Postcard Puglia, Italy

A week in a Private Agriturismo

JOIN US

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 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 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.

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 who is a real character, ample opportunities for moderate walking and short 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 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 done at the airport, but private airport transfers are also available for an additional fee and can be arranged in advance.

The owner is 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

Capital: Bari

 

All photographs and/or video on this page were provided by

Giulia Stasi, and are copyrighted by their respective makers.

DATES

April 19 – 26, 2023

2023 Pricing

Pricing for 2023 is yet to be determined.

Register for This Experience in 4 Simple Steps:

  1. Request and submit a Reservation Form.
  2. Read and agree to our Terms & Conditions.
  3. Provide a scan or smartphone photo of your passport’s signature page.
  4. 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.

Testimonials

“…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.”

- Vivian N. (Portugal, Baltics)

“Loved 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.”

- Nancy S. (Portugal, Romania, Armenia/Georgia, Costa Rica)

“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.”

- Mike C. (Portugal)

“Great Tour”

“Portugal-Great country, great culture, great tour, and fantastic wine!”

- Laurie K. (France, Cambodia, Vietnam, Portugal and many others)

“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…”

- Gavin & Nicky B. (Armenia/Georgia, France, Chicago, Milwaukee)

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.

 

TRAVEL INSURANCE

We are requiring that all participants purchase Travel Insurance to protect your investment in this trip and to cover you for all health and travel contingencies before and during your stay.  Please purchase the most comprehensive policy that is right for your needs, and 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

Most clients will want to plan their arrival at Brindisi Airport (BDS) – an optional private airport transfer is available at 60 euros per person each way, or you may choose to rent a car, which is very easy to do and will certainly allow you additional freedom during the trip.  We can also connect you with other participants who may be interested in sharing a car with you in order to split costs.

5 PM – attend our Meet & Greet where you can get to know your fellow experience 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.

Relax and settle in with some free time.

8 PM - Enjoy a wonderful WELCOME DINNER at our agriturismo.

7:30 AM - Coffee/tea/biscuits will be available for early risers.

9 – 10:30 AM – BRUNCH (here, the first meal of the day is referred to as “brunch” because it’s 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).

10 AM - Giulia has offered to take guests on another walk to discover some nearby trails you may want to explore during your free time.

11 AM - begin cooking class with local chef at The Aia

12:30 - sit for LUNCH to enjoy the fruits of your labor 

After lunch have some time to relax and/or explore the property to venture off on your own.

17:30 - leave The Aia for a walking tour of the nearby historical town of Nardò

18:30 - Enjoy a WINE TASTING with apertivos (snacks) at a local co-op in Nardò 

Walk to a place for an optional gelato

9 – 10:00 AM - BRUNCH will be available.

10 am - Leave to explore the nearby seaside village of Santa Maria al Bagno where you can stroll by the sea, grab a coffee or gelato, people watch and/or sunbathe at the beach

11:30 - 12:3o - Enjoy a tour of the Jewish historical museum where you'll get an explanation of the time in history at the end of the Second World War when Jewish people came and settled in Puglia for a brief period

13:00 - We'll grab LUNCH in a local store and enjoy it while sitting by the sea

15:00 - Travel back to the Aia to relax or venture onwards on your own. You can choose to relax by the pool, take a bike ride, have an optional massage (please reserve with Giulia on arrival).

19:00 pm - DINNER will be served at The Aia

Early risers can enjoy a light breakfast first thing in the morning

11:30 AM – BRUNCH at The Aia

13:15 PM - Leave for day trip to Lecce

14:45 - 15:45 - Sculpting demonstration at Renzo's home studio nearby Lecce

16:30 - 18:00 - GUIDED TOUR (90 minutes) of Lecce 

18:00 - One hour free time for shopping or exploration of Lecce

19:00 - Enjoy a GLASS OF WINE at a palazzo (private home) in the historical center of Lecce to see how the locals live

20:00 - Next we'll partake in a PIZZA DINNER in one of the most beautiful piazza's in Lecce where you'll feel you've stepped back in time

21:00 - Head back to The Aia

7 AM – BRUNCH will be served a bit earlier today in order to time our arrival just right in Alberobello

8 AM – Depart for the beautifully unique village of Alberobello, a town in Italy’s Apulia region. It’s known for its incredible trulli, or whitewashed stone huts with conical roofs

1 PM - Next, we'll walk to enjoy a leisurely LUNCH in the village as a group

Following lunch, you’ll have a bit of free time to explore, do some shopping and after which you can return to the hotel on your own or with the group

16:00 - Head home for a LIGHT DINNER at the Aia

7:30 - BRUNCH at The Aia 

9 AM - Head to Gallipoli for walk in the historical center and along its beautiful ramparts for incredible sea views 

10 AM - VISIT an old frontio to see the ancient way of processing olive oil

11 AM - Free time to explore this area on your and we can make suggestions for lunch

18:00 - DINNER at The Aia 

9 – 10:30 AM – BRUNCH at The Aia

10:00 - CHEESE DEMO & SAMPLING at a nearby family-owned place 

Enjoy your last full day in Puglia any way you like with hiking, biking, spa treatments, relaxing by the pool and more

12:00 - 16:00 - Openings available for optional massages or other treatments, but you'll need to make appointments early in the trip to save a spot

Free time to relax and/or prepare for tomorrow's day of travel

19:00 - Plan to enjoy a wonderful FAREWELL DINNER where 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 60 euro per person applies each way).  We do recommend that you plan your flights out after 1 pm in order to have a leisurely morning and to provide plenty of time to make your outbound flight.

Regarding Your Flight Home 

In order to give yourself time to arrive at the airport and check in, if flying from Brindisi (BDS) please arrange your onward flight no earlier than 1:00 pm local time (subject to change, and 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.

 

For more information and to register for this experience,

please contact us at admin@AllaCampagna.com

 

REGISTRATION DEADLINE IS DECEMBER 19, 2022

 

PLEASE UNDERSTAND THAT THIS IS A PRELIMINARY ITINERARY

AND THAT ALL ASPECTS OF IT ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE.

INCLUDED:

  • All accommodations in Puglia (7 nights) in a single (may be limited) or double occupancy room during trip dates
  • Meals: All Brunches (B), 4 Lunches (L) and 7 Dinners (D), including cooking class/demonstration
  • Enjoy a glass of wine at each included meal as outlined in the itinerary.
  • Various wine and cheese tastings
  • Bottled water, coffee or tea is provided each day at included meals
  • 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

 

NOT INCLUDED:

  • Flights or other transportation to and from Brindisi, Italy (BDS) or other airport(s)
  • 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 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
  • Drinks or other alcoholic beverages not specifically mentioned as included
  • Items of a personal nature

 

About Transportation (we recommend renting a car)

Please note that in order to provide maximum freedom throughout your experience we are recommending that participants rent a car at Brindisi airport (BDS) on arrival and return it there at the end of the trip.  We can 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 60 euro per person 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 120 euro for roundtrip airport transfers and put that towards a car rental.

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.

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