Eat and Explore Puglia
8 Days / 7 Nights • Your Private Group
€2100 per person (twin share)
September 30 - October 7, 2019 (ask about other dates)
- 3 star or higher accommodation in masserias or hotels (options will be presented at time of enquiry)
- Daily breakfast, 6 lunches (some are “light”), 2 dinners
- Experienced local guides
- All sightseeing and special activities as outlined in the itinerary
- Car rental (2 passengers) or Minivan with driver (4 or more passengers)
- Olive oil tasting
- Local dairy to sample cheese
- Wine tasting
- Cooking class
- Guided tour of Lecce
- Guided tour of Matera
- Guided tour of Alberobello
- Guided tour of Ostuni
- Sightseeing along the coast
- Special seafood lunch
Note: This trip operates with a minimum of 2 and a maximum of 16 passengers. Ask for available dates.
DAY 1 - Arrive Puglia
Your trip starts at the Bari airport – if you’ve chosen the car rental option, you’ll pick it up here – otherwise you’ll meet your driver and head to your hotel or masseria near the town of Ceglie Messapica. Check in, freshen up and get ready for dinner at a local restaurant (included).
DAY 2 - Day trip to Alberobello
Today you’ll start with a 40 minute drive through the Itria Valley towards Alberobello. Here you’ll have a 2 hour walking tour to see and learn about the charming cone-shaped homes known as trulli.
Later, make your way to a nearby dairy or caseificio to learn more about, and of course taste, the local burrata and mozzerella.
Next it’s onto lovely Locorotondo – one of the most beautiful towns in Italy. Enjoy wandering the cobbled streets, stop for a gelato and watch the world go by.
Meals: B, L
DAY 3 - Day trip to Matera
Today you’ll head to Matera – this unique and fascinating town is built into the sides of a canyon. You’ll have a guided walking tour of the town to see and learn how the traditional homes functioned.
Next up: bread. Nearby Altamura holds one of the much-coveted D.O.P. titles for their traditional bread. This “Pane di Altamura” has a crispy crust and a uniquely fluffy and dense crumb. You’ll have a chance to enjoy it at a local bakery, where you’ll have a light lunch including a selection of typical local delicacies and, of course, amazing red wine.
Meals: B, L
DAY 4 - Day trip to Ostuni (change hotels)
After breakfast, check out and start off with a very short drive to nearby Ostuni. This gleamingly whitewashed city, perched upon three hills, is full of narrow streets, winding around a marvellous Romanesque cathedral. Explore the pretty streets and perhaps sit at a cafe for an espresso and a pastry.
Your next stop is a nearby farmhouse and olive grove, where olive oil has been produced for centuries. Some of these gnarled, ancient trees have been around for over 1,500 years! You’ll have a chance to wander in the grove and sample the oil before making your way towards Puglia’s oldest winery.
The on-site museum at the winery is full of evocative smells, old machinery and well-worn tools of the trade. Once you’ve explored as much as you wish, it’s time to sample the wine. A Sommelier will guide you through four wines as you enjoy a light lunch.
Later, head to Lecce to check into your hotel or masseria. The rest of the evening is at leisure: Lecce is a lovely town to explore on your own.
Meals: B, L
DAY 5 - Lecce
After breakfast, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and try your hand at pasta making! Learn how to make the local pasta: orecchiette (“little ears”) during your friendly and relaxed cooking class. Lunch, of course, is orecchiette (and other dishes) you and your teacher have made, plus a fabulous local wine.
Work off lunch during a guided walking tour of Lecce’s baroque churches, Roman amphitheater and pretty main square. From here you’re free to continue wandering or head back to the hotel.
Meals: B, L
DAY 6 - Day trip to the Adriatic Coast
Today will be a long but wonderful day. First, make your way to Otranto (about a 40 minute drive). Here you’ll explore the pretty port town and learn about the local history and art.
Down the coast a little further is Porto Badisco, where you’ll stop for seafood lunch at a local favourite restaurant.
From here, you’ll head further south along a spectacularly scenic coastal drive towards Leuca, the most southerly part of the “heel” of Italy’s boot. There will be opportunities to stop for photos or sustenance before making your way back to the hotel.
Meals: B, L
DAY 7 - Day trip & boat tour around Gallipoli
This morning you’ll make your way in the opposite direction: towards Apulia’s western seaside city of Gallipoli. Take your time to soak in the atmosphere, find a great little cafe for lunch, and relax. Later this afternoon, you have a sailing excursion: watch the light soften over the Ionian Sea as you sip an aperitif and try to work up an appetite. You’ll have dinner in Lecce before heading back to the hotel.
Meals: B, L, D
DAY 8 - Departure day
This morning you’ll check out of your hotel after breakfast. A transfer to Bari airport is included.
Price is per person based on two people sharing a twin or double room. Single supplement is US$1200. Proof of insurance is mandatory; if you need to purchase trip cancellation or health insurance please inquire. For full Booking Conditions, please see thetravelsociety.com/booking-conditions/ Tour is operated by The Travel Society, Inc., 174 Spadina Ave., Suite 404, Toronto, ON, M5T 2C2, Canada; 1 (877) 926 2500; TICO Registration #1280649