|8 days and 7 nights|
Italy (Sorrento, Naples, Trani, Alberobello, Brindisi, Lecce, Ostuni, Matera, Amalfi, Ravello, Positano)
Day 1 Napoli
Arrival in afternoon. Check-in at your hotel. Dinner and overnight stay in Napoli.
Day 2 Napoli
Departure for a full day guided tour of Naples, one of the oldest continuously-inhabited cities in the world, it can be traced back to the Bronze Age. Visiting Naples's historic centre - the largest historic centre in all of Europe - means traveling through twenty centuries of history with testimonies from diverse styles and periods. The design of its streets, piazzas, churches, monuments, public buildings and castles constitutes a jewel box of artistic and historical treasures of exceptional importance. We will discover the splendid Capodimonte museum and the gorgeous Royal Palace, the Spaccanapoli Street in the old city centre and the religious devotion to San Gennato. Continue to Puglia and arrival in late afternoon in Trani, check-in at the hotel. Dinner and overnight stay in Trani .
Day 3 Trani, Alberobello
In the morning we visit the delightful Trani, an important port during medieval times, of Jewish origin, with lovely Romanesque architecture. Nowadays it is a picturesque fishing port famous for its sweet Moscato wine as well for its exquisite Cattedrale di San Nicola Pellegrino, founded in 1097 to house the relics of a young Greek pilgrim named Nicola. Drive through the Itria valley to Alberobello famous for its traditional and mysterious trulli dwellings constructed from the local limestone in a dry stone fashion with conical roofs. The first trulli were built in prehistoric times. Many are adorned with large symbols, some religious, some pagan and some celestial: you really are stepping back in time. Continue to Ostuni for check-in, dinner and overnight stay in Ostuni.
Day 4 Brindisi, Lecce
Today we enjoy a full day of touring, starting with Brindisi. We travel through some of the amazing highlights of the area including the port, the famous column which marks the end of the Via Appia, the Palazzo Nervegna and the churches of San Giovanni al Sepolcro and San Benedetto. We continue to Lecce, which, with a new treasure to discover around every corner and extravagant Baroque architecture to admire, has truly earned its moniker ‘the Florence of the South’. We will enjoy highlights such as the ancient Roman amphitheatre and the Church of Santa Croce, whose façade is adorned with intricately carved statues. Return to the hotel for dinner and overnight stay in Ostuni.
Day 5 Ostuni, Matera
This morning we visit the historic town of Ostuni, known as the ‘White City’, based high on a hill top overlooking the region. The white-washed houses can be seen from afar and they blend perfectly with the soft and colourful hills giving to Ostuni its own special charm. We take a walk through the beautifully preserved old town with its quaint winding streets and enjoy the great panoramic views across this stunning landscape. Guided tour include the cathedral dedicated to St Mary of the Assumption, the Piazza della Libertà with its 20-metrehigh obelisk, and the Museo di Civiltà Preclassiche della Murgia Meridionale with the extraordinary exhibit of a 25,000-year-old skeleton of a pregnant young woman. We continue to Matera, a remarkable ancient town thought to be one of the first inhabited places in Italy. Originating as a prehistoric troglodyte settlement, astonishingly, even today people live in the same cave houses that their ancestors probably occupied thousands of years ago. An entire town is here, with churches, shops, workshops, all hewn from rock! It has often been used as set for biblical films including Mel Gibson’s ‘The Passion of Christ’. Drive to Potenza for dinner in the hotel and overnight stay.
Day 6 Salerno, Ravello, Amalfi
Departure for the busy port of Salerno, the world capital of medicine in medieval times, but badly damaged during WWII. After a little stop for some interesting sights, particularly its 11th century Duomo, whose columns in its Atrium were rescued from Paestum, our other destination on this day is Ravello, which has long been a retreat for artists and writers seeking their muse, from Richard Wagner to Virginia Woolf. You will be blown away by the beautiful Villas Rufolo and Cimbrone, with their gardens towering above the sea from an impressive height. We continue with a guided stroll of the stunning town of Amalfi perched dramatically on a cliff, overlooking enticing blue seas. This place boasts spectacular jagged cliff lines, traditional fishing villages, white-washed villas that cling precariously to the cliff face and lovely hotels with some of the most spectacular views in the region. Drive to Sorrento for dinner and overnight stay.
Day 7 Positano, Sorrento
Departure for a visit to the charming town of Positano enjoying a dramatic setting on a coastal road between Sorrento and Amalfi in an enclave position that offers a year round mild climate. Pastel-washed houses cascade down the steep hillside like a colourful waterfall to the seafront and bustling centre fascinating tourists, artists and writers with a magical atmosphere. Return to Sorrento, town perched upon its cliff-top boasting breath taking views over the Gulf of Naples and Mount Vesuvius. This ‘land of lemon groves’ once inspired literary masters such as Charles Dickens and Oscar Wilde, and enchants travellers to this day. Its beating heart is the Piazza Tasso. In the evenings its bars and cafes become the perfect base from which to watch the locals enjoying the passeggiata down the stylish Corso Italia and through the maze of alleyways. Dinner and overnight stay in Sorrento.
Day 8 Sorrento
Breakfast and departure for return journey. End of our services.
Accommodation, depending on your option, in good 4* hotels centrally located or 3* not centrally located hotels, double occupancy rooms, as described:
1 night accommodation in Napoli on HB basis, drinks not included
1 night accommodation in Trani on a HB basis, drinks excluded
2 night accommodation in Ostuni on a HB basis, drinks not included
1 night accommodation in Potenza on a HB basis, drinks not included
2 night accommodation in Sorrento on a HB basis, drinks not included
Local English speaking guides in Napoli, Alberbello, Brindisi, Lecce, Ostuni, Matera. Other languages are available on request.
Entrances: Capodimonte Museum, Royal Palace and San Gennato in Napoli, Cathedral in Trani, Roman amphitheatre and the Church of Santa Croce in Ostuni, Sassi in Matera, the Duomo in Salerno
Bus GT for the entire tour with arrival and departure from Napoli airport, including all expenses (check point and parking fees, board and lodging for driver).