Italy With Pleasure

Best Of Puglia Tour

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From€2,750
Price From:
From€2,750

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367
7 Day Tour
14 people max
All inclusive
Min Age : Refundable deposits

Puglia is a region with so much to offer even seasoned travellers. Puglia offers unique sights, such as the trulli conical stone houses, and the nearby cave town of Matera. Stunning landscapes, such as the very photogenic town of Polignano A Mare which is poised on the rocks high above the turquoise sea. Amazing food – the creamy burrata cheese, the ripe figs. Each day includes organised activities, visits to all the key sights and a progressive discovery of the local Puglia cuisine. We enjoy long lunches, taking time over the multiple courses to enjoy the atmosphere and to relax.

Our tours are a balance between being informative (examples of the culture and lifestyle, historical details) as well as having everything that makes for an enjoyable trip (long lunches in good restaurants, a relaxed pace). We plan the itinerary in the way that you would plan to travel yourself, or with a group of friends.   

Highlights
Itinerary
DAY 1 - BUONGIORNO PUGLIA!



 

We meet in Bari, the main city of Puglia, and from here we start our discovery of the region.

Our first stop is Polignano a Mare, a town situated on the coast, an impressive town clinging to a promontory suspended above the Adriatic’s turquoise waters. Polignano a Mare is situated on the coast, an impressive town clinging to a promontory suspended above the Adriatic’s turquoise waters. With a history spanning back to the 4th century BC as a Greek settlement, Polignano a Mare is a charming town centred around the Piazza Vittorio Emanuele. The town was on the ancient Roman Trajan’s Way, and you can still see the remains of this route.

Towards evening we reach the town of Ostuni, where we stay in for the next six nights. We stay in the historic centre of town, where the piazzas have the traditional ‘passeggiata’ in full swing each evening. Over the next few days you’ll have plenty of time to explore the town at your own pace. Known as “la città bianca” (the white town), Ostuni is a cluster of whitewashed buildings perched on a hilltop overlooking the coast. Walking through the narrow streets of Ostuni is like being in a forgotten time, evocative and ancient, looking out over an expanse of olive trees. We advise keeping your camera at the ready!

Tonight we dine together, having our first introduction to the cuisine of Puglia. Throughout the week meals are in restaurants designed to showcase the region’s cuisine, with the specific venues all carefully selected by us. This is in order to provide a variety of food styles over the duration of the tour.

MEALS: DINNER (4 COURSES INCLUDING WINE)

DAY 2 – ALBEROBELLO - MONOPOLI

We depart for our first stop, Alberobello.

The picturesque Alberobello, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is a unique town with streets lined with ‘trulli’. In fact it is known in Italy as the “Capital of trulli”.

Trulli are small stone houses with a distinctive conical roof, built 300-400 years ago.

By walking along its narrow streets, you will be fascinated by the magical and fairytale atmosphere of this place. We explore this town together, and learn about why and how these dwellings were built, and about the cryptic symbols painted on the roof-cones.

Before lunch you have some free time to browse the shops of Alberobello and to wander around.

After lunch we visit Monopoli, a vibrant town on the coast. Monopoli has a long history. Established in the Bronze Age, and fortified since Roman times. The current walls surrounding the town were built by the Spanish in the 16th century, as was the castle. Monopoli is centred around a fishing port, with small wooden fishing boats heading out each day, and then selling their catch on the pier. Life carries on as it has for many generations – fishermen mending their nets, after docking with the catch.

We show you around Monopoli, plus leave you some free time to look at things that catch you interest.

MEALS: BREAKFAST, LUNCH (3 COURSES INCLUDING WINE)

DAY 3 - LECCE

Today we travel to Lecce, a city that flourished in the 17th century when extravagant and elegant baroque buildings were built by the ruling classes. The baroque style features ornate decorations covering the facades of churches and palaces.

We take a private tour around Lecce with a local expert guide to have the key sights explained to us. The baroque style here is distinct from that in other parts of Italy, both stylistically and in the use of the beige coloured local stone. As well as the architectural and historical features, we make a point of interacting with locals – artisans in their studio creating the local papier mache figures, nuns baking in their convent in the way they have since medieval times. Lecce is an elegant town in which to indulge in more modern pleasures. There are many interesting boutiques and cafes, and the piazzas are full of life in this important southern Italian centre. After some free time in central Lecce we have lunch in a local restaurant, where we dine on the food specific to this part of Puglia, called ‘the Salento’.

MEALS: BREAKFAST, LUNCH (3 COURSES INCLUDING WINE)

DAY 4 - MATERA

This morning we travel to the town of Matera in the neighbouring Basilicata region. Visiting Matera, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is like a step back in time. In fact this is one of the oldest continually inhabited settlements in the world. The oldest cave dwellings go back to the Bronze Age. The town consists of houses carved out of the rock face along the side of a steep ravine. We meet with a local guide here who gives us an interesting insight into life in Matera, both now and in the past. In fact his grandparents lived in these caves. We visit the ‘sassi’ cave area, and enter one of the typical houses built into the rock, showing the difficult existence in these conditions. We also visit a cave church hewn out of the rock, featuring Byzantine frescoes and with interesting histories as their usage has evolved and adapted to the conditions over the years. Matera was used for the filming of Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ” – you’ll see why it is so easy to imagine Matera as being completely removed from the modern age. Since we are in the Basilicata region, our lunch here focuses on the specialties from this inland region.

MEALS: BREAKFAST, LUNCH (4 COURSES INCLUDING WINE)

DAY 5 - EGNAZIA - TRANI

Today we have a day of two parts – history in the morning, followed by relaxing in a lovely coastal town in the afternoon.

Our first visit is to the ancient Roman site of Egnazia. This was a key stop on the Roman road Trajan’s Way, well used in ancient times as a route to the Near East. Egnazia was a significant town, and today we can see many reminders of its past importance – wandering through the town we see where bakeries, gymnasiums and temples were located. The Roman road runs through the town, the rut marks left by the carriage wheels provide a direct connection to the past. Looking out to the coast we see where the local boats docked, having loaded up with olive oil and grain.

Continuing on we reach the town of Trani, a key summer destination for Italians and it is invariably one of the most loved visits for people on our tour. We start outside the stunning Romanesque cathedral perched right on the waterfront, and go on firstly to one of the key locations for the Knights Templar. We see the site where this fascinating order based themselves, originally the final point for their missions to leave these shores to head to the near east. Moving through the old Jewish quarter of town reveals much about how the way life in Trani was conducted, in particular seeing how the synagogues have evolved through the eras.

Today the harbour in Trani is a fishing port ringed by waterfront restaurants. Each morning the fishermen sell their fresh fish from the pier where they dock. Lunch is in a seaside restaurant making the most of this fresh catch.

MEALS: BREAKFAST, LUNCH (4 COURSES INCLUDING WINE)

DAY 6 - MARKETS - LOCOROTONDO - WINERY - COOKING

This morning is the weekly market day in Locorotondo, we get to see how the locals do their shopping – rows and rows of stalls with cheese, seasonal fruit, vegetables, and other fresh produce. We take the time to look around Locorotondo, an absolutely gorgeous town, in fact voted as one of the most beautiful villages in Italy (“Borghi piu belli d’Italia”).

After browsing the market we depart to visit a family run winery, focussed on making quality wines from the traditional varieties that are grown in this area such as fiano minutolo and susumaniello. The winemaker takes us through the vineyard, and we taste a range of wines. Some of these wine varieties were so rare that they were not made commercially up until a few years ago.

Today we take the opportunity to show you a local folk dance called the ‘pizzica’. This is a fascinating experience, as it reveals much about the culture and traditions of Puglia. The pizzica dance is specific to this area, and many people who visit Puglia do not get the chance to see it. You’ll love this private performance, while relaxing with a glass of prosecco.

In the evening we have a special touch for our final evening, taking a cooking lesson from a local chef. Since you’ve been with us for a week now you will all be Puglia food experts. The focus will be on cooking typical Puglia dishes, first taking you through the types of ingredients used and their provenance. The cuisine of Puglia is based on the produce at a very local level, so is different to the food from other Italian regions.

Seasonal vegetables, as well as focaccia and other breads, dominate this cuisine. All these are based on the abundant fresh ingredients as well as the ever-present extra virgin olive oil – a simple and effective cuisine. Recipes have been handed down through the generations and are truly expressive of the Mediterranean diet. The session is hands on and we are all involved in making a series of dishes, and we finish off the session by dining on the meal we’ve prepared.

MEALS: BREAKFAST, DINNER (4 COURSES INCLUDING WINE)

Note: pizzica dance performance is based on availability/group size.

DAY 7 - ARRIVEDERCI PUGLIA!

By now you know the local barista by name and he knows which coffee you order – but we must say ‘arrivederci’.

We organise transport for you to your departure point in Bari and bid you “buon viaggio”.

The tour finishes in Bari at 11 a.m.

MEALS: BREAKFAST

Best Of Puglia Tour Dates 2024:
Best Of Puglia Tour Dates 2025:
Cost and Inclusions

TOUR PRICE:  €2750

* Price is denominated in Euros. Price listed is based on twin share
* Single supplement of €500 for solo travellers

Accommodation

DISTINCTIVE CHARACTER, UNIQUE LOCATIONS

In Puglia we stay in the charming town of Ostuni. The historic centre is lined with elegant old buildings, evocative lanes amongst the whitewashed buildings, and piazzas with the traditional ‘passeggiata’ in full swing each evening. Ostuni offers many opportunities for eating out, wandering through the back streets, and finding stunning views out to the coast. We base our tours at the either the Hotel Monte Sarago or the Hotel Primo in Ostuni. Both are 4 star hotels, from which you can walk into the centre of Ostuni to enjoy the evenings.

Reviews

L Z, CANADA Google Reviews Logo

Italy With Pleasure curated an amazing itinerary and ultimately, experience in Puglia for our group of 7. Mark, our incredible tour guide, shared the history, highlights, and hidden gems in each glorious location. Daily, we shared delicious meals, all local recipes, made with fresh ingredients from the region…a true highlight of the entire experience. Each day had the right balance of group and free time and while I may be biased, I think our group was the best…a shared experience with amazing people from around the world!

This was the first time I joined a tour and it will not be the last. I have my eye on Sicily next! My entire experience with Italy With Pleasure was superb and I highly recommend them for anyone who wants to immerse themselves in the beauty and culture of Italy.

P B, AUSTRALIA Google Reviews Logo

I can't thank the small tour group, Italy With Pleasure, enough for a fantastic trip to Puglia. The group size was perfect and our guide, Anita, was amazing, knowledgeable and so caring of everyone. This area of Italy for non-Italian speaking guests was the absolute best way to visit. I was amazed at the beautiful cultural sites in all the towns AND the fabulous late luncheons featuring the local specialties. Spectacular! I have never had such great food on a tour or anywhere.
Thanks again and I have already shared our great experience with a number of my friends and family.

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J I, AUSTRALIA Google Reviews Logo

The tour was first class, excellent in every way. An amazing way to see & learn about Puglia. The accomodation, sightseeing, superb food & mini van with great driver and Anita leading the group was sensational.

We highly recommend this is the best way to see and learn about Puglia.

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