Have a Question or Want to Go?
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Tour Dates and Pricing
  • June 21 to July 1, 2018
  • $2,200 per person, double occupancy.  Have your own room for only $500 more.
How to Book
  • Send us a request via our contact form at http://www.theheartofsouthernitaly.com/contact/, by calling us at 800-965-2703, or sending us an email at info@theheartofsouthernitaly.com to confirm availability. 
  • A deposit of approx. $400 is required to hold your place. You can make the deposit either by bank transfer or credit/debit card. Deposits are fully refundable, no questions asked, up until 21 days after the receipt of the payment. The second payment for 50% of the remaining balance must be made within 90 days before the tour start date, and the final payment must be made within 15 days of the tour start date. 
  • If the minimum number of travelers isn’t reached and the tour is canceled, all deposits and payments will be promptly refunded.  
  • Again, we kindly ask travelers to wait to book airline tickets until the trip is a confirmed “go”, meaning that the minimum number of 6 people has been reached.
Important Notes
  • Men and women are welcome on this tour.
  • This tour is offered and operated by The Heart of Southern Italy.
  • It is the passenger’s responsibility to book their own airfare to and from Brindisi, Italy in order to arrive on June 22, 2018.  If you require assistance, please let us know at the time of booking and we can book the ticket for you via our local travel agent. 
  • Most flights from the U.S. will fly overnight directly to Rome, where you’ll connect with your 55-minute flight to Brindisi. 
  • We ask that passengers wait to buy their airline tickets until the trip is a confirmed “go”, meaning that the minimum number of travelers (6) has been reached. 
  • Hand luggage is highly recommended. If you do intend to check a bag, be sure to carry a change of clothes and all essentials in your carry-on in case of a luggage delay.Physical Requirements and additional info:
  • A minimum of 2-3 hours per day are spent either walking or standing up. In order to fully enjoy your experience with us, we ask that our guests be able to walk and be on their feet for several hours at a time both inside and outside and in various weather conditions; be prepared to walk up ramps and slightly inclined terrain and/or several flights of stairs at a time; and carry or transport their luggage over cobblestone streets. For our most walking-intense day in Matera, arrangements can be made for travelers to do the tour in an open-air vehicle (with applicable surcharge) instead of by foot if necessary. 
Puglia and Basilicata from Our Partners at "The Heart of Southern Italy"

Basilicata Rated as the #3 Place to Visit by New York Times 52 Places to Visit in 2018

Prepare for a delightful adventure to Puglia and Basilicata at the heel of the boot in this up and coming tourist destination in Italy.  Become immersed in the local culture with authentic seasonal activities combined with visits to the region's most sought-after destinations: Alberobello, Lecce, Otranto, Galatina and Santa Maria di Leuca.  Each tour is a one-of-a-kind as we take advantage of local festivals and traditions.  This is the real Italy!


small group tour to puglia

ITINERARY

June 21: Overnight departure from the U.S. with early morning arrival to Italy.

June 22: You’ll be picked up at the airport in Brindisi and brought to your bnb in Lecce’s historic Old Town, just a few minutes’ walk from all the major attractions. That evening you’re invited to a relaxed welcome dinner with your fellow travelers where we’ll discuss trip details. 

June 23: Guided walking tour of Lecce, with a visit to the most important sites around the city and a tasting of local specialties along the way. We’ll then enjoy a typical lunch at one of the best trattorias in the city, followed by a free afternoon to explore Lecce on your own.

June 24: A daylong cooking class where you’ll learn to prepare some of Puglia’s tastiest dishes. Chef Silvestro Silvestori accompanies you on a sensory voyage into Salentine culinary tradition, taking you from the market to the kitchen, for a day of food, education and fun. As featured on PBS, in the New York Times, Bon Appétit magazine and more.

June 25: Travel by air-conditioned coach to Alberobello, capital of the trulli and a veritable fairytale town tucked away amidst the hills of the Itria Valley. As you’ll come to discover, the trulli – curious white stone huts with conical roofs – are living treasures of times past. You’ll learn about the history of this unique area, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and get to stay overnight in a cozy trullo of your own.

June 26: The journey continues onward to Matera, a city literally carved into the rocky landscape and home to the longest continuing civilization in the world! More than just unique scenery, Matera offers visitors a one of a kind journey back in time, with the history of the ages – from Medieval to Renaissance, Baroque to the modern era, literally stratified within its rugged walls. You’ll participate in a guided walking tour of the Sassi (old city) followed by a typical lunch and then some time to explore the city on your own. Return to Lecce in the afternoon.

June 27: Guided visit of Otranto, Italy's easternmost point, famous for its gorgeous winding streets and whitewashed houses, and the stunning bauxite quarry which lies just outside the town. We'll round out the evening with a sumptuous dinner of locally-sourced fare in a delightful masseria (farmhouse).
small group tours to puglia
June 28: A well-deserved day of sun, sea, and relaxation at a gorgeous beach club on the Adriatic. Unwind by the dazzling turquoise waters and watch your cares melt away as you discover for yourself why Salento is nicknamed "The Jamaica of Italy".

June 29: Free morning to yourself. In the afternoon, we’ll journey to Galatina to discover the secret behind the legend of the Taranta, a traditional dance intended to “cure” those suffering from hysteric convulsions brought on by a tarantula bite. We’ll visit the church where, up until the last century, “ill” women were brought to be healed by dancing, as well as the therapeutic sounds of traditional tambourines and guitars. Afterwards we’ll partake in the bustling annual festival honoring the local patron saints, Saint Peter and Saint Paul.

June 30: We’ll take to the high seas for a guided boat trip into the mysterious grottoes around the Cape of Salento, with the option to take a dip in the stunning turquoise waters. We'll then enjoy an early, freshly-caught dinner with fourth-generation fisherman Andrea at his locale, which specializes in sustainable and traditional fishing practices.

July 1: Goodbye breakfast and departure to the U.S.

What’s Included:

  • Accommodations for 9 nights; 8 nights in a quaint, family-owned bnb in Lecce’s historic center and 1 night in a trullo (a cozy, one room home) in Alberobello. Most of the facilities we work with are characterized by architectural elements that are typical in Salento, including exposed Leccese stone and star-vaulted ceilings.
  • Airport transfer to and from Brindisi airport 
  • All ground transportation by air-conditioned coach 
  • Daily breakfast + 19 meals (lunch or dinner). Continental breakfast is provided at your bnb each morning and includes cereal, milk, cookies, toast with jam and butter, and coffee or tea. If you have special requests, please let us know in advance, and we’ll make every effort to see that they’re taken care of. Either lunch or dinner will be provided daily and consists of a regional appetizer and main course, still or sparkling water, bread, and two glasses of wine per person
  • All guided tours and entrance fees 
  • Local, English-speaking trip coordinators who will accompany you for the duration of your stay

What’s Not Included:

  • Airfare to and from Brindisi 
  • Meals other than those specified on the itinerary (you’ll be responsible for one lunch or dinner each day)
  • Personal expenses or activities not specified on the itinerary 
  • Tips for bnb staff and tour guides. Please note that guests are not required to leave additional gratuities, although if you do feel that you received good service at your bnb or at a restaurant, you can leave a 5-10% gratuity at your discretion. 
  • Travel Insurance. Clients are STRONGLY URGED to sign up for travel insurance that includes emergency evacuation and repatriation as well as health coverage while traveling abroad. Most plans cost around $75 for the duration of your stay. We recommend World Nomads, you can get a quote in less than a minute at https://www.worldnomads.com.