2 hours 45 mins from London
£2995 per adult / £1495 per child
BEST TIME TO VISIT
All year round
Discover the true taste of Italy in a family pizza-making class with seasonal Pugliese ingredients
Take a boat trip through wondrous sea caves that were once secret passageways of smugglers
Treasure hunt amongst the labyrinth of winding alleyways in the white city of Ostuni
Sleep in a limestone cavern of an ancient cave dwelling that has been converted into a luxury hotel
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YOUR ITALIAN TALE
Ahhh Italy – pizza, pasta, gelato, opera, art, architecture and exactly where we’d rather be right now! The often-overlooked ‘heel of the boot’, better known as the region of Puglia, will spoil you with all of the above to the background of quaint fishing villages, ancient Roman ruins, rolling hills, magical grottoes and the fresh sea air. This undiscovered region is distinctly ‘Italian’ in a very 1950’s sense of the word – think ‘ape trucks’ & vespas, old men playing cards in the afternoon sun and chattering ‘nonnas’ at every twist of the labyrinthine alleyways of the old town. To experience Puglia is to appreciate an appetite for history as much as fresh, farm-to-table grub with lots of outdoors. So, slow it down and savour your time in a community firmly set in the rhythms of the past, where siestas are king and a guilt-free glass of Prosecco at ten in the morning is a rite of passage. Puglia offers an Italy untarnished by the tourist boom other regions have experienced for an experience that is uniquely yours.
Chapter 1: THE BEGINNING – BARI / BRINDISI
Touch down in Puglia Italy, (either Bari or Brindisi airport) before being escorted to the idyllic Masseria Montenapoleone estate. Your charming home-from-home is fragrant with rosemary bushes and salty sea air. Wake up to your first full day with a morning cycle around the neighbourhood, from olive grove to fishing village, this coastline bike-ride will dust away the cobwebs and fully acquaint you with your home away from home. Join the kids who have been kept busy with an on-site scavenger hunt, for lunch prepared by you – all of you, in a pizza making class for the whole family to enjoy. Rest, digest and hang-out at home strolling the stunning grounds of Masseria Montenapoleone.
Wake up ready to head to Polignano a Mare, a cliff-top town with jaw-dropping panoramas. Sidewind by boat past sea cave wonders that were once secret passageways of smugglers, before a seafood lunch and gelato-hopping tasting tour of the town (which Polignano a Mare is most famous for). The afternoon is kept free for a siesta or spa. Next we suggest a day trip to Lecce – The Pearl of Baroque. This ancient city has everything – from exuberant Baroque architecture to upmarket boutiques and lively local cafés. Feast your eyes on architectural wonders that would make Diotisalvi’s heart skip a beat (architect of the Leaning Tower of Pisa). Famed for its pastries, you definitely shouldn’t leave without trying their pasticiotto leccese. Or partake in some wine tasting whilst the kids mix fruit cocktails.
Chapter 2: THE MIDDLE – ALBEROBELLO
Don’t miss out on the stark white beauty of Ostuni, a citadel you’ll see long before you arrive to it, high atop a mountain filled with picturesque cathedrals of vibrant stained glass windows, crumbling facades amongst a labyrinth of winding alleyways, overlapping stairways and dead-end roads with surprise gardens. To make sure you get to savour all of its beauty, we’ve curated a surprise treasure hunt around the town for the children. Home to an estimated 60 million olive trees, Puglia produces more olive oil for the whole of Europe than any other place in the world, so it only makes sense to partake in a spot of olive oil tasting at the resident mill for an exclusive private family lunch.
The UNESCO site of Alberobello is famous for having the densest population of the quaint cone-shaped trullo (plural trulli) houses in the region. The fairytale-esque structures have baffled architects and historians almost as much as your tongue was when trying to pronounce the town’s name ( ‘Albero – bello’ ) – whether a result of the Greek invasion, deforestation or heavy tax laws of the 17th century, one thing’s for certain: they’re cute-as-hell and a Puglian must. Avoiding the crowds, we will take you deep into the magic of the town, off-the-beaten-track into a hidden corner of the trullo district to enjoy the delicious seasonal produce of a trullo garden for an authentic taste of the local hospitality. Kids can be kept entertained crafting their own miniature trulli.
Visit the caves of Castellana Grotte! Heading 60 meters deep into the black and rare white caves, the whole family can shape-find amongst the stalactites and stalagmites in their wondrous surroundings. Wrap up your last day in Brindisi amongst the ancient olive groves for a picnic lunch and sunset stroll. Spend the day at your leisure or include a guided hike/cycle.
Chapter 3: THE END – MATERA
Taking the scenic route, it’s time to move on to our next destination, but not before some cheese sampling at a farm amongst the rolling hills. If you’re a fan of ricotta, mozzarella or burrata cheese, you’ll get an insider peek of how they’re made and a bite of the freshest samples of your life! Kids will enjoy the animals, wide-open space and fresh air almost as much as you do the cheeses! Continue on to check in to the UNESCO site of Matera for the next stage of your adventure.
Time to get your Bond on, James Bond! The setting for the final part of this holiday and the latest action thriller of the dashing 007 Hero is at the Sassi di Matera. The cave dwellings of Matera are thought to be the earliest settlements of mankind in Italy, dating as far back as the Old Stone Age. Not only is this ancient city stunning to be in, but you and your family will also get the unique experience of staying in one of these ancient cave settlements, restored and preserved in all its splendour including the comfort of a modern hotel.
Whilst in the Sassi of Matera area, we recommend visiting an ancient bakery as the perfect aperitif before a special dinner in one of our favourite restaurants.
FOOTNOTE: CONTINUE THE STORY – OSTUNI, EGNAZIA & CASTELLANA
If you have more time, there is so much more to explore in this undiscovered region of Puglia. Don’t miss out on the stark white beauty of Ostuni, a citadel you’ll see long before you arrive at it, high atop a hill filled with picturesque cathedrals of vibrant stained glass windows, crumbling facades amongst a labyrinth of winding alleyways, overlapping stairways and dead-end roads with surprise gardens. To make sure you
get to savour all of its beauty, we’ve curated a surprise treasure hunt around the town for the children. Home to an estimated 60 million olive trees, Puglia produces more olive oil for the whole of Europe than any other place in the world, so it only makes sense to partake in a spot of olive oil tasting at the resident mill for an exclusive private family lunch.
Perhaps you want to take to the water and snorkel amongst the Roman ruins of Egnazia in the Adriatic sea guided by your local archaeologist. Or visit the caves of Castellana Grotte, heading 60 meters deep into the black and rare white caves. The whole family can shape-find amongst the stalactites and stalagmites in their wondrous surroundings. If you prefer to keep your feet above ground, spend a day amongst the ancient olive groves for a picnic lunch and stroll, or explore the country lanes on two wheels.
OTHER ADVENTURES YOU MIGHT LIKE
OUR ITINERARIES ARE FULLY BESPOKE AND CAN BE TAILORED TO SUIT YOUR GROUP
Speak with one of our family travel specialists to find out more
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