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Learn Italian while cycling across Puglia – 10 days guided small group for every age & fitness.

8 Days

Guided cycling holiday dedicated to those who want to get in touch with the territory, the local culture and its people. Salento is in the southeastern region of Italy, lying in the so-called “heel of the boot”. Situated in the centre of the Mediterranean Sea, this region is filled with memories of the different civilisations that inhabited it. Crossing Salento on a bicycle is like cycling through an open-air museum. Prehistoric Dolmen, Byzantine shrines hidden in the caves, Baroque cathedrals, and secluded corners of the coast… are all but a few of the things you can see when visiting this area. Salento is also internationally renowned for its characteristic cuisine, which combines flavours from the sea and the earth and the fantastic rhythm of its folk music. This is a full-blown bicycle trip with guided tours, stops at sea, tastings … and more over an intensive Italian course held by professional teachers. The teachers ride with you all day, allowing you total immersion in the Italian language. To participate, it is not necessary to have studied Italian first. You can also be an absolute beginner (during lessons, the group is divided into two: beginners and medium / advanced), you need to want to learn and laugh at yourself. Classes are held in the pine forest, in the olive groves, on the terraces of the farms, in an informal atmosphere

Highlights

  • Salento is a region that is almost completely flat, making the ride a pleasant journey for any level of rider
  • We will be cycling approximately 30 km a day (around 3 hours of leisurely cycling)
  • Crossing secondary roads, with sea-breaks, guided visits and Italian lessons the tour follows the philosophy of “slow moving” to fully enjoy the surrounding landscape and culture with all its different
  • The tour is suitable for anyone with a minimum of training.
  • We will take care of your luggage while you are cycling
  • Suitable for every age from 15 years old and any fitness
  • Opportunity to upgrade to E-bike

Itinerary

Independent arrival in Otranto. Meeting the guide and Initial briefing of the trip.

Breakfast

After breakfast, you will begin with your first bicycle excursion on the soundings of Otranto.
Riding along the little river “Idro” (“water” in latin), which gives the city its name, we visit an ancient Byzantine crypt from the 13th century and then we arrive in Casamassela, where ancient looms are still being used nowadays at “Le Constantine” foundation. In Giurdignano, we cross a Bronze age megalithic garden to observe its “dolmen” and “menhir closely” –  prehistorical monuments.
We do the first test for dividing the group into levels among huge stones and majestic olive trees.
For lunch, visit and taste one of the most characteristic bakeries in the region, where a farming family has decided to transform ancient grains into baked goods with an ancient flavour.
Return to Otranto and have a free afternoon to visit the city. Possibility of a horse ride at sunset.

Breakfast, Lunch

This day is dedicated to one of the fascinating aspects of the Italian coast.  Fantastic beauty is the Palacia Lighthouse in Italy’s Far East and a unique lake formed in a disused bauxite quarry. We are located at the easternmost tip of the peninsula. If the sky is clear, you can see the mountains of Albania and Greece across the bay. We ride only in the morning. In the afternoon, take an Italian lesson on the hotel rooftop.

Breakfast

Continue through the Otranto Leuca coast, where various 16th-century defensive towers overlook the sea.
Upon arrival at Marina Serra, you will have an Italian language lesson in a coastal pine forest and a chance to chat with friends of the active civil rights association Copra he Tisza. In the early afternoon, rest in a picturesque bay (swimming is also possible). Arrive in Santa Maria di Leuca in the late afternoon to enjoy the sunset over the Ionian Sea.

Breakfast

A leisurely day without a bike. After breakfast, an Italian lesson in the old villa from the early 20th century where our group is staying.
Late morning sailing trip with lunch on board!

Breakfast, Lunch

Today complete immersion in Italian lessons while cycling around the villages around the wonderful “Capo di Leuca” area.
We visit ancient towers, underground oil mills, the ruin of a pre-Roman city, a Mausoleum that holds traces of Byzantine frescoes, a semi-abandoned castle and an ancient pilgrims station with its incredible immense underground, used by the pilgrims to rest…; all while having a continuous Italian lesson with our teachers!
In the afternoon, we reach again the ionic coast until the St. Andrew’s island and Punta Pizzo Netural Park. In Gallipoli you could enjoy an aperitif on a terrace overlooking the sea. located on an island, this small fisherman village is striking by its light, its alleys and its fish market.

Breakfast

Today the final test of our Italian course: cooking lesson and family lunch in a local farmhouse, where the mother of one of our partners teaches us (in Italian, of course!) to cook some of the typical specialties of this region.
We start in the morning from Gallipoli and in a few kilometers, we reach Alezio (an ancient Messapian city, where there is an interesting museum on pre-Roman civilizations) and then Sannicola. Then we reach “Tenuta mamma Anna” – a family-run “agritourism” where cooking class will take place. The products are harvested directly from the family garden and then move on to the preparation: “pitta di patate” (a kind of potato gateau, with a stuffing of tomatoes, olives, capers, onion, and tuna), “pittule” (some fried dough balls), filled with tomatoes and capers, or empty to taste with honey) and hand-made orecchiette (a typical local pasta, shaped like an ear, prepared with fingers and a knife), the “pasticciotto cake” (a cake made with shortcrust pastry, filled with chantilly cream); These are some of the dishes that will be prepared. Following family lunch and way back to Gallipoli.

Breakfast
Day 8 :
Goodbye !

In the morning,  time to say goodbye in Italian!

Breakfast

Dates & Costing

TRIP DATES AVAILABILITY PRICE SPACE LEFT
7 September, 2024 - 14 September, 2024 Guaranteed $3,200
Available
26 October, 2024 - 2 November, 2024 Guaranteed $3,200
Available

The Cost Includes

  • 20 hours intensive Italian course, (with professional teachers);
  • 7 nights in 3***/4**** B&B, hotels or farmhouse;
  • 7 lunches or dinners;
  • Wine, cheese and others typical product tasting;
  • 1 sailing trip in
  • 24-hour guide;
  • Bicycle rental with accessories;
  • Arranged luggage transportation;
  • Local Guide.

The Cost Excludes

  • Flights
  • Arrival and Departure transfers
  • Meals and drinks
  • Hotel tourist taxes (where required)
  • Insurance and everything not listed as “Included.”

Additional Information

The tour is suitable for anyone with a minimum of training. We will be cycling approximately 30 km a day (around 3 hours of leisurely cycling), mainly crossing secondary roads, with sea-breaks, guided visits and Italian lessons the tour follows the philosophy of “slow moving” to fully enjoy the surrounding landscape and culture with all its different  We will take care of your luggage while you are cycling

The Teaching: The entry level test, to evaluate your Italian language skills, will take place in the School of Italian Porta d’Oriente in Otranto, an institute accredited from the “Universita’ per Stranieri” (University for Foreigners) of Siena and Perugia, which collaborate with us by providing part of the teaching materials. Students will be divided in to at least two groups per each level (beginner and intermediate/advanced). All participants will always travel together, but then split in to groups during the lectures. The courses will be held by professional teachers, which will cycle with the students for the whole duration of the trip, alternating lectures and spontaneous conversation throughout the journey. As well as the fundamental Italian grammar, the group will explore topics related to specific situations and environments that will be encountered through the cycling tour: vocabulary related to Italian art and culture, to the local cuisine, the bicycle, to the surrounding landscape, the music, etc. This approach will transform the whole day into a continuous Italian lesson, within a relaxed and informal environment, in a complete cultural and linguistic full immersion. This will make the learning process quicker and more enjoyable, and the holiday more interesting and unforgettable. Our lessons are predominantly held in Italian, with English support when required.

Accommodation and Meals

We have selected a series of B&Bs, little hotels and ‘Agriturismi’ (farmhouse) where you will stay for the duration of your holiday offering you a welcoming and cozy environment –  as well as a broad range of  restaurants, to give you an exquisite example of the typical Italian and Salentinian cuisine and lifestyle.

Otranto:  Hotel Corte di Nettuno  or Agriturismo Palascia or Palazzo dei Mori

Castro: Hotel Piccolo Mondo

Leuca: Terminal hotel or  Hotel L’Approdo

Alliste:  Il Giardino dei Pini

Santa Caterina: Villa li 4 fumari

Lecce:  Orangerie D’Eepoque

Payment and Cancellation

Payment: deposit 25% per person within 7 days of confirmation and balance 60 days before departing from Australia.

Cancellation:

  • cancellation received 45 working days or more before departure: deposits will be not refundable.
  • cancellations made from 44 to 30 working days before departure: 40% of the payments will be not refundable.
  • cancellations made from 29 to 15 working days before departure: 70% of the payments will be not refundable.
  • cancellations made from 14 to departure: 100% of the payments will be not refundable.

Map

You can send your enquiry via the form below.

Learn Italian while cycling across Puglia – 10 days guided small group for every age & fitness.