Day 1 – Bari: Arrival & transfer to Matera
Upon arrival at Bari Airport, you will be met by your English speaking driver at the arrivals hall (after customs, passport control and luggage claim) for a direct transfer to your hotel in Matera: Palazzo Gattini Luxury Hotel 5*****. Check in and rest of the day is at leisure.
Day 2 – Matera: Walking Tour & PM Castel del Monte & Altamura
After breakfast in your hotel, you will be met by your private English speaking guide and get ready for an amazing walking tour of the town. Matera is one of the oldest cities in the world, a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site and European Capital of Culture 2019. It sits like a giant sculpture in the center of the Murgia plateau. Together with your guide, you will visit the ancient town, known as the Sassi, where homes, churches and reservoirs were all dug out of caves. The Sassi goes back to prehistorical times, still preserved to this day. You will discover hidden treasures in local churches carved into the stone and painted by Byzantine monks, as well as modest farmhouses, evidence of the bitter reality and poverty of mid-20th Century. At the end of the tour, you will have free time for lunch at leisure. In the afternoon, you will be met by your private English speaking driver and transfer to Castel Del Monte. Here, you will have free time to visit the Medieval Castle on your own, that proudly overlooks the town of Andria from a hilltop at an altitude of 540m. Castel del Monte was built by the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II in the 13th century. The octagonal shaped Castle has eight corners each one with its own octagonal tower. The unusual geometric design of this fortress (Frederick II built many castles in Apulia) makes it totally unique, certainly for that time. It was declared World Heritage by UNESCO in 1996, and it is one of the best preserved medieval castles. Italy is the country with the largest amount of UNESCO sites in the whole world. On your way back to Matera, your private driver will stop in Altamura, where you will have time at leisure to visit the historic center, located inside the ancient walls, full of palaces, churches, and characteristic claustri (small cloisters). The Santa Maria Assunta Cathedral, right in the heart of the town, is a must-see: also built by Frederick II, it is a magnificent example of Puglia’s Romanesque architecture and Frederick’s elegant Gothic style. Just outside the town, you have the Sanctuary of the Madonna del Buon Cammino, yet another highlight to see. After the visit, your driver will transfer you back to Matera where you can spend the rest of the day at leisure.
Day 3 – Matera to Lecce with stop in a cheese farm with mozzarella and Burrata experience & PM Walking Tour of Lecce
After breakfast and check out from your hotel, you will be met by your private English speaking guide and driver to travel to Locorotondo. Here, you will visit a typical cheese farm and you will enjoy a mozzarella and burrata tasting. The famous and typical Burrata cheese is produced throughout the region as a local delicacy and it is a semi-soft cheese similar to mozzarella that has then been stuffed with ripped mozzarella mixed with cream and butter. When you cut it open, the creamy interior spills out and mixes with the firmer outer layer. It is absolutely delicious and you cannot leave here without tasting it! At the end of this culinary experience, you will enjoy a walking tour of Locorotondo, known as the balcony of the Trulli Valley for it’s incredible view. Here, you will have free time for lunch. After lunch, meet your driver for your direct transfer to your hotel in Lecce: Luxury Hotel Risorgimento Resort 5*****. Check in and free time to relax. In the afternoon, you will be met by your English speaking guide in the hotel lobby and get ready for an exciting walking tour of Lecce, the most famous baroque city in Southern Italy. You will visit its Cathedral with its two facades, the Basilica of Santa Croce and the Saint Oronzo Square with its famous amphitheater. During the tour, you will have time to admire the elegant baroque palaces and churches, built with warmly colored stones typical of Lecce. At the end of the tour, you will have the rest of the day at leisure.
Day 4 – Lecce: Private tour of Galatina & Otranto
After breakfast at your hotel, you will be met by your private English speaking guide and driver for your transfer to Galatina, located just 20 kilometers South of Lecce. Galatina is full of wonderful art, which started to flourish in the 14th century, with the Orsini del Balzo family. Here, you can admire the 17th century porticoes and palaces, decorated with impressive portals and balconies, as far as the stunning Basilica Orsiniana of Santa Caterina d’Alessandria, a real treasure trove of religious art. You can embark on a journey back in time, visiting the Civic Museum Pietro Cavoti, with archaeological finds dating back to the middle ages and paintings by local artists, or you could also descend into the three Basilian crypts of Santa Maria della Grotta, Sant’Anna and Santa Maria della Porta. These are tangible signs of the monks escaping from Byzantium to the regions of Southern Italy. After your visit, you will reach your next destination with your private driver: Otranto, where you will be ready to enjoy an amazing walking tour with your private English speaking guide. Otranto is the door to the East. For centuries, it was an outpost of the Byzantine Empire on Apulian soil, as well as the cultural and artistic center of the entire region. Otranto is dazzling with the turquoise water in the harbor and the southern sun reflected on the bare rocks upon which this small town was built. Be prepared to be stunned by the imposing mosaic floors. At the end of the tour, transfer back to your hotel and the rest of the day is at leisure.
Day 5 – From Lecce to Ostuni with stop in a Masseria & PM Walking tour of Ostuni
After breakfast and check out from the hotel, you will be met by your private English speaking driver and travel to Ostuni. Along the way, you will stop at a traditional Masseria, where we will book an oil tasting experience and a delicious light lunch just for you. The Masseria we have selected is located in the Countryside near Ostuni and surrounded by the most gorgeous landscape filled with olive trees, over a thousand-year-old. At the end of this gourmand experience, your private driver will be ready to transfer you to your hotel in Ostuni: Relais La Sommità 5*****. Check in and time to relax. In the afternoon, you will be met by your private English speaking guide and enjoy a leisurely walking tour of the town. The gleaming white city of Ostuni sits atop of the last hill of the southern Murgia plateau. Looking out from its fortifications, your eyes will be drawn to the magnificent view of the plain full of ancient olive groves and the crystal blue waters of the Adriatic Sea. Whilst in Ostuni, you will take a walking tour through narrow streets lined with the typical white-washed buildings, ending at the town’s sophisticated Gothic cathedral. End of the tour and rest of the day is at leisure.
Day 6 – Ostuni: Tour of Alberobello and wine tasting
After breakfast at your hotel, you will be met by your English speaking guide and private driver and travel to Alberobello, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You will enjoy this small and unique town with its timeless, fairy-tale beauty. This town is the premier location in the Itria Valley where you can admire the Trulli, the cone-shaped houses distinctive to Apulia, making it the most enchanting part of Italy’s heel. At the end of your walking tour, lunch will be booked for you in a unique restaurant inside a typical Trulli house. After lunch, your private driver will be waiting for you to move to the Countryside, where you will visit a vineyard. Discover how the wine is made and how to do an official wine tasting. End of the tour and transfer back to your hotel. Rest of the day is at leisure.
Day 7 – Ostuni: Departure
After breakfast and check out from your hotel, you will be met by your private English speaking driver and transfer to Bari airport for your flight back home.