Prestige Tour – UNESCO Heritage Trails: Puglia and Matera – 2019
Within the ’heel’ of Italy’s boot, lies Puglia; with a rugged coastline, crystal blue waters and whitewashed towns. It’s one of those must-see destinations.
Itinerary : Bari • Alberobello • Polignano A Mare • Ostuni • Lecce • Otranto • Luca • Manduria • Matera
- Small Group Tour 18 pax or less
- 4* centrally located Hotels
- 4 tasting experiences of typical Apulian dishes, olive oils and wines
- A charming boat tour in the crystal sea of Santa Maria di Leuca with its underwater caves
- Guided Tours of Bari, Lecce and Matera
- 2+1 night accommodation in 4* hotel in Bari
- 2 night’s accommodation in 4* hotel in Lecce
- 5 x American buffet breakfasts
- 1 dinner in Bari (1 glass of wine & mineral water included)
- 1 tasting of oil of olive in Bari surrounding
- 1-tasting in Ostuni Masseria Grieco
- 1 light lunch in Manduria with wine tasting
- Wine museum entrance fee in Manduria
- 30 minute boat tour in Santa Maria di Leuca
- Local guide in Bari 2h
- Local guide in Lecce 2h
- Local guide in Matera 2h
- Multilingual tour leader English – Spanish
- May: 19 • 26
- June: 9 • 30
- September: 8 • 15 • 22
- October: 13
*City Tax not included and must be paid directly at the hotel on check out
Day 1: BARI
When you check in to your hotel in Bari, your tour leader will be waiting for you. You will begin your Apulia discovery tour by walking through the fascinating old town. This walking tour includes the Basilica of St. Nicholas and the beautiful Cathedral of St. Sabino, which are among the greatest examples of Apulian Romanesque architecture. Furthermore, you will be able to see the famous Norman-Swabian Castle. The castle is a fortress from the 12th Century, built by Roger the Norman initially; and after its partial destruction was rebuilt by Frederick II of Swabia. This castle is among Bari’s symbols and it’s a stunning image of the imposing fortress overlooking the sea. You will then proceed to Piazza Mercantile ́s Column of Justice – a white marble column with a stone lion – to which they used to tie insolvent debtors. At the end of this visit, you will learn about one of the most important products of this region: olive oil. Learn about the production of olive oil in the area and its ancient origins, presumably dating back to even before the Romans. Yet it was the Roman skill for commerce, which resulted in success and expansion of the trade and created the main source of wealth for many of the noble families in the Bari area. You will visit an old olive press and learn about the process from growing, pressing and bottling and you will have the opportunity to taste the olive oil. When you return to your hotel, you can enjoy a welcome-dinner with typical Apulian products. Overnight in Bari
Meals plan: D
Day 2 BARI • ALBEROBELLO • POLIGNANO A MARE • BARI
After your American buffet breakfast in your hotel, depart for Alberobello, the fairy-tale Trulli capital. See this picturesque village on foot, beginning with a beautiful view from the Belvedere Terrace. The small town has been made a UNESCO World Heritage site for its unusual districts of trulli, the characteristic white-washed conical-roofed houses of the area. Your tour continues with visits to two neighborhoods, Aia Piccola and Rione Monti. Walking among trulli and little alleys, you’ll reach the trullo-shaped Church of San Antonio. At the end of the tour you’re able to taste some of the delicious local of Valle D’Itria products.
Proceed to Polignano a Mare, a tiny old town, reached through the Porta Vecchia gate, combines charming, white-washed streets with beautiful old churches such as the Chiesa Matrice. It would be ok to be lost in the winding and before you know it, you will have reached one of three panoramic terraces offering breathtaking views of the beautiful Adriatic Sea and coastline. Enjoy the special coffee prepared by a renowned pastry chef, a firm favourite with both locals and tourists in Polignano! Return to Bari for an overnight stay in your hotel. Meals: B
Day 3 BARI • OSTUNI • LECCE
After an American buffet breakfast in your hotel, check out and travel to Ostuni, the Medieval White Town, whose narrow whitewashed alleys guide visitors to its majestic 15th Century Gothic cathedral. Admire Palazzo Vescovile and the elegant Loggia and the baroque column of Saint Orazio. Afterwards you will move on to Masseria Grieco for a special tasting of extra virgin oil of olive, wine, local bakery products like taralli and focacce and home-made cakes. You will arrive in Lecce in the evening, check in to your hotel for an overnight stay.
Meals plan: B, L (tasting in Ostuni area).
Day 4 LECCE • OTRANTO • LEUCA • LECCE
After an American buffet breakfast in your Hotel, depart for Otranto. Well known as the Gateway to the East, Otranto is celebrated for its history, architecture, stunning views, sea-front restaurants and white sandy beach. It’s this mix that makes it one of Puglia’s most interesting, charming and picturesque towns. Otranto sits strategically, right on the Adriatic Sea, facing the Balkans and Greece. This position has significantly influenced its history.
Enjoy your walking tour with your tour leader and see the Norman cathedral that is the largest Romanesque building in Apulia. Admire the mosaic floor, formed of thousands of pieces of stone, depicting scenes from the Old Testament and figures from Breton legends. Continue to the Church of St. Peter and the Aragonese Castle. You can enjoy the panoramic views out to sea. If the weather is good you can see all the way across the Adriatic to Greece and Albania.
After Otranto you will proceed to Santa Maria Di Leuca which sits on the southernmost tip of the Salento peninsula on a stunningly beautiful bay. The legend says that Aeneas, the founding father of the Roman people, set foot on this land. And Saint Peter is said to have started his missionary work in Italy from here. Depending on weather conditions, a boat tour, can take you to see the truly fascinating underwater caves and other geological formations off the coast and you can also have a great swim!
Travel to Lecce afterwards and experience a guided tour of this jewel of Apulia. Sometimes called the Florence of the South, and because of the soft limestone that’s easy to work, Lecce became the center for the ornate architecture called the Barocco Leccese and the city is filled with Baroque monuments. The historic center of Lecce is compact, making it a great place for walking and its restaurants offer abundant fine food typical of Puglia. Your walking tour of Lecce starts from the beginning pre-Roman and Roman, to the great period of the Baroque. The route starts from Porta Napoli to Piazza Duomo (Cathedral, Bell Tower, Bishop’s Seminar). You will continue walking to the Church of St. Irene, Sant’Oronzo Square, where you will see the ruins of the Roman amphitheatre, the church of San Marco and the Sedile. Walking through the streets of the old town, you will visit the Church of Santa Chiara and Roman Theatre, and other important particulars of the history of Lecce. The tour ends at the Basilica of Santa Croce. Spend overnight in Lecce Meals: B
Day 5 LECCE • MANDURIA • MATERA • BARI
Enjoy your American buffet breakfast in your hotel, check out and depart for Manduria. The city of Manduria is an intriguing warren of lanes, jumbled amongst the cream coloured homes and palaces. You will visit the Museum of Primitive Wine (Museo della civiltà del vino di Manduria) and learn how the museum was created to make the public aware of the people and objects that shaped the history of wines from Manduria. The museum is a fascinating journey set in an ancient underground cellar.
You’ll learn that the museum is what Manduria is about-wine tasting and sales, traditional gastronomic delights and an interactive historical wine museum; all demonstrated and explained thorough a tasting of wine and local food. A sommelier will guide you throug a wine-tasting, accompanied by cheese, orecchiette – home made pasta, and almond cakes.
After this delicious light lunch, you will proceed to Matera to admire the famous Sassi of Matera. The Sassi are ancient cave dwellings that are still in use today. The area has been rated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You will discover an outstanding example of a rock-cut settlement, perfectly adapted to the terrain and eco system. Located in historic Matera, the former capital of Basilicata, the Sassi provide a glimpse into the ancient lives of a region that has been inhabited since Palaeolithic times. From the top of Civita, the Medieval part of town that is surrounded by tall bastions and aristocratic buildings, the tour takes you down to the beautiful Church of San Pietro Caveoso which enjoys an ecceptional view over the underlying canyon, as well as a labyrinth of streets, churches and homes that cling to the pitches and slopes. Stop at Casa Grotta, where a small museum is dedicated to the farming population of the Matera region. At the end of the visit proceed to Bari. Check in at your hotel for an overnight stay.
Meals plan: B, L (light lunch in Manduria)
Day 6 BARI
Enjoy your final American buffet breakfast in your hotel in Bari. End of tour services
Meals plan: B
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