Puglia & Basilicata
8 Night Authentic Tour of Southern Italy
September 18-26, 2017
Explore Puglia and Basilicata
The Heel of the 'Boot" & the Heart of Authentic Italy
Baroque architecture, the fairytale village of Alberbello, white sand beaches with pristine water, streets lined by olive groves --Southern Italy is the hidden GEM and TIS is so excited to be one of the few tour operators to bring you there!
Get ready for a true authentic Southern experience where native historian guides will introduce you to the amazing slow food cuisine, teach you the local music, accompany you to breathtaking mountain towns and of course introduce you to food and Salento's wine!
Your expert tour leader Cassandra lived, worked, and been traveling Italy for 10 years. She enjoys spending time in Southern Italy getting to know fantastic local people and their culture!
The Untouched Regions of Southern Italy
1. Did you know Puglia produces about 40% of Italy's olive oil, is the home of UNESCO cities dating back to 7th Century BC and that it produces more wine than any other region in Italy!?
2. Travel & Leisure Magazine says it best : "Despite it's cultural richness and architecture, Puglia is still one of the least explored regions of Italy, offering a coastline bathed by two crystal blue seas: The Adriatic and the Ionian."
3. We are learning about local life with native families, visiting ancient cities dating back to BC, and even small villages situated right in the heart of the Dolomites.
Our Plan for the Week
Learn the traditions of Puglia: Our local partners are welcoming us to their olive oil harvest, pasta making classes, wine tasting, a private local music gathering, and much more!
Visit the UNESCO Villages of Alberobello and Matera:
Enjoy a visit to one of Southern's Italy most remarkable UNESCO sites! We will walk this 14th Century fairytale village filled with limestone conical-roofed, trulli and the "Sassi di Matera', one of the third oldest cities in the world.
Walk the streets of Picturesque Puglia: White-washing buildings, charming churches, and breathtaking cliffs are just some highlights of your day exploring Polignano a Mare and Ostuni.
Discover the "Florence of the South," Lecce: Lonely Planet says "If Puglia was a movie, Lecce would cast as the starring role." A beautiful baroque city that has been known to have the same charm as our beloved Firenze up North. We will kick the day off with a guided tour with a native from the region who will even bring us for a pastry tasting!
Meet Your Host & Partners: CEO + Founder, Cassandra Lena Santoro
As a Sicilian-American, Italian Travel Expert Cassandra Santoro’s attachment to Italy started early. After her father’s untimely passing from cancer, she moved to Florence and found the true meaning of La Dolce Vita. Since living and working abroad, she has led countless tours, obtained her dual-citizenship and started her company, Travel Italian Style.
As a Personal Trip Planner and Luxury Small Group Tour Operator, Cassandra creates authentic, life-changing vacations for those passionate about their Italian heritage, dreaming of traveling Italy like a local, or looking to find themselves through travel.
Cassandra has been featured for her Italian-American Heritage by L'Italo Americano and the National Organization of Italian American Women, and is an inspirational speaker for TEDx Mannheim 2016!
We are also honored to team up with a local family from the Basilicata region to give you the true authentic Italian experience. They will welcome you to their home and introduce you to back-door Italy!
Our Home for the Week
Our first 6 nights will be enjoyed in a typical Massiera (farmhouse) in the Basilicata countryside 10km from the ancient city of Matera. The home is owned and operated by local Italian family.
This rustic farm house boasts an olive oil grove, private pool, a communal terrace inspired by the terraces of the Sassi of Matera and also a biological farm in which the owners use to create local, authentic meals daily.
We close the week in the Baroque city of Lecce, where will we experience a 19th Century Palace turned luxury B & B. Also owned and operated by local Italian's, this city center accommodation is steps away from the beautiful Piazza Duomo.
The owners strive to create a peaceful, bright, and carefree environment for their guests and they prove so with their modern decor, central location, and daily organic breakfasts.
Your Tour Includes
- Airport Group Pick up at Bari International Airport
- Airport Group Drop off at Brindisi International Airport
- 6 Nights at a Rustic Masseria in Basiciliata
- 2 Nights at a City Center Restored Palace in Lecce
- All transportation (excluding flights)
- Bi-Lingual Tour Assistant for the Week
- Daily Breakfast, Most Lunches, Dinners or Apericena
- Professional guided tour/Day Trips to Ostuni, Polignano a Mare, Pietrapertosa and Castelmezzano & UNESCO Sites Alberobello and Matera
- Fresh pasta making/cooking lesson
- Participation in Olive Oil Harvest and trip to olive press
- Intimate local music concert at the farm
- Half Day Walking Tour of Lecce with Local Pastry Tasting
- Airline Concierge to Assist with Flight Booking
- A Personal Lesson in Southern Italian Dialect by the Family of the Masseria ;)
Did you know that 2% of your purchase goes towards fulfilling a student's travel dream? Read more about our contribution to FLYTE here.
Price Per Person Based on Double Occupancy: $3,599 USD
I have never heard of Puglia, where it is located?
Puglia is located on the 'heal' of the boot of Italy.
Is there a lot of walking on this trip?
We always say bring your 'walking shoes' to Italy but overall this will be a comfortable and fun filled trip. The toughest of the walks will be in Matera. You can keep active by going on morning runs or taking a mountain bike for a ride while staying in the Masseria.
What is the average temperature?
Average temperature ranges in the low 80's F Degrees.
Why are only Most Meals" included but not all meals?
From past trips we learned:
1. Most of our organized meals are served...well...Italian Style!! So they may be a bit filling, therefore we left some time for you to skip a meal (if you are full) or get enjoy something a bit lighter at your leisure.
2. Diets, Restrictions & Allergies..oh my! We understand the pressure of traveling with these requests and we always accommodate in the best possible way. However, we now offer some time for you to enjoy a meal of your choice with no stress! But do not worry there will be no shortage on food, just in case you were wondering!!
Do I have to attend every day trip?
Of course not! We hope you do but you are always welcome to stay back and enjoy 'you' time or coordinate another trip on your own. However, please note this does not change the price of the trip. :)
Can I come as a single?
Yes, we would love to have you! We do not match up roommates so you are welcome to purchase the room at the single rate stated above which is a slight additional fee (so you can have the room all to yourself)!
What Do you mean By Flight Concierge?
Each guest will receive a personal assistant that will research and select flights based on your preferences and costs. They will assist with the booking process (always finding the best deals on the best airlines) then following the booking the team will also monitor your flight going and returning from Italy! If there are any changes or updates they will know first and pass you all the information! It's like having a personal assistant, just for our flights!