Dreaming of Southern Italy-Nov 7-16, 2024
8 nights | 9 days | $5,895 | Limit 8 women | 4 women minimum
Join us for this ultimate dream vacation as we discover Southern Italy! Tantalize your taste buds, immerse yourself in local culture, enjoy hands-on cooking with locals, drink fabulous wines and luxuriate in some of the most authentic Masserries and boutique hotels in Puglia. Arrive and Depart Bari, Italy.
Experience the Southern Italy lifestyle with a small group of women travelers! We will visit the heel of the boot of Southern Italy, a region known as Puglia. This distinctive and delightful region, with its crystal blue seas, beautiful countryside and endless sunshine is a land of natural beauty, warm hospitality and amazing food and wine.
Recognized as the heel of the boot, (Yes, Italy is shaped like a boot!), this region looks and feels like nowhere else in Italy.
As we make our way through dramatic mountains,we will visit Byzantine churches and wander through sun-baked olive groves. Our time in Puglia is just the beginning of your love affair with Southern Italy!
This beautiful coastline is evidence of the diverse influences of the many conquering invaders of centuries past: the Normans, the Spanish, the Turks, the Swabians and the Greeks.
Let’s discover the eclectic history of Puglia and how the intermingling of the diverse cultures forms the basis of their signature cuisine. We will have a over a week filled with exquisite food and wine tastings, historic towns, and a lot of art and history.
We will meet the most charming local people who are passionate about their lifestyle, their region and the region’s many offerings: Barocco (architecture), farmhouses, red earth, olive groves, uncontaminated countryside, Mediterranean aromas, an incredible cultural heritage and architecture are only part of what this southern Italy region has to offer.
Puglia is truly an outstanding unknown amongst many travelers. This dream vacation is a real lifestyle immersion to understand deeply the most authentic personality of this southern Italian gem. It will be a pleasure to have you join me in this beautiful region where I once attended school as a teenager.
Day 1 - Welcome to Puglia
You will arrive in Bari/Brindisi where you will be met by our private driver who will bring you to our charming Salento Masseria where we will be staying 3 nights. Once settled in, we will gather for a welcome celebration and get to know more about the Puglia region, its lifestyle and the other fabulous women travelers.
*Welcome Reception Dinner
Day 2 -
After breakfast, we will enjoy a splendid guided tour of the Salento region discovering the beauty of its cobblestones, streets, baroque palaces, and churches.
We will explore on foot with our personal tour guide and enjoy a lunch featuring cucina povera and local delights.
The afternoon will be spent at the Masseria for some relaxing time by the pool and an afternoon cooking class. It will be an afternoon of learning to prepare some traditional recipes.
Our dinner will be based on our creations with an informal wine tasting. Andiamo a mangiare!
Day 3 - Galatina and Gallipoli
After breakfast, we head south on the Ionian coast to Gallipoli, a small island characterized by a mix of converging alleys and little streets. The walls, the embankments and the towers that have defended the city for centuries from invaders, give the city a unique charm, leading travelers here from faraway places.
We will enjoy lunch with a seafood menu and an amazing sea view. On our way back to our Masseria, we will visit Galatina, another refined example of Barocco Salentino: this architecture features ornate Baroque balconies and doorways which we will see on the Palazzo del Concerto and the Palazzo Scrimeri. The church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, known as the ‘mother church’ is a pretty church in Baroque style made of the local pale golden stone.
However, Galatina‘s most impressive monument is the 14th century Romanesque church of Santa Caterina d’Alessandria with frescoes by Francesco d’Arezzo from the 15th century.
Day 4 - Corigliano d'Ortranto, Ortranto, Maglie
After breakfast, our first stop is Maglie to visit of one of the oldest and best known Pastificios in the region. A pasta factory!
After our fun time in the pasta factory, we will visit is Otranto: this town lies in an inlet on the western coast of the Otranto channel.
The Ancient Hydruntum was founded by the Greeks. During the Middle Ages, Otranto became even more important as a mercantile port, but the mid-fifteenth century marked the beginning of a long period of decline with the violent Turkish intrusions.
We will visit an amazing Cathedral, founded at the end of the eleventh century. Featuring a majestic interior with an exceptional mosaic floor and precious historic works, including the splendid Tree of life, the “Martiri” chapel commemorates the massacre perpetrated in 1480 by Turks.
We will then stop in Corigliano d’Otranto, one of the 11 towns of the Grecia Salentina that have retained the Greek heritage of the Byzantine period, including the Griko dialect. It is a small town with a fascinating medieval castle.
Day 5 - For the Love of Food and Wine
After breakfast, we will visit a premium local winery and an olive oil farm.
Today’s lunch will be a picnic in the olive grove with traditional Pizzica Music and Dance. After lunch, we will make our way to Lecce where we will settle in for the next three days.
And how about a fun, chic tour in a classic car, before we share an aperitivo in a lovely venue?
Dinner will be on our own as we discover our own favorites in Lecce.
Day 6 - Foodie Tour in Lecce
This morning we will have a beautifully crafted food tour of Lecce: there will be tastings and more tastings! Our guide will be available to make recommendations on the goodies you may wish to bring home.
The afternoon will be yours to relax and immerse in the local lifestyle and devote time for additional last-minute shopping.
Tonight we will have our dinner in one of Lecce’s most fabulous award-winning restaurants.
Day 7 - Have you seen a Trulli?
The white washed stone villages of Ostuni, Cisternino and Alberobello await! After breakfast, we head north to the famous white and trulli villages, where we will start with a stroll through Ostuni and enjoy lunch in Cisternino.
We will then discover Alberobello, the trulli district with its many shops, wine bars and gourmet food boutiques.
Day 8 - Puglia: Bari, Polignano a Mare, Locorotondo
Today we explore the secrets of the medieval Bari Vecchia, the old town of Bari, a buzzing maze of tight alley ways and small piazzas adjacent to the city’s port.
We will wander the narrow lanes of southern Italy soaking up the vibrant southern life. In the afternoon, we will indulge ourselves with a photography tour inspired by the "Scenes from Polignano a Mare," a medieval town perched precariously on a sheer cliff facing the bright blue Adriatic sea.
The picturesque narrow ancient buildings and vivid colors are mesmerizing. Along the way we will visit a winery which produces Puglia’s classics wines.
In the evening, we will have our farewell dinner in a small traditional restaurant in the heart of the old town. It is never easy saying goodbye.
Day 9 - Buon Viaggio, Arrivederci
After breakfast, we’ll be transferred back to Bari, where we will depart either by air, rail or road to the rest…
Arrival airport transfer
8 nights luxe, single accommodations in a Masseria/boutique hotel
3 nights Brindisi/Bari, 3 nights Lecce, 2 nights Ostuni
Meals: 8 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 3 dinners
All tour transportation via air-conditioned luxury van with English-speaking private driver
Olive oil tasting
2 cooking classes
Classic Car Tour
International flight or mandatory all-inclusive "cancel for any reason" travel insurance
Tips for guides, drivers; meals not indicated; drinks and personal spending or taxes (we will suggest appropriate tipping on your arrival)
Other Things To Know
Itinerary is subject to change based on weather and unknown events
Final itinerary with listed hotel accommodations, contact information transfer schedule, etc., will be sent prior to departure
Our small group tours include many extras that you may not be expecting. Because we are small women's group tour, we have the luxury of flexibility, including necessary changes. We stop when we want to, we add in an extra site, and we start our day when it makes sense.
Some days are easier than others, but you do have some free time built in. It is important to us that you take care of YOU! Do you want to get a massage? Go shopping? Or just chill in your room with a good book? No problem! Just be mindful of, and respectful to, your tour companions and traveling concierge.
We have expert guides and drivers who answer questions one-on-one, with transportation that is typically a luxurious touring van.
We immerse with the locals and there is a lot of serendipity. We visit the "planned by us," but unknown to you are little surprises along the way that are built in. Please join us!
Early reservations are advised and a non-refundable deposit of $800.00 is required
Guests will receive an invoice for the balance due
Full payment is required 120 days prior to commencement of trip
If you are making your reservation fewer than 90 days of departure, the entire amount of the trip must be paid in full at the time of reservation
Please note that this tour is limited to 10 women
Safety and sanitary precautions are implemented for your protection by all vendors
In the event that we do not meet the minimum capacity for travel, you will have the option to pay a supplemental fee for a private, customized tour. This decision will be made with your approval
Please read our Terms & Conditions before registering for your Dream Vacation
Your Total Cost
Includes private single rooms in boutique hotels, meals (where indicated), private transportation, entrance fees, where applicable.