Day 1 - Arrival Day/ Benvenuto!
Welcome to Southern Italy! After arriving to the Bari airport, the group will be met by our private driver for the week and transfer us to our lodgings.
Your accommodations for the next seven nights is in a typical local agriturismo (farmhouse), situated about 5 miles from Matera (Basilicata) in a nature reserve that is full of wildlife and greenery.
Each room has access to a large terrace where you can enjoy spectacular views of the lake and the surrounding area or perfect to sit outside with a glass of wine!
All of the food served at meals at our agriturismo is locally produced, organic, and typical of this region of Southern Italy. The farm grows a range of delicious fresh produce including, olives, eggplant, oranges, cherries, watermelons and much, much more. In addition, there are also many donkeys, sheep, chickens, cats and dogs that live at the farm.
During your free time you can take a stroll through the woods, borrow one of the bikes or even spend some time bird watching. Enjoy a welcome aperitivo and then the rest of the afternoon & evening is yours to explore or relax until our group Welcome Dinner. (A, D)
Day 2 - Matera: The Town of Stone
After breakfast at our agriturismo, we'll head off to Matera. Matera, "The town of Stone" became the first site in the world declared a "cultural landscape" by UNESCO World Heritage. This unique town, built into a hillside where caves and houses merge together, is a place where great directors of cinema have set their films due to its penetrating and evocative atmosphere. Enjoy a private guided walking tour, see what a sassi home used to look like, and visit some of the rupestrian churches. After lunch we'll visit an artisan and get a hands-on lesson on how to make some of the local crafts, followed by by a bread workshop to learn how to make the traditional Lucana bread.
Dinner tonight at our agriturismo with local wines. (B, L, D)
Day 3 - Olive Harvest and Pasta Workshop
Today after our breakfast, we'll head out to the farm's olive grove, where we'll help in the annual fall harvest. We'll learn all about growing olives harvesting, and the production of olive oil. Then it's off to the mill to watch our hard work be pressed into the liquid gold known as Extra Virgin Olive Oil. We'll also get a chance to learn how to taste olive oil and what the qualities of a good olive oil are. In the afternoon we'll have a pasta workshop. This hands-on lesson offers you the chance to learn how to make the various types of fresh pasta that define Southern Italian cuisine. You'll learn all the various techniques that go into making the wide variety of shapes of pasta made in this part of Italy - from cavatelli to orecchiette.
Then relax for the rest of the afternoon before we head back into Matera to visit a fascinating wine bar cave. Here we'll enjoy a light dinner combined with a wine-pairing. Truly a unique experience. (B, L, D)
Day 4 - A Day in Local Villages & Ghost Towns
After a leisurely breakfast at our accommodations, we will head off to see some very unique and interesting local villages in the Basilicata region - one is even a ghost town!
For nearly fifty years, the town of Craco has stood uninhabited. In 1963, the last 1,800 residents were forced to leave this village for their own safety due to the risk of earthquakes and landslides.
Today, thanks to the dramatic landscape and unique atmosphere, Craco has been the set of many movies including 'Saving Grace' , James Bond 'Quantum of Solace' and the hanging of Judas scene in Mel Gibson’s the 'Passion of the Christ'.
We'll also visit two other tiny villages in this area with some very unique history. Dinner with local wines at our villa. (B, L, D)
Day 5 - Cheese & Wine
Today after our breakfast, you'll learn all about fresh cow milk cheeses and how to make fresh mozzarella with the local "Casaro" (cheesemaker).
This resident cheesemakercomes from a long line of Southern Italy mozzarella makers and there's not many people in the world who know more about this than him.
In this demonstration we will guide you through the process of making this wonderful cheese and then, of course, you'll get to taste it!
In addition to the fresh mozzarella that we will make, we will have the opportunity to taste some of the other local cheeses of this region.
Italian cheese is world famous but some of the most well known Italian cheeses can be found in Southern Italy.
After lunch, we'll enjoy a special wine tasting. In this wine tasting experience, we'll lay out a variety of Southern Italian wines for you to taste with our own 'Sommelier' or (wine expert) to guide you through the different flavors. (B, L, D)
Day 6 - The Dolomites of the South
After breakfast, we'll depart for the Dolomites of the South, where you can find the beautiful mountain towns of Castelmezzano and Pietrapertosa. Set amongst majestic mountains and lush scenery, these towns will show you yet another side to the wonder that is Basilicata.
Both villages belong to the “I Borghi più belli d'Italia” (The most beautiful villages of Italy), an association of small Italian towns of historical interest.
Here you will also find the “Volo dell’Angelo (flight of the angel) – A zip line adventure that takes you on a journey between the peaks of Castelmezzano to the village of Pietrapertosa.
It is one of Basilicata’s most exhilarating tourist attractions that is not for the faint of heart.
Dinner with local wines at our agriturismo this evening.(B, L, D)
Day 7 - Day Trip to Puglia
After breakfast at our agriturismo, we'll head out to see some sites in the region of Puglia. We'll first stop in Poginano a Mare, a cozy and charming little town on the Adriatic coast with beautiful narrow streets, romantic balconies, and breathtaking views of the sea.
For lunch, we'll be savoring some local seafood delights (options available for non-seafood eaters).
In the afternoon, we will travel on to explore another iconic town of Puglia: Alberobello. This fairytale town is a UNESCO World Heritage site and famous for its unique "Trulli" - the conical shaped homes.
Farewell dinner tonight at our villa. (B, L, D)
Day 8 - Departure Day
Early morning breakfast at our agriturismo as we say our goodbyes.
We'll board our vans and depart for the Bari Airport.
Bid Arrivederci to Italy! (B)
Key: A = Aperitivo / B = Breakfast / L = Lunch / D = Dinner, included
*Itineraries are subject to change. Vitalia Tours and its partners will strive to provide you with the best possible tour and experience. It is our intention to adhere to the outlined itinerary as published. However, please be advised that it may be occasionally necessary to substitute an activity due to events that cannot be predicted. Therefore, Vitalia Tours reserves the right to make changes in accommodations, tours or excursions, meals, and itineraries at any time should it become necessary or desirable.
Dates: October 4 - 10, 2018
8 Days/7 Nights
Group size: 6-12 Guests Maximum
Tour Cost: $3,400 USD per person/double occupancy
$450 USD single supplement
Deposit: 50% of tour cost at time of booking to reserve your spot
Balance due: 60 Days prior to travel date
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