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1825

A Week in Puglia, Italy
April 14-21, 2018             $2795

Trip # 1825
Deposit:  $500
Final Payment:  1/3/18
Single Sup. +$495
Trip Director:  Carolyn McKenna

Package Includes:
*Round Trip Air from Dulles
*Hotel Transfers, Porterage, Taxes
*Daily Breakfast, 2 Lunches, 3 Dinners
*7 Nights at the 4 Star Hotel La Chiusa di Chietri
*Deluxe touring coach for tours and transfers
*Sightseeing as per Itinerary

Day 1 - Depart the U.S. to Italy.

Day 2 –Alberobello: Arrive at Bari airport. Upon arrival, proceed to the baggage claim and after clearing customs you will be met by our local tour manager who will be assisting you throughout the tour. Welcome to Puglia one of Italy's hidden treasures. This is the regions of fine weather, beautiful shorelines, lovely towns, baroque architecture and delicious cuisine. You will be transferred to our nice hotel Hotel close to central town. In the afternoon enjoy a walk with your tour manager in Alberobello famous for its stunning collection of unique houses with conical roofs the Trulli. Welcome dinner at Hotel. (Dinner)

Day 3 Alberobello / Ostuni / Martina Franca / Alberobello: We will have at breakfast at the hotel and afterwards we will depart for Ostuni known as the white capital, it is one of the most stunning towns of Southern Italy. Clinging onto three hills at the edge of Le Murge, the old centre is a spiral of whitewashed houses with dramatic views towards a sea of olive trees and further away, the blue Mediterranean sea. After we reach a fortified Masseria, an active farm of monumental centuries old olive trees still today producing supreme quality extra virgin olive oil, visit the farm and the amazing underground olive mill which dates back to Roman times. After proceed with a tour of Martina Franca a little baroque jewel built like a balcony overlooking the land of Trulli. We proceed than for our traditional Pugliese dinner at local Masseria. (Breakfast, Dinner)

Day 4 Alberobello / Lecce / Alberobello: Enjoy a relaxing breakfast at Hotel. After breakfast we depart for visiting Lecce, with its wealth of art, its elegance and culture, is named the "Florence of the South". Upon arrival meet the guide for a gentle walking tour of the historical centre of Lecce, the beautiful Baroque style monuments with such a wealth of embellishment and decorations to appear embroidered. Visit the Basilica di Santa Croce site of the most important local Roman ruins and the Duomo standing in one of the loveliest piazza of Italy. Have some free time to try one of the several restaurants and make some shopping before returning to Alberobello for evening at leisure. (Breakfast)

Day 5 Alberobello / Cheese Farm / Trani / Alberobello: After breakfast depart to visit an ancient farm still producing today delicious dairy products. This is the land of the Mozzarella, Burrata and Rricotta cheese, learn about the production and enjoy a demonstration. Learn how to make the Orecchiette pasta, tradition of the region, enjoy a country style lunch at the farm. After the visit we reach the pretty fishing town Trani. we take our walk in Trani often called the pearl of the Adriatic sea, a city known for its 19th century architecture and medieval art. See the castle and continue to the magnificent Cathedral one of the most beautiful and evocative Romanesque-style cathedrals in Apulia which stand towering over the sea. Return to the Hotel for evening at leisure. (Breakfast, Lunch)

Day 6 Alberobello / Matera / Alberobello: After breakfast we depart for visiting Matera, home to those cave dwellings called the "Sassi", declared a Unesco Heritage in 1993 and now one of Italy's most fascinating icons. For millennia people of this area have carved dwellings directly into ravines and gullies made of tufa, a characteristic honey-colored soft stone. Today the area still evokes ancient times, providing the backdrop for Mel Gibson's film, "Passion of the Christ" filmed here. The guided tour is developed through a complex and unique location within the characteristic districts of Sassi.. We will visit a rupestrian Church, cut into the rock of hillsides and ravines. We will also explore a Cave House a fascinating opportunity to see the typical layout of an inhabited cave, as they would have been until being deserted in the 1950s. The furnishings and design are all very standard, and it is both impressive to see how families adapted to these restrictive living conditions, and shocking to think how recently people lived like this. Enjoy free time for personal discovery. Return to Hotel for evening at leisure. (Breakfast)

Day 7 – Castellana Caves - Braceria & Bakery experience: After breakfast at Hotel depart for visiting the Castellana Caves. The tour winds along a distance of 3 km, a unique guided tour of the caves to more than 60 meters deep in an amazing scenario made of stalactites, stalagmites, concretions, incredible shapes, fossils, canyons and caves with fantastic names; calcifications from conformations and amazing colors solicit the imagination of children and adults. (Not suitable for people with hearth or mobility problems – gentle half tour is available). After this nice walk we deserve today a special lunch, we have lunch today at the "Fornelli" also called Braceria a local butcher where the customer chooses by himself the meat that the butcher will grill and jugs of local full-bodied red wines. In the afternoon before going back to Hotel we will stop at a bakery to see the production of the Focaccia Pugliese and the taralli and of course we will try some. Evening at leisure. (Breakfast, Lunch)

Day 8 – Bari & Polignano a Mare: Have a relaxing breakfast at the Hotel. Depart to visit Bari the capital of Puglia, with its elegant waterfront, Murat district, streets and boulevards adorned with elegant and refined buildings. The old city is an area of rare beauty and a perfect example of medieval architecture. Guided visit to the Basilica of San Nicola that houses the relics of San Nicolas: stands imposingly in the Old Town of Bari. Continuation of the guided visit to the Norman Castle, Piazza Ferrarese e Mercantile and the historic center. Time at leisure in Bari. In the afternoon we will make a stop in Polignano a Mare, the tiny old town built on a cliff, reached through the Porta Vecchia gate, combines charming, white-washed streets with beautiful old churches such as the Chiesa Matrice. You may find yourself getting lost in the winding streets, but you won't mind at all. Before you know it, you will have reached one of three panoramic terraces offering breathtaking views of the beautiful Adriatic Sea and coastline. This is the native city of the world famous singer Domenico Modugno, who wrote and sang numerous classic songs, including the massive international hit, Volare. As you wander through the streets that inspired such a wonderful song, you might well find yourself involuntarily singing or whistling, "Volare, oh,oh… Cantare, oh,oh,oh,oh… Farewell dinner at the Hotel restaurant with some nice entertainment of local folk music and dancers, la Pizzica is the local dance since generations! (Breakfast, Dinner)

Day 9 Depart: After breakfast we depart by private motor coach to the Bari airport for our flight to US. End of our services. (B).

Included features:
*
Round-trip air transportation from Washington, Dulles (IAD) to Italy. Fuel surcharges and air taxes are included (valid at time of printing).
* First class hotel accommodations for 7 nights, staying in 4* Hotel La Chiusa di Chietri or similar
* Hotel taxes, city taxes and service charges are included.
* Buffet breakfast daily, 2 lunches and 3 dinners, including mineral water and wine
* Visit to Oil Mill, Cheese farm, Bakery
* Sightseeing and guided tours as indicated on itinerary
* English speaking local tour manager throughout tour
* Deluxe touring coach for all transfers, tours, excursions
* Headphones on guided tours
* Baggage handling at hotels, one piece per person
* Entrance fees as per program

This itinerary is approximate.  The exact times, days and destinations may vary due to unforeseen circumstances.

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