Apulia Culture & history

Our most recommended Apulia Culture & history

Matera: Guided Tour of Sassi di Matera

1. Matera: Guided Tour of Sassi di Matera

Embark on a day out in Sassi and explore the ancient neighbourhoods with a live guide. See a series of grottoes carved out of limestone and marvel at the Sasso Barisano and the Sasso Caveoso. Your tour will begin at the meeting point in Via Alessandro Volta. From here, your expert guide will lead you to the Church of San Francesco, situated in the historic centre of the city. Next, you’ll continue along a panoramic road comprised of narrow streets and winding alleys. After arriving at the Rupestre Church of Sant'Antonio Abate, you’ll find a pleasant surprise waiting inside: a classic example of the traditional culture of this remarkable city. Afterwards, you’ll move on to visit a typical Matera cave-house before continuing along Via Madonna delle Virtù and Porta Pistoia "Pert P’stèl" to conclude your cultural adventure.

Lecce: Baroque Architecture and Underground Walking Tour

2. Lecce: Baroque Architecture and Underground Walking Tour

The tour starts with a visit to the majestic Santa Croce Church, the jewel in the crown of Lecce’s Baroque architecture. From here, explore the nearby Piazza Sant’Oronzo, the former market square where you can find the Old Town Hall, the Roman Column, and the remains of a huge Roman amphitheater. Continue the tour with a walk through the Corso Vittorio Emanuele, which boasts a stunning Baroque palazzi and the recently restored Sant’Irene Church. Arrive at the breathtaking Piazza Duomo next, one of the most critically praised buildings in Italy. See the Archbishop’s Residence, the Seminary, the Bell Tower, and the cathedral. Finally, visit the underground Jewish Museum and discover the town’s fascinating Jewish history.

Andria: Castel Del Monte 1.5-Hour Guided Tour

3. Andria: Castel Del Monte 1.5-Hour Guided Tour

Go on a journey through the history of Puglia on a 1.5-hour guided tour of Castel del Monte in the hills of Andria and discover a unique UNESCO World Heritage Site. Meet your guide at the castle entrance, 36 miles (60 kilometers) from Bari. Explore the castle grounds and walk around the outside of the mountain fortress while your guide describes its history. It was first recorded as the Castellum Del Monte in 1223, and built by the humanist Emperor Frederick II of Hohenstaufen. A unique piece of medieval military architecture, Frederick imbued the castle with symbolic significance, defined by the laws of math and astronomy. Soaring 1,770 feet (540 meters) above sea level, in the heart of the Alta Murgia National Park, you will get panoramic views of the surrounding area, from the Gargano promontory up to the ancient province of Lucania. Discover impressive structural elements that follow the repetition of the number 8, from the castle’s basic octagonal shape, to the 8 trapezoid rooms, 8 towers, and 44 steps of the spiral stairs. Admire the harmonious blend of Romanesque and Gothic influences, together with important contributions from Islamic art.

Bari: Norman-Swabian Castle Tour with a Guide

4. Bari: Norman-Swabian Castle Tour with a Guide

It is impossible to miss one of the most emblematic symbols of the city of Bari, the Norman-Swabian Castle, an imposing fortress dating back to the 13th century, now turned into a museum. With its extensive moat it overlooks the gates of Bari Vecchia, flanking the perimeter of the city, which was defended by it since the Roman times. To the defensive function, the Normans added the monitoring of the territory. Afterwards, as the seat of the court of Isabella of Aragon, the Castle acquired a Renaissance style and was completed with the defensive wall, the corner bastions, the drawbridge and the quadrangular courtyard. The complete tour of the Castle (inside and outside) comes with the access to the Gipsoteca, an interesting collection of Romanesque sculptures and plaster casts, which reflect the details of the most important monuments of Puglia, from the Middle Ages to the early twentieth century.

Lecce: Private Walking Food Tour

5. Lecce: Private Walking Food Tour

Embark on an exciting private tour through the city of Lecce, famous for its Baroque art and culinary specialties. Meet your local tour guide in the main square and start off by discovering the ruins of an ancient Roman theater right in the middle of the city. Then, stroll through the historic city center, taking in its refined and elegant atmosphere. Admire the local architecture, a unique style called barocco lecesse. This refers to the local stone carvings that decorate the façades of private buildings, churches, and balconies, as opposed to traditional Italian gold motifs. Throughout your walk, stop for tastings of local culinary specialties: rustico leccese (savory stuffed pastry), puccia (stuffed flatbread), pasticciotto (custard-filled puff pastry), and leccese coffee.

Castel del Monte 1-Hour Guided Tour

6. Castel del Monte 1-Hour Guided Tour

Discover the most significant medieval monument in southern Italy on a 1-hour guided tour of Castel del Monte. Situated in Andria in the Puglia region, the citadel and castle is a national treasure and beauty to behold. Built on top of a hill with commanding views of the Puglia region, Castel del Monte is the most important building built by the Emperor Frederick II Hohenstaufen of Swabia. Explore the monument’s myths and legends, including the meaning of the number 8. After years of neglect, when the castle was stripped of its furniture and marble decorations to become a refuge for shepherds, brigands and political refugees, Castel del Monte was bought and restored by the Italian state in 1876. Almost a century later, it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site for the perfection of its shape and harmonious union of cultural elements from northern Europe, the Islamic world, and classical antiquity. Explore the castle’s façades and interior, and learn the historical context in which it was built.

Alberobello: Full–Day Private Trulli Historical Tour

7. Alberobello: Full–Day Private Trulli Historical Tour

After hotel or port pick–up, travel to Alberobello by minivan on this private tour. Walk through the quaint neighborhoods and side streets of Alberobello, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. See the famous trulli, and marvel at the interesting limestone dwellings composed without mortar. Learn how the thickness of the walls regulates the internal temperature, what the symbols painted on the cone–shaped roofs mean, and hear about the unique interior living spaces. Visit at your own leisure. Choose to visit some of the museums during your stay, enjoy tasting some of the local delicacies, like a Paqualino sandwich or a traditional gelato, or spend some time shopping, before you return to your hotel at approximately 6:00 PM.

Matera: Crypt of the Original Sin Ticket and Transfer

8. Matera: Crypt of the Original Sin Ticket and Transfer

Discover the beautiful frescoes in the Crypt of the Original Sin with an included ticket and transfer from Matera. Learn about the history of this ancient cave and its captivating art with an audio guide. Meet your driver at the meeting point in Matera, then drive for approximately 20 minutes to the crypt in an air-conditioned minivan. Upon arrival, enter the natural cave and prepare to be amazed by rock paintings that date from the 8th century. See various depictions of biblical scenes, including the one of Adam and Eve that gives the crypt its name. Hear how the cave was used as a church by Benedictine monks, and find out how the frescos showcase typical properties of Benedictine art at the time. After your tour of the crypt, you'll return to Matera and be dropped off at the original meeting point.

Martina Franca: Baroque and Rococo Architecture Walking Tour

9. Martina Franca: Baroque and Rococo Architecture Walking Tour

Martina Franca is one of the most important towns in the Itria Valley. It is famous for its festivals and multiple buildings in the Baroque and Rococo style. The tour starts from Piazza XX Settembre and Gate Santo Stefano then heads to Piazza Roma, where you will visit the fountain of the dolphins. See Palazzo Ducale with its 18th-century frescoes and stately rooms. Walk through the alleys of the old town and arrive in Piazza del Plebiscito. Here, you will visit the basilica dedicated to St. Martin, an exceptional example of Baroque architecture. The tour ends with a visit to the Immaculate Square, the Chapel of St. Nicholas of the Greeks, and finally the Church of San Domenico.

Lecce: Private Tour with Pasticciotto Tasting

10. Lecce: Private Tour with Pasticciotto Tasting

The discovery of Lecce starts from the beginning, pre-Roman and Roman, to the great period of the Baroque. Take a walk to the historic center that will take you to discover the wonders of Lecce, one of the most beautiful cities of southern Italy. The route starts from Porta Napoli to Piazza Duomo, Cathedral, Bell Tower, and Bishop's Seminar, the baroque heart of Lecce. Continue walking to the Church of St. Irene, Piazza Sant'Oronzo, where you can see the ruins of the Roman amphitheater, the church of San Marco and the Sedile. Walking through the streets of the old town, you will visit the Church of Santa Chiara and Roman Theatre, other important particulars of the story of Lecce. During the tour, you will taste a typical pasticciotto, a cake made with pastry and cream. The tour ends at the Basilica of Santa Croce, a jewel of Lecce Baroque and Celestine Convent.

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What people are saying about Apulia

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 288 reviews

Beautiful guided tour, Federica our. competent guide and very attentive to everything, every landscape, every place, every thing seen was accompanied by his detailed and precise description, he made us savor every corner of Matera, the stones, Mr. Eustachio and his folk songs, cave houses, everything! No notes to do but only highly recommended trip not to be missed to get to know Matera!

Maria Teresa was our supurb guide through the 2 neighbourhoods of Matera. She was knowledgable, patient, kind and totally worth the drive to Matera. A++

Dileta was a wonderful guide. She kept the right pace, with great historical facts. Our family enjoyed the tour a lot. We did not see the time pass by.

Very nice and well known guide. The tour was very interesting

guide very prepared and attentive to all participants