DOLCE VITA: Roma, Lecce and Matera

1 day - May 18, 2022: Arrival in Rome

Arrival in Rome during the day and check in at HOTEL RADISSON BLU GHR*, located in the trendy Parioli district. Lunch at leisure.

In the afternoon, meeting with our staff for an introductory briefing at the hotel.

Dinner in a typical restaurant located at walking distance from Hotel.
Return walking transfer back to hotel after dinner and overnight.

2 day - May 19, 2022: Ancient Rome

Breakfast at hotel and visit of “Ancient Rome” conducted by private licensed guides.

Departure from Piazza Venezia, dominated by the imposing Vittoriano, monument celebrating the Unification of Italy. Then we will proceed to the Campidoglio, centre of the city’s political life. After that we will see the Imperial Fora, the Colosseum, the Arch of Constantine, opera dedicated by the Senate and the people to Constantine in 315, The Palatine, ancient home of important people and emperors and, at the end, the Circus Maximum, the biggest location for entertainments ever built.
Lunch and afternoon at leisure to possibly discover the most famous squares of the city like Square of Spain, Navona Square and Piazza Venezia.

In the late afternoon Aperitif in Rome in an elegant venue with a view over Rome. Dinner at leisure and overnight

3 day - May 20, 2022:
Rome: parks and squares

Breakfast at hotel and meeting with our expert guides.

In the morning visit of the city as follows:

You can choose one of the following city tour

In the evening, transfer via private motorocoach to Trastevere for a special dinner with typical Roman folk music at Restaurant “Da Meo Patacca”, where waiters wear typical dresses to create  the characteristic and picturesque atmosphere of a  nineteenth century inn while folk musicians perform a repertoire of Roman, Neapolitan and Opera songs. The rooms for the restaurant reflect an history of  raccontano di una storia fatta di welcome steeped in art and tradition, each with their characteristic name: the “first room”, where the Hollywood’s famous Charlton Heston used to dine, the “Gallo Cornuto room (horned rooster room)” with the historical fireplace, and then the “Bar” room where a characteristic American Bar is served, the large “Cantinone” with enormous barrels embedded in the walls  and the ancient  nineteenth-century press, and, at the end, the “Theatre room”, which during Dolce Vita was called “Purgatory” where special evenings took place. In fact, in this room, Jazz artists of the caliber of Bill Colemann performed for the public, among which Marcello Mastroianni, a frequent visitor, used to assist.

Typical 3-course menu, return back to hotel via private motorcoach and overnight.

4 day - May 21, 2022:
Lecce

Breakfast at hotel, check out and departure to Lecce. Stop for lunch at leisure during transfer. Arrival in the early afternoon and meeting with our expert guides to leave for a guided tour of the historical centre of this beautiful baroque city.

We will start the guided tour of Lecce from Sant’Oronzo square, the most important site of Lecce where the remains of a partially buried Roman amphitheatre are located. After that, walking through the centre, we will discover the magnificent Baroque architecture of its buildings and the most emblematic monuments of this wonderful city, such as the Cathedral of Lecce and the Basilica of Santa Croce, two temples that shine of its own light … Seeing is believing!

Finally, we will reach a traditional bakery to taste the typical sweets.

Can you imagine a sweeter way to end our Lecce guided tour?

At the end, transfer to the centrally located 8PIU ‘HOTEL 4 * and check in. Dinner at leisure, return back to the hotel on own and overnight.

5 day - May 22, 2022: Galatina and Gallipoli

After breakfast at hotel, meeting with our expert guides and departure via private motorcoaches to discover Galatina and Gallipoli.

We will start the tour from Galatina, charming city with Greek roots that offers a majestic Baroque Cathedral dedicated to Saints Peter and Paul. We will visit the famous Ascalone pastry shop where we will be able to taste the delicious “pasticciotto”, a short pastry filled with custard and black cherry, invented in Galatina in 1745. During our visit, we will discover in depth the popular phenomenon of “pizzica”, a popular music of local tarantella joining ancient dancing rites. In this corner of Italy we can still find living evidence of an almost extinct rural culture. Last but not least: the Basilica of Santa Caterina d’Alessandria, known for its beautiful pictorial cycles of medieval frescoes and paintings. Lunch at participants’ own expenses. In the afternoo, transfer to Gallipoli, charming coastal town rich in history for its Greek roots and for its wonderful Baroque and Renaissance buildings. We will walk through the alleys of the historic centre, connected to the mainland by a seventeenth-century bridge. We will admire the courtyards and palaces of what was once one of the richest cities in southern Italy in the 16th century. The wonderful cathedral dedicated to Santa Agata, hosting over 80 canvases painted by the most talented masters of the period, is considered one of the most beautiful churches in the Salento area.

The city is also known for its traditional underground oil mills that we will visit. Until the 19th century, the city was very famous for the production of oil for lamps, used for the street lamps of the great European capitals. After the visit, we can relax by the sea or visit a wonderful cellar for tasting of 3 different wines with bruschetta and various snacks.

In the evening transfer by G. T. coaches reserved to Otranto, then dinner at Restaurant La Cala dei Normanni seated on a splendid terrace overlooking the sea

6 day - May 23, 2022: Ostuni and Alberobello

After breakfast at hotel, meeting with our expert guides and departure via private motorcoaches to discover Ostuni e Alberobello.

Our visi twill start in the white city of Ostuni which sits atop the last hill of the southern Murgia plateau where we will take a walking tour through the medieval streets lined with whitewashed buildings, ending up in the sophisticated 15th century Gothic Cathedral. Not only an open-air museum, but also a vibrant city, with wonderful hotels, nice restaurants, cafes and ice cream shops.

Then we will reach one of the best Olive Oil factories in the region. We will learn to recognize a good extra virgin olive oil, we will tast 6 different types of extra virgin olive oil and will visit the historical oil mill. Lunch at leisure.

In the afternoon we will reach Alberobello, the capital of the trulli, the cone-shaped houses characteristic of Puglia, which make it the most enchanting part of the heel of Italy. Alberobello is a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1996 and is certainly a landmark of Puglia, a unique place.

During the trip to Valle d’Itria, we will cross the beautiful and idyllic countryside that surrounds the cities, with its breathtaking views on the trulli. Then, in Alberobello we will go off the beaten track to discover the most evocative and authentic corners.

Return to the hotel in the late afternoon.

Dinner at Masseria Caradonna, a beautiful location, that will serve delicious Italian menu

Retrun back to hotel and overnight.

7 day - May 24, 2022:
Matera

Breakfast and check out. Departure to Matera and lunch at leisure.

In the afternoon, meeting with expert guides and departure for a guided tour of the city recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1993 for the uniqueness of the stones: ancient districts whose houses have been carved into the limestone rock.

Guided tour of the historic centre and the Sasso Barisano, the oldest part of the city.

At the end, transfer to the 4 * Hotel MH Matera, check in, dinner at leisure and overnight.

8 day - May 25, 2022:
Matera and cooking
class at Bernardini Palace

Breakfast and morning dedicated to a cooking class at Bernardini Palace.

With this cooking class we will venture into the kitchen with a well-known local chef, to prepare the typical dishes of the Matera cuisine. The leitmotif of the menu is Matera bread, from first course to dessert. Homemade pasta which always fascinates and amuses all our guests could not miss. The culinary experience is carried out in the elegant setting of Bernardini Palace, one of the ancient noble palaces of old Matera, and ends with the tastings of limoncello and mandarinetto prepared by the kind Anna Rosa, who will welcome us on the terrace of the magnificent garden overlooking the Lombard walls and the Sasso Caveoso. Lunch at leisure and departure by motorcoach to Rome.

Upon arrival, check in at the RADISSON GHR BLU 5* HOTEL, dinner at leisure and overnight.

9 day - May 26, 2022: Rome

Breakfast, check out and departure.

*Price depending on minimum number of participants, price may be higher in case of a lower number of guests

*Due to the limited places available, it is not possible to cancel. Please ensure you are able to attend before booking as a refund is not possible. Until March, 18 you can transfert your booking to another person only paying € 60 service fee

**In the unfortunate event that Italy deny arrivals from USA for medical reasons, the dates of the travel will be postponed

***We kindly suggest you to inform with your personal insurance about the event of personal denial at embarkation or impossibility to travel for personal or US general reasons

Program and venues included may change according to the effective number of participants or other unforseen reasons. Replacements will be made respecting the same standard provided.

Deposit

€ 450 to be paid at confirmation and balance to be paid by March, 18

The cost includes:

  • All transfers included in the itinerary via private motorcoaches
  • 3+1 overnights in 4* hotels in Rome (like RADISSON or similar)
  • 3 overnights in a 4* hotel in Lecce (like 8PIU’HOTEL or similar)
  • 1 overnight in a 4* hotel in Matera (like MH Matera Hotel or similar) 
  • Accommodation in double rooms (a supplement for single accommodation will be applied)
  • Dinner in a typical restaurant on 1st day
  • 3 licensed English speaking guides for the Ancient Rome tour on 2nd day (half day, hearphones included)
  • 3 licensed English speaking guides for the tour of Rome (to be decided) on 3rd day (half day, hearphones included)
  • Dinner in a typical restaurant in Trastevere with live folk music on 3rd day
  • 3 licensed English speaking guides for a tour of Lecce on 4th day (half day, hearphones included)
  • 3 licensed English speaking guides for the visit of Galatina and Gallipoli on 5th day (full day, hearphones included) with wine and pastry tastings
  • Dinner in a typical restaurant on the sea in Otranto on the 5th day
  • 3 licensed English speaking guides for the visit of Ostuni and Alberobello on the 6th day (full day, hearphones included) with olive oil tasting and visit of the oil mill
  • Dinner at Masseria Caradonna on the 6th day
  • 3 licensed English speaking guides for a tour of Matera on 7th day (half day, hearphones included)
  • Cooking Class at Bernardini palace on the 8th day
  • 1 licensed English speaking tour leader per coach to assist throughout the entire program

Cost DOES NOT include:

  • Lunches
  • Dinners of day 2, 4 and 7
  • Drinks during meals
  • City taxes
  • Additional entrance fees or general extras
  • Everything not specified as “The cost includes”
  • Flight to/from Italy
  • Medical insurance
  • Transfer from/to airport

*Due to the limited places available, it is not possible to cancel. Please ensure you are able to attend before booking as a refund is not possible. Until March, 18 you can transfert your booking to another person only paying € 60 service fee

**In the unfortunate event that Italy deny arrivals from USA for medical reasons, the dates of the travel will be postponed

***We kindly suggest you to inform with your personal insurance about the event of personal denial at embarkation or impossibility to travel for personal or US general reasons