Day 1 – Arrival in Brindisi
Upon arrival at Brindisi Airport, you will be greeted by your private English-speaking assistant and driver for a direct transfer to your hotel in the South of Apulia, Palazzo Ducale Venturi 5*****L. We have booked 1 double deluxe room. Check-in and rest of the day to relax.
Set in Minervino di Lecce, 36 km from Lecce, Palazzo Ducale Venturi - Luxury Relais & Wellness features a seasonal outdoor pool, water sports facilities and an indoor pool open all year round. Each room at this hotel is air conditioned and is equipped with a flat-screen TV with satellite channels. Certain units have a seating area to relax in after a busy day. You will find a kettle in the room. The rooms have a private bathroom equipped with a bidet. For your comfort, you will find bathrobes and slippers. There is a 24-hour front desk at the property.The property features 2 traditional ovens and arranges baking classes. The hotel also offers free use of bicycles. Gallipoli is 38 km from Palazzo Ducale Venturi - Luxury Relais & Wellness, while Otranto is 9 km away. The nearest airport is Brindisi.
Day 2 – Half day tour exploring Lecce
After breakfast you will meet your private English-speaking driver at your hotel. First you will reach the baroque city of Lecce and discover the ‘Florence of Southern Italy’. You will discover a city that since the Renaissance is literally over flowing with art. It is the religious fervor of the counterreformation to transform the face of Lecce, the seat of the most powerful religious orders who engage generations of stonemasons for centuries to glorify themselves and the triumphant Church through redundant architecture and excessive authentic ephemeral glory. Your will meet your private English-speaking guide for a walking tour in the city center.
You will stop for a coffee tasting with almond milk and the typical “pasticciotto leccese”. The Apulia region is one of the most famous when it comes to food and if you’re in Lecce you can’t miss a taste of this well-known small cake made of pastry and custard which is a pleasure to eat. Nobody knows exactly who invented the pasticciotto but it seems to be the single-dose version of the traditional cake of Lecce made with pastry and cream and the one made with pastry and ricotta cheese; for sure it is definitely a product only from the Lecce and Salento area of Apulia, luckily you can find them all over the place here! After the tasting you will stop at an artisanal shop where you experience a workshop of papier-mâchè that represents the traditional local craft par excellence. You will take part in a special papier-mâchè lesson, during which the artisans will explain and show the different phases of the production of unique masterpieces which are still carried out according to the ancient tradition handed down through many generations. At the end of the workshop, you will be able to bring home an object totally created by you and you alone! After the workshop you will enjoy your lunch at the gourmet restaurant of Hotel Risorgimento *****L. Transfer back to the hotel and the rest of the day at leisure.
Day 3 – Minervino di Lecce (Lecce) – Free day
Breakfast at the hotel and free day at leisure to relax and enjoy the facilities of the Relais.
The Relais is in a stategic position, in an easy distance from all the pearls of Salento, and their beautiful beaches. It is only 10 km from Santa Cesarea, 7 km to Porto Badisco, 9 km to Otranto.
Day 4 – Half day excursion to Gallipoli and lunch at an old wine estate
After breakfast at your hotel, meet your private driver for an excursion exploring the Salento. You will reach Gallipoli and visit the old town together with your private English-speaking guide.
The old town, ringed by the remains of its muscular 14th-century walls is the best place to linger. It’s punctuated by several baroque chapels, a traditional fishing port, a windswept sea drive, and narrow lanes barely wide enough to fit an old Fiat cinquecento (500) through.
After the visit you will be transferred to an old wine estate (wine producers since 1489) to enjoy your lunch and taste the traditional apulian dishes and well known d.o.c. wines. After lunch the kids can enjoy a fun drive along the vineyards on a tractor. In the afternoon transfer back to the Relais and spend the rest of the day at leisure.
Day 5 - Minervino di Lecce/Oil tasting and Burrata experience/Borgo Egnazia
After breakfast and check out, you will meet your private English-speaking driver at your hotel. During the transfer you will stop for an oil tasting experience and lunch in a traditional Masseria, near Fasano. You will find a place rich in history and fascination in which ancient farming is united with authentic hospitality. Battlements, dry stone walls, olive groves and the azure blue sea will cause you to fall in love with this unique estate and the whole area. Here you will discover the superior class of an authentic extra virgin olive oil produced here. Transfer to a traditional cheese farm for your burrata experience. After lunch re-join your private driver for a transfer to your luxury Resort: Borgo Egnazia 5 ***** . We have booked Casetta Magnifica. Check in and rest of the day at leisure.
Featuring traditional architecture from Puglia and a panoramic setting in the Mediterranean vegetation, Borgo Egnazia Hotel offers 4 swimming pools and a spa center. It overlooks San Domenico Golf Club. The luxurious rooms are decorated with soothing shades of white. They all have a private balcony facing the hills, the sea, or the golf course. Flat-screen TV and free Wi-Fi are also available. The elegant bathrooms are in stone.The Borgo Egnazia resort is surrounded by large Arab-style gardens and dry-stone walls. It includes 3 on-site tennis courts and a private beach club in Savelletri, one kilometer away. Mediterranean cuisine can be enjoyed on the outdoor sea-view terrace, or under traditional vaulted ceilings in white stone. Drinks and cocktails are served by the beach or in a stylish indoor bar.
Day 6 – Borgo Egnazia/ Alberobello/Grotte di Castellana– Full day excursion with lunch
Breakfast at your hotel. Meet your private English-speaking driver at your Resort for a transfer to Alberobello to meet your private guide. On this walking tour you will discover the origins and features of the Trulli built centuries ago in this valley and cannot be found anywhere else on Earth. You will visit the residential district of Aia Piccola, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and the heart of the city of Trulli. Here you will find them in different sizes, in various shades of grey and will be able to get a closer look at the stone construction of these unique houses. You will discover when and why the Trulli were first built and how they have become the symbol of the Itria Valley.
Lunch will be at a traditional restaurant in Alberobello where you will sample some local dishes from the Apulia region. After lunch transfer to Castellana to one of the most important attractions of Puglia and a natural heritage of inestimable value to Italy. The Castellana Caves that began to form 90 million years ago. The beautiful caves are the magical expression of nature’s tireless work over millions of years. In this natural phenomenon, you will recognize spectacular spires that reminiscent of Gothic cathedrals, as well as mythical animals and ancient trees. The guided tour focuses on one of the most complex and spectacular underground karst cave systems in Italy. After the visit transfer back to your Resort and rest of the day at leisure.
Day 7 – Borgo Egnazia – Free day
After breakfast at your hotel, free day at leisure to relax on the beach or enjoy the many services and facilities this luxury resort can offer, such as : a championship golf course, two glamorous beach clubs, a stunning spa and four swimming pools including a heated indoor pool, two at the main building – La Corte – plus a family-friendly pool. A sandy beach is just a short ride away via the hotel’s complimentary shuttle service, or if you prefer, there is also a rocky beach nearby to enjoy. The gourmet restaurants are very popular. The spa offers several options.
Day 8 – Borgo Egnazia – departure
After breakfast and check out from your hotel meet your private driver for a direct transfer to Brindisi Airport.