Puglia Road Trip – May 4 -15th

Itinerary for Italy Road Trip 

In 18 days I head to Italy to lead an 11 day Road Trip. We have 12 women signed up for this adventure packed and foodie filled amazing trip. We will experience the heel of the boot in full force! Check out our exciting itinerary for this SOLD OUT trip;
Read here how I learned to travel through Italy like a local
Read here to learn how to pack light for a 3 week trip in Italy 
Sat, May 4 Day 1. Arrival Day – AbruzzoEarly morning arrival in Rome at Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino Airport (FCO) or arrival the day before. You’ll be picked up and we’ll head out to start our Italy adventure! First stop, exploring the Abruzzo region! Lunch will be a yummy, authentic farm to table experience in L’Aquila. We’ll then head to our accomodations – the Sextantio Hotel located in a restored medieval village nestled in the Appenine Mountains. Enjoy a relaxing dinner on the patio with a panoramic overlook and breathtaking views. (L,D)  Drive time: about 2.5 hours
Overnight – Santostefano Sextantio Hotel

Sun, May 5 Day 2. Abruzzo/Appenines – Vasto/Termoli – PeschiciAfter an early breakfast at the hotel, our hiking guide will meet us for a trek to see the beautiful scenery of Rocca di Calascio, which is a high village of Norman Origin dating back to 816 AD. The incredible views from the Appenines Mountains are surreal and staggeringly picturesque. We’ll enjoy a picnic lunch in these wonderous surroundings. We’ll continue on making stops in Termoli and Vasto the next set of charming coastal towns. We’ll then head to Peschici, where we’ll be spending the night. We arrive in Peschici and enjoy a casual meal in the town. (B, L)  Drive time: about 4 hours
Overnight – The Stunning Peschici B&B

Mon, May 6 Day 3. ViesteAfter breakfast at the hotel, we’ll depart for Vieste to explore the Sea Caves of Gargano by boat. Our skilled captain will take us on a 3-hour scenic boat ride inside the beautiful Grottos off the coast of Vieste. There are about 20 sea caves in the Gargano area with endless fascinating shapes, which are the result of the continuous crashing of waves against the calcareous rocks. We’ll then dine at a local old town restaurant famous for their seafood. We’ll enjoy aperitivos at Al Trabucco Mimi situated on a traditional wooden fishing platform teetering over the Adriatic Sea with the sun sinking into the water. (B)  Drive time: about 1 hour
Overnight – The Stunning Peschici B&B

Tue, May 7 Day 4. Gargano – Castel Del Monte – PolignanoBreakfast at the hotel. Head out to Gargano National Park where we’ll take a leisurely hike into the Umbra Forest, known as the ‘Forest of Shadows’ with its tall, ancient trees including Aleppo pines, oaks, yews and beech trees covering a sprawling 5790 sq km. We’ll enjoy a relaxing picnic, then it’s off to Castel Del Monte, located on a small hill near the monastery of Santa Maria del Monte. This 13th-century citadel and castle built by Emperor Frederick II is a World Heritage UNESCO site. After touring the castle, we’ll make our way to the picturesque seaside town of Polignano a Mare. Here we’ll enjoy a delicious casual dinner, sunset, and people watching as locals partake in cliff jumping! Depart for our hotel in Monopoli. (B,L)  Drive time: 4.5 hours
Overnight – Albergo Diffuso Monopoli

Wed, May 8 Day 5. MonopoliBreakfast at the hotel at your leisure and then it’s a free day in Monopoli! A recommendation is to explore Monopoli by doing a self-guided walking tour in old town. Monopoli is a photographic dream – a typical Apulian gem with quaint narrow streets, pretty squares and a picturesque harbor. Stroll to the cathedral, old castle, and picturesque harbor. Relax on one of the beautiful beaches and gazing out into the crystal blue water of the Adriatic Sea. Maybe an espresso at a cafe mingling with the locals. Take time to just relax and enjoy the Italian lifestyle. (B)  Drive time: none
Overnight – Albergo Diffuso Monopoli

Thu, May 9 Day 6. AlberobelloBreakfast at the hotel and then off to enjoy a guided bike tour of the Trullis of Alberobello (World UNESCO Heritage Site). Trulli, limestone dwellings, are remarkable examples of drywall (mortarless) construction, a prehistoric building technique still in use in this region. Alberobello is home of the oldest known trulli, dating back to the 14th century. Our biking adventure takes us along beautiful country roads to a local dairy where we can watch the production of mozzarella as well as a tasting. After the tour, you’ll have time for whatever interests you – perhaps some shopping, espresso, gelato in the village. Afterwards, it’s a casual dinner back in Monopoli. (B,L)  Drive Time: about 2 hours
Overnight – Albergo Diffuso Monopoli

Fri, May 10 Day 7. Ostuni-Masseria il FrantoioAfter breakfast at the hotel, we’ll depart early for sight seeing in the town of Ostuni. It’s considered one of the most beautiful villages in the Puglia region with its whitewashed buildings set upon a hill overlooking endless olive trees and the Adriatic Sea. After exploring Ostuni, we’ll visit Masseria il Frantoio, 178-acre organic farm that dates back to 1500. While there we will experience a guided tour of the house, gardens, courtyard, underground oil mill and the story of the Masseria. We’ll enjoy a full course lunch and olive oil tasting. Then its back to our coastal villa to relax. There will be a light meal prepared us later in the evening. (B,L, D)  Drive Time: about 2.5 hours
Overnight – Villa di Adrano

Sat, May 11 Day 8. Otranto – ScorranoBreakfast at the Villa. We’ll start the day by heading to the spectacular clifftop, coastal town of Otranto that overlooks the turquoise waters of the Adriatic Sea. We’ll visit the historic promenade and discover the town’s rich history including the 15th-century Aragonese Castle and 11th-century Otranto Cathedral. A stop at the harbor and Torre Matta tower provides sweeping sea views. After exploring Otranto, our next activity is a wine experience at Duco Carlo Guarini Winery in Scorrano. We’ll enjoy a guided tour along with a buffet tasting of the food products and local dishes of the region. We’ll return to the Villa where you can relax and later have some light appetizers by the pool. (B,L,D)  Drive Time: about 2.5 hours
Overnight – Villa di Adrano

Sun, May 12 Day 9. Marina di AndranoToday we’ll spend the morning relaxing and enjoying time at the Villa in Marina di Andrano. In the afternoon, we’ll continue exploring this picturesque coast and taking in the natural beauty. We’ll visit some of the small villages along the heel of the boot for a spontaneous day of doing and seeing whatever interests us! In the evening, we’ll celebrate our last night at the Villa with a gourmet coastal meal prepared by the chef. (B, D)  Drive Time: about 2 hours
Overnight – Villa di Adrano

Mon, May 13 Day 10. LecceBreakfast at the Villa. Today we head to the historic baroque city of Lecce, referred to as “The Florence of the South” known for its architectural beauty. Chefs from The Awaiting Table will take us to the local fish market to select our catch of the day. We’ll experience pasta making, fresh fish cookery lesson, and rosè-tasting. During class, we’ll prepare our own lunch. After checking into our boutique hotel, we can take in the lights of Lecce and find a quaint cafe for light bites and drinks to celebrate. (B,L)  Drive Time: about 45 minutes
Overnight – And So Bed & Breakfast

Tue, May 14 Day 11
LecceAfter breakfast at the hotel,we’ll take the last day of our trip to see the beautiful architecture of Lecce. There are numerous wonderous buildings to discover that show off the ancient craftsmanship from Medieval to Baroque architecture including Piazza del Duomo, the Cattedrale di Lecce, Basilica di Santa Croce, Sant’Oronzo Column, and the Roman amphitheater. We’ll celebrate our evening at a wonderful L’ostruca Ubriaca Restaurant and toast to a trip filled with new memories, stories and friends. (B)  Drive Time: none
Overnight – And So Bed & Breakfast

Wed, May 15 Day 12. Departure dayAfter one last Italian breakfast, its sadly, departure day. We’ll be transferred to the airport for our international flight home. 

Published by Judy Hughes

I am a small group trip leader for 2 travel clubs. We check out cool and off the beaten path places around the World. Adventure is our specialty. I love to take notes and share the travel tips with you in my blog! Hope you check it out!