Are you a solo traveller, a couple or a small group of friends who want to experience the best of Puglia but you've never been to the region yet? Then our small group tours Puglia are perfect for you. We run escorted tours of Puglia region in small groups at slow pace to give you a more intimate experience of our wonderful region. Everything is already figured out for you, from airport pick-up, to guided tours and transportation. All you need to do is get in touch with us. As for the booking, a deposit won't be required and you can cancel at any time and free of charge.
My name is Pietro, tour company owner and local guide. I was born and raised in Puglia. Myself and my team are local and passionate tour guides with much experience escorting private tours around the beautiful towns and villages of Puglia. By touring with us, you’ll get the feeling of travelling with a friend.
I've designed for you a tour that covers most of the must-see places of the region combined with a few food experiences! Myself and my team don't like rushing, and are always willing to hear what you want from your trip and to make recommendations on how to make your trip perfect. During one of our small group tours of southern Italy, you’ll get insider views from ourselves on how to spend your leisure time on your trip.
Please feel free to get in touch with me. I'll be more than happy to assist!
Our small group tour of Puglia is available on different dates for 1.090 € per person (details at the bottom of the page):
Pick up at the airport
Transfer to your accommodation
The first day will see your arrival to the heel of the boot of Italy, Puglia. You’ll arrive at either Bari or Brindisi Airport or at one of the train stations in the Puglia area. Our friendly private driver will pick you up wherever you arrive and take you to your accommodation in Ostuni* for the week. For the rest of your day you can relax and enjoy some leisure time in Ostuni. If you like, we can give you some recommendations on where to have a delicious dinner in the evening.
Ostuni will be your base for the week and there is no better place in the whole of Puglia to give you that perfect introduction to the region. Known as the White City, Ostuni is considered to be one of the prettiest and most vibrant towns in Puglia and there is certainly much here for you to discover and explore. The city gets its name from the myriad whitewashed buildings which fill its many winding streets and alleyways, and they provide a beautiful contrast to the surrounding green landscape.
If you are arriving in Puglia in the days before the start of the tour, we can arrange other transfer services for you as well as advise you on accommodation options and how you can spend your time. If you are arriving from other regions within the country such as the Amalfi Coast or Naples, private transfers can be arranged through us as an additional service. If you need help arranging your transportation to Puglia from other destinations in Italy, please do not hesitate to contact us; we are more than happy to assist you with any transport queries you have.
*We ask you to base yourself in Ostuni for the duration of the trip. Please contact us if you’d like some recommendations on hotels in the town.
Meet your guide at your accommodation
Walking tour of Ostuni
Visit of an olive oil farm and oil tasting
On our very first day of the tour we will take a walking tour of the town you’ll be based in – Ostuni. With its quaint medieval centre and surrounded by ancient olive trees and the crystal clear waters of the Adriatic Sea, Ostuni is the perfect introduction to the Puglia region. We will visit the old town, a labyrinth of alleyways, arches and stairwells, where you will see the late Gothic 15th century cathedral sitting atop the town’s highest point.
While strolling around Ostuni and just enjoying the city’s ambience, there are many things to see which will be included in our itinerary of day one of your trip. Highlights include: the late 15th century Gothic cathedral with its intricately carved rose window and impressive doorway; the 16th century Bishop’s Palace, which is connected to the cloisters of the cathedral by a bridge; and the Church of San Vito Martire, one of the most ornate churches you will see in Puglia.
On this day, we will also get to visit one of the regions many olive oil farms. Extra virgin olive oil is one of Puglia’s biggest exports; the region produces almost half of the Italian production of the country’s ‘green gold’, and you’ll get the chance to taste this wonderful product. You probably use olive oil regularly in your daily cooking, but do you know much about how it is made? Olive oil is a product which is incredibly important to Puglia, so it is definitely one of the best places to find out more about how green gold is produced.
On your visit to the olive oil farm, you will get to meet a small local producer who will introduce the farm’s centuries-old traditions and answer all of your questions regarding how olive oil is made in Puglia. You will get to learn how to taste olive oil in a professional way and how to distinguish a good olive oil from a bad one – it is certainly one of the most interesting things to do in Puglia as you will get to discover many things which you would not have the opportunity to if you were travelling by yourself.
Drive to Matera
Walking tour of Matera UNESCO
Leisure time in Matera
Drive back to Ostuni
The second day of our tour gives you the chance to explore one of the oldest continuously inhabited towns in the whole world as well as another region of Italy in addition to Puglia. The city of Matera lies within the neighbouring region of Basilicata, so you get two regions of Italy for the price of one! Designated European Capital of Culture 2019, the stunning city of Matera is one of the must-see places in Puglia. Evidence of this can be seen in the sassi, cave houses dug into the limestone rock which are dotted all around the city. They create one of the most unique landscapes in the world and we will spend this day discovering these amazing structures. You’ll also get to enjoy some leisure time in this great city.
With a history dating back 9,000 years, Matera is predominantly famous for its Sassi, cave dwellings caved into the rock, which give the city its unusual appearance. The Sassi are now a popular tourist attraction and it is possible to visit some of these houses which have been kept in their original state and turned into museums; as part of our tour of the city, we will visit one of these houses so you can see how people lived in millennia gone by as well as a rock church. Matera is also famous for its many Rupestrian churches. There are around 150 in the city, the oldest ones dating back to the Middle Ages, and they blend perfectly with the surrounding Sassi. Matera’s churches are well-known for their beautiful frescoes in the Byzantine style, which we will also get the opportunity to see during our trip.
Due to its importance as a historical and cultural monument, Matera was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1993, the first town in southern Italy to have the honour. As such an unusual place, Matera has captured the attention of many film directors over the years, and the town’s unique landscape has been the location of many movies, including Ben Hur (2016), Mary Magdalene (2018), The Passion of the Christ (2004), and Wonder Woman (2017).
Drive to Locorotondo
Walking tour of Locorotondo, visit of a street food market
Guided tour of Alberobello UNESCO site
Drive back to Ostuni
You probably already know that cheese forms a huge part of Italian cuisine, so what better way to spend part of your time in Puglia than to visit a local cheese farm. The cheesemaker that we visit is not a big business owner or industrial-sized firm; this is a typical, family-run, small business where you can see the old traditions of cheesemaking at work. Here you will get to sample some of the freshest mozzarella and burrata you will taste in your life as well as finding out how these iconic cheeses are made.
Next on our itinerary is the charming town of Locorotondo, famous for its wine and circular historical centre. In fact, the name Locorotondo itself is derived from this very feature of the town; translated into English, the name means ‘round place’. As you stroll the town’s streets, you will see more of the typical whitewashed houses Puglia is so well-known for and, as the town is perched upon a hill, it is possible to view the surrounding olive groves and countryside. As part of our visit, we will also head to the local food market, where you can see the wonderful array of locally-grown fruit and vegetables which are available here. You’ll get to experience one of the most authentic Italian experiences you could ask for. The produce of the land is very important to the local Puglian people and there’s no better place to see all the fantastic fruit and vegetables that are grown in the region than the markets where they are sold.
Finally, we will visit Alberobello, the iconic town of trulli. Trulli are characteristic conical-roofed houses typical of the region, built from local limestone, and many people comment on how a visit to Alberobello is like walking into a fairy tale. Because the trulli are of such cultural importance to the region, the town was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996. We will spend our time here strolling the streets and discovering all its hidden corners.
You might be wondering what benefits there are by joining a small group tour over travelling independently. The answer is very simple: plenty.
During your week’s trip with us, you’ll be based in the beautiful, gleaming white town of Ostuni, giving you the chance to get truly acquainted with this typical southern Italian town.
Unlike some other tours on the market where guests switch hotels every couple of days, at the end of each day of your tour, you’ll get to relax in the same place and experience the true Puglian lifestyle, meeting the local people and possibly making friends.
Another great thing about joining a small group tour is that you’ll get to meet like-minded travellers like yourself. Travelling on your own can get lonely, but on one of our tours you’ll automatically have new friends to share your Puglian experience with. You’ll visit the sights together, explore together and then, if you like, head out in the evening to sample some of the area’s delicious wine.
Puglia is a fantastic area to visit but if you really want to get off the beaten track and see some of its delightful villages and rural areas, it can be quite difficult on public transport. By joining one of our small group tours, you’ll have your own private driver who can take you to all the hidden corners of Puglia that you may not get to see otherwise.
Best of all, our tour guides are highly experienced and have a vast amount of knowledge about the Puglian region. So not only will you get to see all the great places Puglia has to offer but you’ll also learn a lot about our history and culture.
Drive to Lecce
Guided tour of Lecce historic centre
Leisure time in Lecce
Drive back to Ostuni
Nicknamed the ‘Florence of the South’, Lecce is located in Southern Puglia and is considered to be one of the must-visit destinations in the region, if not the whole country. Lecce is primarily famous for its stunning Baroque architecture, mostly made from local Lecce stone, a form of limestone, which gives the buildings their characteristic colour. The city has an abundance of sights to see, and on our tour here we will visit plenty of them. Highlights include: the Basilica di Santa Croce, one of the most beautiful churches in the city with an awe-inspiring facade; the Cattedrale dell’Assunzione della Virgine with its highly decorative northern facade and impressive bell tower; and the Roman amphitheatre dating back to the second century AD.
After our sightseeing tour, you will get the chance to spend some free time exploring Lecce. In addition to all the beautiful sights there are to see, Lecce also has numerous museums for you to visit, including the Jewish Museum - Museo Ebraico which details Lecce’s Jewish history, and the Castello of Lecce, once the main defensive fortification in the city. For those of you who prefer to have a break from history and sightseeing, Lecce has a fantastic choice of shops and boutiques, so you can stock up on souvenirs or treat yourself to something special.
In the afternoon we will head back to Ostuni where you will be free to enjoy Ostuni and all its delights.
Another splendid Pugliese city, Bari is the capital of the region and is known for its gorgeous Romanesque architecture. The perfect mix of city and coast, Bari’s long history makes it one of the most interesting places to visit in Puglia. During our tour here, we will visit the Basilica of San Nicola with its majestic gold ceiling and intricate facade as well as the tomb of Saint Nicolas himself, and the medieval district surrounding the church. We will also take a stroll through the old town, which is incredibly well-preserved despite its age, and the modern Murat quarter with its Liberty-style palazzi.
In the afternoon we will make our way to the seaside town of Polignano a Mare, one of Puglia’s hidden gems. Perched upon a cliff edge, Polignano has a wonderfully preserved old town and we will spend some time exploring its whitewashed streets and visiting sights such as the Porta Vecchia gate and Chiesa Matrice, one of the many beautiful churches you can find here. Afterwards, we will take a walk towards the coast so you can admire the magnificent views across the pristine Adriatic Sea. When in Polignano, you should also take the time to try some of the local gelato, definitely some of the best the region has to offer.
You can add an extra day tour
Day six of our trip is a free day, giving you the chance to relax and unwind or see something new – there are lots of options available to you. You could decide to spend the day in our base town of Ostuni, exploring the parts of the city we may have missed on day two of the tour or catching up on some shopping. As we mentioned previously, Ostuni has plenty of cafes, restaurants and bars to enjoy, so you may choose to spend your time just relaxing and making the most of the glorious weather.
Alternatively, there are many tours you can take which can add that little extra special something to your Puglia trip. If you are interested in the culinary traditions of Puglia, why not take a cooking class and learn how to make some of the region’s most popular dishes? Or perhaps you want to visit some of the local wineries and learn all about Puglia’s wine-making culture. For the active travellers among you, you should consider taking a bike tour around Puglia’s rural landscapes, taking in millenary olive groves, ancient farmhouses and green pastures as far as the eye can see.
But please don’t feel restricted to these ideas. If you feel like doing something different or want to know what else is on offer, just ask us for more suggestions. However you decide to spend your free day, don’t feel like you have to organise everything yourself. If you want to add a bespoke tour to your itinerary, don’t hesitate to ask us to arrange it for you. If you would prefer to leave Puglia to head home or to continue your Italy vacation in another part of the country, there is also the option to leave on this day; if you decide to do this, you are still able to make use of the transfer service we offer.
Pick up at your accommodation
Transfer to the airport/station
This is the final day of the tour and the day we make our farewells. Our private driver will transfer you to one of the airports or train station. If you plan to spend a few more days in Ostuni, we can postpone your transfer until you’re ready.
Just because we are finishing our tour today does not mean that you have to end your exploration of Puglia. If you are planning on extending your stay, we can help you organise some more activities and day trips, such as those proposed for day six. If you have arranged to spend the next part of your vacation in another area of Puglia or further afield in Italy, we can help to provide a private transfer for you to your next destination.
Private transfer with private driver on your arrival/departure dates from airport to accommodation and viceversa.
Transportation, driver and English speaking tour guide for the day tours mentioned in the itinerary.
Olive oil tasting and cheese tasting on day 2 and 4.
Entry tickets for the visits in Matera (cave house and rock church) and Lecce (Basilica and Cathedral).
Pre-book with no obligation. No deposit is required. You will pay the whole sum at the end of the tour here in Puglia - we accept all sorts of credit/debit card payment.
You can cancel the booking anytime and free of charge. Since we have reserved a space for you, we would highly appreciate a prompt communication of the cancellation.
Pick-up times: in order to let you enjoy a relaxing breakfast with no rush at your accommodation pick-up times for almost every day tour is at 9:30 am.
Accommodation: we do not provide accommodation, but we require to base yourselves in Ostuni for the whole trip. We are happy to send you hotel and B&B recommendations.
Transfers: Private transfers from/to airport are included. In case you arrive earlier than the tour begin or you depart later than the tour end you will still have your private transfer service Ostuni-Airport and viceversa.
While it might seem that there is much going on during our week-long tour of Puglia, we would like to remind you that we are big advocates of slow travel. This means that during our visits to the different places on the itinerary, we take a slow pace; after all, we want to enjoy everything the region has to offer, so there is no need to rush. We are mindful of the fact that some of our clients may have health or mobility issues; if this is the case for you, please let us know and we can adapt the tour accordingly, such as choosing routes with flat terrain, taking shorter routes, or slowing the pace down further. As this is a small group tour, we can be extremely flexible and the tour can easily be adapted to suit everybody’s needs.
Please note that our tours have a maximum of 10 participants - to guarantee roomy seats and more social distancing we use 2 separate minivans during the tour. Using minivans instead of a bus also help us reaching historic centers more rapidly and easily therefore maximising our time at each place we visit. Minivans are allowed to enter historic centers (buses are not). This allows us to plan drop-off and pick-up points in very central areas of each place we visit. We require a vaccination certificate and the use of masks in the vehicle (this requirement will be lifted in 2024 or already in 2023 if the current situation at the time of the trip permits). All of our drivers and guides have been vaccinated.
June 2023 (4th, 11th)
July 2023 (1st, 9th)
August 2023 (27th)
September 2023 (3rd, 30th)
October 2023 (22nd)
November 2023 (5th, 11th, 17th, 22nd)
March 2024 (13th, 19th, 24th)
April 2024 (2nd, 7th, 14th, 20th, 28th)
May 2024 (5th, 12th, 19th, 26th)
June 2024 (2nd, 9th, 16th, 24th, 30th)
July 2024 (7th)
August 2024 (26th)
September 2024 (1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd, 30th)
October 2024 (6th, 13th, 20th, 27th)
November 2024 (4th, 9th, 14th, 20th, 24th)
Arte Wine Travel di Pietro Calabrese
Via Abate Angelo Tamborrino 28
72017 Ostuni (BR)
P.I. IT 02577710748