11 Days/10 Nights (2 Nights in Bari + 1 Nights in Matera + 4 Nights in Lecce + 3 Nights in Masseria)*
Low Season: $6,150 per person. High Season: $6,550 per person.
Those who love traveling to Italy and have been yearning to experience the authentic lifestyle need to look no further. Here, far away from crowds, you'll see places where traditions are kept at the forefront of daily life, and meal preparation is a ritual to be respected and appreciated every day, with friends, and family. Wander through the maze of cobbled stone streets of charming white-washed towns like Ostuni, Locorotondo, and Otranto, a photographer's delight, where quaint courtyards, ornate staircases, and balconies overflowing with flowers will surprise you at every corner.
(Itinerary is subject to change with or without notice. The sequence
of day trips may vary. A final itinerary will be given to travelers
prior to the start of the trip.)
Welcome to Puglia! Start your journey uncovering one of Italy's last hidden gems. Tonight you will rest in a luxury hotel within walking distance of "Bari Vecchia" (the historic district of Bari) and relax after a long trip overseas. Enjoy a leisure walk through the picturesque streets of Bari with our expert City Guide who will introduce you to the main sites, churches, buildings, and traditions that Bari is known for, including the Basilica di San Nicola, which holds St. Nicholas' tomb under its main altar. We'll walk along the ancient walls, so we can better enjoy the view of the sea and harbor. The old town of Bari appears to revel in its own traditions. You may run into old ladies sitting by their front door, kneading fresh pasta and leaving the "orecchiette" (ear-shaped pasta) to dry out in the sun. Enjoy a delicious home-style meal with regional specialties with your fellow travelers.
Meals included: dinner
We'll leave the city of Bari to head inland, where we'll slowly see the stern and imposing Castel del Monte in the distance. This impressive structure dominates the surrounding countryside from a high viewpoint, where nothing interrupts its 360-degree view. There is a strong element of mystery within the castle, built in the 1240's by Emperor Frederick II of Svevia. The intent was not to create a defensive fortress, but rather a study & knowledge center where science, theology, philosophy, and alchemy experts from all over the Mediterranean could meet and exchange their thoughts & findings. The number 8, symbolizing the infinite nature of the Divine, appears repeatedly, almost obsessively, within the 8 rooms, the octagonal base, 8 towers each with 8 sides, and other architectural elements within the castle. We'll take a guided tour of this amazing site, a Unesco World Heritage site since 1996. We continue southwest, towards Altamura, a charming town with beautiful palaces and churches such as the imposing Cattedrale dell'Assunta. Here, we'll stop for lunch and taste the first bakery product in Europe branded "DOP" (a certification that protects the traditional recipe, process, and place of production). The famous Pane di Altamura dates back to Medieval times and is often in the shape of a "priest's hat". We'll visit an ancient bakery where you'll see how this traditional bread is made. After some free time to stroll around Altamura, we continue south and check into our hotel in Matera, then enjoy a group dinner in a local trattoria.
Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Today we are exploring Matera's deep and complex history through the centuries. Said to be one of the world’s oldest towns, dating back to pre-historic times Matera is known for its "Sassi", incredible cave dwellings dug into the limestone rock. The dramatic landscape surrounding the town as it rises from a deep gorge created by the Gravina river, give Matera an almost surreal atmosphere. Lunch will be on your own in Matera. After we leave the mystical air of Matera, we'll continue our journey south towards Lecce, aka "the Florence of the South". Here we'll check into one of the most elegant parts of the city, where different architectural styles live together in perfect harmony. Enjoy a group dinner, carefully chosen among dozens of local traditional restaurants.
Meals included: breakfast, lunch
After breakfast, an expert local guide will meet us at the hotel to introduce us to Lecce's famous landmarks including the splendid Roman Amphitheater, the richly decorated Cathedral of Maria SS. Assunta, and a traditional papier mache' shop, where you can learn all about the ancient craft and why it bloomed in Lecce. The way the light reflects on the buildings of Lecce is truly remarkable; making them spectacular by day, almost made of gold, but most strikingly dramatic at night time. We’ll then enjoy a group lunch at a family trattoria near the hotel, whose dishes reflect the most authentic cuisine. After lunch, don't miss the opportunity to explore Lecce's boutiques, bakeries, and piazzas at your own leisure.
Meals included: breakfast, lunch
Leave Lecce and head East for a relaxing day on the water of the Adriatic Sea. From the port of Torre Vado, we’ll be boarding a traditional sail boat that will take us along the beautiful East coast of the region, where pebble beaches alternate with green-blue caves and craggy outcrops facing the clear waters of the Adriatic. Among the others, we will spot Santa Maria di Leuca, the “heel of the Boot”, a popular vacation destination, where many luxury villas were built in the 1800’s. This is what Romans called “Finis Terrae” (meaning: the End of Land), where you are able to see the southernmost point of the European continent from the boat. We’ll enjoy a typical aperitivo on the boat, perhaps take a refreshing swim, then continue the relaxing ride passing by ruins of ancient towers and small fishing villages, slowly reaching our last stop, Castro, before heading back to Torre Vado to continue our journey. Once back in Torre Vado, we’ll get back on the road with our private transportation and head back towards Lecce. We’ll make a stop in Otranto, the easternmost Italian city, with a charming historical center, an imposing castle “Castello Aragonese”, and many picturesque viewpoints of the sea. Not to be missed is the Cattedrale dell’Annunziata, where you can see a massive mosaic floor dating back to the 12TH century, with semi-precious stones depicting the Tree of Life, with fascinating scenes that mix sacred stories with profane ones. Walk around the cobblestone alleys decorated with flowers and stop by hidden gems such as the Byzantine Basilica of Saint Peter’s. Once we return to Lecce, you’ll be able to enjoy dinner on your own.
Meals included: breakfast, lunch
In the afternoon we'll be visiting Gallipoli, a fishing village with beautiful sea views and alleyways lined with clotheslines and locals leaning over balconies, conversing and greeting visitors as they walk by. We continue on towards the west coast, stopping in Galatina, a village where ornate palaces, rich portals, and Baroque churches boast the most elegant embellishments of Rococo' style. A must-see is the Romanesque-Gothic Basilica of Santa Caterina d'Alessandria, where you'll be able to admire some of the most breath-taking frescoes from the School of Giotto, of which the importance is only second to the Basilica of Assisi. Before we head out to dinner back in Lecce, we'll be entertained by a local dance crew performing the famous "Taranta", among the most recognized forms of traditional southern Italian folk dance. It's characterized by a fast upbeat tempo, performed by a supposed victim of a "tarantula" bite, who is able to "shake off" through contortions and perspiration the delirium attributed to the spider's venom.
Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Today we'll visit a local boutique winery, where the intense and full-bodied Salice Salentino wine is made from dark purple grapes of Negroamaro (which translated to "black-bitter"). We'll learn about the production of the area, aging techniques, and then sit down for a wine tasting and delicious home-made lunch. We will then drive north, stopping in the village of Ostuni. From the road below, it looks like a mirage of white light. From the ancient town, up the hill, you can see a beautiful coastline wrapped by green fields. The medieval heart of the town, called "Terra", is crisscrossed by narrow alleys, steep stairways, craft shops, family-style restaurants, and small courtyards adorned with geranium planters. The 15th century Romanesque-Gothic Cathedral boasts a rare 24-spoke rose portal. Don't forget to try the legendary "bombette", thin slices of veal stuffed with cheese, rolled, skewered, then grilled. After time for lunch on your own, we'll arrive at our resort in the late afternoon, so you can enjoy the beautiful surroundings, some R&R, then a fabulous group dinner near the resort.
Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Enjoy a fun group cooking class at a traditional family Masseria, a fortified farmhouse in typical Pugliese style, dating back to the 1600’s. You will be able to sample life in southern Italy with the family's warm hospitality. After lunch with local specialties, we'll head back to the resort, where you can enjoy the rest of the day to relax by the pool, have a massage or spa treatment, spend time by the beach, and completely free your mind. Tonight we’ll enjoy a nice Italian aperitivo in a nearby village. You will be able to enjoy dinner on your own if you're still hungry after the aperitivo.
Meals included: breakfast, lunch, light dinner
Explore the beating heart of the Valle D'Itria, Alberobello, one of the world's most unique places and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We'll visit the community of Trulli, dating back to the 1400's with our expert City Guide, who will tell us about life in these peculiar cone-shaped dwellings and how they came to be. On our way back, we'll stop in Locorotondo, a circular base village with stunning views of the countryside, where you can enjoy lunch on your own. Then enjoy some free time in the afternoon to relax at the resort. Tonight you'll learn about olive oil and savor home-made dishes at a nearby family-owned farm, surrounded by thousand-year-old olive groves and beautiful lush gardens with large tropical plants and fragrant citrus trees.
Meals included: breakfast, dinner
After checking out from the hotel, we'll drive back up to Bari. On the way, we'll make a stop in Polignano a Mare, a charming coastal village, perched on the edge of a jagged cliff overlooking the Grotta Palazzese, a large and dramatic cave. After check-in, enjoy some extra time to experience the history and liveliness of Bari, explore its vivacious nightlife and bustling streets. Let the memories of the trip fill up your thoughts before returning home.
Meals included: breakfast, lunch
Thank you for choosing Nada's Italy for your Italian adventure. We hope to have you back and experience more parts of this colorful culture again soon! Until next time, beautiful ITALIA says Ciao!
Meals included: breakfast
What's Not Included in Tour Package
price does not include airfare and anything that is not specified to be
included. Price does not include any personal related expenses or
travel-related expenses outside of the scheduled itineraries. The food
& wine that is included is what is presented during meals.
first day of this tour is Friday (you will need to book your flight from
the USA on Thursday to get to Bari on Friday). The last day of this
tour is Monday (arrival in the U.S. is the same day of departure on your
way back). Some tours start and end in different cities, make sure to
book your flights accordingly.
> Airfare is not included.
Nada's Italy can assist with Business and First Class airfare. Please
let us know if you need information about arrival and departure airport
for this tour.
> Reminders, hotel information, and arrival
instructions will be sent only by email, please make sure we have your current email address.
to and from the airport are not included in the tour rate. Please
contact us if you'd like to add transfers to your tour package.
must be in good physical condition to sign-up for this trip. This is
not a physically challenging trip, nonetheless, there will be a lot of
walking uphill, downhill, walking over uneven pavement, and standing for
extended periods of time.
> Even though tips to staff and
restaurants are included, it is suggested that you put aside
approximately $100 (US) in combined gratuities for your driver &
Tour Director for your trip (and any voluntary additional restaurant
gratuities are at your discretion).
> Nada's Italy strongly
recommends that you purchase Travel Insurance for your trip. For
suggestions on policies and a quote, please contact us.
> You should know that
air conditioning in Italy, as well as WIFI connection, are not always as
reliable as they are in the United States.
> The hotel
assigns rooms to guests, some rooms may include stairs. A view is not
guaranteed. As Nada's Italy works mainly with luxury historic inns and
small upscale boutique hotels, rooms differ in size and layout. In
general, Italian bedrooms and bathrooms are smaller compared to US
standards. Each room has its own en-suite
bathroom with shower and/or tub, hair-dryer, and basic toiletry set.
contact us if you have specific requests/needs.
> It is your
responsibility to obtain the required documents to travel to Italy,
please verify with your own country's travel laws and government
agencies. Your passport should be valid for at least 6 months after your return date.
the unlikely event your tour does not reach the minimum participation
requirement of 6 travelers, we will work with you to choose another
available tour or tour date. We will do our best to make the transition
as smooth as possible.
> Add extra nights and extend your stay in this amazing country. Contact us for a quote (subject to availability).
> Please note: while we do our best to adhere to our published
itineraries, they may be changed at the discretion of the Tour Leader
due to weather conditions and any other unforeseeable circumstances.
> Unless stated otherwise, all rates are per person, based on double occupancy, land only, in USD, and subject to availability. Rates may vary by departure date and are subject to change without notice. Nada’s Italy reserves the right to correct any errors, inaccuracies or omissions and to change or update rates, fees and surcharges at any time without prior notice.
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I just returned from my second Nada's Italy tour in Oct. Three years ago I went on Jewels of the Amalfi Coast and last month I went on Sole Terre. Just like my first tour this recent experience far exceeded my expectations. Truly a magical trip in all ways. I cannot say enough about what a wonderful company this is and how much thought, effort, planning, professionalism, and passion goes into everything the Nada's Italy team touches. I have made special memories that will last a lifetime. If you want a great Italian adventure I HIGHLY recommend Nada's Italy Small Group Tours.
Nada is simply the very BEST!!! If you are going to Italy, rather WHEN you go to Italy, work with Nada, why deal with all the planning and details on your own when you can talk to someone who truly KNOWS Italy!!!!
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You really put together an amazing tour! We loved all the guides we had (Pompeii, Greek ruins, Rome, Paulo), we loved the hotels, especially in Positano!! And I freakin LOVE Positano! Loved that town! Loved the little grocery store down the street where I'd get my cappuccino every morning. Loved all the restaurants we went to, especially the little town on the way back to Rome on the last day.
To say that it was far beyond our expectations would be a gross understatement. Thank you so much for making all of this happen for us. We never would have found these experiences on our own, nor would we have sequenced them in this order which started sweetly and ended in a great crescendo. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Mark and Cathy
Mark & Cathy