CYCLING TOUR IN THE SOUTH OF ITALY - SEPTEMBER 2018

in collaboration with our local partner ITALIAN VELO TOURS

 

WHY THIS TOUR? 

It’s a challenging brand new itinerary! Our tour stretches along the regions of Apulia and Basilicata for 7 days & 7 nights. We will join the competitive Grand Fondo dei Sassi di Matera and enjoy the guided tours of Lecce, Matera and Alberobello. If you're looking for a standard cycling tour touching base in touristic and chaotic cities like Rome, Florence, Venice..this event is not for you!

WHERE ARE WE GOING? 

Our tour starts in Salento. Yes, we'll visit the very end of the peninsula.. Italy is shaped like a boot, we're going to reach its heel! September in southern Italy means tasteful food, shiny days, cultural immersion opportunities and very nice weather (we'll actually swim in the warm Mediterranean Sea).

Tremiti Islands, Apulia

Tremiti Islands, Apulia

ALBEROBELLO, THE TOWN OF TRULLI:   Unique town, declared UNESCO World Heritage site since 1966.

What is a trullo? The history of these special buildings goes back to the XV century, when an edict of the Kingdom of Naples imposed a tribute for every new urban settlement. The Counts of Conversano, owners of the Alberobello’s land, made their farmers build their homes with stones instead of cement. In this way, constructions could be seen as precarious buildings, easy to be demolished.

 Trulli in Alberobello

 Trulli in Alberobello

 

Our package includes:

Transfer from/to Brindisi airport
9 nights in 4 stars accommodations, breakfast included
9 mediterranean dinners (extras and special wines excluded) 
Picnics during the rides (snacks with local products, at stops along the way)
Escort guide bike, van, driver, bike mechanic
Technical jersey as souvenir
Registration fee for the Grand Fondo dei Sassi di Matera
Guided tour of the cities of Matera, Alberobello, Lecce

 

Add-ons not included:

Optional Overseas Bike Shipping with optional reassembly

Rent a bike from Italian Velo Tours' inventory (let us know the measurements and you'll have a bike ready to go in Lecce - our starting point)

Air fare options

Italian language classes offered by a native speaker teacher working in Costa Mesa, CA

Training Camp, starting June 2016 in Costa Mesa, CA with a professional biker and owner of Orange County's premiere women's cycling shop

 

ITINERARY day by day:

Day 1 a “taste of cycling” in Lecce

From Brindisi airport we will be transferred to our hotel in Lecce downtown. The city is the baroque masterpiece of southern Italy, its origins is back to the Normans and today is a vibrant university town and head of the Salento area. After a welcome drink, we'll enjoy a short walk in piazza Sant' Oronzo and have dinner. On the next day we will leave for Otranto and Porto Badisco after a touristic bike tour into Lecce and a special snack with "Alvino's pasticciotti".

Day 2, 65km up to 200m climbing:     Lecce-Porto Badisco

We leave Lecce after a nice breakfast at Alvino’ stowards Acaya, a fortified citadel, with a long ride among olive groves – a typical feature of this region -  to reach the coast up to Otranto. Our first swim will take place in Porto Badisco. And finally we will stop for a typical snack to taste local cheese and cold cuts while sipping a beer or a nice local wine.

Day 3, 100km 500m climbing:     Porto Badisco-Gallipoli

The first long stretch of this tour is marked by the passage of the Cape of Santa Maria di Leuca. We start from the rocky coastline on the Adriatic sea to the flatter and sinuous coastline of the Taranto harbor on the Ionian sea. From here we will reach Baia Verde (Green Bay) in Gallipoli with its gorgeous beach, for the sunset.

Day 4-5, 66km, 200m climbing + transfer:    Gallipoli-Campomarino-Matera

We will continue to ride along the coastline with its numerous bays, from sandy to rocky, small ports, watchtowers and natural reserves. After a deserved stop in Campomarino for a swim and a drink Than we will have the van transfer, about one hour and half, to Matera (UNESCO World heritage site since 1993). Here, we will stay in an inn built from stone which used to be a church.

The Sassi are houses dug into the calcarenitic rock itself, which is characteristic of Basilicata and Apulia, locally called "tufo" although it is not volcanic tuff or tufa. Many of these dwellings are only caverns, and the streets in some parts of the Sassi often run on top of other houses. The ancient town grew up on one slope of the ravine created by a river that is now a small stream. The ravine is known locally as "la Gravina".

On Sunday (day 5) we will participate in the amateurs race (optional).

Day 6, 70km 200m climbing: Matera-Alberobello

Today you can decide whether riding to Alberobello or reaching it by van. The ride is short and flat.

Alberobello is a strange and picturesque destination. The small town has been made a UNESCO World Heritage site for its unusual districts of trulli, the characteristic white-washed conical-roofed houses of the area. A trullo is a small dwelling built from the local limestone, with dry-stone walls and a characteristic conical roof. It is a traditional and simple type of structure which you'll see dotted around this part of Puglia, sometimes in its most basic form used as a kind of shed among the olive groves. The story behind Alberobello, once a town of trulli alone, is a typically Italian one: its design was to fiddle taxes and fool the authorities. The local feudal lord, Count Acquaviva, moved his peasant workers here to clear woodland and cultivate the land. To wriggle around laws and taxes, it was important that Alberobello didn't class as an inhabited settlement. So until 1797, when Alberobello was finally given 'town' status, the people had to live in trulli, which could be dismantled in a hurry when necessary.

Day 7, 40km, 200m ASL:  Alberobello-Monopoli

Our tour ends in Polignano, a key town for three reasons: first of all is cliff diving. Second is its outstanding ice-cream, which you really cannot afford to miss on a summer’s evening. The third and possibly most famous export of Polignano a Mare, however, is the great Domenico Modugno, who wrote and sang numerous classic songs, including the massive international hit, Volare (originally entitled Nel Blu Dipinto di Blu)! The locals are incredibly proud of their favourite son and rightly so. As you wander through the streets that inspired such a wonderful song, you might well find yourself involuntarily singing or whistling, “Volare, oh,oh… Cantare, oh,oh,oh,oh… Nel blu dipinto di blu… felice di stare lassù…”.

 

 Contact us for information about itinerary, accommodations, logistics and price of the tour:

Main office: +1 (949) 274 8305           daniela.amazingtravels@gmail.com