Apulia & Royal Caserta

8 Days from £899 | September 899

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* - 84%
* 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 and Tuesday 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* - 84%
* 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* - 64%
*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
Supplements on some holidays vary by departure date - the applicable price will be shown when booking.

Fly FromDateDaysAirlineDep.Rtn.AvailabilityPriceFly ToSingle

BirminghamWed 04/09/20198Thomson06001250Last few places979Naples1005BHX17PUCB5

BirminghamMon 30/09/20198Thomson08001545Last few places979Naples100 (on request)2BHX17PUCB6

BristolMon 30/09/20198Thomson06001255Last few places979Naples100 (on request)2BRS17PUCB6

DublinWed 04/09/20198Aer Lingus07101455Last few places899Naples1005DUB17PUCB5

DublinMon 30/09/20198Aer Lingus07101455Last few places899Naples100 (on request)2DUB17PUCB6

East MidlandsMon 30/09/20198Thomson15302225Last few places979Naples100 (on request)2EMA17PUCB6

EdinburghSun 29/09/20198Easyjet06101320Last few places899Naples100 (on request)2EDI17PUCB6

ExeterSun 29/09/20198Ryanair08400815Last few places899Naples100 (on request)2EXT17PUCB6

GlasgowWed 04/09/20198Thomson08201620Last few places979Naples1005GLA17PUCB5

GlasgowSun 29/09/20198Jet206451440Last few places939Naples100 (on request)2GLA17PUCB6

Leeds-BradfordWed 04/09/20198Jet207301430Last few places939Naples1005LBA17PUCB5

Leeds-BradfordSun 29/09/20198Jet207301430Last few places939Naples100 (on request)2LBA17PUCB6

London GatwickWed 04/09/20198Easyjet06001200Last few places899Naples1005LGW17PUCB5

London GatwickMon 30/09/20198Easyjet06001200Last few places899Naples100 (on request)2LGW17PUCB6

LutonWed 04/09/20198Easyjet06151225Last few places899Naples1005LTN17PUCB5

LutonMon 30/09/20198Easyjet06151225Last few places899Naples100 (on request)2LTN17PUCB6

ManchesterWed 04/09/20198Jet208151535Last few places939Naples1005MAN17PUCB5

ManchesterMon 30/09/20198Thomson06001305Last few places979Naples100 (on request)2MAN17PUCB6

NewcastleMon 30/09/20198Thomson15402255Last few places979Naples100 (on request)2NCL17PUCB6

StanstedWed 04/09/20198Easyjet06001200Last few places899Naples1005STN17PUCB5

StanstedMon 30/09/20198Easyjet06001200Last few places899Naples100 (on request)2STN17PUCB6

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 17/08/2019 at 22:47:06

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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Apulia & Royal Caserta