Puglia & Basilicata
Basilicata and Puglia offer rich histories, both with outstanding monuments that date from the Neolithic period right up to the modern age. Greeks planted wealthy colonies, which were subsumed in the Roman Empire and later incorporated into the Byzantine Catepanate of Italy. While the Greek influence on the region is unmistakable, the Norman conquest under William de Hauteville in the 11th century left an incredible mark on the area, producing some of the most splendid castles still extant in Italy. Along with the wealth of history left by the Magna Graecia, this area is a showcase for fascinating troglodytic dwellings, Byzantine churches and Norman castles. It is also the home of Horace and the land where Hannibal won his most famous victory.
Your Departure date
Deposit: $750 Single supplement: $420
Day 1 - Lecce
We meet at our hotel in Lecce in the afternoon. Time permitting, we will have an introductory stroll around the city before we take dinner together as a group.
|Hotel||Grand Hotel di Lecce|
Day 2 - Lecce - Otranto
We begin our day in Lecce visiting some of the churches and the amphitheater of the Roman city of Lupiae. When Lecce became part of the Kingdom of Naples, it took on a new cultural identity, becoming the ‘Apulian Athens’. Between the 16th and 18th centuries, this fostered the development of the ‘Lecce Baroque’ style, characterized by exuberant carving. We proceed to an off-the-beaten-track private visit to the Roca Vecchia Archaeological Park. We then visit the beautiful seaside city of Otranto, which was violently besieged by the Ottomans in 1480. Here, we visit the cathedral and the Byzantine Church of San Pietro.
|Hotel||Grand Hotel di Lecce|
|Meals included||All meals included|
Day 3 - Egnatia - Alberobello
Today we drive to the ancient site of Egnatia, a Messapian city which was also a strategic trading center in the Roman period. We move on to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Alberobello, before enjoying some free time to explore this city with its unique architecture at our own pace.
Day 4 - Matera
We spend all day in Matera, the European Capital of Culture for 2019. Carlo Levi, author of Christ Stopped at Eboli, gave a heart-breaking account of the desperate poverty he witnessed during his years of exile in Matera in the 1940s. We begin with an exploration of the extraordinary Sassi of Matera, a network of phenomenal rock-cut cave dwellings and frescoed Byzantine churches. In the afternoon, we have some free time for independent wandering.
Day 5 - Massafra - Taranto
Today we drive to Massafra to explore this lesser-known city, which is home to cave dwellings and wonderful Byzantine churches replete with frescoes. We continue to Taranto, to explore the outstanding National Archaeological Museum, one of the most important in all of Italy.
Day 6 - Metapontum - Gioia del Colle
This morning we head to Metapontum, one of the most opulent cities in Manga Graecia. We visit the Temple of Hera before continuing on to Gioia del Colle to see the wonderful castle rebuilt by Frederick II. As well as the castle itself, we will also explore the National Archaeological Museum.
Day 7 - Castel del Monte - Trani
We start with a visit to Castel del Monte to see the spectacular 13th century hunting lodge of the Emperor Frederick II. We spend the afternoon in Trani where we visit the exquisite cathedral located on the sea front. Free time follows here afterwards.
Day 8 - Venosa - Melfi
We travel to Venosa to visit the 12th century abbey of the Holy Trinity, which houses an important Norman tomb. Next, we explore the Roman site of Venusia before continuing to Melfi to visit an impressive Norman castle. We also explore the National Archaeological Museum, home to a priceless Bronze Age statuette and the Roman sarcophagus of Rapolla.
Day 9 - Trani
Our tour ends and we make our independent journeys home.
Tour dates & prices
Included in your cost:
- Expert Guide Lecturer
- Professional Tour Manager
- Local travel aboard a private air-conditioned coach
- Meals as per the itinerary, wine and tea or coffee with dinner
- Entries to all sites as per the itinerary
- All taxes & gratuities
- Field notes
|Tour Departure||Tour ID||Departure date||Return Date||Guided by||Price||Deposit||Single Supp.||Availability|
|March 28 2020||ABAP200328||March 28 2020 (Saturday)||April 5 2020 (Sunday)||Dr Eireann Marshall Lois Ferguson||$3,820
|$750||$360||Call for availability|
|September 4 2020||ABAP200904||September 4 2020 (Friday)||September 12 2020 (Saturday)||Dr Eireann Marshall Isabella Sjöström||$3,820