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Tour of Puglia, Italy with Charlie Nardozzi
October 2nd to 11th, 2022
USA DEPARTURE, SUNDAY, October 2, 2022
Monday, October 3 Arrival at Bari Airport: Bari Vecchia/Polignano a Mare
Upon arrival we’ll meet our guide and transfer to Bari Vecchia where we’ll enjoy lunch and a demonstration of making traditional orecchiette, handmade pasta with its round and concave shape, kind of like a little ear (as the name in Italian indicates).
Afterward we’ll transfer and check into our hotel in Polignano a Mare, the Pearl of the Adriatic. (Calaponte Hotel or similar)
Dinner is planned this evening at a local restaurant.
Overnight – Polignano a Mare
Meals: Lunch, Dinner
Tuesday, October 4 Polignano a Mare: Valle D’Itria/Locorotondo/Alberobello
After breakfast, travel to Valle D’Itria, the hometown of Trulli, a gently rolling countryside that produces olive oil, white wine, and capocollo ham near the beaches of the Adriatic, the Ionian seas and its picturesque towns. We’ll visit a dairy farm and its production of mozzarella and burrata cheeses and enjoy a tasting. Afterward we’ll stop for lunch in Locorotondo, a delightful place truly deserving of the accolade ‘Borghi più belli d’Italia’ (one of the most beautiful villages in Italy).
We’ll continue on to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Alberobello for a guided tour. These curious conical-roofed whitewashed structures, clustered in pockets in Puglia like wild fungi, are an icon of the region. They are remarkable examples of drywall (mortarless) construction, a prehistoric building technique still in use in this region. The trulli are made of roughly worked limestone boulders collected from neighbouring fields. Characteristically, they feature pyramidal, domed or conical roofs built up of corbelled limestone slabs.
Return to our hotel. This evening dine individually at a local restaurant.
Overnight – Polignano a Mare Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Wednesday, October 5 Polignano a Mare: Botanical Gardens “I giardini di Pomona”
After breakfast we’ll have a guided visit of Pomona Botanical Gardens with its owner. The main collection is dedicated to the Ficus carica species: 600 among Afghan figs, Bosnians, French, Portuguese, Albanians, Israelis and of course Italians and Apulians. We’ll end the tour with a fig cooking class demonstration, lunch and wine tasting.
Our next stop is Monopoli, the heel of Italy’s boot, that has been inhabited since 500 BC and takes its name from the early Greek city that was founded here. “Monos Polis” means “singularly unique”. Like many of the towns in this part of Puglia, Monopoli’s historical center is built of white stone and dotted with other white-washed buildings. Return to our hotel. This evening dine individually at a local restaurant.
Overnight Polignano a Mare Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Thursday, October 6: Polignano a Mare: Ostuni & Cooking Class
This morning we depart for Ostuni, the vast ‘White City’ rising high above the ocean of olive trees that sweep through this verdant area of Puglia. We’ll immerse ourselves in the authentic Pugliese way of life and the ancient traditions of Apulian cuisine with a cooking class. We’ll prepare focaccia, pizza and, of course, orecchiette! We’ll cook turnip tops and pot cooked mashed broad beans with chicory and many other vegetables from the chef’s garden nearby that we’ll pick. Charlie will talk about growing vegetables along with a brief garden presentation from the chef.
After our tasty lunch paired with the local wines we’ll have the afternoon free to wander about the narrow alleys of Ostuni’s Old Town. Built atop a hill to protect it from invaders, Ostuni is a certifiable labyrinth. A maze of alleyways, staircases and arches, of houses built upon houses, of hundreds of years of history are laid out that no map can truly explain or capture. Explore its dead ends and pretty little gardens, glimpses of the Adriatic sea, green doors and bright blue skies! Return to the hotel. Tonight, enjoy dining at a local restaurant.
Overnight Polignano a Mare Meals: Breakfast, Cooking class with lunch
Friday, October 7 Lecce: Millenary Olive Trees
After breakfast we’ll check out of the hotel. We’ll travel to the area between Monopoli, Fasano, Ostuni, and Carovigno, where the greatest numbers of these ancient, millenarian olive trees are to be found. One of the most ancient streets “via Traiana” (built under the dominion of the emperor Traiano about 2000 years ago) linked Rome with the harbor of Brindisi and the east. It helped develop the olive oil trade as the Traiana route passed different ports from where boats full of olive oil jars sailed towards northern Italy and northern Europe. Along the route there are large numbers of Roman or Messapian farmhouses with their own hypogeum oil mills and olive groves. We’ll visit an olive mill for a tasting followed by lunch at a Masseria (fortified farmhouse). Continue to Lecce and check in to our hotel. (Patria Palace Hotel or similar) The remainder of the day is at leisure.
Overnight Lecce Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Saturday, October 8 Lecce: Exploring Lecce
This morning we’ll enjoy a guided walking tour of Lecce with its Baroque Palaces and Churches. The local sandstone, tinged a warm pink, was so easy to work with that it fostered the rise of a local style (barocco leccese); very ornate and intricate. More than the architects, it was the local stonemasons who left their mark on this city, crowding its buildings with fanciful cherubs, flowers, fruits, beauties and beasts. The private courtyards of the townhouses dotted throughout the city contain hidden jewels of unexpected vegetation with bright flowering shrubs, water features and exotic tropical trees. We end the tour with lunch at a local restaurant.
This afternoon we’ll have free time or you may wish to join Charlie for a private garden visit.
Overnight Lecce Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Sunday, October 9 Lecce: Botanical Garden/Santa Maria di Leuca
After breakfast, we’ll travel to La Cutura Orto Botanico in Giuggianello, a country estate built in the classic rural style of the late nineteenth century. Today it’s a renowned botanical garden that extends for 35 hectares and houses one of the richest collections of rare plants especially succulents and tropicals. We’ll tour the gardens with lunch served afterward.
We’ll then travel to the southernmost point or the heel of Italy: Santa Maria di Leuca at Basilica Finibus Terrae. Santa Maria di Leuca is famous for its iconic lighthouse. With its height of 47 meters, and position at 102 meters above sea level, it is the second most important lighthouse in Italy, after Genova.
Next to the lighthouse is the large Basilica, De Finibus Terrae (“End of the Land”, 1720-1755), built to commemorate the passage of St. Peter here during his travels to Italy. Return to our hotel.
Dinner is planned in a private Palazzo where we’ll be entertained by dancers and musicians showing us the Pizzica, a popular Italian folk dance, also known as the tarantella.
Overnight Lecce Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and entertainment
Monday, October 10: Bari
This morning we check out and depart for Bari. Along the way we’ll stop for lunch and for a taste the local wines such as Negramaro, Primitivo and Rosato. Continue to Bari and check in to our hotel.
(Hotel Bari or similar).
Tonight we’ll enjoy a farewell dinner together at a local restaurant. “Arrivederci” Italia!
Overnight Bari Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Tuesday, October 11: Departure Day
Early hotel check out and transfer to Bari Airport. Or you have the option to stay longer in Italy.
PLEASE NOTE: Goodspeed & Bach, Inc. reserves the right to alter the order of events or to make changes in the itinerary deemed necessary for the comfort, convenience and safety of the participants. Every effort will be made to adhere to the printed itinerary, but weather conditions and transportation difficulties may arise beyond the control of Goodspeed & Bach, Inc. and local suppliers could force the cancellation or substitution of events or specific services. Travel coverage is highly recommended !
PUGLIA TOUR COST INCLUSIONS:
8 nights accommodations in listed hotels or similar (Polignano a Mare 4 nights, Lecce 3 nights, Bari 1 night)
Garden Expert and Tour Host Charlie Nardozzi to accompany the group
Goodspeed Tour director to accompany the group
Italy Guide to accompany the group
Daily cultural and garden excursions as listed in itinerary
Private transportation throughout the trip, including pick-up and drop-off at Bari Airport (BRI), via luxury air-conditioned bus
Walking tour of Bari Vecchia with orecchiette-making demonstration and guide
Visit to a mozzarella and burrata cheese producer with tastings
Walking tour of Alberobello and “trulli” homes with guide
Tour of Pomona Botanical Gardens with cooking demonstration and tastings, guided by the owner
Hands-on cooking class in the area of Ostuni
Visit to an olive mill with guided tour and tasting
Walking tour of Lecce with guide
Guided tour of a botanical garden in Giuggianello
Winery visit with tour and tasting
Daily breakfast (8) and lunch (8) plus (3) dinners: an arrival dinner, dinner with entertainment in a private palazzo, and a farewell dinner
Wine, Mineral Water, coffee or tea included with group meals
Gratuity for local tour guides, full time Italian guide and bus driver
TOUR COST: $5,879 USD per person in a shared double room
Single Room Supplement fee: $729 USD per person
Space is limited to 20 participants. Price is subject to increase with fewer than 20 travelers.
Flights round trip to Europe, additional per person fees if Goodspeed books your flight.
Any personal expenditures, optional touring add-ons, meals and transfers not specified
Travel coverage with Travelex Insurance is highly recommended by Goodspeed & Bach.
Tour Payment Policy & Schedule
Your deposit of $1000 is due to confirm your space on the tour.
Space is limited to 20 travelers!
Your deposit is refundable less a $200 per person non-refundable service fee.
Final payment due: 60 days prior to departure or August 2, 2022.
NO REFUND for cancellations after August 2, 2022.
Travel insurance is highly recommended and can be purchased online with Travelex Insurance or call 1-800-228-9792. Cancellation charges also apply to additional accommodations reserved prior to and after the tour. Goodspeed & Bach, Inc. cannot assume responsibility for any fees relating to the issuance and/or cancellation of air tickets. Full terms and conditions are also available at www.goodspeedandbach.com
Vermont Italian Cultural Association (VICA) cannot assume responsibility for any fees relating to changes or cancellations for the tour itinerary.
Flights are NOT included in the package price:
Arrival and departure will be at Bari Airport. Please note that only one bus transfer is confirmed. If your flight arrives later than the majority of the group, you are responsible for paying for your own transport to the hotel on the arrival day.
IMPORTANT PLEASE NOTE:
VACCINATION IS MANDATORY FOR TOUR PARTICIPATION
Masks will be required on all public transportation flights, trains and city buses.
Covid Testing required before traveling. Follow international guidelines for Covid testing prior to departure.
Activity Level is high: Average walking is 3 – 4 miles per day but will include breaks for coffee, meals and bus travel. Some of the accommodations are located in city centers where our private coach may have restricted access for pick ups and drop offs in front of hotels.