Apulia & Basilicata – From North to South across the archaeology

  • 8 Days
  • Apulia, Basilicata
  • Archaeological, Cultural

Description

Two different regions to discover in this journey. Apulia, renowed for its spledid maritime scenery is a land rich in traditions, fragrances, and ancient testimonies waiting to be discovered by those travellers who know how to go beyond its best-known wonders. On the other hand, Basilicata is a wild little-known regions of Italy, considered as the secret garden of Italy. This remote region has been isolated from the rest of the country for a long time, but today this isolation represents an incredible strenght of the region. This region has been able to preserve ancient rituals and cultural practices despite modernity. Here, as well as in the hidden gems of Apulia, is possible to enjoy a slow and stress-relief experience, based on a much more relaxed way of life. In these places mass tourism is unknown, travelers are welcomed as guests. 

What to Expect

This itinerary will guide you through the important archaeological sites of Puglia and Basilicata. These are relevant to the history of the two regions dating back to Roman times. We will begin by visiting Canne della Battaglia, Castel del Monte – a UNESCO site – and Canosa di Puglia with its impressive Italic temple, and many others. Each of the sites we will visit will tell us a piece of the history of this land, so complex and rich in traditions and historical events. We will also visit some iconic museums such as the National Archaeological Museum inside Palazzo Sinesi, the Massimo Pallottino Museum in Melfi, and the MARTA in Taranto, one of the most beautiful archaeological museums in Italy. Our experience will not be focused only on archaeology, because during the trip we will also taste the typical Apulian pasticciotto and orecchiette, Apulian artisanal pasta.

  • Nature
  • Archaeology
  • Slowness
  • Local cuisine

Itinerary

Day 1 - arrival - Canne della Battaglia - Castel del Monte - Andria (53 km)

Meet and greet at the airport, and transfer to Canne della Battaglia, a very important
archaeological site whose memory is linked to the famous clash between the Romans and
Carthaginians in 216 BC. The current exhibition itinerary, inaugurated in 2017, is enhanced by
a multimedia room. The visit to the Archaeological Park is divided into two itineraries: the
first leads to the main hill, where the arx of the Latin spring and the medieval settlement were,
with the castle and the basilica. The second itinerary leads to the early Christian basilica, the
area of the Daunian dwellings with the cave tombs, and then to the kiln and the medieval
sepulchre.
In the afternoon, we visit Castel del Monte a wonderful UNESCO heritage site, famous for its
octagonal shape, built in the 13th century by Frederick II of Swabia, emperor of the Holy
Roman Empire. Even today, it remains the most mysterious castle among those built by
Frederick II, who wanted it as his hunting reserve.
Transfer to the hotel.
Dinner included, time to relax and overnight stay. View of Castel del Monte, Apulia

Day 2 - Andria - Canosa di Puglia - Ascoli Satriano - Andria (132 km)

After breakfast, we move to Canosa di Puglia and visit the National Archaeological Museum
housed inside Sinesi Palace. We continue with a visit to the San Leucio Archaeological Park,
witness to two important historical moments. The hill, in fact, was first chosen as the right
location of the most imposing Italic temple in southern Italy, dedicated to the goddess
Minerva. The temple was later destroyed and on the same hill an extraordinary central-plan
basilica was rebuilt. This building is the largest early Christian building in Apulia and it was
initially dedicated to Saints Cosmas and Damian and only in the Lombard period to St. Leucio.
We stop for lunch (not included) and in the afternoon transfer to Ascoli Satriano where we
visit the National Archaeological Museum, known for its famous Marble Griffins (4th century
BC), returned by the Paul Getty Museum in 2007. Soon after the visit we come back to the
hotel for dinner and overnight stay.

 

Day 3 - Andria - Melfi - Venosa - Matera (182 km)

After breakfast, we checkout and then we start our journey towards Melfi. At the top of the
village stands the impressive Norman Castle, one of Frederick II of Swabia’s favourite castles.
Inside is the “Massimo Pallottino” National Archaeological Museum of the Melfi area, where
there are many finds from excavations in the Vulture are: a real must-see site. Another not
to be missed thing is the Rapolla sarcophagus, a find of inestimable beauty. We then visit the
Bishop’s Palace with the Diocesan Museum inside. Located closed to the Cathedral of Santa
Maria Assunta, this palace is famous for its rooms beautifully frescoed and architecturally
valuable. Its flourishing gardens, especially during the summer, are the scene of cultural events.
After lunch we enjoy a bit of free-time and in the afternoon transfer to Venosa, also known
as the “Horace’s city” for being the birthplace of the Latin poet Quintus Horatius Flaccus, poet
of Carpe Diem and home of the Madrigalist Carlo Gesualdo Prince of Venosa.
We visit the Incompiuta di Venosa, an almost mystical place. We enter the building, which is
famous for its structure without a roof or even a floor, but all around we can still see the
construction of the Abbey with its huge columns and half-built turrets. All the stones were
taken from the Roman excavations and the nearby Jewish cemetery, therefor in the walls of
the Abbey we can see Latin inscriptions and Stars of David next to each other. We end the
visit with the Aragonese Castle, which houses the archaeological museum.
In the late afternoon, we drive to Matera. Check-in at the hotel, dinner and overnight stay. 

Day 4 - Matera - Sibari - Matera (260 km)

Breakfast, departure for Sibari and visit to the Archaeological Park of Sybaris and the Museum
of the Sibaritide, located in the immediate vicinity of the vast archaeological area of SybarisThurii-Copia, it is housed in a modern building, designed by arch. R. Wallach in the 1980s and
set up in the 1990s. It collects the finds discovered during the decades-long archaeological
investigations conducted in the ancient centre and the most significant sites of the Sibaritide
and illustrates the long history of the area with extraordinary objects. Lunch in a typical
restaurant
We drive back to Matera to enjoy the visit of the worldwide famous city of the Sassi,
UNESCO World Heritage Site and already European Capital of Culture 2019. Matera is one of
the oldest urban agglomerations in the world, where man has been able to coexist, over the
millennia, in harmony, with the surrounding nature, excavating the stone and inhabiting it (still
today), in the scenario of the local rocky habitat. We admire the Crypt of the Original Sin,
known as the Sistine Chapel of the South and, on the way back, we pass through Murgia
Timone, the rocky-archaeological area from which an incredible panorama of the Matera
skyline can be admired.
We return to our hotel, dinner and overnight stay.

Day 5 - Matera - Metaponto - Egnazia - Fasano (150 km)

After breakfast we checkout and travel to Metaponto, where we enjoy a guided visit to the
archaeological excavations, characterised by the theatre and the famous Tavole Palatine. We
also visit the National Archaeological Museum of Metaponto or to that of Policoro, where
rich collections of ceramics, jewellery, objects and artefacts of inestimable value are kept,
which will help us discover a way of life of which we carry traces in our today-lives. We
stop for lunch (not included) and the we drive to Egnazia where we visit the archaeological
park, one of the most interesting archaeological sites of the region. Situated along the Adriatic
coastline near present-day Fasano, in a very evocative landscape, the archaeological park of
Egnazia bears evidence from the Bronze Age to the Middle Ages. The layout of the new
museum will surprise visitors.
We reach our hotel, check-in, dinner and overnight stay.

Day 6 - Lecce (95 km)

After breakfast we enjoy a tour of Lecce. We visit the historic centre of the Salento capital,
one of the most beautiful cities in southern Italy, called the ‘Florence of the South’. From the
Basilica of Santa Croce to Piazza Sant’Oronzo and up to the scenic Piazza Duomo, with its
cathedral and crypt; but above all the Roman Theatre and Amphitheatre and the Sigismondo
Castromediano Museum. Lunch (not included) in a typical restaurant. During the day we also
spend some time in tasting the typical Apulian pasticciotto. We return to our hotel, dinner
and overnight stay.

Day 7 - Lecce - Taranto - Brindisi (180 km)

After breakfast, we start visiting Taranto, the ancient Spartan Taras, among the oldest Magna
Greek colonies in Italy. We visit the ancient town, rich in history where, among other
treasures stand the magnificent Cappellone di San Cataldo in the Basilica (with the same
name) and the MARTA, one of the most beautiful national archaeological museums in Italy.
We enjoy a visit to the Doric Temple and a tour of the Hellenistic tombs through underground
passages leading to the Tomb of the Athletes, the Necropolis of Via Marche, the Tomb of
Piazza Pio XII and the four-chambers Tomb.
We enjoy a lunch (not included) in a typical restaurant and then we drive to Brindisi, where
we will admire the beauty of Brindisium, the final city on the ancient Via Appia, with its famous
Roman column on the harbour.
We return to our hotel for dinner and overnight stay.

Day 8 - Bari - departure (117 km)

After breakfast we checkout and we move to Bari, capital of Puglia and historic crossroads
of trade with the East. We visit the old town of Bari, which overlooks the sea, with the Basilica
of San Nicola and the characteristic narrow alleys, in which it is easy to bump into the local
women making pasta: the famous orecchiette.
We enjoy a lunch (not included) and then transfer to the airport. End of services.

Price Includes

  • Transfers from/to airport
  • Transport by minibus or bus (according to the group size) with English speaking driver
  • 7 Overnight in HB (dinners at the hotel / local restaurant)
  • Guided tour with Spanish speaking guide (1HD in Matera and 7 FD) as per itinerary
  • 11 entrances tickets
  • Bus parking in agreement with Hotel San Domenico for 2 nights

Price Excludes

  • International flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Porterage service for luggage only, with minivan, at a cost of € 5.00 in/out per person(service to be booked for the Hotel San Domenico)
  • Tips
  • Personal expenses
  • Everything not specified in "the quote includes"
  • Possible city tax

FAQ

When can I travel ?

From March to October, departures upon request and availability.

How much does it cost ?

On request – quotations from 2 to 12 pax.

For further information on the price or a tailor-made quotation please contact us at info@out-of-italy.com. 

How's the climate ?

The best period for this trip is between May and September, which are months characterized by mild temperatures and less rainfall. Along the coast and in the flat areas weather is generally hot, windy and dry summers and mild winters. Rainfall is generally scarce. Summer temperatures have peaks of 40 degrees and in winter the lows can reach -2 degrees. 

Are meals included ?

Daily breakfast, one lunch and all dinners are included.

Which transportation will be used ?

Transport will be by a van, according to group size. 

For logistics or technical reasons, the itinerary can be run with some amendments on the sequence of the visits and excursions.

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