Category: Travel

 

Puglia Discount (1) 

 

Off The Beaten Track in Puglia Italy.

A 4-day adventure continues, with part 2 of the series.

"An opportunity to visit this magical region only took 30 seconds to say Yes, let's do it. As I am preparing to run food & wine tours to the region, I made contact with some specialists in the Puglia region to make sure our time was well spent." - Bruce White


Day 2, and its market day in Martina Franca but first we walk the perimeter of the old city. The markets are huge, but dominated by clothing and other assorted "fashion" items, so if you are looking for the Farmers markets head right through to the far side from the central Piazza.

We picked up some delicious local cheeses, Marzicota, Galbari Gorgonzola, and Burrata of course.

There are farmer’s markets every day in at least one of the local towns, so you won’t have to travel more than 20 minutes to find at least one market. (We checked the markets on Thursday at Alberobello, and they were smaller overall, but still worth a visit). For me the markets are the best way to see firsthand what the local artisans are producing, how the cheeses differ, what’s in season, and best of all, if you haven’t got access to visitations to the farms you can usually try their produce at the market.


Figure 1 Markets in Martina Franca

After a lunch time spread of the goodies from the market, washed down with a glass of local Bambina Bianca, we head out on a trulli excellent adventure.

The trulli, the characteristic cone-roofed houses of Alberobello, make up one of the 50 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Italy. A trullo is a traditional Apulian dry stone hut with a conical roof constructed with the abundant limestone from the plateau of Apu.

Their style of construction is specific to the Itria Valley, in the Murghe area of the Italian region of Apulia. Trulli were generally constructed as temporary field shelters and storehouses or as permanent dwellings by small proprietors or agricultural labourers. In the town of Alberobello, in the province of Bari, whole districts are packed with trulli. The golden age of trulli was the 19th century, especially its final decades marked by the development of wine growing.


 

Figure 2 Trulli town Alberobello

Then we move on to Noci, yet another town with a beautiful piazza inside the old walled centre, more exploring, then on to meet another local food expert in Gioia del Colle, for another lesson in local history, dairy products and where to find the best local cuisine.

Gioia del Colle is a little town in the heart of Puglia, strategically located half way between the Ionian and Adriatic seas to the east and west, and between the cities of Bari and Taranto to the north and south. 

Typical foods from the area include mozzarella cheese, for which Gioia is justly famous in producing some of the best tasting varieties you will find, red and white wines, extra virgin olive oil, orechiette (small pasta shapes resembling little ears) and, believe it or not, pan-fried olives which have a taste not unlike aubergines!

Gioia is also the birthplace of the increasingly popular Primitivo wine. Local history records a 17th century Benedictine monk finding the first vines in the gardens of his monastery Today, a host of small family owned businesses harvest, bottle and sell their own excellent private Primitivo labels, many producing no more than 15,000 bottles a year.

Gioia also shares in the Puglian tradition of producing what is acknowledged to be some of the best olive oil in Italy, its quality attributed to the unique iron-rich soil of the land, the particular climate which sees dry summers and wet winters, and the long tradition of producing a product that unites advanced technology and equipment to centuries-old traditional methods of workmanship.

We will be back to conclude our travels in the next edition.


 

Figure 3 Produce & people  in Puglia


About the author: 

Since 1999, Bruce White has been travelling Italy, returning every year to a different region with pre-planned wine and food experiences. Some have been with food and wine tour operators in small groups, some planned directly with local specialists to ensure something very local and very special. With this network of contacts and a desire to return as often as possible, Bruce launched Wine and Food Traveler to share experiences with those who share the same passion for the Italian Lifestyle.

Only Boomers Club paid up members can view all of our unbelievable deals and make bookings. Now for those who find it hard to believe how good the deals are, non members can join our Boomers Club Travel closed Facebook group for a preview of the luxury travel deals members have access to. And for a limited time, new Members receive a $50 discount off their first Boomers Club Members Only travel deal (minimum $500 spend, conditions apply). Click here to join https://www.facebook.com/groups/176640979417059/

 

Puglia Discount (1) 

 

Off The Beaten Track in Puglia Italy.

So begins a 4-day adventure, part 1 unfolds in this article.

"An opportunity to visit this magical region only took 30 seconds to say Yes, let's do it. As I am preparing to run food & wine tours to the region, I made contact with some specialists in the Puglia region to make sure our time was well spent." - Bruce White


We flew into Bari, collected a car with a dodgy GPS, and drove the 100 k's down the coast to Martina Franca- a gorgeous hilltop town in the Itria Valley. As with all trips we have done in Italy, you cannot rely on GPS to tell you "you have reached your destination". Most of these towns are made up of roads made, at best, for the little Fiats and the 3 wheeled Ape Piaggio's. Luckily (at 11 PM) some staff from a little Cucina just closing up led us through a labyrinth of lane-ways to our old town accommodation. Tuesday morning waking to this beautiful town and the sounds of activity we are back to try to and find the car, 

 

 

a delicious breakfast then on the road in daylight this time heading back to Bari to meet our host for the next couple of days.

GPS totally confused and heading us South rather than North, is relegated to the bench and replaced by Google Maps, and with a little help from the community police who escorted us into Bari and the waterfront, perfect!

Puglia 9


We start our day of food and wine with a visit to Decarlo Olive Oil in Bitritto, Puglia. The De Carlo family is olive oil; their passion and hard work are inspiring. They own 120 Ha in one of Puglia’s greatest and most historic zones, Terre di Bari. They live in the ancient village of Bitritto that is home to thousands of ancient olive trees planted primarily to Coratina and Ogliarola Barese. The family has produced olive oil since the 1600s but in the 1970s Saverio De Carlo blazed a path to quality that no one else was willing to take. The result of his work is evident in the family’s success as the estate has grown into, hands down, one of the world’s greatest producers of olive oil.

Then we head into Bitonto  a city and comune in the province of Bari, Italy. It is nicknamed the "City of Olives", due to the numerous olive groves surrounding the city. Interesting to note that a lot of locally produced olive oil was shipped to Tuscany and sold as Tuscan oil. A local story but maybe a true one!

Its only lunchtime, but a very important time of day where ever you are in Italy. And finding hidden gems unless you are in the know and travelling with a local will be difficult. Today we are to be introduced to one of the finest Slow Food osteria's in Puglia. Perbacco is dedicated to the Slow Food movement and has the accolades and awards to show for it. Maybe 22 seats, incredibly well priced and oh so good. Its no wonder they all take extended time out for this ritual! Lunch was a tasting selection of Octopus, Flan of scrimp & riccotto, grano arso, a local burnt wheat pasta with bacon & tomato.

 

After a wonderful lunch and discussions about the slow food movement in Italy we head south to Polignano to discover this beautiful coastal town about 30 minutes from Bari. This gem of an Italian beach town is situated on the edge of a craggy ravine, high above the electric-blue ocean. Home to humans since prehistoric times, Polignano oozes charm to this day. Its collection of stone streets, pleasant piazzas and mysterious sea caves practically begs you to come and explore.

Polignano's dark, shadowy grottoes were home to people in the Neolithic era. The town later fell to Norman conquerors, and various families feuded over the village until the 19th century.

We have time here to explore some of the tiny streets, missing of tourists at this time of day and just locals chatting in their little groups as they have done for hundreds of years. And as have many before us we visit the famous Gelateria for some scoops of a delicacy a coffee gelato from heaven, definitely worth the visit. I think the gelato was Hazelnut & Pistachio and a liqueur coffee, excellently refreshing!

Back in Martina Franca for passagienta , a walk round the old hill top town centre, looking for one of the local specialities, butcher shops that change at night time to BBQ intensely flavoured local beef, unfortunately we were too late, a pity as this is a very local experience and you need to know who is doing it on what nights. Not a vegetarian’s choice, but next time we will do it.

We will be back to continue our travels in the next edition.


About the author: 

Since 1999, Bruce White has been travelling Italy, returning every year to a different region with pre-planned wine and food experiences. Some have been with food and wine tour operators in small groups, some planned directly with local specialists to ensure something very local and very special. With this network of contacts and a desire to return as often as possible, Bruce launched Wine and Food Traveler to share experiences with those who share the same passion for the Italian Lifestyle.

Featured Travel Destination - Thailand

Thai Dancers

Thailand has long been a favoured travel destination for Aussies. In fact according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, in the 2014 / 15 financial 550,000 Aussies ventured to Thailand, making it the fifth most popular destination.

And why not with year round sunshine, beautiful beaches and a centuries old culture rich with ancient tradition means there is something for everyone.

Chatuchak Weekend Market

Chatuchak Weekend Market

For those in need of a touch of retail therapy Bangkok has a mind boggling number of street markets. Perhaps the most famous is the Chatuchak Weekend Market, a must visit icon covering over 27 acres and home to over 15,000 stalls.  You can find almost everything can be found here from all over Thailand. Be prepared to bargain and if you can't get the right deal, be prepared to walk away.

Open Saturday and Sunday 6 am – 6 pm and Friday Night Market 10 pm – 7 am.

Wat Rong Khon White Temple

Wat Rong Khon White Temple

The culture and traditions of Thailand are heavily influenced by Buddhism which incorporates traditional beliefs regarding ancestral and natural spirits. There are over 40,000 Buddhist temples in Thailand, and most of them are still in use.

Featured Holiday Deal - Available to Members only.

We can't name the resort as the contract with our travel partner requires that price and resort particulars can only be displayed to members of the club, and not the public. When you see how good our deals are you will understand why.

Stay 7 nights in a modern Thai styled accommodation, just minutes from Kata Beach. $389 (7 Nights)
Was $1253, Save 68%!

This centrally located resort is a 10-minute walk from the white sands of Kata Beach. It is a 20-minute drive from Phuket Town and about 30 km from Phuket International Airport. This offer includes daily breakfast for 2 people.

Travel from 1 April to 31 October 2016.


This package also has $ 310 worth of exclusive inclusions!

Package Inclusions:

1 x Thai Dinner for 2 People

4 x 30 Minute Spa Treatments

15% Discount in the Spa

10% Discount on all Food & Beverages in all Restaurants

Sharing can help grow the Boomers Community for the benefit of all Boomers

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Expand your golf horizons in Australia and Overseas.

 

golf course at dawn with sun coming through the fog

 

Boomers Golf gives members the opportunity to play golf at some of Australia’s finest courses saving up to 50% on green fees. Many of these courses are normally only available to members or the guests of members. Boomers Club membership provides you the opportunity to experience these courses.

 

With over 400 offers including more than 200 special 2-FOR-1 deals, the Boomers Golf provides a wide range of different courses and experiences to enjoy wherever you live or travel to play golf.

 

With three categories to choose from joining Boomers Golf is easy as well with 12-month membership starting from less than $30.00, means your membership can pay for itself after only ONE round. This deal is only available to Boomers Club members.

Introducing Golfing Holidays

 

The best of Asian golf and luxury spa in the balmy tropics - Nirwana Bali Golf & Spa. From $1,195 per person

 

Boomers Golf also gives you access to the widest choice of holidays to more destinations than any other golf tour company in Australia.

 

Here is just a sample of what is on offer.

South Australia

 

FOUR REDS VINTAGE EXPERIENCE 6 NIGHTS FROM AU$2,035.00 PER PERSON

 

6 night package includes:

 

*6 nights at the Crowne Plaza Adelaide (double occupancy).

*Daily breakfasts.

*Private transfers (airport, hotel and golf clubs).

*4 rounds of golf (a single round at each of the Four Reds clubs) - Glenelg

*Golf Club, Grange Golf Club, Kooyonga Golf Club and Royal Adelaide Golf Club.

*Special Food & Wine experience at each golf club after your round (includes a premium local wine and a seasonal tasting plate).

*Full day private wine tour to the Barossa Valley including VIP access to 3 wineries exclusive to Four Reds clients only.

*Collect and return to your hotel.

Price based on 4 people travelling and Car hire can be arranged in place of private transfers if preferred.

Qeenstown, NZ Golf Package

 

Queenstown NZ

 

5 NIGHTS FROM AU$1,575.00 PER PERSON

5 night package includes:

 

*5 nights' at the Novotel Queenstown Lakeside with breakfast (twin/double share)

*4 rounds of golf including shared carts

*5 days car rental of a Toyota Highlander or similar, including CDW insurance, 3rd party liability insurance, theft protection, unlimited km’s, excess refund cover and 24-hour roadside assistance.

*Information guide including driving instructions and times.

 

Conditions: Price based on 4 pax travelling. Prices also available for other group sizes.

Support Fiji 

81256We thought we would feature one of our Fiji destinations again, the Pearl South Pacific Resort & Spa. Despite the devasting Cyclone that hit Fiji in February, the resort is structurally sound and fully operational.

The resort has also been actively supporting the recovery of the nearby island of Qoma. The island was almost completely destroyed. The Resort was on the scene the next day with much needed supplies and their maintenance team assisted with the clean up. See more here.

So if you are thinking of a holiday to Fiji, give the Pearl a thought and help the people of Qoma at the same time. See our original post below.

For our inaugural newsletter we asked our Travel Partners for an extra special deal. And boy did they deliver!  They arranged a 7 night stay for two in a premium Garden room at the beautiful Pearl South Pacific Resort & Spa for just $799 (standard retail is $2215).  This price is available for travel through to March 31st 2017.  If your keen and want to travel prior to March 31st 2016 a whole lot of extras (massages, day tours etc) have added onto the standard extras package.  Club members login to boomersclub.com.au and you will find the details first up in the travel section.

83150 83149 81256 81255

 

 

Great Fiji Getaway 

For our inaugural newsletter we asked our Travel Partners for an extra special deal. And boy did they deliver!  They arranged a 7 night stay for two in a premium Garden room at the beautiful Pearl South Pacific Resort & Spa for just $799 (standard retail is $2215).  This price is available for travel through to March 31st 2017.  If your keen and want to travel prior to March 31st 2016 a whole lot of extras (massages, day tours etc) have added onto the standard extras package.  Club members login to boomersclub.com.au and you will find the details first up in the travel section.

83150 83149 81256 81255

 

 

Treat Yourself To A Night In Brisbane

Enjoy a night in Brisbane and stay at the NEXT Hotel for only $179. This opportunity is available for Monday- Thursday stays until June 30th 2016. Includes breakfast, 4 Free mini bar items a beer or wine in the lounge and a Charcutire plate. Compare to bookings dot coms best deal HERE.

Club members login to boomersclub.com.au and you will find the details in the travel section.

 

81889 81890