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$$ ($51 - $100 USD)
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This regional affordable Italy small group discovery vacation begins and ends in Naples. As one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, Naples provides visitors a wealth of folklore, history, and a rich culture of the ages. After a guided sightseeing tour of the city, you’ll be on your way to the Apulia region—the “heel of the boot” of Italy and one of the favorite holiday destinations of the Italian people thanks to its breathtaking landscapes and enchanting coastline with turquoise waters. You’ll visit the 13th-century Castel Del Monte on your way to the beautiful port of Bari. This Italy vacation unveils a number of surprising treasures, including the fascinating Castellana Grotte limestone caves, the conical-roofed trulli houses of Alberobello, and Lecce’s baroque architecture. You’ll also enjoy an excursion to Santa Maria di Leuca with its art nouveau beach huts, and Gallipoli’s underground olive press and winding streets. Your budget-minded vacation in Italy is never short on great food and drink, including the chance to learn about regional wines on your visit to a Primitivo wine cellar in Manduria. Before returning to Naples, enjoy a leisurely stay in Fasano—surrounded by vineyards and olive groves. Your affordable Italy tour of the Apulia region of Italy ends where it began—in Naples—where authentic Napoli pizza and espresso coffee await your return!
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NAPLES Guided sightseeingCASTEL DEL MONTE Visit BARI OrientationCASTELLANA GROTTE Visit the limestone cavesALBEROBELLO See the Trulli housesSANTA MARIA DI LEUCA Orientation driveGALLIPOLI Visit Frantoio IpogeoLECCE VisitMANDURIA Visit a wine cellarOSTUNI VisitOLIVE MILL Visit, olive oil tasting and light lunch
Touring by private, first-class, air-conditioned motorcoach with free Wi-Fi
Buffet breakfasts daily; 1 lunch; 3 dinners
Inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description.
ARRIVE IN NAPLES, ITALY Check into your hotel. The rest of the day is free to start exploring Naples, one of the oldest continuously-inhabited cities in the world. Tonight, meet your Tour Director and fellow travelers.
NAPLES–CASTEL DEL MONTE–BARI The guided sightseeing tour this morning gives you an introduction to the eventful history of this city and its colorful traditions. Depart Naples and travel into Apulia, the legendary “heel” of Italy. Stop to visit Castel del Monte, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, built in the 13th century by Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II, and renowned for its unique octagonal shape. Continue to the Adriatic coastline for an orientation tour of the beautiful port city of Bari. Today’s Distance: 177 mi/ 285 km
BARI–CASTELLANA GROTTE–ALBEROBELLO–LECCE Experience the famous limestone caves of Castellana Grotte. This impressive system is a wonderland of captivating stalactites, stalagmites, and crystallized mineral deposits. Next stop is Alberobello, renowned for its distinct conical-roofed “trulli” houses. Follow the coastline to lovely Lecce, the “Florence of the South.” Today’s Distance: 107 mi/ 173 km
LECCE. EXCURSION TO SANTA MARIA DI LEUCA & GALLIPOLI On your included excursion to Santa Maria di Leuca, the southernmost tip of Apulia, discover art nouveau villas and beach huts from the early 20th century. On to Gallipoli, an ancient Greek city built on an island in the Ionian Sea. Enjoy the Old Town with its quaint ambiance, winding streets, and inviting squares. Discover Frantoio Ipogeo, an underground olive press buried in the tufa rock. Between the 16th and 19th centuries, workers pressed Gallipoli’s olive oil, and used it to light the city’s oil lamps. Return to Lecce. Time to marvel at its opulent Baroque buildings. Today’s Distance: 106 mi/ 170 km
LECCE–MANDURIA–OSTUNI–FASANO On to Manduria, situated in the rural wine-growing region. Visit a wine cellar and get to taste some of the typical Primitivo wine. Next stop is Ostuni, only 42 miles from Greece, characterized by its flat-roofed, white, Greek-looking town centre. Overnight in Fasano, a peaceful town surrounded by olive groves and vineyards, not far from the Adriatic Sea. Today’s Distance: 75 mi/ 120 km
FASANO Today is free to do as you like. Maybe join the optional excursion to Matera and Altamura. The impressive “rock city” of Matera is home to the prehistoric sassi cave dwellings, while a guided tour of Altamura reveals the amazing stone-clad city, with free time afterwards to stroll through the Old Town on your own.
FASANO–NAPLES Puglia is famous for its olive trees and, this morning, you’ll visit a traditional olive mill. Taste some genuine olive oil, enjoy a light lunch, and stroll around the groves. Later, travel back to Naples for a chance to treat yourself to a real espresso coffee shot or the most authentic pizza. Today’s Distance: 199 mi/ 320 km
NAPLES Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning.
With Cosmos, there’s no better way to get to know your destination than through the eyes of your Tour Director. Averaging over a decade... we’d like you to meet a Tour Director, who is representative of the type of expert that will be with you on your vacation.
Escorting tours for more than 5 years
"Buongiorno everyone! I'm Francesco Nardin and I've been rendering my services as a Cosmos Tour Director in Italy, Greece, South France and Spain. Following in the footsteps of my parents, I've always loved travelling and exploring new countries, meeting new people and cultures. Clients need to know what Italy is, what is the feeling of the Mediterranean breeze and how much we can offer to them... this is why I'm here, to create memories and to turn travel dreams into real experiences. Bellissimo!"
Escorting tours for more than 15 years
"There's sage travel advice that "When in Rome, do as the Romans do!" That's my goal...to help every traveler experience Italy (and the Mediterranean) through an Italian perspective. We'll get to the heart and soul of each town-the sights, sounds, and flavors that make each place so unique. You'll definitely come away with a better understanding of why we say, "Italians do it better!""