Discover Matera and PugliaPuglia & BasilicataDifficulty path:
In the middle it stands Castel del Monte, solitary and imposing, in the countryside of the National Park Alta Murgia.
Public transport will make the journey more sustainable and it will be interesting getting in touch with the joyful locals, taking your time to wait and think, to talk and smile, to enjoy and taste the local cuisine: a slow tour to discover and be surprised.
Bari and the Basilica of San Nicola
Take the Train with the Locals
The old Towns of Conversano, Ruvo and Altamura
The Octagonal Castel del Monte in the Alta Murgia National Park
Gravina and the Rocky Churches
Matera and its Stone Houses
Welcome to Bari
Your discovery of Matera and Puglia region has begun.
Individual arrival in Bari and accommodation in a central hotel. Recommended an early evening stroll through the streets of the Bari old town: head between Piazza Ferrarese and Piazza Mercantile if you fancy some nightlife.
Discover Bari guided tour
In the morning, with a guide, you will discover the wonderful medieval architecture, both sacred and civil, of the old part of Bari, called “Bari Vecchia”.
Among the many things to admire, there will be the Basilica of San Nicola, great example of Apulian Romanesque style. After a raid in a typical bakery or trattoria for an accurate gastronomic research with a tasting, in the afternoon you can choose how to spend the rest of the day. Deepening your visit to Bari, to discover other details and take the last souvenir photos or catching the train to Conversano, ancient town of Norman origin and best known for the domination of the fearsome Counts Acquaviva, whose the most famous and cruel count was Guercio of Puglia. This powerful and noble family was in control of the largest county of southern Italy from the 11th to the 17th century.
Back to Bari in the afternoon for overnight.
Discover Ruvo di Puglia
After breakfast you will leave the Apulian capital to reach Ruvo di Puglia, at the edge of the National Park Alta Murgia.
A short train ride will take you away from the hustle and bustle, to enjoy the peace of a small village that lives almost purely of rural activities; the green countryside will replace the blue sea, small shops instead of modern stores, and a Romanesque synthesis of the great Basilica of San Nicola will be the Cathedral of Ruvo di Puglia. Immersing yourself in the calm atmosphere of this village, you can idly wander through the narrow alleys of the old town, or visit the Jatta National Museum, which houses a famous collection of painted peuceta clay pots very well preserved.
In the afternoon, a short train journey to Andria: find time to visit the old town. In addition to the cultural beauties we suggest you to visit the sweet Museo del Confetto.
Discover Castel del Monte
After breakfast you will reach Castel del Monte and the National Park Alta Murgia with a short bus transfer.
You will spend the first part of the day discovering one of the most mysterious building commissioned by Frederick II of Swabia: this medieval fortress, a Unesco World Heritage Site, is one of the main tourist destinations in Puglia.
After the visit and lunch in one of the restaurants close to the castle, a short private transfer will take you to Gravina, where you will stay for the next two nights.
Discover Gravina in Puglia
Day dedicated to Gravina, a historic town on the border between Puglia and Basilicata.
It is an area marked by the presence of ravines, puli and caves: different results of erosion caused by the waters on these karst terrain, which also abound in the area of Matera .
Gravina, the Roman Silvium, most likely founded by the peucetian people, comes to us through the influences of Magna Grecia and then of the Roman culture. Its fortune was given by the ancient Via Appia, which was crossing the city and enriching its economy. The historic centre preserves and conceals significant signs of its past: like the visible and dominant Cathedral or the underground tunnels leading to the visit of cellars, rocky churches, barns and towers buried by newer buildings. There is no doubt that the day will pass quickly among the many attractions, also culinary and craft, that the town offers.
Overnight in Gravina.
Gravina, Altamura and Matera
Even today you will move using local public transport, with short transfers.
The first part of the day will be dedicated to discover Altamura. Inside the small and well-ordered old town is the imposing cathedral dedicated to Santa Maria Assunta, a masterpiece in full Romanesque style of Puglia wanted by Frederick II. For archaeology enthusiasts, a visit to the National Museum of Altamura is recommended, where you can admire a perfect reconstruction of the "Altamura Man", one of the most surprising Italian paleontological discoveries.
In the afternoon you will reach Matera for a first walk through its unique historic centre: the Sassi. To get a first knowledge of Matera, we recommend a visit to Casa Noha, a site preserved by the italian FAI, where, in the rooms, short videos illustrate the evolution of the Sassi over time in a suggestive way..
Discover Matera and its Sassi town
Full day visit of a unique city, a World Heritage Site and European Capital of Culture 2019.
Matera will undergo a profound transformation in the next years, that will give vitality to a clear and striking land, because, as they say in Matera with a traditional and folk expression: “Nothing left for anybody!”. And it is true, Matera, after the recent title, could become the new highlight of the South, attractive for a cultural, slow and green tourism, that will bring a new development not only in Basilicata, but also in the most famous Puglia and even in Calabria. Part of the day an expert guide will be with you; in the afternoon we suggest you to get on and down the ravine to admire the stones from Murgia Timone, an area that offers the best panoramic view of the Sassi.
End of services after breakfast. For who still has some free time, it is recommended one last visit to the small shops of the historic centre, and maybe the buying of a symbol of the pastoral art of the area of Matera: the bread stamp.
From Matera you can also start a walking tour trough the Heel of Italy, read the program.
Tour programme variations
Due to organizational reasons, weather conditions or provisions issued by local authorities, the itinerary may be subject to some changes before and/or during the holiday.
Our offer includes
- 7 nights with breakfast
- Welcome briefing
- Scheduled public transports day 3 and 6
- Private transfer day 4
- Travel App (maps, tracks, route notes)
- Luggage transportation hotel to hotel day 3, 4 and 6
- Guided walking tour in Bari (2h) and Matera (2h)
- Phone assistance 08:00-21:00
- Transfer IN and Transfer OUT
- Meals and drinks
- Entrance fees and tips
- Bus ticket to Castel del Monte day 4 (about € 1,10)
- Hotel tourist taxes (about € 10,00)
- Insurance and what's not listed as Included
Departures and prices
Supplements per person
The proposed itinerary has a cultural value: history, art, architecture and daily life of the local population will be the bread and butter of every day.
You will have information material enriched with maps and cultural, historical and culinary insights, so you can easily organize your days in complete freedom.
Brief public transfers will be the means to move sustainably and an additional way to get in direct contact with the locals, discover their way of life, making the trip more authentic and enjoyable.
The visit of the historic centres will be on foot, so we recommend to wear comfortable walking shoes, hat, water, sun cream and waterproof jacket in case of rain.
The tour offers accommodation in pretty B&B and selected 3* hotels.
2 nights in Bari
1 night in Ruvo di Puglia
2 nights in Gravina
2 nights in Matera
7 breakfasts included. All other meals are not included.
90% 0-8 years
50% 9-11 years
30% 12-15 years
A welcome briefing will be held on the second day, after breakfast.
You will be provided with an assistance number that you can call from 08:00 to 21:00 during your stay. Anytime, our staff will be available to make your holiday quiet and serene.
A few days before departure you will receive:
- Service List (with the link to download the Travel App);
- Luggage labels (to be printed and applied on your luggage).
Reaching Bari is very easy. It is inserted in all the best circuits and roads between North and South of Italy.
BY AIR. Bari Palese airport is connected with the most important Italian and foreign cities by the main airlines and the low cost ones.
It is well connected with many flights, to the city centre by Metro and train approximately every 20 minutes. More info on the website Aeroporti di Puglia.
BY BUS. Bari is also accessible by bus. Here some links to the major operating companies: Marinobus, Baltour & Flixbus, Busmiccolis, Buscenter.
BY CAR. The main highways are the A14 Bologna-Taranto and the A16 Napoli-Canosa. maps.google.com can help you with the directions.
Back to Bari
From Matera you can reach Bari by trains or buses of Ferrovie Appulo Lucane.
If you prefer to travel in total comfort, you can book a private transfer on the days of arrival and departure.