Apulia & Royal Caserta

8 Days from £889 | September, October

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* - 87%
* 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 one night’s half board accommodation.

Day Two: 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 Three to Five: 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 Six: 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 Seven: 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 Eight: Free time till your transfer to the airport for your flight home.

Please note: Sunday departures spend the first two nights, and the last night, in Caserta. The order of the programme is adjusted accordingly so e.g.  the activities of Day Seven will take place on Day Two: but the content of the holiday is the same.

Apulia & Royal Caserta

Past Customer Satisfaction Score for this holiday* - 87%
* as measured from holiday questionnaires - see FAQ for details

HOTEL EUROPA ****, Caserta (first and last two nights, or first two and last night)
The hotel is centrally situated close to the pedestrian shopping area and just 200m from the Royal Palace. The hotel has a small lounge bar, breakfast room and fitness room. Bedrooms are air-conditioned and have shower, minibar and tv. Dinner is taken in a nearby restaurant. (www.hoteleuropacaserta.com)  
Past Customer Satisfaction Score for this hotel* - 68%
*as measured from holiday questionnaires - see FAQ for details
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 outdoor pool (seasonal) 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* - 79%
*as measured from holiday questionnaires - see FAQ for details
Escorted Holiday - Apulia & Royal Caserta
Holiday code: 7PUC
Supplements per person:
Single Room: £100
Twin/Double Superior (Barletta): £20
Travel Insurance: £44.95
Supplements on some holidays vary by departure date - the applicable price will be shown when booking.

Fly FromDateDaysAirlineDep.Rtn.AvailabilityPriceFly ToSingle

BirminghamFri 07/09/20188Thomson16552330Places Available979Naples10020BHX17PUCB2

BirminghamMon 01/10/20188Thomson08101445Fully Booked969Naples1000BHX17PUCB3

BristolFri 07/09/20188Thomson17250010Places Available979Naples10020BRS17PUCB2

BristolMon 01/10/20188Thomson06001245Fully Booked969Naples1000BRS17PUCB3

DublinFri 07/09/20188Aer Lingus06301400Places Available899Naples10020DUB17PUCB2

DublinMon 01/10/20188Aer Lingus06301400Fully Booked889Naples1000DUB17PUCB3

East MidlandsFri 07/09/20188Thomson07101355Places Available979Naples10020EMA17PUCB2

East MidlandsMon 01/10/20188Thomson15301300Fully Booked969Naples1000EMA17PUCB3

GlasgowFri 07/09/20188Thomson06101345Places Available979Naples10020GLA17PUCB2

London GatwickFri 07/09/20188Easyjet06001200Places Available899Naples10020LGW17PUCB2

London GatwickMon 01/10/20188Easyjet06001200Fully Booked889Naples1000LGW17PUCB3

LutonFri 07/09/20188Easyjet06151225Places Available899Naples10020LTN17PUCB2

LutonMon 01/10/20188Easyjet06151225Fully Booked889Naples1000LTN17PUCB3

ManchesterFri 07/09/20188Thomson06051305Places Available979Naples10020MAN17PUCB2

ManchesterMon 01/10/20188Thomson06051305Fully Booked969Naples1000MAN17PUCB3

NewcastleFri 07/09/20188Thomson07001415Places Available979Naples10020NCL17PUCB2

NewcastleMon 01/10/20188Thomson15402255Fully Booked969Naples1000NCL17PUCB3

StanstedFri 07/09/20188Easyjet06001200Places Available899Naples10020STN17PUCB2

StanstedMon 01/10/20188Easyjet06001200Fully Booked889Naples1000STN17PUCB3

Prices shown are based on the shared occupancy of twin/double standard rooms, and are subject to availability. Please refer to ‘Accommodation’ for details of any room supplements (including single rooms) and extended stay costs that apply to this holiday. Further details in our FAQ.

Data as at 21/07/2018 at 6:47:05

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

The holiday was very good in every respect.

Mr H, Lothian

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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