Vita Italian Tours are designed for the traveller who wants more than just a holiday
 
 
 
 

THE SPECTACULAR SOUTH PUGLIA, ABRUZZO & MATERA

1 Sept – 13 Sept 2019
(13 days/12 nights) AUD $7,691

The tour highlights Italy’s rich cultural and culinary heritage visiting the southern regions of Abruzzo, Puglia & Matera. The journey through these regions will focus on visiting unique medieval villages and castles and experiencing specialty regional cuisine with local wines. The tour culminates in an unforgettable stay in the remarkable city of Matera in Basilicata. The central Appenine mountain range acts as a great natural border separating Italy from East and West. For this reason, the Adriatic regions of Italy are so diverse from their more famous western and northern counterparts. The authenticity of cuisine and culture as well as the diversity of the landscape make these regions so new and exciting to visit.

This tour will be personally guided by the directors of Vita Italian Tours and tour leaders Mario and Gianni. We feel very excited to introduce our travellers to this area of Italy. It is where our ancestors came from and where many of our relatives still live today. Mario and Gianni, your expert tour leaders, will escort you throughout your stay and will ensure you have a wonderful experience.

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 Sunday 1 September Rome/Pescara (L) Today your tour leaders will meet you in Rome, at 10:00am at a designated pick-up point for the start of the tour. Introductions and a small talk on the tour will take place before the group make their way out of Rome, travelling in air-conditioned mini-vans towards Pescara, in Abruzzo. We will make a stop along the way for morning tea and for lunch. We should reach Pescara by early afternoon where the group will check-into the hotel centrally located in the heart of the historical centre of the city. In the afternoon, there will be a guided walking tour of the centre of Pescara with its beautiful boulevards and piazze right along the Adriatic.

Day 2 Monday 2 September Pescara/Santo Stefano in Sessanio/Calascio (BL) Today we travel to one of the most celebrated areas of the Abruzzo Region, Grand Sasso National Park, the highest area of the central Apennines. There will be a stop at the tiny medieval village of Santo Stefano in Sessanio, famous for once being part of the powerful Medici family dynasty for over 200 years. Its characteristic original charm of small cobbled stone streets and houses make it a fascinating trip back in time. We then travel on to the neighbouring town of Calascio to admire the imposing 13th century fortress with spectacular panoramic views of the Apennines and Campo Imperatore. Lunch is in Calascio in a traditional mountain rifugio. Free evening in Pescara.

Day 3 Tuesday 3 September Pescara/Vasto (BL) Today is a day dedicated to the beautiful food, wine and hospitality of the Abruzzo Region. We travel to the ancient Roman town of Vasto, on a beautiful stretch of coastline along the Adriatic. Our local guide will lead the group through
a traditional Abruzzese banquet in a surprise location overlooking the Adriatic with its many fishing villages dotted around the coast. We should return to Pescara by late afternoon where there will be free time to explore and shop along the boulevards and laneways of the historical centre of the city or perhaps a walk along lungomare (beach promenade). Free evening in Pescara.

Day 4 Wednesday 4 September Pescara/Trani (BD) This morning we say goodbye to Abruzzo and make our way south along the Adriatic Coast to the beautiful seaside town of Trani in Puglia. Along the way we travel through the famous National Park of the Gargano with its tiny fishing villages and stunning coastal panorama. We make a stop for lunch at the characteristic coastal capital of the Gargano Peninsula: Vieste, with its tiny white houses and narrow streets. After lunch we make our way to Trani which will be our stop for the next two nights. The group will check-into the hotel located in a beautiful setting overlooking the port. Dinner in a local restaurant.

Day 5 Thursday 5 September Trani/Castel Del Monte (BD) For our first morning in Puglia, the group will be taken on a walking tour of Trani by a local expert visiting the stunning Romanesque Cathedral and other iconic buildings in this beautiful town. After lunch, it will be a short drive through the Pugliese countryside full of olive groves and traditional farmhouses to reach the famous 13th century castle built by Frederick II of Swabia. The castle is an octagonal shape and built on a hill offering 360-degree views of the surrounding countryside. This important landmark and UNESCO recognised castle, will give an insight into the history and the legacy left by Frederick II and his descendants in this part of Italy, but also show their influence throughout medieval Europe. Dinner in a local restaurant in the fishing port of Trani.

Day 6 Friday 6 September Trani/Polignano A Mare (BD) Today we make our way to another spectacular town situated along the Adriatic, Polignano al Mare. Your hotel has beautiful rooms with spectacular views of the coastline and the old town perched on a cliff face. On the way the group will have a special tasting in a local Masseria specialising in local produce and wines from the region. Before dinner, there will be a leisurely walk through the historical centre of Polignano. Dinner will be held in a restaurant which serves local delicacies and has stunning views of the sea.

Day 7 Saturday 7 September Polignano A Mare/Alberobello (BL) Our second day in this part of Puglia will give the group an insight into the remarkable diversity this region has to offer when compared to the rest of Italy. We will visit beautiful Alberobello, one of the most sought after destinations in all of Puglia, famous for the iconic ‘Trulli’; traditional round-shaped and whitewashed stone houses with conical stone roofs. We will have lunch in Alberobello in a restaurant set in a traditional Trullo and enjoy the distinct local cuisine and wine. Then it is back to Polignano for a free afternoon and evening.

Day 8 Sunday 8 September Polignano A Mare (B) Today is a free day to explore the beautiful historical centre of Polignano with its stunning cobblestone streets full of restaurants, boutique shops and bars overlooking the sea.

Day 9 Monday 9 September Polignano A Mare/Lecce (BD) After breakfast, we say goodbye to Polignano A Mare for a day dedicated to discovering the splendid city of Lecce, famous for its Baroque buildings built in soft local honey coloured stone. A local guide will take the group on a stroll through the elegant city centre with the Piazza del Duomo. After a break for lunch, we will continue south from Lecce for a special stay in a traditional Masseria which has been converted into a boutique hotel and wellness centre. Dinner in the Masseria.

Day 10 Tuesday 10 September Lecce/Oltranto (BL) It is an early morning start as we journey to the seaside city of Otranto, known as the “Gateway to the Orient” due to its position on the most easterly tip of the Italian peninsula. After a walking tour of the historical centre followed by a traditional lunch there will be some free time to explore the small streets or perhaps enjoy a drink at one of the many bars overlooking the Adriatic Sea. The afternoon is dedicated to rest and relaxation for the group to enjoy the facilities of the Masseria. You may wish to book in a treatment or massage, simply enjoy sitting by the pool or take a leisurely stroll through the property.

Day 11 Wednesday 11 September Lecce/Matera (BD) We say goodbye to Lecce and Puglia as we travel across the border into the region of Basilicata to what will surely be a highlight of the tour, the amazing town of Matera. Matera is famous for its underground dwellings dug into the rock where the local people lived until the 1950’s. Now many of these caves have become tourist attractions, hotels, restaurants and wellness centres. Once we have checked-into our hotel located in the heart of Matera we will have an afternoon walk to explore the characteristic ‘Sassi’ area of this UNESCO heritage listed city, an unforgettable experience. Dinner in a local restaurant.

Day 12 Thursday 12 September Matera (BD) It is a wonderful time to be visiting the city as Matera in 2019 has been awarded the title of European Capital City of Culture. Here the group will be guided by a local expert who will narrate the history and development of this unique city and visit the famous ‘Sassi’ situated among the labyrinth of the many narrow alleyways of the famous caves. The afternoon will be free for travellers to further explore the city which will be alive with exhibitions and performances as the cultural centre of Europe. Dinner in a local restaurant.

Day 13 Friday 13 September Matera/Bari (B) After breakfast the group will travel to Bari where the tour will end at Bari Centrale Train Station. Onward travel can be organised by Pronto Travel/Vita Italian Tours for those travelling onto other destinations.

Additional information

The weather: it is the end of summer. It can get warm during the day however the evenings may be cool. For September in southern Italy we recommend light, comfortable clothing, a light jacket with your favourite walking shoes. We do not place age limitations on the tour and welcome anyone with a moderate level of physical fitness. It is important to note that the countryside is undulating and hilly. Many hill-towns have their historical centres closed to traffic and therefore lots of walking is required. Be expected to spend a few hours a day at a time on your feet with breaks for sightseeing, coffee and a taste of the local produce.

The program appears to be full; however, it is mixed with long restful lunches and leisure time for your enjoyment and comfort.

If you need to, you can always take time off from the organised program.

 


Download the Itinerary




 






 

 

 

 

Items included in the Tour

• All land travel in air-conditioned mini buses.
• Accommodation for 12 nights in 4/5 Star hotels in Pescara/Trani/Polignano a Mare/Masseria in
Lecce and luxurious cave dwellings in Matera.
• 12 Breakfasts
• 6 Dinners
• 5 Lunches (Meals include special lunches and dinners in traditional local restaurants, osterie and
private dining experiences as detailed in the itinerary)
• Regional wines and mineral water served with meals
• Admission to all wineries and historical sites included in the itinerary
• Personal guided tours to all towns mentioned in the itinerary
• Services of the tour leaders throughout the tour

Items not included

• Airfares
• Travel insurance (it is compulsory for every traveller to have taken out a travel insurance policy in
order to partake on a Vita Italian Tours). If you require, we can assist in organising a policy for you.
• Admission fees to places other than those specifically itemised in the itinerary
• Meals on tour except when specifically mentioned in the itinerary
• Drinks outside normal meal times or additional wine and other drinks in restaurants
• Personal transport costs, phone calls and other personal needs
• Accommodation Tax

Cost

The cost of the tour, land content only, is AUD $7,691 per person in twin share accommodation. A deposit of AUD $500 is required to reserve a place on the tour which is non-refundable unless the tour is cancelled. The full balance due 90 days prior to departure. Single supplements are available at an additional cost of AUD $1,916. The tour is costed on a minimum of 6 people travelling on the tour with a maximum number of 14 people.
We recommend that you carefully read the terms & conditions applying to a Vita Italian Tour. Please refer to the Booking Page of our website www.vitaitaliantours.com/bookings/

We recommend that you carefully read the conditions applying to Vita Italian Tours


 

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