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Apulia

Religious & spiritual activities

Our most recommended Apulia Religious & Spiritual Activities

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.

Matera: Sassi di Matera Guided Tour

2. Matera: Sassi di Matera Guided Tour

Meet your guide at Piazza Vittorio Veneto in Matera. From here, your expert guide will introduce you to the districts of Sassi. From the square, head to the heart of the historical center, where you will find the wonderful Apulian-Romanesque Church of San Giovanni Battista. Continue with a visit to Casa Cava, a hypogeum used in ancient times as a quarry, today turned into a convention center, thanks to outstanding restoration work. Stop at Sasso Barisano, to visit the rock church of Sant'Antonio Abate where you’ll find a pleasant surprise waiting inside, a classic example of the traditional culture of this remarkable city.  Move on to Sasso Caveoso to visit a typical Matera cave-house before continuing along Via Madonna delle Virtù and Porta Pistoia. Make a short stop at Piazza San Pietro Caveoso and stroll down one of the main streets of Sassi, Via Bruno Buozzi, to reach the second rock church of Madonna delle Grazie. Continue to the Baroque Church of Purgatorio. Next stop will be Piazza San Francesco d’ Assisi where you will visit the church dedicated to the Saint and from there you will move to Piazza del Sedile, Parliament's headquarters during the domination of the Kingdom of Naples. Finish your tour with a visit to the magnificent Apulian-Romanesque Cathedral, overlooking the highest part of the city.

Lecce: Baroque Architecture and Underground Walking Tour

3. 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.

San Giovanni Rotondo: Spiritual Experience of Saint Pio

4. San Giovanni Rotondo: Spiritual Experience of Saint Pio

The guided tour of San Giovanni Rotondo will take you to visit the places where the remains of Saint Pio from Pietralcina resided, which lived here for about 50 years. The tour itinerary will unite the most significant places, the ancient church, the new church, the monastery, and the new sanctuary. The ancient church, of the mid-1500s, has a very simple façade and inside it is composed of a single baroque style nave. At a second entrance to the convent, is the cell of Padre Pio and the crypt where the body of Padre Pio was housed it was transferred to the nearby sanctuary. The visit continues with the new church, built to accommodate in an appropriate manner the considerable flow of thousands of pilgrims that flowed ever more numerous to San Giovanni Rotondo. Here, the friar celebrated mass and confessed the faithful. After having seen the various utensils that belonged to the friar of Pietralcina inside the convent, head to the cell where the friar lived.  Your tour ends at the Sanctuary, designed by architect Renzo Piano. This is one of the largest churches in Italy, capable of holding up to 7,000 people. You will first visit the upper church, characterized by stone arches and decorations made by some of the best artists of national renown such as Arnaldo Pomodoro. Then through a helical walkway, visit the lower church and the crypt where the remains of Saint Pio rest. 

San Giovanni Rotondo: Guided Walking Tour

5. San Giovanni Rotondo: Guided Walking Tour

You will meet with your local tour guide in the Santa Maria delle Grazie Square, from where you will start your walking tour listening to the life and history of Padre Pio. The Friar lived in San Giovanni Rotondo, a city in which he lived for around 50 years. You will visit the New Church, which was designed by the Italian Architect Renzo Piano. You will also encounter the places where Padre Pio lived and prayed, such as the old Church, the Convent, and the Saint room. You will also be presented with the unique opportunity to see the Saint remains. San Giovanni Rotondo is one the main Apulian pilgrimage destinations, but it has a characteristic historic center that you could visit after the walking tour on your own.

Sassi di Matera Walking Tour

6. Sassi di Matera Walking Tour

This exciting tour begins at the Piazzetta Pascoli with a breathtaking view over the stunning Sassi di Matera and highland plateau of the Murgia. From here, you can see the Palazzo Lanfranchi, home to the Museum of Modern and Medieval Art of Basilicata, and the nearby Church of the Carmine. Continue the tour through the heart of the ancient dwellings of Sassi, considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site, partly built and partly carved out of the rock themselves and furnished as it used to be during the peasant civilization. Visit the church of Saint Lucy of the Malve and admire some striking frescoes and elaborate architecture before continuing the tour towards the ancient Gravina to the museum of farm history, with typical peasant dwellings, as well as artifacts and tools from the ancient peasant life. You'll also get to visit a typical cave house from around 1900, and pass the cave church of Saint Lucia delle Malve. Before the day's end, return to the center of town for a stroll around the town's Baroque area and admire some stunning churches of this style, including Saint Clare and Saint Francis of Assisi. End the fascinating tour at a look-out point over the Sasso Barisano in front of the beautiful Romanesque Cathedral.

Santa Maria di Leuca: 2-Hour Private Tour

7. Santa Maria di Leuca: 2-Hour Private Tour

Experience a pleasant visit of Santa Maria di Leuca or, as it is commonly called, Leuca. The small town is located at the southeastern end of Italy and is important because it is symbolically located halfway between the Adriatic Sea and the Ionian. During the tour, admire the large port with its majestic lighthouse over 48 meters high and among the most important in Italy. The pleasant walk will continue until you visit the Church of Cristo Re, the many 19th century villas, the Corinthian column and the Monumental waterfall, completed in 1939 where the Apulian Aqueduct ends.  Finally, you will visit the basilica/ Sanctuary of Santa Maria de Finibus Terrae, consecrated in 1755.

Martina Franca: Baroque and Rococo Architecture Walking Tour

8. 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.

2-Hour Bari City Tour

9. 2-Hour Bari City Tour

Enjoy a guided tour of Bari, the capital of Puglia famous all over the world for the preserved remains of Saint Nicholas of Myra, venerated as a saint by the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church. Bari is even well known outside the Christian world because his figure has given rise to the myth of Santa Claus, known in Italy as Babbo Natale. On this tour you will visit the Basilica di San Nicola, a 12th century church built to preserve the relics of Saint Nicholas of Myra. It is considered, like the Cathedral of Trani, as one of the best examples of Romanesque architecture. Here you can explore the crypt with the remains of the holy dedicated to Orthodox worship. You will also visit Bari Cathedral, dedicated to Saint Sabinus, a bishop of Canosa. It is a great example of Apulian Romanesque architecture and you also have the chance to visit the Baroque crypt. Continuing on the tour, you will see Norman-Swabian Castle, a 12th century fortress built by Roger the Norman and rebuilt by Frederick II of Swabia after its partial destruction by William I of Sicily. Here you can explore the gallery of plaster casts. On this tour you will also see the Column of Justice in the Piazza Mercantile, a white marble column with a stone lion which stands crouched behind the door on the chest with the inscription “Guardian of Justice”. It has been said that insolvent debtors were tied to this column. You will also walk past the old Aragonese walls and through the historic center, and have free time to visit shops and buy local products.

Otranto: 2-Hour Guided Walking Tour

10. Otranto: 2-Hour Guided Walking Tour

Described as the “Gateway to the East” and the most Oriental of all Italy’s cities, Otranto was founded by Greeks from Crete thousands of years ago. Explore this fascinating history on a 2-hour walking tour of all its main sights. Discover the Norman cathedral, consecrated in 1088 and still the largest Romanesque building in Apulia. Admire the mosaic floor, formed of thousands of pieces of stone that depict scenes from the Old Testament and figures from Breton legends. Admire columns that are said to have come from a Temple of Minerva, and the bones and relics of the Martyrs of Otranto, who perished in the 15th-century siege of the city. Marvel at the 42 marble columns that support the crypt, and more. Continue to the Church of St. Peter and the Aragonese Castle, reinforced by Emperor Frederick II and rebuilt by Alphonso II of Naples in 1485-1498. Look at the irregular plan of 5 sides, with a moat that runs along the entire perimeter. Enjoy the panoramic views out to sea. If the weather is good you can see all the way across the Adriatic to Greece and Albania.

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What people are saying about Apulia

Overall rating

4.9 / 5

based on 12 reviews

This was a fascinating tour. We loved our tour guide. He was so knowledgeable and spoke perfect English. I would highly recommend this tour for anyone interested in learning the history of Matera and the caves.

Beautiful experience especially thanks to the talented guide Antonia, who with her preparation, friendliness and a lot of passion, has been able to make this experience unforgettable

Very well prepared in all fields. From the history of the Sassi, to the traditions, to the curiosities, up to the art of the rock churches, a wonderful experience.

Giuseppe was engaging. He conveyed the value and beauty of this city with words, creating interest in everything shown and told. Bravo bravo bravo!

Fascinating unique town. So much to see. Very helpful and pleasant guide