(Otranto, Lecce, Savelletri di Fasano)
Puglia is the heel to Italy's boot, and has some of the brightest seas, most diverse art and architecture, most mouth-watering peasant cuisine and kindest people in all of Italy. In this southern region, art is not a masterpiece in a museum but incorporates complete towns such as Locorotondo, Alberobello, Ostuni and Lecce. From expansive golden beaches, to historical towns and villages, Roman ruins, cave complexes and splendid Baroque architecture in abundance, Puglia is truly a special place.
Take a private airport transfer from Bari to Otranto. The transfer time is approximately 2hours and 30 minutes.
Masseria Montelauro (4*) is located in the hinterland from Salento, 2 kilometers from Otranto and the sea, in the peaceful silence of the countryside. Restored Farmhouse, built in 1878, with full respect for its original nature, retained all the colors and fruits that have always characterized the countryside in the garden that surrounds it. The only modern touch: the swimming pool in the inner court surrounded by the orchard. Has 27 rooms, 1 suite and 1 junior suite created in the ancient structure of a monastery. Made unique by the Mediterranean atmosphere of the interiors and by passion for discreet hospitality. Just as their Salento cuisine is unique: dishes that are sometimes forgotten but that are unforgettable. Each room has independent entry to the garden, is furnished with care to details and is endowed with all comforts: air conditioning, telephone and set-up for Internet connection, fridge bar, hairdryer, beach towel, safe, TV.
Spend the day in the company of a private guide and driver. Enjoy a visit of the charming town of Otranto, characterized by centuries of history. The splendor of the magnificent old town is given by its Cathedral, which boasts a precious mosaic floor, made of 600,000 multicolored tiles. Of particular interest are the Chapel of the nineteenth century martyrs, witness of the bloody siege of the Turks dating back to 1480, and the ancient Byzantine Crypt. Admire the historical Aragonese castle, and the Church of St. Peter which dates from the tenth century and is decorated with ancient frescoes of Byzantine origin. From here, you'll reach the heart of the ancient town, with its narrow streets and alleys, rich in shops, ideal for shopping.
From Otranto, take in the scenery on the coastal drive to the Bauxite Quarry which is located in Orte and is completely surrounded by red earth hills and a precious emerald green lake. Visit Santa Maria di Leuca, which is surrounded by caves and coves as well as pine forests and offers a magnificent viewpoint over the villages dominated by beautiful Moorish villas and colorful houses decorated in Moorish style. Contact with diverse Mediterranean groups, favored by a strategic location, have given rise to different styles and cultures that are reflected in the architecture of the beautiful Eastern and neoclassical villas. The town is also where the Adriatic and the Ionian seas meet and it is a place where pilgrims from all over Europe have travelled to. Enjoy a visit of one of the unique and historical villas, surrounded by green, where you can observe the preparation of traditional home made pasta and taste typical products of Salento, before your return journey to your hotel.
Enjoy a private day excursion with your own private driver and guide as you visit Galatina and Gallipoli before making your way northwards to Lecce at the end of the day. Visit Galatina, a city of extraordinary beauty, which is deserving of its title of "City of Art". The city boasts various monuments of great artistic value, such as The Basilica of Saint Catherine of Alexandria with its finely decorated internal cycle of frescoes dating back to the fifteenth century which were created by Giotto’s school workers, second only to the Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi. The center of Galatina features typical "Case a Corte " - historical palaces decorated in the Baroque style. Refuel mid morning with a stop at the oldest bakery of Salento to taste the typical "pasticciotto", a cream filled pastry typical in Lecce. Then enjoy time at leisure for lunch where you can sample some Salento cuisine at leisure (not included). This afternoon you'll get to visit Gallipoli, a beautiful city. Full of narrow streets and colorful houses, its old town has a wonderful castle - the “Castello Angioino”, which is surrounded by the Crystalline sea. The town's charm is also due to the presence of the fishermens boats, as well as the many churches of the brotherhood, a symbol of a city shrouded by centuries from ancient and sacred traditions. The village also has a number of precious ancient monuments such as the Cathedral of St. Agatha, a wonderful example Baroque art, and magnificent eighteenth century buildings. Enjoy some time at leisure for some shopping or an afternoon coffee break in the old town of Gallipoli before being transfered to Lecce.
The Risorgimento Resort (5*) is a hotel of modern conception encased in a prestigious historic mansion situated in the heart of the magnificence of Baroque Lecce a few minutes from the bell tower in Piazza Duomo and the Roman Amphitheatre in Piazza Sant’Oronzo. It is unique for the quality of the materials used and the attention lavished on every detail in all 41 of the property's rooms as well as its 6 suites. Heir to a long tradition of hospitality, the Hotel re-opened its doors in 2007 after careful and thorough restoration during which the facade was brought back to its dazzling elegance and the interiors were remodelled in contemporary designer style. In the Reading Room and in the Art & Craft shopping gallery the environs play a commanding role with carefully selected books on the allure of architecture and the natural landscapes of the environs.
Enjoy a private haf day guided tour of Lecce in the historical center of the city. Lecce is a great symbol of Baroque art in Puglia, and is characterized by the splendor of palaces and sacred monuments, full of majestic decorations: cherubs, caryatids, floral themes and symbolisms. A wonderful example of Baroque art is the majestic Basilica of Santa Croce, one of the greatest architectural complexes with exuberant decoration, reflecting the richness and extravagance of the baroque period, and a symbol of the supremacy and power of the Catholic Church. In addition to the ancient historical sites such as the Roman Amphitheatre, dating from the second century. A.D., Lecce holds true jewels such as interior courtyards and gardens within historic houses and villas. (entrances not included).Late morning will get to enjoy a visit of the laboratories of a local stone and papier-mache atelier in Lecce, where you can learn the secrets behind this ancient tradition. (no transportation included - please speak with your Sales Advisor if you would like transportation included).
Enjoy the afternoon at leisure in Lecce, wandering through the quaint historical city centre and doing a spot of shopping, or checking out the museums and galleries.
Your private guided tour today is focused around the traditional farmhouses of the Salento region and their produce. Start your day by visiting one of the oldest farmhouses which dates back to the Roman times, located near the ancient “Oil’s Road” which connects Otranto to Gallipoli. Here you will have the opportunity to visit the underground oil mill of the Masseria made during the Basilian period.Next on the agenda today is a visit of an eighteenth-century mansion located in the heart of the "Grecia salentina", an area which still retains its ancient bond with nearby Greece.
Have some free time to have lunch at leisure (not included). This afternoon you will get to visit a country house, its milling plant and pasta factory which produces durum wheat, as well as fresh and dried pasta. the final visit today is to a farmhouse with one of the oldest olive oil mills, which is surrounded by more than 20 hectares of vineyards.
* On request, it would be possible to reserve lunch based on typical products of Salento,in an "exclusive Masseria", surrounded by centuries of history. Please speak to your Sales Advisor if you would like to have this included in your day's excursion.
Spend the day in the company of a private guide and driver as you explore the gastronomic and cultural side of Puglia! First on the agenda today is a 2 hour vist of Alberobello, recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visit the ancient “Trulli” the famouse dwellings with the conical shaped rooves.
From here you'll be transfered to a "Masseria" - a typical, traditional farmhouse of the area, situated in Itrya Valley and surrounded by oak trees, olive trees, vineyards and scenic landscapes. Enjoy a short cooking lesson in the masseria, which may include, for example a traditional pasta making course of orecchiette (shell pasta), cavatelli focaccia, and “crostata”. Sit down and enjoy the fruits of your labour as you have a traditional lunch.
Fully sated, take a wander through the farm and meet with animals - from the donkey, to “Murgese” Horses, Cows, rabbits, chickens, and peacocks. Take a stroll around the woods of the farmhouse (surrounded by old oak trees and plants typical of Puglia) before being dropped off at your hotel in Savelletri di Fasano. (approx. 8 hrs).
Against the backdrop of a cobalt-blue sky and sea, the whitewashed Masseria San Domenico Resort, Spa-Talasso, Golf lies only 500 meters from the Adriatic coast in the Puglia region of Italy. The building itself goes back to the 15th century when it was used by the Knights of Malta as a watchtower. It was lovingly restored in the early 1990s and opened as a boutique-style hotel in 1996. The centerpiece of the hotel is undoubtedly the most magnificent irregular-shaped swimming pool encircled by rock and plants, amidst 100 hectares of olive groves. *** Child Policy:No children under the age of 10 are allowed. 500 meters from the sea. Short distance from the most tourist attractions in the area like Ostuni, Alberobello, and Castellana caves., Combination of Spa/Thalassotherapy Center. 18 hole Golf Course. Private beach. 100 hectares of olive groves. Sea water freeform outdoor swimming pool. Only children over 12 allowed.
Polignano a Mare is one of the treasures of Puglia, with Greek origins (IV century B.C.), which gave birth to celebrities such as Domenico Modugno, one of the most important Italian artists famous for his song “Volare”. The coast of Polignano is surrounded by caves and the old town is characterized by terraces and balconies facing the clear Adriatic sea which for many years has received blue flag status becasue of the cleanliness of its waters and beach. After being picked up at your hotel by your Driver-Guide, you'll get to visit the harbour in Polignano a Mare where the ancient S.Vito’s Monastery stands proudly on a rock near the sea. Enjoy an ice-cream break in Polignano at one of the best Italian ice-cream spots!
Stop for lunch at leisure in one of the charming restaurants facing the spectacular coast and sea (not included).This afternoon, continue onwards to the Caves of Castellana, one of the most important speleogical complexes in Italy, where you will discover amazing stalagmites, stalactites and small lakes, famous for the variety of shapes and colours such as the "white cave" a stunning huge, reach of crystal concretions. At days end, you'll be returned to your hotel.
Transfer from Savelletri di Fasano to Bari today. The transfer should take approximately 1 hour.
Citizens of other countries may require a visa. Please ask your Sales Advisor. These requirements change often and therefore it is best that you check with the Embassy of Italy for the most up to date visa information.
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