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Experience more with so much included

  • Guided tour of Lecce, one of Italy’s finest baroque towns, often compared to Florence
  • Visit Alberobello with the unique trulli houses, set amidst stunning Tuscan-like countryside
  • Guided tour of Matera, the amazing medieval cave village and UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Guided tour of Bari’s old town, once home to ancient Greeks, Saracens and Normans, with a remarkable Romanesque cathedral
  • Tour the beautiful national park and crusader church of Monte Sant’Angelo, one of Europe’s most important medieval pilgrimage sites and where Archangel Michael appeared
  • Learn the fascinating craft of pasta-making and enjoy a light lunch at a family-run osteria
  • Return flights from Dublin, plus all hotel transfers
  • Seven nights in conveniently located 4-star accommodation inclusive of all local taxes, plus breakfast and dinner (three dinners at carefully selected local restaurants)
  • Services of our experienced tour manager throughout

“The cathedrals of Lecce are beautifully ornate and a sight to behold.”

Andrew Graham-Dixon

 

Selected departures from April to October 2020

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At a Glance
7 nights in 4-star accommodation
Return flights & transfers
Programme of daily tours & visits
Half board
Expert tour manager
Checked Luggage
 

Overview

Puglia, little-known, ruggedly beautiful, fringed by the sea – where the magnificent architecture of Lecce and Bari, coastal charm of Vieste, ‘hobbit’-like conical trulli and local cuisine offer a delightfully different experience of Italy. Blessed with abundant sunshine and fringed by the bountiful waters of the Adriatic and Ionian Seas, Puglia is a land of plenty. One of the most fertile regions of Italy, it produces more olive oil than the rest of the country combined, most of its fish, 80 per cent of Europe’s pasta and more wine than the whole of Germany. Unsurprisingly, its natural riches have attracted a host of invaders throughout history – ancient Greeks colonised the area in the 8th century BC, then came the Romans, Byzantines, Saracens, Normans, Spanish and Bourbons, before Puglia became part of unified Italy in 1861. Each culture has left a distinct footprint, from the local dialect peppered with Greek expressions to the Moorish ambience of the narrow streets of Bari, where traders’ wares spill out onto the cobbled streets. It is this melding of cultures that makes Puglia – the ‘heel’ of Italy’s great ‘boot’ – delightfully different.

Overlooked by many who prefer to head to Italy’s better-known attractions, Puglia echoes with its own history. In Lecce, an imperial column marks the end of the Appian Way, one of the greatest Roman roads, and Hannibal dealt Rome its heaviest defeat at nearby Cannae. A gem of a baroque city, Lecce also boasts around a hundred churches of myriad styles, ranging from Romanesque to Rococo. Its centre is a labyrinth of alleyways, and it’s easy to imagine Roman officials, medieval merchants and richly clad bishops going about their lives. Every town seems to have a Norman cathedral, decorated with intricate stonework, colourful frescoes and fine paintings. Huge Spanish-built castles overlook the rolling countryside, while the ports that once thrummed with crusaders embarking for the Holy Land now have a relaxed feel.

As you explore, it becomes evident that Puglia is not the Italy of the north. Its rugged limestone landscape is carpeted with olive groves and dotted with villages of white, flat-roofed houses resembling those of Greece and its islands, while the beauty of the forested Gargano Peninsula stands comparison with the more famous Amalfi coast. But there are many features unique to this area, none more so than the trulli, the cone-shaped houses that have become unofficial symbols of Puglia.

Here in the deep southeast of Italy, nature and history are powerful influences, the locals still wink cheekily at authority and the relaxed and communal way of life is in harmony with the sunny climate. Famed for its passionate embrace of life, simple cuisine, flavoursome wines, historic cities and charming coastal villages, it’s a delightful place to get away from it all.

Your Itinerary

Puglia, Lecce and Vieste - Undiscovered Italy

Price Includes

The price of this holiday is per person, based on two people sharing a twin room. Single rooms are subject to availability at the relevant supplement. The price includes return flights, seven nights’ accommodation with breakfast and dinner (including three at local restaurants) and a light lunch, all local taxes and transfers, all tours as mentioned and the services of a Riviera Travel tour manager. 

Andrew Graham-Dixon on Puglia, Lecce & Vieste

Useful Information

Mobility

We want to ensure you make the correct choice before you book your holiday with us. If you have any concerns regarding the suitability of the holiday due to reduced mobility we would encourage you to call us to discuss these concerns. General information on mobility in connection with our tours can be found here.

Hotel Information

  • The use of air-conditioning in hotels in Italy is at the hotel’s discretion and is normally restricted to the summer months (mid-May to mid-September), depending on the temperature.
  • Where hotels feature a swimming pool, it will be open during the summer months depending on weather conditions.

Fact File

  • Currency: Euro
  • Deposit: €100 per person
  • Flight Time: Approximately 2 hours 45 minutes
  • Language: Italian
  • Time Zone: GMT+1
  • Country: Italy

Transfer Times

All transfer times listed here are approximate, and dependent on the number of hotel stops and traffic. If you have a question regarding transfer times please don't hesitate to contact us

  Arrival airport or train station    First hotel location   Transfer time    Final hotel location    Departure airport or train station   Transfer time 
Bari Airport Lecce 2 hrs 30 mins Vieste Bari Airport 3 hrs
Brindisi Airport 45 mins Brindisi Airport 4 hrs