The Adriatic coastline shimmers with turquoise hues and white sands. Olive groves and vineyards spread across the flatlands reaching the edges of the sea. Woodlands shade the edges of the Murge Plateau, crowning the lowlands with limestone ridges overlooking the hidden coves. Your flight lands at Bari Karol Wojtyla Airport. Your private transfer greets you upon your arrival and escorts you to a gorgeous resort near the gentle waters of the Adriatic Sea. The semi-sweet aroma of the water harmoniously blends with the herbaceous scent emanating from the olive trees. Small fishing boats wade in the sea near the village of Savelletri.
The bright colors along the boats and houses recall days of superstition and familiarity. The brightness continues to bring the fishermen daily luck on the water with their boats and guide them back to the shore when viewing their shimmering home from the sea. The nearby town of Fasano glistens with whitewashed homes along the golden cobbled lanes. Historical churches and remnants of tower walls overlook the narrow, hidden alleys. You bask in the comforts of your resort, located at the heart of Italy’s Puglia region. The structure dates back to the 15th century and was originally used as a watchtower for the Knights of Malta. Your magnificent suite overlooks the glistening sea and white sands. You can hear the waves lapping against the rocks.
The sunlight washes over the crystal clear turquoise waters of the Adriatic. The white sand glistens against the backdrop of the subtle lapping waves. Limestone cliffs offer a private view of the horizon and narrow beaches offer visitors a perfect place to indulge in the golden sunlight. The scent of the sea drifts through the dining room and blends with the rich aroma of fresh espresso. Your private transfer greets you in the hotel lobby and escorts you along the olive groves and vineyards speckling the landscape to reach the enchanting city of Alberobello. The unique townscape glows with whitewashed walls and conical rooftops that resemble fairy structures out of a storybook.
The homes, known as Trulli, date back to the 14th century with more than 1,500 spread amongst the hills. The limestone materials and distinctive style helps to keep the homes cool in the summer and warm in the winter. The scent of bougainvillea drifts along the meandering streets, overtaking the subtle aroma of cappuccino. You follow the wide steps to Piazza del Popolo to find the Belvedere Trulli, a lookout offering tremendous views of the pixie homes and fairytale ambiance. Shops offer sweet and refreshing watermelon to passersby with the red and green colors bursting from the surrounding white walls. Palm trees add to the delicate skyline with rustling fronds. After wandering alongside the treasured homes, you make your way to Cisternino, a charming whitewashed commune known for its two cylindrical towers and delightful wines.
Wake up to the sounds of the waves lapping against limestone rocks. The scent of espresso joins the sweet aroma of caramelized sugar on fresh-baked brioche. You recall the gentle grapefruit flavor and zesty body of the Brioso sparkling wine that you tasted the previous day. After breakfast, your guide escorts you along the coast to visit Polignano a Mare. Remnants of the ancient Roman road, Via Traiana, run along the edges of town and give way to artifacts connoting the historical importance of Polignano a Mare. Colorful homes rise along the craggy edges of the ravine overlooking the pockmarked caves in which prehistoric inhabitants first settled.
The limestone cliffs above the water stand more than 65 feet above sea level. Greeks founded the first cultural city in the 4th century. Whitewashed streets lead to historical churches. The lanes stretch and wind into a small labyrinth graced with the scent of Altamura bread and orecchiette pasta. Cliff divers from around the world visit the town to leap from the limestone ledges and plunge into the sea. Locals snack on creamy and refreshing gelato beneath the radiant sun. The sounds of Domenico Modugno’s hit song Volare blasts from a café and celebrates the local singer’s world-famous reputation. You will meet with your guides at Polignano Made in Love for your spectacular "Ape Calessino" Countryside Tour.
You begin in the small fishermen village of San Vito. Watch as the fisherman wait in peace for the sea to share its tasteful culinary ingredients to its local traditions. You continue into the countryside to find a thriving olive orchard overtaking the horizon. The herbaceous leaves give a piney quality to the air. The verdant, thistle-like canopy shades the underbrush. Your guide offers a brief history of the farm in the region, which dates back to more than a century. Wander along the orchards to see the emerald olives dangling from the branches. Nets spread across the floor to catch the olives when they drop. You also find a hint of citrus in the air from the nearby orange grove. Your guide proudly shares that Puglia is responsible for 40 percent of the olive oil production in Italy. You enter into the tasting room to learn about the difference between the variety of olive oils produced around Italy and on the olive farm.
The sea breeze carries through the woodlands, brining the herbaceous aroma of bark over the briny scent of the sea. The fishing boats return from the open water and moor near the marina of Savelletri di Fasano. Fishermen eagerly take their nets to market, happy to showcase their freshly caught marlins, octopus, and prawns. After breakfast, you make your way to the fascinating city of Lecce, which is often referred to as the “Florence of the South.” Instead of Renaissance art and architecture, you uncover a city adorned with baroque majesty.
The Roman Empire and the Kingdom of Naples had profound effects on the city, leaving behind unique culture and fascinating architecture. The aroma of chocolate tarts and cakes dressed with strawberry or figs lingers in the air. The sunlight glints off the elegant salon of Piazza Duomo. The five-story tall bell tower stands nearly 225 feet tall and casts a shadow over the Bishops Palace. Gargoyles stare down at the cobbled streets and columns resembling asparagus support elaborate 16th-century structures.
The Basilica of Santa Croce embodies the boldness and brilliance of its time through an elaborate display of artistic embellishments. Statues of sheep, cherubs, beasts, and dodo birds adorn the façade. After exploring the preserved delights of the fascinating city, you meet your cooking instructor for an evening class, offering insight into the culinary traditions of Puglia. Inside the private kitchen, you find the ingredients to make your own pasta. You watch as your instructor crafts the perfect orecchiette, noodles named for their resemblance to little ears.
The morning light filters through the window of your suite and returns the radiant hues to the water and beach. The main town of Fasano glimmers with white along the Murge Plateau. The narrow lanes run along dry-stone walls and lead to the charming façade of the Church of Santa Maria Assunta in Cielo. After a traditional breakfast of espresso and delectable brioche, you meet your private transfer to reach the stunning shores of the Amalfi Coast. You stop en route in the city of Matera, known for its division of prehistoric caves and preserved medieval architecture. Church spires and tower homes climb along the ascending plateau overlooking the ravine.
Caverns honeycomb the rugged cliffs leading down to the narrow stream below. Romans founded the city in the 3rd century BC but elements of traditions brought about before Roman settlement remain in the troglodyte homes built into the present calcareous rock. Your guide leads you along the narrow cobbled lanes of the upper levels of Matera, where a familiar small town ambiance showing signs of medieval architectural developments remain. The scent of hardy sausage steeping in a tasty sauce emanates from the small restaurants hidden in the small alleys. You enter the Church of San Pietro Barisano located along the steep steps of the upper city.
Beneath the foundations are ancient niches offering a burial ground for the city’s historic inhabitants. The entrance gives way to 15th and 16th-century frescoes lit by the sunlight entering through the windows. You continue down to the sassi districts, the neighborhoods of subterranean homes and restaurants hidden behind the gray stone facades. The caves are not what you expect on the inside and resemble actual homes, with dividers for bedrooms and kitchens. You enter into the rock church of San Pietro Caveoso, which was built on a rocky spur overlooking the ravine and decorated with folk art.
The morning light spreads across the indigo and cobalt waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea. The bells of the cathedral church, calling attention to the regal whitewashed façade and subtle layers of history spanning 900 years. The town of Ravello stands nearly 2,000 feet above sea level, with the gardens of Villa Rufolo offering a stunning frame to the mountain ridges, secluded beaches, and radiant waters of the Amalfi Coast. After breakfast, you make your way to from the port at Amalfi along the sea to the Isle of Capri.
The historic island is legendary for its beauty, capturing the hearts of Hollywood starlets and Roman emperors alike. The white and gray cliffs soar nearly 200 feet above the glistening water. The colorful homes along Marina Grande reflect cast shade along the rocky shoreline speckled with brightly painted rowboats. A funicular carries you from the beach to the mountaintop to reach Piazza Umberto. Cafes set out tables and chairs for patrons to enjoy the view over the cliffs.
The scent of brioche and espresso overtakes the sea breeze. Boutique shops offer elegant window displays lining the cobbled lanes. The cloisters near the piazza were originally constructed in the 14th century and retain a 17th-century gothic doorway. For a glimpse into the prestigious past, you follow the path past the cloisters of San Giacomo to find the blossoming botanic gardens of the Gardens of Augustus. Flowers bloom along the pergolas framing the stunning Faraglioni sea stacks rising out of the blue-green water.
The brilliant coastline around Amalfi stretches 25 miles between Positano and Vietri sul Mare. The single, narrow road winds alongside precipitous mountain ridges and the glowing waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea. Homes ascend the promontories and overlook hidden coves and white sand beaches. After breakfast, you have a private driver at your disposal to traverse the extent of the coastal road or linger in a selection of quiet towns. You make your way to the most westerly town of Positano.
The tower homes shimmer with pastel colors and wrap around the protruding mountain ridge leading to the upper cliffs. Lemon and orange groves give way to olive trees along the secluded terraces. Yellow and green umbrellas offer shade to the beachgoers lounging in view of the sparkling sea. You find hints of lemon bursting around the narrow lanes before fading beneath the aroma of the water. Songs of daily life in Southern Italy accompany the idyllic landscape with gelateries and pizza shops, boutique shops and elegant antique architecture.
You walk along the narrow lanes and around the ceramic tiles decorating the plaster facades to find a cobbler crafting Italian shoes and sandals. He has worked in Positano for more than 40 years and continues to indulge in his love of artisan footwear. The shop contains hints of leather with different styles of sandals and shoes decorating the walls. You can listen to the gentle stories of his life in Positano or wander along the vibrant, colorful streets as he crafts a new pair of shoes for you.
The market in Amalfi brims with the vibrant colors of apples, kumquats, and cherries, resting against the mounds of magnificent lemons. The cafés in Ravello open to the aromas of freshly baked chocolate brioche and espresso. The aroma of olive trees sweeps across the hiking trail known as the “Path of the Gods.” You can spend time strolling along the Terrace of Infinity at Villa Cimbrone to enjoy one last panoramic view of the Amalfi Coast.
Replicas of ancient busts adorn the banister and stare back at visitors eager to enjoy the vista. The trimmed edges offer a sense of manicured elegance to the background as you enjoy the mixture of rugged hills and the splendors of the untamed sea. Returning to Italy has offered you a unique perspective of life beyond Rome, Florence, and Venice. Your private transfer meets you at the hotel when you are ready and escorts you around the Bay of Naples to reach the Naples International Airport.
Italy contains too many treasures to visit in one trip, allowing you to return to the splendors of Puglia and the Amalfi Coast during an 8-day itinerary immersing you in its deep wells of history, culture, scenery, and luxury. Your personalized experience begins with your arrival at Bari Karol Wojtyla Airport in the Puglia region. Your private transfer greets you at baggage claim and escorts you to a stunning resort overlooking the cliffs along the Tyrrhenian Sea. Relax in the comfort of your private suite in view of the water or walk along the nearby narrow lanes of the fishing town of Savelletri di Fasano.
The following morning, you venture to the town of Alberobello to view the whitewashed walls and conical homes of the trulli. The unique architecture creates a fairytale ambiance along the streets. In the countryside, your guide leads you along a selection of vineyards to sample the various wines popular in Puglia, grown on vines thriving beneath the Mediterranean sun. The next day, you travel to the seaside town of Polignano a Mare, which is known for its historical architecture, delicious seafood, and stunning cliffs plunging into the water. In the afternoon, you take to a family-owned olive orchard to learn about the process of crafting the delectable oil before sampling the varieties.
Then, your private transfer greets you in the lobby of the resort, ready to escort you across the center of Italy to reach the Amalfi Coast at Ravello. You stop en route at the city of Matera to tour the layers of history embodied in the medieval architecture and preserved troglodyte settlements. Next, you venture to the isle of Capri. The day is yours to explore the island at your preferred pace. Wander along Capri or Anacapri.
Visit the villas of Roman emperors or take to the sea to view the Blue Grotto before returning to Ravello. Your private driver greets you for your tour along the Amalfi Coast. Travel the scenic roadway at your leisure, stopping to discover the hidden charms of coastal towns or basking in the golden sunlight on a hidden beach. Meet your private transfer in the hotel lobby on the final day to reach Naples International Airport for your flight home.
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