Puglia Tour Itinerary
Wednesday, September 3 - Welcome and getting settled.
Arrival. Welcome dinner and introduction to Pugliese cuisine, culture, and history.
Thursday, September 4 - Visit and lunch in Orsara di Puglia with evening and hotel stay in Mattinata.
From Puglia’s central Adriatic coast, we will drive north to the Gargano, the “spur” of Italy’s boot. The Gargano promontory overlooks the Adriatic Sea and the broader sub-region is home to ancient forests (La Foresta Umbra), rocky highlands, and the Gargano National Park. Lunch overlooking Orsara’s historical center, and evening and first of two nights in Mattinata.
Friday, September 5 - Morning and afternoon at Monte Sant’Angelo.
A visit to Western Europe’s oldest shrine to the archangel Michael. Named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2011, the shrine has been an important pilgrimage destination since the 13th Century. Lunch with the chef in Monte Sant’Angelo. Experience local Gargano fare close to perfection. Night in Mattinata.
Saturday, September 6 - Andria and Castel del Monte.
In the morning we will visit the recently restored botanical gardens in Andria, followed by lunch in an intimate local restaurant highly praised for the chef’s ‘gastronomical culture’, fine preservation of local cuisine, and hospitality. Guests are encouraged to visit the kitchen! After lunch we will visit Castel del Monte. Built by the eccentric Emperor Frederick II in the mid 13th Century and named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996, the octogonal structure is considered one of the most fascinating and architecturally impressive in all of Europe. Mysteries surrounding the purpose of this castle still capture the imagination of contemporary visitors. Night in Polignano.
Sunday, September 7 - Day trip to organic agriturismo
Relax and enjoy and easy day at a local agriturismo. The masseria, or old manor, dates back to the 1500s, and specializes in typical organic products. We will enjoy lunch here and then head back to Polignano for the afternoon. Dinner overlooking the Norman Castle of Conversano. Highly refined traditional cuisine served paired with an extensive wine menu. Night in Polignano.
Monday, September 8 - Visit to an ancient olive oil press (still in use!), visit to Ostuni and Alberobello
Italy’s most prized olive oil is produced in Puglia. Taste olive oil from trees that have perfected their fruits over thousands of years. Then we will visit Ostuni, “la citta’ bianca” (the white city), with its stunning whitewashed homes and medieval alleyways; and Alberobello (named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996), home to Puglia’s trulli, or unique conical shaped homes. Dinner in a trullo. Night in Polignano.
Tuesday, September 9 - Wine tasting and visit to Lecce
In 2013, Wine Enthusiast named Puglia one of its top 10 travel destinations for wine tasting. We will take you to one of Puglia’s finest vineyards to taste its internationally recognized local varietals. Later we will visit Lecce, Puglia’s baroque city and Salento’s sub-regional capital, and dine at one of its finest restaurants. Dinner and art in Lecce. A six course meal will be served with six wine pairings. Night in Lecce.
Wednesday, September 10 - Visit to the Cathedral and Aragonese Castle
Modern day Otranto sits on the ancient Greek site of Hydruntum, Italy’s main port to East for thousands of years. Still beautiful after centuries of use are its Cathedral boasting an impressive 12th century floor mosaic across the entire nave, and the Castello Aragonese, built to protect the town from imminent Turkish invasion in the 15th century. Dinner at Otranto’s most distinguished restaurant. Two sisters and their mother pay creative homage to traditional Salentino cuisine by giving it a contemporary twist. Night in Otranto.
Thursday, September 11- Free day in Otranto
Enjoy the day in Otranto as you please. From its bustling town center to its sapphire blue waters, Otranto is the perfect place to enjoy Puglia at its best! Night in Otranto.
Friday, September 12 - Visit to Galatina
Natural, simple, genuine. This is how the restaurant owners describe their intimate locale specializing in Salentino cuisine made entirely with local ingredients. We will have lunch with them in Taviano and then visit Galatina, one of Puglia’s hidden gems. The town was founded in the 12th century, and in the late 14th century its cathedral (famous for its sweeping frescoes) was constructed. Galatina lived an economic resurgence in the 17th and 18th centuries, and today the intricate and artistically elaborate architecture of the town remains nearly undisturbed. Wine tasting and night in Polignano.
Saturday, September 13 - Departure
Transportation offered to train station or airport after breakfast in hotel.