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Puglia, the spur and heel of Italy’s boot with its predominant flatness, is an ideal cycling territory. On this food and wine bike tour, you will learn how to cook regional specialties with a local chef: nothing matches the handmade Orecchiette.
Dishes are enlivened with seafood and fruity green olive oil, together with fresh green vegetables and huge, bursting tomatoes.
About the wine! You will find the Primitivo di Manduria, a distant cousin of California’s Zinfandel grape. Another amazingly successful red wine is Salice Salentino, a powerful red wine made primarily with Negro Amaro.
Discover the unique Trullo dwellings in the Itria valley, roaming the rural countryside, you will see whitewashed houses with conical stone roofs. Notice how they blend with the well-tended orchards and vineyards of the vast landscape. You can get a sense of what it might have been like to live in a Trullo hundreds of years ago.
Meeting in Bari station at 13.00/ 14.00 and transfer to Masseria Cervarolo.
After everyone arrives at the villa, we will have a briefing and custom fit you to your bikes. Depending on time arrival we will have the time for a short test ride.
A delicious welcome dinner wait at Masseria Cervarolo.
Distance: 50 km / 31 miles
Start your cycling week with a lovely ride to the highlight of Alberobello.
After breakfast at the villa, you will ride inland via Cisternino, one of the most beautiful and chic hilltop towns in Puglia. You will soak in sweeping views of the Itria Valley below and see firsthand why this town is starting to gain serious international repute. From there, we’ll cycle through the peaceful countryside past olive groves and rock-strewn fields to the stunning Alberobello with its flood of unique trulli: whitewashed houses with conical stone roofs, the most famous architectural symbol of the region. Once you have explored enough, transfer by van to your accommodation for your first cooking class with a local chef who will share her secrets.After the class, we will all enjoy a delicious dinner together paired with some of our favorite local wine.
Distance: 66 km / 41 miles
After breakfast at the villa, the bike ride begins in the beautiful countryside reaching the Murge park, where many Trulli house can be seen, new and restored, as well ruins. Arrive at Palagianello and Castellaneta, the birth place of Rodolfo Valentino.. Here you will stop to have a look at the “gravina”, the canyon at the edge of the town. Then shuttle to the highlight of day: Matera (in the Basilicata region bordering Puglia), perched high on a beautiful hillside. Here it will be possible to arrange a guided walk of the town’s stunning Sassi di Matera: ancient cave dwellings restored for current use as homes, shops and restaurants.
After exploring this famed UNESCO World Heritage Site, we will shuttle you back to the villa to recover from a sporty day before a fabulous dinner at Taverna della Gelosia in the Ostuni historical centre.
Distance: 60 km / 37,5 mi
We could not let you spend a week with us in Puglia without sampling one of its most sensational and up-and-coming products; wine!
Today starts with a bike ride from the villa to Cellino San Marco where the winery is. Here the cycling is easy; all flat, made up of secondary roads passing through San Vito dei Normanni and Mesagne.
Masseria Li Veli is one of Puglia’s most renowned wineries in Salento area. After a fascinating tour with the vineyard’s expert oenologist, you will be treated to a private lunch and wine tasting in a dining room overlooking the ageing barrels of wine. We will then drive you back to Masseria in time for a drink by the pool side.
Tonight: Pizza at Il Solito Posto, here the Pizza is art!
Distance: 48/30 miles optional 20 km more back to Cervarolo
The highlight of today is Martina Franca and olive oil tasting at Frant’Olio. The first stop is for a cappuccino in Ceglie Messapica. This lovely town on a hill is protected by a 5 km perimeter of walls. The town acropolis once dominated the surrounding area.On to Martina Franca, a must-see town for its marvelously intact historic centre, beautiful Baroque architecture, and stunning palazzo. Back in the saddle and after 10 km we arrive at Frantoio d’Amico where we have the olive oil tasting and lunch. Shuttle back to Masseria, or cycle.
Tonight get ready for a memorable cooking class at Osteria del Tempo Perso followed by dinner!
Distance: 65 km / 40,5 mi
The ocean your starting point for a perfect, easy, flat ride which heads north past ancient olive groves and along the Adriatic coast to the archaeological site of Egnazia, once the location of a Greco-Roman town dating as far back as the 4th century BC. Then pass Savelletri and Torre Canne, still along the coast.
You will be instantly charmed by the sky blue of the sea, that melts onto the white of the calcareous rock, dotted here and there with the Fichi d’india prickly pears. We then head back to the villa by van in time to have a wine tasting with a local sommelier and enjoy the farewell dinner at Masseria Cervarolo.
After a farewell breakfast at the villa we provide transfer to Bari airport/train station.