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September 15-22, 2016

Alberobello, Pogliano a Mare, Matera & Lecce

Plus Metaponto in Basiilicata

The best of Puglia


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: Baroque architecture and  many  cooking schools

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

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.

Day 1

Arrive in Bari transfer to Pogliano a Mare hotel.

Evening. Dinner at spectacular Grotto Palazesse…gourmet dinner in a carved out cave facing the Adriatic 


Day 2

Private car with drivler and guide to Alberobello to be amazed at this small town of 1,000 trulli, small conical huts. We will also visit an olive oil farm. Puglia produces more olive oil than any other region in Italy.

Guided tour of Alberobello plus taste of typical local products (taralli, almonds, regional sweets).

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 plus Francis Ford Coppola’s 9 room luxury hotel , Palazzo Margherita .

Lunch at Palazzo Margherita  in their Cincitta Bar or Fifina, across the street , a restaurant recommended by Sofia, Coppola’s daughter. Lunch not included in tour price.

For more on Coppola’s Palazzo Margherita check Wall St. Journal story.

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

Visit Crypt of Original Sin , a cave church, filled with colorful frescoes painted by monks around the 9th century. A recent NY Times article proclaimed this church, “a wonder”.

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





Day 5

AWAITING TABLE…I visited this impressive cooking school briefly when I was in Lecce last June and vowed I would return for lessons.

We travel 40 minutes south of Lecce to visit the school’s September location at the Castle in the town of Spongano. Morning class followed by lunch finishing around 3pm

Day 6

Tour Otranto and Gallopoli

2 interesting towns about a 45 minute drive from Lecce

Otranto…picturesque town on Adriatic…fascinating history and Romanesque church (1088) with extensive 12 century famous floor mosaics

Gallopoli…west Ionian coast, town divided into two parts connected by a bridge. Modern town even has a  skyscraper


Day 7

Morning free

5 to 9pm Cooking class and dinner at Stile Mediterraneo cooking school , owned by a Lecce native and MBA from Harvard. CIA chefs took some of her classes

Day 7 Return home

MY 2 tours of Puglia do not qualify me as an expert. It does give me confidence in choosing the parts of Puglia that reflects my interests and constitutes an exciting  Puglia trip. I believe you will agree.


Costs:  $3675 reflect high fees of several private drivers and their cars to transport our small group in comfort and assuring saving time in getting from town to town.   7 night private room with no single supplement. Breakfast included, private guides in Matera, Basilicata, , Lecce, Otranto and Gallipoli. Gourmet dinner at Grotto Palazzesse in Polignano a Mare. Awaiting Table and Stile Mediterraneo cooking classes

Not included: airfare, airport transfers from and to Bari. Lunches, some dinners, coffee stops. Wine and alcoholic beverages

Guarantees everything we want from a trip… we have crafted a tour unlike any other around… see more, do more than any other Puglia tour and do it in the comfort of a private mini-van with driver. Eating well is key to all our tours and you will learn much about Puglia by eating well and two cooking classes.