Italy: Puglia & The Amalfi Coast 10D/9N

| Italy | Sorrento | Capri | Amalfi Coast | Puglia | Campania |
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Summary

Travel with your private party on this luxury tailor-made journey, departing when you choose and with expert local guides leading the way; you can even customize the itinerary to your interests.

Savor the rich flavors, architecture and culture of southern Italy, skirting the breathtaking coastline where the pristine Adriatic and Ionian seas meet. See Puglia’s iconic, cone-shaped trulli; stroll through Sassi di Matera; sample local olive oil, cheeses, baked goods and pizza; and visit the sparkling Amalfi Coast as well as the ruins of Pompeii.


TRIP HIGHLIGHTS:

- Stay in deluxe and luxury boutique properties that lend authenticity and historical context to your journey

- Visit the iconic hut-like trulli of Puglia and meet one of the last remaining master builders firsthand

- Explore the sun-drenched "White City" of Ostuni, traversing quaint, cobbled alleyways perched above the countryside for views of the olive groves and sea beyond

- Discover Lecce, the "Florence of the South," seeing its stunning Baroque architecture and Roman amphitheater, which remains half-buried beneath the town’s historic center

- See Otranto with its Aragonese walls overlooking crystalline waters and its curious, 12th-century cathedral with spectacular mosaic pavement

- Stroll through Sassi di Matera, continually inhabited for over 10,000 years

- Finish your journey in Sorrento, paying visits to breathtaking Capri, Positano, Amalfi and Ravello

Itinerary

Day 1 - 2

Arrive in historic, lively Bari, where you are transferred to your luxurious hotel.

ACCOMMODATION: Masseria Torre Maizza

Day 2 - 3

Today, explore central Puglia, beginning in the town of Alberobello, a UNESCO World Heritage Site dotted with distinct, cone-shaped trulli dwellings. Constructed as immigrant domiciles in the 15th century, they were built without binding materials so they could quickly be demolished.

Continue to Cisternino, where you intersect alleys, climb staircases and walk beneath arches marked with decorative figureheads that are believed to ward off evil spirits.

Next, meet a local butcher, who has been providing superior cuts to locals since 1948, and savor a chef-prepared meal in these quaint environs.

Proceed to crown-shaped Locorotondo, among the most beautiful villages in Italy. Perched majestically atop a hill overlooking the countryside, the town is stippled with whitewashed, flower-adorned houses with stone staircases and balconies.

Before returning to your hotel, meet a maestro trullaro, one of few remaining locals still building trulli the old fashioned way. Seasonally, you can also visit the breathtaking medieval village of Polignano a Mare, enjoying a seafood aperitivo accompanied by local wine at a traditional restaurant overlooking the sea. Return to your hotel, spend the remainder of the evening at leisure.

ACCOMMODATION: Masseria Torre Maizza
MEALS: Breakfast

Day 3 - 4

After breakfast, head south to Lecce, stopping en route in the "White City" of Ostuni, a monumental olive tree-swathed plateau of the lower Murgia. Take a guided walk along its sun-drenched streets and quaint, cobbled alleyways, taking in panoramas of the surrounding landscape and Adriatic Sea. See the Rione Terra district at the heart of the medieval walled village; the magnificent Gothic cathedral; iconic, 3,000-year-old trees; and ochre monuments. As you explore, stop at the oldest bakery in Ostuni. Set within an ancient building dating back to the 14th century, the family-run business has turned out fabled bread, focaccia and cookies from an olivewood-fired oven since the 1920s. Proceed to Lecce, where you check in to your hotel.

ACCOMMODATION: La Fiermontina Urban Resort in Lecce
MEALS: Breakfast

Day 4 - 5

Spend today exploring Lecce, a Baroque "Florence of the South." Take a scenic walking tour through town, seeing the Piazza del Duomo, the masterful Basilica of Santa Croce and the Roman amphitheater. Attend a pasticciotto pastry-making class, learning the secrets behind preparing this beloved, custard-filled confection.

Next, master the intricate art of papier-mâché, which has played a significant role in Lecce’s culture and religious heritage since the 17th century. After creating your own masterpiece, return to your hotel for an afternoon at leisure.

ACCOMMODATION: La Fiermontina Urban Resort in Lecce
MEALS: Breakfast

Day 5 - 6

Travel to Otranto, Italy’s easternmost city, a "bridge" linking the country to the Mediterranean. Upon arriving in the afternoon, take a scenic drive along the coast, seeing the Castro, Tricase Porto and Grotta della Poesia. Enclosed by Aragonese walls, Otranto’s Old Town overlooks the crystalline waters. Punctuated by white houses and alleys paved in stone, it was founded by the Greeks in the Byzantine period as a commercial, political and religious hub and a major port of trade with the Orient. The medieval town center — once a vast stronghold — reminds visitors of the threats posed by the Turks, the culmination of which involved a tragic invasion in 1480. Otranto’s cathedral houses a spectacular mosaic floor from the 12th century that blends pagan, Old Testament and New Testament imagery to capture the culture of the time. Return to your hotel in Lecce for an evening at leisure.

ACCOMMODATION: La Fiermontina Urban Resort in Lecce
MEALS: Breakfast

Day 6 - 7

Transfer to Matera, among the most ancient cities on earth. Continually inhabited for 10,000 years, this magical open-air museum — a UNESCO World Heritage Site — is an inimitable tangle of cave-dwellings, magnificent Baroque palaces and beautiful stone churches. At dusk, the biblical landscape resembles an enormous crèche. Make your way through the sassi (districts of the city) to see the dark caves of the Murgia; the rock-hewn churches of religious communities; and the elegant streets of the Piano, replete with 17th-century monasteries and palaces. Descend into deep cisterns and canals once used for water collection to complete your exploration of this ancient city.

ACCOMMODATION: Palazzo Gattini
MEALS: Breakfast

Day 7 - 8

Depart for the beautiful Amalfi Coast, stopping en route in Pompeii, where you set out on a two-hour walking tour of the once-opulent town. The extensive and varied ruins of Pompeii offer rich insight into the history of the Roman Empire. Destroyed by the volcanic eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79 , this unearthed treasure reveals temples, forums, amphitheaters, a brothel, and the casts of the people killed by the falling ash and pumice stone. You can also choose to enjoy a tasting of exquisite, neon-yellow limoncello, a locally produced liqueur and digestive made from lemon zest-infused alcohol. Continue to your luxury hotel in Sorrento, featuring unrivaled views of the Gulf of Naples.

ACCOMMODATION: Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria
MEALS: Breakfast

Day 8 - 9

Leave mainland Italy behind as you board a ferry (weather permitting) to stunning Capri. Alternately, transfer to the island by private boat. Upon arrival, stroll Capri’s charming, boutique-lined streets. Then, board a public boat that whisks you to the spellbinding, iridescent Blue Grotto. Observe the magical light that illuminates the cave’s rocky walls. Continue sightseeing, or choose to explore beautiful Villa San Michele in Anacapri, the Church of San Michele or the summit of Monte Solaro, reached by chairlift. Return to your hotel on the mainland for an evening at leisure.

ACCOMMODATION: Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria
MEALS: Breakfast

Day 9 - 10

Skirt the fabled Amalfi Coast by private vehicle, starting with a visit to the enchanting village of Ravello, with its stunning coastal views. Take in vistas from the lovely Villa Rufolo before continuing to Amalfi. See the Duomo, fronted by a beautifully hued, 13th-century façade. Pause for lunch in a delightful, sea-view restaurant. Continue north seeing a kaleidoscope of lagoons, sandy coves, vertiginous cliffs and sun-baked villages en route to vibrant Positano. Meander along the village’s narrow lanes, descending toward the glistening sea, where elegant restaurants serve the catch of the day. You may choose to take a sunset cruise along the beautiful Amalfi Coast, at an additional cost, jetting by private motor boat as you savor a twilight dinner cooked by your onboard chef. Follow the coast to elegant Sorrento, a Belle Époque treasure of graceful streets with stunning views across the Gulf of Naples. Alternately, spend the day privately exploring the Sorrentine Peninsula by Vespa, discovering neighborhoods and sights not reachable on foot. Along the way, pause to take photos, learn the wondrous history of the region and interact with locals. You can also stop for coffee and a delicious pastry. Conclude with an unforgettable ride along the Sorrento coast.

ACCOMMODATION: Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria
MEALS: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 10 -

Transfer to the Naples airport and board your departure flight.

End of the trip!

MEALS: Breakfast

- This is a guide itinerary and can be modified to suit. It is subject to availability and price at the time of booking. Other conditions may apply -

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