Apulia, Calabria & Sicily. A Journey Through Southern Italian Treasures

Apulia, Calabria & Sicily. A Journey Through Southern Italian Treasures

4 nights in Martina Franca, 1 night in Pizzo, 4 nights in Aetna Volcano

Embark on a mesmerizing journey through the enchanting regions of  Apulia, Calabria, and Sicily, where ancient history, breathtaking land scapes, and delectable cuisine come together to create an unforget table experience. From the picturesque trulli villages of Apulia to the  crystal-clear waters of Sicily’s coast, each day is a discovery of unique  

cultural gems. Savor the warmth of local hospitality, indulge in tradi tional delicacies, and witness the legacy of ancient civilizations. Im merse yourself in the rich tapestry of these diverse regions, where the  past meets the present, and every moment unveils a new aspect of  Southern Italy’s allure. This sustainable and immersive journey promi ses to leave you with cherished memories and a profound apprecia tion for the soul-stirring beauty of Southern Italy. So, step aboard this  transformative adventure and let the magic of Apulia, Calabria, and  Sicily captivate your heart. 

Suggested Itinerary

Day 1 – Arrival

Welcome to Apulia! Villa San Martino will be your base for this itinerary.
Upon arrival, enjoy a welcome aperitif in this beautiful location in the heart of Valditria, followed by a delightful dinner paired with local wines. Dinner at “Nino’ Il Trullo” in Martina Franca.
Overnight at Hotel Villa San Martino.

Day 2 – Locorotondo, Cisternino, and Alberobello 

After breakfast, meet your driver-guide and head to Locorotondo for a stroll in the city center. This picturesque town is  nicknamed “the balcony on the Itria Valley” because of its spectacular valley views. Considered one of the most beautiful  villages in Italy, it offers visitors the opportunity to get lost between picturesque narrow stone streets and small white  houses with gable roofs called “Cummerse”. The name Locorotondo comes from the Latin “Locus rotundas” which means  rounded place because the town is a perfect circle on top of a hill. At the end of the visit you’ll head to Cisternino, a  whitewashed hilltop town, slow-paced Cisternino has a charming centro storico beyond its bland modern outskirts; with its  kasbah-like knot of streets, it has been designated as one of the country’s “borghi più belli” (most beautiful towns). Beside  its 13th-century Chiesa Matrice and Torre Civica there’s a pretty communal garden with rural views. Last stop of the day, but  not the least will be Alberobello. The town has been a Unesco World Heritage Site since 1996, and has the largest number of  Trulli concentrated in a town. With destinations that attract millions of tourists to its narrow streets, Alberobello offers  visitors a unique scenario. Two particularly striking districts include: “Rione Monti” with its local handicraft shops and “Aia  Piccola”, where the most ancient Trulli and little museums are situated. At the end of the visit, head back to your hotel in  Martina Franca. 
Lunch in Locorotondo & Dinner in Martina Franca.
Overnight at Hotel Villa San Martino.


Day 3 – Ostuni, Monopoli, Polignano

A visit to Ostuni, Monopoli, and Polignano is a journey through the stunning beauty and rich history of the Puglia region of  southern Italy. Ostuni, also known as the “White City,” is a charming town with a historic center that is perched on top of a hill  overlooking the Adriatic Sea. The town is famous for its whitewashed buildings, narrow alleys, and stunning views. Visitors  can explore the historic center and the imposing Cathedral, which dates back to the 15th century. Monopoli is a picturesque seaside town that is famous for its beautiful beaches and historic center. The town is surrounded  by a wall that dates back to the 16th century and is home to many ancient landmarks, including the Castle of Charles V and  the Cathedral of Madonna della Madia. Polignano is a stunning coastal town that is perched on the edge of a cliff overlooking  the Adriatic Sea. The town is known for its stunning beaches, crystal-clear waters, and picturesque historic center. Visitors  can explore the narrow alleys and whitewashed buildings, and take in the stunning views from the terrace of the historic  church of Santa Maria Assunta. 
Throughout the region, visitors can also enjoy the local cuisine, which is characterized by fresh seafood, homemade pasta,  and delicious wines. Puglia is also home to many ancient ruins and historic landmarks, including the UNESCO-listed Trulli of  Alberobello and the Baroque city of Lecce. 
Lunch in Polignano & Dinner in Cisternino. 
Overnight at Hotel Villa San Martino.

Day 4 – Lecce & Otranto

Meet your driver-guide and move to Salento.  
Lecce is an art city known as “the Florence of the South” or “Florence of Baroque” after the ancient Messapian and  archaeological remains of Roman rule. Expressions of Baroque exuberance, typically 17th century, are expressed in the  buildings of churches and palaces of the Center. Completely made of local stone, a limestone which is malleable and very  suitable working with a chisel. Visit the city of Lecce to see the Roman amphitheater built in the Augustan age built to  entertain up to 14,000 spectators and located in the eastern side of the Roman city. One end is dug in the soil and on the  other side are arcades and columns. It is near Sant’Oronzo Plaza. You’ll then visit the Cathedral and the old city. Later, move  to Otranto for an independent visit. 
It is certainly one of Puglia’s most charming towns and is well worth a visit. The imposing castle, thick perimeter walls and  robust towers (built after the town was liberated from the Turks in the late 15th century) dominate much of the town, giving  way to a small port, a series of sea-front promenades with excellent fish restaurants and the town’s very own beautiful white  sandy beach and turquoise waters. The delightful Romanesque cathedral, dating back to 1088 and boasting extensive 12th  century floor mosaics, is another highlight that should not be missed. Late afternoon, reach a local Masseria where you will  learn how prepare fresh pasta and enjoy a true Apulian Dinner.
Lunch in Lecce & Dinner in Martina Franca.
Overnight at Hotel Villa San Martino. 


Day 5 – From Adriatic to Tyrrhenian Sea. Matera & Pizzo 

Today, move to Bernalda, in the heart of Basilicata, the less known of Italian regions, passing along Matera. When in Matera,  enjoy a walk in the old center. Matera is internationally known for its “Sassi “. The Sassi are original settlements of prehistoric  (troglodyte) and apparently the first “houses” in Italy. These houses excavated in the rock are characteristic of Basilicata  and Puglia regions. Many of these “houses” are really only caverns, and the streets in some parts, go through the roofs of  other houses. One of the peculiarities of this ancient city is its similarity to the ancient cities near Jerusalem. It was captured  by the eyes of directors and film studios.  
Continue to Pizzo. Lunch in Matera & Dinner in Pizzo, on the sea. 
Overnight in Pizzo. 

Day 6 – Desembark in Sicily  

Wake in Pizzo, a picturesque town in the Calabria region, where you can stroll through the charming historic center and  sample the local specialty, Tartufo di Pizzo, a delicious gelato dessert.  
From Pizzo, the journey takes you along the stunning coastline, where you will pass through some of the most famous and  beautiful places in southern Italy, including Tropea, Briatico, Capo Vaticano, and Scilla. 
Tropea is a charming town that sits atop a cliff overlooking the turquoise waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea. It is known for its  beautiful beaches, historic churches, and the famous red onions that are grown in the surrounding area. Tropea also has a  rich ancient Greek heritage, with the town believed to have been founded by the Greeks in the 5th century BC. Briatico is a  small town that sits between Tropea and Capo Vaticano. It is famous for its beautiful coastline, which is dotted with  picturesque coves and crystal-clear waters. Briatico is also home to several ancient Greek ruins, including the ruins of a  temple dedicated to the goddess Athena. Capo Vaticano is a stunning headland that boasts some of the most beautiful  beaches in Italy. The headland is named after the ancient Greek city of Hipponion, which was located in the area in ancient  times. Capo Vaticano is a great place to stop and take in the stunning scenery, with its rugged cliffs, crystal-clear waters, and  white sand beaches. After stop for lunch in Scilla, you will take the the ferry to Sicily. 
Taking the ferry from Villa San Giovanni to Messina and disembarking in Sicily is an experience that can evoke a range of  emotions. As the ferry departs from the mainland and begins to cross the strait, you may feel a sense of awe and wonder at  the beauty of the surrounding landscape. The strait is flanked by towering mountains on either side, and the shimmering blue  waters of the sea stretch out as far as the eye can see. You will reach your destination, Zafferana Etna on the Volcano Etna,  late afternoon. It was a long day.  
Celebrate Sicily with a welcome dinner on a panoramic terrace. 
Lunch in Scilla & Dinner on the Aetna Mountain 
Overninght on the Aetna Volcano.

Day 7 – Taormina / Aetna 

The moring will be dedicated to relax, enjoy a cooking class, sipping wines and lunch. 
Late afternoon, transfer to Taormina, just 30 min away for a guided tour and dinner. 
A visit to Taormina, Sicily is a magical experience. The town’s charming streets are lined with colorful buildings and historic  architecture, while the ancient Greek Theater offers breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. Visitors can enjoy  delicious local cuisine, explore the many shops and boutiques, or simply soak up the Mediterranean sun on the town’s  beautiful beaches. With its rich history, stunning beauty, and warm hospitality, Taormina is a must-see destination for any  traveler to Sicily. 
Lunch in Taormina.
Overnight on the Aetna. 


Day 8 – Aetna Food Experience 

A food and wine experience on the volcano Aetna is a truly unique and unforgettable experience. The local wine culture is  deeply rooted in the volcanic soils that surround Mount Etna, and the wines produced in this region are known for their  unique mineral and earthy flavors. 
The fertile slopes of Mount Etna are covered in vineyards, and the volcanic soil gives the wines a distinct character that  cannot be found anywhere else in the world. 
As you savor the delicious food and wine, you will be transported back in time to the ancient history of the region. Mount Etna  has played a significant role in the history of Sicily, with the volcano erupting several times throughout history and shaping  the landscape in its wake.
The local wine culture on Mount Etna dates back centuries, with the first vineyards established by the ancient Greeks. Today,  the region is home to some of the most unique and sought-after wines in the world, with wineries and vineyards dotting the  mountain slopes. 
Lunch in Zafferana Etnea.
Overnight on the Aetna. 

Day 9 – Siracusa  

A visit to Ortigia is a journey through the history and culture of Sicily. The small island of Ortigia is located in the heart of  Syracuse and is considered one of the most beautiful and historic areas of the city. As you explore the narrow streets and  alleys of Ortigia, you will encounter a wealth of historic landmarks and architectural wonders. The island is home to many  ancient ruins and buildings, including the Temple of Apollo, the Cathedral of Syracuse, and the Fountain of Arethusa. One of the most impressive sights in Ortigia is the Piazza del Duomo, a stunning square surrounded by some of the most  important historic buildings on the island. The square is home to the impressive Cathedral of Syracuse, a magnificent  Baroque masterpiece that has been standing for over 2,000 years. In addition to its rich history and architecture, Ortigia is  also known for its vibrant cultural scene. The island is home to many artisan shops, boutiques, and galleries, where visitors  can find unique and handcrafted items. 
The food scene in Ortigia is also a highlight of any visit. The island is known for its fresh seafood, which can be enjoyed at the  many restaurants and trattorias that line the streets. 
Lunch in Siracusa. Wine tasting in a local winery. Dinner on the Aetna.
Overnight on the Aetna .

Day 10 – Departure 
Indepedent Departure Transfer.