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Exploring Italy’s Apulia Region: Apulia (also known as Puglia or Le Puglie), the spur of the Italian Boot, is an enchanting region that spreads lengthwise along the sea with marvelous beaches and the rocky, boulder-encrusted Riviera of Otranto and Santa Maria di Leuca, where the calm and crystalline waters of the Ionian Sea mix with those of the intense and azure Adriatic. For history, Apulia offers a wide range of places that testify to the ancient origins of this land: from prehistory to Magna Graecia, from the Imperial Age to the Renaissance and the Baroque splendor of Lecce and of Salento. The trulli, for example those of Valle d’Itria, offer an evocative testimony to the rural past of the region. This is the “other side” of Italy and one you should not miss, even if you have not yet done some of the more traditional destinations. You will marvel at the beauty and sophistication in Apulia.

Highlights:

  • Seaside delights, mouthwatering cuisine and entire cities resplendent in art, architecture and warm hospitality.
  • Explore the town 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.
  • 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.
  • A guided tour of a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Castel del Monte.
  • An exceptional chance to explore the stunning seaside city of Ostuni, renowned for its distinctive whitewashed homes.
  • Begin the day in Lecce with a walk to the workshop of papier-mâché artist Claudio Riso for a demonstration of this colorful art.

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