Bari has undergone a modern renaissance in recent years and is a charming place to stay. You will stay at Grande Albergo della Nazioni a beautiful hotel right on the seafront.
We will begin our day at the Basilica di San Nicola, dedicated to Saint Nicholas, founded in 1087. It was originally used as a place to contain relics of the Saint found by sailors from Bari in Turkey. The sanctuary is a reference for its medieval architecture and has influenced numerous other buildings in the area. It is an admirable example, of the sober Romanesque style from Puglia. It was built immediately after the arrival of the remains of St. Nicholas in Bari and consecrated in 1197. After visiting the Basilica We will pass through the streets of old Bari , Bari Vecchia, and you can experience the ladies making traditional pasta ‘ orecchiette ‘ on wooden boards, al fresco, outside their houses, in preparation for lunch.
We will stop for lunch at a local restaurant for a lovely mid-day pause and some of Puglia’s famous wine. After lunch take a stroll along the top of the medieval walls of the old city and then onward to the new town for Bari’s famous shopping strip!
The following day, we’ll head to Matera in Basilicata, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was the Culture Capital of Europe for 2019. This city is bustling with life and history, dating back thousands of years, it has layers of stories to explore. We’ll begin our day enjoying a delicious lunch at Falco Grillaio, a local restaurant in the centre square, a short walk from sweeping views of the old Sassi with ample outdoor seating for eating in the sunshine. In the afternoon we will take a walk to visit the Sassi. These caves were dwellings carved out of rock , some were still inhabited until the 1950’s. In some of the caves you can find medieval churches with frescoes. Matera offers breathtaking views at every turn.