DAY 1: ARRIVAL IN MASSERIA (D)
Arrive Bari international airport and meet your local tour manager; transfer to your fabulous Masseria in Fasano, the best area to discover Apulia living like a local. Check in and free time at your dis-
posal to relax in the swimming pool (in spring/summer time).
Before dinner, you will have a welcome cocktail in the Masseria garden and then get ready for tasting some very special local food at your Welcome dinner. Of course, local wines of the area will be combined with the various dishes.
DAY 2: BARI – ALBEROBELLO (B,D)
Breakfast at the Masseria. Today will begin with a guided tour of the beautiful city of Bari, capital of Apulia region. While strolling around the old town, you will have the chance to watch women in the streets making strascinati and orecchiette, two typical pastas of the area. You will be amazed at how fast they make these foods!
Independent lunch and in the afternoon, board your minivan toward the Murgia area, a subregion of Apulia between the Ionian and Adriatic costs. Its main characteristic is the geology it presents, in fact, the land- scape is riddled with holes and ravines through which small streams and rivers gurgle, creat- ing what is in effect, a giant sponge.
Excursion in Alberobello: this small town is the capital of the Trulli (small, white buildings with conic roofs that are unique just to this region in Italy and are a UNESCO World Heritage Site). Guided visit of the Trulli followed by dinner at an inviting restaurant in the area.
Return to your Masseria, overnight.
DAY 3: MARTINA FRANCA – LOCOROTONDO – FORNELLO – CISTERNINO (B,L,D)
Breakfast at the Masseria. In the morning, you will visit a local olive oil mill that has been operated by the same family for almost 100 years. The farmers will teach you everything you need to know about olive oil, and you will taste some of their best oils produced at the mill.
Proceed then to the elegant little town of Martina Franca; here you will meet your local guide and have a guided tour, learning about the town's baroque architecture. First stop will be at factory produc- ing the famous "Capocollo di Martina Franca," salume that is lightly smoked with local herbs, and enjoy many other specialties there for lunch.
Rerturn to the Masseria for a short rest in the early afternoon and go then to Locorotondo, which is a jeweled hilltop town considered to have the best views of the Valley of Itria and Murgia.
The day will end in Cisternino, another beautiful hill town with stunning views. You will indulge in the town's traditional dinner, which is held at the butcher shop with an annexed wooden oven. You will choose between lamb, veal, or sausages that will be cooked "al Fornello" just for you. An experience you can only have in Cisternino! Return to the Masseria, overnight.
DAY 4: MONOPOLI – OSTUNI (B,D)
After breakfast, you will visit a nearby cheese producer where you will get to see the interesting pro- cess of making fresh mozzarella and other cheeses. Independent lunch.
Have a nice stroll through Monopoli in the early afternoon and experience next a very good wine tasting at the Tenuta Gemi, a local farmhouse in the neighborhoods of Monopoli, offering homegrown products and typical wines from the area.
Continue on to your next outstanding accommodation in Ostuni. After checking in, relax some time before enjoying a fabulous fish dinner at hotel. Return to the hotel, overnight.
DAY 5: GIOIA DEL COLLE – ALTAMURA – MATERA (B,L,D)
Breakfast at the hotel. Today will begin with an excursion to Altamura with a stop in Gioia del Colle at a terrific winery to taste Primitivo and other indigenous wines. You will have lunch at the winery
and then continue the drive to Altamura, a town famous for making one of the best breads in Italy. Here you will have the chance to visit a 100-year-old bakery where you will see how bread, focaccia, and other delicacies of the region are made. Afterwards, visit a beautiful nearby cathedral and observe the unique architecture.
Arrive Matera in the early afternoon: this city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is located in the Basilicata region that borders Apulia. The Sassi district is the ancient heart of the city and still has existing prehistoric dwellings from thou- sands of years ago that are carved out of the face of the calcareous rock.
Your local guide will bring you in a tour of the Sassi, to learn more about these fascinating dwellings.
Dinner will be served in Matera at a charming restaurant. You could enjoy food with different flavors that belong to the Basilicata region.
Return to the hotel, overnight.
DAY 6: OSTUNI – BRINDISI (B,D)
Breakfast at the hotel and then board your minivan driving south to the Salento area, where Lecce is the most prominent city. Stop on the way in Ostuni, known as "the white town”; in fact, it is a gleaming white hilltop town with sun-bleached streets and cobbled alleyways. Continue toward Brindisi, where we will visit a winery for a tasting of local wines.
Arrive Lecce in the early afternoon. This lively university city is considered one of the most interesting cities in the region for its typical seventeenth century architecture. It is often called the Florence of the South for its monuments, mansions, and ornate buildings.
Your deluxe hotel in Lecce is very close to the city center, and you will stay here for the remaining two nights of the tour. After checking in, you will have an aperitif in the heart of the city followed by a delicious fish dinner. Return to the hotel, overnight.
DAY 7: LECCE (B,D)
After breakfast at the hotel, meet your local guide for a city tour; visit the central food market and then have some free time when you can enjoy shopping and strolling in the lively city center. Inde- pendent lunch.
In the afternoon, you will have one last cooking class, creating local specialties that you will delight in your Farewell dinner. Return to the hotel, overnight.
DAY 8: ARRIVEDERCI ITALIA (B)
After breakfast, depart to Brindisi airport to catch your flight back home.