Join us in Puglia’s late summer

Puglia Late Summer Tour Highlights

puglia itinerary highlights

Delicious Pugliese food and wine • Baroque beauty Lecce • Trulli houses of the Valle d’Itria • Coastal towns on the Adriatic Sea • Magical Matera • Local artisan makers

Puglia Late Summer Tour Overview

Join us in Puglia – the heel of Italy’s boot! Discover this southern Italian land of blue skies, red earth, and olive trees as far as the eye can see, where striking traditional stone huts known as trulli dot the horizon. In Puglia you’ll discover another side of Italy with unique culture, architecture crafts and, of course, culinary delights. 

Our tour takes us to the Valle D’Itria region – home of the trulli and pretty white washed villages.  We visit the seaside towns of the Adriatic Coast where turquoise sea contrasts with rocky cliffs and venture further south to baroque beauty Lecce.  Exploring the cave town Matera is a must before heading to the Pugliese capital Bari to end on a gastronomic high.

puglia street scene

We visit Puglia in early and late summer to make the most of the gorgeous sunlight and avoid the peak summer heat. This is also the time when the region is at its most vibrant and exciting.

You’ll enjoy shopping for local ceramics in Grottaglie and perhaps go for a dip in the sea in stunning Polignano a Mare with plenty of time to relax at our masseria (country house hotel). Of course, exploring Pugliese cuisine and wine is a highlight of our agenda. You’ll get to know the olive oil and cheeses of the region through guided tastings and learn how to make traditional pasta.

And let’s not forget the enchanting sunrises and sunsets against the stunning backdrop of the landscapes of Puglia, renowned throughout Italy as some of the most beautiful in the land.

Untold Puglia Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Valle d’Itria

Welcome to the fairytale countryside of Puglia’s Valle d’Itria!

This area of Puglia starts from Putignano in the north to Ostuni in the south, and encompasses vineyards, never-ending olive groves, and of course the iconic coned roofs of Trulli, traditional stone huts that locals once lived in. 

Arrive ‘con calma’ (the Italian way of doing things calmly, you’re on vacation after all!) and check- in at our beautiful countryside masseria.

This luxurious country farm house hotel will be our home for the next few days and the perfect base to explore the wonders of land and sea close by.

Once you are settled in, get acquainted with the rest of our group and your host Olivia and indulge in a favourite Italian past-time: aperitivo. Relax with a spritz or glass of local wine as you soak in the beautiful location, before we sit down together to enjoy a traditional Pugliese dinner.  

Day 1 Inclusions:

  • Hotel: Luxury 4 Star masseria country style hotel in the Valle d’Itria
  • Meals: Evening welcome aperitivo, Dinner with wine

Day 2: Magical Trulli of Alberobello, cheese and a cooking class

We hit the road after breakfast to visit one of the borghi più belli d’Italia (most beautiful villages of Italy) – Alberobello.

This town is most famed for its trulli houses and was listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 1996. The trulli are constructed using a prehistoric building technique and are made of roughly worked limestone boulders with signature pyramidal, domed or conical roofs.

We will meet our guide and enjoy a guided walking tour through this fairytale town. 

alberobello trulli

After our walk, you’ve surely built up an appetite so we venture to a neighbouring town for a stop at a caseificio (dairy). Here we taste the traditional cheeses of Puglia (including creamy burrata, caciocavallo, stracchino and more) and discover some of their unique production techniques.

After our delicious cheese experience, we visit Martina Franca  – one of the largest towns in the Valle d’Itria. The drive there is truly dreamy through the olive groves and red, red earth which seems even more intense against the backdrop of the bright blue sky. 

puglia pasta class

Our light lunch is served at a prestigious butcher shop. Among other things, we will try the famous capocollo (cured pig) of Martina Franca. It has been prized in the area since the year 700 for its sweetness, flavor and characteristic scent.

We then have some free time to wander through the maze of winding alleys and whitewashed buildings in the historic centre. 

In the afternoon, we journey back to our Masseria where you can relax, read, and go for a swim or a walk around the property.  Tonight, we will be rolling up our sleeves and learning how to make the traditional pasta of Puglia (orecchiette), as well as some other local dishes. Relax with a delicious dinner and local wine – we’ve earned it! 

Day 2 Inclusions:

  • Tours and activities: Guided walking tour of Alberobello with expert local guide, cheese tasting and Pugliese cooking class
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner with matching wines
  • Hotel: Luxury 4 Star masseria country style hotel in the Valle d’Itria

Day 3: Olive oil and the seaside

puglia olive tree

Did you know Puglia is famous for their olive oil? As you might have guessed from the scenery, olive oil is a big deal here. In fact, the region produces around 40% of Italy’s total supply.

This morning we start with a guided tour through an olive grove before sitting back to enjoy an extra virgin olive oil tasting of three different varieties. We will learn how extra virgin olive oil is made and what to look for when tasting and buying a top quality product.

After a tasty yet educational start to our day, we head towards the glorious Adriatic Sea. An unassuming beachside ‘shack’ is where we’ll sit down to enjoy a tremendous seafood lunch. Catch of the day fresh fish and shellfish carpaccio and seafood pasta awaits, washed down with a refreshing glass of Pugliese white wine of course. 

polignano al mare

Then it’s time to explore one of the most picturesque towns in all of Puglia – Polignano a Mare. Renowned for its characteristic beach nestled between the cliffs, we will have plenty of time for photos, exploring and watching daring locals leap from the cliffs into the sea. Our guide shares stories as we stroll through this pretty town before enjoying free time to wander, swim or shop. 

Tonight, we head back to the masseria for some time to freshen up before enjoying dinner together. 

Day 3 Inclusions:

  • Tours and activities: Olive oil tasting, Guided tour of Polignano al Mare
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner with matching wines
  • Hotel: Luxury 4 Star masseria country style hotel in the Valle d’Itria

Day 4: Ceramics and farm to table lunch

Pugliese ceramics are famous throughout Italy and we’re about to find out why. This morning, we drive to Grottaglie – a town known for its artisan crafts and quality product. Here we visit a workshop and watch artisans at work before having some time to wander (and shop) through the array of fantastic ceramic shops in the quartiere di ceramiche (ceramics quarter).

Stop for a caffe’ where you will drink out of quite possibly the country’s most beautiful tazze (cups) and observe even the local dogs drinking out of beautifully crafted  water bowls.

grottaglie ceramics

Having admired the region’s artisan wares, we drive to the nearby town of Ceglie Messapica where we sit down to an incredible lunch at a local Michelin guide restaurant. Here you’ll taste farm fresh local cuisine with a strong emphasis on vegetables – all from the restaurant’s own gardens. 

monopoli puglia

In the afternoon, you have time to relax and freshen up at our Masseria before another seaside adventure in pretty Monopoli, where colorful fishing boats bob up and down in the turquoise Adriatic waters.

Here we enjoy a guided tour before you have time to wander on your own or grab an aperitivo or light dinner at one of the many excellent bars and restaurants.

Day 4 Inclusions:

  • Tours and activities: Ceramics workshop visit, Guided tour of Monopoli
  • Meals: Breakfast, Michelin guide lunch with matching wine
  • Hotel: Luxury 4 Star masseria country style hotel in the Valle d’Itria

Day 5: Lecce: The Baroque beauty of the South

lecce puglia

Sometimes called – ‘Florence of the South’, today we visit truly beautiful (and unique) Lecce. This baroque town is famous for its many churches, but perhaps above all else its stunning golden sandstone buildings. 

Our walk today, led by our local guide, takes us through the historical centre of Lecce and includes a stop at the Roman amphitheatre, the cathedral and hidden sights down the city’s many picturesque laneways.

Lecce is famous for its architecture but also its pastry. At lunch time we stop at a celebrated bakery to try the rustico. This local pastry is filled with piping hot passata (tomato sauce) and oozing mozzarella, and is even more delicious than it sounds. We will end our lunch with the famed caffe’ lecesse – a cold coffee drink with almond flavouring that is very refreshing on a warm day.

We have some free time to wander through Lecce and soak up the atmosphere before we head back to our masseria to relax. 

Tonight, we dine at a hidden gem of a restaurant in the nearby town of Castellana Grotte. Bring your appetite, for you are in for a feast of local Pugliese delicacies matched with local white or red wine. 

Day 5 Inclusions:

  • Tours and activities: Lecce guided tour
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner with wine

Day 6: Extraordinary Matera and the sassi caves

matera basilicata

We say farewell our beautiful masseria today, and travel outside of Puglia into the region of Basilicata. Our destination is the truly unique city of Matera.  Famous for its sassi or cave dwellings, built into the cliff face, many date back to the Palaeolithic era, meaning the city is one of the oldest inhabited places in the world.

Since the 1980s, Matera has undergone a process of restoration and regeneration  and today it is a one of a kind city where luxury hotels have been created from the sassi.

Our time in the city of the sassi begins with a three hour guided walking tour where we’ll hear about the city’s incredible history and stories over hundreds of years of inhabitation. You have free time to explore and grab a bite to eat for lunch, before we check in at our luxury cave hotel for a truly once in a lifetime stay!

matera sassi

It’s our final dinner together tonight and we try some local specialities of the Basilicata region (including their truly fantastic bread). Matera is ethereally beautiful at nighttime, lit up with lights, so make sure to soak up the atmosphere as the sun sinks below the horizon.

Day 6 Inclusions:

  • Tours and activities: Matera guided tour
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with wine

Day 7: The heart of Bari

puglia pasta

After a short but sweet trip to Matera, it’s onwards and back to Puglia. In fact, today’s tour will end in the capital of the region, Bari. A lively and exhilarating port city, Bari has fascinating sights, sounds and food waiting for us to discover. 

We spend our time in Bari enjoying a fantastic historic walking tour with a focus on local food traditions. We make a stop at St Nicolas’ Basilica, wander around the fish market, see local women rolling orecchiette (local pasta variety) in the street.  

The Barese focaccia is made with semolina flour and potato and is studded with tomatoes and olives. It’s delicious and the perfect snack to munch on as we stroll along the beautiful lungomare (promenade) and soak up the atmosphere.

bari puglia

We say farewell in the afternoon after an incredible week of exploring and tasting some of the best that Puglia has to offer – bellies and hearts full to the brim.

Day 7 Inclusions:

  • Tours and activities: Bari food and walking tour
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
  • Group transfers: to airport / train station

Accommodation

We’ve hand selected two beautiful properties that showcase the unique character of the Puglia region and fascinating history of Matera

Our tour is full of exciting experiences so we’ve made sure you have time to rest and recuperate in comfortable surroundings at our main base in the Valle d’Itria and cave hotel in Matera

In the unlikely event that chosen hotels become unavailable, accommodations will be of a similar or higher standard.

Meet Your Host

Olivia Windsor
Tour leader

Olivia is an Australian woman living in Piedmont, with a huge love for the land of la dolce vita, cooking, food and wine. She has spent the last few years learning the language (not to mention some Piemontese dialect!), immersing herself in the culture, and working on organic farms, wineries and agriturismi.

FAQs

Puglia Tour FAQs

Yes. Prices are per person, in US Dollars

No, Untold Italy tour prices do not include airfares or ground transportation to the tour departure point. You will need to make your own flight and travel arrangements.

We have strived to make our Puglia tour as all inclusive as possible with no hidden surprises. Included in your tour are:

  • 6 nights in charming luxury 4 star accommodation (based on double occupancy). A single supplement of $700 applies
  • 6 guided orientation walking tours with expert local guides
  • Unique experiences: Olive oil tasting, cheese tasting, cooking class, food tour, ceramics workshop
  • Meals: 6 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 1 aperitivo and 5 dinners as specified in the itinerary, wine and bottled water is included with meals other than breakfast
  • Luxury air-conditioned mini-bus
  • Tips and gratuities for drivers and guides
  • Group arrival and departure transfers

Where only 2 meals are included per day, either lunch or dinner is extremely substantial and usually guests prefer a small snack for the other meal. We can recommend excellent restaurants and snack bars at each location should you require them. All meals include wine and bottled water. Should you prefer other beverages, they are not included in the cost of the tour.

Our tour prices do not include your international roundtrip airfare or internal flight to Bari, transfers outside the group travel arrangements, travel insurance, activities not included in the trip itinerary; additional hotel charges such as room service, hotel bar tabs and laundry; and food and beverages not included in our itinerary. Gratuity for your tour leader is also not included.

The $200 hold deposit to secure your place on the tour is fully refundable if we cancel the trip for reasons beyond our control or if we do not meet the minimum number of guests for the trip to go ahead. If we cancel the trip before this time, a full refund of the hold deposit will be issued minus any bank charges. Should you change your mind and decide not to come on the tour, this deposit is non-refundable.

Once your first deposit is due, all payments are non-refundable, and the initial hold deposit will be put towards your final balance. We require that you purchase travel insurance as we are not able to make exceptions to this policy (see our Tour Terms and Conditions for full details).

You need a moderate level of fitness for this tour as there is a decent amount of walking involved. We will do a two hour walking tour of Alberobello, Polignano a Mare, Monopoli, Lecce and three hours in Matera and Bari.

Our masseria close to Martina Franca is the start point for our tour which ends in Bari. There are international airports at Brindisi (30 minutes away) or Bari (80 minutes) and a train station with connections to Rome in Bari.

We can cater for vegetarians (although please be advised that one meal is in a butcher shop and another is at a seaside beach hut), however unfortunately we are unable to cater for vegans on this trip. 

Whilst we will be doing a lot of wining and dining, please be advised that there is a decent amount of walking involved. We will do a two hour walking tour of Alberobello, Polignano a Mare, Monopoli, Lecce and three hours in Matera and Bari.

We will provide a packing list outlining suggested clothing and other items to bring with you once your tour is confirmed

Prior to departure we will provide a list of online and written resources to start your immersion in Puglia. We’ll also make sure you have a complete packing list well in advance of our departure.

No. While we will be enjoying an exceptional standard of food and wine on our tour there is no need to dress formally.

General FAQs

All travelers to Italy must have a valid passport with 6 months remaining until expiry on departure from Italy.

US, Canadian, UK, Australian and New Zealand citizens are currently not required to have a visa for stays in Italy of under 90 days. Citizens of other countries should check with the Italian embassy or consulate for information and requirements relating to their citizenship and residency.

Covid requirements must be checked regularly as they change often. This Italian government site has relevant information and our Italy Travel Planning covid group is the place where travelers meet to discuss the latest requirements.

Because refunds are not available once your first deposit has been made, and we are unable to make exceptions for any reason, including weather, injury/illness, or personal emergencies, we require all guests to take out comprehensive travel insurance to compensate in case of unexpected cancellations. Insurance should cover you for both travel cancelations, and medical emergencies in the country of your tour.

The unexpected can occur and getting sick in a foreign country is a very daunting experience, we require guests take insurance with international evacuation coverage for all trips. You should book a policy as soon as the trip has been confirmed. We can provide a list of recommended providers on request. We will request your travel and medical insurance details no later than 30 days before departure.

Please see our full terms and conditions for further details.

If the tour has to be postponed based on border closures or restrictions in Italy, a credit for your deposit will be issued to be used for the postponement date of the same trip. If the tour happens as scheduled, but a guest decides not to attend based on any other reason than a country’s border closure, then the regular cancelation policy will be maintained.

If Italy only closes its borders to citizens from certain countries, and the tour goes ahead, the regular cancelation policy will be maintained, and your travel insurance is where you will seek compensation. Please see our full terms and conditions for further details.

Your health is our priority and Italy currently has tight restrictions on unvaccinated people which means they cannot actively take part in the tour. Therefore we require all staff and tour participants to be fully vaccinated for Covid19. Please see our full terms and conditions for further details.

Our tours are focused on food, wine and cultural experiences and have been designed with adults in mind. Please contact us if you would like your older teenagers 16+ to join us tour. Unfortunately we cannot accommodate children younger than 16. Note also that the legal age for drinking alcohol in Italy is 18 years.

Whilst we love our furry friends, we have a strict no pets allowed policy – thanks for understanding.