How our courses differ

Founded in 2003, The Awaiting Table has always been in constant movement, creating new courses and experiences for our students.  This might be the most important page on our site: it explains how our courses and prices differ from one another. And of course you’re always encouraged to email us.

Click on any of the following course names in English to learn more, see pictures and watch videos. 

Corso giornaliero: Day course 

Where: In Lecce or al castello
When: When space is available during a course or added by request.
How Much: 195 Euro per day
Where Will you Sleep:  *(see below) Wherever you like. From 10 am to 10 pm with a 3 hour break.
What Makes it Special:  These are tiny little tastes of what we do for those who only have a day in Lecce.  Write us and we’ll gladly add day courses based on request.

 Corso alla casa di Silvestro: A week-long course in Silvestro’s home in Lecce

Where: The historic centre of Lecce
When: Held throughout the year.
How much 1895 Euro
Where will you sleep: * In the historic centre of Lecce, mostly in small B&Bs.
What makes it special: This is how it all began. Small, intimate, this course is for those who really want to get to know the baroque city of Lecce, and our school’s director/sommelier. Class size is limited to seven(7) students per course. ‘Slackers’ (non-participating spouses) do not affect the number of students.  The classes in Lecce tend to feel like studio courses, lots of chalkboard talks on the history of the Mediterranean, Italy, wine, extra virgin, etc.  If you’re one to take notes during lectures, this is the course for you.

Corso al Castello: General course at the castle

Where: An hour south of Lecce in the Baron’s Castle
When: Held throughout the year.
How much: 1995 Euro
Where do I sleep? * At al castello.  95 Euro a single, 110 a double, 6 nights.

What makes it special: The castle is ours for the week, from the use of our impressive kitchen, to the baron’s pool, to the underground olive mill, etc. What is most misunderstood before booking is that il castello makes up one quarter of the historic centre of a small Italian town. Exit the kitchen door and you’re in the main piazza.  We shop daily at the greengrocer, butcher, visit an olive oil producer, etc., all interacting with locals every day – This is not a bunch of foreigners off in an isolated villa but a week spent very much immersed in the local community. While our courses at il castello are still every bit hands on, the tendency is towards festivity and each meal feels something akin to ‘putting on a show in the barn’, the clicking wine glasses running down the central hall’s long table, the pasta arriving in giant steaming bowls, roasting whole fish and joints of meat in the baron’s stone fireplace, etc.

Corso avanzato: An advanced course for returning students 

Where: In Lecce or at The Castle
When: Held throughout the year
How Much: 1995 Euro
Where Will you Sleep:  *Wherever you like if we are in Lecce. At the castle if we are at the castle. 95 Euro a single, 110 a double, 6 nights.

What Makes it Special:  By ‘advanced’ we mean in interest rather than in abilities, here is your chance to go deeper into the food, wine, extra virgin, culture and language, especially if you’ve already been to the school (although the course is open to anyone).

Corso Bici/Cucina/Vino: A course dedicated to bicycling/cooking/wine

Where: Al castello
When: twice annually
How much: 1995 Euro, with a 195 supplement for bicycle rental, insurance and guide hire.
Where do I sleep: * Al castello. 95 Euro a single, 110 a double, 6 nights

What makes it special? This is new. This is a school rather than a tour, so we’ll return to the castle each day to learn, cook, drink, laugh and sleep. Cycling is between 3 and 4 hours a day, mostly flat terrain. Our students love returning to the same room and bed each night, rather than having to tour, unpacking and repacking.

San Martino: San Martin’s week – A sort of ‘thanksgiving’, Puglia-style

Where: Al castello
When: The week around November 11th, each year.
How much: 1995 Euro
Where do I sleep: * Al Castello. 95 Euro a single, 110 a double, 6 nights.

What makes it special? Without a doubt the best holiday of the year, San Martino replaced a pagan holiday, one which celebrated the ending of the autumnal work and the beginning of the winter’s rest. It’s also the date of the release of the new wine, puglia’s answer to Beaujolais nouveau. We cook each night in the baron’s castle kitchen lit only with the light of a hundred brass candle sticks. If you’ve ever looked to enter one of Europe’s great food festivals this course represents the door for you.

La settimana della salsa: The week we make the annual tomato sauce!

Where: Al castello
Early September.
How much: 1995 Euro
Where do I sleep: * Al castello. 95 Euro a single, 110 a double, 6 nights.

What makes it special? This is the week we make the annual tomato sauce, and often a high point of the year. It’s also the week we make our vincotto. And the week when nearly every meal ends with everyone into the baron’s pool. And it’s also our school’s birthday.

Terronia: La Scuola di Vino Meridionale: Terronia – The school of southern Italian wine

Where: Al castello
When: Throughout the year
How much: 1995 Euro
Where do I sleep: * Al castello. 95 Euro a single, 110 a double, 6 nights.

What makes it special? At our wine school we teach the most important wines of the entire south of Italy. You’ll learn to read a label, to select glassware, to know the varietals and regions of the south, to blind taste, etc. In one week you’ll become a southern Italian wine expert! Designed for those with no prior formal wine training. Final exam is optional.

Olive You: A course dedicated to getting to know extra virgin olive oil

Where: Al castello
When: Late October/November
How much: 1995 Euro
Where do I sleep: * Al castello. 95 Euro a single, 110 a double, 6 nights.

What makes it special: Here is your chance to really get to know one of the best foods on earth. We’ll pick, gather, crush and decant our own oil this week. Plus,  learn to taste and appreciate it at the table. But most of all we’ll cook with, anoint and consume the freshly pressed, a once in a life time experience, even for the most well traveled in Italy.

*As per European law, accommodation cannot be included in our prices.  Expect to pay between 35 and 110 Euro per night, depending on the level of luxury.

We suggest you book your time with us first, and your stay only after we’ve confirmed your registration, using our password protected, Student Services. 

Cancellation & Refunds Policy

Tuition is non-refundable anytime after one calendar month before registered class begins. However, after this, a one-time change of dates is possible (when available), and free of charge. There are no refunds should students miss classes or meals, either by electing to do so, or by late arrival or early departure.

If  The Awaiting Table must cancel a program for any reason, all fees and deposits will be refunded in full. Any related travel costs will not be reimbursed. This to date has never happened. In 11 years, we’ve yet to cancel a class.

Legal Liability (Standard to the Industry)

Students must sign a legal waiver freeing the The Awaiting Table and its staff from any legal liability. This form must be signed upon arrival. This is an industry standard.

We assume no liability for injury, delay, inconvenience, irregularity, loss or damage to person or property or additional cost resulting directly or indirectly from the following causes: fire, acts of government, thefts, delays, cancellations or for any other events with which we have no control.

No refunds will be given for any sightseeing, accommodations, meals, or excursions that the participant misses or decides not to take.

For housing and accommodation information, please visit our Accomodations page.

How to Pay

Our preferred method of payment is through the online service, PayPal, a safe, modern service that allows you to make payments in your local currency. During the registration process, you will be asked to make your accompanying payment.

Travel Insurance

We recommend that you purchase separate insurance in case you have to cancel your trip, as well as accident, health and baggage and personal effects loss or damage.

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