You will arrive in Italy at Bari airport, where private transportation will meet you and take you to Alberobello. Here you will receive a welcome briefing for your tour and a delicious local dinner, before spending the night in your hotel.
Your first full day of this tour will start with breakfast at your hotel, after which you will be met by a private driver-guide who will take you around the Val d’Itria. This is a beautiful journey through woodlands and vineyards in the countryside, and your first stop will be in the village of Locorotondo.
Locorotondo is one of Italy’s most beautiful settlements, and is an ideal place to spend a morning people-watching from a shaded cafe or exploring the historic town centre. This ancient area is circular and right at the top of the hill, and is a maze of whitewashed streets that are full of the interesting old buildings and baroque architecture.
Next, you will visit Cisterno, which is thought to have been inhabited right back in the Middle Palaeolithic period. There are still many preserved remains of this civilization on show in the area, such as tools for building and cooking and weapons such as chisels and spears.
Today, Cisterno is a charming town that maintains a historic atmosphere, full of pretty white houses, beautiful churches and a central square that offers panoramic views of your surroundings. From here you can admire the hills that overlap into the distance, and try to spot the trulli huts amongst the fields that you will better be able to explore later on the tour.
Lunch will be served after a wine and cheese tasting session, sampling some of the area’s best produce. You will eat at a local Masseria, looking out over olive groves that are backed by views of the Adriatic sea. On your return to Alberobello, you will be given the rest of the afternoon to explore the town on your own.
Alberobello is best known for the whitewashed trulli huts that can be found everywhere with their distinctive, conical roofs. The world trulli comes from the Greek ‘tholos’ which means dome, and each building is made of stone with no cement or lime to hold that material together. Each square room has a ceiling that is decorated with symbols, and the huts are well worth a visit for an experience of truly unique architecture.
You will spend the evening in Alberobello as well and stay another night at your hotel.
Your third day will be spent similarly to your second, with more excursions from Alberobello to nearby towns.
First, visit the ‘white town’ of Ostuni which is spread out across three hills over 200 metres above sea level, owing its nickname to the whitewashed houses that make up the town’s historic centre. The highlight of Ostuni is its Romanesque-Gothic cathedral from the 15th century, but many elegant houses and churches are particularly lovely to look at in the old town as well, along with ancient town gates still allowing visitors in through the Aragonese walls that guard the settlement.
Polignano is the next stop on the tour; a town which is thought to be one of the oldest settlements in the Puglia area. Perched on the edge of a rocky gorge, Polignano has a history of invaders that range from the Normans to the Huns. It’s a lovely place to just sit and watch the waves, or enjoy the architecture and visit some of the local shops.
Your final stop will be Monopoli, home to the ‘paese vecchio’ in the centre of the town that features multiple churches lined up next to one another. The domestic buildings in this area are charming and have been inhabited by generations of the same families who still work in fishing, farming and winemaking, and it’s a lovely place to spend an afternoon just walking the streets and breathing in the sea air.
At the end of the day, your driver will drop you back off in Alberobello for your final night there.
Your driver will meet you at your hotel after breakfast this morning, and transfer you to your accommodation in Sorrento. On the way, you will stop off in the historic location of Matera and have free time to explore the city.
Matera is the third oldest city in the world and has over 10,000 years of history, the most fascinating element of which are the man-made caves that have been carved into the area’s limestone. You can visit these underground homes that have contributed to Matera’s title of a World Heritage Site, and also see evidence of early structures that were used to transport running water into the caves.
Along with the fascinating cave systems, Matera is also home to several beautiful churches, pedestrianised squares, and bustling streets of cafes and shops. It was named the cultural capital of Europe in 2019, and has been used as a location for many famous films and television shows.
You will have time for lunch in the city before returning to your driver and continuing to Sorrento, where you will spend the night.
On the fifth day of your tour, you will drive between the scenic locations of one of Italy’s most popular destinations: the Amalfi Coast. Enjoy the dramatic cliffside landscape and pleasant seaside atmosphere, with miles of beautiful coastline, pretty villages and luxurious beach resorts.
You will first visit the town of Amalfi, and be given free time to discover its medieval architecture that includes the huge dome of the cathedral dedicated to Saint Andrew, and other ancient buildings that have survived the town’s past. After Amalfi your next stop is Minori, where you will experience a dessert tasting session that centres around lemons; one of the region’s finest ingredients. This will take place at Sal de Riso, the restaurant of one of Italy’s most famous pastry chefs.
From Minori you will continue to the romantic location of Ravello, a town spread out across steep, terraced slopes cut into the cliffs. Filled with beautiful gardens and quiet corners to stop and catch your breath, Ravello is one of the best spots on the Amalfi Coast for panoramic views.
You will arrive in Sorrento in time for an evening meal of your choosing, and spend the night in a new hotel.
Today your tour will take you to Pompeii; one of the best-preserved ancient Roman settlements in Italy thanks to the eruption of nearby Mount Vesuvius in 79 A.D. It is also one of the most popular Italian towns for tourists, and has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its historical value as an archaeological site.
Once a holiday resort for wealthy Romans, Pompeii is now famous not only for its volcanic destruction but also for the remains of the civic buildings that can still be seen in the town, showcasing some of the Roman Empire’s finest architecture. Another must-see on your list is the House of Mysteries; a building named after the murals depicting the initiation rites of a cult of Dionysus, the Greek god of wine and madness.
Pompeii is also known for the historic graffiti that can still be found on the walls of the majority of its buildings, preserved by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. At the time of the eruption, there were elections meant to be happening in the town and so much of the graffiti is related to political figures and events, as well as some cruder writing!
On your return to Sorrento, you will be treated to a candlelit dinner with a sea view, and enjoy some of the area’s best food and drink.
Your seventh day in Italy has been left free for you to choose how you would like to spend your time, with the option to continue visiting different parts of the area.
Some itineraries we suggest are an afternoon visit to the Pompeii Archeological Park, a day tour or boat excursion in Capri, or a combination of visiting Pompeii again with Vesuvio. Your last night in Sorrento gives you the chance to visit a restaurant of your choice for dinner and say goodbye to your favourite parts of the city.
You will be picked up from your hotel in Sorrento after breakfast this morning, and transferred to the railway station in Naples. From here you will catch the high-speed train to Rome, where you will be met by another car and transferred to your hotel in the city.
In the evening, your tour group will walk to a nearby restaurant to enjoy dinner before bed.
After breakfast at your hotel, you will be met by a private guide and join a small group tour of the Vatican; an independent city-state in the centre of Rome that is home to the famous Vatican Museum and stunning Sistine Chapel. Your guide will give you unique insight into the collections and masterpieces of the Vatican Museum such as the Raphael Rooms, and lead you through the ornate Sistine Chapel that is home to Michelangelo’s finest frescos. Your tour will end with the famous St Peter’s Basilica, which is considered by many to be one of the most magnificent churches in the world.
After an independent lunch in Rome, you will join your tour guide again for a walking tour of the city’s Baroque Town, including visits to the Spanish Steps, Piazza Navona, the Italian Parliament, the Pantheon and the Piazza’s Navona and Spagna. You can then either return to the hotel with the group or carry on exploring Rome by yourself and choose somewhere to eat dinner.
What makes this tour so popular is the combination of guided exploration and free time to do as you please, which is why your tenth day has been left empty.
Some recommended experiences for this day off are to visit the Colosseum and Roman Forum, see the art at the Palazzo Borghese or visit the nearby town of Tivoli and see its world-famous gardens. You can also take an excursion to Capri or Pompeii for views of the coast, or travel by high-speed train to Naples and explore this famous area. The nearby Viterbo area also offers wine tasting and vineyard tours if you want a break from sightseeing.
On your final night in Rome, you can choose where to eat dinner, and then stroll back to your hotel through the darkening streets and admire some of the city’s famous monuments as they are lit up.
After breakfast in Rome, you will be picked up from your hotel and then transferred to either the city’s airport or railway station to depart the country.