Seven (7) Day Premier Guided Cycling Trip 2011 This is a luxurious Southern Visions seven (7) day premier guided cycling trip through the region of Puglia, Italy, which lies in the heel of the boot, along the sun-‐drenched Adriatic Sea. 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 Bari, Alberobello, and Lecce • Pugliese cooking demonstration • Several DECADENT dinners at famous local establishments • Farewell party with local band 2011 Trip Dates • April 22-‐28 (featuring Masseria Torre Coccaro www.masseriatorrecoccaro.com/en/home in place of Masseria Torre Maizza) • June 11-‐17 (featuring Tenuta Cento Porte www.tenutacentoporte.it/ in place of Masseria Montelauro) • September 10-‐16 (featuring Tenuta Cento Porte www.tenutacentoporte.it/ in place of Masseria Montelauro) • Custom dates also available Day 1 We will meet in the lobby of Bari’s Palace Hotel at 9:30 a.m. You will find your guide holding a Southern Visions sign. Guests are expected to make their own travel arrangements to Puglia. We suggest you arrive no later than the night before the start of your tour. Please see the end of this itinerary for information on arriving to and departing from the area, as well as Bari hotel recommendations. Bari walking tour Pugliese cooking demonstration & buffet-‐style lunch Cycling: Polignano-‐San Vito-‐Conversano loop 30km/19mi Dinner & Lodging: Polignano – Borgo Bianco Resort and Spa www.borgobianco.it/en/favicon.ico
Your adventure begins with a walking tour of beautiful downtown Bari, which may be Italy’s most underrated and vibrant urban center. We will then immerse you in the art of flavor and freshness that is Pugliese cuisine with a cooking demonstration and buffet-‐style lunch at Bari’s signature culinary education facility. After lunch, we will shuttle you to the absolutely stunning brand-‐new five-‐star Borgo Bianco Resort and Spa, where you will have time to settle into your sublimely appointed room before joining us for a custom bike fitting and magical first ride up to beautiful Conversano, the city of artists. There, you will have time to explore the ancient Aragon-‐style castle and enjoy your first espressino (Puglia’s signature coffee drink). A leisurely ride downhill and along the sea will bring us back to Borgo Bianco for a well-‐deserved elegant dinner at the hotel’s lovely sea-‐view restaurant. Day 2 Cycling: Polignano-‐Castellana loop 50km/31mi (long option to the Grottoes 70km/43mi, pro option to Noci 90km/56mi) Afternoon wine tasting & talk Dinner: Pasha in Conversano Lodging: Polignano – Borgo Bianco Resort and Spa www.borgobianco.it/en/favicon.ico Today’s ride will take us into the northern reaches of the Itria Valley, filled with ancient olive groves and distinctive trulli houses hidden among nut and cherry trees. We will begin with a slight climb back towards Conversano before turning to Putignano and continuing to Castellana Grotte, where we will offer an optional tour of the amazing caverns and give you some time for lunch. Afterwards, those desiring a relaxing afternoon can return to the hotel to hit the pool, take a nap, or even indulge in some fabulous spa treatments. Meanwhile, our more ambitious riders can continue to the beautiful town of Noci before heading home. Our group will rejoin in the early evening for a guided tasting with a local winemaker or sommelier. Then we will shuttle into Conversano for dinner at Pasha, one of the most fabulous restaurants in all of Puglia. Wow, what a day! Day 3 Alberobello walking tour Lunch: Il Poeta Contadino www.ilpoetacontadino.it/ Cycling: Polignano-‐Monopoli-‐Alberobello-‐Locorotondo-‐Savelletri 60km/37mi (long option to Martina Franca 80km/50mi) Dinner & Lodging: Savelletri – Masseria Torre Maizza www.masseriatorremaizza.com/index.php?id=0|1&lang=en Our first big moving day features some seriously great riding! We will head inland around the western side of Monopoli (the home base for Southern Visions in Puglia!) and than uphill through the forests toward the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Alberobello. This ride will take us a little time, as we must navigate through an amazing array of ancient olive trees and medieval dolmens and around the occasional Ape (traditional Italian three-‐wheeled farm truck). As you approach the 1500+ trulli (whitewashed buildings with conical stone roofs unique to Puglia) that make up the historic center of Alberobello, it will become readily apparent why this town is the postcard capital of the region. Here, we will meet local superstar Mimmo, who will guide us in an exploration of the region’s history, culture, and artisanal products and set our appetites in motion for a feast at Il Poeta Contadino, a singular restaurant known for its use of grass-‐fed meats and local produce. After an amazing lunch, we will continue toward the Cummerse buildings (rectangular with pitched stone roofs) of Locorotondo, which is also known for its light white wine and beautiful views of the entire Itria Valley. From here, our group
will diverge, as the more energetic riders head for the town of Martina Franca on the next hilltop, and the others dive down toward the sea. Either way, your journey will end at the spectacular Masseria Torre Maizza, where you can relax in absolute luxury while your dinner is prepared in their renowned kitchen. Day 4 Cycling: Savelletri-‐Cisternino-‐Ostuni loop 55km/34mi (long option along the sea to Torre Canne 75km/47mi) Dinner: La Peschiera www.peschierahotel.com/?lang=eng Lodging: Savelletri – Masseria Torre Maizza www.masseriatorremaizza.com/index.php?id=0|1&lang=en This morning begins with a lovely climb into the chic and beautiful hilltop town of Cisternino, where you will enjoy sweeping views of the Itria Valley. You will have time for a coffee or gelato to recharge your batteries before continuing your lovely ride along the ridge to La Città Bianca (the white city) of Ostuni, a stunning hilltop jewel with breathtaking sea views. In Ostuni, you will have many options for a delicious lunch on your own, including the opportunity to sample one of many preparations of the ubiquitous orecchiette (little ear-‐shaped) pasta. The long option today will reward diligent cyclists with a gorgeous, breezy ride along the sea before they make their way back to the hotel. The evening will begin with a refreshing white wine aperitivo followed by a memorable seafood meal at La Peschiera, where the very best of the day’s catch is prepared with grace and aplomb. La Peschiera will offer an amazing finish to your journey through the heart of the Itria Valley. Day 5 Transfer to Salento (the heel of the heel) Lunch at the lovely Trattoria Acaya Cycling: Squinzano-‐Acaya-‐San Foca-‐Otranto 35, 50, or 70km/22, 31, or 43mi Lodging: Otranto – Masseria Montelauro www.masseriamontelauro.it/en/default.asp After a lovely last breakfast at Torre Maizza, we will shuttle you 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! We will stay in the beautiful four-‐star Masseria Montelauro in the peaceful silence of the countryside just two kilometers from the city center. After checking into our hotel, we will bring you into Otranto for a stroll by the sea and dinner on your own (we highly recommend the pizza in Otranto). Day 6 Cycling: Otranto-‐Santa Maria di Leuca 50km/31mi (long option: loop back to Otranto 100km/62mi) Farewell party with Maneka Folklore Band Dinner & Lodging: Otranto – Masseria Montelauro www.masseriamontelauro.it/en/default.asp 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. Whichever option you choose, your day will end with an amazing Pugliese-‐style farewell party featuring a fabulous local band playing rousing rhythms and a memorable dinner hosted by your guides. Day 7 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 nights lodging at 4-‐ and 5-‐star hotels and resorts • 6 breakfasts • 3 lunches • 5 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 • 3 professional walking tours 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 ALBERGO ITALIA Via Fiorentini 71 Via Ridola 5 75100 Matera 75100 Matera Tel +39 083 525 6600 Tel +39 083 533 3561 www.locandadisanmartino.it/en/hotel/ www.albergoitalia.com/eng/ HOTEL IN PIETRA Via San Giovanni Vecchio 22 75100 Matera Tel +39 083 534 4040 www.hotelinpietra.it/page/home_e.php 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/