DETAILED ITINERARY

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The Adventure

Day 1: BUONGIORNO – WELCOME to BARI​ in the region of PUGLIA (APULIA)

  • Morning

    • We MEET in BARI outside the “Palace Hotel" at 10.00 a.m.

    • and begin with a fascinating panoramic BUS TOUR of the coastal town of BARI.

    • followed by WALKING TOUR through the ancient alleys, visiting the “Basilica of St. Nicholas,” one of the most remarkable examples of Romanesque architecture, the exterior of the “Swabian Castle” built in Norman times, and the local Fish Market.

    • At the heart of the historic center called “Bari Vecchia” (Old Bari), we EXPERIENCE the making of the Apulian “orecchiette,” a good food of which its essence is enclosed in a small-form pasta that is a true symbol of “pugliesità.”

    • We enjoy a Lunch in a typical ristorante. It is time to taste some handmade orecchiette in a traditional authentic meal.

  • Afternoon and Evening

    • We DRIVE to the elegant town of LECCE, also known as the “Florence of the South”.

    • This evening in LECCE we have Dinner in a local ristorante  where you’ll feel like one of the family and eat like a local!

  • Overnight stay in LECCE:

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Day 2: LECCE AND ITS BAROQUE SPLENDORS

  • Morning

    • We join a BUS TOUR to have the key sights historic LECCE explained to us. Southern Italians have long appreciated this remarkable architectural confection and glorious profusion of Baroque mansions and churches intricately sculpted from the soft sandstone found locally.

    • We VISIT a pastry shop to sample the traditional pastry, a sweet custard treat called Pasticciotto. When it comes to food, the Apulia region is one of the most famous for Italian cuisine, so you can’t miss the pleasure of the well-known Pasticciotto.

  • Afternoon and Evening

    • Lunch in a local trattoria

    • In the afternoon we VISIT OTRANTO, an historic seaside town and port on the picture-perfect blue waters of the Adriatic Sea.  Dinner tonight is on your own.

  • Overnight stay in LECCE. (2nd of 3 nights)

Day 3: THE MARVELS OF GALLIPOLI & GROTTE ZINZULUSA

  • Morning
    • We travel to the town of GALLIPOLI, an important Greek colony in the Middle Ages.

  • Afternoon and Evening

    • After Lunch in a popular fishing restaurant, we TRAVEL to “Grotte Zinzulusa,” located in the very bottom of Italy’s boot, for a fun boating excursion. 

    • A majestic sheer sea cliff near CASTRO welcomes us to Zinzulusa Cave, one of Salento’s most impressive karstic phenomena.  The cave, which branches out in several different directions, owes its name to the popular imagination - its many stalactites and stalagmites look like limp rags, which are called "Zinzuli" in the local Salento dialect.

    • We RETURN to the old town of LECCE where the evening is all yours for a meal or taking in the atmosphere of the evening “stroll.”  Dinner is on your own.

  • Overnight stay in LECCE. (3rd of 3 nights)

Day 4: PRIMITIVO WINE TASTING IN MANDURIA & MATERA 

  • Morning
    • LEAVING the beautiful Puglia region, we DRIVE to nearby Basilicata region and the town of MATERA. Even for Italians, Basilicata is off the beaten track and little known, despite being portrayed as Biblical Palestine in countless film epics.

    • On the way we STOP is a well-known winery located in the Manduria region for a tasting of their wines “Primitivo” and a VISIT to the wine culture museum

  • Afternoon and Evening

    • ​Free time to leisurely explore and enjoy.
    • For Dinner this evening we will meet for a delicious meal in a local gourmet restaurant.

  • Overnight stay in MATERA  (1st of 2 nights)

    • For two nights we stay in “Palazzo del Duca” or similar, located in the heart of the Sassi district, one of the world’s oldest towns, inhabited since the Paleolithic Age.

Day 5:  MATERA & ALTAMURA        

Matera is a fabulous troglodyte town of prehistoric grottoes, cave tabernacles, abandoned hovels and Renaissance houses, all excavated into the luminous limestone tufa. The rock-cut cave dwellings known as the Sassi, date back to Byzantine times

  • Morning

    • We visit a local bakery in ALTAMURA for a DEMONSTRATION the making of bread, baked in an old wood-burning oven of centuries past. “Altamura Bread” is a rustic bread from the Italian province of Bari. Semolina Flour gives it a distinct texture, flavor and aroma that is unique to Italy!

  • Afternoon and Evening

    • Lunch at a local farm or ristorante.

    • Upon returning to MATERA, the rest of the day free for leisure and exploring in beautiful MATERA.  Dinner on your own.

  • Overnight stay in MATERA  (2nd of 2 nights)

Day 6: ALBEROBELLO, NOCI & OSTUNI

  • Today’s visit takes you to the town of ALBEROBELLO, famous for its district of Trulli, spread over the hillside to the south of the town. These square structures have conical roofs covered with “Chiancarelle,” grey-limestone roof slabs, and are crowned by differently shaped pinnacles, each with a magical significance.

  • Morning

    • We will WANDER the streets of the quaint town of ALBEROBELLO and through an 18th century small Trullo house, giving something of the atmosphere of trullo life, with sweet, rounded rooms that include a re-created bakery, bedroom and kitchen.

  • Afternoon and Evening

    • Lunch and VISIT of “Agriturismo Aglio Piccolo” in the town of NOCI.  We TOUR an Apulian farmhouse, known in Puglia as "masseria", and DISCOVER the cheese factory offering samples of farm-fresh burrata, mozzarella and ricotta cheeses. 

    • Dinner together in a local restaurant.

  • Overnight stay in OSTUNI  (1st of 4 nights)

    • Enjoy four nights in the white town or OSTUNI.

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Day 7: “WHITE TOWN” OF OSTUNI & WINE TASTING​

  • Morning

    • We TAKE A STROLL through the narrow alleys and steep stairways of picturesque OSTUNI, a town which shines like a pearly white tiara, extending across three hills with the magnificent gem of a late-Gothic 15th century cathedral.

    • Lunch and a WINE-TASTING at a local restaurantSavor the local flavors!

  • Afternoon and Evening

    • Upon our return, immerse yourself in the unique treasures and pleasures of OSTUNI on your own.

    • Perhaps there is the possibility to visit historical city of MONOPOLI by night.

    • Evening is free for exploring and Dinner on your own.

  • Overnight stay in OSTUNI  (2nd of 4 nights)

Day 8:  POLIGNANO A MARE

Wide horizons, bold colors, sometimes harsh and a bit lunar. Such is the landscape of the “Murgia Valley” from the Imperial Puglia, dominated by the presence of Frederick II.​

  • Morning

    • We are INVITED in to watch the skillful preparation of our home-hosted Lunch.

  • Afternoon and Evening

    • We VISIT the seaside town of POLIGNANO A MARE, a town of Greek origins located on a steep rocky cliff of a deep gorge overlooking the Adriatic Sea.

    • The historic center of POLIGNANO offers all the right ingredients for a perfect day out. The tiny old town accessed by crossing “La Porta Vecchia” combines charming whitewashed streets with beautiful old churches and white beaches.

    • Dinner on your own tonight.

  • Overnight stay in OSTUNI (3rd of 4 nights)

Day 9: “CASTEL DEL MONTE” & MOLA DI BARI

  • Morning
    • We TOUR the unique, eight-sided medieval “Castel del Monte,” built on a hilltop at an altitude of 540 meters by the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II, that proudly overlooks the city of ANDRIA. (UNESCO World Heritage Site)
    • MOLA DI BARI a village on the coast, is an ideal location where city and small-town meet; where the smooth and laid-back stillness of the summer heat, culinary richness and cultural attractions melt into an experience that will render your stay unforgettable.

    • LUNCH in MOLA DI BARI at IL Rifugio del Pescatore 

  • Afternoon and Evening

    • Afternoon on your own to make the most of your last day!

    • SPECIAL NIGNT   Original local music, food and wine

  • Overnight stay in OSTUNI (4th of 4 nights)

Day 10:  ARRIVEDERCI!

  • We end our tour with one last breakfast in Italy followed by Transport to Bari Airport.

  • Multo Grazie and Buon Viaggio!!