- Centrally Located 4-star hotels
- Smaller Tour Groups. 20 to 40 guests per tour
- More Motorcoach Legroom
- Airport Transfers at Scheduled Times
- Full Buffet Breakfasts
- 4 Dinners including wine
- Wireless Headsets to hear your tour guide clearly
- Travel Wallet, Baggage Tags and Travel Documents Included
- Baggage Handling throughout (Except at Airports)
- Hotel Taxes, City Taxes, Hotel Service Charges and all tips for hotel and restaurant personnel
- Licensed Local Guides
- Complimentary Wi-Fi on our Buses
- Day 1 - Depart USA - Rome
- Day 2 - Rome - Afternoon at Leisure - Dinner in Hotel
- Day 3 - Rome - Vatican Museum - Sistine Chapel - St. Peter's Basilica - Dinner Out
- Day 4 - Rome City Sightseeing
- Day 5 - Rome - Alberobello - Dinner in Hotel
- Day 6 - Alberobello - Matera - Alberobello
- Day 7 - Alberobello - Polignano A Mare - Bari - Dinner Out
- Day 8 - Alberobello - Lecce - Alberobello
- Day 9 - Fly Home Bari to USA
Click on the plus sign for full day description.
Boarding your overnight flight, you're off on the adventure of a lifetime!
Benvenuti a Roma, the eternal city! We are pleased to offer complimentary transfers from the Rome airport to your hotel at scheduled times. Your Perillo representative will be at the airport to greet you.
There will be time to relax this afternoon before a welcome drink and dinner with fine local vino at our hotel.
This morning, we travel ten minutes to another country - Vatican city. With our expert local guide we'll tour the Vatican Museums, a massive collection of ancient Greek sculptures, medieval tapestries and Renaissance painting. Our visit culminates in the Sistine Chapel, the room where the Pope is elected.
Next we visit St. Peter's Basilica, by far the largest church in Christendom. We'll see Michelangelo's Pietà, sculpted when he was just 24, as well as Bernini's seven-story bronze canopy located above the main altar.
Tonight, we'll enjoy a delicious dinner in the characteristic district of Trastevere, one of the centers of Roman night life. This lively area of tiny winding streets gives a taste of what one imagines Italy to be like, with cobblestone streets and music-filled trattorias on every corner.
This morning is free for you to enjoy as you please! Take advantage of this free time to sightsee or do some shopping on Via del Corso or Rome’s “5th Avenue “ - Via Condotti !
This afternoon, we board our chariot for a panoramic tour of Imperial Rome including the Roman Forum, the Jewish Ghetto and the Circus Maximus.
Then we’ll enter the Colosseum, reliving the brutal entertainment of the gladiators and the lions, refereed by the Emperor himself. ***
Tonight, you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy dinner on your own in this beautiful city. So many options – be sure to ask your tour leader or hotel concierge for a recommendation!
***Please note that this tour can be switched to the morning depending on the availability of the Colosseum ; if it falls on the first Sunday of the month it will be switched to the day before together with the Vatican.
This morning we travel to the beautiful region of Puglia, arriving in Alberobello later this afternoon.
Alberobello is famous for its fairytale-like trulli – characteristic white-washed conical roofed houses that almost look like they were built for gnomes. These white, beehive-shaped homes, made from local limestone, date back to the 14th century. The roofs often feature religious markings in white ash (to keep evil spirits or bad luck away), or zodiac symbols. The conical roofs also told you about the inhabitants who lived there - three or more roofs meant you were wealthy.
Some of the trulli are now used as shops, restaurants and lodging, but many are still inhabited by locals.
You’ll have some free time to explore the village before returning to the hotel for dinner.
This morning, we head over to Matera, known as La Città Sotterranea (The Subterranean City).
Matera has gained international fame for its Ancient town, the Sassi di Matera” (stones of Matera) where Mel Gibson filmed The Passion of the Christ.
The Sassi originated in a prehistoric settlement, and these dwellings are thought to be among the first human settlements in Europe. We will enjoy a walking tour to see these Sassi (stones) which began as natural caves and grottoes, and over the centuries were adapted as homes.
This afternoon we return to Alberobello and have the remainder of the afternoon and evening to enjoy on your own.
This morning we travel to another charming town, Polignano a Mare. This small, charming fishing village is surrounded by the stunning blue waters of the Adriatic Sea.
You’ll get to explore this village on your own before having lunch in one of the local restaurants.
We continue on to Bari, the capital of the region of Puglia. We’ll enjoy a walking tour of this beautiful city. We visit the Basilica of San Nicola, which holds worldwide significance, and is a popular pilgrimage for Catholics across Europe. The Basilica holds some of St. Nicholas’ remains and is one of the most important places of worship in the world, where Catholic and Orthodox blend together.
The Basilicata di San Nicola and the many other churches hidden around every corner in “Bari Vecchia” are only part of the charm of this neighborhood.
The “Quartiere delle Orecchiette” area is lined with women seated outside their homes making orecchiette and cavatelli, by hand, the way their mothers and grandmothers did; a culinary tradition that has been passed down from generation to generation. Time seems to have stopped here; you will see tables of fresh pasta, children playing in the street, laundry hanging in the sun. Visiting this old town and its people is an unforgettable experience.... something not to be missed!
This evening, we will enjoy dinner with fine wines at a local restaurant.
This morning we continue our tour through this beautiful region and stop in Lecce, often referred to as the “Florence of the South.” Lecce, in the center of Italy’s heel, is very well known for its baroque architecture. Our guided tour includes a visit to the amazing Duomo square, one of the most beautiful squares in all of Europe and one of the rare examples of an enclosed square – it gives one the impression of entering a stage.
We also visit the fascinating Basilica of the Holy Cross, la Basilica di Santa Croce; the sight of this church will surely amaze you!
Next, we visit the Roman Amphitheatre – a glimpse into the history of Lecce, that takes you on a journey back through the centuries. You’ll have some free time to explore on your own, before returning back to Alberobello.
The final evening of this trip is yours to enjoy on your own. There are many restaurants that serve amazing, traditional recipes. Some popular local dishes to try are: Puccia, a sandwich made of pizza dough, stuffed with meats, cheeses and vegetables.
Another Pugliese favorite is Orecchiette (small ears). Try it with broccoli rabe and garlic. Hmmmm!
And don’t forget the classic snack - Taralli (Italy’s answer to the pretzel) dunked in some local wine!
This morning we head to the Bari airport for our flight home, arriving in the USA the same day. While we say “arrivederci” to Italy, we realize we’re taking a little piece of it back home with us....and maybe some wine and cheese too!