Sicily 2019: The Mediterranean Diet & Beyond Culinary and Cultural Tour

October 11-18, 2019

Approved for 31-CEUs from CDR-The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

Italian codfish with black olives, cappers and tomato in a design plate, isolated on a white background

As the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, the land of Sicily is unlike any other, and not just when it comes to its architecture, history, culture, and landscape, but also for its amazing and diverse cuisine. Explore Sicily and Sicilian cuisine with WorldRD registered-dietitian, Layne Lieberman and The International Kitchen on a professional educational journey into the Mediterranean diet and beyond.

Approved for 31-CEUs from CDR-The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

Your 7-night itinerary will start in the ancient town of Siracusa, include visits to Catania, the towering Mount Etna, to the baroque towns of the interior, and finally to Palermo.

Along the way you will explore Sicilian food and culture: its pastas, seafoods, olives, wine, desserts, and more. There will be two hands-on cooking classes featuring Sicilian cuisine — partake in the olive harvest, visit an organic winery on Mount Etna, make local cheeses on a dairy farm, delve into Modica chocolate-making, tour food markets of Palermo and so much more! October 11-18, 2019, for a minimum of ten people

Hosted by Layne Lieberman, RD, MS, CDN, LDN, author of the award winning book Beyond The Mediterranean Diet: European Secrets Of The Super-Healthy

Guides, Experts and Chefs are from Sicily

Tour Operator: The International Kitchen

Pricing

7-night Program

$3550 USD per person based on double occupancy (we can match you with a roommate with similar sleep habits)

  • Add $585 USD for single occupancy (use of a double room by 1 person)

Based on a minimum of 10 participants.

Accommodation Information

Your accommodations will be at centrally located hotels in Siracusa and Palermo. Please see hotels below. (In the event a hotel becomes unavailable we will propose a comparable alternative.)

In Siracusa we stay at the 3-year old I Santi Coronati B&B, set in a historic building in the center of Ortigia island, close to the Arethuse Fountain. Breakfast is served daily on the terrace or in the comfort of the guests’ rooms.

In Palermo we stay at the 4-star Quinto Canto, set right in the middle of Palermo’s historic center, at the Quattro Canto crossroads. This beautifully restored 16th century building also features a spa. There is a reading room and a TV room.

Itinerary & Trip Details (7 nights)

DAY ONE

Arrival at the Catania airport. Group transfer to your 4-star hotel in Siracusa, in the heart of Ortigia, the small island that houses Siracusa’s historical city center.

Check in with time to relax.

Welcome dinner this evening – your first taste of Sicilian cuisine! You will get an introduction to the products, flavors, and customs of this incredible island with your guide for the week, Paolo Gallo, who has over 20 years of experience organizing cultural and food tours to Sicily. (Expert & Guide: Paolo Gallo)

Educational Outcomes and Objectives (2 hours): An introduction to the products, flavors, and customs of this incredible island!

Attendees will:

a) Learn why Sicily is the heart of the Mediterranean diet with the freshest local and seasonal food (0.5 hour)

b) Understand what the fall harvest means to Sicilians- including the olive and grape harvests, roasted chestnuts (caldaroste) sold in street kiosks and more (0.5 hour)

c) Learn about the specialties such as caponata (a type of sweet and sour relish made with aubergines, celery, olives and tomatoes) and peperonata (sweet and sour peppers) (0.5 hour)

d) Understand why Sicilian food is unique due to its mixed cultural influences from the Italians, Greeks, Spanish, French and Arabs that have inhabited the island over almost three thousand years (0.5 hour)

DAY TWO

Catalina

After breakfast, depart for Catania. Head for the amazing fish market (“A Piscaria”), one of Catania’s most indelible spots. Chef Loredana, a local cooking instructor, will teach you about Sicilian ingredients. Explore the market, learning about local fish varieties, but also about other seasonal fruits and vegetables. Then head to the cooking school for your cooking class featuring authentic Sicilian cuisine based on the ingredients you chose. Lunch to follow, in which you will discuss the ingredients used, the dishes made, and possible other variations.

Return to Siracusa, free time this evening and dinner on your own. (Experts & Guide: Paolo Gallo, Cooking School Teacher Loredana Balsamello)

Educational Outcomes and Objectives (5 hours): Learn about local seafood and seasonal fruits and vegetables as you shop the local markets of Catania. Plan and prepare a meal based on availability under the direction of a Sicilian cooking instructor.

Attendees will:

a) Explore the food markets (2 hours)

b) Participate in a cooking class featuring seasonal products from the local market under the direction of a local cooking school instructor (2 hours)

c) Lunch and learn about the use of local seafood and produce in the typical Sicilian diet (1 hour)

 

DAY THREE

Olive Harvest

After breakfast enjoy a 90-minute walking tour of Ortigia, Siracusa’s old historical center. Ortigia is a small, ancient island, and you will learn about its 2700 years of history and legends!

In the late morning, depart for Palazzaolo Arcreide, a Sicilian village that has been inhabited since ancient times.

Enjoy an authentic and traditional Sicilian lunch in a beloved local restaurant, learning about the ancient culinary customs of this part of Sicily.

Next, stop at a DOP organic olive oil estate to learn about this important product of Sicilian agriculture and cuisine. You will visit the orchard and learn about the types of olives, the harvest, and the pressing. You will learn the criteria by which Sicilian olive oil is judged and labeled as “extra virgin,” and about the characteristics that would lead to an oil being rejected as defective. You will of course taste the oil – and can buy some to take home! And added bonus: your visit might coincide with part of the olive harvest.

Return to Siracusa, dinner on your own. (Experts & Guide: Paolo Gallo, Experts from Tenuta Cavasecca DOP Organic Olive Grove)

Educational Outcomes and Objectives (3 hours): Learn about olive oil production and ancient culinary customs in this part of Sicily

Attendees will:

a) Learn about the ancient culinary customs in this part of Sicily (1 hour)

b) Experience the olive harvest at an ancient olive orchard and learn how to become a connoisseur of olive oil- similar to wine (2 hours)

  • See how the olives are harvested and pressed
  • Learn about the types of olives, ancient and new varieties
    Learn what tools are used to taste and decipher the quality and freshness of cold pressed extra-virgin olive oil

DAY FOUR

Mount Etna

After breakfast depart for a full day to Mount Etna and Taormina. First you will explore the famous volcano and enjoy a visit at a winery to learn how the volcanic soil influences the vineyards and wines of the area. Paolo, a wine connoisseur, and the experts at Barone di Villagrande will teach you about grape varieties and about what makes each so unique. Enjoy an organic wine tasting and a light lunch at the winery.

Next, head to Taormina, a jewel of eastern Sicily, to see the beautiful promenade and many sites, including the ancient Greco-Roman theater, which is still in use today. Your tour will explore the history, food and culture of this ancient city.

Return to Siracusa, dinner on your own. (Experts & Guide: Paolo Gallo, winemaker of Barone di Villagrande winery since 1727)

Educational Outcomes and Objectives (5 hours): Learn about the agricultural area of Mount Etna and why the soils are rich in nutrients. Develop an understanding of the wine/grape industry in the area and why Etna wines are considered some of the best in Italy (especially for the price)! Tour the most beautiful ancient city of Taormina and learn about its food specialties.

Attendees will:

a) Delve into the agricultural and wine industries of the most fertile land of Italy (3 hours)

  • understand why the land is rich in nutrients
  • learn about the varietal and indigenous grapes
  • learn about the wine making of the region
  • taste and experience the different indigenous wines
  • learn about organic wine-makingb)

b) Explore Taormina and its food culture as we tour through this “jewel of Sicily” (2 hours)

DAY FIVE

Macaroni

After breakfast depart for Modica, a wonderful baroque town. First enjoy a cooking class with a local woman, Katia Amore, who has been running a small cooking school for many years. Learn more about the traditional cuisine of Sicily using seasonal ingredients and authentic Sicilian practices. Lunch to follow.

Next, enjoy a tour of Modica, a baroque jewel. The city has a fascinating history: founded in ancient times, ruled by the Arabs, the Normans, and then extremely powerful feudal lords. For centuries it was home to a large Jewish population before their persecution in the late 15th century. After a late 17th-century earthquake destroyed part of the town it was rebuilt in Baroque style, resulting in its unique look. Today it remains a rooted in the agricultural production of the Val di Noto, including olives, legumes, and grains.

Another famous product of Modica: chocolate! Head to a 150-year old family-run chocolate factory for a visit of the laboratory and a tasting of this well-known local product, which is purportedly produced using an ancient Aztec recipe.

Return to Siracusa, dinner on your own. (Experts & Guide: Paolo Gallo, Chef Katia Amore, Antica Dolceria Bonajuto 6th generation, producing chocolate for over 150 years)

Educational Outcomes and Objectives (5 hours): Partake in an authentic Sicilian cooking class at a renowned cooking school. Tour and learn about the agricultural area of Val di Noto. Understand the ancient art of chocolate making in Modica.

Attendees will:

a) Learn more about Sicilian cuisine-which and why ingredients are used in this area of Italy (3 hours)

  • Prepare a meal with a renowned Sicilian cooking teacher
  • Understand each season and its special ingredients
  • Learn about which pasta shapes are unique to Sicily

b) Understand and visit the agricultural area of Val di Noto, known for olives, beans and grains (1 hour)

c) Learn about the history of chocolate making in Sicily and how it differs from anywhere else in the world. Taste and view chocolate-making in a 150-year old 6th generation Sicilian chocolate factory (1 hour)

DAY SIX

Sicilian cannoli made with ricotta cheese

Breakfast and check out. Depart for Piazza Armerina, where you will visit of the superb Roman villa, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The villa’s mosaics are among the most beautiful surviving from ancient days, and it is one of Sicily’s most important cultural sites.

Continue to Enna, where you will visit with an organic cheese farmer at the Caseificio Raja. Learn about the cheese production of Sicily, its types of dairy, and in particular how Sicilian cheese is made in the interior regions and enjoy a tasting of fresh and aged cheeses. A lunch will follow in which you will taste other local products, many of them grown on or near the farm.

Next – we are off to Palermo!

Check in to the Hotel Piazza Borsa in Palermo’s city center, then head to dinner at a local restaurant, where you will get an introduction to Palermitano cuisine and learn how it differs from the gastronomy of the east. (Experts & Guide: Paolo Gallo, Caseificio Raja cheesemaker and farmer)

Educational Outcomes and Objectives (5 hours): View the most complex collection of Roman mosaics in the world built in the early 4th century AD. Understand the grand lifestyle of rich Romans. Learn the process of cheesemaking from the cow to the table. Discover Palermitano cuisine and how it differs from the east.

Attendees will:

a) Tour the UNESCO World Heritage site of Piazza Armerina, which includes a Roman house dating to the 4th and 5th centuries A.D (1 hour)

  • Understand the lifestyle and home layout of the rich Romans of the 4th century when Sicily was not only the granary of Rome, but a favorite place to live for wealthy Romans.

b) Meet with a dairy farmer and cheesemaker in Enna (3 hours)

  • Learn about local dairy cows and milk production for organic cheesemaking
  • Understand the different variety of cheeses and how they are made
  • View the cheesemaking process
  • Taste fresh and aged cheeses of the region
  • Taste other specialties from the farm, a truly farm to table experience

c) Learn how Palermitano cuisine differs from the eastern cuisine of Sicily, and goes beyond Palermo’s famous street food (1 hour)

DAY SEVEN

Sicilian arancini

Breakfast, then it is time for a full day of exploring Palermo, one of the most vibrant cities of Sicily. Start with an in-depth walking tour of the city center and learn about Palermo’s rich history, culture, and gastronomy, including its origins as a Phoenician city, its thousand years as part of Rome, its tenure as capital of the Holy Roman Empire – just to touch on a few moments of its storied past.

Your lunch will be based on typical Sicilian street food during a street food tour: try the famed arancini, sfincioni and more. Stop also at a famous bakery for a tasting of Sicilian pastries and desserts.

In the afternoon, continue your tour of Palermo, including nearby Monreale, which is located on the side of Monte Caputo and which benefits from the agriculture in the fertile valley below, where orange, almond, and olive trees grow. Visit also its most famous site – the ancient Norman-Byzantine Cathedral.

This evening, time for your farewell dinner with a Palemerito food experience, wrapping up your education on Sicilian gastronomy. (Expert & Guide: Paolo Gallo)

Educational Outcomes and Objectives (6 hours): In-depth understanding of Palermo’s outdoor fresh food markets brimming with fresh seafood, fruits, vegetables and more. Explore the street foods, although often fried and not always healthy, worth trying! End the tour with a gastronomic Palermitano dinner as we reflect on what we can bring back to our practices at home.

Attendees will:

a) Learn about the culture of Palermo, the capital of the Italian island of Sicily (3 hours)

  • See why Palermo is a cultural melting pot since Phoenicians and Greeks fought over it in the 5th and 6th centuries BC.
  • Explore the city by foot visiting the central street markets and the Vucciria, near the port.
  • Understand the importance of the location on Sicily’s northwestern coast at the head of the Bay of Palermo, facing east.

b) Learn about and taste the most famous street food and pastries of southern Italy (1 hour)

c) Visit Monreale located on the slope of Monte Caputo, overlooking the very fertile valley called “La Conca d’oro” (the Golden Shell), a production area of orange, olive and almond trees; and backed by mountains. Mount Pellegrino rises to a height of 1,988 feet (606 m) north of the city. (1 hour)

  • Learn about the large quantities and types of produce which are exported.

d) Wrap up and enjoy a final Palermitano dinner as we reflect on the weeks’ activities and discuss how we can utilize these experiences back at home. (1 hour)

DAY EIGHT

After breakfast, group transfer to the Palermo airport. (Or we can arrange additional nights in Palermo for those wanting to stay on.)

 

What’s Included (7-Night Trip)

Accommodations

Five nights in a modern B&B (Ortigia) and two nights in a 4-star hotel (Palermo)

Food & Beverages

  • Daily breakfast
  • 6 lunches
  • 3 dinners
  • Wine with included meals

Classes & Instructors

Two hands-on cooking classes featuring Sicilian cuisine.

Excursions

  • Visit of Catania market with chef
  • Walking tour of Ortigia (Siracusa)
  • Olive oil estate visit
  • Full-day visit to Mount Etna and Taormina
  • Guided tour in Taormina
  • Winery visit and tasting
  • Chocolate workshop and tasting
  • Guided visit of Piazza Armerina
  • Cheese producer visit
  • Guided walking tour of Palermo

Transfer Details

  • One group arrival transfer from Catania airport to Siracusa hotel
  • One group departure transfer from Palermo hotel to Palermo airport

Additional transfers can be arranged on request. Please inquire for rates.

Miscellaneous

  • Transfer from Siracusa to Palermo
  • Educational credits (credits pending)

Not Included

  • Meals not specified in itinerary
  • Gratuities
  • Personal expenses

Please see Layne’s Huffington Post blog about Sicily here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/layne-lieberman/puglia-italys-land-of-ple_b_8494386.html

Register here: The International Kitchen

Email Peg Kern: [email protected]
Email Layne Lieberman: [email protected]

About Layne Lieberman:

Layne Lieberman, MS, RD, CDN, is an award winning registered dietitian/culinary nutritionist, author, journalist and innovator in the food and health industries. With a lifelong passion for wholesome food and better health and wellbeing, Layne helps consumers achieve a healthy balance in diet and lifestyle.

In the restaurant field, she has teamed with a number of high-profile chefs to create and market healthy menus and provide recipes and nutritional analysis.

In the mid-1980s, Layne created the Nutrition Learning Centers, a storefront center for weight loss and medical nutrition that combined cooking classes, a health food store and nutritional counseling. Following that successful venture, she served for 20 years, from 1991 to 2010, as Director of Nutrition for America’s first supermarket chain, King Kullen Grocery Company. She proceeded to turn the chain into a national leader, selling organic foods and other healthy alternatives to conventional supermarket fare.

In addition, Layne headed the chain’s consumer and industry health communications, initiating a roster of health bulletins and circulars that reached one million homes weekly. Her nutrition newsletter won over 30,000 subscribers in the metropolitan New York region, and also she was editor of King Kullen’s quarterly Diabetes Newsletter.

Philanthropically, she has devoted over 25 years to the American Heart Association as a board member, event chairperson, menu consultant, spokesperson, and a driving force behind the AHA’s annual Hamptons Gala. In June of 2012, the American Heart Association with their “Humanitarian with a Heart Award” honored Layne. She acted as an advisory board member and lecturer for Dr. Mehmet Oz’s Foundation For The Advancement Of Cardiac Therapies.  Since 2015, Layne’s recipes and nutrition messages are prominently featured in the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America’s quarterly magazine.  She is a member of Les Dames d’Escoffier Colorado and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the largest organization of food and nutrition professionals with close to 72,000 members.

From 2010 to 2012, Layne lived abroad in Geneva, Switzerland, to study the food, health and dietary habits of other countries. There she wrote and published her first book titled Beyond the Mediterranean Diet: European Secrets Of the Super-Healthy, which is successfully being sold worldwide through all major wholesalers and retailers. The book was named one of the “Best Indie Books of 2015” by the Independent Book Publishing Professionals Group, as a book that “deserves to reach a wide audience.” The Next Generation Indie Book Awards is the world’s largest not-for-profit book awards program for independent publishers and self-published authors.

Layne has extensive media experience in both print and television. She has been featured on Good Morning America, The New York Times, Fox News and has been quoted in hundreds of articles.  She  regularly blogs for Huffington Post, Boulder Bubble and WorldRD and  on other sites including the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ Food & Nutrition Magazine, Diets In Review, Access Hollywood, Shape, Kroger’s magazines and Fox News.Layne received a Bachelor of Science in Nutritional Biochemistry from Cornell University and earned a Master of Science in Clinical Nutrition from New York University. During her Masters studies, Layne worked in Public Relations for Ketchum Health Communications. After completing her Masters degree, Layne spent two years at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine doing a research fellowship as the General Clinical Research Nutritionist in the areas of diabetes, heart disease, and other chronic illnesses.

Later, at the Culinary Institute of America, Layne completed the Chef-RD training program. She and her husband now divide time between Colorado, Florida and New York.

 

Award-Winning Culinary Nutritionist & Author: Beyond The Mediterranean Diet

[email protected]

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.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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.
  • 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!

Robin Allen, RD: “Fabulous educational opportunity and also great fun.” Puglia 2017 Culinary Travel

Fabulous educational opportunity and also great fun. Met new friends and would do this again.
I had a wonderful time and overall my experience was exceptional and I have been telling people all about. My friends enjoyed following the Facebook posts. I really enjoyed all the unique personalities and making new friendships.

Robin Allen, RD

5.0
2017-11-17T20:30:46-07:00

Robin Allen, RD

Fabulous educational opportunity and also great fun. Met new friends and would do this again. I had a wonderful time and overall my experience was exceptional and I have been telling people all about. My friends enjoyed following the Facebook posts. I really enjoyed all the unique personalities and making new friendships.

Ann Maher, RD: “This is a great trip to study the Mediterranean diet”…Puglia 2017 Culinary Travel

This is a great trip to study the Mediterranean diet and immerse yourself in the lifestyle of southern Italy. From the olive farms to the dairy farms, learning how to make pasta and foccohia bread and cheese it was a great learning experience. I also loved the history lesson that went with every place we went. That helped to really understand the culture better.

Ann Maher, RD

5.0
2017-11-17T20:18:47-07:00

Ann Maher, RD

This is a great trip to study the Mediterranean diet and immerse yourself in the lifestyle of southern Italy. From the olive farms to the dairy farms, learning how to make pasta and foccohia bread and cheese it was a great learning experience. I also loved the history lesson that went with every place we went. That helped to really understand the culture better.

Janet Calderwood, RD: “This was a very special trip. Thank you for making it so.” Puglia 2017 Culinary Travel

Layne!!!!! It was so great meeting you and spending the week together. This was a very special trip. Thank you for making it so. I had so much fun with the group but mostly you.

Janet Calderwood, RD

5.0
2017-11-18T11:26:01-07:00

Janet Calderwood, RD

Layne!!!!! It was so great meeting you and spending the week together. This was a very special trip. Thank you for making it so. I had so much fun with the group but mostly you.

Reggie Fleck, RD: “The best continuing education activity of my career.” Puglia 2017 Culinary Travel

This experience was awesome – the beauty of the scenery, the warmth of the people, the tastefulness and healthfulness of the food. Also experiencing the slow food movement and Mediterranean diet in a setting in which it is a part of everyday life. It was hands down the best continuing education activity of my career. I’m looking forward to a similar experience in Sicily.

Reggie Fleck, RD

5.0
2017-11-17T20:21:01-07:00

Reggie Fleck, RD

This experience was awesome – the beauty of the scenery, the warmth of the people, the tastefulness and healthfulness of the food. Also experiencing the slow food movement and Mediterranean diet in a setting in which it is a part of everyday life. It was hands down the best continuing education activity of my career. I’m looking forward to a similar experience in Sicily.

Amy Plano, RD: “If you have the opportunity to go on this trip GO!” Puglia 2017 Culinary Travel

The Passion for Puglia trip presented by SVT and WorldRD exceeded my expectations. To say that
I enjoyed myself would be an understatement. I loved every aspect of trip! The trip was well organized,
informative and FUN! It was no surprise the food was amazing. Puglia is the best kept secret in Southern Italy. I cannot recommend this trip enough. If you have the opportunity to go on this trip GO! I promise you will not be disappointed. I just wanted to take a moment to recognize Layne for all her hard work on this trip. Layne made herself readily available to us at all times. Her down-to-earth personality and worldly knowledge base was fantastic. Although each and everyone of us was so very different; she was able to connect with us all on many different levels. Layne is sweet, genuine, intelligent and kind. She was a true asset to my experience. She was an absolute perfect fit for our group!

Amy Plano, RD

5.0
2017-11-17T20:25:16-07:00

Amy Plano, RD

The Passion for Puglia trip presented by SVT and WorldRD exceeded my expectations. To say that I enjoyed myself would be an understatement. I loved every aspect of trip! The trip was well organized, informative and FUN! It was no surprise the food was amazing. Puglia is the best kept secret in Southern Italy. I cannot recommend this trip enough. If you have the opportunity to go on this trip GO! I promise you will not be disappointed. I just wanted to take a moment to recognize Layne for all her hard work on this trip. Layne made herself readily available to us at all times. Her down-to-earth personality and worldly knowledge base was fantastic. Although each and everyone of us was so very different; she was able to connect with us all on many different levels. Layne is sweet, genuine, intelligent and kind. She was a true asset to my experience. She was an absolute perfect fit for our group!

Loretta Cecconi, RD: “Passion for Puglia was an amazing trip!” Puglia 2017 Culinary Travel

Passion for Puglia was an amazing trip which provides a once in a lifetime experience for Registered Dietitian Nutritionists or for anyone who has a passion for food in the beautiful country of Italy.  The region of Puglia provides a rich, cultural look into the Mediterranean diet.  Each day allowed hands on education with the locals who were warm and friendly extending their knowledge to us.  We touched, tasted and ate beautiful food, made from locally grown ingredients.  We forged new friendships amongst our group learning from each other and how to take the Pugliese experience home with us. Passion for Puglia was really a fabulous experience and would recommend it thoroughly.

Loretta Cecconi, RD

5.0
2017-11-17T20:14:42-07:00

Loretta Cecconi, RD

Passion for Puglia was an amazing trip which provides a once in a lifetime experience for Registered Dietitian Nutritionists or for anyone who has a passion for food in the beautiful country of Italy.  The region of Puglia provides a rich, cultural look into the Mediterranean diet.  Each day allowed hands on education with the locals who were warm and friendly extending their knowledge to us.  We touched, tasted and ate beautiful food, made from locally grown ingredients.  We forged new friendships amongst our group learning from each other and how to take the Pugliese experience home with us.  Passion for Puglia was really a fabulous experience and would recommend it thoroughly.

Puglia was one of the highlights of my professional career!

Puglia was one of the highlights of my professional career and so much fun!! I am still raving about it and made some wonderful friends. And still trying out recipes.

Ciao!

Robin

Robin Allen MSPH, RDN, LDN
Registered Dietitian Nutritionis

5.0
2018-03-04T22:02:32-07:00

Robin Allen MSPH, RDN, LDN
Registered Dietitian Nutritionis

Puglia was one of the highlights of my professional career!

Abby Rapaport, RD: “I hope you plan more trips in the future — I LOVED it”! Puglia 2017 Culinary Travel

I hope you plan more trips in the future -- I LOVED it!
Layne is so knowledgable and warm. It was clear how much passion and thoughtfulness she put into this trip and it really showed by how wonderful and smoothly everything went. Both the professionalism and warmth made it less intimidating to sign up for the trip by myself.

I loved that each day was a different activity. My favorites were pasta-making, olive oil tasting, wine tasting, mozzarella-making and everything we did at the masseria.

This trip was amazing! I loved traveling through Puglia with other dietitians and learning all about food, nutrition and culture. Everyday was a wonderful culinary adventure.
Abby Rapaport

Abigail Rapaport, RD

5.0
2017-11-21T16:49:36-07:00

Abigail Rapaport, RD

I hope you plan more trips in the future -- I LOVED it! Layne is so knowledgable and warm. It was clear how much passion and thoughtfulness she put into this trip and it really showed by how wonderful and smoothly everything went. Both the professionalism and warmth made it less intimidating to sign up for the trip by myself. I loved that each day was a different activity. My favorites were pasta-making, olive oil tasting, wine tasting, mozzarella-making and everything we did at the masseria. This trip was amazing! I loved traveling through Puglia with other dietitians and learning all about food, nutrition and culture. Everyday was a wonderful culinary adventure. Abby Rapaport

Cerina Savino, RD: “The trip was more than what I expected.” Puglia 2017 Culinary Travel

The trip was more than what I expected. From the group of women that attended to the drives, the tours, the meals, it truly met my expectations and more. I am looking forward to the next trip.

Cerina Savino, RD

5.0
2017-11-17T20:28:11-07:00

Cerina Savino, RD

The trip was more than what I expected. From the group of women that attended to the drives, the tours, the meals, it truly met my expectations and more. I am looking forward to the next trip.
5
9

Lois Robbin: Puglia 2016 Culinary Travel Testimonial

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
2016-12-13T12:53:20-07:00
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: Puglia 2016 Culinary Travel Testimonial

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
2016-12-13T08:58:57-07:00
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: Puglia 2016 Culinary Travel Testimonial

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
2016-12-13T12:55:33-07:00
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: Puglia 2016 Culinary Travel Testimonial

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
2016-12-13T12:58:53-07:00
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: Puglia 2016 Culinary Travel Testimonial

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
2016-12-13T13:00:10-07:00
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: Puglia 2016 Culinary Travel Testimonial

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
2016-12-13T13:01:01-07:00
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: Puglia 2016 Culinary Travel Testimonial

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
2016-12-13T13:02:06-07:00
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 Omar, RDN: Puglia 2016 Culinary Travel Testimonial

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.

Danielle Omar, RDN

5.0
2016-12-13T13:03:33-07:00

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. Warmly.

Helga Fisch: Puglia 2016 Culinary Travel Testimonial

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
2016-12-13T13:04:19-07:00
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: Puglia 2016 Culinary Travel Testimonial

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
2016-12-13T13:05:02-07:00
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, MS, RDN: Puglia 2016 Culinary Travel Testimonial

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, RDN

5.0
2016-12-19T01:56:09-07:00

Raquela Suchinsky, MS, RDN

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, RDN: Puglia 2016 Culinary Travel Testimonial

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
2016-12-19T01:57:08-07:00

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: Puglia 2016 Culinary Travel Testimonial

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
2016-12-19T01:59:08-07:00

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, MS, RDN: Puglia 2016 Culinary Travel Testimonial

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, MS, RDN

5.0
2016-12-19T02:02:40-07:00

Danielle Omar, MS, 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: Puglia 2016 Culinary Travel Testimonial

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
2016-12-19T02:05:34-07:00

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: Puglia 2016 Culinary Travel Testimonial

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
2016-12-19T02:08:06-07:00

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: Puglia 2016 Culinary Travel Testimonial

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
2016-12-19T02:08:51-07:00
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: Puglia 2016 Culinary Travel Testimonial

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
2016-12-19T02:10:55-07:00

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.
4.9
18