Take a trip to the past to learn ancient cuisine on Ursula's estate in southern Italy.
  • Martina Franca, Italy
  • 20 hours over 4 days

Historical Cuisine with Ursula

Take a trip to the past to learn ancient cuisine on Ursula's estate in southern Italy. She and her family grow their own food, make wine and olive oil, & live self-sufficiently among the vineyards, where you'll stay in traditional accommodations to cook, learn, & eat the historical cuisine of the Mediterranean.
  • Dinner


One Guest
USD $820
Additional guest(s) (max 4)
USD $300


One Guest
USD $750
Additional guest(s)
USD $225
Pick grapes fresh off the vine on the estate.Focus on the history of food and cook with master chef and archeologist Ursula.Learn to make home-made pasta.Bake ancient Roman bread for a Middle Ages meal.

Meet the Artist

Ursula is an archaeologist and cook, passionate about sustainability. For years, Ursula worked on excavation projects in Syria, Turkey and Egypt, where she often lived in small, traditional villages where locals would produce much of the food themselves. Inspired by this way of life, Ursula picked up a variety of recipes and traditional food preparation techniques throughout her travels. Historic methods of producing and cooking food inspire Ursula academically, but also motivate her lifestyle. “Humanity has been able to sustain itself without extreme over-consumption for millennia, without exploiting the planet,” Ursula explains. She believes that looking back to traditional cooking techniques also encourages getting back to a more sustainable way of living. Ursula’s self-sufficient, solar-powered estate in Southern Italy, shared with her husband, harkens back to simpler times. Ursula grows most of her own food, eats fresh ingredients seasonally, raises chickens, makes wine and olive oil, and in her spare time, practices archery!

VAWAA Includes:

  • Each day is focused on the history of food and cooking in a time period: Mesopotamia, Classical Antiquity, Middle Ages, and Renaissance.
  • Foraging, harvesting, and gardening.
  • Food preservation.
  • Baking ancient Roman bread & preparing Ancient Roman sweet wine.
  • Cooking traditional meals from each era.
  • Possible visit to the archaeological museum of Taranto.

Stay at Ursula's

Stay on Ursula's charming family estate and vineyard. You can choose to stay in a traditional trullo, with two bedrooms, one living room, a full bathroom, a terrace with a view over the vineyard, and a swimming pool. Or stay in the yurt, a glamorous mongolian round tent with a double bed. Both options include breakfast.

Explore Martina Franca

Nestled in the picturesque Valle D’Itria, Martina Franca is one of several small Mediterranean jewels set in a landscape of vineyards and olive trees. The culinary experience is excellent; find authentic local pizzerias on the street and enjoy amazing house wine for just 2 euros a bottle. You will also find trullos tucked away in many of the small towns. These traditional little one room structures are built without brick or mortar and feature a conical roof. Historically, a pinnacle is placed on top or a symbol is painted onto the roof, such as a cross, evil eye, star, etc. to encourage good luck and ward off misfortune.

Additional Details

Ursula can adapt the VAWAA to your dietary needs (allergies, intolerances and food preferences). This experience is limited to 4 days. However, you are welcome to stay with Ursula for a longer duration and your VAWAA can be spread over a week, with free day breaks in between. For any special requests, please specify when sending a booking request.
Ursula's Availability 4 days

Guest Reviews

  • Sheila C., United States

    Huge disappointment. I had taken Ursula's online course and was eager to learn more. It was the middle of the heat wave and she took advantage of this. We only met 2.5 hours a day (not the 5 advertised). Nothing about wine or olive oil production and no foraging (due to heat). But also no museum visits, additional information or anything else to make up for the activities not possible during the Read more

  • Sonam S., United States

    We had such a fabulous time with Ursula! Her entire family - including her husband, daughter and adorable pets - made us feel very welcome in their gorgeous home. We thoroughly enjoyed all four historical dinners, and have brought back home handy cooking skills and recipes to recreate the magic! We also enjoyed harvesting fresh herbs and veggies, and trying our hand at archery. Our 4 year old daug Read more

  • Karen S., United States

    Ursula was very knowledgeable and interesting. We learned a lot and enjoyed cooking with her. She is quite accomplished and has lovely farm and welcoming family.

  • Claire B., United States

    Learning cooking with Ursula was an absolute treat! Her extensive knowledge and incorporation of history was such a cool addition to learning recipes that I've never had in a cooking class before. Being on her beautiful farm and using fresh ingredients straight from the property was so special. It felt like more than just a cooking class - we were welcomed into Ursula's family and home, and it was Read more

  • Mary C., United States

    Wonderful experience, staying in a Trujillo, enjoying Puglia and then the food! The cooking was fun, the knowledge shared was interesting and the company Devine.

  • Katie S., Canada

    I had a fabulous four days with Ursula! She is a powerful and kind person with an impressive knowlege of history and great instincts for food and people. During our two excursions to Cisternino and Taranto, it was thrilling to follow her through crowded markets. The grace and confidence with which she moves through the world turns heads!

    Some of my most memorable moments included finally gettin
    Read more

  • Fredy Q., Switzerland

    Our 1st VAWAA experience was at Ursula and Manoosher’s organic farm and it totally exceeded our expectations. From the first minute, the welcoming kitchen with its large wooden table and warm fireplace feels like our home away from home. Our hosts immediately include us in their family in a natural and very friendly way. Is it thanks to VAWAA’s smartly designed platform? It has provided the canvas Read more

  • Cherri M., United States

    I can't say enough great things about my time in Martina Franca with Ursula. Her wealth of knowledge on history, archaeology and the culinary traditions of Italy made for an informative and delicious experience. From foraging on the farm to outings to the local market, it was a truly hands on endeavor and learning to make my own hand shaped pasta was a particular highlight! Each meal was a deep di Read more

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