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July 6-13, 2016

Alberobello, Pogliano a Mare, Matera & Lecce

Plus Metaponto in Basiilicata


The beauty of the Adriatic & spectacular Grotto Palazzese in  Pogliano a Mare



Fantasy stone huts with conical roofs only in Puglia, best place to see Alberobello

Matera, everybody’s favorite: amazing cave dwellings and a sophisticated vibe

Lecce: Stunning Baroque architecture, sophisticated vibe, cooking schools

4 main cities plus a half day tour to Basilicata and Greek ruins in  Metaponto

Day 1

Fly to Rome, transfer to an Al Italia flight to Bari, a short hour flight.

Take shuttle  to sleek, attractive hotel a few minutes from airport, I will be at hotel to greet you and review our program for the week.

Overnight at Bari  hotel


Alberobello, the city of trulli

Day 2

8:30 am Pick up by our private car with driver and guide. Drive to Alberobello, the city of a thousand trulli, conical stone huts found only in this area.

After an hour or so in Alberobello we will drive to Pogliano a Mare for lunch at the spectacular Grotto Palazzese, A breathtaking setting in a rock cave overlooking the Adriatic. Wonderfru prix fixe lunch.

Dominico Modugno who wrote Volare'
greeting visitors to Pogliano a Mare

After lunch, walk through the town with its shops and beach down hundreds of steps.

Our hotel borders the sea.

6th century Greek ruins in Metaponta

Day 3

Check out of hotel.  Private car and morning trip to Metaponto. The draw here: Greek ruins from the 6th century BC plus their archaeological museum.

After lunch, our private car takes us to Matera about an hour drive.  Check into our hotel followed by a tour of sassi, cave dwellings . Many luxury hotels,r estaurants and even a spa are built into caves.

Day 4

Morning tour of Matera.

Matera lunch .

Leave by private car to Lecce around 2pm

5:30 pm: Lecce is more or less closed in the afternoon until 5pm. Afternoon: walking tour of Lecce : its Baroque architecture, restaurants, shops. Explore the diverse shops, discover a new drink:  layer almond milk, topped with espresso, finished off with lots of ice.


Lecce – Baroque Basilica di Santa Croce

Mary Ann Zimmerman, president of SWT Tours, with Felicia, a favorite client, who made Best of Puglia, her 6th SWT tour. Read below her comments on two Lecce cooking schools: Stile Mediteraneo and The Awaiting Table.

A word from Felicia: "The cooking classes were amazing. Both instructors were so informative about the food culture of the region. This was definitely a highlight. Each was great on its own, but together, I learned so much."

Day 5

I have always taken cooking classes in Europe from the Cordon Bleu in London to French inspired food in Montreal.


The cooking classes in Lecce are in a class all their own. Awaiting the Table cooking class with Silvestro excels  with a totally different inspired way of teaching that works.


Day 6

Morning: Visit Gallipoli with its fascinating old city and beautiful beaches. We will picnic near the beach. Private tour

5 to 9pm Cooking class owned by Cinzia, a Lecce native with an MBA from harvard and dinner at Stile Mediterraneo cooking school , owned by a Lecce native and MBA from Harvard.

Felicia & Cinzia making pasta. Stile Mediterraneo led by Cinzia ,
taught us how to make fish with a salt crust and a great tomato sauce.

Day 7 Return home


Learn how we put this unique tour together…

How we put together our Puglia My Way Tour illustrates how we create our tours

STUDY THE COMPETITION & EVALUATE In Puglia, I studied many tours…Yale University has a Puglia tour. I like the fact that they use one hotel as a base. Don’t like the big bus concept of 36 people.

A Butterfied & Robinlson bicycle tour, pricey at $6400 for 5 nights, a bicycle tour limits by its very nature just how much ground can be covered.

Another tour, built on good fellowship and the flow of wine that never stops, some serious holes in itinerary.

Another well crafted tour, by a native to Puglia, takes us to many less known cities but dismisses Matera , everyone’s favorite city, what is virtually a drive through.

CONCLUSION : CREATE MY OWN TOUR THAT INCLUDES AN IN DEPTH EXPLORATION OF PUGLIA within the framework of a 7 DAY TOUR WHAT’S MORE: WE GO TO Basilicata, a not-to-be missed region just outside Puglia.



Costs: TBD soon