Interested in Puglia? Here’s the Scoop.

We’re hosting weekly info and Q&A sessions to discuss the Puglia Bike Trip. Here is a summary of what we cover.


You can view the itinerary here:

Puglia is one of those places that continuously fills me with magic and wonder!! Hope it will do the same for you too!

The itinerary is crafted from my own personal experience and the recommendations of local friends. So we go visit Mamma Maria who taught me to make Puglia’s orecchiette pasta, and she teaches our group, not only to make pasta, but an entire meal as well! We visit Signore Fabio who welcomes our group each year with a party and live concert of folk music. Renato takes us out on his motorboat boat. And each trip is about having local friends share the beauty of their homeland with us. And having a good time.ūüôā


We try to make it as easy on you as possible and coordinate the start/end of trip to coincide with the bullet train to/from Rome.
Travel suggestions are detailed here:


We ride quality Italian-made aluminum city touring bikes. They are good for the mixed-terrain riding we do. We also have van support on road for the longest rides. Pace is relaxed.


Feel free to call or email with any questions!

Pearls of Adventure from Sicily

Ciao Tutti!

I’m sitting in the living room¬†of¬†our apartment on the Ionian sea in the town¬†of¬†Riposto. I hear the waves crash outside my window, an occasional vespa vroom by, and the sound¬†of¬†laughter as a family heads out for breakfast.

It’s a holiday. A sacred don’t- do- anything- but- hang- with- friends- and- family day. A go- to- the- beach- and- play day.

We just finished our fullest season yet, and I am looking forward to a day of rest.

As the morning opens,¬†I wanted to share a some stories from the season’s grand finale:¬†the Sicily Avid Cycling trip.

Memories return as colors and images, then form into emotions, then solidify¬†into moments …¬†pearls¬†of¬†adventure¬†… that call to be shared.


Photo by Zakistudio

We paused in Piazza del Popolo early one morning on our way out ofPalazzolo Acreide. I was floored by the grandiosity of the architecture in this tiny town.

Palazzolo, along with every other city in the region, was completely destroyed by a devastating earthquake in 1693. To rebuild, the noble aristocracy invited talented architects to come re-design their hometowns in the style of the time: Spanish Baroque. They planned the city, streets and structures with care. The result is a strikingly harmonious and well-organized town with stately palaces and magnificient churches.

Photo by Ed Cornelius III

Our first ride through the scenic Anapo Valley. We traversed rolling hills, passed flat-topped mesas, peered down into Pantalica canyon, spotted necropoleis dug into the walls, and conquered some crazy climbs into the hilltop villages.

Here, we’re triumphantly descending out¬†of¬†Cassaro.¬†See route.

It didn’t take much to make us¬†happy: beautiful views, bicycles and a sense¬†of¬†adventure.

And good food.

 Photo by Ed Cornelius III
Nella, our talented and generous host in San Giacomo, runs an agriturismo with her daughter and mother.¬†All three generations spent a morning teaching us to roll cavatelli, make focaccia ragusana and¬†zucchini sauce. They make their own cheese on the farm and … there is no cheese like fresh ricotta!
Photo by Zakistudio

Yes, this is real. Rounding the south eastern point of Sicily.

This may have inspired the buzzword of the trip:


Photo by Zakistudio

Don’t tell the nutritionist, but gelato is the best energy bar ever invented.

Photo probably by Ed on¬†Zaki’s¬†phone!

Zaki on his third cappuccino and twelfth fig.

Puglia & Sicily Lists  

We’re putting together trip-specific mailing lists to keep you informed about reservations, travel updates, discounts and real-time information about the trip you’re interested in. We’ll also put you in touch with¬†our local guides.

Also РWe miss you. Come hang out with us on facebook or twitter.



Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

We had so much fun this year, we didn’t want it to end!

Between wandering the streets of Lecce at night, getting stopped mid-pedal by an Alberobello farmer offering us fresh figs from his garden, dancing with the mayor of Castrignano Lo Capo, sampling green raw olives straight from the tree (an experience we all need to have once … and … once is enough!), and visiting Carlo’s¬†mamma‘s house in Secl√¨ for a 3-hour Sunday lunch (a meal so authentic, fresh and and delicious, I’ll never forget it) – we had some amazing adventures in Italy.

¬†We’ve been busy in California too. We’re launching a series of weekend adventures in the foothills of Yuba County. Every season we’ll take a small group of travelers to enjoy some of the best artisan foods, wines and cheeses available in California (and, yes, we¬†know¬†that’s a tall order!). If you’d like to join us (the next adventure is Valentine’s Day weekend)¬†sign up for California Undiscovered Gourmet’s mailing list¬†or email me directly.

But what really made 2014 such a special year – was you. Your fun-loving presence while traveling, planning, dreaming, dancing, toasting, storytelling and laughing through the year.

Strolling through Lecce on the Puglia Biking trip this SeptemberEnjoying the streets of Lecce before saying our goodbyes

To express my thanks for making 2014 so awesome, I got together with the Piccolina family (from California to Italy) and made you a little video.


Happy new year.
I hope it’s full of exciting adventures!


What’s happening in 2015?

Biking Puglia’s Dazzling Coast¬†¬†

¬†Puglia is a fairly-tale region of fanciful conical stone houses, dazzling Adriatic coastline, whitewashed limestone cities and it’s heart beats with the authentic. Here you’ll still find scarf-covered¬†nonna¬†chatting in her chair on the¬†cobblestoned streets at night.¬†Here they still cook a pot of tomato¬†sugo¬†for 8 hours. Heremamma¬†still gathers wild¬†chicory, onions and herbs.¬†Here they still dance in the piazzas¬†all night long. And the land beats with traditional music that is still very much¬†alive. You travel back in time when you come here. And you will never forget it.

Itinerary: Biking Puglia 

Avid Cycling Sicily    
Yes! A trip for avid road cyclists! This itinerary rides 45-70miles/day on aluminum or carbon road bikes.

At the crossroads of Africa, the Middle East and Europe, Sicily is pure magic. Cycle the breathtaking landscapes around¬†Mt Etna & Taormina¬†(an active volcano, sweeping coastal views and ancient history create a unique atmosphere in Taormina, which is one of the most beautiful cities I’ve ever seen!),¬†Syracuse¬†(a Greek-Roman-Byzantine-Bourbon-Arab-Norman-Aragonese-Italian city with an island historical center), and¬†Val di Noto¬†(a valley of lovely towns built during the flowering of the European Baroque and surrounded by wine-rich countryside).
Email for info.

Walking Undiscovered Puglia & Basilicata
Byzantine cave frescoes in MateraOr, you can explore Puglia, enjoy great cuisine, drink wine, swim in the Mediterranean, and not get on a bike!

Guided by a certified “Naturalist Tour Guide,” this trip explores unique aspects of Puglia with a series of walks encompassing its historical, natural, geological and culinary best.¬†Mamma mia!¬† You’ll spend most mornings hiking, enjoy a delicious lunch, then have the afternoons free to visit nearby towns for a stroll, shopping, museums or, simply, to linger over glass of local wine.
Itinerary: Walking Puglia


We have some exciting and completely new adventures under construction. That’s all we’ll say for now.ūüôā

“We emerged from the forest and saw a m


“We emerged from the forest and saw a most breathtaking site…
a series of lava fields, so smooth and round that they seemed to still be flowing, except that of course I knew they had literally turned to stone.

And off to one side, trapped between two enormous petrified brown slabs, was an entire forest of brilliant yellow and red poplars, beeches and birches.

I am sure that Mt. Etna is stunning every single week of the year, but you’ll never convince me that its autumn coat isn’t its most glamorous.”

– Therese Maggio

The Soul of Sicily


“Or maybe Sicily is a vortex that pulls some people in – a center of the universe, like the Omphalos at Delphi, a navel stone that connected some inner world to the outer. Here the bedrock hums with hidden energy. Sicilians use it to build their houses, churches and streets. Their lives saturate the rock, carving niches, and pooling in the voids. Like water, the people taste of the stone that contains them. Sicily is a hard place to leave.”
– Theresa Maggio, ‚ÄúThe Stone Boudoir‚ÄĚ