ERCOLANO/MATERA/ALBEROBELLO/CASTEL DEL MONTE
Day one - Group is met in Naples. Transfer to Ercolano to visit the famous ruins declared Unesco world Heritage site in 1997. The antique city was completely covered by lava and mud during the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AC. Archaeologists have uncovered a city bearing well maintained traces of the wealthy inhabitants: their bronze, marble and silver artefacts, their breathtaking mosaics and frescoes. After the guided tour, free time for lunch. In the afternoon transfer to Matera (248 km) and check in to hotel, dinner and night over.
Day two - Breakfast buffet at hotel. Meet with local guide and transfer to the Murgia Timone Archaeological Park and Nature Reserve with it’s spectacular view of the Sassi. Visit to the cave church of the Madonna delle tre Porte and to the neolithic village of the Murgia Timone area. Lunch based on typical local products at a local Masseria. Return to the center and guided walk through the baroque Via Ridola with the churches of Saint Francis of Assisi and that of the Purgatory and the typical squares of the historic center. The visit continues walking through the Sasso Barisano and the Sasso Caveoso neighbourhoods, Unesco world Heritage site since 1993, through the antique neighbourhoods where the peasant traditions can still be felt.
Visit to the breathtaking Cave Churches of Santa Maria dell’Idris and San Giovanni in Monterrone as well as to the extraordinary cave complex of the Convicinio di Sant’Antonio. Visit to the Palazzo Lanfranchi building with it’s amazing Carlo Levi collection. Shopping in arts and crafts workshops. Dinner at typical local Osteria in the heart of the Sassi. Return to hotel for night.
Day three - Breakfast buffet at the hotel and transfer with guide to Alberobello (67 km), the capital of the Trulli and Unesco world heritage site since 1996 thanks to the artistic and historic heritage present here. Guided walk through the neighbourhoods of ‘Aia Piccola’ and ‘Rione Monti’. Here it is possible to admire the picturesque cone shaped buildings made out of stone and walk through the incredible alleyways. Visit to the Siamese Trulli and the Master Trullo, the latter was built around 1700 and is the only dwelling with more than one floor. Arrival at the heart of the historic centre of Alberobello and visit to the Museum of the Territory in a trullo complex. Lunch based on typical Apulian dishes at a local locanda.
After lunch transfer to Castel del Monte (112 km) Unesco world Heritage site since 1996 and home to the Emperor Frederic II. Visit to the spectacular octagonal XIII century castle built by Frederic II as a stupor mundi of the time. The fascinating castle is in a spectacular position dominating one of the highest hills of the Western Murgia. Guided tour of the inside of the building, the various halls and courtyard and various levels.
Transfer to Trani (16 km) and visit to the historical centre of town and the stunning medieval cathedral just a few meters from the sea. In the evening return to Matera, dinner and night at hotel.
Day four - Breakfast buffet at the hotel and in late morning departure from Matera.