Puglia, the region on the heel of Italy’s boot, is dotted with beautiful small towns in shades of white and gold, with unique architecture like the conical trulli of Alberobello and the extravagant baroque of Lecce.
Rich in churches and palaces, hidden piazzas and winding alleyways, markets and slow food trattorias, Puglia’s towns are one of the highlights of a visit to the region and a reason to entice you away from the endless coastline. In some towns you can even combine visits to cathedrals and castles with dips in the sea just steps from the historic centre.
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Puglia is without doubt one of the country’s best-kept travel secrets. On this leisurely tour, stay at stylish resorts inside masserie (ancient fortified farmhouses) and experience Puglia’s rich cultural heritage of undiscovered towns, white sandy beaches and wonderful food and wine.
Begin your stay with three nights in Savelletri di Fasano, at a luxury hotel near the blue Adriatic Sea. While here, enjoy a unique wine and food tour of the area. Discover the local food and traditions by visiting one of the historical masserie and its oil mill.
The following day your private driver will take you to Matera, stopping on the way in Gravina, a pretty historic town, which is unusual for the way it seems to grow out of the rocky landscape on which it is built. The truly fascinating thing about it is that in part it is at one with the terrain, with an underground city to discover as well as the one you see above ground.
Continue on to Matera, which has been named the European Capital of Culture 2019 and gained international fame for its ancient town, the "Sassi di Matera" (meaning "stones of Matera"). The Sassi originated in a prehistoric troglodyte settlement, thought to be among the first-ever human settlements in what is now Italy. The Sassi are habitations dug into the rock itself, and in some parts you will find a street that lies on top of another group of dwellings. The ancient town grew up on one slope of the rocky ravine created by a river that is now a small stream, and this ravine is known locally as "la Gravina".
On day four you will move to a one-of-a-kind luxury hotel, housed inside an ancient masseria - or farm - containing typical Puglian rural houses. Built on a hillock in the Sixteenth century, it dominates a large and fertile plane near the village of Ostuni.
In the morning, before getting to the hotel, you will stop in Alberobello, home to some more typical cone-roofed houses known as trulli, which are one of the 50 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Italy.
Finally head to your hotel, stopping on the way in Locorotondo, situated between Martina Franca and Alberobello in the Valle d'Itria, a green stretch of countryside dotted with more trulli houses. It is officially known as one of the “Borghi più belli d'Italia” or one of the most beautiful villages in Italy. It is also famous for its delicious wine.
In the following few days you will have the chance to visit Ostuni and Lecce, the city dubbed the Florence of Puglia for its incredible art, architecture and culture. You can also head down to Otranto, a historic seaside town and port on the Adriatic coast - a small place with a lovely holiday atmosphere, the perfect destination for a day trip or a longer stay. The picture-perfect blue waters, white buildings and diving rocks make Otranto the frequent cover-star of maps, books and articles about Puglia.
Did you know that National Geographic and Lonely Planet have declared Apulia as the most beautiful region of the World? Here you will find a unique experience not only for the beautiful sea, historic quarters, rural and modern reality, but also its authenticity and wine and food.
If you are looking for unique places you must visit Alberobello and its incredible trulli. If you love history and the mysteries of life, you have to visit Castel del Monte, Gravina and the historical centre of Lecce; a real and proper gothic renaissance.
Apulia is also about food. From the famous bread of Altamura, burrata cheese, pallone di Gravina cheese, orecchiette with cime di rapa and taralli bread rings to the unmistakeable protected denomination of origin extra virgin olive oil. In order to enjoy these culinary delights, I suggest that you visit the local farmhouses and obviously try some of the traditional restaurants in the area.
For our clients we have personally selected more than 50 restaurants that are unique for their products and location. My favourite one is only a few minutes’ drive from Velletri. A magical location created inside a cavern looking directly out onto the sea.