- This authentic and southern Italian region has a rich culture and some of the country's best olive growing.
- Stay in intriguing, chic and historical hotels with gourmet restaurants
- Included in the itinerary are cooking classes in the masseria, a visit to the rock churches of Matera and lunch at the fish market
- You'll have access to our additional services, including our local Concierge
Contact one of our Italy specialists + 44 (0) 20 3958 6120
Your tripSoak up the spirit of Puglia at three of our choice hotels. A traditional masseria In Savelletri di Fasano (a refined, nature-oriented hotel with an agricultural history); a cave in Matera (a stylish and bold hotel with cenobitic roots); and a palace in Lecce (a high-class hotel with a decadent legacy). Three ways to give cultured travellers a taste of the authentic Italian art of living. And, in addition to this, the finesse of Italian comfort. Make the most of your hire car to not only get your from place to place, but to also have the freedom to explore the countryside, discover beaches and visit lost villages at your own pace. During the trip, you can get around on foot, by cycling and behind the wheel. Included in the itinerary a dive into Puglia's history and way of life with a private cooking class in the masseria, discovering the Sassi and the rock churches of Matera, and a visit to Gallipoli followed by lunch at the fish market. All of this is accompanied by an expert guide who can tweak the tour to suit you. And if you need logistical support in the case of a setback or a change of plans, you have the contact details of our local Concierge. Their cultural and practical knowledge is unparalleled, and they are happy to help.
Flight to Bari - Savelletri di Fasano
Collect your hire carand drive to Savelletri di Fasano. Four-night stay in a masseria - a large farmhouse typical of southern Italy. This one dates from the 18th century. It was built with stones from the ancient site of Egnazia, just north of the estate, beyond the olive groves. A stocky, red tower is surrounded by white annexes. The immaculate interiors are styled in the geometric forms of popular architecture. The decor is exquisite. The restaurant sources its ingredients in the surrounding area and the dishes are straight from the recipe books of Puglian grandmothers. These classics are given a modern twist. In the garden, there is a swimming pool.. There are bicycles available to guests who want to cycle along the small country roads.
Savelletri di Fasano
Just south of the masseria, an eighteen-hole golf course has been built, but players must make sure they don't get distracted by the sparkle of the nearby Adriatic. To swim in these waters, just turn right on your way out of the hotel, cross the Provincial Road 90 and drive down to Cala Pescatore or Lido Ottagono. The excavations of Egnazia have provided interesting pieces for the archaeological museums of Fasano (the Three Graces mosaic) and Bari. The historic centre of Fascion is home to numerous picturesque scenes and Renaissance churches. In Bari, the Basilica of Saint Nicholas (11th-12th centuries) houses the tomb of the eponymous patron saint of unmarried people. The Norman-Suevian Castle (13th century) is a legacy of Emperor Frederick II and a very well-preserved example of medieval military architecture. The gallery houses, among other things, a beautiful Life of Saint Margaret (13th century); the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist, by Corrado Giaquinto (1752); and a Saint Bernardin of Siena, by Bartolomeo Vivarini (15th century).
Included in the itinerary - Private cooking lessons. Wheat, olive oil, vegetables and fish are the pillars of Puglian cuisine. The first makes it possible to make a large variety of pasta, bread, pasties, etc. Recipes also get their ingredients from the orchards and groves that line the countryside. Depending on the season, this gourmet experience begins in the masseria's vegetable garden, where you pick different fresh fruits and vegetables before joining the chef in the kitchen and starting to prepare the meal. Guided by the chef, guests cook a typical southern recipe to then sit down to enjoy their meal.
Optional - Private tour of Ostuni.
Savelletri di Fasano
Included in the itinerary - Private tour of Ostuni. The Citta Bianca is a beautiful sight, perched atop of the hills. It's one of the prettiest towns in Puglia. Paved alleyways meander through the intertwined old houses, where many local artisans can be found. A beautiful Gothic white stone cathedral (15th century), stands tall and elegant over the rest of the town. Against the Carmel, the church of San Vito Martire has a Baroque facade with a whirlwind of ornamentation in true Lecce style (18th century). We've organised for you to have a personal guide to discover the Eglise du Saint-Esprit church. Then you'll go to a nearby masseria. It's the perfect opportunity to experience the rural life of years gone by and to see a traditional oil mill in operation. Naturally, the pressing is followed by an oil tasting.
Savelletri di Fasano - Matera
Drive to Matera. The first stops for all visitors are the town's limestone caves and the troglodyte dwelling. Humans had inhabited these sites since ancient times, and continued to do so until the 1950s. The Sassi were then evacuated because of health issues. Since then, the caves have been the subject of intense rehabilitation work and are now UNESCO World Heritage sites. Pier Paolo Pasolini shot a good part of The Gospel According to St Matthew (1964) here. Some rock churches, decorated with frescoes, are open to the public. Guests can spend the night in one of these rustic (yet comfortable) caves which glow in the sun or by candlelight. Simple furniture alone highlights the beauty of the stone and the extravagance of the space which narrows, towers up and opens out. We can organise numerous activities here, whether it's a candlelit meal - the dining room has long been an enclosed church since the 13th century - or a pampering massage in an unusual in-cave spa experience.
Included in the itinerary - Sassi Rock Churches. This ancient site has been used to represent Jerusalem in films, with its hermitages, monasteries, houses, and cisterns that have been built in limestone rock over the years. Monks settled here during the Early Middle Ages and decorated their churches with frescoes whose splendour can still be appreciated. Visit the site with a private guide.
Matera - Lecce
Drive to Lecce. Enjoy three-nights' accommodation in the city centre. The decoration gives a modern twist to a 17th-century building, while still maintaining its authenticity. Vintage elegance can be seen everywhere: creations by French designers alongside Italian furnishings. In the garden, sculptures by Jacques Zwobada can be found in the shade of the olive and orange trees, making for a very chic setting around the pool. In the lovely dining room, cucina povera (the popular, simple cuisine of Puglia and Basilicata) is interpreted tastefully. Dishes include lots of green vegetables and grains, which can also be enjoyed in the warm evening air out in the courtyard. After the meal, enjoy a liqueur at the lounge bar.
The old Roman amphitheatre, under Saint Oronce Square, is reminiscent of the old Lupia, on which Lecce is built. Marvel at some Renaissance works of art - the Sedile, the Charles Quint Castle, the frescoes of the Chiesa dei Santi Niccolo e Cataldo. Among the most stunning achievements of this period, it is worth mentioning the Piazza Del Duomo; Lecce Cathedral (completed in 1682), and the city's palaces; the Basilica of Santa Crocce (1549-1695); and the Basilica of San Giovanni Battista al Rosario (1691-1728). The theatricality of this style is carved into the soft stone, creating marvellous effects in the light. To see another side of this region, visit the Bosco and Paludi di Rauccio Nature Park where you can spot - among the mastic trees, myrtle and bindweed - green toads standing still as sculptures, Italian tree frogs, hoopoes, turtledoves, and more.
Included in the itinerary - a private tour of Gallipoli and lunch at the fish market. Beautiful sandy beaches and sun are not the only reasons to visit the Salentine Peninsula. Southwest of Lecce, Gallipoli remains an important fishing town to this day. Fishermen can be seen sitting in the shade mending their nets, then head to the fish market for a tour across the street from the castle in the Old Town, then walk under the bridge leading to the island to enjoying a delicious fish lunch.
Optional - Private tour of Lecce and pasticciotti tasting.
Lecce - Brindisi - return flight
Drive to Brindisi Airport and return your hire car. Return flight.
A la carte
Ostuni on a private tour
The 'white city' is reminiscent in some ways of the villages of the Greek islands. Situated in the province of Brindisi, a few miles from the coast, this picturesque old town, entirely painted with white lime, is a maze of streets perfect for exploring. A beautiful cathedral catches the eye, as does the church of Saint Vito, also known as Saint Maria Maddalena dei Pazzi, which houses a small archaeological museum where visitors can find a cast of Delia, a young woman who lived there 25,000 years ago. An olive oil tasting in a masseria completes the tour of the city.
Optional - With private guide
Baroque Lecce and pasticciotti
A guided walking tour through the most iconic squares and streets typical of the local 'barocco leccese' style. Admire the 16th and 18th-century facades, and along the way make a stop for the famous Puglian pastry, the pasticciotti: little shortcrust pastry cases filled with egg custard.
Optional - With private guide
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