Apulia & Royal Caserta

8 Days from £949 | September, May 949

Venture into the southern Adriatic region of Apulia on the heel of Italy and you will be well rewarded in terms of the natural beauty of the landscapes and the richness of the heritage of a varied history. This holiday includes visits to no less than five UNESCO World Heritage sites, all very different in character – the conical ‘trulli’ homes of Alberobello, the ancient stone ‘sassi’ houses of the Matera ravines, the Swabian castle of Castel del Monte, Santa Sofia in Benevento, and the Royal Palace at Caserta. As well as staying in Caserta itself you also spend time in Barletta on the coast in Apulia. Travelling between the two gives you the opportunity to see the Roman town of Benevento and to enjoy the countryside of the southern Apennines.

Apulia & Royal Caserta

Past Customer Satisfaction Score for this holiday* - 81%
* as measured from holiday questionnaires - see FAQ for details

  • 3 nights hb Caserta, 4 nights hb Barletta
  • Walking tour of Caserta and entrance to the Royal Palace
  • Excursions: to Trani and Castel del Monte, to Alberobello and Bari, and vists to Matera and Benevento

Day One: Flight to Naples. On arrival, transfer to your hotel in Caserta (30 minutes approx) for two night’s half board accommodation.

Day Two: Included Caserta walking tour with entrance to the Royal Palace and its lovely gardens. Known as the Italian Versailles, the palace has 1,200 rooms and is probably the largest royal palace in the world. It has been used as a set for several movies, including two of the Star Wars films. Outside, you can explore the park and formal English garden, with several impressive water features.

Day Three: Depart for Barletta. Crossing the Apennines, your main stop today is in the pleasant town of Benevento. It has a compact centre and enjoyed prominence during three main periods, each of which left its mark on the town. The Romans left Trajan’s Arch, and Caracalla’s theatre; after the Romans, the Longobards left the cloistered church of Santa Sofia. Benevento then became part of the Papal States and this period leaves us two fine basilicas, Madonna delle Grazie and Saint Bartholomew. In the afternoon, you continue into Apulia along the motorway, stretches of which are very scenic as it wends its way through the southern Italian hills as far as the Adriatic. 135 miles today. Four nights are spent in Barletta on a half board basis.

Days Four to Six: In Barletta with two included excursions. A full day excursion includes visits to Apulia’s capital city, Bari, with its 12th-century cathedral of St Nicholas, a major destination for both Orthodox and Roman Catholic pilgrimages. Nicholas’ relics were moved here from Turkey in the 11th century. Also called Nicholas the Wonderworker, he was known for his generous giving and lends his name to the Santa Claus tradition. You continue to Alberobello, into one of the most unusual landscapes you will ever see, that of the trulli. These circular white houses have conical slate roofs and are built without mortar – some say this was done so they could be easily demolished and rebuilt if the tax collector was coming! In any event, the thick walls help keep them cool in summer, warm in winter; they are often decorated with planetary symbols. 146 miles today.

There is also a shorter but equally fascinating included tour to Trani and Frederick II’s Castel del Monte. Trani is a particularly pleasant maritime town with a fine cathedral and old quarter right on the azure sea. This was a crusaders’ port and the Knights Templar built a church here. The geometry at Castel del Monte is perfect : it consists of eight octagonal towers around two rectangles which form another octagon – the ‘golden ratio’ is ever- present as are the magic numbers of Fibonacci – the Pisa mathematician who visited Frederick’s court. If these ring ‘da Vinci Code’ bells, then why not add that Frederick (excommunicated twice and a Crusader) and his castle have also been linked with the Arthurian legend and the Holy Grail! 50 miles today.

Day Seven: Today you begin to head back towards Naples taking a different road through Apulia. You go first to Matera, just outside Apulia in neighbouring Basilicata. In the ravines which cut starkly through the town are the primitive ‘sassi’ (stone) houses in which half the town’s populace lived until the 1950’s, when they were forcibly moved to more modern housing. The suffering of the malaria-ridden, starving people of the ‘sassi’ was immortalised in Carlo Levi’s ‘Christ Stopped at Eboli’. From there you head back to Caserta, passing by Potenza and Salerno, for two nights on a half board basis. 233 miles today.

Day Eight: Free time till your transfer to the airport for your flight home.

Apulia & Royal Caserta

Past Customer Satisfaction Score for this holiday* - 81%
* as measured from holiday questionnaires - see FAQ for details

HOTEL DEI CAVALIERI ****, Caserta (first two and last nights)
The hotel is centrally situated on the pleasant Piazza Luigi Vanvitelli close to the pedestrian area, and an easy 10-minute (800m) walk to the entrance of the Royal Palace. The hotel has a restaurant and breakfast room. In the lobby, there are two small seating areas with tv and a coffee and water station. Wifi is free throughout the hotel. The air-conditioned bedrooms have tv, phone, and bathroom with shower and hairdryer. (www.deicavaliericollection.com/eng/hotel-dei-cavalieri-caserta) This hotel is the one for 2020; in 2019 we stay in the nearby Hotel Europa.
New Hotel for PTS. However, our overall hotel satisfaction score average, up to December 2019, was 82.5%.
HOTEL ITACA ****, Barletta (four nights)
The hotel is a 2-minute walk to the beach, 5 minutes from the Norman castle and gardens and a 15-minute walk to Barletta’s famous Colossus – a 13ft bronze statue in the old town. Bedrooms have air conditioning, hairdryer, tv, bath or shower, and minibar. The hotel has a lift, restaurant, and lobby bar. Wifi is free throughout the hotel. Superior rooms are available at a supplement. (www.itacahotel.it)
Past Customer Satisfaction Score for this hotel* - 78%
*as measured from holiday questionnaires - see FAQ for details
Escorted Holiday - Apulia & Royal Caserta
Holiday code: 7PUC
Supplements per person:
Single Room: £150
Superior Twin/Double Room: £20
Travel Insurance: £59.95
Supplements on some holidays vary by departure date - the applicable price will be shown when booking.

Fly FromDateDaysAirlineDep.Rtn.AvailabilityPriceFly ToSingle

BirminghamWed 30/09/20208Thomson06001250On request1029Naples15050BHX17PUCB9

BirminghamWed 19/05/20218Thomson06001250Places Available1079Naples15046BHX17PUC91

BristolWed 30/09/20208Thomson09001610On request1029Naples15050BRS17PUCB9

BristolWed 19/05/20218Thomson09001610Places Available1079Naples15046BRS17PUC91

CardiffWed 30/09/20208Thomson07551450On request1029Naples15050CWL17PUCB9

CardiffWed 19/05/20218Thomson07551450Places Available1079Naples15046CWL17PUC91

Doncaster ShefWed 30/09/20208Thomson08251550On request1029Naples15050DSA17PUCB9

Doncaster ShefWed 19/05/20218Thomson08251550Places Available1079Naples15046DSA17PUC91

DublinWed 30/09/20208Ryanair16152320On request949Naples15050DUB17PUCB9

DublinWed 19/05/20218Ryanair16152320Places Available999Naples15046DUB17PUC91

ExeterWed 19/05/20218Ryanair17401705Places Available999Naples15046EXT17PUC91

GlasgowWed 30/09/20208Thomson06151405On request1029Naples15050GLA17PUCB9

GlasgowWed 19/05/20218Thomson06151405Places Available1079Naples15046GLA17PUC91

Leeds-BradfordWed 30/09/20208Jet207301430On request989Naples15050LBA17PUCB9

Leeds-BradfordWed 19/05/20218Jet207301430Places Available1039Naples15046LBA17PUC91

London GatwickWed 30/09/20208Easyjet06001150On request949Naples15050LGW17PUCB9

London GatwickWed 19/05/20218Easyjet06001150Places Available999Naples15046LGW17PUC91

LutonWed 30/09/20208Easyjet06151225On request949Naples15050LTN17PUCB9

LutonWed 19/05/20218Easyjet06151225Places Available999Naples15046LTN17PUC91

ManchesterWed 30/09/20208Jet208151535On request989Naples15050MAN17PUCB9

ManchesterWed 19/05/20218Jet208151535Places Available1039Naples15046MAN17PUC91

NewcastleWed 30/09/20208Thomson09051635On request1029Naples15050NCL17PUCB9

NewcastleWed 19/05/20218Thomson09051635Places Available1079Naples15046NCL17PUC91

StanstedWed 30/09/20208Easyjet06001200On request949Naples15050STN17PUCB9

StanstedWed 19/05/20218Easyjet06001200Places Available999Naples15046STN17PUC91

Prices shown include carriage of one piece of hold luggage per person (maximum size and weights vary). Prices include return transfers between airport and hotel and are based on the shared occupancy of twin/double standard rooms. Please refer to 'Accommodation' for details of any room supplements (including single rooms) and extended stay costs that apply to this holiday. All flight details are provisional and subject to confirmation when known. All holidays are subject to minimum numbers and are subject to availability. Further details in our FAQ.

Data as at 28/09/2020 at 5:47:07

This was our first guided touring holiday and were unsure what to expect. May I say our tour guide Valentina was excellent as was the coach driver Romolo, couldn't have wished for better. Valentina's knowledge was brilliant. The tour was very good and we saw things we would have missed if doing an independent holiday. The highlights would have to be Alberobello, Matera, the local guide at Matera was very good. Our main highlight was the Royal Palace at Caserta which we have wanted to visit for years and didn't disappoint, wish we could have spent longer there, the added joy of seeing the Theatre was wonderful. A brilliant holiday. Thank-you.

Mrs V, Leics

Highlights: Trullis, Trani, Matera, Royal Caserta Palace. All fascinating and v interesting. Valentina and Matera guide excellent, very knowledgeable.

Mrs M, South Yorkshire

We have just returned from Apulia and are writing to let you know how impressed we were with our Tour Manager and Driver. We would like to express our thanks and appreciation for their professional, yet friendly, expertise and do hope to travel with you again next year.

Mr and Mrs B, Dundee

A wonderful holiday. Excellent itinerary, skilful coach driver and superb PTS rep - Valentina looks after everyone in our party so well.

Mr & Mrs L, Northumbria

Valentina is a professional guide, very knowledgeable and did everything to ensure we had a fantastic holiday. She is very friendly and had a lovely disposition. She is a role model for other guides and we hope to see her again on a future trip with PTS. Thank you, Valentina, it was a real pleasure to meet you.

Mrs J, Edinburgh

It has been a very informative and well organised week with a good guide and driver - transfers too were exemplary. We have enjoyed our holiday, the fourth with Preferred Travel. Thank you.

Mr & Mrs F, Cardiff

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Don't forget, we fly from 20 airports right across the UK.
Most of our holidays include half board as standard.
All of our holidays have included visits and tours.

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Apulia & Royal Caserta