Sunday 2nd June 2019 excursion: Pearls of Puglia
Caves di Castellana
The Caves di Castellana are one of the most important attractions in Puglia and natural heritage of inestimable value to Italy. Located at the entrance of the Itria Valley, a few kilometres from charming villages such as Alberobello, Cisternino, Polignano a Mare, the Grotte di Castellana began to form about 90 million years ago. The beauty of the Caves of Castellana attracts tourists from all over the world and since the day of their opening have marvelled more than 15 million visitors. The tour winds along a distance of 3 km, a unique guided tour of the caves to more than 60 meters deep in an amazing scenario made of stalactites, stalagmites, concretions, incredible shapes, fossils, canyons and caves with fantastic names. During the exploration, at a constant temperature of around 16 ° -18 °, you will feel wonder and astonishment for the great show nature gives; in hundreds of millions of years, nature has shaped the rock into fantastic speleothems in which young and old people like to recognize something or someone. The Caves of Castellana are a good opportunity to enjoy one of the most amazing natural wonders of a wonderful Puglia.
Alberobello town is a UNESCO World Heritage site for its unusual districts of Trulli, the characteristic conical-roofed houses of the area. A trullo is a small dwelling built from the local limestone, with dry-stone walls and a conical roof. Alberobello is a truly picturesque town which is visited by thousands of tourists each year. In the Zone of Trulli, there are tons of smalls local souvenir shops.
Polignano a Mare
Polignano a Mare, with its crystal clear waters and cliffs pitted with caves carved by the sea give its uniqueness. A small town, known also as the “Pearl of the Adriatic,” it’s just over 30 km (18.5 miles) from Bari. Polignano is the birthplace of the renowned singer Domenico Modugno, who became famous for his song Volare (“In the Sky, Painted Blue”). The fascinating historical centre reveals traces of its Arab, Byzantine, Spanish and Norman past, including the remains of the four watchtowers that once guarded the ancient town. Polignano is the perfect place to visit in the afternoon and having a coffee or gelato. I can be visited with or without a guide.
Wednesday 5th June 2019 guided tour: Bari Old Town
The old town of Bari provides a fantastic display of historical architecture, important buildings such as the Castel Svevo, whilst the modern town hosts some fine museums and shopping streets. The combination of old and new is ever apparent in this wonderful coastal city. Famous sites to be seen: The Basilica of San Nicola, the church in the centre of Bari is renowned for its fantastic design, opulent interior, and is an important place of pilgrimage for Roman Catholics in Europe. Constructed in 1197, this basilica dedicated to Saint Nicolas has a Romanesque style and stands proudly in the centre of the old town of Bari near the harbour. Inside you can also find the tomb of Saint Nicolas and a plethora of notable sculptures and mosaics.
The Castello Svevo, Norman castle has stood for hundreds of years and was supposedly built in the 1100’s by King Roger II. It features a traditional design with a central courtyard, four main guard towers and is surrounded by a moat on three sides.
Cathedral of San Sabino. Located a short walk from the Basilica of Saint Nicola, this church is another imposing building in the centre of Bari old town. San Sabino was constructed in 1292 and is an important example of Romanesque architecture.