Fortified farms sweep across the landscape of the Murge hills. The Adriatic Sea shimmers with sapphire hues against the golden coastline. Olive trees average an age of 100 years old, predated by the nearly millennium-old streets of Fasano. The town grew around the 11th-century Santa Maria de Fajano Castle. The city walls shimmer with white limestone against the glinting waters. Palm trees shade the promenade and offer respite from the lowing Southern Italian sunlight. Your flight lands at Bari Karol Wojtyla Airport, where your private transfer greets you upon your arrival. Olive trees grow dense as forests with the sea breeze carrying the enticing aroma of the water.
The town itself is located along the hills overlooking the Adriatic, adorned with the Torrione delle Fogge, the single remaining watchtower of the original 11. Your transfer leads you to the remarkable grounds of your accommodation. Women embroider while sitting near the doorway of the small white homes. Clotheslines radiate colorful garments drying in the sun. Vineyards stretch across the countryside, leading to the slopes of the Murgia. You stroll through the charming central plaza of your resort-style accommodation, offering a sense of a traditional Puglian village with the luxury of seclusion and modern amenities. Your private balcony offers a view of the garden. For a sumptuous welcome, you sample a local sweet delicacy of pistachio ice cream with luscious extra-virgin olive oil poured over the top like chocolate sauce.
The morning fills with the aroma of the sea carried through the hills with the breeze. Bakeries in the heart of Fasano emanate the aromas of marzipan and hazelnut cream. At breakfast, you sip a creamy cappuccino finding the pleasant notes of chocolate in the aroma drifting from the cup. Your guide greets you after the meal and escorts you to the town of Alberobello, famous for the fantastical homes known as trulli decorating the streets. The narrow cobbled lanes wind alongside more than 1,500 of the captivating whitewashed homes crafted out of local limestone.
The conical shape stands beneath the beehive-like rooftop, providing a storybook ambiance to the structure. Palm trees provide pockets of shade as jasmine flowers blossom in private gardens. The oldest of the homes date back to the 14th century, shaped to insulate the interior from the summer heat and catch the rainwater during the wet season. Take your time to luxuriate amongst the unique architecture and relaxed pace of town before continuing to a nearby winery known for producing celebrated organic wines.
Traverse the rows of vines, feeling the waxy grapes dangling beneath the leaves. The arid landscape keeps the grapes struggling, which fortifies the flavor. Your guide leads you into the cellar and along the rows of stacked oak barrels resting in the refreshingly cool room. In the tasting room, your guide pours the first sample of wines cultivated on the property. The golden hues of the white wine give way to aromas of peach and grapefruit.
The hills of Fasano fade into the flatlands of olive groves and vineyards leading to the sea. Small cobbled lanes traverse the plateau and foothills along the Murge. After breakfast, your guide greets you at the hotel and escorts you to a nearby olive oil mill to learn the history of the legendary oil in the region and taste the flavors of the lifeblood of Southern Italian cooking. The trees have spindly leaves and roots protruding from the soil. The canopy shades the walkways with nets cast along the ground to harvest falling olives. The scent of savory and herbaceous flowers fills the air, accompanied by the limestone wall bordering the orchard.
The tradition of olive oil in Italy dates back nearly three millennia with the arrival of the Greeks. You traverse the grounds to learn about the harvest and the use of the mill before discovering the difference between olive oil, virgin olive oil, and extra virgin olive oil. In the tasting room, you find the aromas of the various oils compelling, learning to separate the distinct aromatics, from fruity to peppery, grassy to buttery, a distinction similar to finding the sensory notes of wine. Upon sampling the flavor, you find a stronger olive taste, yet subtle in its fortitude after sampling the Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Continue to the town of Polignano a Mare to enjoy the cliff-top views and enticing aromas of calamari grilled on an open flame.
The treasured beauty in the heel of Italy’s boot-shape is embodied in the town of Ostuni. The limestone structures shimmer in the sunlight like pearls, spreading across three hills and circling around the centerpiece of the cathedral. The marvelous edifice crowns the summit, offering spectacular views of town, the Adriatic Sea, and the greenery in between. The cobbled streets create a labyrinth nested between the medieval walls, staircases, and decorative arches. Flowerboxes adorn second-story balconies blossoming with azaleas, geraniums, and fresh herbs. Colorful doors contrast the pearlescent homes. The cathedral was erected in the 15th century and retains the original gothic embellishments personified in the rose marvelous rose window.
A delicate statue of Jesus stands at the center of the window surrounded by ornate columns representing the hours of the day. Chili peppers, melons, and fresh cheeses color the marketplace beside ginger and walnuts. Half the fun of Ostuni is wandering the streets to discover the daily life of locals shaped by the historical streets. You continue to Lecce to embrace the opulence of the baroque city, displayed on the facades of the palaces and churches overlooking the cobbled boulevards. After exploring the city, your private chef greets you in the heart of Piazza del Duomo, eager to introduce you to the cozy, home-cooked flavors of traditional Puglian cuisine during a private cooking class.
In the morning, you indulge in the sweet aromas of marzipan and fruity confections emanating from the confectionaries around Fasano. You take your time sipping a rich espresso accompanied by a fresh brioche stuffed with hazelnut and chocolate cream. Your guide greets you at the hotel and escorts you away from the serene beauty of Puglia, bound for the shores of the Tyrrhenian Sea along the Amalfi Coast. En route, you stop in the city of Matera, known best for the network of caves carved into the gorge walls set beneath the medieval streets of town.
The city is one of the oldest, continuously inhabited settlements in the world, dating back more than 15,000 years. The cobbled medieval streets adorn the top of the hill overlooking the edges of the gorge down to the ravine. The cathedral bell tower crowns the heart of the upper neighborhood. Your guide leads you to the caves, which were inhabited by locals as recently as the late 1960s. The gray stone of town matches the rugged facade of the cliffs. The steep staircase plunges into the surreal ambiance beneath the streets.
The original caves contain facades resembling traditional homes amongst a maze of narrow alleyways and staircases. The aroma of granite and limestone emanate from the gorge walls amongst the tufts of grass. Sasso Caveoso offers a selection of uninhabited caves depicting life in the city as recently as five decades ago, from the doors and windows to the cool interior protecting inhabitants from the heat. Many of the historic caves have been renovated, filled with luxury hotels and restaurants accessible by the narrow lanes connecting the deeper caves to one another.
Awake on the grounds of an 11th-century palace offering the grace and grandeur of the past with the comfort of modern amenities, topped with the inspiring beauty of the Amalfi Coast. You have a view of the mountain ridges texturing the landscape before plunging into the Mediterranean Sea. The infinity pool reflects the passing clouds and neighboring pergola. The air fills with the aroma of hazelnut and chocolate drifts beneath the fragrance of lemon emanating from the groves outside of town.
The sunlight washes over the 11th-century cathedral at the heart of town, causing the bright white façade to shimmer. A silver and gold ampulla garnished with glass decorates the Chapel of San Pantaleone. Your guide greets you after breakfast, eager to lead you along one of the most splendid drives in the world, reaching a distance of 25 miles along the Mediterranean Sea connecting Positano to Salerno. Cottages adorn the cliff, connoting the town of Conca dei Marini.
Narrow, steep steps circumvent the hills connecting the homes and business across cobbled lanes and public piazzas offering views to the sea. The cafes fill with a sweet aroma emanating from the local dessert Santa Rosa sfogliatella, a regionally famous pastry. You can venture to the pebbled beach and board a boat bound for Grotta dello Smeraldo, the Emerald Grotto. The interior stays cool against the Mediterranean heat, glistening with natural emerald hues caused by the way the sunlight refracts off the water and seafloor. The stalactites dangle like chandeliers across the ceiling.
In the morning, you take the ferry to the island of Capri. The sapphire waters spritz along the hull of the boat and leave droplets on the windows. The edges of the island come into view with cliffs rising as tall as 200 feet above sea level. The ferry docks in Marina Grande, where the colorful tower homes bordering the shoreline glow with rosy and golden hues. Traditional fishing boats rest on the pebbled grounds against the serene lapping water. You take the funicular to reach La Piazzetta, the small plaza framed with bustling cafes offering vistas of the Mediterranean. Elegant boutique shops fill their windows with captivating displays along the cobbled pedestrian-friendly boulevard of Via Vittorio Emanuele III, in Capri.
To sample the prestige of Roman emperors, you make your way to Villa Jovis, the former home of emperor Tiberius. The residence contains ruins preserving the aesthetic of the emperor through extensive baths, gardens, and woodlands. You can wander along the complex canal system used to store water to feed the baths and the nearly 32,300 square feet of gardens. A steep stairway leads to the top of Tiberius’ Leap, located at more than 1,000 feet above sea level, offering a spectacular panorama. You make your way back to sample the citrus digestif of limoncello, a staple of Campania, offering a refreshing zest on the palate.
The town of Atrani clings to the cliffs outside the town of Amalfi. The smallest of the regional towns, history has linked the streets and fortunes of Atrani to its larger neighbor. The golden sands along the beach shimmer in the returning light with locals and visitors eager to relax beneath the shading umbrellas and watch the water lap at the shore. The beach connects to Amalfi, adding another enchanting characteristic for the towns to share. In Ravello, you bask in the beauty of the view and the refreshing aroma of a vibrant espresso. The gardens at Villa Rufolo blossom with azaleas, geraniums, and oak trees, offering lavish adornments to the sapphire colors of the sea. Your guide greets you at the hotel whenever you are ready, escorting you around the Bay of Naples to reach Naples International Airport for your flight home.
Southern Italy glistens like a gem with towns overlooking the wondrous colors of the Adriatic Sea and the Mediterranean. Whitewashed walls glint in the sunlight along ancient streets and citrus-scented lemon groves bloom around the terraced gardens of the Amalfi Coast. Your flight lands at Bari Karol Wojtyla Airport in Puglia. Your private transfer greets you upon your arrival and escorts you to a gorgeous resort-style accommodation in the town of Fasano. Relish the remaining day at your leisure amongst the cobbled lanes ascending the hillside for views of the coastline. For a welcoming treat, you can sample a local delicacy of pistachio ice cream drizzled with decadent olive oil.
The following morning, your guide greets you at the hotel and escorts you to Alberobello to view the famous trulli, fairytale-like homes decorating the towns and countryside. Continue to the towns of Cisternino and Locorotondo to enjoy the serene ambiance before partaking in a tour of an organic winery. Delight in the varied flavors and aromas of olive oil with a private tour of a local mill. Continue in the afternoon to Polignano a Mare to enjoy the city on the cliff known for its stunning coastal cliff views and enticing seafood.
Venture to the pearlescent town of Ostuni to wander along the hilly streets before exploring baroque Lecce. Your private chef greets you at the end of the tour and leads you on a private cooking class offering insight into the spirit of Puglian cuisine. Then, your private transfer greets you at the hotel after breakfast and escorts you to Ravello, a marvelous town located on the cliffs above the Amalfi Coast. En route, you stop in the fabled city of Matera, to wander along the medieval streets and traverse the ancient caves in which locals lived up until the 1960s.
You have a fabulous tour along the Amalfi Coast, exploring the stunning towns, historical architecture, and breathtaking views overlooking the water. Bask on the serene beaches or partake in a tour of the Emerald Grotto before returning to Ravello for the evening. Take the ferry to the island of Capri to relish the beauty of the renowned scenery at your leisure. Wander along the gardens of former Roman emperors, and bask in the panoramic views of the Mediterranean Sea. On the final day, your private transfer greets you at your luxury hotel in Ravello and escorts you to Naples International Airport for your flight home.
$4795 per person (excluding international flights)
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