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The Slow Food concept is a simple one - everyone should have access to, and enjoy, food that is good for them, good for those who grow it, and good for the planet. On this Slow Food tour of Puglia, you will have the unique chance to sample several Slow Food presidia products, high-quality, traditional foods at the risk of extinction, and other local delicacies from quality producers. Alongside tasting wonderful produce, discover a region of overwhelming beauty and history.
Back-Roads Touring have hand-picked an extensive portfolio of quality properties across Europe and to ensure the very best experience on each of their tours (hotels may vary to those listed in this itinerary). Back-Roads Touring's accommodation, whether a rustic rural, old country estate, traditional villa or castle hotel, is carefully selected to always reflect the character and charm of the destination you are staying in. Some properties are situated in a stunning setting or have interesting historical and architectural heritage; whilst others may be chosen for their owner-hosted welcome or excellent food. Character is not a substitute for quality and comfort however and at all of Back-Roads Touring hotels you’re guaranteed an en-suite, a great night’s sleep, and delicious food. There is a choice of twin, double or single rooms and while room sizes in older buildings may vary, each room will have its own unique style and character.
You will be spending two nights in this accommodation, housed in a building dating back to 1700, within the fishing village of Gallipoli and is characterized by sunny terraces and walls covered by colorful bougainvillea.
You will spend one night at Santa Chiara hotel, Lecce’s newest addition in luxury hotels, located in the hearth of historical center near Piazza S. Oronzo and the Roman amphitheater. The 21 elegant suites are luxuriously furnished offering the very best in modern Italian design and comforts. An elegant roof garden offers an awesome view soaking up the atmosphere of the bustling streets below.
You will spend two nights in this beautiful villa. Surrounded by a forest in the Apulian countryside, the 5-star villa boasts antique furniture and paintings.
Leaving Bari behind, you will travel to the UNESCO listed Castel del Monte, one of the best preserved medieval castles in southern Italy with a distinctive octagonal shape. You continue to Andria where you taste burrata and mozzarella di Andria over lunch at Caseificio Olanda, a local cheese producer. Your next stop is Matera, known as the “city of stones”. This city is the most extraordinary and intact example of a troglodyte settlement in the Mediterranean region. The oldest sassi (ancient homes carved right into the rock) are about 7,000 years old. Later, you will continue on to Martina Franca and arrive at your elegant mansion house where you will have your welcome dinner. Spend the night in Martina Franca.
Meal plan: lunch and dinner.
This morning, you will visit the wonderful Castellana Caves. Situated at a depth of approximately 70 meters, these caves are some of the most amazing natural wonders of Puglia. You will continue to Alberobello, where you will have time to explore many examples of the prehistoric dry stone dwellings known as trulli, exceptional examples of vernacular architecture. Later, you will visit Locorotondo, a small village famous for its wine production and enjoy a tasting in a wine cellar. You will return to Martina Franca, where you have an option to visit the beautiful historical town center or simply relax at the hotel. Spend the night in Martina Franca.
Meal plan: breakfast.
First stop of the day is the white village of Ostuni, rising high above the plateau of Murgia. You will then make your way through beautiful countryside to the splendid Masseria Ferri, for a lunch consisting of local products. Later on, you will be driven on to the ancient city of Lecce, also known as Florence of the south, where you will take a guided walking tour to explore the impressive architecture. During the visit, you will taste some local products such as Puccia and Pasticcioto Leccese. Spend the night in Lecce.
Meal plan: breakfast and lunch.
This morning, you depart for Otranto, a pretty harbor town overlooking the turquoise Adriatic Coast. Enjoy time at leisure to stroll around the town to inspect the old city with its famous cathedral. You continue to the beautiful little bay of Porto Badisco, frequented mostly by locals. Later, you will visit the vineyards at the Azienda Castel di Salve, which focus on growing indigenous grapes such as Negroamaro, Primitivo, Malvasia Nera di Lecce, and Aleatico, and sample some of the wines. Next, you drive on to Gallipoli, an old fishing village with a charming center, where you have the evening at leisure. Spend the night in Gallipoli.
Meal plan: breakfast.
This morning, you will explore the fish markets in Gallipoli and you can sample raw shrimps, sea urchins, and shellfish. You then visit Nardo, an ancient town with some of the finest examples of Baroque architecture in Puglia. Wander the streets at your own pace before you travel on to Manduria where you learn more about Primitivo wines during a visit at the Museo della Civilta del Vino Primitivo. Tonight, you enjoy a farewell dinner together at one of the typical regional restaurants in Gallipoli. Spend the night in Gallipoli.
Meal plan: breakfast and dinner.
Today, you make our way back towards Bari and visit the Abbey of Santa Maria di Cerrate, one of the finest examples of Romanesque architecture in Puglia. You will continue to Polignano a Mare, a small town on the Adriatic Coast located on top of limestone cliffs and overlooking the azure sea. Take in the spectacular views and explore the narrow roads and alleys of the old town at your leisure. Later, you travel on to Bari where your tour sadly comes to an end.
This retreat will take place in Puglia region, in southern Italy.
Tasting the local cuisine should be an important part of any holiday, and Back-Roads Touring ensures that particular emphasis is placed on food and drink within your tour. Their included culinary experiences enable you to enjoy truly authentic, locally sourced, and produced cuisine. Dine at iconic restaurants run by award-winning chefs, take cooking classes using regional ingredients, visit local farms, enjoy food and wine tastings at local producers and combine two passions with foodie walking tours. Furthermore, throughout their tours you’ll dine in small, authentic restaurants, frequented by the locals, and guaranteed to give a true reflection of the tastes of the region.
In your spare time, you can visit the historical town centers, explore the typical narrow roads, relax at the hotel, hit the local market and souvenir shops or enjoy yourself watching some spectacular sea views.
The nearest airport to the location is Bari International Airport-Karol Wojtyla (BRI). Back-Roads Touring can arrange transfers to and from the airport at an additional fee.