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Archaeological treasures, trulli, the Baroque influence, the foods and wines of Puglia – A land between two seas

This tour was designed to help you discover the most famous cities in this region that’s divided between two seas. You’ll visit Bari, the Itria Valley, and Salento, all of which will leave you with unforgettable, one-of-a-kind memories.
There will be no shortage of small villages to explore – towns that breathe tradition – with their incredible local cuisine and timeless craftsmanship.

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6 days

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Best season : From March to October

Included / Not Included

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Assistance upon arrival at the airport or the train station in Bari

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Car rental with insurance

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Guided tour of the city of Bari

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Guided tour of the city of Lecce

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Oil-tasting tour at the Frantoio d’Amico Cisternino

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Directions and suggestions for best beaches

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Travel accessories and telephone with Italian SIM

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Directions and suggestions for best bars and restaurants

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Telephone assistance in Italian, English, Spanish and French

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Flights to/from your home city

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Meals where not mentioned

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Travel Insurance (strongly recommended)

Itinerary

You’ll arrive at the Bari Airport (or train station), where you’ll be met by a representative from Italy Trails. The representative will give you a warm welcome, provide you with your tour documents, and will take you to get your rental vehicle. From there, you’ll travel towards Marina Franca, an enchanting Baroque city in the Itria Valley.
The name, “Martina,” comes from the devotion of the town’s inhabitants to Saint Martin of Tours, as well as from the first inhabited area of the town, constructed on a hill named San Martino. The adjective, “Franca,” was added by Phillip I of Angiò, who granted special privileges to the town in 1310. From that point on, the city was named Martina Franca.
Spend the night at a hotel in Martina Franca.

In the morning, after breakfast, you’ll reach the city of Taranto, on the Ionian Sea. The city center is situated on a large island, connected to the mainland by two bridges. The city was founded by the Spartans in the 8th century BCE, who named it Taras, due to its strategic position in the center of the Gulf of Taras. Due to the area’s commercial success and fertile farmlands, it became the most important “polis” of Greater Greece and one of the most significant cities in all of the ancient world. You’ll meet your guide here, who will accompany you as you explore the ancient city center and the Museo Archeologico Nazionale, or M.A.R.T.A. This museum, the city’s most renowned offering, showcases the lives of its native people, the Greeks, as well as the Romans, up through medieval times. In addition, there is an entire room dedicated to an exhibit on gold. Reproductions of the jewelry of the ancient women of Taranto were the focal point of the acclaimed Dior fashion show, held in July of 2020 in Lecce.
You’ll then visit the Castello Aragonese. The first settlement here began in 780 when the Byzantines began construction of “la Rocca” to protect against attacks from the Saracens and from the Republic of Venice. You’ll enjoy a guided tour by official volunteers from the Italian Navy, whose headquarters is located in the Taranto Castle. They’ll show you all the secrets of this historic manor.
In the morning, after breakfast, you’ll visit Alberobello, the capital of the Trulli. Trulli are constructed in an unusual way: they’re made using limestone, but without using any mortar. These structures have been the traditional homes of the city’s inhabitants since the 1400s, and have been classified by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. While touring the city, you’ll see two of the area’s oldest districts: Rione Aia Piccola and Rione Monti. In addition, you’ll also see Casa d’Amore, the Trullo Sovrano (a two-story trullo), the Trullo Siamese (a double Trullo), and the Chiesa Trullo (a church Trullo) which sits at one of the city’s highest points.
In the early evening, you’ll arrive at Polignano a Mare in time to enjoy the sunset and a lovely dinner from one of the terraces resting on a cliff with a sheer face down to the sea. Polignano’s incredible scenery is world famous. In fact, this is the location of the annual Red Bull Cliff Diving Series. The town is also famous for the well-known song, Volare, by Domenico Modugno, which was composed here.
Spend a second night at your hotel in Martina Franca.

In the morning, after breakfast in your hotel, you’ll set out for Lecce, where you’ll meet your tour guide to discover this Capital of Italian Baroque. Among the more interesting sights are the cathedral, the Basilica of Santa Croce, and the Roman amphitheater. You’ll learn the region’s history and the traditions, and explore a papier mache workshop. This form of art began in the 1700s and has been practiced ever since.
After a light lunch, you’ll visit a small village whose past is tied to the famous architect who built the castle in Lecce.The diminutive size of the town is in sharp contrast with the abundance of its historical, cultural, and artistic gems. It’s a town that has held onto its long history, a place where you can truly breathe an atmosphere of complete relaxation (in part because only 500 people actually live there).
Next, you’ll continue on to Otranto on the Adriatic Sea, where you can take in its castle, as well as the Cathedral of the “Assunta,” which holds the largest example of mosaic flooring in all of Europe. There is an incredible beach in the historic city center of Otranto where you can have a swim. You’ll be able to enjoy a pleasant stroll through the city center’s many traditional shops.
Spend the night at a hotel in Lecce.

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itinerary for this trip to Italy

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