Explore Puglia

April 14 – 17, 2023

LAND ONLY $1386 per person, based on double occupancy

Single Room Supplement $200


Thursday and Friday, April 13-14

Depart the U.S

Depart on an overnight flight to Bari, Italy. After your morning arrival into Bari Airport, you will be met and transferred to your hotel in Alberobello. Check in your hotel and then enjoy dinner at a traditional masseria tasting local dishes and enjoying a pizzica show! (D)

Overnight: Grand Hotel Olimpo

Saturday, April 15

Alberobello and Cooking Class

Breakfast in hotel. This morning meet your local guide and enjoy a guided tour of Alberobello. Alberobello features buildings designed in the iconic trulli (trullo) style. They are shaped like a cylinder with a cone-shaped limestone-tiled roof, which is often painted with a cross or other symbol. The walls are very thick which keeps the interiors cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. Residents of this region built the first trulli many centuries ago, but the oldest ones still intact date to the 1500s (recent in Italian terms!). In the afternoon join our cooking experience to learn how to prepare the traditional pugliese pasta!The cooking class will be followed by dinner, tasting what you have prepared. (B,D)

Overnight: Grand Hotel Olimpo

Sunday, April 16

Castel Del Monte, Mozzarella Tasting, Trani &Polignano A Mare

After breakfast in hotel depart for a day trip to Castel del Monte and Trani.

The UNESCO World Heritage-listed Castel del Monte was built in the latter half of the 12th century by Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II. At this time his realm stretched across much of southern Italy, and he was also responsible for the Castello Normanno-Svevo in Bari, the region’s biggest city, as well as a series of hunting lodges across his domain.

Sitting on a remote hillock among endless undulating plains, Castel del Monte is regarded as a masterpiece of medieval architecture, taking its influences from both Classical and Islamic building styles. Perfectly octagonal in shape, it is constructed around a courtyard and boasts a series of octagonal towers. Internally, it comprises two stories containing eight rooms in each, and although the rich furnishings and much of the decoration are long gone, the marble moldings around the great entrance doorway and the lack of fortifications suggest that the castle may have been a private residence rather than for military purposes. With the demise of the Sicilian empire, the castle was abandoned, and by the 16th century had fallen into disrepair; over the centuries it has been used variously as a prison, a refuge from plague and a hang-out for bandits. Today it stands empty and proud, a monument to the political and cultural flowering that saw southern Italy come to prominence in the Middle Ages.

Before moving to Trani, we will take you to the heart of the dairies in search of the real Apulian mozzarella. You will see the production of dairy products typical of the area between Barletta, Andria and Trani, made by the skill of the cheese makers who produce mozzarella, burrata and frayed with traditional methods.
In a journey to discover the true taste of mozzarella and its derivatives, we will have the opportunity to know the secrets of this ancient craft and taste the freshly produced goodness.

Finally, visit Trani: the town is a port city located on the Adriatic Sea. A settlement where modern-day Trani dates back to at least the 9th century, but may have existed during the ancient Roman era. The city reached its height during the 11th century, and by the 12th century there was a substantial Jewish community there. The town’s 13th-century synagogue still stands, and was rededicated as a synagogue in 2006.

Among the main sights in Trani are a 13th-century fortress that was once a prison and now holds a museum; the gardens of Villa Comunale; and the 12th-century Cathedral of San Nicola Pellegrino, which is dedicated to St Nicholas the Pilgrim, a Greek saint, whose remains are in the crypt. Next to the cathedral is a museum of sculptures and items excavated from inside the churches of Trani.

After some free time to wonder around, stop in Polignano a Mare to see the beautiful jem, and then return to the hotel and enjoy a free evening in Alberobello.  (B)

Overnight: Grand Hotel Olimpo

Monday, April 17

Alberobello – Matera – Taormina

Breakfast in hotel. This morning check out the hotel and depart for Sicily by bus, stopping on the way in Matera for a guided visit. Matera is an ancient city that seems to have existed forever. It is the third oldest city in the world, after Aleppo and Jericho, with over 10,000 years of history.

From natural cavities carved by wind and rain of the past to the first man-made caves we can discover how easy it was to shape the limestone material of the Sassi rock. There is still a lot to tell about the water systems created to collect water, one of the elements that has helped to give in Matera the title of a World Heritage Site.

You can visit the most beautiful churches, starting from the Duomo on the Civita; walk through the beautiful streets and traffic-free squares, populated with people; you can enjoy the most picturesque alleys, and you will continue your visit in the heart of the two Sassi’s.

Continue on to Taormina and check in the hotel. Dinner and overnight Taormina. (B,D)


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