Movies Set in Italy -
To Get You in the Mood!
Under the Tuscan Sun
The Italian Job
Angels & Demons
La Dolce Vita
Talented Mr. Ripley
Much Ado About Nothing
The Bicycle Thief
Three Coins in The Fountain
Estimated Trip Costs
$250 bike rental supplement
- Eleven or Twelve nights hotel rooms (castle itineraries include 1 extra night)
- All breakfasts and dinners (including wine), including one dinner in a private home in Rome
- Lunch at an historic restaurant in the Jewish Ghetto
- Roundtrip first class train from Rome to Lecce
- Welcome reception at The Awaiting Table in Lecce
- Transfer to and from the castle in Spongano for castle courses
- Six full days at The Awaiting Table cookery school either at the castle in Spongano or in Lecce (including all food, wine, lessons, transfers, and excursions)
- Day trip to visit Otranto
- Guided tours: Jewish Ghetto in Rome, Lecce, and Otranto
- Lunches in Rome (except for lunch in the Jewish Ghetto)
- Dinner on the final night in Rome
- Incidentals billed to your hotel rooms
- Optional tours that you sign up for in Rome
- Transfer to and from the airport and taxis in Rome
In just 4 short weeks I'll be landing Rome with a group of 8 guests for a food and wine adventure of a lifetime. But before I go, I'm throwing out some ideas for next year's trip for you to consider.
For the first time, I'm soliciting interest in 3 different types of trips. Read about them all, and if you think you want to sign up for one, let me know. The first to show interest will dictate which trip I organize for next fall!
These trips fill up quickly, so if you are interested in joining me on this once in a lifetime adventure, please
soon. I take care of all of the planning - you just show up and enjoy a wonderful vacation in Italy!
3 days in Rome
Weekend in Lecce
A week of cooking school at a castle in Spongono
Dates: August 30 - September 12, 2016 (including travel days)
Highlights: this class is held in the late summer to celebrate the birthday of The Awaiting Table Cookery School. The school's director describes this week like this:
"We celebrate the week by choosing it as the one that we make our annual tomato sauce. It's an all day affair, with ice cold beer providing the inspiration keep stirring the giant cauldrons of simmering tomato sauce. Then we take the bottling stations an form systems, the whole thing producing well over three hundred bottles, enough for the entire year. Then we take to the baron's pool. We grill out a little more than our other courses and of course we linger over the meal in the baron's wine cellar, the chill a welcome break from the late summer sun (literally, 'lion son', in Italian).
We'll make fresh pasta from scratch nearly every meal, we'll lunch on intriguing local summer salads, and take to roasting local DOP potatoes until they perfect little roasted nuggets, perfumed with the local extra virgin. We'll simmer summer fruits in sweet wine and serve them over impossibly-fresh ricotta, and linger over the local sparkling wine, deep in the refreshing cool stone of the baron's private underground olive mill. If cooking in a castle and finishing your meals by bobbing in the baron's pool sounds good to you, this just might be your perfect course."
3 days in Rome
Weekend in Lecce
A week of biking in Puglia, with cooking, food, and wine
Dates: September 6 - September 19, 2016 (including travel days)
Highlights: for those of you who really can't decide between a trip focused on biking through southern Italy or a cooking school, this offers the best of both worlds. In the director's words:
"Cycling will be between 3 and 4 hours a day, mostly flat terrain. This course was designed for 'Sunday cyclists' versus those that take pleasure in riding up the sides of mountains after blood transfusions. We start every morning at 10 am, and those that want more time on the bike can ride early mornings.This is a school rather than a tour, so we'll return to the castle each day to learn, cook, drink, laugh and sleep.
A few days during your stay with us we'll send the staff ahead to set up tables and chairs amongst olive trees to lunch in the countryside, the giant cauldrons of pasta water just coming to a boil as we arrive, the wine long on ice.
Other days we'll make pasta, cook, eat in the castle and then take to the bicycles to leisurely tour olive country between meals. We'll learn all about the local wine and olive oil varietals, grill whole rabbits and chickens, stir giant cauldrons of fresh local greens and cut into gorgeous and crusty loaves of bread the size of car tires. We'll discuss the fascinating and world-class local wine, always poured with generous and ready hands.
If this course sounds like a cookery course for those that love to bicycle, make and eat great local food, and learn about wine, then you've grasped the concept completely."
3 days in Rome
8 days in Lecce
A weeklong cooking school in the Baroque heart of Puglia
Dates: October 5 - October 17, 2016 (including travel days)
This itinerary takes us back to where The Awaiting Table began, in the quaint cooking school held in the historic center of Lecce. In the director's words:
"A hands-on 'studio' class, this experience is for those who are looking not only to master the food and wine of Southern Italy but for those who seek to go deeper - to take away more history, theory, and wine appreciation, to spend more time soaking in Lecce's world-renowned architecture, and to take advantage of a smaller, more intimate setting to get to know the school's owner, instructor and sommelier.
Held in our owner's private home, and limited to eight students, you'll use his knives, copper pots and family heirlooms to prepare your meals, the wine often coming from his private collection. Most guests stay in small, family-owned bed and breakfasts as well, the cosiness and intimacy of the week, a hallmark.
We'll spend time in the market using the local vendors' wisdom to pick what's best, we'll make fresh pasta from scratch nearly every meal, we'll grill homemade sausages and bake local biscotti. We'll visit the fish market and demystify how to buy, cook and consume the fresh fish of the Mediterranean, all done perfectly in the local style. We'll visit the historic centre of Otranto, named a UNESCO world heritage site, one day during the week and that's just the beginning.
These are the classic courses, the ones that inspired Food & Wine magazine to include us in their article, Italy's Top Cooking Schools. Intimate. Connection. Smart."