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Puglian Pleasures

Brindisi, Italy
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About Puglian Pleasures
Puglian Pleasures offers you the opportunity to sample the real Pleasures of Puglia. We offer food, wine and cultural tours, including: *Wine Tasting with lunch at a boutique, family run vineyard. *Cooking with Mamma, lunch and wine. *Guided tour of an old castle by the Prince himself who lives there! *Olive oil tasting and cheese making. Check out our blog or Facebook page for more details.
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whidden39 wrote a review Sep 2019
Boston, MA56 contributions19 helpful votes
We were being hosted by a true prince! Our small tour group met at the castle in San Vito Dei Normanni just outside the big entrance gate. We were all English speaking folk and Valerie Rice, was the event organizer through her tour company, Puglian Pleasures. Valerie and the prince did an admirable job bridging the slight language barrier. I thought we got off on the wrong foot when one guy actually took his dog! Appalling, I thought. Only as we were invited into the castle, did I realize the guy with the cute beagle was the prince himself! Great tour of a castle that was still furnished and occupied by the same family for only the last two hundred of the castle’s 500 years of existence. There is a princess, but she was in absentia (not another Italian castle, LOL). Her hobby is etching glass and her works on view in a small workshop off the courtyard showed off her obvious talent. The prince was gracious and unassuming. Like his residence — very charming. The property has its own chapel, a beautiful courtyard, a peaceful garden where a moat was filled in, a rickety tower where prisoners were once kept, and once-sumptuous tall rooms with patinated ornamentation, art and antiques. It has its own brand of faded elegance that you would expect after a long tenure. One feels privileged to witness firsthand the many artifact that evolved slowly in these spaces over a very long time. This made the tour a very personal experience indeed. We ended with a Prosecco reception including light antipasti on the vast roof terrace overlooking the quaint piazza below. The friendly butler in uniform lent an air of elegance and service to this mystical home. This tour was a great find and well worth the very modest fee. Valerie Rice at Puglian Pleasures deserves accolades for a unique visit to San Vito Dei Normanni. Fun!
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Date of experience: August 2019
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Response from Pugliawinetours, Owner at Puglian Pleasures
Responded Sep 3, 2019
Thank you soooooooooooooo much for your fabulous, detailed account of your experience on this new cultural tour. The Prince loves opening up the huge, wooden doors of his castle and explaining the history and heritage of his home. Hope to see you both again soon..... Next time on a wine tour perhaps? Or cooking with mamma?
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Cazmond wrote a review Aug 2019
London, United Kingdom3 contributions1 helpful vote
We have just had a lovely afternoon being hosted by a very generous family & Valerie. We were made to feel welcome from the moment we arrived with a tour of the vineyard, followed by wine tasting, delicious lunch & pasta making! The food was exceptional - everything made by Mamma & from the garden - even the flour for the home-made bread. The wines were so delicious, we couldn’t decide on our favourite. Thanks for a fantastic afternoon!
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Date of experience: August 2019
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Response from Pugliawinetours, Owner at Puglian Pleasures
Responded Aug 20, 2019
It was a pleasure to meet you all. So pleased you enjoyed it. I'm still chuckling about your husband not wanting to offend 'Mamma' by leaving some of his parmigiano because he was so full and him dishing it up to your parents 😂 Hope to see you some time..... Maybe at one of the festivals or next time 'Cooking with Mamma'.
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Lorraine S wrote a review Aug 2019
Marina Di Ostuni, Italy27 contributions
The Prince and Valerie from Puglian Pleasures took us on a tour of his lovely castle. It was fascinating to see and hear about his home, family and ancestors who have occupied the castle since around 1750. The castle is beautifully kept and he is obviously very proud of his heritage. We had a very informative tour and also saw the glassware that his wife etches. Also very beautiful. Afterwards we had aperitifs and Prosecco on the rooftop terrace. Valerie was very friendly and knowledgable about the area and I look forward to taking part in some of her other tours in the future.
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Date of experience: August 2019
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Response from Pugliawinetours, Owner at Puglian Pleasures
Responded Aug 5, 2019
It was lovely to meet you, your husband and friends from America, Lorraine. So pleased you enjoyed the tour with the Prince and I. Hope to see you all again soon. Alla prossima!
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Vezza wrote a review Jun 2019
1 contribution
This is a must do wine tour... a beautiful setting, great value for money, good fun (particularly pasta making with Mamma x), the most delicious three course lunch and of course some pretty special wines. We couldn't have been made to feel more welcome by this lovely family 😍 ... Thank you Valerie for organising xx
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Date of experience: June 2019
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Response from Pugliawinetours, Owner at Puglian Pleasures
Responded Jun 29, 2019
You're very welcome Verity! The family of the vineyard really enjoyed your enthusiasm at the pasta making session and mamma was delighted you loved the her homemade Pugliese lunch (even though you couldn't quiet managed it all) having you girls here was a lot of fun! Hope to see you again someday soon!
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italiantraveller49 wrote a review Feb 2019
united kingdom18 contributions13 helpful votes
Today we had the opportunity to sample a cookery and wine experience organised by Puglian Pleasures. Owner and guide Valerie met us at Don Camillo winery in Santa Susanna, an easy 25 minute drive from our Villa in San Vito dei Normanni. We were greeted by the family headed by 'mamma' who guided us through our cookery class. We started with orecchiette, making the pasta the traditional way on a wooden board. We soon got the hang of it and surprisingly made enough to take home with us for lunch the next day. Next we watched whilst a delicious sauce was made for our lunch followed by a 'hands on' demonstration of bread polpette, which we all devoured hot and crispy from the pan. , Lunch was served in the attractive room where the cookery class was held; an authentic Puglian lunch based on the famous cucina povera, it was meat free so suitable for those following a vegetarian diet. Three of the vineyards award winning wines were served during the day, a class of sparkling white to start followed by two reds, all available to purchase if you wish. A thoroughly enjoyable day that would be enjoyed by anyone visiting Puglia and wanting to sample the excellent food and wines of the area. No need to worry if you don't speak Italian, Valeris translates anything that you might not understand. A good time was had by all!
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Date of experience: February 2019
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Response from Valerie R, Owner at Puglian Pleasures
Responded Feb 8, 2019
Thanks for taking the time to review your recent experience with Puglian Pleasures. It was an absolute pleasure having you and your husband at our first 'Cooking with Mamma' class. I'm thrilled you both enjoyed it.
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