Revealing the best harvest culinary tour in Puglia
“From wine tastings, to cheese making, to guided and unguided bike tours, Villa Capelli can help you set up whatever kind of trip you like.”
Whether you decide to tour the beautiful neighbouring towns, explore the countryside, or just sit by the pool, you’re sure to have a sweet time doing it. Or experience a harvest culinary tour that allows you to harvest your own extra virgin olive oil! Ever wonder exactly how they get all that delicious extra virgin olive oil from those olives? Or what exactly is “extra virgin”? Find out when you join us in harvesting olives from our trees growing on the shoulders of the ancient Via Appia and go home with your very own hand-picked bottles of Italian extra virgin olive oil.
The Villa sits majestically on the ancient Via Appia in the town of Terlizzi, just northwest of Bari in the region of Puglia. It is just 20 minutes from the Bari Palese airport and approximately 7 miles from the Adriatic Sea.
Olive trees and vineyards stretch as far as the eye can see. This is Puglia, a paradise of olive oil and wine, where the countryside bestows unique perfumes and genuine flavors.
“A slice of bread is all the accompaniment you’ll need to taste the intense aroma of this land’s extra-virgin olive oil. Follow the scent of the vineyards as you explore the wine trails,” says Puglia Tourism.
Villa Capelli sits directly alongside the Appian Way, therefore they know for a fact that Roman legions, Crusaders, saints and pilgrims traversed it since it was built circa 115 AD. In fact, they discovered an ancient stone cross that is believed to be from the Knights Templar. The entire villa is completely enclosed by an 18 ft. wall and features a formal half-acre garden planted almost exclusively with citrus trees, roses and lavender.
Alternative culinary and culture tours are also available in times of year when there is no harvest culinary tour.
For further information regarding the harvest culinary tour visit Villa Capelli
- Day 1: Saturday / Welcome to Puglia
- Upon arrival at Bari airport or the Terlizzi or Molfetta train stations, a transfer will be provided to Villa Cappelli. It is located 20 minutes away on a quiet portion of the ancient Appian Way, a few kilometres inland from the Adriatic Sea. After settling into your room, a light lunch will be available for those arriving early enough for lunch. The afternoon will be free to explore the grounds, then later to enjoy snacks and some local wines. You will enjoy a welcome dinner later at the villa, sampling the olive oil and other delicacies of the region.
- Day 2: Sunday / A Formaggio
- This morning, you’ll take a trip up to the Murgia National Park where you will visit a local artisan cheese maker and watch mozzarella being made before our very eyes. And get to sample some right then and there. You can pick up cheeses to enjoy for lunch and throughout the week. From here, you’ll head over to nearby Ruvo di Puglia and the Jatta Museum, famous for its Grecian Urns. (Many of Ruvo’s Grecian Urns are on display in the Greco-Roman Galleries at the Metropolitan Museum in NYC and many other world-class museums). After, you’ll return to the villa for lunch. Guests are always welcome to join in the preparation or just relax. In the afternoon, you’ll head off to visit Castel del Monte, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is featured on the back of the Italian version of the Euro penny. Built in the 13th century by the Swabian Emperor, Frederick II, Castel del Monte is perched atop a hill, overlooking all of Puglia and the Adriatic. The castle is featured in many myths and legends, including the Holy Grail. Tonight you’ll head into Terlizzi for dinner, enjoying some local dishes of the region.
- Day 3: Monday / A Pickin’ We Will Go!
- It’s harvest time. Guests will wake up early and head out to learn what it takes to pick olives from ancient trees and make some of the best extra virgin olive oil in the world. This will be a full morning of work, learning the ropes and having a lot of laughs. After harvest, you’ll head back to the villa for lunch. After lunch, you’ll relax before heading to a nearby ceramics centre and perhaps pick out some ceramics for your extra virgin olive oil. All the ceramics are made from 4th generation Italian artisans and every piece is special and one-of-a-kind. Tonight, you’ll dine at the villa for dinner.
- Day 4: Tuesday / Milling
- It’s time to take all the hard work from yesterday and mill the olives. You’ll visit a mill and learn exactly how all those olives become delicious extra virgin olive oil. Watch as giant stone mills crush the olives into a pulp and produce liquid gold in the process. You’ll of course have to head home to enjoy the fresh oil with some local specialties for lunch. That afternoon, you’ll have an olive oil tasting at the villa before heading out to dinner in Terlizzi.
- Day 5: Wednesday / A Meal to Remember
- This morning you’ll travel the sea-side town of Trani. This charming town features a beautiful port and a giant cathedral that sits right on the sea. It’s a beautiful gem of a city. Next, you’ll travel back in time to 216 B.C. and the site of the Battle of Cannae, a major battle of the Second Punic War, near the town of Cannae. Here Hannibal decisively defeated a numerically superior army of the Roman Republic, and it is regarded as one of the greatest tactical feats in military history. From Cannae, you will travel to the famous agriturismo Antichi Sapori and enjoy a truly special lunch in a remote restaurant whose chef has won wide recognition. You can explore the restaurant’s huge garden afterwards to see just where all the fresh ingredients come from. It’s a meal you’ll never forget. After a long lunch, you’ll head back to the villa to relax. Dinner tonight will be something light at the villa.
- Day 6: Thursday / Alberobello, Polignano & a Meal with a View
- You’ll head out this morning to Alberobello, a town famous for its trulli, which are stone buildings made without any mortar. If you’ve ever seen a Puglian guidebook, these structures are often featured on the cover. After a quick tour of the town, you’ll head over to the seaside town of Polignano a Mare. You’ll lunch together at Grotta Palazzese. Named one of the top ten restaurants with a view, the dining area is literally caves carved out of the rocks sitting right on the sea. Dinner tonight will be something light at the villa.
- Day 7: Friday / Oh my it’s Matera – and Pizza!
- Today you drive through the mountainous Murgia region to Matera, another amazing UNESCO World Heritage Site. This area dates back centuries, but is still occupied today by residents, shops, restaurants and even hotels that are built into the soft “tufa” rock. You’ll walk the ancient winding streets that are so well preserved that they have been used in many movies, including Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ and the recent Ben Hur. You’ll take your time touring, including a compact cave house museum, then have lunch in a local restaurant before heading back to the villa. You’ll return to Villa Cappelli where tonight each of you gets to be a master pizza chef! You will gather in the cozy kitchen so that you can each roll our own crust (made from scratch). Then you will select toppings from the numerous bowls laid out on the table and put your creation on a long-handled tray to be cooked in the villa’s own ancient wood-burning pizza oven. It’s a giant farewell pizza party to top off your harvest tour!
- Day 8: Saturday / Homeward Bound
- Today you bid farewell to your friends and to Puglia. A morning group transfer will be offered to Bari Airport for flights back to Rome and beyond.