What's better than planning a vacation to a dream destination where you'll be able to dine on fresh regional specialties -- all while staying safely gluten free?
Having someone else do all the planning!
That's what you have with this latest travel opportunity...a chance to visit Puglia, the sun-kissed heel of Italy, with all the details (including gluten free meals) planned for you! And this someone else isn't just anyone. It's Janice Veech, a.k.a. the "Go Yogi Chef," a classically trained chef and yoga teacher who is gluten free herself. Janice has made it her mission to plan spectacular trips where her fellow travelers can tap into the energy and authentic vibe of the region while enjoying its history, beauty, and culinary specialties. She ensures arrangements are made with restaurants in advance if any gluten free adaptations are needed for the meals. (Both gluten free and non-GF guests are welcome on her tours.) Unlike large group tours where you are served a pre-selected meal, this trip gives each guest the ability to order off the menu for each meal, selecting favorite items. Puglia is especially known for its fresh seafood, abundant vegetables, and, of course, a range of wonderful regional wines.
Janice has traveled extensively throughout Italy, and Puglia is one of her favorite spots. As with all the trips she organizes, she has partnered with Marcello and Raffaella Tori, the husband-wife owners of the boutique Italian travel company Bluone in Italy Food and Wine Tours. Their specialty is taking small groups "off the beaten path" to experience authentic Italy. You'll have a chance to visit wineries, partake in cooking classes, sample fresh salume and extra virgin olive oil, and view artisan cheesemaking. These are intimate experiences you don't often have access to when you travel in a larger group. And Marcello and Raffaella have longstanding relationships that open up opportunities that travelers wouldn't have on their own, either. These small group tours, in which your every need is taken care of -- from accommodations and transportation to meals and tours -- makes for a very relaxing trip. There's very little planning needed on your part...just reserve a spot on the tour, book a flight, and pack your bag!
I can speak from experience about how special these tours are, having joined another one of Janice's trips last year in which she partnered with Bluone to offer a tour of Umbria in central Italy. As with that experience, this tour of Puglia aims to strike the perfect balance between a daily excursion to a historical site or other point of interest with leisurely meals and a chance to relax or explore on your own. And best of all, each day begins with yoga, for those so inclined. Janice taps into her experience teaching various forms of yoga to energize the group for the day's activities...or help the group unwind after a busy day.
This tour of Puglia lasts one week (October 20-27, 2018) and is the perfect time of year to visit. You'll enjoy temperatures around 60° F and few crowds. You'll truly feel like you're in another world, far away from the fast-paced life and "always on" culture in which we now live. If you've already visited Rome, Florence, or other large cities in Italy, this is a chance to experience a different side of Italy, and you'll enjoy mingling with locals like those showcasing their crafts in winemaking, cheesemaking, or olive oil
The aquamarine waters surrounding the 500 miles of Puglian coastline make for gorgeous views, as do the whitewashed homes and little towns dotting the landscape. Because of its strategic location along the Adriatic Sea, Puglia was influenced by the many civilizations that settled here over thousands of years: Greeks, Romans, Normans, Venetians, and Spaniards. In fact, Puglia has some of the oldest towns in Italy, including a UNESCO World Heritage site dating back 30,000 years that was used as a location for Mel Gibson's movie The Passion of the Christ. Drives through the rolling hills and visits to medieval and baroque towns of "old Italy" will be juxtaposed with visits to a couple sophisticated and modern cities bustling with activity. Again, this trip is all about balance: old vs. new, peaceful vs. lively, learning vs. relaxing. You'll feel the energy and passion that makes Italy so unique.
Accommodations include a beautiful 4-star hotel in Bari (the capital of the Puglia region), four nights at a countryside resort, and a 5-star hotel for the final two nights. Everything except airfare, personal expenses, a few local taxes, and trip insurance is included.
Hilltop towns with cafes in old town squares, narrow cobblestone streets, historic churches...can't you just picture the sites of "old Italy?" Fresh Burrata cheese and Primitivo wine...can't you just taste these Puglian specialties? This is one specialty tour you won't want to miss! For more details and the day-by-day itinerary, plus pricing, visit the Puglia page on Janice's "Go Yogi Chef" website. You can contact Janice via the Contact Us form on her site or by emailing her at [email protected].