Puglia – Discover the Heel of Italy
|Resort:||Puglia - Discover the Heel of Italy|
With countryside thats blanketed with olive groves, a collection of historic cities and fairytale towns, and a coastline stretching for 800-odd kilometres, Puglia is a rich region filled with simple pleasures. Well spend eight days winding through its quiet landscapes, discovering baroque Lecce (the Florence of the South) and the traditional trulli houses of Alberobello. Well even stretch into the neighbouring region of Basilicata to visit Matera and explore its ancient cave dwellings.
11 excursions and visits
Day 1 UK – Bari – Otranto
Titans VIP door-to-door travel service collects you from home for your flight to Bari. On arrival we transfer to our hotel in Otranto.
Day 2 Lecce – Otranto
This morning, well head to Lecce for a guided walking tour. Known as the Florence of the South for its baroque architecture, well view inside the cathedral and the Basilica di Santa Croce. After admiring the citys honey-stone palazzi, well make our way back to Otranto.
Here, well step inside the magnificent Romanesque cathedral. It houses a vast mosaic floor dating back to 1166, which depicts a multi-coloured Tree of Life amongst other scenes of myths and legends.
Day 3 Ostuni – Cisternino – Alberobello
This morning we travel to Ostuni, a city which has been occupied since the Stone Age.
Commonly known as the white city’, Ostunis hilltop citadel is encased in white walls and surrounded by white-painted architecture. The 15th-century cathedral is distinctive for the green, yellow and white slate tiles that encase it and the nearby buildings.
We enjoy an olive oil tasting before travelling on to Alberobello, with a break to stretch our legs in Cisternino, a historic whitewashed town.
Day 4 Locorotondo – Alberobello
Explore the pretty, whitewashed maze of Locorotondo, before we drive to Alberobello (theres a 15-minute walk to the town from the coach). Dozens of quirky trulli – circular, conical-roofed houses – can be found in and around the town. We visit a winery here for a wine tasting accompanied by some local products.
Day 5 Matera – Altamura
Today we travel to the 2019 European Capital of Culture, Matera, famous for its sassi – neighbourhoods of ancient cave dwellings. Monks first created this maze of living spaces and churches as they sought refuge from infidels at the end of the first millennium. Miraculously, they are still largely intact.
After our guided tour of the rock church and caves, we make our way to Altamura – a town famous for it’s delicious style of bread. We’ll enjoy a tasting of local wine and freshly baked focaccia, before returning to our hotel.
Day 6 Castellana Caves – Bari – Polignano a Mare
We journey to the Castellana Caves today, a series of limestone caverns accidentally discovered in 1938. A guide will accompany you as you descend to explore the caves.
We then travel to the old port city of Bari. The RomanesqueBasilica di San Nicola is dedicated to St Nicholas, or Father Christmas, and was built to house his remains (which still lie in the crypt). As part of the magical Christmas build up here, the local children write letters to St Nicholas and place them in the crypt, before joining a special church service dedicated to them.
We continue to Polignano a Mare, where well explore this pretty coastal town before arriving at our hotel for the next two nights.
Day 7 Trani – Castel del Monte
This morning we depart for Trani for time at leisure to explore the historic centre, stroll along the yacht-lined marina and perhaps visit the castle of the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II.
Well then continue for a guided tour of Castel del Monte, built by Frederick II in the mid-13th century. Most probably intended as a hunting lodge, it crowns a medieval hilltop village.
Day 8 Polignano a Mare – Bari – UK
Transfer to the airport for your return flight to the UK. Upon arrival, your Titan vehicle will be waiting for the journey home.