Depart your gateway city for Bari, Italy
BARI , ITALY | POLIGNANO A MARE
Upon arrival, transfer to Polignano a Mare and check in to the Hotel Covo dei Saraceni. This evening, enjoy a Welcome Dinner with fellow travelers at the hotel.
BARI | POLIGNANO A MARE
Educational Focus: The History, Agriculture and Beauty of Apulia. Hear the stories of Apulia’s multicultural past and the secrets behind its olive groves and vineyards. Excursion: Beautiful Bari. Tour the ancient seaport of Bari. Step inside the 11th-century Basilica of St. Nicholas to admire its Byzantine columns, colorful mosaics and Apulia’s oldest ciborium. Stroll past beautiful churches while enjoying the atmospheric tangle of alleys in Old Town. Explore the Murat Quarter and its 19thcentury grid layout, which was designed by Joachim Murat, Napoleon’s brother-in-law. Local Flavor: Dine on local specialties during lunch in Bari. Excursion:Wonders of Polignano a Mare. This tiny village rises dramatically from craggy limestone cliffs. Admire the medieval Marchesale Arch in the village’s historic center, and weave through the Old Town’s cobbled streets, fragrant with flowering plants. Engage with fellow travelers during a Welcome Reception at the hotel this evening.
Discovery: Sassi di Matera. Visit Matera, a 2019 European Capital of Culture, and venture into the village’s celebrated Sassi. These prehistoric caverns and more than 100 rock-hewn churches are carved into the soft calcareous rock straddling both sides of a steep ravine. The honeycombed dwellings were continuously inhabited until 1952 when the government relocated the population. Savor the flavors of the region during lunch.
Enrichment: History and Architecture of Lecce and Ostuni. Explore the region’s rich architectural heritage, focusing on Lecce, “The Florence of the South,” and Ostuni, the “White City.” Learn about the local stone used in Lecce’s architectural development and how Ostuni’s practice of whitewashing their houses is linked to the 17th-century plague.
Lecce | Ostuni
Discovery: Barocco Leccese and the White Town of Ostuni. Witness Lecce’s whimsical Barocco Leccese architecture. These 17th-century structures display elegant caryatids, ornamental garland and lyrical scrolls. Stand in the heart of Piazza Sant’Oronzo where the ancient Roman Column marks the end of the Appian Way. View the Roman amphitheater that once held 20,000 spectators, and see the intricate façade, rose window and ornately carved capitals of Basilica di Santa Croce. Following leisure time, continue to Ostuni and admire the famous whitewashed buildings that blanket its hilltop perch. In Old Town, take in sweeping coastal vistas from the city walls.
ALBEROBELLO | LOCOROTONDO
Excursion: Trulli Fascinating Alberobello. Discover Alberobello’s enigmatic trulli dwellings. Found nowhere else in the world, these unusual dome-shaped buildings dot the Apulian countryside. More than 1,000 trulli cluster along cobblestone streets, some dating back to the 15th century. Beneath conical fieldstone roofs, the limestone buildings are pieced together without mortar so that, according to legend, they could be quickly disassembled by their peasant owners to avoid property taxes. Excursion: Luminous Locorotondo. Journey to Locorotondo, where gleaming white buildings swirl down the contours of a hilltop setting. Explore this picturesque medieval village whose name means “round place.” Wander past angular townhouses with pointed roofs piercing the sky and vibrant blossoms spilling from iron balconies.
Trani | Bisceglie
Discovery: Trani, the Pearl of Apulia. Tour the historic seaport of Trani, renowned for sweet Moscato di Trani wine and some of Apulia’s finest architecture. Admire the 12th-century cathedral, its pale pink stone an arresting sight against the turquoise Adriatic. Note the cathedral’s elegant portals and pillar capitals that hint at an Arab influence. View Norman houses that line polished cobblestone streets in the historic Jewish Ghetto. Enrichment: Meet the People and Olive Mill Outing. Visit a family-run olive mill in Bisceglie for a guided tour. Learn about the mill’s cultivation process, and sample the rich flavors of the olive oil during a tasting. Then delight in lunch on the olive mill property, and meet some of the staff or owners to discuss life in Italy. Enrichment: Contemporary Italy. Compare the rich cultural heritage and lifestyle of Apulia with its northern neighbors.
POLIGNANO A MARE
Independent Exploration: Today is at your leisure. Consider exploring nearby Grotte di Castellana, a subterranean labyrinth of passages and caves. Tonight, gather for a Farewell Reception, followed by a Graduation Ceremony and a Farewell Dinner.
Transfer to the airport for the return flight to your gateway city.
Note: Itinerary may change due to local conditions. Walking is required on many excursions, and surfaces may be uneven or unpaved.