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Apulia Discovery

Apulia Discovery


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Overview

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Itinerary

Countries Visited

Italy

Tour Itinerary

Day 1: Friday - Arrival
Arrival at Bari airport and transfer to your hotel. Welcome briefing and overnight in Alberobello.

Day 2: Saturday - Alberobello, Locorotondo & Cisternino
After breakfast, meet your driver guide and start your exploration of Val d'Itria. You will visit Locorotondo and Cisternino and pass along beautiful small villages, vineyards and olive trees. Locorotondo is very close to Alberobello and is considered one of the most beautiful villages in Italy. Here, the town itself is the main sight. It's a pleasant place to spend an hour or two wandering, taking photographs and sitting at cafe tables. The historic part of town - the centro storico - is circular and perched on top of a hill. It's a whitewashed maze of little lanes lined with historic buildings, some humble and faded, others retaining rather grand baroque archways and architectural details. The territory of Cisternino was already inhabited during the Middle Palaeolithic period by humans who reached the area from the north and the south of Puglia. These populations left numerous traces of their presence here, such as tools that they used like spears spikes, blades, scrapers and chisels to engrave bones.Cisternino is today a small charming old town centre that has remained virtually intact for centuries with its white houses, narrow streets, little churches and elegant central piazza with a series of panoramic viewpoints from which you can appreciate the around countryside, dotted with its rolling hills, dry stone walls and Trulli roofs piercing the green fields. Cisternino is nice to visit at any time of day, though the magical moments are the summer's evening when the sun sets and the locals come out for their evening stroll. We will have a wine and cheese tasting followed by a farmer lunch in a beautiful Masseria, from where you will see the green of olives and the blue of the Adriatic sea. Return to Alberobello where you will have time to explore the city on your own. Alberobello is a fascinating place to visit, above all because of the trulli, the traditional dome shaped buildings made from the local stone. The town is surrounded by the olive groves and vineyards typical of the Puglia region.Trulli is a word that derives from the Greek "tholos" ("dome"), the typical shape of the buildings. Each whitewashed "trullo" is built without an lime or cement, and has a conical roof on the outside, which is dome shaped inside, and consists of a square central compartment that communicates through arcades with the kitchen and other rooms. Overnight in Alberobello.

Day 3: Sunday Ostuni, Polignano & Monopoli
Today, visit Ostuni, Polignano & Monopoli. Ostuni, perched on three hills 218 meters above sea level, is better known as the "White Town", thanks to the characteristic whitewashed houses of its historic center, a tradition the inhabitants still keep on. The Fifteenth century Romanesque-Gothic Cathedral dominates the town, with a façade sporting a 24-rays rose window of rare beauty. A series of churches and elegant houses embellish the old town, surrounded by Aragonese walls, where there are the two ancient town gates, Porta Nova and Porta San Demetrio. The small town of Polignano enjoys a spectacular position. Placed approximately 50 miles south of Bari is erected on the edge of a rocky gorge. The town is considered one of the most ancient establishments in Puglia and was populated by serial invaders ranging from the Huns to the Normans. People come here to view the crashing waves, visit the caves and crowd out the panifici (bakery) in the atmospheric historical center. In Monopoli you will experience the "Paese vecchio" as the locals usually call the heart of the town, where you will find an unusual concentration of cultural heritage and Churches, positioned literally one next to another. You will find small and charming homes, once inhabited by heroic fishermen and expert farmers, whose children are still dedicated to producing great wines and unpassed wines. Walking among the narrow streets ,between arches and alleys, you will feel sea air and fragrances of freshly hanging laundry or tomato sauce cooked for hours. Overnight in Alberobello.

Day 4: Monday - Matera
Meet your driver and transfer to Sorrento with en route stop in Matera where you will have free time to explore the city. Matera is an ancient city that seems to have existed forever. It is the third oldest city in the world, after Aleppo and Jericho, with over 10,000 years of history. From natural cavities carved by wind and rain of the past to the first man-made caves we can discover how easy it was to shape the limestone material of the Sassi rock. Hence real underground dwellings, in the belly of Mother Earth, which will leave you speechless. A woven structure that has intrigued experts has also discovered how it had been possible to live with the absence of running water. There is still a lot to tell about the water systems created to collect water, one of the elements that has helped to give in Matera the title of a World Heritage Site. You can visit the most beautiful churches, starting from the Duomo on the Civita; walk through the beautiful streets and traffic-free squares, populated with people; you can enjoy the most picturesque alleys, and you will continue your visit in the heart of the two Sassi's. Overnight in Lecce.

Day 5: Tuesday - Lecce
In the afternoon, meet your guide and have a guided visit of the town. Called "the Florence of the South," Lecce has strong Messapian roots, an ancient and mysterious people living in this area before the Romans. Today, it welcomes visitors with its magnificent baroque architecture, which blazes on the portals of its palaces and on the facades of the many churches that line the streets inside the city's three ancient gates: Porta Rudiae, Porta San Biagio and Porta Napoli. Overnight in Lecce.

Day 6: Wednesday - Lecce
Transfer to Bari Airport.

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Inclusions

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Questions & Answers

Question: How many suitcases can I take with me on my trip?

Each person is allowed one "check-in," and one "carry-on." Remember to take all valuables with you as "carry-on", because electronic equipment, cameras, laptops, jewelry, business documents and money are not covered by the airlines' liability, so always carry them aboard with you.

Question: Is Airfare Included in the Price?

Airfare from your point of origin to and from the trip is not included in the land price.

SITA World Tours Customer Reviews

Overall Rating
3.7
Accommodations
3.7
Itinerary
3.8
Professional Staff
4
Repeat with Operator
3.4
Value for Money
3.5

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Ratings based off 93 reviews about SITA World Tours - currently showing 15 reviews with comments only

Madagascar is a hard place but the folks made it a pleasant visit.

Affordable tours did a remarkable job on our trip to Italy. The itinerary was very detailed and, although there were a couple of minor changes during the week, we were extremely satisfied with the accommodations, the level of professionalism and knowledge of the tour guides, and would not hesitate to recommend them for your next vacation.

Guides were good, especially Gin.

While the hotels were rated 3+ stars, they are group travel hotels - fair rooms and buffet breakfast and dinner. It's OK as an experience and the food was adequate.

1. We were never informed that this would be a bilingual tour! Very disappointing and annoying! We could not bond with 3/4 of the guests or understand their questions and answers. We were the only Americans on most of the trip. 2. We were totally unaware of the fact that we could have upgraded our hotels. 3. 50% of the buses provided did not have Wi-Fi available. Some didn't even have overhead lights. 4. Buffets provided in Morocco's hotels were almost inedible. Very few choices and actually hardly anything was palatable. 5. The tour guide for Morocco (Idame ?) was unenthusiastic and did nothing extra to make this more enjoyable (doing his job-"phoning it in")One problem was the optional tour on April 16, Fantasia, was 65 but he was charging US$83. By any account I could find this was not a fair and equitable exchange rate.

Three nights in Queensttown at the Rydges was more of an economy motel than a first class hotel. The intra-country transportation was on passenger buses with many stops and pickups encounter from one location to another. Also I thought transfer back to airport would be private like the meet and greet but was a shared airport shuttle with several stops.

I know that the price was right for the tour that was offered, but the accommodation were not that great. I had done several tours before. even one in the Germany- Hungary area just a few days before, and I was always in a group where we all started together with a meeting the night before at the first hotel and the whole group stayed together for the whole tour. In this occasion there was people s joining the group and leaving all the time, And we were separated in two hotels, the nicer hotel for some of them and the second grade hotel for the rest of us. That made us feel discriminated and divided into two groups. Yes, you may think that we were being able to afford this tour, but I still think that for the price we paid, we did not get the value.

I have been traveling once or twice a year and so far this is the WORSE!!! Never imagined this kind of tour can still exist with so many choices around. Kanesia who booked us was wonderful. She was very professional and courteous but the tour itself was a nightmare from start to finish!! When we arrived at the airport, when we notify the lady holding our name card she just pointed to the driver and walked away without any word of assurance and explanation not even an eye contact! WOW! Next the driver dropped us off the hotel and that is it. No receiving party nor the hotel desk knows anything. Our daughter arrived later in the evening and nobody picked her up from the airport. She has to take a taxi alone in the middle of the night, a young lady in an unknown city. Paid extra to the driver for being grateful. All these times we tried contacting the local operator many times, NO ANSWER!!! Our schedule given to us (refer to page 3/10 on the attached documents, it says we are free the next day. Day 3 (Saturday) in Rome. The next day, we were suddenly awakened by the front desk saying that somebody is picking us up for a 3 hour Rome walking tour. We panicked and dressed so fast hardly able to comb our hair. During that time, the person who picked us up gave me the paper about today's schedule please refer to Italia Gartour page A indicated attached. The hotel had a very tight shower and not even a soap dish inside the shower.The trip after Pompeii was chaotic. Transferring from one bus to another. The guide was so disorganized exchanging passengers with another bus and we looked after our own luggage and wheel them to another bus. The hotel in Sorrento was a breather to be fair. Grand Hotel Vesuvio was nice quite and great location. Good food and staff. The brochure description of the trip from Sorrento to Amalfi was that we will be passing through breathtaking views and what happened we were separated from the other parties and we were driven through the highway and into the mountains then dropped off in a hotel in Maouri. We were on our own confused thinking we were in Amalfi itself. Again no receiving party at the hotel. We towed our own luggage and checked in and not knowing what is next!!! We have to inquire from the front desk how to get to Amalfi. Good thing he was very helpful even in broken English. The worse part is going back to Rome where our service voucher and revised itinerary showed we were booked with the Building Hotel. We were dropped off by the bus near the taxi station and it was raining so hard and we dragged our luggage in those cobble stone falling in line at the taxi line. We have to beg the taxi to take us in since there are 3 of us with luggage and it cannot fit in a regular sedan. When we arrived at the hotel another surprise that our name is not in the list and they are fully booked. Refer to the attached documents. We have to take another taxi to the proper hotel. THIS IS A TOTAL NIGHTMARE instead of a dream vacation. NEVER AGAIN!!!!!! I will spread the word and I hope you better drop this tour operator. SO DISORGANIZED and INCOMPETENT!!!!

1. The guide is making us take taxis and meeting them places since others are staying at different hotels. Definitely not what I have experienced in the past, I am used to the tour bus coming for us, when it says "transportation provided" 2. So far Day 2 and 3 are not as advertised. 9/29: Had to provide own transportation. Met group at 1030 at BMW Welt, left at 11, drove to Marienplatz, watched the glockenspiel. At 1215 we were dismissed, no tour of Munich did not visit the city's main attractions. Had to provide our own transportation to Dinner. 9/30: Had to take a cab to other guests hotel, did not leave until almost 9, did not get to Berchtesgaden until 11, after Eagles Nest I had to complain, because they were going to skip the lake, we were only allowed to go for 40 minutes, no possibility to take the boat trip. Had to get own transportation back from other hotel. Dinner was supposed to be provided but was not. She said it is not included but our itinerary says dinner and breakfast 9/30 10/1 Did not leave until after 9 did not have enough time in Rothenburg Ober Taber, Itinerary says "tour" of well perserved castle-but we did not tour it, we walked up to one gate and took pictures, 10/2 Bamberg was OK, should have skipped Bayreuth and had more time in Nuremberg 10/3 Wurzburg: was very nice, could have used more time, needed to get going earlier each day. Would have been nice to have a driving tour of Frankfurt upon arrival. Tour should have advertised this was a National Holiday, most all shops were closed. The guide did not seem to know much about each stop, could have benefitted from a local guide at stops, and or side excursions should have been available.

It said it included: "Holy Land crafted to CATER to Catholic individuals. Daily Holy Mass included." The guide was not Catholic nor the other couple which made things uncomfortable. I got to go to one Mass. I considered cancelling after the first day but felt it would not be fair to my grandson who was traveling with me. I do not blame the guide, he was great considering, but I feel I was miss lead. I could not recommend this trip to any Catholics. I have made Sita World aware of my opinion.

It was an amazing expererience

We had a wonderful experience and all of the local guides were top notch. Having a personal guide allowed us to see so much more in the limited time we had. Also, we saved so much time not having to wait in line for tickets, not getting lost and having to find transportation. It made our trip so much more enjoyable and relaxed. In addition, we learned so much about the local way of life. My children benefited from this greatly. For the slight additional amount of money you pay, you gain so much more value in your travel experience.

We had local guides, drivers and even an armed guard accompany us to all the sites. The guides were very helpful and knowledgeable and wanted us to feel completely safe and happy at all times. Abeer was our guide in Cairo and she was absolutely fantastic!! She helped us to understand the local customs and was very proud of the world class tourist sites we visited. Loay was our guide on the Nile cruise and he was equally helpful to teach us the history of the Pharohs. Both were proud of their country and proud to show it to us. One downfall was the constant prodding by the locals to sell us everything and anything. Also we had to pay to use the local restrooms and some locals were not very friendly about the amount of money offered!! Another problem was that our boat did not have 'working' wifi. We needed to stay in touch with business emails and reliable wifi is to be expected. Luckily Loay let me use his personal phone as a hotspot to obtain service - very generous of him! We travelled as a family of 4 and felt safe at all times. The drivers would drop us off at the sites and were always ready when we were to depart, no waiting at all!

SITA was not the operator of the tour, it was the tour of Baltic Visions from Riga. Unfortunately, the real tour operator was not professional enough. The tour manager even left the tour half way through. From that point it was the local tour guides only. On top of that, 90% of what was promised turned out to be optional, to be paid cash only!

The itinerary was not always correct. Messages at hotels was very helpful.


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