The Greater Greece - Magna Grecia

prickly pears

Program for a small group (no more than 30 guests): Apulia, Pompeii and Rome.

September 13th 2020

Arrival in Bari and transfer to your Hotel
Welcome dinner in the Hotel or walking distance Restaurant

September 14th 2020

Relaxing morning on the beach

Sunrise Bath

In the afternoon excursion to Alberobello with dinner in a typical restaurant
Alberobello, famous for its Trulli, is one of the destinations in Puglia included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Alberobello is small town inland from Bari, is undoubtedly the capital of the Trulli : the historic center is completely made of these special pyramid-shaped buildings that make it unique in the world. Our guided tour starts with a hike through the monumental area of the Trulli, where you will come face to face with its origin, humble history,legends, customs and traditions of indigenous people that inhabited Trulli.
According to some studies the Trulli of Alberobello date back to the mid 14th century, at the time it was common to demolish and rebuild the uneven buildings, rather than repairing them.
The dry-stone construction, made without mortar, was imposed on the peasants of the area in the 15th Century, by their lords the  Counts of Conversano, in order to evade an edict by the Kingdom of Naples that demanded tribute, or tax, on every new urban construction.
These types of settlements were identified as temporary and unstable, easy to demolish, and not taxable.
The reality is that the Trulli are anything but unstable : the internal structure, although it lacks connection and supporting elements, it actually possesses an extraordinary static capacity.
The map of the Trullo is roughly circular; on the basis of natural rock , the limestone walling is grafted.
 Generally the Trulli are modular units : the interior setting is distributed around the central compartment.
The thickness of the walls and the lack of windows ensure an optimal thermal balance: heat in the winter and cool in the summer.
The Trulli - Alberobello
The roof is composed of a pseudo-dome of horizontal limestone plates disposed in concentric series becoming always smaller - the so-called "chianche" (on the inside) and the thinner ones called "chiancarelle" (on the outside).
The important keystone, is often decorated with esoteric, spiritual, or propitiatory motifs.
Ingenious is the presence of a ledge protruding from the roof used for the collection of rainwater in specific tanks.
The Trulli are a unique example of ancient buildings that outlive and are still used today. Visiting the beautiful Alberobello is like a journey in a timeless country.
Return to the hotel. Dinner and overnight.
Mozzarella DOP
DOP (PDO) Products
Wine Tastings

September 15th 2020

Full Day Excurison to Altamura and Matera – Wine tasting with light lunch  – Liquor producer visit
Departure after breakfast for Altamura, a tour of the city and a visit to a traditional bakery with a demonstration and chance to taste typical Altamura bread and the famous liquor “Lucano”.
The excursion continues with a visit to a winery for lunch and a local wine tasting
In the afternoon, drive to Matera
The stones of Matera (sassi) - THE EUROPEAN CAPITAL OF CULTURE 2019
Matera is a special place worth to be discovred and explored, it's a great place to get lost through its deserted and timeless streets and then suddenly find yourselves in colourful and animated squares.
The historic center of the town is marked by the presence of two ancient urban districts with an extraordinary urban complex:the Sassi. These special districts, called respectivelySasso Caveoso  and  Sasso Barisano, have deeply impressed the visitors of every age, leaving an indelible mark in their memory.
The Sassi (stones) of Matera were included in the list of  UNESCO World Heritage Sites. They were the first listed site in southern Italy. The inscription was motivated by the fact that they represent an extraordinary urban ecosystem, capable of perpetuating the most far prehistoric past ways of living in the caves up to modernity. The Sassi of Matera are an outstanding example of the careful use in time of natural resources like: water, land, solar power.
Matera is a place that has been inhabited since very remote times,it preserves evidence of mankind history dating from the Paleolithic era until today,traces of history from neolithic villages and the vast urban areas of Civita and the Sassi.
Some great filmmakers have shot their movies in this wonderful place.
Return to the hotel. Dinner and overnight.

September 16th 2020

Excursion to Castellana Caves (2 hours visit) - Extraordinary olive oil and wines experience.
Castellana Caves  are considered   to be the  most important complex of caves in Italy and Europe: full of of crystalline concretions,of a considerable expansion and a spectacular vastness of its natural galleries, the caves of Puglia have been entrusted with this record.
On January 23 1930, Franco Anelli discovered the  Grotte di Castellana. This is a spectacular network of caves carved out by an underground stream and stretching several kilometres underground.
There are two different  tours to see  the soaring  stalactites and stalagmites. The longer of the two, which lasts around two hours, takes visitors into the depths of the White Cave, which is lined with glittering alabaster rock formations. The caves are open daily from 8.30 am in the summer with the last admission at 7pm.
Castellana Caves
Knowing the area you go on vacation allows you to discover not only the landscapes, unusual and curious angles, but also its history and culture, the culinary traditions tasting the typical local products directly from those who produce them.
Tour in the oil mill  in the region of Italy that's considered to be the queen in the production of  extra virgin olive oil.
Oil Mill
This proposal is an unmissable journey of taste and includes:
  • A  visit to the mill  with a description of the process of the first cold pressing. 
  • Visit the laboratory where oil is being packaged and bottled.
  • Oil  tasting  alongside typical  products from Puglia.

During the tasting, in addition to the explanation of health benefits from the consumption of extra virgin olive oil, you will be offered a small oil tasting class during which you will learn about the characteristics of the oil from Puglia and we will teach you to perceive its scents and flavors in order to identify the value of good quality olive oil.
You can enrich the visit with a lunch directly in the oil mill where the olive oil will be the star of the show.

In the Afternoon 

We will guide you on factories and estates that make excellent wine, which is famous throughout the world, such as Nero di Troia, Moscato di Trani, Malvasia Nera, Verdeca, Aglianico, Primitivo, Negroamaro.
Besides the wine tasting during the tours, you will visit the vineyards and the cellars, guided by the   people who produce these magnificent wines, thanks to the techniques bequeathed through generations.

The route between a tasting and another winds among paths and roads with breathtaking views ,with stops in the historical centers of the producing villages.
You will be explained the process of wine making methodologies and proceedings necessary for the production of wines and harvesting of the grapes.

This wine tour will allow you to know the people, local products, cheeses, charcuterie that have made Puglia a famous place in the world and drink a lot of different wines.
Return to the hotel. Dinner and overnight.

September 17th 2020

Excursions to Metaponto.
Metaponto was a rich and flourishing outpost of Magna Grecia, it was founded in the 7th century before Christ and it is the town where Pitagora was born.
There are important archaeological finds dating back to the Magna Grecia all across this important site, that is located on the Italian Ionic coast. Tourists can still enjoy the beautiful "Tavole Palatine", that are the columns remaining from a Greek temple and date back to the 6th century before Christ; the temple was dedicated to the Goddess Hera.
The Doric ruins of Apollo Licio's temple, stand in the middle of the old town and tourists can still see its huge monolithic columns; moreover, the ruins of a theater from the 6th century before Christ stand close to the aforementioned temple and both are important evidence of a complex flourishing site. 

The Archaeological National Museum in Metaponto is the best place tourists can go to if they want to well understand the historical and artistic development of this important area; this museum gives tourists an insight on Metaponto, that is located on a strategic position, between the mouths respectively of the Bradano and the Basento rivers. There is a wide range of archaeological finds dating back to the time when Metaponto was founded, in the Bronze Age, until the coming of Romans.
 Many archaeological finds of great interest have been unearthed during the archaeological excavations that have recently been carried out in Metaponto, that was one among the most important site of Magna Grecia.
Free lunch.
Continue with the visit of Rabatana (Arab quarter) of Tursi and the Sanctuary of Anglona, Romanesque style, dating from the 10th century.
Return to the hotel. Dinner and overnight.

September 18th 2020

Day at leisure or optional excursions: just ask what you want to do, we are at your disposal.
Dinner and overnight.

September 19th 2020

Driving to RomeStop in Pompeii lunch and visit
The fact that Pompei was destroyed but at the same time preserved from the Vesuvio eruption in 79AD, it renders the place more fascinating.
Strolling through lanes from the ruins makes you relive the remote era, thanks to the houses, the boutiques and the tools that have remained intact which all make you feel close and connect to the lifestyle of the era.
The first ruins were carried out by Borboni di Napoli, in 1738, who were always interested in art and history, especially for the passion of Re Carlo di Borbone.
The excavations were mostly completed around the end of the 1800’s, when it was reported at the lights of Villa of the Mysteries and more at Via of Abbondanza. There were many buildings of advertising, like the Foro di Pompei, the market, places where food was conserved which were called Themopylae or the water building called Castellum Aquae.
For the Pompei inhabitants, entertainment was very important,  that is why they found many places that had recreational activities. They found the amphitheaters that were built around 80 BC and were able to hold 20,000 people, but later found the Teatro Grande, the Gym and the spas.
Obviously there were not missing places of worship like the Temples. The most important is dedicated to Apollo, while the others were built to venerate Iside, Giove, Venere and other gods.
While visiting the Pompei excavations you will have the impression that time stopped in the moment of the eruption.

Entertainment was very important for the inhabitants of Pompei, that is why many places were found where fun activities were offered. Some of these findings were the amphitheaters of Pompei, which were built around 80 BC and held twenty thousand people, then later they also found the Grand Theatre, a gym and a spa.
Obviously there were places of worship such as Temples. The most important one was dedicated to Apollo, while others were built to worship Isis, Jupiter, Venus and other Gods.
Visiting the ruins of Pompei you will have the impression that time has stopped at the moment of the eruption.  The casts of the bodies of people make it even more attractive.
Be assisted by a tour guide, who is capable of explaining the details of these places that are so fundamental and beautiful. Also in order to better understand the representations of the frescoes and how the inhabitants of Pompei spent their days and be carried away by anecdotes, sometimes funny, habits and customs of the era.
After the visit you will enjoy a fresh lunch in a typical restaurant in Pompeii.
Arrive in Rome in the late evening.
Dinner on you own. Overnight.

September 20th 2020

Papa Francesco
Papal Audience and Vatican Museums and St. Peter's Basilica.
Papal Audience are held on Wednesdays if the Pope is in Rome, giving pilgrims and visitors the chance to "see the Pope" and receive the Papal Blessing or Apostolic Blessing from the successor of the Apostle Peter during their visit.
The Audience with the Pope consists of small teachings and readings mainly in Italian but also in English, French, German, Spanish, Polish, Portuguese and sometimes other languages depending on groups visiting.
The Pope will do a greeting in each language and special visiting groups, Choirs etc from various countries will get a mention.
At the end of the Audience the Pope will pray together with those attending the Audience, the Our Father prayer in Latin. This Prayer is normally printed on the back of the Papal Audience Ticket.
At the end of the Prayer as Head of the Catholic Church he will impart his Apostolic Blessing upon the crowd which also extends to loved ones that are sick and suffering and blesses any religious articles such as rosary beads that people have brought with them for the purpose of the blessing.
Lunch on your own

Accompanied by an expert, English-speaking guide, you will enjoy a unique and exciting tour of the Vatican Museums andSistine Chapel. Brilliantly decorated and lined with masterpieces, the Museums brim with treasures and history.
Your guide will lead you through some of the incredible 2000 rooms here that stretch over almost 9 miles. They will share the stories and secrets contained within the Museums' walls, pleasures originally meant for the exclusive enjoyment of the Pope.
Our Vatican Group Tour skips the long lines that snake around the block, entering theVatican Museums by a special, privileged entrance. We waste no time queuing so we have ample time to appreciate the Sistine Chapel and the Raphael Rooms, even leaving time to visit St. Peter's Basilica and St Peter's Square.
Return to the hotel. Dinner on your own and overnight.

September 21st 2020

Antonio and friends

Imperial Rome and Renaissance of Rome – Farewell Dinner

Arriving by coach at Piazza Venezia you then continue on foot to the famous Piazza Del Campidoglio designed by Michelangelo from where you will have a fantastic view of the Roman Forum. By coach we will then drive by the Circus Maximus and the Aventine Hill. Stop to admire the beautiful statue of Moses by Michelangelo located in the Church of St. Peter’s in Chains from where it will take us 5 minutes to reach the symbol of the eternal city: The Colosseum and the Roman Forum.
Light Lunch included
Starting from Piazza della Repubblica, once called Piazza Esedra, located in front of Diocleziane Baths, the square hosts in its center the famous Naiad's Fountain, realized in 1901 by Mario Rutelli, whose waters come from the Acquedotto of Acqua Marcia, one of the most important and famous in Rome. The tour continues with a nice stroll towards the historical center; we reach the famous Trevi Fountain, one of Rome's most famous landmark. The water movement thatis audible in the nearby streets as you approach the Piazza, exalts Nature's constant flow in an incessant play of dynamic effects.
Trevi Fountain
Your guide will take you to Piazza Colonna, whose name is due to the presence of the marble column of Marco Aurelio that is sheltered in this place since ancient times. The north side of the square hosts Palazzo Chigi, now a seat of the Italian government. In the east side you can admire the Galleria Colonna. Walk towards the Pantheon, originally built as a temple dedicated to the seven deities of the seven planets in the state religion of Ancient Rome. The generic term pantheon is now applied to the monument in which illustrious dead are buried. Continue to Piazza Navona. The piazza follows the plan of an ancient Roman circus, the 1st century Stadium of Domitian. Piazza Navona is the pride of Baroque Rome and shelters numerous sculptural and architectural creations, the famous Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, among the others. The tour will then take you to Piazza di Spagna (Spanish Steps), with Trinita' dei Monti steps, one of the most famous square of the world. The square hosts the peculiar fountain of Barcaccia, masterpiece by Pietro Bernini, father of the most famous Gian Lorenzo Bernini. Proceed with the visit of Piazza Santa Maria del Popolo that hosts in its center, the second greatest obelisk in Rome (the egyptian obelisk). The square hosts numerous other treasures: the Church of Santa Maria del Popolo, that shelters works by Pinturicchio and Caravaggio; the so called "Chiese Gemelle" Santa Maria in Montesanto and Santa Maria dei Miracoli, realized in the XVI century by Gian Lorenzo Bernini.
Back to the hotel and be ready for the Farewell Dinner at typical Roman Restaurant.

September 21st Thursday

Transfer by bus to Fiumicino Airport - ARRIVEDERCI


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