Highlights: Bari, Karst caves, Polignano a Mare, Pasta & pizza cooking lessons, Wine tastings, Olive oil tasting at plantation, La Citta Bianca, Roman Theater ruins, Pompeii, Vesuvius National Park, Amalfi Coast
Itinerary: Alberobello (3), Lecce (2), Matera (1), Sorrento (4)
Day 1 – USA – Naples, Italy
Board your flight to beautiful Italy.
Day 2 – Naples – Alberobello
Welcome to Italy! Upon arrival, transfer to Apulia. Along the way, stop in Bari. Actually named “Bari Vecchia,” it is home to the Basilica of Saint Nicholas (Basilica di San Nicola) and the Swabian Castle (Castello Normanno-Svevo). Continue to Alberobello.
Day 3 – Alberobello
Journey to Castellana to visit the biggest Karst caves of Italy including canyons, fossils and stalactites. Continue to Polignano a Mare for free time with the group. Discover houses with balconies, exterior stairs decorated with flowers, patios over the blue sea and the native city of the famous singer Domenico Modugno, who is known for the song “Mister Volare.” Return to the hotel to get some rest before enjoying a cooking lesson to make orecchiette pasta.
Day 4 – Alberobello
Visit the town of Alberobello, a UNESCO World Heritage city, known for its original Trulli district. Continue to Itria Valley for a wine tasting. Discover Locorotondo. Return to the hotel before dinner that includes focaccia, veggies, capocollo salami and delicious cheeses. During dinner watch a mozzarella-making demonstration.
Day 5 – Alberobello – Lecce
Departure to Ostuni, known as the “white city,” La Città Bianca. The old town is built on the top of a hill, fortified with ancient walls. Visit Ostuni Cathedral and the Bishop’s Palace. This region is famous for producing savory extra virgin olive oil. Visit a plantation where olive oil is manufactured including a tasting. On to Lecce.
Day 6 – Lecce
This morning, enjoy a guided visit of Lecce, called “Florence of the south” where you will visit the Roman theater ruins, the Basilica de Santa Croce, and a cathedral. Free time in the afternoon to discover the city on your own. You may decide to visit Castle Carlo V, Mura Urbiche, the churches of Saints Niccolo and Cataldo. Perhaps take a cultural walk between Rudiae, San Cataldo and Lecce.
Day 7 – Lecce – Matera
Transfer to Matera, the underground city, UNESCO World Heritage site, which is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world (since the 10th millennium BC.) You have free time in the afternoon to explore the old district called Sassi di Matera, originating in a prehistoric troglodyte settlement. These dwellings are thought to be among the first ever human settlements in Italy. See the large and diverse collection of buildings, including a large number of rupestrian churches carved from the soft volcanic rock of the region.
Day 8 – Matera – Sorrento
On to the beautiful, small seaside city of Sorrento, a town overlooking the Bay of Naples. Walk through the town visiting the local shops selling antiques, ceramics, lacework and woodwork.
Day 9 – Sorrento
Journey to Pompeii for a guided visit to this UNESCO World Heritage site. Continue to Vesuvius National Park and then tour a local winery. Return to Sorrento.
Day 10 – Sorrento
Enjoy a day trip up the Amalfi Coast. Traverse the road by the cliff that offers beautiful views. Visit the cathedral in Amalfi.
Day 11 – Sorrento
Day at leisure. You may decide to cross the sparkling blue sea to the Isle of Capri. If weather permits, take a boat to the enchanting and famous Blue Grotto. Transfer to a local farm for a farewell dinner followed by a pizza cooking lesson and a limoncello tasting.
Day 12 – Depart
Transfer to the airport and fly home, with the magic of southern Italy and the adventures alive in your memory for years to come.