Lecce, Fasano, Matera
Gourmet & Wine, History & Culture
Immerse yourself in Puglia’s authentic and unspoilt culture as your journey through the length of the Italian heel.
This nine-day itinerary has been specially curated to take you on a sensory adventure through the south-eastern most region of Italy. Culture meets cuisine as you visit UNESCO world heritage sites, immerse yourself in baroque towns, white-washed trullo houses, olive groves and orchards, not forgetting plenty of the blue sea and stunning coastal towns! And indulge in Slow Food, fresh frutti di mare, and ruby-red wines that have been cultivated in the region for centuries. End your trip in Basilicata’s most famous site, the cave town of Matera.
Arrival in Brindisi and Transfer to Lecce
Fly via Rome or Zurich to in Brindisi Airport, where you will meet your driver and to transfer 30 min to Lecce, the capital of the Salento Province, known as the “Florence of the South”. The city hosts an amazing Baroque masterpieces and treasures of Italy. Check into your hotel.
Tour of Lecce
Proceed for a tour of Lecce. Visit the magnificent cathedral with its 70 meters high campanile, the Basilica of Santa Croce (the best example of Baroque style in Italy), Piazza Sant’Oronzo where the Via Appia ends and the Roman amphitheatre. Be sure to try some “pasticiototto leccese”!
Full Day Excursion to Galatina and Otranto
Today, drive 30 mins to the stunning town of Galatina for the guided tour of Basilica of Saint Catherine of Alexandria, one of the most outstanding monuments of Romanesque and Gothic art in Apulia. The numerous frescoes, practically extended everywhere, contributed to the fame of the Basilica. The frescos depict biblical stories, including the life and passion of Christ and martyrdom of Santa Caterina. You will also get to learn more about the legend of the tarantella dance, renowned throughout the Salento province.
Afterwards, drive 40 mins to visit Otranto, a charming seaside town known as the jewel of Salento. Enjoy a walking tour of the labyrinthine streets of the mosaics in the world. Have some free time to roam the town before transferring back to Lecce.
Private Wine Tasting in Puglia’s Most Renowned Wineries
This morning, check out of your hotel and drive about 30 mins to one of Puglia’s most renowned wineries. Take a fascinating tour with the vineyard expert and be treated to a private wine tasting over-looking the ageing barrels of wine.
Tour The Magical White City of Ostuni
Travel 1hour (65km) to the magical “white city” of Ostuni and embark on a guided walking tour of the city’s Old Town to admire its signature whitewashed architecture, aristocratic palazzos and ancient fortified walls. Some sights visited include Duomo and Palzzo Vescovile. After that, we will enjoy a tasting of olive oil and typical local products (taralli & almond). Get the opportunity to see how the olive oil is produced in one of the best historical Masseria of the area.
Discovery of Alberobello’s Trulli Houses and Atmospheric Locorotondo
Today, you are off to discover the secrets of cheese making in the ancient traditions of Puglia. Meet a local cheese artisan and learn about the art of making fresh burrata and get to try your hand at twisting the knots of the mozzarella! Next we go in search of Puglia’s famous trulli houses. These cone shaped dwellings are unique to the region and in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Alberobello, you will get to see a concentration of over 1,000 trulli houses.
Afterwards, transfer 20 mins (10km) to Locorotondo and enjoy a leisurely stroll along the atmospheric alleyways bedecked with geraniums and citrus plants, with external stone staircases and beautiful balconies that can be found around just about every corner. We begin our walk today at the Piazza Vittorio Emanuele, the life and soul of the old town, and continue past the beautiful palazzo that now houses the library. We then head to the Palazzo Morelli, a wonderful example of Baroque architecture. Continue to Martina Franca and visit the workshops of local artisans and get a hands-on lesson in ceramics painting or leather working.
Explore Coastal Towns of Monopoli and Polignano a Mare
This morning, transfer 40mins (45km) to the charming fishing village of Monopoli. We visit the impressive castle of Emperor Charles V and the panoramic sea walls surrounding the historic center. Explore the historic center to see some of the unique churches before proceeding to Polignano a Mare. Visit the dramatic sea caves by boat (on a modern skiff; weather permitting) and then enjoy a walking tour through town. Taste some of the delicious gelato which the town is famous for!
Private Tour of the Largest Network of Caves in Europe
In the afternoon, we drive 30 mins (20km) to Castellana Grotte, one of the largest network of caves in Europe. The massive caves were created by the underground rivers which filter down through the limestone soil of the Murge hills. Embark on a private tour of the caves to see the thousands of huge, coloured stalactites and stalagmites. This grand spectacle reaches a climax at the White Cave, which glistens with calcite crystals.
Rise and shine! This morning, you have a choice of two gastronomic adventures:
Option A: Traditional Bread-Making
Visit a bread producer for a lesson in traditional bread-making where you will make your own dough and have a chance to sample some incredible focaccia (join in basis, available on Mon, Wed and Thu only)
Option B: Tour of Award Winning Winery
Visit an award winning winery in Gioia del Colle for a tour of the vineyard, the enormous cellars and the distillery. Enjoy a wine tasting session accompanied with snacks (available on weekdays).
Transfer to Ancient Cave Town of Matera
Afterwards, transfer about 1.5 hours (80km) to Matera for an in-depth visit of this unique and ancient city. This UNESCO World Heritage Site was developed among scenic surroundings and the rocks overlooking a deep ravine. Visit of the old town with its most characteristic districts, the “Sassi”, carved into the rock.
Tour of the Abandoned Town of Craco
After breakfast, embark on a tour to the atmospheric abandoned old town of Craco (1hour, 60km). The abandonment has even made Craco a popular filming location, a few famous movies being The Passion of the Christ, Quantum of Solace as well as an upcoming movie for Wonder Woman.
Matera At Leisure
Return to Matera to have the rest of the afternoon free at leisure to explore the town.
Have a free morning and drive approximately 1 hour to Bari for your flight.
Optional Tour of Bari
If time permits, embark on a short city tour of Bari. Visit the Arco di San Nicola, the ancient town with castle and cathedral. Today is an important tourist and commercial port. Afterwards, transfer to the airport for your flight via Zurich or Rome back home.
Mantatelure or Patria Palace Hotel• Don Ferrante or La Sommita • Palazzo Viceconte
The boutique guesthouse Mantatelurè is a restored, historic residence dating back to 1550. With only 6 elegant rooms and suites on offer, each room has its own unique charm and individuality and provides for an unforgettable stay. (Rooms: 6)View More
Nestled between churches, palaces and the main sights of Lecce, this hotel boasts an excellent location. Housed in an aristocratic mansion dating back to the 18th century, Patria Palace displays a lot of original features such as frescoes, fountains and beamed ceilings. A 4 star property with comfortable rooms. (Opened: 1997; Rooms: 67).View More
Don Ferrante is a boutique hotel ideally located in Monopoli old town. With just 10 rooms, this whitewashed Puglian retreat charms guests into a slower pace of life. Linger on the terrace over fresh Mediterranean fare, slink into the dinky rooftop pool and soak up those dazzling Adriatic views. (Opened in 2011; Rooms 10)View More
An early 17th century historic Palazzo in the heart of the ancient city of Matera. The 14 rooms of the hotel have a warm atmosphere and are decorated in beautiful rich colours and adorned with high quality furnishings. (Rooms: 14)View More
La Sommità, a luxury hotel located in Ostuni, Puglia, boasts 15 elegant rooms and suites, each characterised by structural features and different designs. Each room lends itself to the various ways and viewpoints for experiencing a luxury holiday in Puglia, in a stylish manner at all times and with the focus on the history and art which Ostuni and Puglia have to offer. (Opened: 2004; Refurbished: 2011; Rooms: 15)View More
La Fiermontina or Risorgimento Resort • Borgo Egnazia • Palazzo Gattini
La Fiermontina is an urban resort of 16 unique guestrooms and suites built around a 17th century private home. The garden shares its ancient city walls with Lecce, but inside you’ll find minimalist style, a carefully curated art collection, and a modern Pugliese restaurant. (Opened: 2015; Rooms: 16)View More
A former historic mansion in 1400, the Risorgimento Resort is now a five-star luxury hotel with 47 rooms and suites of contemporary design. The strong connection with our land is its essence of luxury, the rooms inspire you with colours and shapes of our land and gourmet tastes are inspired by Salento flavours. (Refurbished in 2007; Rooms 47)View More
Borgo Egnazia is like a breathing tale of Puglia, spoken by the ancient culture of the land and by the sheer beauty of its nonpareil architecture. It’s a place where you meet yourself. Situated only 8 km from the city center, guests are well located to enjoy the town's attractions and activities. With its convenient location, the hotel offers easy access to the city's must-see destinations.View More
This luxury hotel is located in the Matera Sassi area, with only 20 stylish rooms. Sleep under stone ceilings and soak up the historic atmosphere at every turn yet enjoying the modern comforts.View More
Kindly call us at (852) 2885 2181 if you require any immediate assistance.