Delight in the age-old atmosphere and fresh flavors of one of the world’s most enchanting locations, southern Italy’s Apulia region. From breathtaking Polignano a Mare, your home for seven nights, travel along the Apulian coast and see why this sun-bleached land has been settled since time immemorial. Discover picture postcard views from the Via Venezia in the ancient Greek port of Bari. See unusual dwellings at the Sassi cave houses and the conical, limestone Trulli, and visit the mysterious Castel del Monte. Roam through medieval Trani at the water’s edge, see Lecce’s lace-like, Baroque architecture and wander narrow streets in whitewashed Ostuni. Savor the region’s vintages on a winery tour, and visit a family-run olive mill to meet the owners and sample the finished product. This fantastic journey includes all excursions, informative educational programs, first-class accommodations, an extensive meal plan and wine with dinner.Check out our slide show for a photo journey of this tour!
View photos by clicking "Next Photo" at the top of the page!Itinerary
September 9 and 10 — U.S. to Polignano a Mare, Italy
Depart the U.S. on your overnight flight to Bari, Italy. Upon arrival transfer to Polignano a Mare
and the Hotel Covo dei Saraceni
. Rising above rocky limestone cliffs and overlooking the luminous Adriatic Sea, this elegant hotel is situated near the historic center of Polignano a Mare, and reflects the authentic character of this quaint coastal town. After checking in, your luggage will be delivered directly to your room. Your Cultural Director will be with you throughout your journey to handle all program logistics and will be available daily to assist with sightseeing arrangements, dinner reservations, shopping suggestions and any other assistance you may require.
Join your fellow travelers for a welcome reception and dinner at the hotel this evening. (D)September 11 — Polignano a Mare and Bari
Learn about the history, agriculture and beauty
of Apulia. Study the enduring influence of Apulia’s diverse cultural heritage on the region’s architecture, food and languages. Learn how the rocky terrain produces thriving crops including the ubiquitous olive groves and vineyards. Discover the vibrant fishing village of Polignano a Mare, which rises from limestone cliffs molded by the Adriatic. Weave through Old Town’s village streets, fragrant with flowering plants, and experience the warm hospitality of local residents. Watch the colorful fishing boats bob in the harbor of Bari, Apulia’s capital city. Tour this historic port and glimpse daily southern life amid the entrancing passages of Old Town. Visit the Basilica of St. Nicholas, Bari’s patron saint. Traverse the seafront promenade and walk the Murat quarter
. Sample local specialties at lunch in Bari. (B,L,D)September 12 — Lecce and Ostuni
Learn about the history and architecture
of Lecce and Ostuni.
Travel to Lecce and visit the Basilica of Santa Croce
, the quintessence of Lecce Baroque. Wander the Roman amphitheater, which once held 20,000 spectators. Savor lunch at a restaurant in Lecce, then visit Ostuni, known as the White Town. It’s whitewashed buildings cascade over the side of its hilltop perch. Lose yourself in the labyrinthine passages of the city’s Old Town. Visit the magnificent cathedral and walk the ancient city walls for wonderful vistas. (B,L)September 13 — Andria and Corato
Visit Castel del Monte
, the magnum opus of secular medieval architecture commissioned by Frederick II of Hohenstaufen in the 13th century. A World Heritage Site
, it’s a geometric study of strange symmetries. Constructed of quartz-embedded limestone blocks, the bastion’s octagonal shape forms eight austere towers of eight equal rooms on each of the castle’s two floors, and symbolizes the transitional phase between Earth and the heavens. Apulia produces more wine than almost any other region of Italy. Visit a working winery in Corato
and learn how Apulia’s indigenous grapes are transformed into fragrant reds, rosés and whites. Sample the regional varieties, followed by lunch at the winery. (B,L)September 14 — Matera and Alberobello
Explore Matera and its rock-hewn cave dwellings called sassi
. This area has been inhabited for millennia and been the setting for many films. Savor southern cuisine for lunch in Matera. When you visit the enchanting city of Alberobello you find the largest concentration of the mysterious dwellings known as trulli
. Found nowhere else in the world, these whitewashed limestone structures are pieced together without mortar, their pointed fieldstone roofs painted with primitive Christian and pagan symbols. A World Heritage Site
, more than 1,000 trulli cluster Alberobello’s cobblestone streets. This evening, enjoy dinner with fellow travelers at the hotel. (B,L,D)September 15 — Bisceglie and Trani
Visit a family-run olive mill in Bisceglie
for a tour, where you'll learn the history and cultivation process. Enjoy an olive oil tasting followed by a hearty lunch. Journey north along the coast to Trani. View the Romanesque Cathedral of St. Nicholas
dramatically perched at the Adriatic’s edge. Explore the Jewish Ghetto, once home to southern Italy’s largest Jewish community. (B,L)September 16 — Polignano a Mare
Join in a discussion about Italy’s contemporary society, its current political status and Italian life in Apulia. Enjoy a day at leisure for further exploration of the village, caves and grottoes of Polignano a Mare, or investigate other intriguing areas of the sun-washed southern countryside. This evening, gather with fellow travelers for a farewell reception and farewell dinner at the hotel. (B,D)September 17 — Polignano a Mare, U.S.
Transfer to the airport in Bari for your return fight to the US. (B)
Note: The information presented is preliminary. Itineraries, included features and schedules are subject to change. Many excursions in this program involve an element of walking.