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If you are asking yourself, what to visit in Puglia and the Basilicata, this might be the perfect tour itinerary for you.
This 7 Wonders in 8 Days tour will take you to seven not to be missed places in Puglia and in the region Basilicata including sites that the UNESCO World Heritage Committee considers ‘irreplaceable sources of life and inspiration’. The World Heritage sites include a ‘masterpiece of medieval architecture’ at Castel del Monte, the mortar-less, cone shaped Trulli roofs of Alberobello, and the remarkable ‘sassi’ cave dwellings of Matera, which date back to the Paleolithic period. The focus of this itinerary is on Art and Culture, but you will also experience the stunning beauty of Puglia’s landscape and sea.
• Matera, is known for its cave dwellings.
• Alberobello is famous for its unique stone houses with cone shaped roofs (called trulli)
• Castel del Monte, a legendary, octagonal castle that was built for the Emperor Frederick
All of our tours are private tours, the private driver escort, who speaks English and Italian will take you to the places of interest in a comfortable, air-conditioned car (Mercedes Vito 9-seater or a similar car).
Two half days will be spent with a certified English speaking tour guide, who is passionate about our region and will share his knowledge about our history, culture and traditions with you.
The Puglia region is famous for producing award winning extra virgin olive oil, fruit, vegetables, and wonderful wine. The food enthusiast among you will enjoy Puglia’s “Mediterranean Diet” which is also protected by UNESCO for being an expression of a unique culture. Throughout the tour, you will have the chance to experience Puglian specialties “Caciocavallo” cheese from Martina Franca, famous Puglian cheeses of fresh mozzarella, burrata, and ricotta, and the sweet Biscotto di Ceglie. And, of course, you should drink a glass of Puglian wine with your meals.
Throughout the tour, you will stay in different, comfortable middle class hotels that will serve as your home base. You will spend the first two nights in a hotel in Bari. On the third night, you will arrive in Matera and spend one night in a centrally located hotel there. Then you will move on to the Itria Valley where you will stay for two nights and you will have the chance to experience this charming valley, known for its breathtaking olive groves, vineyards and specialty food. For the last two nights we will book a hotel in the city center of Lecce for you.
Every day your full day tours start at 9.30 h and have a duration of 8 hours. Half day guided tours in the afternoon start at 14.30 h and have a duration of max. 4 hours.
An English Speaking Driver is not a guide. He will drive you during your journey, helping you to enjoy the experience of seeing the sights close-up. He will give you general information and take care of the practical details of your day itinerary by contacting your local guide, restaurant and escorting you safely to your hotel or cruise-ship after a day trip.
A local Guide is the acknowledged expert of the area you are visiting. He has an in depth knowledge of the subject and can illustrate archaeological areas, museums and other places of interest in your language and with great clarity. We strongly advise you to hire a local guide for a thematic tour.
When you arrive in Bari, a private driver will take you to your hotel in Matera. We would be happy to recommend a restaurant for you and reserve a table for your dinner (to be paid on location). Overnight stay in Matera (Matrimonial double room in bed and breakfast at the hotel Palazzo Viceconte or in a similar hotel).
Matera, the city of caves, is a UNESCO heritage site and is described as the “most outstanding, intact example of a troglodyte settlement in the Mediterranean region, perfectly adapted to its terrain and ecosystem”. In Matera, you will check into a centrally located hotel and have time to relax and to have lunch in a restaurant recommended by us. At 14.30 h your tour guide will meet you in the lobby of your hotel (to be reconfirmed) and together you will walk through the narrow streets and climb the stairs of the hillside cave dwellings discovering the ancient and mystical energy of this must see city. Matera has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1993. In 2019 the title “European Capital of Culture” will be awarded to this beautiful town. This city is famous for its cave dwellings, the so-called Sassi. Once upon a time up to 15000 inhabitants of Matera lived in about 3000 cave rooms. This city is situated on a ridge with deep canyons to either side. We recommend that you go for a walk from the Sasso Caveoso to the Sasso Barisano (the two main cave districts of the city) in order to be able to fully enjoy Matera’s beauty.
The guided tour will end at 18.00 h, the guide will drop you off at your hotel. We would be happy to recommend a restaurant for you for dinner. Overnight stay in Matera (e.g. Matrimonial double room in bed and breakfast at the hotel Palazzo Viceconte or a similar hotel).
After breakfast (at 9.30h), you will go from Matera to Castel del Monte , one of the UNESCO cultural heritage sites that you will visit during this tour. Then your private driver will take you to Trani. This seaside town is worth a visit because of its stunning cathedral, dedicated to St. Nicola Pellegrino, that overlooks the sea, one of the finest examples of Apulian Romanesque architecture, Trani’s castle, its interesting city center with the Jewish heritage, the picturesque port with several fish restaurants. At the end of your visit your private driver will take you to Ostuni. We would be happy to recommend a restaurant, where you can have dinner in the evening. Overnight stay in Ostuni (in the four star hotel La Terra or a similar hotel).
After breakfast you can enjoy a walk in the so-called “White City”. At 13.00 h your private driver will take you to Casalini (near Cisternino) for a guided wine tasting combined with a tasting of delicious local food. The owners can take you on a short tour of the facilities, explaining their principles of traditional grape variety sourcing and protection and use of extremely local product from family plots. The tour includes current winemaking equipment as well as a historical explanation of the facilities and memorabilia in photographs, personal items and tools and materials. The guided visit will have a duration of 30 to 40 minutes and it will be followed by the tasting experience. At the end of the visit your private driver will take you to the hotel in Ostuni, where you will have time to relax in the hotel. Then you will have free time for shopping in the afternoon and evening or for exploring Ostuni. We would be happy to recommend a restaurant for your dinner. You will spend the night in the hotel in Ostuni Ostuni (in the four star hotel La Terra).
After breakfast your private driver will take you to Alberobello. This town is known for its stone houses with conical roofs, called trulli. You will have some free time for lunch in a restaurant recommended by us. After lunch your private driver will take you to Locorotondo (about 15 minutes by car). Locorotondo’s old town is circular and perched on the top of a hill. It‘s a whitewashed maze of little lanes lined with historical buildings, some of which retain baroque archways and interesting architectural details. You can find trulli houses outside Locorotondo. The area is also known for another unusual type of building: the cummerse. These are houses with pointed gable roofs – typical of this area. You‘ll see whitewashed examples of these in Locorotondo‘s tightly-packed old town. It is a pretty centre, with flower pots ornamenting external stone staircases and balconies. Piazza Vittorio Emanuele, at the top of the hill is the nearest point of attraction to a busy hub in the old town. Opposite to the church, there is a little park with views over the below countryside. One of the most notable churches is the attractive Romanesque Chiesa della Madonna della Greca, dated to the twelfth or thirteenth century, characterized by a central rose window. A panoramic street encircles part of the hilltop town centre, and offers great views over the Itria Valley. At the end of the visit your private driver will take you back to Ostuni. We would be happy to recommend a restaurant, where you can have dinner. You will stay in a hotel in Ostuni Ostuni (in the four star hotel La Terra).
After breakfast you will check out and at 9.00h your private driver will take you from Ostuni to Lecce. You will spend the last two nights of your stay in Lecce in a four star hotel in the city center. After having enjoyed some free time, you will have lunch in Lecce in a restaurant recommended by us. At 14.30h your tour guide will meet you in the lobby of your hotel (to be reconfirmed) and you will start your walking tour of Lecce together. Lecce was called the “Florence of the South” because it is so rich in architectural beauty. Its historical center reminds visitors of the different influences beginning with those of the Ancient Roman Empire to the beautiful baroque architecture. After visiting the amphitheater you will also see the Roman theater and the beautiful squares Piazza Duomo and Sant’Oronzo. Then you will continue your walk to the Basilica di Santa Croce and afterwards you will discover the beauty of baroque buildings and churches. The Castle Charles V, the ancient gates and Lecce’s papiermaché workshops are also worth a visit. The guided tour will end at 18.00 h. Then you will have free time for dinner in a restaurant recommended by us and spend the night in Lecce (in the four star hotel Suite Hotel Santa Chiara, Lecce or in a similar hotel).
Day at leisure in Lecce (in the Suite Hotel Santa Chiara, Lecce). Optional half day car tour to Otranto for Euro 200 per tour. Please let us know, if you would like to stay in Lecce or if you would like to visit Otranto.
Otranto’s harbor is easternmost harbor in Italy. The absolute highlight will be the visit of the cathedral with its beautiful mosaic floor. We will also visit the Aragonese Castle. In the evening, there is free time for dinner. We can recommend a great restaurant in Otranto, specializing in seafood.
Transfer from your hotel in Lecce to the airport in Bari or Brindisi.