Italian Language Course by Bicycle
An italian language course by bike?! Yes, it is! A unique way to get in touch with land, local culture and people. A proper tour, with a lot of cycling, guided visits, stop on the sea…. And moreover an intensive language course lead by professional teachers. Lessons take place in the shade of olive trees orin the pine trees wood, on the terraces/garden of farmhous, in unformal settings and atmosphere. The best way to learn Italian and to discover south Italy!
Day 1: welcome to Otranto
Arrival: participants will reach Otranto (or Lecce). Initial briefing of the trip.
Day 2: surroundings of Otranto
On our first cycling tour we will visit a traditional craftsman fabric workshop, a few pre-historical monuments spread across the area, a marvelous botanical garden in Giuggianello, with a unique collection of Cactaceae, and to conclude the tour, a "Masseria", (a historic fortified farmhouse that produces cheese) in Uggiano la Chiesa.
Day 3: from Otranto to Castro
This day is dedicated to one of the most fascinating side of the Italian coast, where different towers, dating back to the XVI century, rise facing the sea. It is the most eastern spot of the peninsula: when the sky is clear you can see the mountains of Albania and Greece across the bay. In the afternoon we will visit the Grotta Zinzulusa, a cave deep in the heart of the earth, and the splendid Aquaviva creek, characterised by the underground fresh water river that flows toward the sea.
Day 4: from Castro to Leuca
We carry on through the Otranto-Leuca coast, the so called “park-road”, with an outstanding panorama. At the arrival in Marina Serra, an Italian lesson will take place in a coastline pine forest, and then we will rest by a picturesque bay where it will be also possible to swim. In the afternoon we will visit the small town of Tricase, famous for its churches and narrow streets, then we will proceed towards Leuca, following secondary roads characterized by their century-old olive trees.
Day 5: Leuca
Today will be jam-packed of Italian lessons while you cycle across the villages around Capo Leuca. We will visit ancient towers, underground oil mills, the ruin of a pre-Roman city, a Mausoleum that holds traces of Byzantinian frescoes, a semi-abandoned castle and an ancient church with incredibly vast sub terrains...; all while having a continuous Italian lesson with our teachers! In the afternoon, we will have a sailing trip with lunch provided on board!
Day 6: Leuca - Torre Suda
The day is dedicated to the Salentinian countryside, one of the best-kept secrets of the region defined by its olive trees and the Mediterranean vegetation. The Italian lesson will take place in the wood of an organic guest farm, where we are going to have lunch. In the afternoon, after the second lesson, we will depart once again across the countryside, where we will see the "Trulli" and the "Pajare" (ancient buildings made with dry stone) and the Tu'rat garden, of Arabian origin.
Day 7: from Torre Suda to Santa Caterina
The Italian lesson will take place in a coastline pine forest, next to one of the most famous beaches of Italy. After lunch we will visit Gallipoli, an ancient city from the Roman era on an island, which is, currently populated by fisherman. Towards sunset we will travel to Santa Caterina, where we will stop for the night, in a B&B with view of the sea.
Day 8: Santa Caterina
Another full day today! In the morning a short cycle: we will visit the city of Nardó and some of the nearby "masserie". Then we will go back to our B&B for the Italian lesson. In the early afternoon we will go (on foot or by canoe) to the natural park of Porto Selvaggio, a forest next to the sea, where we are going to have our second lesson of the day and then a nice swim. Return by sunset.
Day 9: from Santa Caterina to Lecce
Morning dedicated to the final test of our Italian course. After lunch we will travel towards Galatone, where we will visit the old town and the castle, and then Galatina, where we will visit the church of Santa Caterina D'Alessandria, one of the most beautiful masterpieces of medieval art in the south of Europe. We will also have a short visit to a local wine cellar, to observe the process of winemaking, ending with a wine and cheese tasting. In the late afternoon we will get the train for Lecce and we will reach the city in the evening.
During the morning, guided visit of Lecce on foot and final departure.
Cost: 1950 €
Single supplement: 270€
Upgrade to ebike: 120€
The package includes:
- 20 hours intensive Italian course, (with professional teachers).
- 9 nights in either B&B, hotels or "agriturismo"(double rooms)
- 9 lunches or dinners
- Wine, cheese and other typical product tasting
- 1 sailing trip
- 24-hour guide
- Bicycle rental
- Arranged luggage transportation
- Road cover insurance
- 17 - 26 April
- 4 - 13 September