Puglia Italy Photo Tour with Dan Anderson

Tour Intro

The Strabo Photo Tour Collection is proud to announce a special tour to Puglia. Although it is a region in Italy, it is a different vision of Italy that you have seen before. You will notice the influences from the Greek Isles in architecture and your taste buds. It is certainly less traveled than the typical tour of Tuscany, Rome, or Venice. Yet still filled with the daily lives of people that grow olives, make wine and cheese, raising their families in these busy hill towns of the ‘heel of the boot’.  The cities and villages have very narrow streets, and you’ll notice the architecture changing from one location to the next. Come explore from the ancient city of Matera, to Lecce – referred to as the Florence of Puglia, and on to coastal port towns, and the famous Trullo in the interior.

Together you will explore the rich history, beauty, arts and culture. You will photograph and walk among architecture influenced by the Greeks and Romans, with Byzantine and Baroque styles; Roman mosaics, and UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Explore hilltop villages, enjoy the cuisine, and last but not least taste the wine.

We always welcome tour companions who are not photographers. There are interesting aspects of Italian life waiting to be explored in every location. The trip’s leisurely pace will provide ample opportunity to wander through medieval hill towns, and feast on the renowned regional foods and wines. You will need to remain flexible to accommodate for unforeseen photographic opportunities, as events and weather changes we want to remain adaptable to photograph unique opportunities. The accommodations that have been chosen combine simple, clean, and comfortable with good service at each location.

Tour Highlights

• Limited to 12 participants to optimize your photographic experience with photo leader Dan Anderson.
• Explore and photograph on foot in the historic city center of Trani, Matera and  Lecce. Amazing cities with their own unique architecture.
• Photograph along the sea at Polignano, Ostuni, Otranto and Gallipoli.
• Truli villages of Alberobello, Locortondo and Martina Franca.
• Photograph the ghost town of Craco and the mountain village of Castelmezzano with a mountainside backdrop.
• Enjoy local wines, cheese, and olive oil with a local Pulgia guide, teaching you about the region and culture.

Tour Itinerary

September 17: Home
Frescoe

Photo By: Dan Anderson

Photo Location: Puglia, Italy

Depart home today on your overnight flight to Bari (BRI), Italy (flights may connect through Rome). (meals on plane)

September 18: Bari
Monastery Frescoe

Photo By: Jacque Steedle

Photo Location: Puglia, Italy

We have found that the majority of participants like to have an additional evening to rest and get over jet lag. The Bari airport is less than 10 miles from the old city center and harbor of Bari, therefore we have included an overnight stay in the old town. Take a taxi to the hotel and depending on your energy level you can rest or walk on your own to get a feel for what is to come on your tour of Puglia with your photo leader. Suggestions to check out: the famous Basilica of St Nicholas, walk through the fascinating old quarter known as Bari Vecchia, where the local ladies still make pasta by hand sitting outside their houses. Bari castle is Norman and surrounded by a moat on three side, and original towers with a nice view of the old town. Lungomare Nazario Sauro promenade is a fantastic place to be at sunset. If you would like to opt out of this evening please call Strabo Tours for credit information and the time you will need to arrive on the 19th. 

September 19-20: Matera
Matera Sunset

Photo By: Jacque Steedle

Photo Location: Puglia, Italy

The tour bus collects you after breakfast at the hotel, estimated 10AM. You will need to be checked out and ready to travel with camera gear in hand. Your guide will welcome you to Italy and give you all the information about the tour en route to your first adventure – Trani. A historic fishing port on the Adriatic Coast. It’s a lovely introduction to Puglia, quieter than most you will be able to walk the promenade and photograph the yachts and fishing boats in the harbor. It has a historic Jewish quarter, glossy limestone streets, and medieval churches.

Continue through the countryside to the UNESCO site in Matera, Basilicata region (border to Puglia). Matera was elected the European capital of culture in 2019. Best known as the Sassi di Matera, an ancient city with houses and churches that have been excavated into the rocks and inhabited since the Stone Age. Continue with a photography walk this evening when the city begins to light up. Welcome dinner based on traditional local specialties and wine!

The next day take a day trip to the central part of the Basilicata region, Castelmezzano, a village located by a breath-taking wide valley. Located in the spectacular Dolomiti Lucane, mountains that draw a unique landscape through their rocky contour.  Continue to the most famous and iconic ghost town in Italy, Craco, that has become a popular filming location for historic movies. Walk through the narrow streets, where time stood still, and the atmosphere is spooky, fascinating and unique. Returning to Matera there is a belvedere offering commanding views of the city at sunset. Mel Gibson chose to shoot the film “The Passion of the Christ” amidst this unique landscape. Overnight Matera (B, D both days) (meals listed each day B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=Dinner)

September 21-22: Lecce
Church Statue

Photo By: Jacque Steedle

Photo Location: Puglia, Italy

On the way to Lecce city stop in Grottaglie for the ceramic district, visit with local artisans making hand-made ceramics. Then on to the lovely Apulian countryside, with wine tasting and light lunch. Arrive to Lecce and enjoy a brief rest after checking in to the hotel. The superb beauty of its Baroque churches and elegant noble buildings, Lecce is called “the Florence of the Southern Italy”. Lecce is also famous for the cartapesta (papier-mâché art).

The next morning depart early driving to the Adriatic Coast with photography of some of the beautiful natural bays Faraglioni and the famous Cava di bauxite, where you'll be charmed by a wonderful emerald green lake set amidst the red colored hills. Then visit Otranto, full of interesting sights to visit while wandering through the town’s maze of narrow streets and passages. The beautiful Cathedral of Otranto holds one of the largest mosaics in Europe.

Continue our journey with a stop at the Punta Palascia lighthouse (also known as Capo d'Otranto) which is the eastern-most point of Italy, whose rocky shores and cliffs, stunning sea views, lighthouse and unspoiled landscape make it a great spot to photograph. Then visit Gallipoli, a nice fishing village on the Ionian Sea (West Coast). Walking tour through the old city and stop at the typical local fish market. Return to Lecce and dinner in local restaurant based on cucina salentina and wine. Overnight Lecce (B, L, D; B)

September 23-24: Turi
Alberobello Puglia Italy Trulli Roofs

Photo By: Jacque Steedle

Photo Location: Puglia, Italy

Today check out and transfer to the central part of Puglia. On the way stop to take pictures of the ancient Abazia di St. Maria di Cerrate, one of the finest examples of Romanesque architecture in Puglia. Then drive through the beautiful Itria Valley, the central part of Puglia region, located between the Adriatic Sea and the Ionian Sea. It is characterized by charming villages located on the top of different hills, wooded slopes, vineyards, mile after mile of olive groves and the fascinating Trulli houses.

Stop in Martina Franca, the most elegant city of the Itria Valley. Situated on a superb position, it was built like a balcony overlooking the valley of Trulli houses. Locorotondo, the old town layout follows a circular plan, with narrow and concentric arranged streets lined with whitewashed houses called cummerse. Then on to Putignano (famous town for the Carnival). Tonight Pizza & Birra in a famous pizzeria of the town.

Day trip to Ostuni, along the way stop in a beautiful area where you can photograph centuries old olive trees that are considered real "sculptures of nature". Puglia has more than 60 million olive trees, and in this particular area close to the sea you can find some trees that are more than 1.000 years old! Visit Ostuni, best known as the “white city”. When you arrive from the road below it, it appears like a mirage of white light, because its houses are completely whitewashed. Walking tour along the ancient walls and narrow streets, where some of the most picturesque spots are visible.

Then enjoy Alberobello, the capital of the Trulli and UNESCO Site. Trulli are ancient 13th century stone houses with a conical shape roof and a pinnacle on the top. Guided walking tour along the Trulli district “Rione Monti” and visit St Anthony’s Church, the unique trull church in the world. While you wait for sunset there is free time to photograph and explore on your own the  residential neighborhood away from tourists. Overnight in Turi (B, D; B, L, D)

 

September 25-26: Monopoli
Monastery Trees

Photo By: Jacque Steedle

Photo Location: Puglia, Italy

There will be free time this morning for photography, return to the hotel for breakfast and check out. Then visit Turi, a small town famous for cherry production, have a relaxing walk through its historical downtown and among the stalls of the weekly market (on Friday morning). Visit and lunch at a local farm famous for the production of Apulian organic cheese. You can taste freshly hand-made excellent mozzarella, burrata and other Apulian cheeses! Mariangela, the owner of the farm, will cook for us a traditional family lunch and she will show you how to make fresh Mozzarella.

Your trip continues to Monopoli. It is a typical Mediterranean town located on the Adriatic Sea and it was a thriving seaport, although its strategic position made it the object of regular attacks by pirates. Walking buy the port, in the evening you can see fishermen who come back with fresh fish.

The next day your guide will take you to Polignano a Mare, a characteristic Mediterranean fishing village that stands on a rocky cliff. Enjoy photographic opportunities by the sea before reaching the village. Guided walking tour through the historical downtown where with the particular light of the sunset you can photograph houses and terraces directly overlooking the sea. Enjoy your Arrivederci dinner based on the fresh sea food from the Adriatic Sea and wine. Overnight in Monopoli (B, L, D both days)

September 27: Bari - Home
Boats

Photo By: Jacque Steedle

Photo Location: Puglia, Italy

After breakfast there will be a group transfer to the Bari airport (time to be announced). (B)

Photo Leader

Dan Anderson
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Dan Anderson

Daniel Anderson is a photographer whose ongoing personal work is primarily dedicated to the landscape in its many forms. For years he used an 8 x 10 view camera to create black and white images of exquisite artistry and sensitivity. Over a decade ago he began the transition to high resolution digital cameras and has added color prints to his ongoing body of work in black and white.

He has photographed widely in Wisconsin's Door County, the American west, England, Scotland, Iceland, Ireland, Greece, Italy and most recently in Antarctica. His work is primarily concerned with the natural scene and his camera has captured both the high drama of storms and vast panoramas as well as the delicacy of intimate details. His work also includes a series of images of Cathedrals and Abbeys, Door County barn interiors, Greek architecture and a multi year project of a single Door County farm.

His work has been widely exhibited throughout the United States and Europe, both in numerous one-man exhibitions and group shows. His work is included in many public and private collections. He currently has gallery representation in Chicago, Illinois, Ellison Bay and Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin. Mr. Anderson has studied with Ansel Adams and other contemporary masters of photography. He has been an active teacher in photography, participating in many workshops throughout the United States. He has been the founder and director of the Door County Creative Photography Workshops in Wisconsin, and is on the staff of the Door County Peninsula Art School. He is also a consultant to several photographic paper companies.

Dan was very helpful in photography and more, I learned a lot from the experience with him and from the other participants. Dan was also very gracious in responding to my many emails about photo equipment

J. Meznarich

Pricing and Details

US Dollars based upon minimum of 8 paying participants. There is a small group surcharge of $500 if 6-7 paying participants. All our program prices are based on double occupancy unless noted in exceptions.

Single rooms are subject to availability. We try to accommodate travelers who request single accommodations, as well as travelers who are looking for a roommate. If a single room is requested, or if we are unable to find a suitable roommate, you will be required to pay the supplement.

Additional Notes

Each of the areas we will visit has something unique to offer, and we will have time to explore them at leisure. The trip is suitable for virtually every level of photography or special interest. Anyone who is physically fit, and in good health should be able to participate in the entire program. The majority of time will be spent walking in hill towns. As in all our tours we walk at a photographer’s pace. Some of the sites will be uneven surfaces, or many steps to reach a particular vantage point. Please call us at 607-756-8676 if you have any specific questions on fitness or health.

Terms and Conditions

Unless otherwise noted, this information applies to all tours.

Airfare

Contact Strabo Tours if you would like rates on International Airfare. Please note on your trip application form if you would like us to assist you with your airfare needs, a charge is added for this service. If making your own arrangements, it is important to discuss flight times with Strabo Tours before booking any airline tickets. This will avoid you having to pay airline cancellation penalties. Please contact Strabo Tours for destination airfare estimates, specific flight time arrivals, and departures.

The land cost includes:
  • Group transportation for tour events in the tour van.
  • Accommodations based on two people sharing a room, singles are assigned on a first come, first served basis.
  • Services of driver, English speaking cultural guide (if applicable) and photographic leader, during the tour.
  • Meals as listed in itinerary (B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner).
  • Park entrance fees, day tours and excursions as shown in the itinerary.
  • Extensive pre-departure information and services.
The land cost does not include:

Domestic or International air fare; other airfare if noted in exceptions; air fare tax; airport departure tax; airport transfers; additional transfers or accommodations that may be required by those not traveling with the group; excess baggage charges; meals not included in itinerary; activities taken on your own; passport/visa expenses; personal medical or travel insurance; any expenses of a personal nature, such as room service, laundry, beverages not included with meals, medical expenses, photographic equipment, any activities not specified in tour itinerary or listed as optional, or any items not listed in what is included; fuel surcharges; exchange rate surcharges; upon the completion of your trip, modest gratuities to the local guides and the drivers are customary; tips for meals not included in itinerary.

Fitness and Health

The majority of trips are not strenuous (see exceptions below for particular destinations) and anyone who is reasonably fit should be able to take part in most of the activities. You may experience general fatigue due to the long flights and the change in time zones. You will need to be sufficiently agile to climb in and out of the tour van and be able to carry and manage your own equipment. We will frequently hike trails ranging from easy to moderate. Some hotels do not have elevators or air conditioners.

If you have any special needs or any physical condition that you feel might prevent you from fully participating, please contact Strabo Tours with your concerns (607-756-8676).

You should also be aware that medical services or facilities might not be readily available during all or part of your trip. This could include emergency medical care, presence of physicians, or adequate medication.

Exceptions:

The following destinations require more physical activity. Bhutan, China, Patagonia, Peru, Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands, New Zealand, Scotland, Domestic tours. On the African Safari you will spend many hours in a vehicle on game drives, land travel will sometimes be over very bumpy and dusty roads. Galapagos Cruise accommodations are in upper and lower berths (bunk beds) only.

The following destinations require more physical activity. Bhutan, China, Patagonia, Peru, Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands, New Zealand, Scotland, Domestic tours. On the African Safari you will spend many hours in a vehicle on game drives, land travel will sometimes be over very bumpy and dusty roads. Galapagos Cruise accommodations are in upper and lower berths (bunk beds) only.

Deposits, Cancellations AND Refunds

A deposit of $750 ($500 on domestic tours) per person is required. Specific tours may require an additional deposit due to accommodation bookings or transportation requirements. If applicable these will be noted on your invoice. Payment in full is required when bookings are made less than 120 days before the departure date. Space is subject to cancellation by Strabo if payment is not received when due.

If a passenger wishes to cancel they must send notification in writing to: Strabo International Tour, Co., P.O. Box 580, Dryden, NY 13053; fax 208-545-4119. At the time we receive your notification, the following per person charges apply:

  • 91 days or more before departure: $300 cancellation fee ($150 fee on domestic tours), plus Strabo’ costs, as well as fees that are charged by the suppliers providing the services included in your tour, and/or the airlines providing the air transportation.
  • 61-90 days before departure: $500 ($250 on domestic tours) minimum cancellation fee, plus Strabo’ costs, as well as fees that are charged by the suppliers providing the services included in your tour, and/or the airlines providing the air transportation. Fees may range from 25% to 100% of tour costs.
  • 60 days or less before departure or anytime after departure: NO REFUND.

Refunds for services that are voluntarily not used by you cannot be made.

Insurance

Each participant must be covered by medical insurance that is valid overseas.

We strongly urge you to evaluate your risk and to take out insurance on your trip. It is vital for you to realize that if you experience a delay or find it necessary to cancel or cut short your trip for any reason, you will lose part or the entire sum you’ve invested in it (see the section “Deposits, Cancellations and Refunds” in the trip brochure).

Travel insurance helps to minimize the risk of monetary losses you would incur in the event of a delay of your departure due to weather, airline strike, missed connection, etc., your inability to travel for reasons such as illness, injury, unforeseen financial complications and other personal circumstances, or if you were required to cut your trip short for medical or any other reasons.

There are restrictions and limitations on any insurance program. For this reason, please read carefully the enclosed pamphlet, which outlines their program of trip cancellation, baggage, and medical insurance. Trained agents are available to answer your questions, so don’t hesitate to call the toll free number in their brochure. It is to your advantage to apply for insurance at the earliest possible time, so don’t delay in making a decision.

Subject to Change

Itineraries have been carefully constructed to assure participants the best each destination has to offer; however, should events arise that are beyond our control, activities and hotel arrangements are subject to change without notice. The itineraries summarize typical areas you will explore. Since there is no possible way to visit all of them, your guides will plan each day considering the interests of the group and the weather at hand. Be assured that we will make substitutions that are as similar in quality and interest as possible.

Photo Release

Strabo International Tour Company, Inc. reserves the right and permission to use photographs of individuals on tour for use in promotional and publicity purposes. We also reserve the right to use clients photographs for promotional and publicity purposes, when submitted to Strabo International Tour Company, Inc.

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