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Puglia & Southern Italy

12 days
Sip cappuccino in a cafe where only Italian can be heard. Wander underground through Neolithic caves. Travel back to simpler times in untouched Alberobello. From the soothing shores of Sorrento to the quaint homes of the Trulli Valley, authenticity presides everywhere you go in Southern Italy.

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

      Local       cuisine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

Maximum tour group size: 35 travelers

Tour Pace: You will walk for about 3 hours daily across moderately uneven terrain, including cobblestone streets and paved roads, with some hills and stairs.

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

      Local       cuisine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

Your tour includes

  • 10 nights in hand-picked hotels

  • Breakfast daily, 5 three-course dinners with wine or beer

  • Multilingual Tour Director

  • Private deluxe motor coach

  • Guided sightseeing and select entrance fees

Overnight Flight 1 night

Day 1: Travel day

Board your overnight flight to Italy today.

Naples 2 nights Hotel info

Day 2: Arrival in Naples

  Included meals: Dinner

Welcome to Italy! Meet your Tour Director and fellow travelers at a welcome dinner where you may have a chance to taste traditional Neapolitan pizza.

Day 3: Sightseeing tour of Naples

  Included meals: Breakfast

This morning’s guided sightseeing tour introduces you to the highlights of Naples.

• Enjoy a panoramic tour with a scenic drive along the Naples waterfront

• Pass Castel dell’Ovo, the seaside castle on a peninsula in the Bay of Naples

• Visit the National Archaeological Museum and see relics of Roman history

Enjoy a free afternoon in Naples or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - The Lost City of Herculaneum $45pp* Details

Part of the family of Lost Cities, Herculaneum was also glazed over by the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius. On this excursion, a guide will take you through the small city and all of its well-preserved wonders. Unlike Pompeii, the conditions in Herculaneum allowed for many buildings and artwork to remain intact. Examine the frescos and mosaics that decorated the homes of the wealthy, and the narrow streets that characterized the area. Before you leave, take some free time to shop.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $55)

Bari 2 nights Hotel info

Day 4: Castel del Monte via Benevento

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Stop to explore the city of Benevento on a guided walking tour that includes several historical sites.

• View the Arch of Trajan and Church of Sant’Ilario 

• Enter the Church of Santa Sofia and the Museum of Sannio

En route to Bari, take a guided tour of the UNESCO-protected Castel del Monte. This 13th-century structure is known as a masterpiece of medieval military architecture.

Day 5: Sightseeing tour of Bari

  Included meals: Breakfast

Explore the town of Bari with a local guide.

• Visit Bari Cathedral, built atop the ruins of an Imperial Byzantine church destroyed in 1156 by William the Wicked

• See the Old Town, the castle, Piazza Mercantile and Piazza Ferrarese

• Visit the Basilica of St. Nicholas, which contains the remains of the bishop whose penchant for anonymous gift-giving inspired the legend of Santa Claus

Enjoy a free afternoon in Bari or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Coastal Trani & Olive Oil Tasting $49pp* Details

Your first stop is Trani, Italy, known as the “Pearl of Puglia” for its sophisticated vibe. Take a guided walking tour of its charming streets, making stops in the historical Jewish neighborhood and at the Romanesque Trani Cathedral. Then, it’s on to the groves of the Galantino Estate, located just outside Trinitapoli, a small community overlooking the Adriatic Sea. Here you’ll visit an ancient oil mill and sample some of the region’s famous olive oils.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $59)

Lecce 2 nights Hotel info

Day 6: Sightseeing tour of Lecce

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Travel to Lecce, nicknamed “the Florence of the South,” to get to know the city on a guided sightseeing tour.

• Marvel at the extravagant ornamentation of Lecce’s churches and monuments 

• Visit Lecce Cathedral, the Basilica of Santa Croce and the Roman Amphitheatre

Day 7: Free day in Lecce

  Included meals: Breakfast

Enjoy a full free day in Lecce or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Otranto with Dinner & Wine Tasting $79pp* Details

This excursion brings you to the seaside town of Otranto, a former Greek colony that repeatedly defied Roman authorities by siding with the Romans’ enemies in the Pyrrhic and Punic Wars. Explore Otranto’s old town and the Romanesque church at the center of town. Later, sit down for an included dinner featuring regional specialties and a wine tasting.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $89)

Trulli Valley 2 nights Hotel info

Day 8: Sightseeing tour of Ostuni

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Pay a visit to Ostuni’s picturesque cathedral and whitewashed Old Town homes. Then continue on to the Trulli Valley, arriving in time for a dinner of local specialties.

Day 9: Sightseeing tour of Alberobello

  Included meals: Breakfast

A local guide leads a tour of Alberobello, where you’ll explore more of its UNESCO-recognized trulli, the iconic homes with symbols painted onto the roof to bring luck.

Enjoy a free afternoon in the Trulli Valley or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Puglia Cooking Class & Dinner $109pp* Details

Visit the agritourismo of Masseria Montenapoleone in Pezze di Greco for an evening of traditional southern Italian cuisine. Here, local chefs will show you how to make fresh pasta and focaccia bread, which you'll taste alongside local olive oil and wine. After your cooking class, enjoy a three-course meal of local specialties—and more wine.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $119)

Sorrento Coast 2 nights Hotel info

Day 10: Sightseeing tour of Matera

  Included meals: Breakfast

Travel through the scenic Apennine Mountains on your way to Sorrento, stopping along the way in Matera for a guided tour of the hilltop town.

• Visit the 9,000-year-old Sassi di Matera cave dwellings, including the Casa Grotta di Vico Solitario and the chiese rupistri, or “rock churches”

• View Matera Cathedral, Palazzo del Sedile and the Tramontano Castle, which has sat unfinished since the early 16th century

Day 11: Free day in Sorrento

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Enjoy a full free day in Sorrento or add an excursion.

Say goodbye to your group at a farewell dinner tonight.

Optional Excursion - Capri: A Day on the Iconic Island $105pp* Details

Travel by ferry to the fabled Isle of Capri, a beloved resort since the days of the Roman Republic. Weather permitting, you’ll enjoy a mini-cruise around the island. Later, you'll enjoy free time to discover why everyone from Roman emperors to Sophia Loren wants to spend their vacation in Capri. If weather prohibits a mini-cruise, you’ll travel to the village of Anacapri, which offers stunning views of the surrounding scenery. Please note: This excursion is weather dependent.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $115)

Day 12: Departure

  Included meals: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the airport for your flight home or continue your adventure in Rome.

Add Rome $449 pp

Please note: Extension is not available on all departure dates.

Only in Rome can you sip cappuccino at a cafe in front of the Pantheon, buy grapes at a centuries-old market, and have an audience with the pope—all in one morning. For a mix of spectacular art, grand history and exuberant street life, no other city comes close.

Rome 2 nights Hotel info

Day 12: Sightseeing tour of Rome

  Included meals: Breakfast

Follow in the footsteps of the ancient Romans with a guided tour of the Eternal City.

• Pass by Trajan’s Column and Piazza Venezia, the city’s central hub

• Stop at the ruins of the Forum, from which the Caesars ruled their vast empire 

• Soak up over 2,000 years of history in Imperial Rome, viewing the Arch of Constantine, the Arch of Titus and the Temple of Venus and Roma

• Enter the Colosseum and take time to explore on your own

Day 13: Free day in Rome

  Included meals: Breakfast

Enjoy a full free day in Rome or add excursions.

Optional Excursion - Iconic Sights: Vatican City $99pp* Details

This guided tour takes you inside the world’s smallest state, Vatican City. Upon arrival, you’ll first visit the Vatican Museums, which recently celebrated a 500-year anniversary and hold many of the world’s most important Classical and Renaissance-era sculptures. Next, you’ll visit the Sistine Chapel, where you’ll gaze on what is perhaps Michelangelo’s greatest masterpiece. Finally, you’ll visit the enormous St. Peter’s Basilica, the epicenter of the Roman Catholic faith. The artists whose efforts have contributed to its glory are some of the best Italy has ever known, including Bramante, Peruzzi, Raphael and Michelangelo. Masterpieces await at every turn, from Bernini’s magnificent bronze canopy to Michelangelo’s Pietà. Please note: This excursion is not available on Sundays. Backpacks are not allowed in the Vatican and a dress code of no shorts or sleeveless shirts is enforced. Due to events surrounding the Holy Year Jubilee in Rome in 2016, we cannot guarantee entrance into St. Peter’s Basilica between December 8, 2015 and November 20, 2016.

Must be booked 70 days before departure

Optional Excursion - Dinner with Tenors $79pp* Details

End your day with an elegant four-course dinner at one of our favorite Roman restaurants. While you dine, you’ll be treated to some of opera’s best-loved arias…and you might even join the singers on stage. Don’t miss this lighthearted evening of food and fun! Please note: This excursion is seasonal and runs from February through November.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $89)

Day 14: Departure

  Included meals: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the airport for your flight home.

How's the weather?

  • Naples, Italy
  • Bari, Italy
  • Lecce, Italy
  • Alberobello, Italy
Temperature Precipitation
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Passport & Visa Requirements

In order to enter Italy, U.S. and Canadian citizens need a valid passport. The expiration date must extend at least six months beyond the date of your return home. No visa is required for U.S. or Canadian citizens. If you are not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, you must contact the Italian consulate for your specific entry requirements.

Baggage Allowance

Airlines have varying weight restrictions on luggage. Some airlines may impose additional charges if you choose to check any baggage; be advised that you are responsible for any such costs. Contact your airline for detailed information regarding luggage size and weight restrictions for your flight, but please note that Go Ahead travelers are restricted to one checked bag per person due to storage limitations on motor coaches and other internal transfers, which may include train connections or flights. One carry-on bag is also permitted, provided that it does not exceed 45 total inches (length + width + height). Make sure you label your baggage and carry valuables, medication and documents in your carry-on bag.

Clothing & Packing Tips

Light, loose-fitting clothing that provides comfort when exploring the sights is essential for your tour. A sun hat, sunglasses and a sturdy pair of walking shoes are recommended for sightseeing. It’s always a good idea to be prepared for any eventuality—a lightweight sports jacket and emergency rainwear are advised. If you plan to visit an especially elegant restaurant or attend the opera or theater, you will probably feel more comfortable in something more formal. Also, remember that bare legs and shoulders are officially not allowed in churches or other religious sites. Entrance may be denied on this basis.

Health

There are no major health risks when traveling to Italy. It is always advisable to check with your doctor or health-care provider for the latest updates and overseas travel requirements.

Cuisine

One of the most enjoyable aspects of traveling is the delightful variety of local cuisine. Most of the staples of the Italian diet have already become favorites in America, but on your tour, be sure to try those less familiar pasta sauces and the vast range of cured hams, cheeses, rustic breads and desserts. In Puglia, the fertile countryside produces great quantities of olive oil, grain, tomatoes, grapes, artichokes, lettuce, fennel, peppers and onions. The region’s simple cuisine exalts these natural ingredients alongside the abundant fresh seafood and local lamb and beef. Puglia is renowned for its homemade pasta, made from local durum wheat and often formed in unusual shapes such as the “orecchiette” (little ears). The “calzone” (big sock), stuffed with onions, black olives, capers, tomatoes, pecorino cheese, anchovies and parsley, is a common snack here. Puglia’s primary meat is lamb, served roasted on a spit, stewed or fried, while beef is commonly used in meat sauce or for meatballs. As for seafood, oysters, mussels, cuttlefish, octopus and sea turtle are popular. Cheese made from sheep’s milk, including fresh ricotta and pecorino, is available everywhere. A hearty meal in Puglia is often finished with homegrown yellow or white melons, watermelons or grapes. For more authentic meals, try local trattorias, small, family-owned restaurants that tend to be set away from the main piazzas and squares. Italians tend to indulge in long meals featuring wines and the occasional beer, followed by the requisite after-dinner drinks grappa or limoncello. American or English- style bars and pubs are not as common, although they can be found in the major cities and currently gaining in popularity, especially in Rome.

Arrival & Transportation Information

Round-trip flights arrive and depart in Naples. When you first arrive in Naples, a Go Ahead representative will meet you after clearing customs. Please remain in the arrival lounge, as the representative might be escorting one of your fellow travelers to the bus at the time of your arrival. Included transportation on your tour is by private motor coach. In your free time, you may wish to explore the destination cities on foot or by public transportation.

Electricity

Italy operates on the European standard of 220 volts.

Time Zones

Italy is one hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and six hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time (EST).

Currency

The euro is the currency you will be using on your tour. Better rates of exchange are usually available in Italy, although it is worth ordering some currency from your local bank to use when you first arrive. We strongly advise that you take debit/ bank cards and credit cards, which can be used to access cash at local banks, as needed. You can use most debit/credit cards at ATMs on the international networks Cirrus and Plus, but make sure to check with your home bank about withdrawal fees. We suggest informing your bank and credit card company of your travel plans, so they don’t confuse your international purchases for fraudulent charges.

Tipping

At the conclusion of your tour, it is customary to offer your Go Ahead Tour Director and driver a gratuity. We recommend tipping in your tour country’s currency, the equivalent of $3USD/CAD per person per day for your driver and $6USD/CAD to $9USD/ CAD per person per day for your Tour Director. If applicable, we also recommend the equivalent of $2USD/CAD per local guide. Tips can only be paid in cash. Please keep current local currency exchange rates in mind when tipping.

See what our travelers say about this tour—all reviews are authentic and unedited.

Have you been on tour with us? Visit My Account to submit a review.

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 11/19/2015

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: ON

Tour Director: 4 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Great Tour

The tour was great value for your money!

4 / 5

4 / 5

Traveled On: 11/15/2015

Number of Past Tours: 3

From: BC

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

More needed for Southern Italy

After returning from this tour recently, I feel that there was not enough planned for the tour - we had a lot of free time; however, it was dark and cold and often rainy which discouraged any "free time" investigating of the city we were in. I would recommend that Go Ahead add more items to this tour - a winery tour, an olive grove tour (we saw thousands of olive trees), a cooking lesson, a hike on the lovely coast of Amalfi etc. There was too much "history" and not enough of participation in the Italy that is now. Italy was, as ever, the loveliest place, with wonderful people.

 

Hi Kathleen! We are happy that you enjoyed lovely Italy and the warm, wonderful people! We regret to hear, though, that you had poor weather. That can be very frustrating, as it can impact your overall experience. Regarding free time on tour, we carefully design our itineraries with the goal of striking a balance between structured time and down time. This gives travelers a chance to explore as they wish or simply relax and soak in their surroundings. That said, we regret the weather hindered this opportunity for you. In the future, you can always consult with your expert Tour Director for free time suggestions on good indoor activities in the event that the weather prohibits outdoor options. We appreciate your recommendation and want to thank you for taking the time to tell us about your experience. We hope to welcome you on another Go Ahead tour in the future! Happy Travels!

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | December 28, 2015

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 11/5/2015

Number of Past Tours: 4

From: PR

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Puglia ,South Italy

EXCELENT TOURS AND TOURS DIRECTOR.

4 / 5

4 / 5

Traveled On: 11/19/2015

Number of Past Tours: 5

From: CA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Our Trip To Puglia

We took this trip not knowing exactly what to expect but we were not disappointed! The sites we saw and cities we visited were wonderful. Our Tour Director was terrific, she had a great feel for the local areas and customs and told great stories while on the bus between cities. No ride was to long and the stops in between were interesting. We extended our trip to go to Rome and while it was the second time we had been there it seemed all new. I recommend this trip to someone who wants to get a great look at a lot of cites and towns in a relative short time.

review photo review photo review photo review photo
1 / 4

4 / 5

4 / 5

Traveled On: 11/20/2015

Number of Past Tours: 5

From: CA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

Best tour director!!

My husband and I have taken plenty of trips with Go Ahead.....and this one was very good! We love Italy anyway but this tour covers areas we wouldn't normally have gone to by ourselves. It involved more hotels than normal but it was necessary to move around a lot to see everything. If you don't like packing and unpacking a lot, this may not be the right tour for you. Also we were slightly disappointed in one or two of the hotels, but nothing worth mentioning. The best optional was the island of Capri! It was amazing.....and not to be missed! But the best part of the tour (for me) was Paz, our tour guide. She is simply amazing at her job and treated us with the care of a mother hen and her chicks! She knows what you need and when you need it ..... and so we gave her the nickname of " telepath"! Love her!! Thanks Paz!!!

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 9/18/2015

Number of Past Tours: 2

From: CA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

"La Dolce Vida"

When we meet our Tour Director Dionisio at the welcome reception and he introduced himself, I knew then that this was going to be the tour to remember. This was followed by a traditional Neapolitan dinner, which included pizza that was honestly the best pizza I had ever eaten. To set the record straight, I have been on four previous GoAhead trips to Europe. This is the first review that I have ever done for Go Ahead. During past travels, I have been to Italia on four separate vacations. Dionisio set the bar very high for our trip by talking about the beautiful and special places that we would be venturing in Southern Italia and Puglia. He certainly delivered on what he said at welcome dinner. Dionisio shared a vast amount of knowledge regarding the history of Southern Italia, the culture, the wine, olive oil and olive trees, and of course, the food. Some of the many highlights of this trip are: The lost City of Herculaneum, the Island of Capri, Monte Saint Angelo, Lecce, Ostuni, Madera and Alberobello, . . . just to name a few! If you are hesitating about traveling in Southern Italia don’t! I never imagined this trip to Southern Italy would be one of the best trips in over 20 years of traveling in Europe. We had an incredible driver Pascuale, and all the local guides, especially Antonio which made this vacation so memorable. I would recommend this trip to everyone that wants to travel in beautiful Italia.

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 9/17/2015

Number of Past Tours: 3

From: CA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Dionisio is the absolute tour director ever!

The tour was amazing! We read the reviews of this tour from people who were on it before and everyone had nothing but wonderful things to say about it. They were right! The whole trip was one of the best ever. I would not mind taking the same trip again because there is so much to see and learn. The most beautiful places and so much history everywhere. And, on top of that, we had the best tour director: Dionisio. He is amazing! He is not only knowledgeable, but he is passionate about what he does. He goes above the duties of a tour director. I know everyone that was on the tour was so grateful to have him and will be looking for his name on future trips to have him again as the tour director. And, we also had the best driver to have in Italy, and maybe Europe, Pasquale. Anyone that is thinking of taking this tour, you will not regret it. I guarantee it.

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 9/10/2015

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: WA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Interesting & Fun

This tour ticked all the boxes for me in regards to where I wanted to visit. This was my fifth trip to Italy, but first time visiting Puglia & Basilica. I was so happy that there were 2 nights at each accommodation and I think the hotels exceeded my expectations. I thought Giorgio was informative, had a great sense of humour and really cared about each individuals needs and wants. It must be hard to cater to everyones wishes, but he went out of his way to try to make everyone happy when he could. The bus rides were very comfortable considering the temperature and the optional excursions were well worth attending. The highlight for me was Alberobello. I loved the town visit during the day, the free time, the excursion to the Grotto in the afternoon and especially the dinner at the Trulli restaurant. I did not want this tour to end, I had a fantastic time and now I have wonderful memories that I'll never forget.

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 9/17/2015

Number of Past Tours: 4

From: MA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Excellent Tour Director

Dionisio was a wonderful guide. We've done many tours and consider him to be the best of the best. He's very knowledgeable about the history, culture, food and the wine of the region. He was extremely well organized, thoughtful and always patient. The tour itself was interesting, comprehensive and well-paced. Highlights of the trip were Alberobello with its amazing trulli, an impromptu wine tasting and dinner that Dionisio arranged for us at the last minute and the amazing view from our hotel in Sorrento. We would definitely recommend this tour.

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 9/10/2015

Number of Past Tours: 2

From: WI

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Mama Mia what a tour!

Our tour director Giorgio and our bus driver Pasqual were fabulous. All of the guides gave us more than just information. The food and atmosphere were impeccable. Hotels were outstanding. Getting around on our own on the free time was very rewarding. Our group was very personable and at all times entertaining. I would travel with all of them again anytime. Think that I could do that trip again easily. Thanks for a wonderful adventure. Ciao

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