Bari, Matera and the Murge plateauPuglia & BasilicataDifficulty path:
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
Taking the Train with Locals
The old Towns of Conversano, Ruvo e Corato
The Octagonal Castel del Monte in the Alta Murgia National Park
Gravina and the Rocky Churches
Matera and its Stone Houses
Welcome to Bari
Individual arrival in Bari and accommodation in the chosen 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.
Bari - Conversano
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 will catch 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.
Ruvo di Puglia
After breakfast we suggest one last visit to Bari, to take the time for the latest souvenir photos.
In the early afternoon 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.
Corato - Castel del Monte - Gravina in Puglia
Early in the morning, stop by train in Corato, a small town that still has, in its urban geometry, the design of the fortifications built by the Lombards. Worth stopping in Corato to find out the staggering amount of well-preserved mansions still present in this small village. Next stop leads in the Alta Murgia, in one of the most mysterious building commissioned by Frederick II of Swabia: Castel del Monte. This medieval fortress, a Unesco World Heritage Site, is one of the main tourist destinations in Puglia. To reach Castel del Monte you can choose the public transport or taking a pleasant and invigorating walk (about 4 hours) in the National Park Alta Murgia.
After the visit, a short private transfer will take you to Gravina, where you will stay for the next two nights.
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 - Matera
After breakfast, you can still spend a few more hours in Gravina: passing the long arched bridge that connects the two banks of the Gravina stream, you can reach the miraculous rocky Church of Madonna della Stella and maybe go to the Botromagno hill, considered one of the largest archaeological sites in Italy.
In the afternoon you will be moved to 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..
Matera and its Sassi
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.
Our offer includes
- 7 nights with breakfast
- Scheduled public and private transports
- Guided tour in Bari and Matera
- Description and information material
- Phone assistance 8am-9pm
- Transfer IN and Transfer OUT
- Meals and drinks
- Entrance fees and tips
- Hotel tourist taxes (about € 10,00)
- Insurance and what's not listed as Included
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. There will be also gastronomic forays to please the palate.
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.
Luggage transport just for day 4: in the other days we will make easy to manage the transport of your luggage proposing accommodations at walking distance from the railway stations and at the same time, from the historic centres.
On day 4 there will be the possibility to reach Castel del Monte on foot along paths and trails within the National Park dell’Alta Murgia; moreover, 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.
After dinner there will be more moments to stroll along the streets of the various centres and maybe to taste the evening and night life of the places visited.
En suite rooms in 3/4* Hotels and B&B.
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.
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 8am to 9pm during your stay.
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.
BY BUS. Bari is also accessible by bus. Here some links to the major operating companies.
For departures and arrivals from Campania, Basilicata, Puglia : www.mymiccolis.com
For departures and arrivals from Sicilia, Puglia : www.buscenter.it
BY CAR. The main highways are the A14 Bologna-Taranto and the A16 Napoli-Canosa. maps.google.com can help you with the directions.
From Matera you can reach Bari by trains or buses of Ferrovie Appulo Lucane.