This 9-day Italy tour “off the beaten path” takes you on a journey to discover world-renowned treasures in art, architecture, and history. You’ll begin in Naples – home to centuries of some of the most important art and architecture Italy has to offer.
Throughout your guided tour of Southern Italy, you’ll visit royal residences, as well as ancient Greek archaeological marvels, before arriving in the Mediterranean-style town of Cellino San Marco.
You’ll find the perfect respite from your sightseeing adventures with a two-night stay at the Salento estate of singer and winemaker Al Bano Carrisi. This peaceful countryside estate – near the Adriatic Sea – offers delicious wine from its vineyard with other delicacies, including local produce, olive oil, and homemade pasta. Stroll the grounds or lounge by the pool before embarking on your discoveries in Lecce and Otranto.
This Southern Italy escorted tour will introduce you to local favorites in delectable pastries and coffee, as well as truly remarkable architectural and historical structures. You’ll visit a traditional Trullo in Alberobello, and you’ll discover amazing ancient treasures awaiting you in the caves of Castellana Grotte, and the archaeological site of Paestum – as you traverse from the “heel of the boot” of Italy across to the opposite coastline, to Sorrento. Also enjoy visits to the 13th-century octagonal citadel Castel del Monte, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and to the magnificent Palazzo Reale, royal residence of the Bourbons in Naples.
Truly a feast for the mind, body, and soul, your escorted tour of Southern Italy will satisfy your curiosity in art and history – as well as your spirit of adventure – with hidden local treasures waiting to be discovered along the way.
*Please note that 2020 departures might be subject to itinerary and price changes, but by booking now, you will lock in your price. Should your booking be affected by an itinerary change, we’ll offer you the chance to change or cancel your booking with no penalty. Full itinerary details will be available in September 2019.
Inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description, including admission charges where applicable.
Total meals included:
Welcome to Naples! At 6 pm, meet your Tour Director and traveling companions for a welcome dinner at your hotel.
Discover the major sites of this fascinating city during your guided sightseeing this morning. See the remarkable Triumphal Arch of the New Castle, St. Charles Theater, Galleria Umberto, and the semicircular Piazza Plebiscito. The highlight is a visit to the magnificent PALAZZO REALE, royal residence of the Bourbons from 1734-1860. Since 1925, it also has housed the National Library. Afternoon and evening at leisure; join an optional excursion to make the most of your stay.
Enter the region of Apulia, the heel of Italy’s “boot.” Enjoy a guided visit of the 13th-century, octagonal citadel CASTEL DEL MONTE, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and considered by some as the most fascinating castle built by Emperor Frederick II. Arrive in the capital of Apulia, Bari, a port on the Adriatic Sea.
Sightseeing with a Local Guide features a walk through the OLD TOWN, and a LF taste of the local focaccia. Next is attractive Ostuni, often called the “White Town,” a charming example of Mediterranean architecture. Its Old Town is located on top of a hill and fortified by ancient walls. Stay overnight on the beautiful and peaceful Tenute Al Bano Carrisi estate, situated in the Salento countryside. Savor local produce and wine from the estate’s vineyards, as well as olive oil and homemade pasta. Soak up the local atmosphere as you relax around the pool area.
Arrive in Lecce, the “Florence of the South,” to discover the lacy stone buildings and baroque squares during your guided walking tour. LF Taste local pasticciotto and almond coffee. Enjoy time to explore the streets of the lovely center, before continuing to picturesque Otranto, an historic seaside town and port, surrounded by its imposing defensive walls and dominated by its romanesque cathedral. Return to Cellino San Marco.
In Alberobello, follow your Local Guide for a visit to a TRULLO, one of the conical houses famous for their unique characteristics. The structure assures excellent indoor climate control—cool in summer and warm in winter. Continue to Castellana Grotte, where a LF visit to the underground CAVES, one of the most important attractions of the region, is included before heading to your hotel.
Paestum, or Poseidonia, named in honor of the Greek god of the sea, was founded in the 6th century. During your visit of the ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE with a Local Guide, see the ancient Greek temples dating back to 600-400 BC. Arrive in the charming, seaside resort of Sorrento.
On an orientation walk with your Tour Director, see the old town's characteristic lava-stone streets, the 14th-century Sedil Dominova building, the ancient bell tower, and St. Antonio Church, dedicated to Sorrento's patron Saint. There is the opportunity to join an optional excursion to the Amalfi coast. This evening, enjoy a farewell dinner at a local restaurant to celebrate your vacation.
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning (the nearest airport is Naples).
Prefer to book your own flights and transfers? You have the freedom to do that with our Tour Only holiday option.
Let us take care of everything. Our package option includes return flights from your chosen airport, plus overseas transfers to your hotel.
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We are a member of ABTA and our flight-inclusive holidays are protected by ATOL. If your holiday is cancelled for any reason, you’ll receive a full refund.