A Week Spent Cooking at a Castle in Puglia

May 25, 2014  •  Europe, Italy, Lecce, Otranto, Puglia, Spongano, The Awaiting Table, Travel

20140525-134343-49423945.jpgHave you ever dreamed of traveling to Italy to a cooking school and staying in a castle owned by a baron? I take a group each May, and if you think you would like to join me, you might like to know that your first stop after Rome will be the beautifully preserved city of Lecce. You will fall in love with these breakfast views from the rooftop breakfast room at our hotel there.20140525-134343-49423999.jpgMany of the rooms have this view of the church out of the front windows.20140525-134344-49424050.jpgAnd the town of Lecce is full of ancient ruins right in the middle of modern day living.20140525-134344-49424204.jpgWhen we head south to Spongano, we stay in an actual castle, still owned by a baron, operated today as a B&B and cooking school.20140525-134344-49424101.jpgWe might eat inside in the long mail hall of the main castle living room…20140525-134344-49424581.jpg…or we might dine by candlelight under the outside logia, but either way the tables will be beautifully set and you will linger longer over a meal than perhaps you thought you ever would.20140525-134344-49424150.jpgYou will love cooking in the massive castle kitchen that has been outfitted just for us…20140525-134344-49424347.jpg…where you will make pasta every day, learning all sorts of shapes and sauces.20140525-134344-49424256.jpgYou will learn about and taste some of the best olive oil in all of Italy, and consume more of it in your week here than you can imagine (almost always without gaining any weight unbelievably).20140525-134344-49424393.jpgYou will have the good fortune of visiting the seaside town of Otranto for a day…20140525-134344-49424441.jpg…where the entire historic center – home to the Cathedral honoring the martyrs and containing the largest mosaic floor in all of Europe – is designated a UNESCO world heritage site.20140525-134344-49424302.jpgDuring your time at the castle you might see the baron or his family coming and going from their private quarters in the castle.
20140525-134344-49424488.jpgAnd despite having a schedule shared with you in advance of your arrival, you just might be surprised by something special during your week20140525-134344-49424531.jpgIf anything is certain, you will probably shed a tear having to say farewell to Spongano, Puglia, the castle, the staff, and the new friends you have made during your stay here. And if you are lucky, you will return again, like I do every year, because you just can’t get enough of this special place!


3 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. Meagan Davenport says:

    This sounds amazing! I would so love to come next year. 🙂

  2. Beautiful Puglia says:

    Nice pictures and a very good plan to spend “tasty” holidays in Puglia!

  3. JulieT says:

    Looks like I have booked the same week as you at the Castle. I also live in CO, (Boulder) Are most of your clients from the Denver area and do you ever meet up before? It would be great to meet some of the others ahead of the trip!:)

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