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Salento Vocal Experience

Typical Itinerary



Welcome & Orientation

​Everyone gathers at the charming Hotel Santa Chiara (located in the historic center of Lecce) for check in.  There will be a Welcome Reception to enjoy a prosecco while we lay out our plan for the week.  We'll kick off our musical adventure with a short intro to Italian music and then our first group dinner at a local restaurant. After dinner, join the Italians in their typical evening stroll, the passeggiata, and enjoy the lively street life of summertime Lecce.



Singing Time & Activity

Our first full day starts with the exploration of early Italian music.  Our guest musician from the Accademia will guide us to a deeper understanding of the foundations of Italian music and its connection to the culture of the time, while singing songs form the time and experiencing them first hand. We'll learn about preliminary music notation and Italian influence on structured musical forms.


In the afternoon, you'll have time to start exploring Lecce on your own and then you're in for a culinary treat. The wonderful Chef Gianna will guide us in preparing an amazing traditional Salentino meal and teach us about local wine and olive oil.  Buon appetito! 



The Renaissance
Singing Time & Activity

Italian creativity was the spark that brought Europe out of the Dark Ages of the Medieval era. The sheer volume of madrigals and motets produced in Italy during the Renaissance is staggering, so we'll only tackle a few!  Let's not forget about the sung history and the influence of music on experiences of the time.


After a morning of beautiful music, during the afternoon we'll explore Lecce on foot with a local guide, getting to know our home for the week. You'll see some beautiful churches, learn about local building styles, and come to understand the history of the region. Learn why Lecce is called the Florence of the South.



Romance and the Opera
Singing Time & Activity

This morning it's time to warm up your vibrato! With composers like Verdi, Rossini and Puccini we all have music that comes to mind, but these musicians were crafting stories for people and documenting history through their writing.  A local opera singer will present techniques for singing opera to understand the subtle and not-so-subtle differences in singing in different styles.  


In the afternoon, we'll venture out of Lecce to start exploring the Italian countryside. Make sure to save room because we're heading to our favorite masseria (farm estate) for a truly farm-to-table meal and some of the best and freshest food you'll ever have.  Learn about the making of olive oil and how a real Italian farm operates.  We'll then venture over to the coast to see the beautiful blue Adriatic Sea and grab a gelato before heading back to Lecce.



Popular and Modern
Singing Time & Activity

Music that arrived in the United States with early 20th Century immigrants became the basis for the cultural bond between the countries.  Songs based on Italian folk tunes became crooner classics, so get ready to croon!  We'll check out Italian pop and modern music and its connection to people on the move. 


In the afternoon, we'll venture out again to explore two very unique towns, Ostuni and Alberobello. Get lost in the lovely white alleys of Ostuni, and then join us on a gorgeous terrace for another meal to remember. Today we'll enjoy contemporary Italian cuisine from a local up-and-coming chef. Then we'll head to Alberobello where you can explore one of the most unique places you'll ever visit, full of local trulli. We'll head back to Lecce where you should be sure to head to the main piazza after dinner to experience the local movimento



Putting It All Together

Free time! Your morning is free to explore Lecce, do some shopping, visit a museum or read in a piazza.  In the afternoon, we'll gather at the Basilica della Madonna del Rosario, one of Lecce's significant churches. Here we will share our experience with local friends, singing selections of the music we've learned during the week... maybe we'll even have a sing-along!  Our dinner together will be a tasting of various Salentino delicacies and the opportunity for one more glass of Malvasia or Nero di Troia.  Salute!




After breakfast, we’ll pack up our stuff and head out.  We’ll get everyone off to airports and train stations as necessary and bid farewell to our lovely Salento locale.   Alla prossima!  



Or...stay for the Sea Breeze!
Tour Extension

If you'd like some additional relax time and love the seaside, join us for an optional three-day/two-night tour extension to the gorgeous cliffside town of Polignano a Mare.  We include your transfer from Lecce to Polignano a Mare and two nights at the seaside Hotel Covo dei Saraceni.  We'll do a gelato experience and tasting, guided walking tour and dinner at our famously fanstastical favorite fish restaurant.  There will be plenty of on-your-own exploration or beach time in the blue waters. Don't forget a bottle of effervescent Malvasia!

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