The tour was great and Anna our guide was lovely! It was supposed to be a 3hour tour and it seemed to finish at least half an hour too soon. The pasta making was lovely however the portions we got to eat were quite small as there were 11 of us. I guess the more you make, the more you eat so if you choose this then make sure you make enough for yourselves to have a good meal. Lovely experience otherwise :
An rivetingly interesting history lesson, told through the architecture of the Old Town and its buildings. This tour was a roughly 3 hour walking classroom with an incredibly knowledgeable guide, Francesco. It is impossible not to find this informative walk uninteresting, because I found the history of Bari revalationary. Unless you are a history scholar you find Bari importantly linked to Saint Nicolas, Byzantium, William the Bad to Federico II, The Falcon of Palermo, Venice, the Spanish Reign, and the list goes on, while the architecture explains the connections. Then you arrive at Lady Camillas house for a lesson in making orchietti pasta. Sample a quick dish of the same with a glass of wine, and its off to the Cathedral and the rest of the tour. Kudos to Francesco our guide. There was not a question he could not answer, plus his English was exemplary. I highly recommend this tour if you would like to know the history of Bari or get a feel for the Old Town.
I would not recommend this tour at all. There are lots of FREE walking tours of Bari but we selected this one because of the pasta making class. First of all, the tour company combined three English speakers with 5 German speakers. The guide tried very hard to speek to both groups but her time was monopolized by the Germans.
The pasta class was really a bust. The ladies were grouchy and impatient, spoke no English, seemed to just want to get the class over with and never turned their TV off or down. They moved so fast making the pasta that you could NOT tell what they were doing. They did not seem to care if you learned the technique or not. At the end, they slopped about 1/2 cup of the orecchiette pasta in some bowls and cups, gave us a small plastic cup of terrible wine and pretty much showed us the door. Honestly, I think they are tired of doing this so they should just quit.
We have been staying on Conversant for two months and have been to Bar a few times. We signed up for this tour to get a different look at Bar but also mostly for the cooking class part of the tour. That was the biggest disappointment- it was not a cooking class at all. We went to the women's house- sat down- she make a snake of pasta dough that was already made- made some shapes of pasta- cooked up some fresh pasta and served it with jarred sauce- one of us had a beer, one wine. We tried making the shapes of pasta and that was it. Not sure if we just didn't get the right deal, looking at pictures from other tours but if this is the way the tour is then don't call is a cooking class because it is not.
On a positive note, our tour guide Sabastino was great- very friendly and informative- he made the walking part of the tour great.
The walking tour was great! Our tour guide was so friendly and very knowledgeable about everything, and watching the orecchiette masters and then learning how to do so was really fun. Getting the details of the tour was a bit slow ie, if we were confirmed, how long it would be, etc but other than that it was a really great experience.
Giorgio was a fantastic guide. He answered every question we asked and was very knowledgeable. The making and eating of the pasta was a highlight and the hostess and her husband were terrific and made us feel very welcome. It was unanimous that this was a highlight of the trip... there were 6 of us and the youngest was 21.