Archive for January, 2014

Kaliyoga opens yoga retreat in Puglia

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

(PRWEB UK) Jan. 29, 2014 ‒ For 12 years Kaliyoga has provided world-class retreat holidays to a growing number of fans and now guests can experience Kaliyoga’s signature program of yoga-led relaxation in the most unspoiled and bewitching area of Puglia in Southern Italy ‒ one of National Geographic Traveler magazine’s Top 20 best Destinations in the World.

The new luxury retreat center is a grand 17th-century manor house surrounded by a cluster of beautiful round stone buildings overlooking the heavenly Itria Valley. The accommodation is simple yet luxurious comfort in Italian style. Guests can choose one of the round trullo apartments with conical roofs or a lovely twin/double rooms in the manor house.

The retreat is a good value holiday, with three meals a day and a daily maid service. There are twice-daily yoga classes where guests can relax into yoga poses with guided meditation. Beginners can experience the essence of yoga with ease in the restorative evening sessions, while experienced yogis can move more deeply into their practice with dynamic flow yoga each morning.

The food is delicious Puglian cuisine that is tasty and super light. There is no diet plan – Kaliyoga guests can forget “how many calories in this or that” as they embark on a yoga holiday that brings all the relaxation, all the fun, all the social life, but without piling on weight.

In between yoga sessions guests can chat to new friends by the pool, or try one of the activities such as cycling and walking, or visit the local Baroque towns of Locorotondo and Martina Franca, or sample the beautiful beaches of the Adriatic and Ionian coasts, only 20 minutes away. Stay-at-homers can treat themselves to the sumptuous range of holistic therapies, snooze in a hammock, melt in the Jacuzzi or float in the lovely swimming pool, soaking up the sunshine and the beautiful views.

About Kaliyoga
Kaliyoga is one of a kind and, despite its international growth and increasingly recognized yoga brand, it retains the atmosphere of a small family-owned business. Determined to keep its essence warm and intimate in nature, the Kaliyoga team are independent from travel agents and holiday retail companies and truly dedicated to the needs and desires of their individual guests.

Online bookings are available weekly from Easter to October 2014 (closed in August), with a minimum booking of seven nights (late arrival and early departure are OK. The price per person from £975 to £1,600 and there is a maximum group size of 16. The spa is accessible from the Bari and Brindisi airports.

For more information, go to the Kaliyoga bookings link.

Puglia winemaking featured in wine tour experiences

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

Select Italy Unveils Five Never-Before-Seen Wine Tour Experiences at the Los Angeles Travel and Adventure Show

Seven-day Antinori Experience from Puglia to Tuscany

A new side of Italian and Croatian wine will be revealed with the introduction of five exclusive wine tours and vacation packages in partnership with some of the world’s most prestigious wineries.

Select Italy partners with Italian and Croatian wineries to offer travelers the rare opportunity to fully experience the wines they know and love, a glimpse behind the scenes of some of the world’s best wineries.

Chicago, IL (PRWEB) January 27, 2014 – Both divisions of the Select Italy group, Select Italy and Select Croatia, will be at the LA Travel and Adventure Show. In addition to the wide-ranging portfolio of travel services in Italy and Croatia, Select Italy and Select Croatia will place at the forefront their new Wine Roads Experiences, novel itineraries created from strategic partnerships with Italy and Croatia’s most esteemed wine families.

The services are offered not only to wine lovers, but also to all travelers, giving those going to Italy and Croatia the opportunity to explore the locations, history and culture of the land and people surrounding the historic wineries of Tasca D’Almerita, Allegrini, Antinori, Ferrari in Italy and the vineyards of the Peljesac Peninsula.

“We are pleased to partner with the most important Italian and Croatian wineries to offer travelers the opportunity to fully experience the wines they know and love, giving a rare glimpse behind the scenes of some of the world’s best wineries,” comments Martina Mirandola Mullen, Food and Wine Specialist at Select Italy. “We invite anyone in the Los Angeles area to stop by on February 8-9 at our Booth 1043 from 10 A.M. to 5 P.M. to learn more about the five Wine Experiences, and for those who are unable to, to contact us at We are especially excited about the fact that these packages are much more than just wine tours or vacation packages, but opportunities to fully experience all of the elements of these wines, in and out of the glass.”

Each of the week-long itineraries includes lodging, transportation, private guided tours of the surrounding areas, and of course, exclusive visits, cooking lessons and tastings with the various wine families. The Tasca d’Almerita Experience presents a gastronomical and historical Sicilian travel experience, including nights in Taormina, the family’s principle property Regaleali, and Palermo, with an optional three-day addition to Capofaro on the Aeolian Island of Salina.

The Allegrini Experience begins in Venice with a private tasting at the Danieli Wine Suite before traveling to Verona for a stay in the family’s private apartment, and includes customized tours and tastings the family’s Villa della Torre estate in Valpolicella, the San Polo estate in Montalcino and the Poggio al Tesoro estate in Bolgheri.

The seven-day Antinori Experience from Puglia to Tuscany offers the independent traveler an unforgettable experience into this well-known family’s winemaking world, beginning in Puglia before continuing on to Tuscany, where travelers will visit Antinori’s Cantinetta in Florence, overnight at Fonte de’ Medici, where the vines of Tignanello are grown, and taste, tour and participate in a cooking class at Cantina Antinori and Badia di Passignano in Chianti Classico.

The Ferrari Experience is a nine-day itinerary through the Lunelli family’s estates, which are lauded for their wine and their art and architectural masterpieces, in Trento, Umbria and Tuscany. The experience begins in Venice and continues to Trento for a VIP visit at Cantina Ferrari with lunch at Michelin-starred Locanda Margon. Tastings and tours in Umbria at Castelbuono’s carapace architectural wonder and Tuscany’s Tenuta Podernovo are also included.

The Croatian Wine Roads Experience explores the Peljesac peninsula, known for its Dingac, and including tours and wine tastings at the Saints Hills Winery in Zagrude, Korta Katerina in Orebic and Grgic Winery in Trstenik as well as VIP meals with Croatian wine pairings in Split and Dubrovnik.

Visit Select Italy and Select Croatia at Booth 1043 at the Los Angeles Travel and Adventure Show for more information or browse through the Experiences in detail online at, or email

About Select Italy
Select Italy is The Ultimate Source for Travel to Italy® and offers a wide array of superior Italian travel products and services, including customized itineraries, state-of-the-art tours and packages, wedding/honeymoon trips, unique culinary classes, a complete pre-departure ticketing service for museums and musical events, private guided services, yacht charters, transportation, hotel reservations, villa bookings and more. Through a vast network of suppliers and cultural contacts, anything and everything you need for optimum Italian travel – and now Croatian travel too – is possible at Select Italy. Based in Chicago with an office in New York and representatives in Italy, in 2010 Select Italy opened a full-service branch in Shanghai, China.

More details about “Raise a Glass to Puglia” event Feb. 3

Sunday, January 26th, 2014

The Puglia-based wine and tourism promotional organization Movimento Turismo del Vino Puglia has released more details about its “Raise a Glass to Puglia” event in New York City on Feb. 3. Here’s the text of their announcement:

A “stars and stripes” event involving Puglia’s wines and foods is planned for Feb. 3. During the Italian wines promotion week in New York, Puglia’s wine and oil producers will be ambassadors for “brand Puglia” at “Raise a Glass to Puglia”. The evening begins at 5:45 P.M. at the end of Vinitaly International USA, which sees the participation of some of Puglia’s wineries.

“Raise a Glass to Puglia” is organized by the Movimento Turismo del Vino Puglia, and will be an important opportunity to bring some of the region’s best wines and foods to the attention of the attentive North American public, giving particular importance to Puglia’s wines and extra virgin olive oil. The event is made possible by funding from the Regione Puglia’s Agro-Food Resources Department.

Drinking a toast to Puglia – and with Puglia – means raising a glass full of the extraordinary excellence which the Regione has been supporting for years, and not just via promotional events – says the Region’s Agro-Food Resources Officer Fabrizio Nardoni – but also via strategies like the “Prodotti di Puglia” Quality Mark, certifying and valorizing traceability, widespread quality and very special typical products. This is our genetic code, and using the “Agriculture and Quality” program we have deposited it in a bank of skills, traditions, and experiences supported by the innovation and modernity which make today’s Puglia one of the most authoritative regions in line with Expò 2015, which invites us to think about how we can feed the world’s population well. Thanks to this tour – concludes Nardoni – we are telling the world about all our quality, with the enthusiasm so typical of the Movimento Turismo del Vino.

In the exclusive “GD Cucine” kitchen showroom on 17th Street, often the setting for events, demonstrations and live culinary presentations, Puglian chef Pasquale Martinelli from Mola di Bari will entertain guests as he prepares traditional dishes and talks about their ingredients, the region and the goodness of Mediterranean foods. Together with these dishes, guests will be able to try the best wines from the MTV Puglia members wineries; not only do they express the varied wine scene in our region, but they are the perfect accompaniment to the dishes prepared by chef Martinelli, who has been working and promoting Puglia’s wines and foods in the USA for years.

“After California, we’re returning to the USA with this important event in New York City – says Sebastiano de Corato, President of the Movimento Turismo del Vino Puglia Consortium. Thanks to support from Regione Puglia’s Agro-Food Resources Department, we’re ready to make the most of this new opportunity for increased visibility and promotion, on one of the most prestigious markets for Puglian wines and one which offers them some of the greatest potential for growth. The event has been strategically planned to exploit the participation of a qualified group of wineries at Vinitaly International, and also to involve some of our other consortium members in giving our region’s wine and food sectoreven greater market visibility and staying power.

During the evening, the wines will be available for tasting, matched with the dishes prepared for this special event. Wine and food expert Daniele Cirsone will be on hand to provide further information and explanations to all about Puglia’s wine-growing sector, highlighting the excellent results achieved in terms of quality.

Extra virgin olive oil will be another star of the ”cooking demo.” Oils from Puglia’s principal olive cultivators will accompany the traditional food and guests will be able to taste them in all their delicious fragrance. Extra virgin olive oil is one of Puglia’s best-known and best-loved products on the foreign markets, and is a key factor in increasing and consolidating the reputation and credibility of the region’s entire food sector.

Participating at the meeting will be buyers, distributors, journalists and opinion leaders who want to take a closer look at Puglia’s products and are potentially interested in widening their range of business.

Bari a port of call for two 2014 Costa Cruise itineraries

Sunday, January 26th, 2014

Two 2014 cruise itineraries being offered by Costa Cruise Lines feature port calls at Bari, the capital of the Region of Puglia. Act now to secure significant discounts.

The cruise line offers this capsule description of Bari: “Among the narrow streets of the old city you’ll come across architectural masterpieces created over the centuries by Romans, Byzantines, Normans and Swabians.”

Costa’s “Ancient Treasures” seven-night itinerary departs from Venice and features port calls in Italy, Greece and Croatia aboard the Costa Fascinosa. The seven-night “The Adriatic & the Aegean” cruise, also departing from Venice, includes port calls in Italy, Greece, Turkey and Croatia aboard the Costa Magica.

If you’d like to learn more about Bari as a cruise port of call, the website provides an excellent overview of the city and neighboring towns for day visitors, listing must-see attractions, dining suggestions and practical tips for visitors.

Photo by Vito Arcomano © Copyright Fototeca ENIT

“Raise A Glass To Puglia”

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014

“Raise A Glass To Puglia” Event to Showcase Food & Wine of Italy’s Southern Region

Tasting and Presentation to Be Held at New York City’s GD Cucine on Feb. 3

New York, NY (PRWEB) – A select group of wine producers from Puglia, the jewel of Italy’s Southern regions (last year voted a top 10 wine travel destination by leading wine publication, Wine Enthusiast), will pour their wines and serve their olive oils at the GD Cucine kitchen showroom in New York City on Feb. 3. In addition to the wines, a Pugliese chef, Pasquale Martinelli, will be on-site cooking and serving traditional dishes of Puglia.

The Movimento Turismo del Vino Puglia (, the organization promoting the event, will host guests and provide an overview of Puglia, the terroir and the indigenous grapes of this historical, beautiful region that has yet to be widely discovered by American travelers or wine drinkers.

Chef Pasquale Martinelli will be cooking regional Orecchiette and Polpo all’Acqua Loro to be served alongside the wines and olive oils. The open kitchen at GD Cucine will allow attendees the opportunity to observe the preparation of the food. Other traditional Pugliese treats will be served throughout the tasting.

The event will run from 5:30 to 7:30 P.M. on Monday, Feb. 3, at GD Cucine (227 West 17th St., between 8th and 9th Ave.). Participating producers include: Carvinea, Rivera, Mottura, Castel di Salve, Vigne & Vini, Duca Guarini and Eméra. At the celebration of everything Puglian, the Region’s Administration will be represented by Fabrizio Nardoni, Regional Minister of Agriculture.

About Puglia
The Puglia region, known for great weather, breathtaking views, and a long wine and food tradition, welcomes travelers from all around the world. This sunny land, called “the heel of the Italian’s boot,” is surrounded by the Adriatic Sea on the east coast, and by the Ionian Sea on the southwest coast. It has 500 miles of coastline and it’s known for the deep, turquoise sea and its white, rocky beaches. The climate is very similar to California’s Bay Area and gives the grapes a unique character and structure that makes for both bold and elegant wines.

About Pasquale Martinelli
Pasquale Martinelli hails from Mola Di Bari, Italy. He studied at Scuola Alberghiera Castellana Grotte in Bari. After many varied positions in fine restaurants and hotels in both Italy and England including Hotel Compleat Angler, where he supervised service for Queen Elizabeth and the Royal Family, Pasquale relocated to New York City in 2000 to broaden his culinary skills and restaurant management knowledge base. Pasquale continued his career in the food and hospitality Industry in New York City, where he worked in the kitchen of Benoit Restaurant with worldwide renowned Chef Alain Ducasse and in the dining room of Da Silvano Restaurant.

New on our website: “The Palm Trees of Puglia”

Thursday, January 9th, 2014

By Dick Oliver

Dick Oliver is a former managing editor of the New York Daily News and hosted a radio show on WABC and WOR for many years with local reporters. He also was also the political TV correspondent for Fox-TV’s “Good Day New York” for more than 12 years.

Years ago, on my first trip to Ireland, while playing golf in the Ring of Kerry on the southwest coast, I was astonished to find palm trees along the edge of fairways bordering the sea.

Palm trees in Ireland? A young golf caddy explained that they had arrived over the centuries from the islands of the Gulf of Mexico via the gulf stream, a warm water channel that has carried palm seeds from the new world to the old.

Now you may ask why a travel piece about the Puglia area of Italy opens with Irish palm trees. Let me explain: You drop into the Puglian city of Bari on an hour-long flight from Rome. Here, at the Bari airport you find palm trees, not only on the coast, but throughout Puglia, which comprises the entire heel of the “boot” of Italy on the map.

Where did these palm trees come from? Da dove provengono? Continue reading…

Organic winemaking in Puglia

Tuesday, January 7th, 2014

The Organic Wine Journal website has posted a very interesting article that devotees of Puglia’s wines will enjoy:

“Morella ‒ Australia Meets Organic Wine in Puglia”

Improbabile would be the Italian way to describe being a successful female winemaker in Puglia. Throw in being an Australian, and the fact that the winery is literally an industrial garage, and you have an interesting recipe for some of the best organic wine in the region.” Read more here…

Just for fun: Puglia landmarks featured in slide show

Sunday, January 5th, 2014

Check out this slide show, “35 Beautiful Images of Italy,” at, and these two photos in particular:

“A beautiful ancient arch in Lecce.”

“A beautiful church in Lecce.”

And, of course, enjoy the entire slide show.

Puglia’s olive trees under attack from disease

Sunday, January 5th, 2014

Though it’s not strictly a tourism story, it’s still a sad one for Puglia, and particularly the Salento Peninsula around Lecce. A bacteria has been destroying olives trees, many of them 100 years old or even older. And the European Union is trying to help, La Gazzetta del Mezzogiorno reports.

The importance of this threat was highlighted at a recent meeting of the Agriculture Committee of the European Parliament, held in Lecce. Scientists and farmers say the threat has abated somewhat lately with the cold winter weather, but fear another devastating outbreak when the weather warms in the early spring.

The European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization first issued a “Special Alert” in October 2013, noting the first reports of the bacteria, Xylella fastidiosa, in the region. The organization issued the following bulletin:

“Following the reporting of an extensive leaf scorch and dieback of olive trees, spreading rapidly in the area of Salento (Puglia region), the Regional Plant Protection Service promptly initiated investigations to identify the possible causal agent. These surveys were carried out in collaboration with experts from the University of Bari and the Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR). The systematic screening of samples taken from symptomatic olive trees (many of them were a century old), revealed the presence of extensive brown discoloration of the vascular system. Portions of xylem tissue taken from symptomatic olive trees were subjected to mycological analysis by isolation on different growing media. Fungal colonies were obtained and identified by morphological and molecular tests…The analysis was extended to almond and oleander plants which were growing in the vicinity of affected olive trees and showing symptoms of leaf scorch. The results were also positive.”

Where this becomes a tourism story is the lure of Puglia’s olives, olive oil and olive trees to visitors. Puglia’s olive oil is highly regarded throughout the world and is major contributor to the region’s economy. The olive’s role in the Mediterranean diet is well documented, and is a major player in Puglia’s culinary tourism industry.

But there’s more: Puglia’s ancient olive trees are attractions in themselves, as natural works of art. During one of our visits, we received as a gift a large “coffee-table” book titled “Segreti Scolpiti: Ulivi di Puglia” (“Secrets Carved: Olive Trees of Puglia”) by Luca De Napoli, featuring close-up photographs of olive tree trunks and branches depicted as art. Their shapes and contours are fascinating to look at. “The olive tree dominates the Apulian landscape, it characterizes the place, becoming an icon,” Pietro Marino writes in his foreword. “Without a doubt, since mythical times, the tree has been read anthropomorphically, as a paraphrase of man and his trials.” So, any threat to these treasures can affect Puglia, and its tourism industry, in myriad ways.

The European Union has pledged to help, in particular by committing to finance 50 percent of all expenses incurred in to eradicate the disease. We hope the efforts to protect the olive trees succeed. We’ll know when spring arrives.

Photo courtesy of European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization