Here in the deep southeast of Italy, nature and history are powerful influences, the locals still wink cheekily and the relaxed and communal way of life is in harmony with the sunny climate. Famed for its passionate embrace of life, simple cuisine, flavoursome wines, historic cities and charming coastal villages, it’s a delightful place to get away from it all.
The Puglia region is an absolute surprise, with loads of amazing places to visit. Everything that you would expect from a journey to Italy is there in abundance: historic little towns, incredible food and fresh produce, rolling silver-green olive orchards, stunning natural landscapes, and some of the best beaches in southern Italy.
Only by visiting you can find out what makes Matera so special. It didn’t take long to work out – this city is like nowhere else on Earth.
Only 20 pax or fewer
Knowledgealbe English-speaking tour mangaer
Full day tour to get the most of your time
Experience South Italy’s real soul
Complimentary pasticciotto in Alberobello
Wine and food tasting in Martina Franca
Olive oil and Food Tasting in Lecce
Complimentary pasticciotto in Galatina
1 hour boat tour in Polignano a Mare
Complimentary Focaccia in Bari
Pasta Making Class (Orecchiette) in Bari
In Bari: 3 nights
An exclusive 4-star hotel nestled in the green of an ancient park, near the center of Bari and 800 m from the central station. Rooms with free WiFi. Restaurant with open kitchen that celebrates Puglia’s flavors. Fitness center with gym, sauna, hot tub and steam room. Outdoor swimming pool.
In Alberobello: 2 nights
The Grand Hotel is surrounded by typical Trulli, rural stone buildings only found in Apulia. Located in the verdant Valle d’Itria, it offers luxurious accommodation. Rooms provide a quiet, comfortable retreat, and each is equipped with a private balcony and air conditioning. Free wi-Fi is available throughout the hotel.
The Restaurant serves a refined à la carte menu accompanied by fine wines kept in a rock-walled cellar.
In Lecce: 2 nights
Modern 4 star hotel is just few minutes walk from Lecce historic centre. The hotel’s rooms is pure expression of of quality and comfort. Free high-speed Wi-Fi connection. From the 40” fullHD TV direct internet access and Sky Channels. In the Comfort Room Guests will find the large chromotherapy shower with which you can create the atmosphere you want: relaxing, energizing or romantic – the chromotherapy shower illuminates the room with different light tones.
Day 1: Welcome to Bari
Check-in at the hotel. In the late afternoon, meeting with the tour guide for a short breefing and tour introduction. Dinner at hotel’s restaurant.
Day 2: Castel del Monte – Matera
After breakfast, tour will take you to Castel del Monte, one of the many castles built in southern Italy in the thirteenth century by Frederick II, the greatest of his castles, and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Castel del Monte looks to be in the middle of nowhere. Castel del Monte lies 540 meters on the sea level and is situated within a stunning landscape, set between the Murge reliefs and the Adriatic sea
If you love mystery and esotericism, this is the place that you can not miss, the most enigmatic place of south Italy. It is the most mysterious of all Frederick’s castles and scientists have not found out yet the real meaning of the number eight in the elements of this building: most probably this was a symbol for alchemy and this witnesses the interest of the emperor for mathematics and esotericism. (entry fee included)
Tour continues to Matera, time for lunch (not included) before starting the tour of this amazing city, Italy’s magical city of stone.
Matera is one of the most interesting, unusual and memorable destinations in Italy. In the remote southern region of Basilicata, still little-visited by foreign travellers, it is a town famous for its extensive cave-dwelling districts, the Sassi, the Sasso Barisano and the Sasso Caveoso. This fascinating historical setting that has been used as a backdrop location for Mel Gibson’s movie, “The Passion of the Christ”. Tour will allow you to visit a rupestrian cave church and a former rupestrian house, showing how inhabitant used to live (entry fees included). At the end of city tour, transfer to Alberobello. Check-in and dinner at hotel’s restaurant.
Day 3: Alberobello – Martina Franca
After breakfast it’s time to visit one of the most enchanting places of all Italy. Alberobello is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with its maze of hilly cobblestone paths lined with charming conical-roofed trulli, the white town seems straight out of a children’s story book. Alberobello has over 1,500 densely packed trulli. These buildings are unique to the Itria Valley and were originally built as field shelters or for storage, and in some cases as dwellings for rural families. The majoity of the trulli are clustered in two neighborhoods— Rione Monti and Rione Aia Piccola. There are two excellent museums in Alberobello that provide a better understanding of the trulli and they are included in our tour, entry fees included. In Rione Aia Piccola, the Museo del Territorio and Trullo Sovrano.
You will make a stop at Martinucci’s pasticceria (pastry shop) for a complimentary pasticciotto, a custard-filled pastry in flavors like pistachio and ricotta with chocolate. Time for lunch in a local restaurant (included).
In the afternoon tour continues to Martina Franca.
Martina Franca is one of Puglia’s most beautiful towns, overflowing with elegant Baroque architecture. Its centro storico is an alluring mix of narrow twisting alleys and dazzling white houses interspersed with sunny open piazzas.
The largest church in Martina Franca is Basilica di San Martino, a grand baroque and rococo construction located on the Piazza Plebiscito. Via Vittorio Emanuele continues east from the piazza to one of the city gates, Arco di Sant’Antonio, and the 17th century Palazzo Ducale. Palazzo Ducale has rooms that are free to visit with frescoed walls. At the end of the city tour, you will go to a local vinery to taste two different wines. Puglia is famous for its wines! Back on the bus, it’s time to come back to Alberobello. Dinner at hotel’s restaurant.
Day 4: Lecce – Olive oil Tasting at local farm
After breakfast you will leave Alberobello, going to Salento’s capital city. Lecce is the Baroque masterpiece of southern Italy. Sometimes described as the ‘Florence of the South’, Lecce is just a gorgeous place. The historic centre’s small size, restricted to cars, allows to wander among narrow streets of golden sandstone, hidden piazzas, extravagantly carved baroque churches.
At the heart of the city stands a half-buried 2nd-century Roman amphitheater, and everywhere else, elaborately decorated churches and palaces built in local honey-hued stone. The finest example of Puglian baroque is, without doubt, the Basilica of Santa Croce, a wonderfully ornate edifice situated next to the Palazzo dei Celestini. Exuberant figurative, floral and mythological motifs characterize the façades of both buildings.
A short bus ride will take you to a local farm, where olive oil is produced according to the biological method. Once there, you will be treated with a local lunch (included) with produce from the farm. Later, you will enjoy a walk among centuries-old olive trees and a tour to the onsite oil mill (frantoio) to learn about the processes of making premium olive oil, a tasting will follow. Back to Lecce, dinner at hotel restaurant.
Day 5: Galatina – Otranto
Today the tour will take you to Italy’s easternmost point, Otranto.
Before getting to Otranto, there’s time to see Galatina, one of Puglia’s many hidden gems. Just 20km south of stunning Lecce, it has much in common with its more illustrious neighbour, not least its mainly baroque town centre that has remained nearly intact over the centuries. Wandering around the old town centre, you will be struck by the charming uniformity of its architecture, the laid-back tranquility of its streets and the friendliness of its inhabitants. With a charming historic centre, Galatina is at the core of the Salentine Peninsula’s Greek past.
Walking around Galatina, you’ll smell the delicious aroma of freshly baked pasticciotti. The invention of the pasticciotti is allegedly credited to a pastry chef in Galatina called Andrea Ascalone who, in 1745, used leftovers from torta to create smaller pies. The traditional fillings of pasticciotti include custard and ricotta, but you can find some more unusual fillings such as almond, pistachio and chocolate. When visiting Galatina, you will be treated to one of these amazing pastries. It’s complimentary!
The tour continues toward Italy’s Easternmost town, Otranto, where you have time for lunch (not included).
Tucked away in Italy’s heel, in the province of Lecce, the picturesque seaside town of Otranto means different things for different travelers. Art and history enthusiasts come here to admire the gorgeous 12th-century mosaic floors of its Romanesque cathedral; gourmets for the seafood restaurants lining the scenic waterfront promenades; and incurable romantics to get lost in its postcard-perfect old quarter, crisscrossed by narrow travertine-paved alleyways. Back to Lecce, dinner at hotel restaurant.
Day 6: Ostuni– Polignano a Mare
Ostuni is a gleaming white mix of houses, churches, and charming piazzas spread over a hilltop surrounded by quaint countryside and endless olive groves.
Appropriately nicknamed la città bianca or “the white city”, Ostuni’s fortified historical old town is located on a steep hill just a few kilometers from the sea. That’s allows to have lovely views of the Adriatic blue and crystal water. Simply enjoy wandering the streets and alleyways, checking out the historic buildings, and be amazed by panoramic views of the Adriatic.
The Museo Civiltà Preclassica Murgia Meridionale Ostuni, the town’s archaeology museum, is a surprising treat.
Time for lunch (not included) before going to Polignano a Mare.
Polignano a Mare is prettier than a paint, a shining gem on the coast of the Valle d’Itria. Perched dramatically atop a 20 metre-high craggy ravine above the crystal clear waters of the Adriatic, Polignano a Mare truly lives up to its name and literally could not be any more ‘at sea’. The idyllic seaside town hugs a little beach sheltered by two cliffs, and its centro storico – an atmospheric maze of winding streets, sun-bleached buildings, and old churches – reveals intriguing glimpses of the sparkling blue sea at every turn. After the city tour, you will enjoy a boat ride to explore the sea caves of Polignano a Mare. (Only from April to September). Cruise out to sea and admire the coastline views. See unique rock formations and colorful light displays in Grotta delle Rondinelle, Grotta of Episcopina, and Grotta Palazzese. Arriving in Bari, time for rest before having dinner at hotel’s reastaurant.
Day 7: Old Bari, between sea and reality, tradition and entertainment
Most travellers skip Bari on their way to Puglia’s more renowed places. That is a huge mistake, if you ask us. Bari doesn’t lack history or culture. In many ways, it is in Bari that the heart and soul of Puglia is to be found. In the ancient part of the city, Old Bari, you will find the perfect marriage between contemporary and traditional, history and innovation, folklore and entertainment.
Like many of Puglia’s small cities and towns, the majority of what interests visitors to Bari lies within the walls of the old city, or as it’s known here, Bari Vecchia.
This morning, we have a guided tour of the Old Town where there is so much to discover, such as the imposing medieval Swabian fortress (entry fee included) and the massive Romanesque cathedral with its 11th-century frescoes. For many, though, the focal point is the Basilica di San Nicola, whose 900-year-old vaulted crypt is the final resting place of Saint Nicholas, Patron Saint of Russia – better known to us as Father Christmas.
It’s in via dell’Orecchietta that we’ll get to experience one of Bari’s most legendary traditions: locals sitting in their doorways and kneading pasta dough to make typical orecchiette in the street! Here and there, you may come across chattering matriarchs sitting outside their doorsteps making, hand-rolling and cutting different types of pasta, a practice unchanged through time.
Having delved into the history of the city, we’ll head to a traditional local eatery for a well-earned complimentary food tasting. It’s time to be treated to a delicious snack of typical focaccia, one of the most well-loved recipes in Bari, for the finishing touch on an excellent sightseeing tour.
Back to the hotel for a break. In the afternoon.. let’s getting ready for a pasta making class. Our destination is a farmhouse 15 minutes from Bari city centre, a quiet location, immerse in a olive orchard. Nonnas will teach you how to make Orecchiette from the scratch.
Dinner will follow at the same place: orecchiette (and more) will be tonight’s meal!
Day 8: Bari, end of the tour
Breakfast at the hotel. End of our services.
Private bus transportation
English-speaking tour guide, escorting the group throughout
7 nights accomodation, shared room
Half board meal plan, American breakfast and dinner
3 light lunches
Complimentary Focaccia for lunch in Bari Wine tasting Pasta Making class
Boat tour in Polignano a Mare (only from April to September)
Guided visits as per itinerary, throughout four full days
Entrance fees as per programme
Hotel city tax ( €2 per person per night)
Extras, drinks and personal expenses
Gratuities and porterage
NB: Private airport transfer can be arranged on request, at extra-charge.
Terms and Conditions at https://www.travelexperienceinitaly.com/terms-and-conditions/
Escorted group for exigent travellers
|February, 20-27||€ 1.310,00|
|March, 20-27||€ 1.310,00|
|April, 17 – 24||€ 1.360,00|
|May, 15 -22||€ 1.360,00|
|September, 11 – 18||€ 1.360,00|
|October, 9 -16||€ 1.360,00|