Deep South 2018 – By Invite Only
Welcome to our newest experience that travels through Calabria and Puglia, in the southern part of Italy.
Trip fee includes ground transportation with a private driver; airport transfers (inbound: Lamezia Terme airport to Tropea; outbound: Bari to Bari Airport); entrance fees to monuments; multiple excursions by boat; day tour to Valle d’Itria towns of Cisternino, Locorotondo, Martina Franca; guides for day trips to Colobraro, Gerace, Monopoli and Polignagno a Mare; all tips for drivers, guides, and group meals. It also includes 10 nights hotel, hotel taxes, 10 breakfasts, half the lunches and half the dinners (with wine).
Thursday, May 17
We’ll pick you up at the airport. Transfer to Hotel Rocca della Sena in Tropea. Celebratory welcome meal that night with our new friends!
Friday, May 18
Tropea is right on the coast and the views of its iconic tower and beach scenes from the boat tour we’ll be taking make for some incredible photo ops. We’ll have some free time in Tropea for lunch, shopping and wandering. That night, from the view on the water, you’ll see mini-fireworks erupting from the active volcano. Rest up. Tomorrow we have so much to explore!
Saturday, May 19
We’re heading to Reggio Calabria, the town that sits at the very tip toe of Italy’s boot. We’ll be on the Strait of Messina, where you can see Sicily right across the way — we could swim there it’s so close, but don’t worry, we won’t! (Those of you who have taken our Sicily tour will remember this view in reverse.) In Reggio we’ll visit the jewel of the town, an archeological museum that features Magna Grecia bronzes (accidentally discovered in the sea by a diver in the ‘70s) and other famous artifacts loaned periodically to museums around the world but housed permanently here. We’ll also head to Pizzo, home of the Aragonese castles and delicious “bomba style” tartufo gelato. Of course we’ll be getting our spoons into some of that!
Sunday, May 20
Today let’s pretend we’re 100% italiane. That means we go to mamma’s house for a big lunch — it’s Sunday, after all! Our “substitute family” is Tommaso’s friend’s clan, and we’ll be their guests. To get there, we’ll drive through the countryside from the Tyrrhenian coast to Siderno on the Ionian side. We’re in the Deep South now. If you’ve done your homework or have Italian neighbours, you’ll know Calabria has a colorful past, and its characters look like they belong on a film set. Today we’ll also visit the medieval town of Gerace, famous for its bergamot orchards and oil production (used in Earl Grey tea), and we’ll have a chance to stock on up on some incredible smelling, “very Calabrian” gifts.
Monday, May 21
Today we leave the Calabrian coast for the Puglian countryside. We’ll travel through the stunning province of Basilicata, filled with wheat fields and limestone-colored villages. We’ll stop for lunch and stretch our legs on a walking tour of Colobraro, a town steeped in superstition, before heading to our masseria, a countryside estate in Puglia. Before dinner, relax with a dip in the pool or grab a glass of something bubbly and just breathe in the meadow-fresh air. Vineyards and olive groves will be your neighbors for the next four nights. This hotel is one of the most stunning properties we’ve visited in Italy, and we’re very excited to share it with you.
Tuesday May 22
Today the beautiful Italian landscape inside and surrounding the masseria is yours to discover. Will you head to the pool, wander the estate, or just sit and stare at your toes as you sip your fifth cappuccino of the day? Perhaps you’ll venture beyond the gates on your hotel-loaned bicycle and wheel about under the lemon, orange, fig and peach trees or through the almond grove. The choice is yours, but one thing is for sure — this is a place that must be enjoyed to the fullest, whatever that means to you.
Wednesday, May 23
Have you heard of Polignano al Mare? It’s the most photographed of all the Puglian coastal towns and for good reason! We’ll get to view it from the water on a lovely harbor cruise before we set out for Monopoli. When you’ve had your fill of “beyond pretty” and you’re weary from photo taking and wandering the back roads of these idyllic towns, we’ll tuck in for a quiet night at the masseria (unless someone gets into the wine!) where we can chill and talk and just soak up the heartbreakingly gorgeous atmosphere.
Thursday, May 24
Today we’ll day trip to the timeless towns of the Valle D’Itria — whitewashed and utterly charming Cisternino, gable-roofed Locorotondo, and elegant Martina Franca. You’ll have free time to wander these small villages surrounded by vineyards and olive groves as far as the eye can see. It’s our final night at the masseria, so we’ll cozy up while stargazing and chitchatting by candlelight.
Friday, May 25
Today we transfer to nearby Bari, with a visit the natural wonder that is Castellina Grotte, on the way. Bari is a port city on the Adriatic, the second largest city in Italy’s south after Naples. We’ll check-in to our hotel in the elegant Murattiano quarter, close to monuments and shopping in the heart of the action.
Saturday, May 26
Today we show you the best of Bari. You’ll see the city’s most interesting sights but it won’t be all monuments and gold-leaf, as we’ll make sure to check out the “nonni” who hand-roll pasta outside their homes and sell it on the street. A nostalgic look into life at a slower pace in the deep South of Italy. For you “shoppers”, we’ll make sure you’re able to hit the best stores and fill your suitcases on our last day of the trip. That night, we’ll pop some corks at our traditional farewell dinner and remember the good time we’ve spent in the last 10 days.
Sunday, May 27
Check-out day. We’ll miss you!
Have questions? Please email us at ciao @ italianfix.com
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