8 Days Flavors of Puglia

Day 1 — USA / BARI. Tour members gather at the ticket counter at the airport three hours prior to our departure to Bari. Dinner and breakfast are served in-flight.

DAY 2 – BARI. Arrival at the airport of Bari. Transfer to your hotel. Dinner and overnight.

DAY 3 – BARI / ALBEROBELLO / BARI. In the morning you will visit Bari, the capital of Puglia region. Your guide will take us to visit the highligths of the city, then you will walk in the old center of Bari called “Bari vecchia” and watch the women sitting in the streets making orecchiette and strascinati, the typical pastas of the area. You will be amazed to see how fast ladies make this pasta, antique gestures repeated and passed on from mothers to daughters. Lunch at a traditional restaurant in Bari center. After lunch you will drive towards the area of Murgia, close to Alberobello. In the late afternoon you will drive to Alberobello, the capital of “Trulli” (typical buildings with the conic roof), that has about 1500 examples of these unique dwellings. History of this unusual town dates back to the second half of the XVI century. Alberobello (in Italian literally translated means “Beautiful Tree”) is part of the UNESCO world heritage, because “…the site is of outstanding universal value being an exceptional example of a form of building construction deriving from prehistoric construction techniques that have survived intact and functioning into the modern world.” Guided visit of the Trulli. Return to Bari. Dinner and overnight.

DAY 4 – BARI/MARTINA FRANCA/LOCOROTONDO/BARI. In the late morning you will drive to visit Martina Franca, an elegant little town dominating the enchanting Valley of Itria with splendid baroque architecture. Martina Franca was declared “Slow city” and it is known for the famous “capocollo di Martina Franca” a real delicacy for gourmets. This special salume is lightly smoked with local herbs. You will visit one of the producers and taste this unique product. After lunch you will drive to Locorotondo, which is considered the best terrace from where you can admire the Valley of Itria and Murgia. This little jewel was built on a hill and all dwellings were set in a perfect circumference (from where the name that means “circular place”). This area is very good for grapes. Here you will visit a winery where “White DOC Locorotondo” is produced,  wine tasting. Then you will proceed to visit an olive oil mill with olive oil tasting. Back to Bari. Dinner and overnight.

DAY 5 – BARI/GIOIA DEL COLLE/ALTAMURA/MATERA/ BARI. This morning after breakfast, you will drive to Gioia del Colle, that is famous for the best mozzarella! You will see how mozzarella is made and taste it. Then you will proceed to Altamura, famous for its bread. You will visit a bakery, where an entire family is working and see how they make bread, and other delicacies of the area. You will visit as well the beautiful Cathedral. Lunch with different flavors that belong to the region. After lunch, drive to Matera, that is located in Basilicata region, at the border with Puglia. Matera is as well part of the UNESCO World Heritage. The “Sassi” district is the ancient heart of the city. The Sassi di Matera (that means “stones of Matera”) surround the Civita and constitute a city unto itself, completely carved out of the face of the calcareous rock – what is known as tufa stone. The Sassi district is a system made of dwellings carved out of the steep slopes of a deep valley with surprising and unusual features called the ‘Gravina’. They were described as “the most outstanding, intact example of a troglodyte settlement in the Mediterranean.” (Troglodyte means primitive or cave-dwelling.) Elegant and multi-faceted buildings are interspersed with underground mazes and cave labyrinths, forming one single stunning landscape…. Visit of the “Sassi” with an English speaking guide. Back to Bari for dinner and overnight.

DAY 6 – BARI / OSTUNI / BRINDISI / LECCE. After breakfast, you will drive towards the South, to the Salento area, where Lecce is the most important city. Along the way, stop in Ostuni, called “the white town”. Situated on three hills at the southernmost edge of Le Murge, the old centre spreads across the highest of the hills, a gleaming white splash of sun-bleached streets and cobbled alleyways, dominating the plains below. Then you will proceed towards the area of Brindisi, where you will visit a winery and an olive oil mill both visits will be followed by tasting. Light lunch. After lunch, drive to Lecce, a lively, graceful university town, packed with upmarket boutiques, antique shops and furniture restorers. Lecce and its territory -Salento- are as well listed in the UNESCO World Heritage for both landscapes and “Barocco Leccese”. This architecture is characterized by a magnificent and rich ornamentation in the construction of buildings, monuments and mansions. Lecce, called the Florence of the South, is consideredone of the most interesting cities in the region for its architecture, typical of the seventeenth century. In the late afternoon we will have an aperitif in the amazing center of Lecce. Check in at your hotel in Lecce for dinner and overnight.

DAY 7 – LECCE. In the morning, you will meet our guide for a guided visit of Lecce. Then you will visit the central food market. Lunch on your own. In the afternoon, cooking class based on the local specialties, followed by farewell dinner.

DAY 8 – LECCE/DEPARTURE. After breakfast at the hotel, departure to Bologna airport for your departure.