Luxury Gay Salento Food & Wine Tour
14 – 20 July
•Luxury experience in Salento, the must-see destination in Puglia
•Learn to cook like the locals
•Gastronomy meals from the best parts of the region
•Visit local markets and learn all about the ingredients of Puglia
•Wine tasting of exclusive vineyards
•Olive oil degustation
•Visit key sights including Lecce, Otranto, Gallipoli and Santa Maria di Leuca
•Make new friends from all over the world
•Luxury accommodation in a beautiful private villa
•OptionalSports and holistic massage services @€65 an hour
•Be pampered by your Italy Gay Travels hosts, Sergio and Kendall
Join Italy Gay Travels for the Luxury Gay Salento Food and Wine Tour
Welcome to Salento, the Southeastern-most tip of Puglia, the heel of the boot of Italy. Our Luxury Gay Salento Food and Wine Tour is your opportunity to explore the world-famous food in this amazing location, connecting Ionian and Adriatic seas. Our tour combines the must-see sights of the area with a sophisticated exploration of the best food and wines of Southern Italy. The cuisine of Salento region is rich in fresh vegetables, fish, seafood and herbs: a Mediterranean diet with a creative twist, and always using the most seasonal ingredients. It is no surprise that the region is developing a reputation as a foodies destination. Our Gay Salento Food and Wine Tour will teach you how to cook like a local, thanks to the support of the best local chefs. They will be more than happy to share with you the tricks of the trade from recipes handed down over centuries. You will have a taste of the best wines of the area (do Primitivo and Negroamaro ring a bell?). Discover the best olive oils and learn how to distinguish and develop your palette. Puglia is one of the biggest producers in the world. You will also eat like kings on this tour as the gastronomy included will ensure you indulge. We will also make sure to show you the key sights of Puglia and Salento: Lecce, Otranto, Gallipoli, Nardo’, Santa Maria di Leuca are only a few of the places we will visit! It sounds like a lot but there will be plenty opportunity to relax, unwind and shop. We will have a day on a boat excursion looking at Puglia from another angle. This Gay Salento Food & Wine Tour also offers onsite massage treatments for those wishing to unwind and relax if the kitchen gets too hot! Please email email@example.com for more information and how to book these extra treats.
Welcome to Salento!
We will collect you either from Brindisi airport, connected to many destinations in Europe and beyond, or Lecce train station. From there we make our way to the private villa we have reserved exclusively for our group. This is where the Luxury Gay Salento Food and Wine Tour adventure begins! Make yourself comfortable in your room and make sure to arrive hungry: a delicious welcome aperitif dinner prepared by your hosts is the apt start to our tour.
• Meals: Dinner (aperitif dinner with wine included)
Cooking class Salento style plus a visit to Porto Cesareo
After a fresh breakfast we have our first hands-on experience: a cooking lesson from a local chef. The lesson will focus on cooking typical Salento dishes and exploring the variety of local ingredients used. Cooking in Salento, and Puglia as a whole, is very seasonal and therefore recipes differ from one month to the next. Time to learn which vegetables grow in which month! We also have a ‘waste not’ attitude so don’t be surprised to see parts of vegetables used that are generally thrown away. Recipes have been handed down from generation to generation and truly represent the Mediterranean diet. The session is hands on and time is taken to ensure that everyone is happy and confident by the end of the experience. Naturally we eat what we’ve made. After digesting our meal we visit one of the most beautiful towns of the region, Porto Cesareo, famous for its long sandy beaches. Get your speedos out and have a swim in the crystaline waters or explore the town in your own time. The catch of the day will be dinner, freshly served fish and seafood in one of the best spots in the area. A couple of digestives or a gelato finish off the evening in proper Italian Style.
• Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Seafood Dinner (three courses with wine included)
Boat trip around Santa Maria di Leuca
After a hearty breakfast, the Luxury Gay Salento Food and Wine Tour departs for the Southeastern-most point of Puglia: Santa Maria di Leuca. This area is frequented by celebrities for its awe inspiring untouched landscapes and natural beauty. After exploring the city and learning what makes it so special, we make our way to the port of the town and board a private boat to discover the magical surroundings of the area by the sea.
An aperitif and a light lunch will be served on board: the rest of the afternoon is spent on the boat sunbathing, swimming and resting.
In the afternoon we make our way back to the villa. Some free time before returning to the dinner table: your hosts will prepare a superb dinner, inspired to the best local recipes.
• Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner (three courses with wine included)
Market stalls and spellbinding Otranto
After breakfast we visit one of the local farmers’ markets. Here we discover how the locals go about their daily lives. Along with your hosts and a local chef you will experience the markets in a truly authentic way. Once we have bought our ingredients we make our way back to the villa. Back in the kitchen we again get to learn the tricks of this amazing cuisine with a hands-on class with a local Mamma. We also learn how to make fresh pasta from scratch. The typical homemade pasta of the area is called ‘Orecchiette’ which gets its name based on the shape that resembles ears. Give it a go and before you know it you will be a master!
Later in the afternoon we visit Otranto, the coastal port rich in history. This is the Easternmost part of Italy and is postcard famous for its location at the very edge of Puglia. East meets West architecture and white sandy beaches await you. Spend a few hours at your own pace exploring this gem.
A culinary tour in Italy would not be complete without Pizza: in the evening we make our way to one of the best Pizzerias around.
• Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner (wine included)
Day 5 Wine Tour in Nardo’ and Lecce
Today we head to one of the best known wineries of the area, where we taste wines that are unique to the area of Salento. The traditional varieties that are grown include Primitivo and Negroamaro.
Afterwards we head to the seaside. Just 10km away from Nardo’ are the typical villages of Santa Caterina and Santa Maria al Bagno, adjacent to the stunning Porto Selvaggio (Wild Port) Natural Reserve. We enjoy a light lunch by the sea, while spending some quality time by the beach.
Later in the afternoon we head to Lecce, the baroque capital city of Salento. After a guided walk in the centre of the so-called Florence of the south, everybody is left free to enjoy the city as they wish: a couple of hours for shopping, a spritz, a gelato. Feel free to do as you please, but make sure to join the group again for the evening meal: we will enjoy dinner in the historic center at a restaurant that showcases the local produce, including typical dishes such as ‘ciceri e tria’ (chickpea dish) and ‘fave e cicoria’ (cicory and fava beans).
We will finish the evening with a few drinks in some of the best gay friendly bars of Lecce.
• Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Olive Oil Experience, Gallipoli and Farewell Partywith the Locals!
After a hearty breakfast, the Gay Salento Tour will head to a typical ‘Frantoio’ (farm producing organic extra virgin olive oil). Here we will learn the history of the ancient olive groves planted by the Romans and their uses from then until now. Marvel at the ancient trees that dominate this landscape. This is followed by a degustation of olive oils.
We will also explore Gallipoli, a port Town famous for fishing boats and fresh seafood. Meander through the little alleyways and see the locals going about their trades. This town will steal your heart!
The afternoon is spent back at the villa where you can relax and unwind and prepare for the Barbecue night. We will invite a few locals to join us for an unforgettable final evening around the grounds of the villa. Those willing to party can make their way back to Gallipoli, the gay capital of Southern Italy where we can enjoy a drink or two at the local gay bar or dance the night away in its gay club.
• Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Barbecue Dinner.
Goodbye and see you next time!
The Gay Salento Luxury Food and Wine Tour is over, It’s time to say goodbye, we will arrange drop-offs to Brindisi airport or Lecce train station. No tears please: it’s only goodbye until the next time!
• Meals: Breakfast