Gastronomic Puglia Immersion with Peta Mathias

Join flamboyant gastronomad Peta Mathias on an indulgent exploration of Puglia's cuisine 1 – 8 Sept 2023

  • 8 days/ 7 nights
  • Central Puglia
  • Salento
  • Lecce - Pezze di Greco

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Trip Overview

Gastronomic Puglia Immersion with Peta Mathias
Peta lives her love of sensual food. She owned restaurants in New Zealand and in Paris and has written twelve books combining her passion for food, travel and social comment. The latest book is ‘Beat Till Stiff’ – a series of essays with the uniting theme of transformation. The latest book is a culinary travel log centered around her tours to India. It is called ‘Hot Pink Spice Saga’ and was published by Random House in November 2104. She has been presenting prime time food/travel television shows since 1995 screening in New Zealand and eight international territories. She has her own New Zealand olive oil pressed by the Village Press, has her own live road show, a Saturday agony aunt column in the Dominion Post and hosts week-long culinary adventures in the South of France, Marrakech, the Basque Country, Puglia and India. In 2012 Peta was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for Services as an Author and Television Presenter. She tries not to wear her medal to the supermarket. “My thing is regional, traditional food – writing about it, cooking it, loving it and protecting it.”  


  • Daily hosting by Peta Mathias
  • Local guides with insider knowledge of the region’s secrets and mysteries
  • Olive oil tasting at a Roman olive oil estate
  • Wine tasting at one of Puglia's most renowned vineyards
  • Learning to make burrata - mozzarella's wildly indulgent cousin
  • Visits to the most beautiful towns and cities of the area


€3775 per person based on double occupancy

Cost includes

  • An outstanding culinary travel experience
  • Peace of mind knowing you are with the most professional travel and tour company in Puglia
  • 3 nights’ lodging at Suite Hotel Santa Chiara in Lecce
  • 4 nights’ lodging at Masseria Montenapoleone, near Pezze di Greco
  • 2 cooking courses (with local chefs)
  • 7 breakfasts; 6 lunches and 6 dinners
  • Local guides with insider knowledge of the region’s secrets and mysteries
  • All shuttles related to above itinerary, including arrival and departure transfers from and to Brindisi Airport
  • Special activities each day including:
  • Olive oil tasting
  • Wine tasting
  • Cheese making

Cost Excludes

  • Tips and gratuities

Day 1Sunday 29 Aug

At around 7pm we will meet in the hotel bar of the Suite Hotel Santa Chiara and head straight out to a wonderful café nearby for an apertivo and a general introduction to our week. We will carry on to dinner for a feast of authentic local Salentino food, like tiella with potatoes and mussels or fave e cicorie - fave bean purée and chicory. This elegant restaurant provides the perfect introduction to the delicious of the gastronomy of the region. After dinner, we will stroll home to the hotel through the old town, maybe stopping for a gelato in one of the town's renowned gelateria

Day 2Monday 30 Aug

After a buffet breakfast on the rooftop we meet up at around 10am with our charming guide for a cultural tour of Lecce, with its astonishing Baroque architecture that has earned it the nickname, the Florence of the South. The walking tour will last about two and a half hours and take in many of the city's most important and interesting places. Lunch, which we are afraid has to remain a surprise - a very worthwhile one, so we are sure you won't mind a little mystery - is followed by siesta (simply nothing happens in the afternoons here!) then at 5pm we will meet up with local chef, Gianna, to visit the wonderful food market, the Mercato Porta Rudiae, to buy food for her evening cooking class, dinner and wine tasting. We wander home after..... full, happy and wiser

Day 3Tuesday 31 Aug

This morning there is an option to dedicate your time to fashion in a special retail tour with Peta! She will share her favourite tips and boutiques with you. We will meet at one of our favourite café restaurants and just around the corner from the hotel, around 1pm for lunch, followed by the obligatory siesta. Come late afternoon, and the also obligatory apertivo, we will join our friend Angelo and his Mama in the kitchens of Gambero Rosso Restaurant for a short presentation followed by an outrageous feast from the sea. Once again, we will waddle back to the hotel, with ice cream stops for the recidivists

Day 4 Wednesday 1 Sept

After breakfast this morning we say goodbye to Lecce and head north to our next destination, the Masseria Montenapoleone. We will leave at around 10am to give us time to stop for a wine tasting and lunch at a very progressive and delicious winery. The wine maker will show us around the estate and initiate us into the secrets of the wine-making process, then pare different wines with each of our dishes at lunch. Afterwards, we also stop at one of the oldest olive oil producing farms in the world. The estate is home to countless ancient olive trees, some dating back thousands of years. We arrive at Masseria Montenapoleone late afternoon, and settle in before having the inevitable aperitivo and dinner.

Day 5 Thursday 2 Sept

You can't come to Italy and not make pasta! This morning's cooking class is given over to those two legendary Italian phenomena: pasta and mama's cooking. And we will enjoy both for lunch as well. The traditional pasta of Puglia is called “orecchiette” and looks simple to make, but to make the perfect ‘little ear’ form is harder than it looks! After the obligatory siesta we visit a cheese factory to see the production of mozzarella and its wildly indulgent cousin, burrata. We’ll get up-close and personal with the cheese-making process and even try your hand on twisting a knot or two. Next we visit the fairytale village of Alberobello to see the unique cone-roofed trulli houses with our animated local guide. We’ll take a walk around and then dine at one of our great finds in Cisternino .

Day 6Friday 3 Sept

Today, we drive to the extraordinary city of Matera, UNESCO World Heritage Site. Perched high on a beautiful hillside and only recently seen by foreign eyes, the city is filled with ‘sassi’, ancient cave dwellings restored for current use as homes, shops and restaurants. The Passion of Christ was filmed here and as you walk around you will truly feel like you have stepped back in time. We’ll have lunch at a great local restaurant. On returning to the Masseria, there will be time for some relaxation and a night off from the festivities.

Day 7Saturday 4 Sept

After breakfast today we will stock up on a few things for a picnic as we have been invited out for a fishing trip along the Adriatic Coast. Late afternoon, we start making preparations for our gala farewell dinner at the Masseria with guest chef, Tiziano. And so goes the night....

Day 8 Sunday 5 Sept

After breakfast, final farewells and transfers to your next destination. We hope that you will have enjoyed your experience of Puglia and the region’s cuisine. We are sure you will be changed for the better after your time in Puglia, for it is a place that has changed us .


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