Responsible tourism: Puglia family adventure vacation in Italy
Activity: We try to regulate our carbon footprint by alternating our transport with environmentally friendly modes of transport like hiking and cycling. When we do use a minibus, it is always proportionate to our group size and never exessively wasteful. Guides enforce a ‘leave no trace’ policy wherever we go, which involves ensuring that we do not damage surrounding flora, fauna and historical buildings.
UK Office: It all starts at home so we have first worked at reducing our carbon footprint in our UK Offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.
Accommodation and Meals: We spend 4 nights in a Masseria (traditional farmhouse) surrounded by olive groves and overlooking the sea. The remaining 3 nights are spent in a comfortable hotel in Alberobello. All of the accommodation we have selected is run by local people, which is good for the community. Where meals are provided, local and organic ingredients are used wherever possible- especially at the farm. There will be a range of delicious Italian food on offer over the trip and guides encourage clients to use the large range of local restaurants and cafes at dinner. Regional specialties include Orecchiette served with a sauce of turnip-tops or fresh tomato and sheep's ricotta-cheese, aubergine and parmesan bake, roasted peppers, fresh seafood, burrata (soft mozzarella and cream cheese), mozzarella and Caciocavallo sheep's cheese.
Local Craft and Culture: There are many opportunities for culture integrated into this trip and clients are encouraged to engage with locals as much as possible in order to get a true impression of their customs and history. In the Ostuni countryside we can learn how to make ‘Taralli’ biscuits and then meet with a local craftsman who is preserving the tradition of olive wood carpentry. In Aberobello, we spend the afternoon learning how to make traditional pasta of Puglia, the Orecchiette (meaning little ears), which is still made daily by the elder women in most of the small villages. We also visit a number of religious and historical sites along our route like the archaeological park of Egnazia, San Biago sanctuary, the UNESCO Trulli site of Alberobello and Castellana Caves. By making donations, paying entrance fees and using businesses which surround these sites, we are ensuring that the community benefits.
Group Size: This small group tour has a maximum of 16 participants, meaning that we have a low impact on the environments and communities we visit and are able to ensure that we do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. The small number also allows us to stay in unique, family-run hotels that cannot benefit from coach tours and other mass tourism due to their limited sizes.