For those seeking to immerse themselves in Italian gastronomy, the spectacular five-star boutique hotel Palazzo Ducale Venturi in southern Puglia provides the perfect destination. To celebrate the area’s rich culinary past and present, Palazzo Ducale Venturi has created its own experiences to take guests on incredible gastronomic journeys through one of Italy’s most abundant regions. Back at the hotel, guests can relax and unwind amidst the natural beauty of Palazzo Ducale Venturi surrounded by lush gardens where romantic dinners are served in citrus groves and a special menu, created by Chef Antonio Russo and paired with whiskeys from around the world, provides the ultimate experience for whisky aficionados. With so many culinary experiences to choose from, guests at Palazzo Ducale Venturi will find themselves fully absorbed by the inspiring passion of local producers.
New romantic dinner: Surprise a loved one with an al fresco dinner by candlelight in Palazzo Ducale Venturi’s charming garden, exclusively yours for the evening. The hotel’s Chef Antonio Russo will serve an aphrodisiac menu, including oysters on a mango and coconut salad, with Champagne throughout.
New whisky pairing dinner: Chef Antonio Russo has created a new special menu, which pairs traditional Apulian cuisine with some of the finest whiskeys from Ireland, Scotland, Asia and the US. Specifically selected to enhance each other’s tastes, this unexpected menu is a feast for the senses and a must for any whisky lovers and gourmands. Guests have a choice of a seafood, meat or vegetarian menu or can opt for a whisky-only tasting, accompanied by stories from each one’s distillery.
A trip to Gallipoli fish market and lunch in a historic palace: For those wanting to explore Puglia’s rich cultural heritage, a trip to the vibrant Gallipoli fish market provides the ideal opportunity to walk amidst the local fisherman and find a catch of the day. Guides will lead guests to an impressive noble palace complete with a museum and historic Apulian Wunderkammer ‘chamber of wonders’ where guests will learn how to make fresh pasta and delicate almond cakes, which are delicacies of the region. Once the catch of the day has been baked, guests can enjoy a sumptuous lunch amidst the historic beauty of an ancient palace for a truly unique culinary experience.
Explore the Itria Valley and the Apulian grape variety: Budding sommeliers will enjoy the beauty of the vineyards that grace the verdant hills of the Itria Valley. Explore the vineyards on foot and visit two wineries for tastings and education on the topography, grape varieties and the area’s microclimate that has led to the creation of such exceptional wines. Throughout the vineyard tours guests will learn about the Apulian grapes, which have been restored to health and contribute their distinctive variety to the wines created in the valley. After the wine tastings an al fresco lunch awaits to be enjoyed amidst the green vines of the Itria Valley in celebration of the region’s wine and culinary achievements.
An Italian chocolate and wine tasting extravaganza: For those with a sweet tooth and a penchant for good wine, this chocolate and wine tasting experience offers an idyllic pairing. Beginning at a local chocolatier that dates back to 1875, guests will sample sweet creations that champion the local region before cruising through the Salentine peninsula to an 18th Century palace with a secret garden rich with the fragrance of citrus. Exploring the wine filled cellars, as well as the traditional oak casks, guest will learn about the original Norman family who arrived in Apulia in the 11th Century and moved into wine production with the aim of protecting their heritage and cultivating the land. A delicious lunch paired with local wines provides a fitting end to this morning of gastronomic exploration.
Intimate cooking masterclasses: Guests can try their hand at cooking traditional dishes with masterclasses by Chef Antonio. Using the palazzo’s restored salt ovens, guests can make focaccia, pizza, typical Puglian bread puccia or vegetable dish legumi alla pignata which is cooked in a classic terracotta cooking pot. Guests can also prepare a complete menu of a starter, main course, second course, and dessert, chosen and decided together with the Chef. As well as preparing the menu, the guests can then enjoy it, paired with the hotels delicious Puglian wine.
Palazzo Ducale Venturi is situated in an area of Italy rich in fresh fruit, seafood and vegetables. At the hotel’s restaurant, reserved exclusively for guests, Chef Antonio Russo champions regional fare to create dishes inspired by the natural surroundings of the Salento area. Aside from the many culinary exploits available, guests can relax by the outdoor saltwater pool, enjoy a workout in the gym or indulge in the hotel’s wellbeing area, the first in Puglia to offer Cryosauna.
Palazzo Ducale Venturi is also the first historical residence in Italy to be certified Green Key, an international recognition that rewards excellence in the field of environmental responsibility and sustainable operation in the tourism sector. The palazzo is also one of the first hotels in Italy to ensure that it caters for any mobility or care needs. Through an innovative system of glass walls and mobile pressure handles, every guest with disability or mobility needs can choose any hotel room they would like, and it will be adapted to their needs with the help of the hotel’s specialist staff. Four legged friends are welcome too, at no extra cost.
Palazzo Ducale Venturi reopens from 1st May through to 30th of November 2022. Nightly rates at Palazzo Ducale Venturi start from €200 based on two people sharing a room on a bed and breakfast basis. www.palazzoducaleventuri.com