a lot of fun, but full of rich culture!  As a group we toured different regions of Puglia, each with a unique flare of food and tradition.  Friendships were made as we learned the ways of the local people and dined at their Masseria and vineyards.  Passion For Puglia combined travel and a wealth of information into a packed, fulfilling week!

Thanks for such a wonderful adventure!
5.0
2016-12-19T02:08:51+00:00
Passion for Puglia changed my way of looking at food!  After spending a week learning about farm fresh vegetables, fresh pressed olive oil, homemade mozzarella cheese, fresh breads and focaccia and viewing local fishes, supermarkets at home are completely mundane!  Not only was the trip a lot of fun, but full of rich culture!  As a group we toured different regions of Puglia, each with a unique flare of food and tradition.  Friendships were made as we learned the ways of the local people and dined at their Masseria and vineyards.  Passion For Puglia combined travel and a wealth of information into a packed, fulfilling week! Thanks for such a wonderful adventure!

Marsee Israel, RN

How do you pack pasta making, bread making, cheese making, historic towns and local olive oils and wines into six days?  Take a trip with Passion for Puglia. This highly orchestrated tour packed in as much as we could see in six days using a continuous Italian guide, knowledgeable in history and all things Italian, along with local guides to enrich the experience.  No other tour offers more at this excellent price. Conscious effort was made to mix our hotels stays with small authentic cities, Masseria farms for the country view and the bigger historic old city of Lecce.  All hotels were four to five stars with excellent locations to experience the vast region of Puglia.

Meal planning was provided at top-notch restaurants and portions were plentiful and healthy.

My favorite part was learning how the locals prepare and appreciate their local organic seasonal food and ancient grains.

Highly recommend this trip.

Marsee Israel, RN
Subject: Nutrition for someone with diabetes and kidney disease

5.0
2016-12-19T02:10:55+00:00

Marsee Israel, RN
Subject: Nutrition for someone with diabetes and kidney disease

How do you pack pasta making, bread making, cheese making, historic towns and local olive oils and wines into six days?  Take a trip with Passion for Puglia. This highly orchestrated tour packed in as much as we could see in six days using a continuous Italian guide, knowledgeable in history and all things Italian, along with local guides to enrich the experience.  No other tour offers more at this excellent price. Conscious effort was made to mix our hotels stays with small authentic cities, Masseria farms for the country view and the bigger historic old city of Lecce.  All hotels were four to five stars with excellent locations to experience the vast region of Puglia. Meal planning was provided at top-notch restaurants and portions were plentiful and healthy. My favorite part was learning how the locals prepare and appreciate their local organic seasonal food and ancient grains. Highly recommend this trip.
4.0
18