Join FAMTrips.travel and YLTOUR DMC as we discover the magnificent Puglia region of Italy together!
This southern region of Italy, forming the heel of Italy’s boot, is known for its whitewashed hill towns, centuries-old farmland and hundreds of kilometers of Mediterranean coastline. Lecce, one of our most featured cities in this fam is known as “Florence of the South” for its baroque architecture while one of our last stops on the fam, Alberobello is home to the trulli, stone huts with distinctive conical roofs!
These cone-shaped houses huddle together as if gathering for a gnome convention. This region of Italy is also becoming very popular for family-based travel as children traveling there will get a thrill out of these fairytale looking places! Added to this, you will enjoy cooking with the Mums of Puglia, and visit World Cultural sites while in Puglia, too! Food, wine and music festivals are so very popular throughout every year in Puglia! The art, the culture, the food, AND the wines…. ALL will be highlighted during our first educational FAM program to the beautiful Puglia region.
Day By Day Itinerary
Day 1: Welcome to Puglia
Upon arrival you will be met and transferred from Brindisi airport to your Hotel in Lecce. Risorgimento Resort is a five star deluxe resort with only 47 total rooms and suites with a contemporary design. The hotel dates back into the 1800’s and was renovated with very careful watch so as not to take away from its original exterior facade and architectural style, while at the same time being given a very modern and contemporary interior design. After you have a bit of time to rest and take in some breakfast or early lunch on your own, we will gather to stretch our legs a bit and visit a few of Lecce’s other lovely hotels together. This evening we will enjoy our welcome dinner in Lecce Old Town to experience a perfect combination of the famous Leccese Baroque architecture and excellent cuisine!
Day 2: Lecce- City of Art & Experience Cookinpuglia Cooking School
Welcome to Lecce, also known as the Florence of southern Italy. Today Lecce will enchant us with its timeless architecture and ancient exuberance! Lecce is the heart of Salento, a place where time constraints do not exist, or rather, a city in which time seems to have stopped. Lecce’s lovely baroque character creates a masterpiece with everything glistening in shades of honey and cream. Together we will take in the Lecce lifestyle and cultural highlights as we walk through its palazzi, its beautiful churches and the amazing studios of the artisans who call Lecce home. Enjoy! This afternoon we will participate in a cooking class with the Mums of Cookinpuglia and enjoy a wine tasting, as well. The Mums will teach you how to make focaccia and orecchiette pasta and have you taste some local great foods together with our wine tasting. If you appreciate Italian culture, art, cuisine, wine, lifestyle, the dolce vita, then this is the right place for you. Later we return to our hotel for a bit of leisure time before our evening dinner together.
Day 3: The Salento Peninsula of Galatina and Gallipoli and Wine
After breakfast, we will discover the charming southern area of Salento, south of Lecce on the Ionian coast. We will delight in the charm of little towns and uncrowded streets. Galatina, with its Basilica of Santa Caterina d’Alessandria also known as the Assisi of the South because of its wondrous frescoes. We will also make a quick stop at the oldest pastry shop for a bite of the pasticciotto Leccese. We will experience Gallipoli for lunch and enjoy a walk in its fascinating old town. This beautiful seaside fishing village is a real gem with its labyrinth of alleys, a few century-old churches, the beauty of turquoise water and scenic views of its fishermen hard at work.
On the way back to Lecce you’ll stop at a Boutique Winery for an Aperitivo tasting. Dinner is on your own this evening in Lecce so you can experience those romantic dining spots that appeal to you the most.
Day 4: Otranto – Unesco World Cultural Site
Today after breakfast we meet our guide who will introduce us to Otranto, an UNESCO World Cultural Site. On the way we will stop at a Cheese Factory discovering the real taste of mozzarella and its derivatives and learn the secrets of the cheese making while tasting the local products. Otranto is a natural bridge between East and West one of the very important maritime centers of Italy and the natural point of trade with Greece. The town still retains its appearance of the ancient market towns that are washed by the Mediterranean. While walking around the town, the ancient walls and the Aragonese Castle can be admired. Another masterpiece is the Cathedral of S. Maria Assunta, consecrated in 1088, it has a huge rose window. The interior of this cathedral has columns which are said to come from a temple of Minerva and a fine mosaic pavement of 1166. It is one of the largest mosaics in the world and depicts the “tree of life” with interesting representations Old Testament subjects. The Cathedral has a crypt supported by 42 marble columns. It holds the bones of 800 martyrs (later proclaimed saints ) who were killed by the Turks in 1480 in an attempt to conquer the town. Bones are kept on massive shelves inside the cathedral. Our lunch will be enjoyed at a nearby rural agriturismo. Later we return to Lecce to relax and enjoy dinner at our own leisure.
Day 5: Olive Oil Farm Visit and Ostuni
This morning, you will check out of your hotel and meet your private driver and guide who will take you to the white-washed town of Ostuni and for an epicurean experience of olive oil tasting at a wonderful local farm. Having more than 50 million olive trees, this region is the number one area for olive and olive oil production. The residents of Ostuni first arrived during the Stone Age and it was later rebuilt by the Greeks. You will tour this town over a beautiful walk discovering its narrow white alleyways and magical labyrinth, the low archways and the dramatic flights of stairs which lead only to someone’s front porch. Ostuni is an architectural jewel, commonly referred to as the White Town or La Citta Bianca in Italian. The brightness of its whitewashed houses, a series of levels, staircases, small roads, alleys, arches, make Ostuni a truly special intimate town. Lunch will be in a local trattoria and we may have an option to see a few other local hotels while visiting this enchanting area.
Tonight we check into our new home for the final two nights of our adventure in Puglia, Covo dei Saraceni in the town of Polignano a Mare.
Day 6: Martina Franca and Alberobello
Today after breakfast we visit the iconic Itria Valley towns of Martina Franca and Alberobello located in central Puglia. Martina Franca is the second most beloved baroque city gem in the region with its elegant old town and artful palazzi. Until the reunification of Italy in 1861, Martina Franca was a fully walled town, with 24 towers and four gates. As it evolved to cater for more modern requirements, however, some of these towers were removed and other access roads punched into the walls. However, the four Renaissance and Baroque gates still exist, effectively delineating the old town from the more modern 19th century part of town, which also has some lovely architecture and parks.
Our stroll through Martina Franca will be even more special with stops for tastings: mozzarella, bocconotto and capocollo, three specialties that one cannot miss tasting here. Lunch will be casual style tasting fabulous local specialties. After lunch you’ll transfer to a fairy-tale town, Alberobello, the Unesco Heritage and Cultural town of Trulli. The town is divided into 2 parts: the New Town and the UNESCO World Heritage site of the famous Old Town, the Trulli Town. The Aia Piccola is less visited by tourists and comprises mainly small trulli, which are still the residential homes of local inhabitants. Rione Monti is filled with activity and tourists. Designated World Heritage site, it is characterized by ancient Apulian small, round white-washed homes of dry stone with conical roofs. We return to our hotel late afternoon and tonight we will share a lovely farewell dinner in Polignano a Mare.
Day 7: Arrivederci Puglia
It has been a week filled with the delicacies and delights of Puglia, the Florence of southern Italy. Now we can plan to return and bring our groups back with us so that YLTOUR DMC can show them the same special welcome and excellent service that we received during our first ever visit to Puglia! Your driver will pick you up at your hotel for your transfer back to Bari or Brindisi airport.
Agent Rate: $1599 pp
Non Industry Guest Add $200
Single supplement: $500
YLTOUR DMC reserves the right to substitute or add a 2nd hotel if for any
reason it is necessary to do so. Based upon your arrival or departure times,
YLTOUR DMC may quote a nominal added fee for individual airport transfers.
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