Cooking Holiday in Puglia

Inspiring small group journeys.
8 days from $2995
  • Holiday type: Cooking Tours
  • Countries: Italy
  • Starts (city): Brindisi
  • Ends (city): Brindisi
  • Group size: 8 maximum
  • Trip style: Superior - 4 star
  • Tour code: 738

Learn to cook from an Italian chef

Puglia’s cuisine has been influenced over the centuries by its neighbours – and invaders. The Greeks, for example, left their mark with fragrant, herb-infused lamb, spit-roasted over a crackling fire. This sun-baked land is scattered with fortified castles and whitewashed trulli, Puglia’s distinctive conical shaped dwellings, and carpeted with a silvery sea of olive groves. It also has an incredibly rich natural larder. The area produces most of Italy’s extra virgin olive oil and full-bodied wines, and is famous for its intensely flavoured olives, almonds and figs. Cooking lessons are relaxed, fun and hands-on. They take place in the kitchen of the villa, with everyone working in a group with the chef. Sights to savour are long sandy beaches, a 13th-century castle, Lecce’s Baroque churches and Otranto cathedral's amazing mosaic floor.

  • 5 x 3 course hands-on cookery lessons with our Italian chef
  • An afternoon visit to Gallipoli with evening meal and wine in a local restaurant
  • A day sightseeing, visiting Lecce with lunch in a local restaurant, then on to explore Otranto, situated by the sea
  • An afternoon visit to Santa Maria di Leuca
  • Private wine tasting at a local winery
Solo Traveller Comments

Group sizes are usually about eight people and generally half are single travellers. Whether you're used to travelling alone or simply taking some time out for yourself, the relaxed, friendly atmosphere at all our venues is geared towards allowing you to be part of the group when it suits and striking out on your own when you want to.

This holiday is not just a typical touristic experience as it involves travelling with a purpose and the opportunity to see the genuine and local face of Italy. Our local Italian hosts have lived abroad and know exactly what to do to avoid making our guests feel like tourists. They will always be by your side and organise trips to wine tastings, local food producers, markets and sites of cultural interest.

The ages of our guests vary. We understand that it is important to be with like minded people, so we always do our best to match ages for each group. Our guests are from all over the world - mostly from Australia, UK, USA, New Zealand, Canada and South Africa.

And most importantly for solo travellers - there is NO SINGLE SUPPLEMENT!


Our groups are small so everyone can really get involved. Our local chefs are very passionate about cooking and sharing their knowledge. You’ll learn new techniques and skills, while creating recipes traditional to the region using fresh, seasonal ingredients. Italian food is simple but tasty and the recipes you’ll learn are ones you can bring home and create in your own kitchen with ingredients that can be found anywhere.

Puglia produces most of Italy’s extra virgin olive oil and full-bodied wines, and is famous for its intensely flavoured olives, almonds and figs. Other local specialities include orecchiette, an ear-shaped pasta, seafood risotto, fave beans (which are dried and made into a paste) and burrata a creamy cheese similar to mozzarella. Sights to savour along with the turquoise sea and long sandy beaches: 13th-century Swabian castle, the city of Lecce’s glorious Baroque churches, a legacy from the Spanish, and the cathedral in Otranto’s amazing mosaic floor, the work of a 12th-century monk.

Day One (Saturday)

Depending on your arrival time, there will be a transfer from Brindisi Airport to the beautiful Casino Pisanelli. Enjoy welcome drinks and time to relax before dinner prepared by our local chef.

Day Two (Sunday)

After breakfast, your first cookery lesson with our lovely local chef Antonio, followed by lunch. In the afternoon, a visit to Santa Maria di Leuca (at the very tip of the Salentine Peninsula where the Ionian and Adriatic Seas meet). Enjoy an aperitivo before returning for dinner at the villa.

Day Three (Monday)

After breakfast your second hands-on cookery lesson followed by lunch. Afternoon free to relax by the swimming pool or take a cycle ride to a nearby village. Dinner at the villa.

Day Four (Tuesday)

Leave after breakfast for a day's sightseeing, first to Lecce, the “Florence of the South,” with time for shopping before lunch at a local trattoria. Drive to Otranto-situated by the sea, with the chance to visit the famous cathedral. Return for dinner at Casino Pisanelli.  Please note the itinerary is subject to change depending on the weather and allowing for the Italian ways!

Day Five (Wednesday)

This morning, another cooking lesson with Antonio and then lunch. In the afternoon enjoy a private wine tasting at a local winery.  Dinner is at the villa.

Day Six (Thursday)

After breakfast, a cooking lesson followed by lunch. Late afternoon, a visit to Gallipoli and the chance to wander around the old town. Dinner at an excellent local fish restaurant.

Day Seven (Friday)

Enjoy your final cookery lesson this morning and then lunch. Afternoon free to sunbathe or relax. Farewell dinner will be prepared by your chef.

Day Eight (Saturday)

Depart early for your transfer to Brindisi.

Please note that this itinerary is subject to change, depending on the weather and allowing for the Italian ways!

Currently there are no dates available for this tour. Please email us if you would like to be kept informed about new departures.


  • 7 nights ensuite accommodation at the stunning Casino Pisanelli, with pool
  • 5 x 3 course hands-on cookery lessons with our Italian chef
  • All meals and wine
  • All activities as per itinerary
  • Transport by private minibus
  • Airport transfers (at set times only)


  • Tips

Casino Pisanelli

Casino Pisanelli is a stunning venue, situated in the heart of rural Salento - a real hidden gem. Originally a hunting lodge built in the 17th century for a local count, the estate is now used exclusively for our cooking holidays for just a few weeks a year. The style is a stunning mix of traditional and modern, with wonderful formal gardens and a swimming pool - the perfect spot to relax after a busy morning in the kitchen.

The property was originally used by the local aristocrat, Count Pisanelli, as a hunting lodge. It has in the past few years been lovingly restored using the skills of local craftsmen and artisans to produce a stunning blend of modern and traditional Italian style. As well as the swimming pool, cleverly integrated into the formal gardens, there are also courtyards with lemon and orange trees - the perfect setting for meals al fresco! Surrounding the lodge are acres of olive groves, which provide delicious extra virgin olive oil throughout the week.


"I could almost feel the stress leaving me when I got up the first morning and walked around the beautiful garden at Casino Pisanelli. Livia just couldn't do enough to help, I have never eaten so much fabulous food in a week!"  Eva M.

"The cookery lessons were relaxed, fun, informative and very hands-on, with lots of variety and lots of opportunity to ask questions."  Karen

"I wanted a new experience mixed with culture, food and new friendships. Everything was incredible, the staff went out of their way to make everything run smoothly."  Shayna

"I love Italy and love cooking. This was my first solo holiday so I wanted to do something with which I felt comfortable.The cooking and camaraderie during the cooking were my favourite aspects of the cooking holiday. Feel as if I've learnt things and made friends."  Helen

Click here for more information

 on this tour, or if you have more general questions about tours to this area or this style of tour, send us an email. Of course, you can also call our travel specialists on 02 9449 8598 to book a trip or ask a question.

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