Photo by: J Steedle
Location: Alberobello Puglia Italy
Italy A Passion for Puglia
2021 rates listed
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.
per person, double occupancy*
*U.S. dollars based upon minimum of 8 participants. There is a small group surcharge of $500 if 6-7 participants. 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 (subject to availability), or if we are unable to find a suitable roommate, there is a single room surcharge of $795.
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 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.
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.
September 16: Home
Depart home today on your overnight flight to Bari (BRI), Italy (flights may connect through Rome). (meals on plane)
September 17: Bari, 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 18th.
September 18-19: Matera
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 20-21: Lecce
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, D)
September 22-23: Turi
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 both days)
September 24-25: Monopoli
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 26: Bari - Home
After breakfast there will be a group transfer to the Bari airport (time to be announced). (B)