Beautiful green expanse countryside characterized by “trulli”, "lamie", "masserie" and "dry stonewalls" that surround vineyards and olive groves as far as eye can see: this is what the Valle d’Itria (Itria Valley) looks like. To enjoy this magic scenery you need to cross it and visit its peculiar villages like Alberobello, Ostuni, Locorotondo, Martina Franca and then immerse in the blu sea by reaching the white cliffs of Polignano a Mare on the Adriatic Coast.
Alberobello is a unique city situated south of Bari, UNESCO World Heritage since 1996 for its monumental “Trullis” village, fairy-tale dwellings with conical roofs dated back to 15th century, when a Royal law of the King in Naples prohibited at that time to build new settlments. Despite this Alberobello was built and hidden in the local "Selva" (a forest made of oaktress) and today it consists in about 1400 Trulli Houses.
You will visit the two districts Rione Monti and Aia Piccola to understand the reasons why and how people built and keep restoring these small houses, made with dry overlapping stones, whitewashed base and cone-shaped roofs. During the tour you will visit the Church of San Antonio, made in a “Trulli shape” and a private Trulli house dated back to 15th Century. During the visit of the city you can get lost among the small alleys and enter some of these tiny houses turned today into private homes but many also into shops, restaurants, bars and museums and enjoy the old atmosphere with the modern style.
The colourful, dazzling and scented area of Ostuni, the Town of the light, widespread from the beautiful strip of southern Murgia hills to the coasts of the Adriatic Sea, crossing the plains of olive trees, offers its visitor san abundance of history, architecture, culture, folklore, healthy air and Mediterranean cuisine. Knows as the White Town, it is a medieval nucleus enclosed by towers and walls from the Angiovine epoch, widened and strenghtened in the Aragonese Age, standing out on an isolated Murgia plateau, facing the Adriatic Sea. Every house, whitened with lime wash, is a stunning view to be admired from hundreds of small windows which seem to be mounted on teh walls welcoming the sunset. The concentric streets going through are sunny and of a uniform white, whose outlines mingle together; the alley ways with little passages, stairs, little slopes, little balconies and everywhere, in nearly all the narrow streets, the ancient doorways, ancient churches and little squares, at one time, personal and public meeting places.
Ostuni lies at a sea level of 240 m., is about 7 km away from the Adriatic coast and offers enchanting panoramic views overlooking the green woods, “La Selva” and the splendid olive groves, “La Marina”, streching right down to the Adriatic sea. From the ancient city, built on an isolated circular hill, the town area spreads westwards, splitting into the 17th, 18th and 19th Century districts, until reaching the modern area.
In ancient times Ostuni was inhabited by the Messapians and was influenced by the Greeks and the Romans. The Ostrogoths, the Lombards, the Normans, the Swabians, the Angevins and the Aragonese followed one another in ruling the town, turning into an important and rich settlement, witnessed by its monuments, like the Cathedral, the Bishop’s Palace and many decorated Palaces.
Locorotondo is among the most beautiful villages in Italy and its name derives from the circular layout of the city centre, overlooking the rest of the country and throughtout the Valle d’Itria. You will be impressed from its beauty and from the picturesque streets, surroundend by the white walls of houses, among which you will see the "Cummerse", ancient settlements, rectangular in shape with sloping roofs made of “chianchette” and tiles made of flat rocks.
And what about one of the best local white wines named also Locorotondo DOC? A tasting of it is a must seated in a bar or in a tiny courtyard surrounded by the white of the houses and the colours of the flower and plants as a contrast to the white and decorating the village.
Martina Franca is situated 431 m. height above sea level on one of the last hills of southeastern Murgia, overlooking the charming Valle d'Itria at the turn of the Ionian and Adriatic Seas. The origins of Martina Franca back to the 10th Century when a group of refugees from Taranto took refuge on the Colle San Martino to escape the Saracen devastation. The legal foundation of the city dates back, however, to 12th August 1310 when the Prince of Taranto, Philip of Anjou, favored the allocation through the grant of relief. Hence the "free" adjective, originally placed in front of Martina's name. In the 15th Century became a feud of the Aragon and in 16th Century of the Neapolitan family Caracciolo.
Martina enjoyed its heyday in the 18th Century, when strong economic growth, particularly in the agriculture and livestock sector, gave a spectacular new architectural layout to the Old Town, Baroque and Rococo around the Palazzo Ducale. By walking into the old village you will immerse yourself in a magical and graceful atmosphere, with its narrow streets, alleyways, mansions, stately and monumental churches, in which are preserved art works made by painters, sculptors and marble workers of the Neapolitan School of the 18th Century. This is Martina: "City of Art and Culture".
Polignano a Mare lays perched on a high and jagged coastline, where there are many caves, such as the famous Grotta Palazzese, today a luxurious restaurant carved out of magnificent limestone rocks with a view over the blue-green Adriatic Sea. The city centre is a tangle of narrow streets ending in terraces overlooking the sea, among which the most beautiful one overlooking the “lama”: an old river bed turned into a public beach between two big white cliffs, which inspired the Italian famous singer Domenico Modugno, author of his worldwide known song “Volare”.
And after walking and having enjoyed the landscape, the beach, the terraces overlooking the cliffs and the sea, it will be time for a "Caffè Speciale" (Special Coffee) made with coffee, sugar, lemon zest and cream, a speciality made only here.
|Days available:||Every day. Possibilities of pick-up from accomodations in the surrounding area of Matera according to your needs.|
| Time Length:
||9 hours plus the transfer times from Matera's surrounding areas.|
|Don’t forget:||Comfy shoes, camera and during summer water, cap and sun cream.|
Price and Notes:
The tour is private but, upon request and according to availability, it is possible to make a Tour Sharing with other guests in order to reduce the costs.
If you don’t have a car to reach the Itria Valley, it is possible to book a shuttle or minibus.
It is possible to visit only one, two or more cities indicated in this tour by combining them with one of the other tours (a suggestion is to combine Matera with Alberobello and Locorotondo or Matera with Ostuni or Polignano with Alberobello and Ostuni, and so on...). Please contact me for more information, suggestions and costs.