Jewels of Southern Italy

Southern Italy Travel of 7 days to discover jewels of Basilicata and Puglia.

Day 1: Bari
Arrival at Bari airport and transfer to the hotel. After the check in, at 15.30-16.00 guided tour of Bari. Dinner in a restaurant.

Day 2: Castel del Monte and the Sassi of Matera
After breakfast we leave Bari to reach Castel del Monte, the castle was built directly on a rocky bank, in some places cropping out, and is well known for its octagonal shape. After the visit, we move from Apulia to Basilicata.
Arrival in Matera and accommodation in a typical hotel in the cave. Welcome cocktail and small tasting with typical local food. Guided tour of the Sassi, the ancient districts with houses dug into the rock. Sassi became a world heritage site of UNESCO due to a complicated system of collecting rainwater that has supplied the inhabitants of the area for over 7000 years.
Cave houses, stables, cellars, tanks, furnaces, churches, ... an entire city carved into the stone.
Dinner at local restaurant and overnight stay.

Day 3: A day between Venosa, a rich Roman colony, and the lands of the Emperor Frederick II
Breakfast and departure to Venosa, once known as an important Roman colony. The archeological park preserves thermal baths of the Roman age. Venosa is also known as an important Norman town and as the birthplace of Horace, Roman poet of Carpe Diem. In Venosa you will also take part to a small pottery workshop.
We will not miss a visit to a historical wine cellar of Aglianico, excellent red wine from the volcanic soil of the area. Tasting lunch with Alianico wine and typical local cheese, salami, crispy peppers, ….
Return to Matera for dinner and overnight stay.

Day 4: Lucanian Dolomites and menus of the bandits.
Today we reach the wonderful Lucanian Dolomites, with ancient villages of Arab origin, perched on the cliffs. After a walk in downtown of Castelmezzano, we reach an ancient Benedictine monastery, which today is a farm. There we will learn to prepare the plates of bandits.
After the unification of Italy, Basilicata rebelled against the new government, which imposed new taxes and laws, so that for the people these rebels were heroes. The uprising was crushed within a few years.
Today Basilicata is one of the safest regions of Italy and Lucanians are very kind and helpful.
Return to Matera and overnight stay.

Day 5: Lecce, a gem of the Baroque.
After breakfast we move to Lecce, a Baroque town with wonderful façade of buildings and churches: Porta Napoli, Via Palmieri, Piazza Duomo,… flaunt their beauty, shining white in the local stone. After tasting a puccia (local bread filled with salami or vegetables) or a pasticciotto (delicious pastry), transfer to the Itria Valley, a karstic depression filled with thousands of olive trees and vineyards.
Accommodation in a trullo or a farmhouse.
Dinner in a typical restaurant and overnight stay.

Day 6: The Itria Valley and Ostuni. Visit to a Medieval oil mill.
Today we visit the charming Valle d'Itria. Covered with vineyards and olive trees, the valley is flooded by hundreds of trulli, curious stone structures, a time used by farmers in Apulia.
Alberobello, a UNESCO World Heritage Site whose streets are literally choked by Trulli, is the more known village in the area.
Lunch
Then we go to explore the nearby historic village of Ostuni. Known as the "white city" because of the color of the walls, Ostuni has a charming medieval town center with a cathedral of the 15th century. During the day, visit to an old mill and tasting of the delicious Apulian Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

Dinner in a typical restaurant and overnight stay.

Day 7: end of the tour.
Breakfast and transfer to the airport.

End of services and departure

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Duration

7 days and 6 nights

Level

Easy

Period

All year

Services

1 night in double room with breakfast in a 4* hotel in Bari;
3 nights in double room with breakfast in a cave hotel in Matera;
2 nights in a 4* hotel in Trulloes;
Dinner by a local family;
4 typical dinners (days 1, 2, 4, 5) and 2 lunches (on day 3 and 5);
Welcome cocktail;
Tasting lunch on days 2 and 4;
Cooking lesson on day 3;
Guided tours according to the program;
Technical and Emergency Assistance;
Transfers from Bari AIRPORT to Matera and return;
Transfers during the tour.