Let's Get That to Go

Spain & Italy

Jan 1, 2005
Outside Magazine

Spain: Barcelona and Beyond
Pack It On: Having eclipsed France for innovation in cuisine and toppled Italy in popularity, Spain leads every self-respecting gastronome's hot list. Begin this seven-day food fest in Barcelona, where young visionaries are pushing nueva cocina to surreal heights—cuttlefish ravioli, anyone? Then take a drive through the Catalonian countryside, visiting medieval cities and taking classes with a local chef at the prestigious Aula Gastronómica de l'Empordá, in Palamós.
Burn It Off: Skin-dive in hidden coves or cycle along the bay of Tamariu.
Base Camp: Bed down at charming hotels like Begur's Mas Ses Vinyes, a rural, antique-filled hotel close to the Costa Brava.
When to Go: Year-round
Price: $3,086–$3,732 per person
Contact: Gourmet on Tour; 800-504-9842, www.gourmetontour.com

Italy: Spotlight on Puglia
Pack It On: Italy's scuffed, sun-drenched heel is the boot's culinary hot spot del giorno. For a crash course in Apulian cuisine—think seafood, fava beans, fennel, olives, and orecchiette (ear-shaped pasta)—join Rome-based cookbook author Diane Seed at the whitewashed Il Melograno farmhouse, near Monopoli, for a week. The busy agenda includes daily cooking lessons, a visit to the Olive Oil Museum, and dinners at local trattorias.
Burn It Off: Do laps in the pomegranate-tree-fringed swimming pool, practice your serve at the on-grounds tennis courts, or swim off a private beach on the nearby Adriatic.
Base Camp: A fortified 16th-century masseria, or farmhouse, in the midst of olive and fig trees.
When to Go: April, July, October, November
Price: $3,000 per person
Contact: Il Melograno Cooking School; 011-39-080-690-9030, www.melograno.com

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