What is the trip COVID policy?
We will follow the COVID rules in Italy at the time of the trip. As of January 2023, there is no required testing, proof of vaccination, or mandatory mask wearing. However, you are free to elect to do all of that, but it's not required. Many of our meals in public restaurants will be outdoors, weather permitting.
What are the physical demands of the trip?
Our sightseeing days are physically active. Expect to be walking and standing, for up to four hours, indoors and outdoors, on uneven cobblestone streets and stairs. You'll also need to carry your own luggage through the train station and on and off the train.
Will the food be kosher?
This is not a strictly kosher trip. The trip offers kosher style and vegetarian options.
Do you accommodate food allergies and dietary needs?
Please contact me with the details so I can advise. Use the form at the bottom of this page. We have kosher style and vegetarian options.
Are drinks included?
The hotel breakfasts are buffet and offer a plentiful drink selection. During lunch we will serve non-alcoholic beverages, and during dinner both wine and non-alcoholic drinks will be served. You are free to buy anything additional at your own expense.
Will I feel comfortable as a solo traveler? Will I feel comfortable coming with a partner or friend?
Yes, this trip is designed for both solo travelers, couples, and friends. Part of the fun of this kind of trip is meeting others with similar interests.
How many people will be on the trip and what is the age requirement?
The group will have 6 to 8 participants. The trip is for people 18 years and older.
What if my partner does not want to cook?
The cooking school kitchen has an informal, friendly atmosphere, so it's fine to just hang out, talk, and drink wine. Alternatively, a partner can choose to spend the kitchen time exploring the area, including the activities mentioned in the free time question below. We don't have anyone to show them around.
Do I need to be at a certain cooking level to go to the cooking school?
No, the cooking school is for any level, and all you need is the love of good food. Silvestro will be teaching us regional home cooking, techniques, and ingredients of the Italian South. It's a relaxed atmosphere. You are free to jump in and try everything or do whatever you're comfortable with.
How much free time will I have during the trip? And what might I do during the free time?
We have a full itinerary each day to take advantage of all that there is to see and do. However, each day has some free time, as specified in the itinerary. Given that we're on the go much of the time, some people chose to relax during the free time. Also, in the beginning we may still be getting over jetlag.
Free-time activities include: walking around the city exploring, shopping, enjoying the view from rooftop lounges, and downtime in our rooms or around the hotel. In Lecce our hotel offers bikes (subject to availability) and a shuttle to a beach club (need reservation in advance).
What should I pack?
-Remember your passport. Your passport needs to be valid during our trip and for an additional 6 months afterward or else you need to renew before traveling.
-Bring comfortable shoes and clothes for walking and cooking.
-Be prepared for hot weather.
-Have a light jacket or sweater for evenings.
-Bring one nicer outfit for shabbat dinner and wear it twice. And another casual but chic outfit for going out to dinner on the town (and wear it twice).
- Try your best to pack light because it's a drag to have heavy luggage to schlep around.
-To enter churches and temples, all genders need to wear modest clothing including covering their shoulders and knees. Men need to wear a kippah in temple, but one can be borrowed on site.
-Bring a lightweight umbrella because occasionally there's a summer shower.
-Please bring some KN95 (or similar) masks in case we need them to enter some where.
-Lastly, bring European conversion adapter/chargers for your electronic devices. The hotels have hair dryers.
What will the weather be like?
The high temperature in Rome is likely to be around the mid-80's Fahrenheit. And the low in the mid-60's. In Lecce the high is likely to be in the mid-80's to 90 with the low in the mid-60's.
What is the WiFi like at the hotels?
Both hotels offer WiFi in the rooms, but the buildings are historic and not always conducive to reliable WiFi. So, I cannot guarantee the speed and quality of the WiFi in each individual room.
Tell me more about travel insurance.
I recommend that your purchase travel insurance to protect your investment in this trip. Consider a comprehensive policy that may include trip cancellation, trip delay, trip interruption, lost luggage, overseas medical insurance, medical evacuation coverage, and cancellation for any reason (with add on cost). See the details of your exact policy including if pre-existing conditions are covered. In addition, some policies require that you purchase them within a short number of days after you purchase the travel.
For more information and to compare policies from multiple companies, check out InsureMyTrip.com, which sells policies from multiple insurance companies.