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  • 1. The Gems of Puglia: An Intimate Guided Adventure and Luxury Cruise of the Magical Land of Puglia Puglia is the unspoiled gem of Italy without the crowds and canned tours of more well known parts of the country. Puglia is truly another country in the country and we have built an itinerary not only unique to this diverse land, but we believe, unlike any adventure currently offered in Europe. We offer a chance to live Puglia as a native while experiencing personalized service on par with the great hotels and resorts of the world. A group of no more than 6 guests will be guided by local adventure entrepreneur Antonello Losito, a native of Puglia with over 7 years of travel expertise. From the moment you are met in Bari until long after you return home you will feel the effects of this magical land, and Southern Vision’s dedication to your unmatched experience. You will exchange experiences with this ancient land through biking, culinary instruction, wine tasting; and with over 800km of coastline, there is no better way to experience the true coastal wonders of Puglia than by luxury cruise. This itinerary offers a diversity of ways to explore the rugged coastline, the quaint interior towns and the old- world charm of this region that comprises the heel of Italy’s boot. By day you will be fascinated by Puglia’s endless orchards of twisted olive trees, beautiful masserie (farmhouses), whitewashed hilltop towns, and interesting “trulli”. By night your taste buds will be tantalized by the region’s culinary delights! Remember, this is like no other travel itinerary in Italy. You may choose any or all of each day’s activities, or you may choose to break from the schedule and explore on your own. You may even choose to simply relax with a book, a bottle of local wine, and watch the beautiful life of Puglia go idly by. Whatever options you choose, this is YOUR vacation, and we are here to facilitate your own particular journey. Cruise itineraries are available with weekly departures from June to July (Starting Day: Sunday) with a minimum of 4 participants and include daily van support as well as the full-time services of a professional guide. Contact us for any other desired date.
  • 2. ______________________________________________________________________ Itinerary Overview Day 1 – Sunday 12:00 PM Pick Up in Bari – We will meet you at the airport in Bari to begin your Pugliese Adventure. We travel to Conversano for our introduction to life in Puglia. 1:00 PM – Introduction to Southern Visions and Apulian Cuisine – We will take your luggage, answer your questions, and feed you some of the freshest foods in all of Europe; and give you time to explore Conversano. We provide maps, suggested shopping, and view into the rest of the week. 6:30 PM – L’Aperitivo – An introduction to Apulian wine (yes, you get to drink it) with emphasis on the role of wine at the Italian table and how advances in enology and viticulture are making Pugliese vineyards some of the most sought after in the world. 8:00 PM - Dinner at Il Pashà Restaurant – Located directly in front of a medieval castle and one of the most authentic restaurants in all of Puglia. We will guide you in making selections that will harmonize with your own interests while creating new favorites! Lodging “Corte Altavilla” – Quaint, and at the same time luxurious, this family run hotel exemplifies what we mean by Personalized Service. ________________________________________________________________________ Day 2 – Monday – Puglia by Bike - Today we are going to immerse ourselves in the “land of the trulli and caves”. 7:30 AM – 8:30 AM – Breakfast Italian Style – croissants (cornetti) and caffe or cappuccino are the perfect fuel to begin a day of walking and biking. 9:00 AM - Private van transfer to Alberobello (please come dressed in biking attire). 10:00 AM Guided Walking Tour of Alberobello – The city of Trulli, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Trulli are ancient dwellings with conical roofs believed to be a funnel for the soul to reach heaven. Alberobello is a city almost entirely built from the 1500 + ancient trulli. The Trulli are still utilized to this day for dwellings, inns, shops and services and make for a magical morning experience. 11:30am Meet by the bikes for our daily route talk, bike fitting & safety talk. Biking is the easiest way to cover the most ground on a trip to Puglia. Puglia has low difficulty terrain and makes for leisurely riding. We provide our guests with the most reliable and safest equipment in the industry. 12:00 PM - Bike tour along the Itria Valley - Rolling hillsides dotted with whitewashed
  • 3. trulli and colorful wildflowers make spinning through the countryside’s extensive network of stonewall-lined roads a delightful way to spend a day. In the afternoon we will travel a short distance to Locorotondo, a picturesque hilltop town named aptly for its curious circular shape. 1:00 PM - Lunch stop in the farm village of San Marco for a mozzarella making demonstration and lunch. Puglia is home to some of the finest mozzarella in the world, and you will have the chance to discover how it is made, and perhaps more importantly; eat it! 2:30 PM - Afternoon ride and visit of Locorotondo and Martina Franca – Enjoy a leisurely spin from Locorotondo to Martina Franca takes us through the scenic Valle d’Itria and past beautiful masserie (farmhouses). Martina Franca’s elegant baroque architecture and quaint shops make it one of Puglia’s most interesting destinations. 4:00 PM - Private van transfer to Conversano – After a great ride we send you home in the van with drinks and snacks to give you a recharge. 6:00 PM Cooking class with Patrizia – Tonight provides another fabulous opportunity to taste the best of Puglia and learn how to make it at home. Patrizia is a legend in this region for her brilliant use of local ingredients and precise instruction. This trip is like being on the set of your very own Food Network show! Lodging “Corte Altavilla” ________________________________________________________________________ Day 3 – Tuesday – Going out to sea! 9:00 am Meet by the bikes for daily route talk 9:30 am This morning we will make our way from Conversano to Polignano a Mare, an ancient village of Greek origin. Set on beautiful, limestone cliffs above the Adriatic, this gem of a town has views of the sparkling Mediterranean that can’t be beat. This will be a good excuse to taste what is considered the best gelato in the region! From Polignano a gentle and short ride up to Monopoli will build your appetite for lunch. 12:30 End of the ride in Monopoli 1:00 Transfer onto the boat “Monny”! Welcome drink onboard and introduction to life as a Pugliese Mariner – By bike you have seen the historic gems of interior Puglia. Now on the sparkling deck of the legendary “Monny” you will experience a Puglia until now only known to the Pugliese sailors and fishermen. Sunrise and sunset on deck will make you feel as though the Monny belongs only to you. We will give you the low down on life onboard and set you free to explore the bustling port of Monopoli.
  • 4. As the sun sets you will see Monopoli’s historic centre come alive during the “passeggiata”, a traditional Italian evening stroll in town. Evening Dinner On your own in the old town (dinner suggestions and map provided). Overnight on board ________________________________________________________________________ Day 4 – Wednesday 8:00am Breakfast on board – Ahh, cappuccino and a sea breeze…heaven… 9:00am Boat transfer to Villanova di Ostuni and mooring. 1:00pm Lunch onboard - The traditional Mariner’s lunch kicked up a few notches to encompass the delicacies of the sea and the grand tradition of freshness that is Pugliese cuisine. After lunch, we jump back on land to explore the brilliant Città Bianca (white city) of Ostuni or extend your day with a walk into the beautiful natural setting of Lamacornola. 3:00pm Optional walking excursion at Lamacornola – This walk will take you from the stunning seaside to a natural preserve of olives, eucalyptus, and ancient dwellings; more evidence that Puglia is a land unto itself. 7:00pm Private transfer by van from Monny to Il Frantoio. 8:00pm Dinner at Il Frantoio (Often the dining highlight on all trips in Puglia). Rosalba manages the kitchen which doesn’t work as a restaurant. They decide to “offer” dinner when they can harvest fresh ingredients from their own backyard. Once again Southern Visions’ connections have guaranteed a meal at this legendary Masseria. It’s a journey in the local cuisine re-imagined; each plate in served with an explanation about the ingredients, a particular wine to match and even a unique olive oil for each course. Simply magic… Overnight on board. ________________________________________________________________________ Day 5 – Thursday 8:00am Breakfast on board 9:00am Boat transfer to the World Wildlife Fund Oasis of Torre Guaceto and mooring 10:30am Free time to explore the site. Optional walking excursion in the park
  • 5. 1:00pm Picnic lunch along the beach – After a thought provoking and soul uplifting walk, we provide a fabulous picnic lunch on the beach before jumping back on the boat. 3:00pm Boat transfer to Otranto – On our way we will stop for a swim in the crystal clear azure waters on one of the many fabulous beaches lining the coast to Otranto. 5:00pm Welcome to Otranto – Otranto is bordered by two seas, the Adriatic and Ionian. This city has long been the gem of the Salento peninsula. You will have a chance to visit the beautiful Aragonese castle that once protected the town and learn about the town’s turbulent history at the famous cathedral before sitting down to enjoy a dinner of fresh seafood, for which Otranto is famous. 8:00pm Dinner on your own in the old town (dinner suggestions and map provided). Overnight on board. ________________________________________________________________________ Day 6 – Friday 8:00am Breakfast on board. 9:00am Boat transfer to Santa Maria di Leuca. 10:00 am - Optional bike ride to S.M. di Leuca - Today is a ride never to be forgotten. We pedal the incredible coastline between Otranto and Santa Maria di Leuca, situated at the very heel of Italy’s boot. From the famous thermal town of Santa Cesarea Terme, to the coastal fishing villages of Castro and Tricase Porto you can feel the Byzantine influence. Those on the ride will stop for a traditional lunch along the sea. 1:00pm Lunch on board in S. M. di Leuca - For those who choose to remain onboard, The captain will arrange a lunch much like the legendary sailors of Salento. 8:00pm Dinner in a local restaurant devoted to fresh ingredients and the fabulous Salice Salentino wines of Salento. Overnight on board. ________________________________________________________________________ Day 7 – Saturday 8:00am Breakfast onboard – We say farewell to our Amazing captain and crew. 9:00am Private van transfer to Lecce . 10:30am Guided Walking Tour of Lecce – Commonly referred to as the Florence of the South, Lecce, more than any other town in Puglia, has retained its historic and cultural
  • 6. identity. Its “Leccese baroque” historic centre stands above all others in its beauty. Vibrant shopping, beautiful cathedrals and coffee on every corner, this lively and inviting town is the perfect place to end a wonderful journey. 12:00pm Arrivederci! Southern Visions offers intimate active and cultural travel experiences through the beautiful region of Puglia (I think the Italian Spelling is better, and more authentic) in southern Italy. This region, comprising the heel of Italy’s boot, is a cultural gem. As a relatively undiscovered area it provides travelers with an exceptionally authentic view into the southern Mediterranean way of life. Southern Visions offers you the opportunity to traverse this wonderful region by bicycle through Apulia’s endless olive groves and past the conical-shaped trulli houses and exquisite masserie (farmhouses) that make up the unique architectural style of this region. On a Southern Visions vacation you will visit Apulia’s most characteristic villages and towns, taste the region’s delectable wines, sample the wonderful array of olive oils and indulge in the most exquisite fresh foods available. And all of this is experienced by bicycle, the most relaxing and inspiring way to travel through this area and its endless miles of backcountry roads. Bicycle touring offers the ultimate in freedom and independence so you can stop on your schedule and soak up the atmosphere, enjoy the warm Pugliese sunshine, take photos or speak to the locals. At Southern Visions we guarantee to take care of all your vacation details so you are free to enjoy your holiday. You can be assured that we have made all the arrangements; airport pickup and drop off, luggage transfers, accommodation and interesting activities intended to show you the most unique elements of Apulia’s culture.