Puglia is particularly an interesting destination for meetings, because it hosts since recently one of the country’s largest conference hotels, which is easily accessible from airports in Bari and Brindisi.
Bari is the chief town of the region, while Brindisi, Foggia, Lecce and Taranto are the capitals of the respective remaining provinces. This region offers a wide range of highly atmospheric castles, military fortresses, and a host of fascinating cathedrals in Romanesque and Baroque style. Puglia also has its own architectural current called Barocco Leccese, characterized by extremely ornate carvings that cover the entire surface of churches and palaces: Its apex is reached in the delightful little city of Lecce, a lovely destination for all who are fond of architectural virtuosity. A gleaming necklace of lively fishing villages outlines Puglia’s coasts, facing some of the cleanest beaches and water in the Mediterranean. Last but not least there is one other worthy attraction that you will see only in this region, and that is Trulli: Whitewashed cone-like constructions made of stones held together without mortar are visible in almost every wheat field and olive grove, and are unique in all the world. A number of trulli are concentrated in the village of Alberobello, nearly forming a city. On a hilltop amid the scent of almonds and olives, the city's historical center was declared an International Human Resource by the Unesco organization.
Along the coast seafood plays a major role in the diet with favorites including mussels, oysters, octopus, red mullet and swordfish. Vegetables include fava beans, artichokes, chicory and various greens including rucola ("rocket"). Eggplants, peppers, lampasciuoli (a bitter type of onion), cauliflower, olives and olive oil are all Pugliese staples. Regional pastas include Orecchiette and Bucatini, both served with tomato sauce or with olive oil, garlic and cauliflower.
Notable among the wines of this region are the crisp whites of Locorotondo and Martina Franca, the reds and rosés of Castel del Monte and the Salento peninsula, such as Salice Salentino, Brindisi, Copertino and Primitivo di Manduria.
Suggestion 1: Apulia discovery Tour
After landing in Brindisi airport, you will be transferred by shuttle to one of the most beautiful residence locations in Apulia : Masseria Torre Coccaro is a five stars luxury hotel resort with an excellent catering & outstanding service.
We offer you a guided mountain bike tour to Monopoli. Enjoy cycling along the olive trees and stop to visit the port where fisherman bring in the day’s catch. Taste fresh “cozze nere” fish and prawns with a nice glass of white wine and pecorino cheese. Aren’t you energetic enough for this lovely bike-trip ? No problem, admire the stunning view of the coastline by boat !
Step back in time in Monopoli, the Florence of the south, with its narrow medieval alleys. Your guide will lead you through this charming historical center and to one of the best ice cream bars in Apulia. On the way back to the hotel, roll up your sleeves and lend a helping hand on a mozzarella farm.
After a dinner buffet of regional specialties, you will learn to dance the “Taranta” and find out which couple deserves the title "Best of Taranta" .
The next day we invite you to a hands-on culinary workshop on “pasta orecchiette à la guitarra”. Enjoy lunch you have just prepared. Seeing Apulia isn’t complete without visiting a “frantoio”, a press and factory where olive oil is lovingly produced; followed by a tasting. During harvest season, be part of the entire oil making process and create your own bottle extra-virgin oil. In the afternoon we visit Alberobello, known as the Capital of the “trullis”, traditional white-chalk cone-roofed houses belonging to the Unesco worldwide patrimony. Ceglie Messapica and Ostuni -with its whitewashed houses- are both worth a visit too. Evening dinner takes place at a typical trattoria which has been awarded for its gastronomy and creativity, preceded by a wine tasting with an expert sommelier.
Suggestion 2: Wine & Dine Top Level Experience
Relais La Fontanina is a very special wine-restaurant and hotel, set in the countryside between Ostuni and Ceglie Messapica. Local specialties are served, each dish is accompanied by a different wine. You can take part in a cooking class held by the hotel. Get ready for culinary school with one of their chef cooks !