Postcard Puglia, Italy
A week in a Private Agriturismo
April 19 – 26, 2023
Join Alla Campagna Experiences Founder and
veteran tour organizer Ralph Velasco
for a once-in-a-lifetime travel experience to the Apulia region of Italy.
Enjoy a week exploring the “heel of the boot.”
Overview of this Experience
Our Postcard Puglia experience is meant to provide a deep dive into a lesser-known region of Italy, Apulia, a.k.a. Puglia. Often referred to as “the heel of the boot,” Puglia is a small section of Italy with stunning scenery, gorgeous cities, quant villages, miles and miles of rugged Mediterranean coastline and vast agricultural lands rich in olive oil production accounting for, by some estimates, up to 40 percent of Italy’s overall output.
During this experience you’ll enjoy 7 nights at a private agriturismo owned and operated by an Italian-American woman named Giulia who can’t wait to welcome our group. Giulia oversees a unique property where she’s created an atmosphere of peaceful tranquility complete with a private chef who cooks only with locally-sourced, farm-to-table ingredients (we even have an included cooking class/demonstration while there).
There’ll also be an opportunity to schedule optional spa treatments and a yoga class right on the property (make appointments on arrival), as well as have access to a limited number of bikes provided free during your stay.
Lecce, Gallipoli, Santa Maria al Bagno & Alberobello
Other activities include visits to the nearby seaside at Santa Maria al Bagno and Gallipoli, a day trip to Alberobello with its ancient trulli, or unique stone huts with distinctive conical roofs. We’ll also visit the nearby town of Lecce, referred to as the “Florence of the South,” and you’ll see why.
There’ll be wine tasting, cheese sampling, a visit with a local sculptor named Renzo who is a real character, ample opportunities for moderate walking and short mostly level hikes, and simply time to enjoy the property’s facilities, including a large pool, several outdoor seating areas, an olive grove and other beautiful gardens. You can certainly spend your free time relaxing, reading a book, taking in the Apulian sun, having a coffee or a cocktail, sipping a glass of wine and more.
This customized experience was carefully designed by Ralph and Giulia with our Alla Campagna guests in mind, and it’s only open to a limited number of participants (single rooms may be strictly limited and are available on a first-come, first-served basis only).
Join us in Postcard Puglia for the experience of a lifetime, one you won’t soon forget!
Info About Our Unique Accommodations in an Agriturismo
We’ll be staying in a privately owned agriturismo. This property is the definition of quaint and has just 7 simple but clean and ample rooms, each is air-conditioned and has its own private bathroom, of course.
The 5-acre property also has a large pool, several outdoor sitting areas, plenty of grounds to walk and enjoy, plus an incredible chef for occasional on-site meals, including an unforgettable “brunch” that will be served each and every morning of your stay. Activities include optional yoga, wellness and massage services, as well as a limited number of bikes available for free to ride in the surrounding area.
Located in Nardò, the property also has a lovely garden and terrace.
Free WiFi is available for all guests and each unit features air conditioning with a daily supply of bottled water.
An ample Italian breakfast (aka “brunch”) is served every morning at the property.
Testimonials from People Who Have Stayed at This Property
“A wonderful place to stay. Near Nardò and close to the beach too. A lovely pool nestled amongst an olive grove. We loved the breakfast with fresh local ingredients . Giulia is a fantastic host. We will be back ” ~ Sarah (UK)
“It is a fantastic place if you want to get away from the hectic city life, enjoy the silence and see the stars at night. A great place to relax with a very friendly host, highly recommended! ” ~ Alessia (UK)
“- Giulia – the owner – is a very kind person and present there everyday. – Very nice pool – Quite and relaxing – Nice garden” ~ Sorin (Romania)
About the Surrounding Area
Lecce is 19 miles away, while Gallipoli is 12 miles from the property.
Brindisi Airport (BDS) is where you’ll likely want to fly in and out and it’s located approximately 1 hour from the property. In order to have maximum freedom during your trip you may like to rent a car which can easily be arranged in advance and picked up and dropped off at the airport, but private airport transfers are also available for an additional fee of 80 euros per car (2 – 3 pax max) and can be arranged in advance.
The owner is almost always available and is a native English speaker who can help you to navigate the region.
What is an Agriturismo?
The word “agriturismo” is a combination of the Italian words agricoltura (agriculture) and turismo (tourism), and they’re designed to receive guests, whether for food, holiday accommodation, or a combination of the two, and are often working farms. Ours, of course, provides both food and accommodation, although it’s important to note that some meals have been arranged for the group outside of the property.
Our stay will be a truly unforgettable experience.
About Apulia (Puglia)
According to Google, “Puglia, a southern region forming the heel of Italy’s ‘boot,’ is known for its whitewashed hill towns, centuries-old farmland and hundreds of kilometers of Mediterranean coastline. Capital Bari is a vibrant port and university town, while Lecce is known as ‘Florence of the South’ for its baroque architecture. Alberobello and the Itria Valley are home to ‘trulli,’ stone huts with distinctive conical roofs.”
Population: 4.029 million (2019) Eurostat, Trending
Area: 7,545 mi²
All photographs and/or video on this page were provided by
Giulia Stasi, and are copyrighted by their respective makers.
April 19 – 26, 2023
$4,200 per person in Double Occupancy
Please add $600 per person for Single Supplement if you’d like your own single room throughout the trip.
Pay by personal check made out to PhotoEnrichment Programs, Inc. and receive a discount of $50 per person.
Register for This Experience in 4 Simple Steps:
- Request and submit a Reservation Form.
- Read and agree to our Terms & Conditions.
- Provide a scan or smartphone photo of your passport’s signature page.
- Send in your $1,000 deposit or full payment.
To request the Reservation Form and Terms & Conditions for this experience please contact us at THIS LINK.
To make payment, you can use a credit card via PayPal (Click This Link to request invoice) or deposit a check directly into our bank account at any Bank of America branch. Depositing a check affords a $50 per person discount.
We’ll send you all the payment details if you’ll CONTACT US HERE.
Ralph Velasco is a professional travel photographer, author and international guide and he’s the Founder/CEO (Chief Experience Officer) of PhotoEnrichment Adventures and Alla Campagna Experiences.
For more than 12 years, he’s organized and led over 100 international tours in a variety of locations around the world, just some of which include Romania, Portugal, Iceland, Egypt, Mexico’s Copper Canyon, Bhutan, Nepal, Central Europe, Morocco, Turkey, the Adriatic, Cambodia, Tuscany, Spain, Vietnam, India, and others.
Although originally from Chicago, for more than 7 years now Ralph has been what’s come to be called “location-independent,” which simply means he has no permanent home and lives on the road, and at 30,000 feet scouting, administering and leading his highly-rated and very popular tours which boast a more than 42 percent rate of repeat clients.
Be sure to check out Ralph’s YouTube channel The ContinentalDRIFTER where he offers a variety of travel advice and photography tips, as well as the Continental DRIFTER blog.
Speaking & Teaching
For more than 10 years Ralph has been a regular speaker about travel and photography at the prestigious Travel & Adventure Shows throughout the United States, as well as the New York Times Travel Show. He’s also been a featured speaker at the Travel Bloggers Exchange in Sweden, Ireland, Spain and Israel; the IOETI Conference in Cairo, Egypt; and has taught travel photography at U.C. Irvine Extension Program, Saddleback College, Santa Ana College, the Irvine Fine Arts Center, REI Outdoor School and others.
Education & Other
He’s got a B.S. in Small Business & Entrepreneurship from the Indiana University School of Business and an M.I.B.A. (Masters in International Business Administration) from United States International University in Mexico City, Mexico and San Diego, California.
Finally, Ralph’s been a member of several championship big boat sailing teams in Chicago, San Diego and Newport Beach, California; has his private pilot’s license (SEL); and speaks Spanish.
“…the Douro River Valley was incredible!”
“This was a great tour, with lots to do and see! We visited the large cities of Lisbon and Porto as well as other cities, towns, and villages throughout Portugal. I also took the extension through the Douro River Valley which was incredible! We had many opportunities to take pictures both as part of the tour and in our free time. I feel the tour gave me a good feel for the wide variety of life in the cities and countryside of Portugal.”
“The group was great made some new long-term friends. Loved Portugal (other than the inclines 🙂 ), the country is small but packed full of great sites.”
“Ralph was the perfect tour leader…”
“A Taste of Portugal was an enjoyable and leisurely vacation in a country that seems to have everything. Historical sights, gourmet food, photo opportunities and a great hospitality atmosphere abound. The tour hit all the sights of interest, Ralph was the perfect tour leader and it was a good group fellow travelers.”
“Portugal-Great country, great culture, great tour, and fantastic wine!”
“What an amazing hotel and view…”
“What an amazing hotel and view…the extension trip [to Stepantsminda] will always be a very fond memory…it was so special. Gavin and I thank you Ralph so, so, so much for all you did to arrange this…”
Daily Trip Itinerary
This experience is limited to just 6 - 10 participants.
Most meals are included and B = Brunch, L = Lunch and D = Dinner
Items mentioned below in ALL CAPITAL LETTERS are included in your fee for this experience.
IMPORTANT NOTE: You’ll want to wear good, sturdy walking shoes throughout this experience as the property where we're staying and the towns and villages we'll be visiting are often made up of hilly terrain, sometimes with many stairs, inclines, declines and at times gravel and occasionally rough dirt and stone paths.
If you are even slightly unsure of your walking capability in these conditions it’s HIGHLY recommended that you purchase a quality set of telescoping walking sticks at your local outdoor supply store or online before arriving in Italy.
We are requiring that all participants purchase Travel Insurance to protect their investment in this trip and to cover for all health and travel contingencies before and during their stay. Please purchase the most comprehensive policy that is right for your needs, and know that we will require Proof of Coverage later, during the registration process.
Please consider using SquareMouth, a travel insurance comparison site to find the best insurance for your situation.
You can also get a Free Quote from our partners at WorldNomads by visiting this page on our sister site PhotoEnrichment Adventures.
Another site that comes highly recommended is Allianz Travel Insurance.
ALL TIMES APPROXIMATE AND SUBJECT TO CHANGE
Arrival at Brindisi Airport (BDS) – an optional private airport transfer to our hotel is available for 80 euros per car each way, or you may choose to rent a car, which is very easy to do and will certainly allow you optimal freedom during the trip. We can also connect you with other participants who may be interested in sharing a car in order to split costs.
5 PM – Attend our MEET & GREET where you can enjoy a complimentary GLASS OF WINE and get to know your fellow participants and we can discuss the trip ahead.
5:30 PM - PRIVATE TOUR of the property where we'll be staying by owner/host Giulia Stasi if she’s available.
Relax and settle in with some free time.
8 PM - Enjoy a wonderful WELCOME DINNER prepared by the chef at our agriturismo.
7:30 AM - Coffee/tea/biscuits will be available for early risers.
8:30 – 9:30 AM – BRUNCH (here, the first meal of the day is referred to as “brunch” because it’s often served a bit later in the morning and may be ample enough for some to satisfy you for breakfast and lunch and get you through until dinner).
11 AM – We encourage you to participate in an optional COOKING CLASS and DEMONSTRATION at our hotel where you’ll learn to make a delicious pasta dish that we’ll then enjoy. Those who are interested can choose to get their hands “dirty” and learn some local cooking secrets.
12:30 PM - Enjoy a relaxing LUNCH made up of the our cooking class results.
2 PM - 5:30 PM Free time to relax and enjoy the property complete with swimming pool, walking trails and exploration of this amazing part of Italy (this is where having your own car will come in handy).
5:30 PM - Leave the hotel to visit nearby Nardó where we’ll walk its historic center and learn a bit about its history
6:30 - 7:30 PM – WINE TASTING in Nardó with light apertivos (snacks)
Next we’ll enjoy a GELATO nearby and take in the evening in this little town.
After you can choose to stay on your own and have dinner or you can return to the hotel where you can choose to have dinner (not included).
9 – 10 AM - BRUNCH will be available.
10 AM - Depart for Santa Maria al Bagno, a lovely nearby seaside village where we can walk, explore, have a coffee or gelato.
11:30 AM - 12:30 PM - Tour of the Jewish Historical Museum including explanation of the time in history at the end of the Second World War when Jewish people came and settled in Puglia.
1 PM - Next we’ll order LUNCH from a local family-owned store, sit by the sea and enjoy people watching and those who are interested can certainly choose to jump in the sea as there’s a beautiful beach right in the center of town.
3 PM - Back to our hotel where you can relax or explore other parts of this area.
7 PM - DINNER at our hotel
9 – 10:30 AM – Because lunch is not included today we’ll have a late BRUNCH and DINNER won’t be until later in the day in Lecce.
Enjoy some free time, including optional massages and/or spa treatments – please reserve with Giulia on arrival.
Optional Activities for Your Free Time: Relax by the pool, explore the grounds and surrounding area, take a walk or grab a free bike if available and go for a ride.
2 PM – Leave for Lecce, often referred to as the Florence of the south. 2:45 - 3:45 PM - Sculpting demonstration at local artist Renzo’s studio
4:30 - 5:30 PM - informal guided tour (~60 minutes) of Lecce where you can learn about this beautiful town and explore some of its back alleys.
6 PM - GELATO TASTING at a local shop called Baldo.
7 PM - Enjoy a GLASS OF WINE at Giulia’s mother’s home in the historical center and situated on a gorgeous palazzo.
8:30 PM - Get ready for a wonderful experience where we’ll have our choice of PIZZA FOR DINNER in a local square in Lecce that will have you thinking you’ve stepped back in time as it’s a scene right out of Ralph’s all-time favorite movie: Cinema Paradiso!
10 PM - Leave to head back to our hotel for the evening.
7 - 8 AM – Today we’ll have an earlier BRUNCH so we can hit the road early to the beautiful and unique town of Alberobello.
8 AM - Leave for Alberobello where we can walk among the very unique trulli that can be seen everywhere in this small town. Trulli (singular: trullo) are traditional dry stone huts with a corbelled roof. Their extremely unique style of construction is specific to the Itria Valley in the region of Puglia.
10 AM - Estimated arrival time, walk around as a group to get oriented and then enjoy ample free time to explore and have lunch on your own (we’ll make suggestions).
There’s plenty of shopping to be done during your free time in Alberobello.
3 PM - Leave Alberobello behind and head back to our hotel to relax and freshen up.
7:30 PM - DINNER is included this evening at our hotel.
7:30 AM – BRUNCH will be available.
9 AM – Depart for the wonderful seaside town of Gallipoli where we’ll walk along the sea being on the lookout for local fishermen and their boats. Next we’ll further orient you to the town with a stroll through the backstreets of this town located on an “island” connected to the mainland.
11 AM - VISIT AN OLD FRONTIO to see the ancient way of making olive oil in this region.
12 PM - free time to explore and have lunch on your own at any of the nearby restaurants, but we’ll make suggestions, as well.
Following lunch, you’ll have free time to explore, after which you can return to the hotel at your leisure.
Remainder of afternoon free, relax, have a spa treatment (please arrange this with Giulia early in the trip, she’ll give us options).
6 PM - DINNER at a traditional Massaria (a masseria is a fortified farmhouse found on the estates in the Puglia region and typically built in the 16th century. It is a complex of buildings generally running along two sides of a central high-walled courtyard).
After we’ll return to our hotel for remainder of your evening free.
8 – 9:30 AM – BRUNCH
10 AM - Next, we’ll head to another Masseria which is just down the road for a TOUR and delicious CHEESE SAMPLING in a shaded courtyard.
This is our last full day in Puglia and so there’ll be free time to relax by the pool, head to the beach, have a spa treatment, return to Lecce for some last-minute shopping and/or explore other towns in this area, such as Otranto or Santa Maria di Leuca, or feel free to do whatever you like.
7 PM – FAREWELL DINNER at our hotel where we can talk about our trip and you can say goodbye to new and old friends.
BRUNCH at the Aia (timing depends on outgoing flights).
Optional airport transfers to BDS for those not renting cars (a fee of 80 euros per car applies each way). We do recommend that you try to plan your flights out to depart after 1 pm in order to have a leisurely morning and to provide plenty of time to make your outbound flight.
Regarding Your Outbound Flight
Although transfers can be arranged at just about any time, if you’d like to be able to enjoy your morning and arrive at the airport with plenty of time to check in, if flying from Brindisi (BDS) please arrange your onward flight no earlier than 1:00 PM local time (please don’t make any non-refundable travel arrangements until given the go ahead by ACE administrators).
You can certainly choose to stay over in this area or move on to other parts of the region to enjoy the many other things to do, or transfer on your own to other parts of Italy or Europe to continue your experience, but please arrange these additional services on your own.
We wish you safe travels and happy memories of what will surely be an unforgettable trip!
SUBJECT TO CHANGE: Again, we’re estimating that you’ll want to schedule your flight to leave the afternoon of our last day together, after 1:00 pm local time, in order to allow plenty of time to comfortably transfer to the airport and make your onward flight.
- All accommodations in Puglia (7 nights) in a single (may be limited) or double occupancy room during trip dates.
- Meals: All Brunches (B), 2 Lunches (L) and 6 Dinners (D), including cooking class/demonstration.
- Enjoy a complimentary glass of wine at our Meet & Greet the first evening.
- Wine and cheese tastings.
- Bottled water, coffee or tea is provided each day at included meals and a bottle of water will be provided in your room.
- Visit with local sculptor in his studio.
- Services of a local, English-speaking informal guide for select group activities.
- Entry fees for select group activities as outlined in the itinerary.
- Group tips for local guides and included meals.
- Flights or other transportation to and from Italy. We suggest flying in and out Brindisi (BDS), the most convenient airport for international flights.
- Optional airport transfers (see below).
- Pre- or post-trip accommodations outside of our tour dates, although we can help to set up extra nights at our agriturismo, assuming availability.
- Travel and/or medical insurance is required, but not included (see SquareMouth, which is a travel insurance comparison site or Allianz Travel Insurance or WorldNomads for a free quote)
- Meals not specifically outlined in the itinerary as included.
- Optional spa treatments.
- Drinks or other alcoholic beverages not specifically mentioned as included.
- Items of a personal nature.
Please note that in order to provide maximum freedom throughout your experience we highly recommend that participants rent a car at Brindisi (BDS) or any other airport on arrival and return it there at the end of the trip. We may be able help facilitate car sharing amongst participants by putting you in touch with others to see if there's a match.
If you decide not to rent a car we can provide private airport transfers at 80 euros per car (2 - 3 pax max) each way, but there will be limited transportation during the trip, which may or may not be an issue depending on how much freedom you'd like to explore the surrounding area. You can certainly choose to save the 160 euros for roundtrip airport transfers and put that towards a car rental.
For more information and to register for this experience,
please contact us at ralph@PhotoEnrichment.com
REGISTRATION DEADLINE IS FEBRUARY 19, 2023
PLEASE UNDERSTAND THAT THIS IS A WORKING ITINERARY
AND THAT ALL ASPECTS OF IT ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE.
All aspects of this itinerary are subject to change. We ask that you remain flexible as there are often circumstances beyond our control and changes may be necessary.
The trip leader, tour operator and/or tour coordinator reserve the right to make adjustments to the published itinerary whenever, in their sole discretion, conditions warrant, or if they deem it necessary for the comfort and/or safety of the group.