The group will be welcomed at the airport and then transfer by Gran Turismo (Top Class) Tour Coach to Venosa (Venusia), birthplace of the Latin poet Horace. Transfer to Monticchio to visit the lakes, originally craters of the now extinct Volcano Vulture. Lunch on your own. Transfer to Melfi in the afternoon where you’ll enjoy a guided visit to the town, once capital of the ‘Regno delle Due Sicilie’ (‘Kingdom of the Two Sicilies’) under the reign of Frederick II of Swabia. Transfer to your hotel in Matera where dinner awaits you.
Matera, Murgia Materana
After breakfast, leave for Matera, listed in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites and one of the most ancient cities in Italy. Matera is unique because the original town was dug into the stone and its caves were inhabited up until the late 1950s. You’ll explore the two historic quarters (Sasso Barisano and Sasso Caveoso), a cave that is a church and one that is a house as well as the Civita (the upper area of the old town that boasts many aristocratic palaces and the majestic Romanesque cathedral). In the afternoon, on to the Murgia Materana Park for a visit to the Crypt of the Original Sin, known as the ‘Sistine Chapel of southern Italy’ for its amazing cave art. Back to your hotel where dinner awaits you.
Metaponto, Valle D’itria
After breakfast in Matera on to Metaponto where you’ll visit the archaeological ruins of the ancient Greek colony of Metapontum: the archaeological park of Apollo Licio, the Tavole Palatine, which are the ruins of the temple dedicated to the goddess Hera, and the National Archaeological Museum of Metaponto. Arrival at your hotel where dinner awaits you.
Trani & Castel Del Monte
After breakfast, leave for Trani, beautiful seaside town just north of Bari where you’ll visit the cathedral, symbol of Apulian Romanesque style as well as the castle built by the Emperor Frederick II of Swabia to defend the harbour. Lunch in a restaurant. In the afternoon, visit Castel del Monte (listed in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites) – its plan is in the form of a regular octagon with a tower, also octagonal, at each angle. Then on to the promontory of Gargano. Back to your hotel where dinner awaits you.
Martina Franca, Cisternino, Locorotondo, Valle D’Itria
After breakfast and then departure for Martina Franca considered the ‘capital’ of the area known as the Valle (Valley) d’Itria. Lunch on your own. Afternoon visit to nearby Cisternino, a lesser known town in the Valle d’Itria, but equally fascinating and picturesque. Its historic centre boasts the original plan and is listed among the ‘100 Most Beautiful Villages in Italy’. Stop in Locorotondo on the way back to discover another town in this magnificent area. Back to your hotel where dinner awaits you.
Lecce,Otranto, Valle D’Itria
After breakfast, time to explore the historic centre of Lecce where you will marvel at the Baroque architecture of Piazza San Oronzo, the Churches of San Matteo and the Rosario as well as Piazza Duomo and the Church of Santa Croce. After lunch in a restaurant, on to lovely Otranto for an
afternoon excursion where you’ll discover the easternmost city in Italy. A visit to the cathedral with its chapel dedicated to the 800 martyrs,
its crypt as well as its mosaic floor (one of the largest in the world) created by the monk Pantaleone. Discover the old town of Otranto’s many sights, including impressive aristocratic palaces and churches. Back to your hotel in time for dinner.
Alberobello, Ostuni, Valle D’Itria
After breakfast, a visit to Alberobello, the ‘capital’ of the trulli, traditional cone-shaped stone buildings which are the symbol of Puglia. Visit Rione Monti, listed in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Trullo Church and the Siamese Trullo as you stroll through this picturesque unique town. After lunch in a restaurant, an afternoon tour of the historic centre of Ostuni, known as ‘La Città Bianca’ (‘the White City’). This picturesque town is nestled on a hilltop that overlooks century-old olive groves that weave their way down to the Adriatic Sea. For those of you who love good
food there will be a stop to savour and purchase local specialties at an olive oil mill in Ostuni. Back to your hotel where dinner awaits you.
After breakfast, possibility of free time and then transfer to Bari airport.