We have held five very successful trips to Central Puglia, using Il Trappeto (www.olivemill.co.uk), near Ostuni in Central Puglia, as a base and venue for dinner. Robert Fox and Huon Mallalieu will again be our experts, and Flo Tanzarella, who lives in Ostuni, will be our very knowledgeable tour leader. Together we have devised a new trip, returning to previous haunts like Lecce while exploring new places like Galatina. This is very much the insider’s guide to Puglia. Eight readers will stay at the villa, with Robert and Huon, and the other 13 guests will stay at Hotel la Terra (www.laterrahotel.it), a former 13th century palazzo in the old part of Ostuni, which is just one mile away. The blossom, seafood and markets are at their best in May.
Saturday, May 18th,
Easyjet flight from Gatwick to Bari (timings have not yet been announced); transfer to Ostuni.
Welcome drinks at Hotel La Terra. 8pm Dinner at Osteria del Tempo Perso, the best restaurant in Ostuni
Sunday, May 19th - tour of Ostuni and the archaeological park
We will visit the Archeological and Natural Park of Santa Maria D’Agnano where the world’s oldest women was discovered. The skeleton of the ‘donna di Ostuni’, who lived around 26,000 BC is in the museum of Ostuni which we will visit during our tour of the old part of the city. Lunch and relaxing afternoon by the pool at Il Trappeto
7pm: Talks by Huon Mallalieu and Robert Fox at Il Trappeto
8pm: Dinner at Il Trappeto
Monday, May 20th - Lecce and Otranto
We will have a morning tour of Lecce, the Baroque masterpiece of Southern Italy. We will then drive to Otranto by the sea for lunch at Ristorante Retrogusto. At 3pm, we will visit its cathedral which has an enormous 12th century mosaic floor. We can also see the relics of 813 martyrs killed by the Turks in 1480, displayed in a glass case behind the altar. 8pm: dinner at Masseria Il Trappeto.
Tuesday, May 21st -The Messapian towns of Puglia
The Messapians were the pre-Roman inhabitants of Apulia, from the 8th to the 3rd century B.C. We will visit their stronghold of Manduria, now a thriving wine town, but which still has its 5th century BC walls. We will have lunch and a wine tasting at the Museo del Consorzio Produttori di Manduria.
After lunch, we will visit Masseria Brancati, which has a Messapian olive mill, and we will learn how to distinguish a good oil from a bad one.
Wednesday, May 22nd - Massafra and Taranto
We will visit the extraordinary ancient cave churches of Massafra, some of which date back to the 6th century AD. Lunch at Zia Riri, followed by a visit to Taranto, the ancient Spartan colony of Taras. Guests can choose between a tour of the Aragonese Castle or the recently reopened Archealogical museum, which has the most amazing collection of vases and a tomb from the city’s necropolis.
Thursday, May 23rd - The Ionian Coast, Gallipoli and Galatina
En route to Gallipoli, we will drive along the rocky Ionian coast. Gallipoli is set on a promontory, and was where British ships collected its lamp oil. After lunch at La Purita, we will drive to the Basilica of Santa Caterina D’Alessandria at Galatina, a jewel of Apulian Romanesque and Gothic art. The interior is covered with frescoes commissioned in the 15th century.
Friday, May 24th - The towns of the Valle D’Itria: Locorotondo and Alberobello
We are visiting Locorotondo, famous for its white wine, on market day. After lunch at Lu Curdun, we will drive on to the Unesco town of Alberobello, the trulli metropolis. Yes, tourists love it but it is completely authentic. People still live happily in the town’s trulli. Home for the quiz and dinner at Il Trappeto.
Saturday, May 25th - Tour of Bari and home
Although the flights have not yet been announced, there should be time for a quick visit to the city’s Norman basilica and old town.
PRICES AND BOOKINGS:
Price per person: £1,850; single supplement of £145. The price includes accommodation, all meals (with wine), excursions and entrances. You will need to book and pay for your own flights. We will notify you when they have been announced by Easyjet. We must stipulate that you confirm you have full and valid travel insurance, and their contact details and policy number.
To book: email Katherine at email@example.com
IMPORTANT NOTE RE CURRENCY RATES
Due to the recent collapse of sterling, The Oldie needs to protect itself against further sudden falls, and, hence, reserves the right to change the price of the holiday. The Oldie is happy to maintain the current price until the euro drops below €1 to £1, using FairFX’s currency rates as the arbiter. The current rate is €1.10 for £1.
We will absorb (and you will not be charged for) any increase equivalent to 2% of the price of your travel arrangements, which excludes insurance premiums and any amendment charges. You will be charged for the amount over and above that, i.e. if the exchange rate falls below €0.98 to £1 before December 31st, 2018. However there will be no change after February 18th, 2019.
If this means that you have to pay an increase of more than 10% of the price of your travel arrangements, you will have the option of cancelling and receiving a full refund of all monies paid, except for an admin fee of £100. Should you decide to cancel: 1) you must do so within 14 days from the date on your final invoice of February 18th, 2018; 2) We will provide a refund of insurance premiums paid to us if you can show that you are unable to transfer or reuse your policy. Should the price of your holiday go down due to the changes mentioned above, by more than 2% of your holiday cost, i.e. if the euro were to reach €1.20 to £1, then any refund due will be paid to you. However, please note that travel arrangements are not always purchased in local currency and some apparent changes have no impact on the price of your travel due to contractual and other protection in place.