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Itinerary

Book With Flexibility

  • Peace of Mind
    Cancel within 60 days of departure and any penalties will be applied toward your next Tauck purchase.
  • No Change Fees
    Any Tauck, any time. If your 2021 plans do change any time up until the day of departure, your full deposit can be applied to a future Tauck journey of your choice.
  • Change Dates
    In the event Tauck is unable to operate your journey’s departure date. You have flexible options to travel on another 2021 or 2022 date – or, if you wish, on a different journey.
  • Great Service
    Award-winning service, low prices, client satisfaction

Tour Itinerary

Explore the long heel of Italy’s boot to discover sights, tastes, and gorgeous seascapes you’ll find nowhere else... like Matera, where the Sassi houses are caverns and the streets are sometimes the roofs of other houses... Trulli houses, tiny fairy castles made of limestone slabs, built without mortar... D iscover Renaissance frescoes in Galatina. Stay multiple nights in “masserias,” fortified 16th-century farmhouses turned into elegant hotels. Enjoy wine and olive oil tastings at vineyards yet undiscovered by the maddening crowds… tour of a medieval castle enticing with soul-stirring views and wines… and meals tempting with bounty of the sea and land...

Countries Visited

Italy

Cities Visited

Alberobello , Bari , Lecce , Matera

  1. Day 1
    Arrive Bari / Matera

    Tour begins: 5:00 PM, Palazzo Gattini, Matera. We will meet you upon arrival at Bari Karol Wojtyła Airport on your trip to Puglia, Italy and transfer you to your luxury hotel, set in a 15th-century stone palace in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Matera in Puglia. Nestled on the tip of Italy’s boot, Puglia welcomes with seaside delights, mouthwatering cuisine and entire cities resplendent in art, architecture and warm hospitality. Join us this evening for a rooftop welcome reception, followed by guided sightseeing of Matera with a local guide on your way to dinner at a local restaurant, where you'll experience your first taste of Puglia’s enticing cultural delights.


    Meals:   Dinner
  2. Day 2
    The Sassi of Matera

    Today you'll hop aboard a tuk-tuk for a ride through the winding streets of Matera in Basilicata, home to a settlement of cave dwellings that dates back to Paleolithic times – and one that starred in Mel Gibson’s film, The Passion of the Christ. As you explore this UNESCO World Heritage Site, our local guide shares insights about Matera's famous rock dwellings, known as Sassi (for "stone"), which you'll see piled haphazardly atop one another across the sides of a steep ravine; they began back in antiquity as natural caves and grottoes, and over the centuries were adapted as homes, and were lived in until 1960. Back in Matera, enjoy a morning sightseeing tour of the city. The rest of the day is yours to explore as you wish. Lunch and dinner today will be on your own.


    Meals:   Breakfast
  3. Day 3
    Primitivo Wines & Baroque Lecce

    Drive through the countryside to Lecce today, stopping en route at a winery known for its Puglian Primitivo wine. Enjoy a tasting tour and lunch and continue on to your hotel in Lecce. A guided walking tour of the city's 300-year-old cobblestone streets includes a close look at its Baroque monuments and architectural sites that give credence to Lecce's nickname as the “Florence of the South" – the ornate 15th-century Chiesa di Santa Chiara; the 2nd-century Roman Amphitheater, unearthed in 1901; the Piazza del Duomo; and the allegorically dressed Basilica de Santa Croce, a must-see site. Spend the remainder of the day exploring as you wish.


    Meals:   Breakfast   Lunch
  4. Day 4
    Galatina & Otranto by the Sea

    Head to nearby Galatina, home of the “Tarantella,” for a tour of the Basilica di Santa Caterina d’Alessandria where you will view impressive frescoes depicting biblical stories. On a visit inside the Baroque Chiesa di San Paolo, see the church well that was reputed to have healing powers from magic spiders. After lunch, drive to the fortified seaside town of Otranto for a guided walking tour of its historic sites. See its famous castle and visit its medieval cathedral, home to a magnificent floor mosaic (and wooden coffered ceiling) along with its macabre crypts. Dinner tonight at an authentic masseria delights with a family-style farm-to-table menu that showcases ingredients grown on site and “Officina Zoe” pizzica folk music and dance.


    Meals:   Breakfast   Lunch   Dinner
  5. Day 5
    Puglia and on to your masseria

    Spend the morning at leisure, before driving to an Apulian masseria for a tour of its grounds and a lunch featuring locally produced ingredients. This afternoon, drive to your masseria hotel in Savelletri di Fasano; all Masseria hotels are inland as they were original farmhouses, not on the sea.  You'll enjoy the regional cuisine tonight when you dine at a local restuarant.


    Meals:   Breakfast   Lunch   Dinner
  6. Day 6
    Trulli Houses in Alberobello

    Regulated by an edict enforced by the Kingdom of Naples in the 15th century, mortarless buildings and home in the southern region of Puglia called trulli were constructed only of stone during that time, with many still standing distinctively intact today. Today, visit the "barnyard district" of Rione Aia Picola in the town of Alberobello, tightly packed with alleys lined by whitewashed trulli once inhabited by the farmers who built them. There no shops or cars here, lending to the authenticity of this unique experience. See the Trulli Sovrano, the town’s only two-story trullo and its most impressive, built in the 18th century for a local priest and today a museum of religious relics. You'll have some time at leisure to explore more on your own and sample a taste of local fare. Join us for dinner this evening at a local restaurant.


    Meals:   Breakfast   Dinner
  7. Day 7
    Seaside Caves & a Farewell

    Built into a rugged ravine pitted with caves and painted with deep blue grottoes, the seaside town of Polignano a Mare is renowned for its cliff diving; for inspiring the 1958 international hit song "Nel blu dipinto di blu" (a.k.a. “Volare”) by Italian singer, songwriter, actor and Parliament member Domenico Modugno (who was born here); and, according to the locals, for its ice cream. Enjoy time to wander in town before returning to your resort. Join us for a farewell dinner tonight.


    Meals:   Breakfast   Dinner
  8. Day 8
    Journey home

    Trip ends: Savelletri di Fasano. Fly home anytime. A transfer is included from Masseria Torre Coccaro to Bari Karol Wojtyła Airport or Brindisi Airport, regardless of time or day of departure. Ask at booking about extending your stay with additional hotel nights in Savelletri di Fasano or in Bari at Grande Albergo delle Nazione. You should allow three hours for flight check in.


    Meals:   Breakfast

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Inclusions

Explore the long heel of Italy’s boot to discover sights, tastes, and gorgeous seascapes you’ll find nowhere else... like Matera, where the Sassi houses are caverns and the streets are sometimes the roofs of other houses... Trulli houses, tiny fairy castles made of limestone slabs, built without mortar...Discover Renaissance frescoes in Galatina. Stay multiple nights in “masserias,” fortified 16th-century farmhouses turned into elegant hotels. Enjoy wine and olive oil tastings at vineyards yet undiscovered by the maddening crowds… tour of a medieval castle enticing with soul-stirring views and wines… and meals tempting with bounty of the sea and land...

  • ALL SMALL GROUP DEPARTURES averaging 24 Tauck guests - A small group size means a more personal travel experience highlighted by stays at chic smaller hotels in fabulous locations
  • A two-night stay in Matera, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Basilicata, with sightseeing by tuk-tuk and guided exploration of the Sassi cave-dwelling settlement
  • Two nights in the Baroque city of Lecce, known as the "Florence of the South"
  • Lunch at a winery known for Puglian Primitivo wineA visit to Alberobello's famous limestone trulli houses

Health and Safety Protocols for Tauck Tours

Traveling with Peace of Mind
Our commitment never wavers – to earn your trust by always doing the right thing. As we explore the world together again, this will be more important than ever as we adapt to living and traveling in the presence of COVID-19.

Tauck is 95-years young this year, and our ability to weather many storms over the decades is a result of our values and beliefs – as a family and as a family-owned and led company. In addition to the guiding light of these values, our extensive experience, local knowledge and global support network help to ensure your safety on every Tauck journey. Building upon our bedrock of award-winning guest care, we have worked tirelessly to prepare for your return following the COVID-19 hiatus in travel. With guidance from leading experts, including the CDC and WHO, together with our internal Global Response Team and, most importantly, with feedback from thousands of our guests, we have redefined how we will conduct our experiences as we resume travel.

Tauck is Prepared for the Unexpected
For decades, Tauck has operated in over 70 countries in all 7 continents. Over this time, our staff and network of supplier partners have always been there to support our guests and team on the road. Our guests travel with a comprehensive, built-in support system that starts with the care and local knowledge of our Tauck Directors and extends to our network of partners around the world, including hoteliers and transportation companies.

At the core of our ability to quickly and effectively respond to the unexpected is our Global Response Team - a group of over 50 employees across all departments who stand ready to spring into action around the world. This team has plenty of experience, from weather events, high and low water on rivers, earthquakes, volcanic ash, civil unrest and work stoppages. They have also dealt with past virus outbreaks including the SARS and Zika viruses.

The Tauck Travel Well Pledge
Before we operate tours and cruises, all Tauck employees, our supplier partners and our guests will take Tauck’s Travel Well Pledge.

As a company, we will follow our enhanced protocols with diligence and rigor; review them frequently as the landscape changes and always make common-sense decisions grounded in purpose and pride. We embrace these new and necessary measures to combat COVID-19 and will do our very best to provide the Tauck care we have been honored to deliver for 95 years.

OUR NEW HEALTH & SAFETY PROTOCOLS
Consistent with our commitment to the well-being of our guests, we are implementing enhanced health and safety protocols. These protocols may vary by geographic regions and will certainly evolve over time, as science and society respond to new realities:

Tauck Staff
Prior to interacting with guests, each member of Tauck’s field staff is trained in enhanced protocols and participates in a personal health screening.

Once on tour, our Tauck Directors and supporting staff are responsible for maintaining these protocols with a special focus on cleanliness and physical distancing. They will relay critical information regarding requirements, advise when protocols are mandatory – such as wearing a face covering in group settings – and help facilitate guest care through communication with appropriate parties should a guest become ill on tour. All Tauck staff will adhere to the same requirements.

Guest Responsibility
When joining a Tauck journey, every guest is responsible for their own health and, in turn, the protection of their fellow travelers, the Tauck staff, our suppliers and the places we visit. Guests will pledge to follow the direction of the Tauck staff and adhere to health and safety protocols.

Guests are expected to wear face coverings in all group settings, to wash their hands frequently and to adhere to supplier and government regulations. While supplies of face coverings, gloves, and hand sanitizer will be available, guests are asked to bring such personal items for their own comfort.

Small is BIG
For many years, Tauck has emphasized and invested in more choices of activities, resulting in smaller groups for activities like sightseeing and events. This is consistent with our mantra that “Small is Big” – small groups and smaller ships with fewer guests.

We initially focused on these elements to improve the guest experience. Yet today they take on an additional dimension; small group experiences and more personal space are critical in providing the peace of mind our guests expect. Accordingly, we are offering even more small group experiences and limiting guest numbers across all of our journeys.

We have been working diligently with our partners to be prepared to welcome you back when the time is right.
Tauck has worked meticulously with our global supplier partners to plan for every itinerary following the hiatus in travel. All partners, whether they be a hotel, museum, small ship/riverboat, restaurant or other partner, have been thoughtful about how to provide a Tauck experience in this environment.

And while it's impossible to list all of the enhanced health and safety protocols for the hundreds of Tauck partners across the globe, we would like to share a representative sample of what you can expect:

Hotels
Our hotel partners all have world-class health and safety protocols. However, these guidelines may vary depending on local situations and regulations. Here are some typical examples:

  • Upon-arrival, health questionnaires and temperature checks may be required. Some hotels may even require daily temperature scans.
  • Social distancing may be required in public areas, bars and restaurants.
  • High-touch areas such as railings, door handles and elevators will undergo enhanced cleaning.
  • In-room measures may include removal of tent cards and magazines. Common use items, such as coffee makers and minibar amenities may be on demand.
  • High-touch areas, such as light switches, thermostats, remote controls and door handles will be subject to enhanced and frequent cleaning.
  • Guests will have the option to determine housekeeping frequency.
  • All hotel staff will undergo daily health screenings.

Ships and Riverboats
We have worked closely with our cruise partners to ensure the best possible health and safety protocols and to ensure the care and service you expect from Tauck:

  • Guests on cruises and river journeys will be required to complete a health questionnaire and will undergo a temperature check prior to boarding. In some instances, our ship partners will conduct daily temperature checks.
  • Face coverings and physical distancing will be required in most public spaces for guests and crew alike.
  • Meals may be offered at staggered times and self-serve buffets will be eliminated.
  • In-cabin measures include removing common use items. Coffee makers, minibar amenities and housekeeping will be on demand at guest discretion.
  • Ship staff will undergo daily health screenings.
  • All vessels will have medical staff onboard.

Sightseeing and Local Activities
Many of our experiences are exclusive and/or private and that’s important in taking care of you. Whether it be a guided tour, a visit to an iconic museum or private home, a musical performance, or any other special Tauck activities, we are applying the same rigor to health and safety protocols:

  • Tauck listening devices will be sanitized thoroughly and frequently.
  • Sightseeing is being adjusted to ensure proper physical distancing.
  • Admission times at venues may be altered to ensure no crowding.
  • Paper tickets, handouts and the like may be eliminated.

Dining
Tauck has always been known for a la carte dining; having more freedom to decide when and with whom to dine now has more value than ever. Additionally, our partners whether they be hotels, ships, special venues or restaurants, are raising their already rigorous hygienic standards. Here are some examples:

  • Waitstaff will likely be wearing face coverings and gloves.
  • Seating will be adjusted to accommodate physical distancing.
  • Self-serve buffets will be eliminated. Common use menus will no longer be used unless sanitized.

On-Tour Transportation
Keeping on-tour transportation safe is a major focus of our team who has worked with hundreds of partners to ensure continuity in health and safety protocols:

  • On motorcoaches and other on-tour ground transportation, such as airport transfers, guest should expect physical distancing and will be required to wear face coverings.
  • Prior to each trip, our motorcoaches, vans, airport transfer vehicles and on-tour aircraft will undergo a deep sanitizing process.
  • Luggage may also be sanitized at each movement.
  • Drivers will wear gloves and face coverings during all guest-facing interactions.
  • Drivers will frequently clean handrails, door handles, arm rests, tables, seats, air conditioning/HVAC units, restrooms and overhead storage areas.

Our Supplier Partners are ready for you
Tauck is proud to have worked closely with our partners around the world, many of them for decades, to deliver the quality, comfort and safety you expect. Whether it be hotels and resorts, riverboats and small ships, restaurants, event venues or transportation companies, their meticulous health and safety protocols reflect their leadership and well-earned respect in the travel industry. The following are some select health and safety protocols. We will update these on a regular basis.

In addition to our supplier partners, we have also been actively engaged with global travel organizations to standardize health and safety protocols throughout the travel industry. TourCare is one example:

TourCare are health and sanitation guidelines developed by the tour industry's major global associations: the United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA), The Canadian Association of Tour Operators (CATO) and the European Tourism Association (ETOA). Tauck, and our supplier partners, meet and exceed these guidelines that require members to adhere to the highest standards in the industry.

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Accommodations

Risorgimento Resort

Masseria Torre Coccaro
Palazzo Gattini

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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.

Customer Reviews

Overall Rating
4.2
Accommodations
5
Itinerary
5
Professional Staff
4
Repeat with Operator
4
Value for Money
3

Ratings based off 2 reviews - currently showing 2 reviews with comments only

This is a wonderful tour of the area in heel of Italy's boot. The food is different from that of Northern Italy (Rome and above) and the bread styles breads are terrific.. The guides were very knowledgeable about the ancient history of this area.

after many trips with other operators, this was our first tauck tour. it focused on fewer sites but was clearly first class with respect to accommodations, group size (20), food, and special events/visits (with one exception) compared to prior tours. the exception was the visit to a distant castle which killed a whole afternoon and was nice to look at from the outside but had virtually nothing inside it. overall, i'd say one needs to decide if they want higher quality hotels and food, smaller group, everything prepaid, and more leisurely tour or visit more locations on a longer tour with a larger group (32-40), lower quality accommodations and food, with a variety of optional side tours available to purchase.

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