Food and Wine 4 Day Extravaganza!

2016 Dates: June 7th to 11th or September 8th to 12th 2016, suitable for couples!

Day 1: Arrive at your luxury accommodation,  settle in unpack,  when you are ready, enjoy an aperitivo or a glass or two of Prosecco with a few light snacks. Relax amongst the ancient olive trees or by the beautiful romanesque swimming pool. Later in the day the food and wine extravaganza commences! You’ll enter the chef’s large rustic kitchen and gather around a cosy island where you’ll participate in a fun packed hands on cooking lesson. A few of the culinary treats you’ll learn, are making the local  orecchiette pasta,  the tomato sauce,  and more!   The cooking class will culminate in sampling your efforts in  a four course dinner, with wine pairing for each course.  At the end of the meal… no need to drive anywhere as you’re just a few steps away from your comfortable bedroom.

Day 2: Breakfast al fresco, so relaxing that time can escape without notice.  A new adventure begins  at 11 am as you make your way  to a fabulous and informative a wine tour,  with wine tastings and lunch at the local winery. Of course you are welcome to bring back wine from your tour to enjoy here at the Villa. Then late afternoon back in the chef’s kitchen for a lesson on how to make Limoncello and our famous Mandarin’cello’  (tastings included)  In the evening   free time to explore the area and enjoy an evening meal at recommended restaurants.

Day 3: Start the day of sunshine and brilliant blue sky with breakfast under the pergola.  At 11 am  you will make your way to the local cheesemaker where you can watch  Mozzarella and Burrata being made. Later you may want to stop at the local panificio (bakery) for a loaf of oven fresh bread or a few “rosetta” rolls. The aroma of the freshly baked bread is so enticing it’s difficult not to sample some on  your return to the Villa. Tables  will be ready back at the Villa  for you to set out your fresh local  bread, wines and cheeses, take a walk through the garden and pick some of our organic vine ripened tomatoes and  rocket (rucola),  help yourself to our EV olive oil and balsamic vinegar,  perfetto!  After lunch a walk down the jasmine covered colonnade takes you to  the roman style salt water pool area where you can relax, read a book, sunbathe or enjoy a relaxing  Ayurveda massage in the temple area.  Late afternoon,  you’ll notice smoke coming from the olive wood, burning in the restored  stone pizza oven. This is the sign something special  is going to happen! Time to enjoy a few drinks before the fun begins. You will participate in a fun filled pizza making evening, plenty of food and wine whilst dining al fresco.  

Day 4: After your leisurely breakfast,  free time to explore many of the interesting sites in the area (Alberobello, Ostuni, Lecce etc). Late afternoon return to the Villa , enjoy some homemade bruschetta (made with our own organic tomatoes and olive oil) a glass of wine then sit back and enjoy the show of  the traditional Pizzica dancers by the swimming pool!  Then get ready to tour a magnificent antique Masseria (Farm House) where you will enjoy an  incredible eight course organic dinner with wine pairings for an evening that will leave  you a lasting memory.

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Practice saying, “Let’s go get an aperitivo” or “Prendiamo un aperitivo.”A pre-dinner drink, meant to “open” the palate and it gives you a chance to socialize, relax, and nibble as dinner approaches or is overlooked altogether.What is offered with your aperitivo drink really depends on the bar. A few olives and potato chips are the classic offering, though some get very elaborate with fresh pizza, fruit salads, roast, hot pasta, cold cuts like prosciutto and bresaola, fresh savoury pastries and even fresh mozzarella in some bars! Aperitivo drinks are divided into two categories: alcolici (alcoholic), and analcolici (non-alcoholic) drinks.

These are (some) of my favourites, all with alcohol of course!

I love Bellini’s : Prosecco and peach puree, this delicious cocktail was invented by Giuseppe Cipriani, founder of Harry’s Bar in Venice, Italy. He named the drink the Bellini because its unique pink color reminded him of the toga of a saint in a painting by 15th-century Venetian artist Giovanni Bellini.

I also like to have an Aperol Spritz: 3 parts of prosecco,  2 parts of Aperol and 1 splash of soda, this is a pre lunch or dinner drink.

Negroni’s The Negroni cocktail is made of one part gin, one part vermouth rosso, and one part Campari, garnished with orange peel. It is considered an apéritif. Quite strong!

Campari..I love Campari and orange juice, although I’ve noticed  the locals here in Italy prefer Campari with soda.

Long live aperitivo time!