APULIA GRAND WALKING TRAIL
Castel del Monte Matera, Murgia, Salento Gargano extension
Apulia is a sunny, rocky land, with quintessentially Mediterranean characters of southern Italy and Greece, which here were connected, if not identified from the beginning of history to more recent times. Ruins of Roman and Greek cities, majestic cathedral and castles that presided the coasts in the Crusader’s age, Venitian and Turkish remains, and a well preserved fortification system of the Spanish age, are still there to show how they all contended for this strategic, rich and dangerous piece of Italy. It's a narrow peninsula, "a bridge towards the middleleast" and to Greece first of all. A long Cretaceus limestone plateau, sloping so gently to looks almost flat: like a dinosaure, it raises its head in the Gargano mountain, its body lays in the green Murgia hills, and the tail in the secluded Salento. Karstic, with no rivers, Apulia boasts, nevertheless, the largest olive oil, and “black” wine production, and boasts some of the best durum pastas that you ever tasted: cavatelli, strascinate, orecchiette... and of mozzarelle, scamorze, provoloni, and so on and on.
Our itinerary follows the region downhill tracing Roman roads, old pilgrimage trails to Brindisi and Jerusalem, canyons and coastlines.
We start with a visit to Trani, our meeting point. It's a little know town, not far from the Bari airport, with a rich medieval heritage. From there we drive to the Murgia, the plateau that runs all along Puglia. We visit the amazing Castel del Monte, and then reach the "Sassi", the old Matera, a city built both under and above the ground. We explore the deep, mysteriud canyon, with the rock villages and churches. Third the Valle d’Itria, the more fertile area where meats and cheeses flood on our tables. We see Locorotondo, Alberobello, its trulli homes, Ostuni, with a breathtaking view on the impressive forest of millennary olive trees of the Fasano coastal plain. The final destination is the Salento, a low, flat land where you may fell like in one of the Greek islands. His is the place for fresh seafood and Negroamaro wines, where our trip unrolls between beautiful Gallipoli, Otranto, inspiring coastal walks and beautiful Lecce, with their ancient forts and their artistic heritage.
To those who can stretch the tour a little more, we propose a 3 days extension, after or before the other places, to spend in the Gargano. The so-called spur of the boot is the only real Apulian mountain, a land of beautiful, hidden beaches, steep cliffs, green forests and peaceful, silent sanctuaries.
• Trip Lenght: 12 days, minimum 8 days skipping the Gargano or the Salento
• Arrival and departure: Bari and Brindisi, connected with major European airports
• Rate: Quotes case by case based on your group size, the dates, the accommodations
Example: minimum € 200/day with 3 stars accommodations and 6 people in three rooms