Culture and Culinary Treats: A Romantic Trip to Southern Italy
Soak up the sun in southern Italy on this 10-day luxury getaway that takes you from the achingly beautiful Amalfi Coast to pretty-as-a-picture Puglia. Enjoy scenic sea walks, saltwater swims and plenty of delicious food and wine on this tranquil trip for two.
Itinerary at a Glance:
- Visit the otherworldly Blue Grotto cave in Capri
- Wander around the gorgeous gardens of Villa San Michele
- Hike along the picture-perfect Path of the Gods
- Stay in a unique cave hotel in the UNESCO-listed Old Matera
- Explore the idyllic Itria Valley and see the iconic trulli houses in Alberobello
- Hone your culinary skills with an authentic cooking class in Lecce
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When To Travel
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Day 1: Arrive in Italy
Your luxury couple's trip begins today when you land into the sunny southern Italian city of Naples. Upon arrival, you will be transferred one-and-a-half-hours by car to your luxury boutique hotel on the edge of the quiet village of Praiano on the Amalfi coast.
Get settled into your romantic room and soak up the sublime sea views before heading to the rooftop restaurant for a candlelit dinner where you'll feast on dishes from the chef's native Campania, accompanied by paired wines from an extensive wine list.
Day 2: Tour of Capri
For the first full day of your luxury couple's trip to southern Italy you'll be setting off for a tour of the captivating island of Capri.
After breakfast, you'll be transferred 30 minutes by car to the Amalfi port before boarding your boat to Capri. Upon arrival, you'll be whisked off on another boat to the otherworldly sea cave, the Blue Grotto. As you bob through in a rowing boat, you'll get the chance to admire the dancing lights on the walls up close- the best way to see this remarkable place.
Next, you'll be taking a tour of Villa San Michele, an achingly romantic architectural gem that once belonged to the Swedish physician, Axel Munthe who arrived on the island in 1885. With its high hillside spot, you can enjoy the swoon-worthy ocean views with your other half before heading back down to sea level for a leisurely lunch in one of the many lovely restaurants (we can recommend the best spots for a bite to eat).
Return to your hotel this evening for a delicious evening meal and an early night after your busy day.
Day 3: Path of the Gods
We've left today free for you to explore Praiano's pretty-as-a-picture surroundings at your own pace. We'd recommend going for a hike along the Path of the Gods which takes you from Bomerano to Nocelle with stunning sea views at every turn along the way.
We can arrange for you to be transferred by car to the start of the hike and then you'll be making your own way along the winding coastal trail. The walk takes approximately four hours with fabulous panoramic views to soak up from start to finish. Alternatively, start the walk from the hotel via a staircase which takes you to a midway point in the trail, ending in the same finishing point in Nocelle.
From here, travel by bus back to the hotel for a late-afternoon dip in the pool, a laze on the sun loungers and a pampering treatment for two at the spa - the perfect end to day three of your luxury couple's trip to southern Italy.
Day 4: To Matera
After filling up on a tasty breakfast buffet at your hotel, you'll be transferred 50 minutes to Sorrento where you will collect your hire car and drive to your hotel in Matera, approximately three-and-a-half-hours away.
Upon arrival into Old Matera - a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the world's longest inhabited human settlements - check into your beautiful boutique hotel where you will be staying for the night. Like the other unusual buildings in the village, the hotel is carved out from the cliffs and the cave rooms here are wonderfully romantic, perfect for precious moments on your luxury couple's trip to southern Italy.
Come evening, take a seat in the cosy candlelit restaurant for a tasty meal crafted with lovely local produce before calling it a night and retiring to your room.
Day 5: Puglia Bound
For the second part of your luxury couple's trip to southern Italy, drive one-and-a-half hours from inland Matera to coastal Puglia.
Upon arrival to your hotel where you will be staying for the next three nights, get settled into your room and then spend the afternoon at leisure enjoying sunny southern Italy as you wander along the hotel's private beach, cool off with dips in the lagoon-like pool and enjoy some friendly competition on the tennis court.
As the day draws to a close, head to the restaurant for traditional Puglian cuisine in the beautiful vaulted dining room which was once the estate's olive press.
Day 6: Exploring the Itria Valley
After an al fresco buffet breakfast in the hotel's charming courtyard, set off to explore the tranquil towns of the Itria Valley.
Accompanied by an expert local guide, your first stop is the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Alberobello, famous for its whitewashed trulli houses. These cone shaped dwellings are unique to the region and, while wandering through the town, you'll see a concentration of over 1,000 of these unusually-shaped buildings.
For lunch, you will travel to stunning Locorotondo - nicknamed 'Citta Del Vino' for its excellent dry white spumante (sparkling) wine made from local Verdeca grapes. Experience the town like a local as you meander along sleepy streets bedecked with fragrant geraniums and citrus plants before stopping into one of our favourite restaurants for lunch.
The afternoon is yours to spend as you wish - perhaps you'd like to continue exploring or would prefer to take it easy and return to your hotel for a relaxing end to the day.
Day 7: Day at Leisure
We've left today completely free for you to enjoy at leisure. Take the time to slow down and appreciate the laid-back surroundings as you laze at the hotel.
Wander along the hotel's two private beaches - one rocky, one sandy - or swim laps in the salt-water pool and book yourself in for a treatment for two in the spa. As the sun dips below the horizon, head to the beachside seafood restaurant for a deep-sea delicacy - a must on your luxury couple's trip to southern Italy.
Day 8: To Lecce
Pack up your bags and drive along the coast today to your next hotel in the beautiful Baroque city of Lecce where you'll be staying for the next two nights.
The journey only takes one-and-a-half-hours so you'll have plenty of time this afternoon to have a wander around the city and soak up its culture, from the magnificent Cathedral to the many Pugliese restaurants.
Day 9: Cooking Class
Take your taste buds on a tour of Lecce today as you set off on a group tour for the penultimate day of your luxury couple's trip to southern Italy.
Your culinary adventure begins with a visit to a local market accompanied by a local chef to meet the merchants and learn how to select the finest seasonal produce for the day's menu.
Back at the cooking school you will craft a delicious four-course meal together and enjoy it around the cosy dining table washed down with some wonderful wine. Take the time to discuss the recipes and savour the exquisite food, enjoying true Salento hospitality!
Return to your hotel in the afternoon with tummies full for a good night's sleep, ready for your journey home tomorrow.
Day 10: Home Time
Today is the final day of your luxury couple's trip to southern Italy.
Spend the morning relaxing at your hotel and enjoying a final Pugliese lunch before driving two hours to Bari Airport where you will drop off your hire car and catch your flight home.
Francesca, Arran and Charlotte H are our experts for this itinerary and as seasoned travellers they have the inside track on the most memorable adventures.