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Puglia is undeniably one of the most fantastic regions to visit in Italy.
The 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.

Download Eight Days in Puglia Detailed Programme for more information, maps and pictures.

Tour Highlights

Small group of 20 pax or fewer
Kwoledgeable English-speaking tour manager
Spend a week in a warm and welcoming land
Enjoy  complimentary Focaccia in Bari
Taste a complimentary Pasticciotto in Alberobello
Tipical “Bombette” for lunch
Pasta Making Class
Wine tasting in Manduria, the land of Primitivo Wine
Papier-machè workshop in Lecce
Underground Oil Mills in Gallipoli
1 hour boat tour in Polignano a Mare

The accomodation

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: 1 night
A unique accommodation set in traditional Trulli stone. The buildings, protected by UNESCO World Heritage, are in various locations. With vaulted ceilings, each Trullo offers antique furnishings and a private bathroom, while the rooms have vaulted ceilings and original stone features. Trulli are carefully restored and furnished according to tradition without neglecting the comfort.
In Lecce: 3 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. In addition, free high-speed Wi-Fi connection to browse. 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.

Tour itinerary
Day 1: Arrive in 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: 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.

This morning, we have a guided tour of the Old Town where there is so much to discover.
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!
Having delved into the history of the city, we’ll head to a traditional local eatery for a well-earned complimentary break. 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 before 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.
Dinner will follow at the same place: orecchiette (and more) will be tonight’s meal!

A visit to Castellana Caves in Puglia is like a journey to the centre of the earth Located at the entrance of the Itria Valley, Castellana Caves, the caves contain an extraordinary range of underground landscapes, with some of the world’s most astonishing stalactite and stalagmite formations. The so-called “White Cave,” which is often described as the most shining cave in the world because of the whiteness of its alabaster walls.

Tour continues to Locorotondo. Listed as one of I Borghi più belli d’Italia (most beautiful small Italian towns of historical interest), Locorotondo is a whitewashed hilltop town, in the heart of the Valle d’Itria. Still, the humble town is a delightful place to wander around, with its round-shaped historical centre of quiet streets and typical cummerse townhouses bedecked with pots of fuchsia geraniums and intricate ironwork.
Light lunch included in Locorotondo at a macelleria-braceria to taste delicious and tipical Bombette. What’s a macelleria-braceria? It’s a butcher’s shop having little restaurants serving bombette and meats.

After lunch it’s time to go to 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, 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. In Rione Aia Piccola, the Museo del Territorio consists of several interconnected trulli and provides information on the history and construction of the structures, as well as background on Alberobello as a settlement. Trullo Sovrano, is a smaller museum located in the only two story trullo. 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.
It’s time to go to your hotel for check-in. Dinner in a local restaurant.

Day 4: Martina Franca – Grottaglie – Maduria, the land of Primitivo

Today’s full-day starts visiting the charming baroque town of Martina Franca and ends in Lecce. Martina Franca is one of Puglia’s most beautiful towns. Its centro storico is an alluring mix of narrow twisting alleys and dazzling white houses interspersed with sunny open piazzas. A bit bigger than the neighboring towns, it has long been the commercial center of the region, which is evident in the centuries-old palazzi, and exquisitely ornate basilicas.
Time for lunch (included) in Grottaglie.

Driving along a really scenographic way from Martina Franca, passing by vineyards, rustic masserias, olive groves, dry masonry stone fences, the tour continues to Grottagle, the city of ceramics, and to Manduria, the land of Primitivo wine in Puglia. 
Imagine a town that has survived for hundreds of years on making beautiful hand-made ceramics. Add a twist of Southern Italian charm and hundreds of artisans turning clay into pots, jugs, plates, cups, saucers, statues and other works of art – then you would have Grottaglie. The Quartiere della Ceramica has been where it is since the middle ages so it is bursting with history, and full of artisans happy to let you watch them at work. All the classics of ceramica pugliese are here; the dot flower pattern, the rooster jugs, and more.

In Puglia’s Salento, the city of Manduria is an intriguing warren of lanes jumbled with cream-colored homes and palaces. In the city centre, the old town still retains the original section of the medieval Jewish ghetto. Manduria is a good place for wine enthusiasts, as this is the heart and soul of Primitivo di Manduria, one of Puglia’s best-known wines. “Primitivo di Manduria” grows in the Manduria flatlands along the Ionian coastside in a red soil made out of limestone and clay. Because of climate and soil conditions, it produces a juicy, smoothy, sweety wine. A wine tasting will follow the city tour.
Back on the bus, it’s time to get to Lecce. Dinner at hotel’s restaurant.

Day 5: Lecce – Galatina

Lecce is the Baroque masterpiece of southern Italy. Sometimes described as the ‘Florence of the South’, Lecce is really  a gorgeous place, and 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.

Lecce Papier-mâchè workshop

Well-known for its Baroque style, not many tourists know that the city of Lecce is also famous for the papier-mâché art, cartapesta in Italian.
So, what is Papier-mâché? The art of papier-mâché in Lecce, a phenomenon unique to Puglia, dates back to a period between the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries when the development of arts was linked to the increasing number of churches and monuments. The craftsmen did not have access to precious materials, and as such they were forced to make use of other, poorer materials such as straw, rags, glue and plaster. During the workshop the skillful artisan will explain and show the different phases of the production, which is still carried out according to the ancient tradition handed down from generation to generation.

After lunch it’s to move toward 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.
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 visintg Galatina, you will be treated to one of these amazing pastries. It’s complimentary! Back to Lecce, dinner at local restaurant. 

Day 6: Gallipoli – Otranto

Gallipoli lives up to the provenance of its name, ‘beautiful city’ in Greek. The old town centre sits on a tiny island connected to the mainland by a 17th century bridge. Behind its castle lies a maze of picturesque streets filled with quaint shops, cafés and restaurants, as well as historic churches, convents and palaces. Despite its small size, Gallipoli is packed with historic and cultural treasures. In the 18th century, Gallipoli was home to the largest olive oil market in the Mediterranean. You will visit and underground oil mills. Gallipoli once had an underground network of 35 oil mills. The largest one, Palazzo Granafei has been restored and will tell you a lot of fun facts.

The tour continues toward the opposite side of Salento’s peninsula, Italy’s easternmost town.
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 7: 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.
The Museo Civiltà Preclassica Murgia Meridionale Ostuni, the town’s archaeology museum, is a surprising treat. Housed in a former church and adjoining monastery, the museum features artifacts documenting a mind-blowing 30,000 years of human history in the region. 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 (from April to September only). 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 8: Bari, end of the tour

Breakfast at the hotel. End of our services.

Included:
Private bus transportation
English-speaking tour guide, escorting the group throughout
7 nights accomodation on half board basis, American breakfast and dinner, shared room
2 light lunches
Complimentary Focaccia for lunch in Bari
Wine tasting
Pasta Making class
Papier-machè workshop
Boat tour in Polignano a Mare (only in May June and September)
Guided visits as per itinerary, throughout four full days
Entrance fees  as per programme
Insurance

Not included:
Hotel city tax ( €2 per person per night)
Extras, drinks and personal expenses
Gratuities and porterage
NB: Private airport transport con be arranged on request at extra charge.

Download Eight Days in Puglia Detailed Programme for more information, maps and pictures.

Escorted group for exigent travellers

2021

Price Per Person

February, 13-20 € 1.290,00
March, 20-27 € 1.290,00
May,  8-15 € 1.340,00
June, 19-26 € 1.340,00
September, 04-11 € 1.340,00
October,  23-30 € 1.290,00

 

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