Puglia – Unspoiled

Colors of Puglia

At each turn you’ll find something at which to marvel in this bountiful region. There are towns and villages that seem to transport the visitor to another time in history, cultures mingling in the footprints of the past. Her lush natural beauty makes Apulia ideal for those who crave the rich green forests. Olive groves dot the hillsides, mingled with the vineyards always present in this country of oenophiles.

ITINERARY

Day 1: Arrival, dinner. (D)

will pick up the tour group mid-afternoon from the arrival destination. From there you will We be taken to the hotel where you will get settled. We’ll kick off our colorful week with a welcome dinner at our hotel.

Your accommodations for this glorious tour are more than just a pivot point! Your lodging is an experience unto itself. Nestled deep within the heart of Puglia, this hotel celebrates the history,, the agriculture, the simple elegance that is the very essence of this delightful and diverse regional culture.

Drawing on the gifts of nature-to taste, to see, and to dazzle all the senses-your home away from home will immerse you in la dolce vita as it truly is in Apulia. There is an art to offering renewal to the soul and this hotelier is a master.

Day 2: Monopoli, Polignano, Savalletri  (B,L,D)

After you’ve enjoyed breakfast we will convene at your hotel at 9:00 am to begin our full day of immersion in the Colors of Puglia.

We’ll take a stroll through the town of Monopoli, a picturesque seaside village that is known for the stunning Baroque Monopoli Cathedral, which features a lofty bell tower.  Monopoli is also the location of two rather notable homes, the 16th-century Castle of Carlo V, a heavily fortified structure, complete with a stone portal, and the Palazzo Palmieri, unique for it’s frescoed exterior, built by a wealthy family in the latter 1700’s.

The next stop along our way is the tranquil coastal town of Polignano a Mare. A stroll through the old centre of Polignano a Mare, which rests high atop a limestone cliff, 65 feet above the Adriatic Sea, will surely leave you awestruck. The views are spectacular, said to be among the very best in Italy. The crystal clear cerulean sea shines in brilliance against the stark white and gradient grey of the limestone. On our visit to Polignano a Mare also includes a boat tour of this stunning coastline.

Lunchtime will find us in Savalletri, a quiet beach resort and fishing village along the emerald coast of the Adriatic Sea. This laid-back village is the quintessential fishing hamlet and the ideal spot for a mid-day pause. Seafood lovers are sure to delight in the day’s choicest catch.

Our dinner this evening will be back at our hotel.

Day 3: Alberobello, Locorotondo, Winery, Cooking (B, L,D)

Today we visit the town of Alberobello. As we walk along paths trod for centuries, we’ll stop to view the remarkable Trulli, unique cone-roofed houses with quite a colorful back story. The homes, designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1996, were erected completely without mortar. Dating back to the 15th century, these buildings were constructed of dry stone, ironically, so that they could be easily demolished. They remain today, an example of the diverse architecture abundant in the region of Puglia.

Next, we will enjoy some free time and stroll around the pretty little town of Locorotondo. We’ll stop to tour a winery. Our tour is so much more than a simple narration of the process of winemaking. These proud vintners will share with us their knowledge of the grapes that fill their vineyard, and tantalize us with a taste of the finished product.

After our immersion into the wine-culture of the region we gather with our chef-instructor for a cooking class in a family owned trulli hotel. There, we’ll laugh and learn, inspired by our warm and witty chef, as well as the unique, historical atmosphere.  Our cooking class will be followed by the sumptuous meal we’ve helped to create.

Day 4: A day trip to Matera (B,L, D)

After a fortifying breakfast we will gather to embark on a color-FULL day! Wear your comfortable shoes!

Our first stop is Altamura. This millennia-old town is tucked into a hillside, deep in the heart of the region of Puglia. This ancient city is considered a significant part of the traditional agricultural center of Italy, and is home to the Altamura Cathedral, built around 1232. The duo-towered facade was added in the 14th century and is carved with scenes from the New Testament. A rose window was added in the 16th century. Inside the cathedral are many other examples of mid-millennia art and architecture which will surely impress.

We’ll meander from Altamura to the neighboring town of Matera. As you take in the sites of this amazing city, you may catch the tantalizing aroma of fresh baked bread carried on the breeze. Matera is known for the delectable breads, baked in communal wood-fired ovens, which speak to the overwhelming sense of community and camaraderie in this lively region. We’ll follow our noses to one of the most famous bakeries in the region, where we’ll sample some of the finest-and most celebrated-breads in all of Italy.

But, as the saying goes, man cannot live by bread alone, so we’ll tour this fascinating and ancient city. There are two neighborhoods of ancient stone dwellings, or sassi, as they are known, carved right into the rock. These communities enabled ancient dwellers to share resources while living side-by-side. These remarkable neighborhoods date back to 15,000 B.C. (The Paleolithic Period) and are the second oldest continuously inhabited community in history. Many famous movies were filmed in Matera, including 2004’s The Passion of The Christ.

After our busy day we will return to our hotel where we’ll enjoy a lovely dinner.

Day 5:  Cheese farm, Cisternino (B, L, D)

In contrast to yesterday’s event-filled itinerary, today will be more easy going. Our morning departure will be a bit later than the previous days’. We will convene at 11:30 and make our way to a cheese farm. There we will be hosted for a luscious lunch of cheese-tasting. Of course we will be enlightened in the art of this ancient practice, and our friendly hosts and cheese artisans will guide us through every turn in the process.

Next, it’s on to one of the prettiest small towns in Puglia! Cisternino is a jewel in the crown that is Puglia. Houses, whitewashed and dazzling in the Southern Italy sunshine, dot the shady streets, alongside elegant homes, stately public squares, (piazza), and churches of historical note. Panoramic vistas spill forth from the piazzas as if to boast of the stunning Valle d’Itria. Countryside, lush and lovely with rolling hill-upon-hill, is artfully speckled with truly, and stone walls. To stroll the streets of Cisternino and gaze upon the beauty of the Valle d’Itria is a magical experience.

But the magic doesn’t stop with the view! We will be fortunate to partake in a local dining experience called Fornello Pronto. This Cisternino tradition involves the butcher in the preparation of your dinner. We will select our food, and the butcher will grill it according to our preference. We can choose to await our delicious dinner in the way of the locals, with a jug of wine shared among friends.

Day 6: Lecce, Wine tasting lunch (B, L, D)

By now you appreciate the Puglia notion of beauty, as you find each town a breathtaking example of art, architecture, and an overall atmosphere of friendship, amicizia. It’s no different today as we journey to Lecce. Lecce is known as “The Florence of the South”, due to the heavy presence of rich Baroque architecture.

Strolling the streets of Lecce is akin to a walk through history. First conquered by the Romans in 3rd century B.C. this lively city was ruled by more than a few who saw it’s worth. Churches and grand structures display many different influential periods of art, and architecture, the most extravagant being the church of Santa Croce.

It’s not all ancient-or even not-so-ancient-history in Lecce. There are streets filled with stores selling many of the goods and products for which Lecce is recognized. There are also museums, and more than a few wine bars.

And speaking of wine, no visit to this area would be complete without a tour of a local winery. We’ll then be fortunate enough to sample some of the locally grown, and produced, wines. After our wine tour and tasting we’ll be ready for lunch!

As we wind up our immersion in the colors of Puglia we will take part in a cooking class at our hotel. Our home-away-from home is celebrated for their outstanding and unique approach to creating luscious meals using locally-sourced foods. We’ve thoroughly enjoyed the delicious and decadent dinners here and what better way to take home a taste of life in Puglia than to learn how to prepare some of the dishes we’ve enjoyed?

Day 7: Departure

Early group departure to Bari airport.

The time has come to say “ciao” and “until we meet again” as our tour of The Colors of Puglia has come to an end. But rest assured this bejeweled kaleidoscope of one of Italy’s most vibrant regions will remain in your heart for many years to come.

Arrival Details

  • Airport city:

    Bari

  • Pick-up Location:

    Airport

  • Pick-up time:

    3:00 pm

Departure details

  • Airport city:

    Bari

  • Drop off location:

    Bari airport

  • Drop off time:

    08:30 am

The program includes:

  • 7 nights’ accommodations (2 nights Cefalu, 2 nights Agrigento, 3 nights Ortigia)
  • Breakfasts
  • 5 lunches including wine
  • 3 dinners including wine
  • Olive oil tasting
  • Cooking class
  • Group transfers
  • Transportation according to the itinerary
  • Sites admission fees

The program does not include

  • Flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Private expenses
  • Anything not mentioned in the program

A deposit of $500.00 per person is required at time of booking to guarantee the space on the tour.
Balance of the full amount is due 90 days prior the first day of the tour.

CANCELLATION

Your deposit is refundable within the first 30 days of your deposit, so long as you have booked more than 180 days before the start date of the tour. If you book within 180 days of the start date of the tour, your deposit is immediately non-refundable. 90 days or less before the start date of the tour, the tour is non – refundable unless we are able to rebook another participant for the date/tour you are booked on.

Food N wine vacations, Inc reserve the right to re-calculate prices due to currency fluctuations. For full terms and conditions refer to Terms and conditions page.

ACCOMMODATIONS

We’ll stay in the loveliest accommodations. From a charming hotel by the sea to a resplendent family estate set amid verdant hills and vineyards, to exclusive boutique hotels conveniently  located in the center of town, our lodging will delight, providing the perfect place to refresh and renew.

DATES & PRICE

2020

2021

  • May 30 – June 5
  • $ 3450.00
  • Available
  • Sept 26 – Oct 2
  • $ 3450.00
  • Available

Single supplement: $ 600.00

Looking for a Private Group Tour?
We can accommodate private groups year round

VIDEO

We highly suggest purchasing travel insurance to protect your travel investment.

You can get a quote here

The best option would be flying in and out of Bari.

We have bulk fares. We recommend comparing them with the on-line published fares.  if you let us know what airport do you depart from and your dates  of travel – We can do a flights search and advise you which fares are better at that time.

we provide a complimentary consulting with your pre or post travel plans. Don’t hesitate to ask us.

You may want to look at the other tours that we have in Italy or contact us for logistics and ideas.

Walking pace is like walking around town.

You will be walking in cobblestone streets and some uneven roads.

We try to start the days after 09:00 am.

The itinerary is balanced between activities, sightseeing and leisure time.

What should I wear?

Stay casual and comfortable. Mornings and evening are chilly but during the day it’s warm. Even in full summer, hot days can quickly turn into cool evenings. Be prepared with a light sweater during the summer months, and something a little heavier in spring and fall.

Unless you plan on visiting the Opera in Italy, you won’t need to dress up anywhere you go. If you would like to try to blend in with the locals as much as possible, think “smart casual” or “preppy” for men, and “light and stylish” for women. Italians are very fashion conscious, but not formal.

In the summer months, you will most likely want to wear shorts. Make sure they have good pockets. However, always make sure you also have some long pants

Bring flat shoes, as you will be walking in medieval towns with cobblestone streets or farms with unpaved roads.

If you want to dress up for dinner, dress as if you are having dinner with friends.

How many bags can I bring?

We recommend bringing one medium suitcase and another small bag or trolley.

Please check our packing advice.

Packing

We advise you to pack light. We also recommend planning what you need based on each day of your travels.

You will need the extra space for souvenirs. You may not think about it now, but believe us; you’d want to take home that tasty olive oil, a bottle of wine that you can’t find at home, local specialties, or ceramics.

On that note, the best advice we can give you is “bubble wrap”. Bring bubble wrap with you. It’s cheaper and more convenient to bring it from the U.S and you will probably never leave home without it.

We highly recommend you use packing cubes for efficient packing and to keep things organized. You can search for videos on YouTube to learn more about it.

Do I need a passport?

Yes!

Copy of passport

We strongly suggest that you to make a copy of your passport.

Should I bring my cell phone?

It is a good idea to bring a cell phone. See our tips for communications while on a tour down below.

Do I need converters or transformers?

European power outlets run at 220 volts. You must buy a transformer to avoid shorting out and/or causing permanent damage to your devices. You will need it for cell phones, cameras, tablets, and other US-made electronics.

Tip: If your electronics can be powered by either 120 volt or 220-volt outlets (the device will usually have this listed in the technical specifications in a format like 120/240 volts, meaning the device can be powered from any power outlet around the globe), you will only need a plug adapter. Please note that a plug adapter is not a transformer, and using one with a device not capable of handling 240 volts will cause permanent damage and may even render the device unusable.

Money

We find that a debit/credit card of a credit union bank has low rates for an ATM withdrawal or credit card charges. In addition to credit union banks, here is a list of cards that offer a low or no foreign transaction fee: Capital one no fee hassle card, Chase Sapphire preferred, Chase ink business card, United mileage plus, Barclays arrivals world, Amex platinum card, Capital one venture reward, bank Americard travel reward, Marriott, Southwest, Barclaycard arrival plus, United mileage plus, Citi Hilton honors.

It is also important to let the credit card company or your bank know what country you are traveling to and the exact date 

Communications

It is recommended to have a cell phone with you, however, if you plan to bring your smart phone, make sure to turn off mobile data right before you board the plane. If the data is not turned off, your mobile provider may charge you hundreds of dollars for using their services outside the U.S. On certain phones, you may be able to disable data roaming (phones that support this feature will most likely have it turned off by default). This will automatically turn off data outside the U.S.

You may want to check with your cell phone provider what data/voice/ text they offer when you travel to Europe. Things are changing for the better. For example, if you have an unlimited plus plan with AT&T you can pay $10 a day and continue using your phone in Europe as if you were at home.

WhatsApp is a free service that lets users message one another seamlessly between mobile and desktop devices.

WhatsApp is known for its enhanced privacy features, like end-to-end encryption, and its free, web-based international calling. Read on to find out how you can leverage the Facebook-owned messaging giant to make free international calls.

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Food N’ Wine Vacations™ is all about experiences. Our tours focus on connection to people and places, to their history, landscapes, food and tradition. From driving in beautiful landscapes to tasting regional specialties and wines, and staying in charming private estates.

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Colors of Puglia