TRIP IN PUGLIA: HISTORY, ART AND NATURE
Day 1 – Arrive in Bari / Monte Sant’Angelo
Arrive at the airport in Bari. Meet your English-speaking tour escort/guide who will stay with the group for the entire tour. Board your de-luxe motor coach and transfer to our hotel in Monte S. Angelo. If we are time we could do the visit of this splendid medieval town. Our guided tour will take us to such noted sites as the Catholic sanctuary on Mount Gargano, the “oldest” shrine in Western Europe, an important pilgrimage site since the Middle Ages. It is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Dinner and overnight in hotel of Monte S. Angelo.
Day 2 – Vieste / Peschici / Foresta Umbra
Breakfast in the hotel. Depart for a full day coach excursion along the picturesque Garganic Coast. In the morning visit to the marine town of Vieste, walk in the picturesque Medieval burg which stretches in the sea water and it is built on a white chalky cliff. Visit to the Medieval Cathedral dedicated to our Lady of the Assumption. Continue on to Peschici, picturesque fisherman village. On your way back to San Giovanni Rotondo you will drive through the Umbrian Forest, a secular forest, lush green heart of the National Park of Gargano. Stop for a short walk and visit to the Museum. Return to your hotel, dinner and overnight.
Day 3 – Trani / Castel del Monte / Barletta
Breakfast in the hotel. In the morning leave for Trani, visit to the Romanic Cathedral from the end of XI sec. Dedicated to the St. Nicolaus the Pilgrim, his relics are kept in the monumental crypt. In Trani you can see the beautiful little harbour built in the Medieval city centre. In the afternoon transfer to the Castel del Monte the famous octagonal castle wanted by the Emperor Frederic II of Svevia in 1240es. Belonging to the Unesco, this castle is the most important Svevian building in southern Italy. The recurrent symbolism and the sophistication of its rooms make this spot very attractive. After the visit transfer to Barletta. Important harbour, agricultural and industrial centre in Apulia. There are plenty of monuments to visit: the Cathedral of St. Mary Major built with different architecture styles from Romanic to Gothic and the Svevian-aragonese Castle. Short walk to the historical centre you can visit the Medieval church of St. Sepulcre, close to the colossal bronze statue ‘Colosso di Barletta’. Accommodation in hotel in Barletta, dinner and overnight.
Day 4 – Altamura / Matera
Breakfast in the hotel. Leave from the hotel for Altamura, arrive and enjoy a walk in the historical centre, visit to the only one Cathedral built by the Emperor Frederic II between 1228 and 1232. It is one of the four Palatine Basilicas in Apulia and it is dedicated to our Lady of Assumption. Possibility to visit a bakery where is made the famous bred of Altamura. Continue on to the close by city of Matera Visit to the famous city of the ‘Sassi’ rocks, rupestral houses partly made out of natural cavities in the rocks. Matera belongs to the Unesco sites. Many filmmakers chose Matera as location for shooting their movies, from Pasolini to Mel Gibson, who shot ‘the Passion’ movie here. Transfer to our new hotel in Cisternino, dinner and overnight.
Day 5 – Grotte di Castellana / Alberobello / Locorotondo
Breakfast in the hotel. In the morning coach excursion to the famous Grottos of Castellana visit to the most important southern Italian hypogeum complex. At the end of the visit transfer to Alberobello and visit to this unique town, you can admire the Trulli, little cute circular houses entirely built of rocks. The town belongs to the Unesco. Stop on the way in Locorotondo, famous for its wine. Visit to the little ancient historical centre dominated by the Church of St. George. Return to the hotel, dinner and overnight.
Day 6 – Martina Franca / Ostuni
After breakfast trasfert to the city of Cisternino. It grew during the Middle Ages, and the historic center reflects its unique development with “spontaneous architecture,” Our guide will take us to the medieval center with intriguing alleyways, courtyards and arches winding through the bleached streets fronted by staircases to balconies awash in flowers. Our next stop is the oldest part of Martina Franca characterized by pointed-roof buildings, a local tradition. Wandering the lanes and alleys you pass 18th Century palaces as well as humbler dwellings, all tall and squeezed together in this small area within the old town walls. Ornate balconies and archways decorate the more elegant buildings, along with fancy baroque windows, and those ubiquitous cherubs. It’s a photographer’s dream. Other attractions include the main entrance to the old town center through a grand gateway, Porto Santo Stefano (also called the Arco di Sant’ Antonio), in Piazza XX Settembre. Just inside the gateway is the pretty little Piazza Roma, one side of which is dominated by the Palazzo Ducale. Our day continuing to Ostuni, a city which has been occupied since the Stone Age and which has a vibrant olive and grape industry. Commonly known as “the white town”, Ostuni is located on the top of a hill and surrounded by its white walls and white-painted architecture. Back to our hotel, dinner and overnight.
Day 7 – Lecce / Otranto
Breakfast in the hotel. In the morning excursion to Lecce, famous city of the baroque, also called the Florence of the South. The visit will include the Roman Amphitheatre, the Cathedral, the Bishop Palace, the amazing church of St. Cross. At the end of the visit continue on to the beautiful coast of Salento and reach Otranto, the most eastern city of Italy. Visit to the city centre: the Romanic Cathedral, where you can find the relics of the Martyrs of 1480 and where you can admire the widest floor mosaics built from 1163 and 1166, visit to the byzantine church of St. Peters, the Castle of Alfonso of Aragona king of Naples. Return to your hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day 8 – Bari / Departure
Breakfast in the hotel. Private transfer to Bari. Arrive and visit to the Old City, a real Kasbah of narrow streets and alleys. Visit to the Basilica of St. Nicolas, made of Apulia Romanic, in its crypt you can find the precious relics of St. Nicolas Bishop of Mira. Visit to the Romanic cathedral dedicated to St. Sabino and the Svevian Castle. After the visit transfer to the airport for departure. Farewell with your tour escort/guide.