Casual Guided Cycling Trip 2011 This is a beautiful Southern Visions casual guided cycling trip through the region of Puglia, Italy, which lies in the heel of the boot, along the sun-‐drenched Adriatic Sea. Choose from seven, eight, or ten (7, 8, or 10) day options. Puglia offers access to the freshest seafood, crowd-‐free open spaces, irresistible desserts and pastries, distinct wines, and the 50 million olive trees that make this region the world’s leading producer of olive oil. Come to Puglia and hear the voices of the past call out over the trulli houses…we promise, once you discover it, Puglia will leave a lasting impression. Trip Highlights • Professionally guided cycling each day • Walking tours of Matera, Alberobello, and Lecce • Local food & wine tastings • Mozzarella making demonstration & tasting with local cheese artisan 2011 Trip Dates • April 30-‐May 9 (8-‐day April 30-‐May 7; 7-‐day May 3-‐9) • September 17-‐26 (8-‐day September 17-‐24; 7-‐day September 20-‐26) • October 10-‐19 (8-‐day October 10-‐17; 7-‐day October 13-‐19) • Custom dates also available Day 1 (8-‐ or 10 day) We will meet in the lobby of the Palazzo Viceconte at 11:00 a.m. You will find your guide holding a Southern Visions sign. Guests are expected to make their own travel arrangements to Matera (in the Basilicata region bordering Puglia). On request, we can provide a shuttle from the Bari or Brindisi airport or train station at an additional fee. See the end of this itinerary for information on arriving to and departing from the area. Matera walking tour Food & wine tasting buffet lunch at Latteria Rizzi Dinner & Lodging: Matera – Palazzo Viceconte www.palazzoviceconte.it/hotel.hotel&taal=en For those who choose our 8-‐ or 10-‐day tour, we will begin our journey by discovering the indigenous beauty of Matera on foot with a guided tour of the sassi (ancient cave dwellings restored for current use as homes, shops, and restaurants), only recently seen by foreign eyes. This is the perfect way to become acquainted with the area before we begin exploring it by bike. After a two hour walk, we will immerse
you into the art of flavor and freshness that is Southern Italian cuisine with a spectacular buffet-‐style lunch and wine tasting at one of Matera’s signature restaurants, Latteria Rizzi. Then you will have some free time to relax and settle in at the Palazzo Viceconte before a tasty dinner at the hotel’s lovely restaurant. Be sure to get plenty of rest tonight in preparation for the launch of our cycling journey tomorrow. Day 2 (8-‐ or 10-‐day) Cycling: Matera-‐San Giuliano Lake loop 45km/28mi (long option 60km/37mi) Picnic lunch or local tasting along the route Dinner: Ristorante Rivelli Lodging: Matera – Palazzo Viceconte www.palazzoviceconte.it/hotel.hotel&taal=en After breakfast, we will cycle out of Matera through its La Martella district, in order to avoid heavy traffic, and then turn towards the San Giuliano oasis, which is under the protection of the Italian branch of the World Wildlife Foundation. The preserve covers about 1000 hectares and includes the San Giuliano Dam (which was built in the 1950s and was Basilicata’s first artificial basin) as well as the Bradano River Ravine. We will stop along the way for a picnic lunch or a tasting at one of the local establishments. The ride back to Matera can be challenging, so we invite guests who would like a more relaxing day to travel back in the shuttle. Upon return to the hotel, you will have some time to clean up before a delicious dinner at Ristorante Rivelli. Wow, what a day! Day 3 (8-‐ or 10-‐day) Cycling: Laterza-‐Montescaglioso 50km/31mi (long option to Ginosa 70km/43mi) Bakery visit Lunch & Dinner on your own with our excellent suggestions Lodging: Matera – Palazzo Viceconte www.palazzoviceconte.it/hotel.hotel&taal=en Today’s ride will offer our first taste of Puglia. We will ride along the Murgia, a limestone ridge which separates the regions of Basilicata and Puglia. This dry and deserted area is famous for its canyons. After leaving Matera, we will head southeast towards the town of Laterza, where we will visit a local bakery to sample the famous pane di Laterza. You will also have some free time for lunch on your own or with travel companions. If you choose the short cycling option, you will return to Matera via Montescaglioso, home of a powerful and prestigious abbey which once controlled a huge swath of surrounding land. The major climb into Montescaglioso is worth it for the opportunity to visit this enchanting little village where time seems to have stopped. Those who choose the long option will swing through the small village of Ginosa before visiting Montescaglioso. You will also see a veritable natural wonder – a series of ravines created by the erosive powers of rainwater. As we head back to our hotel, you can breathe a sigh of relief, for the hard day of cycling is over, and you are free to relax and dine on your own. Well done on today’s activities! Day 4 (8-‐ or 10-‐day) / Day 1 (7-‐day) If you are starting your trip today, we will meet in Bari in the lobby of the Hotel Leon d’Oro (in front of the main train station) at 10:00 a.m. You will find your guide holding a Southern Visions sign. We suggest you arrive no later than the night before. Please see the end of this itinerary for suggestions on arriving to and departing from the area, as well as Bari hotel recommendations. Cycling: Polignano-‐San Vito-‐Conversano loop 30km/19mi
Dinner: Osteria Chichibio Lunch & Lodging: Polignano – Hotel Covo dei Saraceni www.covodeisaraceni.com/ Those guests who started their trip in Matera will leave Palazzo Viceconte after breakfast and shuttle to the town of Polignano, perched high atop limestone cliffs on Puglia’s breathtaking coast. If you are beginning your journey today, we will meet in Bari for a briefing before shuttling to Polignano to join the group. Once in Polignano, we will all check into the Hotel Covo dei Saraceni to enjoy a lovely lunch buffet. Our ride today will start along the sea toward the quaint fishing village of San Vito, where we will stop for a coffee break before beginning the climb into beautiful Conversano. From there, we will cycle back to the hotel, where you will have time to freshen up and relax before a gorgeous group dinner at nearby Osteria Chichibio. Welcome to Polignano! Day 5 (8-‐ or 10-‐day) / Day 2 (7-‐day) Cycling: Polignano-‐Conversano-‐Putignano-‐Castellana loop 30km/19mi (long option to the Grottoes 55km/34mi, long option to Noci 70km/43mi) Dinner & Lodging: Polignano – Hotel Covo dei Saraceni www.covodeisaraceni.com/ Today you will ride through some of Italy’s best-‐kept secrets, once enjoyed only by local cyclists. We will leave Polignano in the direction of Conversano and take some amazing hidden routes to Putignano, which hosts some of Italy’s greatest Carnival celebrations. We will give you time to soak in the beautiful surroundings as you enjoy lunch on your own. We will return to the hotel via Castellana, with an optional afternoon visit to the stunning caverns. Our more energetic cyclists can continue to Noci before heading back to the hotel. Whichever option you choose, you will get a terrific Pugliese-‐style workout and be very ready for the dinner feast awaiting us at Covo dei Saraceni! Day 6 (8-‐ or 10-‐day) / Day 3 (7-‐day) Cycling: Polignano-‐Monopoli-‐Alberobello-‐Locorotondo 35km/22mi (long option to Martina Franca 65km/40mi) Alberobello walking tour Lunch at a lovely authentic spot Olive oil tasting, Dinner & Lodging: Pezze di Greco – Masseria San Martino www.masseriasanmartino.com/index_ing.htm Today is a big moving day for us! We will cycle south along the coast toward Monopoli and then turn inland to begin a challenging but reasonable climb through the beautiful countryside to our first stop, Alberobello. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a sea of 1500+ trulli (whitewashed houses with conical stone roofs unique to Puglia). Here, we will enjoy a walking tour followed by a delicious lunch featuring several regional specialties. Then, we will climb back in the saddle and head to Locorotondo and then downhill toward the sea…make sure to keep control of your bicycle because the spectacular views of the stunning countryside and sparkling Adriatic will take your breath away! You can choose to head to the hotel or take a slightly longer ride through Martina Franca. Either way, your destination is the warm and inviting Masseria San Martino, a restored farmhouse nestled in a grove of over 2000 olive trees. Our hosts, Conny and Giovanni, will blow you away with their fabulous house-‐made olive oils and knockout cuisine. Day 7 (8-‐ or 10-‐day) / Day 4 (7-‐day) Cycling: Masseria San Martino-‐Cisternino-‐Ostuni loop 40km/25mi (long option along the sea 70km/43mi)
Mozzarella making class & aperitivo Dinner: Pizzeria Il Tronco Lodging: Pezze di Greco – Masseria San Martino www.masseriasanmartino.com/index_ing.htm Our journey today will take us to Cisternino and then Ostuni, two picturesque hilltop towns whose Greek influence is apparent in their whitewashed exteriors and whose Italian heart is felt through the people and the cuisine. We invite you to enjoy lunch on your own in one of the towns. After leaving Ostuni, you may choose to head directly back to the hotel to relax before the evening’s activities. For those who would like to cycle a bit more, we will continue along the coast through the villages of Torre Canne and Savelletri. Our group will rejoin at 6:30 p.m. at Masseria San Martino, where local cheese artisan Dina will meet us for a mozzarella making demonstration and tasting. Be sure to save room for dinner, as we are heading to Pizzeria Il Tronco which features the largest selection of pizzas in the region – OVER 140 DIFFERENT CHOICES!!! Then we will return to the hotel to rest for another activity-‐filled day tomorrow. Day 8 (8-‐ or 10-‐day) / Day 5 (7-‐day) If you are finishing your tour today, we can arrange a shuttle to the Brindisi or Bari airport or train station at an additional charge. Transfer to Salento (the heel of the heel ) Cycling: Squinzano-‐Acaya-‐San Foca-‐Otranto 35, 50, or 70km/22, 31, or 43mi Lunch at the lovely Trattoria Acaya Lodging: Otranto – Relais Valle dell’Idro www.otrantohotel.com/hotel/en/home.html After breakfast, we will bid farewell to our 8-‐day guests and then shuttle to the beautiful Masseria Melcarne, the starting point for an amazing day of cycling through the stark and contrasting beauty of the Salento area, home to Puglia’s best wines. With the warm sun overhead and the sea almost always in view, this is one of the coolest days to be on a bike! We can stop for a swim at one of the amazing beaches along the route before hopping back on our bikes and continuing our journey. We will also stop in the famous castle city of Acaya for a walk around and a killer local lunch. Our destination is the ancient city of Otranto, a must-‐see that’s one part beach resort, one part Middle Eastern, many parts Italian, and every part enjoyable! After checking into our hotel, the beautiful Valle dell’Idro, you will have some time for a stroll by the sea and dinner on your own (we highly recommend the pizza in Otranto). Day 9 (10-‐day) / Day 6 (7-‐day) Cycling: Otranto-‐Santa Maria di Leuca 50km/31mi (long option: loop back to Otranto 100km/62mi) Farewell Dinner: Ristorante da Sergio Lodging: Otranto – Relais Valle dell’Idro www.otrantohotel.com/hotel/en/home.html At Southern Visions, we save the best rides for last! Breathtaking sea views, natural hot springs, hills, and pine forests make this one of Italy’s most memorable rides. We will ride down to Santa Maria di Leuca, which the Romans called Finnibus terrae (the end of the earth). Here you can stand on the southernmost point of Puglia and gaze out to the inviting sea. On the way down, we will stop for a lovely cave tour and, as always, for coffee. Wine tastings and beach visits are also options today. The serious rider who wants a challenge can cycle back to Otranto and enjoy the feeling of accomplishment
that comes with completing a full 100km ride! Those of more relaxed persuasions can take the shuttle back to the hotel. Your day will end with an amazing farewell dinner at Ristorante da Sergio, one of the finest seafood restaurants in Puglia. Day 10 (10-‐day) / Day 7 (7-‐day) Morning walking tour of Lecce Farewell from the Southern Visions Team After breakfast, we will shuttle to Lecce, known as the Florence of the South, for a walking tour highlighting its amazing architectural gems. We will also enjoy a cappuccino and Pasticciotto Leccesse (a signature local pastry filled with yummy custard cream) at Caffè Alvino, the oldest coffee bar in the region. We will finish up around 12:00 p.m. and guide you to the Lecce train station, shuttle you to the Brindisi airport, or help you extend your stay in the area. We hope your time in Puglia will have changed your life for the better, as it has all of ours. WHAT YOU GET!!! • An outstanding adventure travel experience • Peace of mind that you are with the most professional cycling company in Puglia • Local guides with insider knowledge of the region’s secrets and mysteries • 6, 7, or 9 nights lodging at 3-‐ and 4-‐star hotels and Bed & Breakfasts** • 6, 7, or 9 breakfasts** • 3 or 4 lunches** • 5, 6, or 7 dinners** • Daily snacks and happy hours • Guest shuttles and all luggage transfers • Use of the finest and best-‐maintained bikes in Southern Italy • Thorough briefing and bike fitting • Exceptional, detailed maps and route notes • Daily special activities o 2 or 3 professional walking tours** o Mozzarella making demonstration & tasting with local cheese artisan o Olive grove walk & oil tasting **Number of these amenities depends on the length of trip you choose Services available at additional cost • Optional shuttles from/to Bari or Brindisi airport or train station • Room upgrades • Rental of prepaid local cellular phone
Arrival and Departure Logistics After reviewing the following information, please inform us of your arrival and departure plans. Please be sure to note these important contact numbers, in case you need assistance before, during, or after your trip – Puglia: +39 340 264 4128 or +39 392 185 7704; USA +1 800 737 5760. Flight arrangements We recommend flying into Milan or Rome. You can catch a flight to Bari (airport code: BRI) or Brindisi (airport code: BDS) from either city. Or, if you prefer to see the countryside and perhaps enjoy a pre-‐tour stay in another Italian destination, you can make your way to Puglia by train. The trip from Rome takes about 5 hours; from Florence, it’s about 7 ½ hours; from Milan, expect approximately 8 ½ hours of travel. Transportation between the Bari airport and train station A taxi ride between the airport and train station takes 25-‐30 minutes and costs around €20. An Autolinee Tempesta bus takes approximately 30 minutes and costs €4.15. Booking Italian train travel You can purchase Italian rail tickets from any train station in Italy. Many stations are equipped with automatic ticket machines, from which you can purchase tickets and reservation coupons for travel throughout Italy and for principal cross-‐border routes. The machines accept cash, credit card, or ATM card with PIN. There are sometimes unpredicted system outages in the smaller stations, so we recommend booking your entire journey in advance of your trip (see below) or at a major train station at the start of your trip. For more information on train travel in Italy, visit www.trenitalia.com. There you can purchase tickets and make seat reservations with your credit card. There is also a great website called www.raileurope.com where you can purchase individual rail tickets as well as rail passes. Another option is to purchase tickets and make reservations through your own travel agent. If you travel on one of Italy’s faster trains, such as Eurocity, Intercity, or Eurostar, you’ll be charged a supplemental fare in addition to the regular ticket price. If you travel on one of these trains without a supplemented ticket, you’ll be fined. Don’t panic, though; it is almost impossible not to get the proper ticket nowadays, especially if you buy online or from a machine, where the supplement is automatically included in the cost. Intercity and Eurostar trains require a seat reservation. Reserving a seat is not mandatory on other trains; however, you may want to pay the extra charge for a guaranteed seat, especially if you travel during a peak period or local holiday. Otherwise, you risk having to stand for a part or all of your trip. On Italy’s slower trains (Rapido, Espresso, Regionale, Inter Regionale, and Locale), reservations and supplemental tickets are not necessary.
Boarding the train The platform number will be listed at least 10 minutes prior to departure on the small TV screens and larger schedule boards in the main station area. If you are traveling without a seat reservation, you will need to validate your “open” ticket by stamping it at one of the small yellow machines located on each train platform (the machine stamps the date and time on the open ticket to prevent multiple uses). If you forget to stamp your ticket before boarding, tell the on-‐board inspector immediately to avoid a supplementary fee. WHERE TO STAY BEFORE & AFTER YOUR TOUR BARI PALACE HOTEL HOTEL ADRIA Via Francesco Lombardi 13 Via Zuppetta 10 70122 Bari 70121 Bari Tel +39 080 521 6551 Tel +39 080 524 6699 www.palacehotelbari.it/eng/index.html www.adriahotelbari.com/english/hotel.php GRAND HOTEL LEON D’ORO HOTEL BOSTON Piazza Aldo Moro 4 Via Piccinni 155 70122 Bari 70122 Bari Tel +39 080 523 5040 Tel +39 080 521 6633 www.grandhotelleondoro.it/e_index.php www.bostonbari.it/index.php?&lang=en HOTEL VILLA ROMANAZZI Via Giuseppe Capruzzi 326 70124 Bari Tel +39 080 542 7400 www.villaromanazzi.com MATERA LA CASA DI LUCIO HOTEL RIDOLA Via San Pietro Caveoso 66 Via Morelli 13 75100 Matera 75100 Matera Tel +39 083 531 2798 Tel +39 083 531 8811 www.lacasadilucio.it/en/ www.hotelridolamatera.it/index.php?lang=en HOTEL SANT’ANGELO ALBERGO DEL SEDILE Piazza San Pietro Caveoso Recinto Sedile 4 (Piazza del Sedile) 75100 Matera 75100 Matera Tel +39 083 531 4010 Tel +39 083 533 3436 www.hotelsantangelosassi.it/en/ www.albergodelsedile.it
LOCANDA DI SAN MARTINO HOTEL IN PIETRA Via Fiorentini 71 Via San Giovanni Vecchio 22 75100 Matera 75100 Matera Tel +39 083 525 6600 Tel +39 083 534 4040 www.locandadisanmartino.it/en/hotel/ www.hotelinpietra.it/page/home_e.php ALBERGO ITALIA Via Ridola 5 75100 Matera Tel +39 083 533 3561 www.albergoitalia.com/eng/ LECCE HOTEL PATRIA PALACE GRAND HOTEL TIZIANO Piazzetta Riccardi Viale Porto dEuropa 73100 Lecce 73100 Lecce Tel +39 083 224 5111 Tel +39 083 227 2111 www.patriapalacelecce.com/eng/index.htm www.grandhoteltiziano.it/index_en.asp HOTEL DELLE PALME B&B PALAZZO ROLLO Via Leuca 90 Via Vittorio Emanuele II 14 73100 Lecce 73100 Lecce Tel +39 083 234 7171 Tel +39 083 230 7152 www.hoteldellepalmelecce.it www.palazzorollo.it/palazzorollo/