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.
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
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;
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.
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
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.
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
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
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.
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.