Apulia & Royal Caserta

8 Days from £949 | May, September 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* - 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 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* - 84%
* 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 2018, was 83.1%.
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* - 79%
*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
Supplements on some holidays vary by departure date - the applicable price will be shown when booking.

Fly FromDateDaysAirlineDep.Rtn.AvailabilityPriceFly ToSingle

BirminghamWed 20/05/20208Thomson06001250Places Available1029Naples15050BHX17PUCB7

BirminghamWed 02/09/20208Thomson06001250Places Available1049Naples15050BHX17PUCB8

BirminghamWed 30/09/20208Thomson06001250Places Available1029Naples15050BHX17PUCB9

BristolWed 20/05/20208Thomson08151515Places Available1029Naples15050BRS17PUCB7

BristolWed 02/09/20208Thomson08151515Places Available1049Naples15050BRS17PUCB8

BristolWed 30/09/20208Thomson08151515Places Available1029Naples15050BRS17PUCB9

CardiffWed 20/05/20208Thomson06151315Places Available1029Naples15050CWL17PUCB7

CardiffWed 02/09/20208Thomson06151315Places Available1049Naples15050CWL17PUCB8

CardiffWed 30/09/20208Thomson06151315Places Available1029Naples15050CWL17PUCB9

Doncaster ShefWed 20/05/20208Thomson07401455Places Available1029Naples15050DSA17PUCB7

Doncaster ShefWed 02/09/20208Thomson07401455Places Available1049Naples15050DSA17PUCB8

Doncaster ShefWed 30/09/20208Thomson07401455Places Available1029Naples15050DSA17PUCB9

DublinWed 20/05/20208Ryanair16152320Places Available949Naples15050DUB17PUCB7

DublinWed 02/09/20208Ryanair16152320Places Available969Naples15050DUB17PUCB8

DublinWed 30/09/20208Ryanair16152320Places Available949Naples15050DUB17PUCB9

ExeterWed 20/05/20208Ryanair17401705Places Available949Naples15050EXT17PUCB7

ExeterWed 02/09/20208Ryanair17401705Places Available969Naples15050EXT17PUCB8

ExeterWed 30/09/20208Ryanair17401705Places Available949Naples15050EXT17PUCB9

GlasgowWed 20/05/20208Thomson06151405Places Available1029Naples15050GLA17PUCB7

GlasgowWed 02/09/20208Thomson06151405Places Available1049Naples15050GLA17PUCB8

GlasgowWed 30/09/20208Thomson06151405Places Available1029Naples15050GLA17PUCB9

Leeds-BradfordWed 20/05/20208Jet207301430Places Available989Naples15050LBA17PUCB7

Leeds-BradfordWed 02/09/20208Jet207301430Places Available1009Naples15050LBA17PUCB8

Leeds-BradfordWed 30/09/20208Jet207301430Places Available989Naples15050LBA17PUCB9

London GatwickWed 20/05/20208Easyjet06001150Places Available949Naples15050LGW17PUCB7

London GatwickWed 02/09/20208Easyjet06001150Places Available969Naples15050LGW17PUCB8

London GatwickWed 30/09/20208Easyjet06001150Places Available949Naples15050LGW17PUCB9

LutonWed 20/05/20208Easyjet06151225Places Available949Naples15050LTN17PUCB7

LutonWed 02/09/20208Easyjet06151225Places Available969Naples15050LTN17PUCB8

LutonWed 30/09/20208Easyjet06151225Places Available949Naples15050LTN17PUCB9

ManchesterWed 20/05/20208Jet208151535Places Available989Naples15050MAN17PUCB7

ManchesterWed 02/09/20208Jet208151535Places Available1009Naples15050MAN17PUCB8

ManchesterWed 30/09/20208Jet208151535Places Available989Naples15050MAN17PUCB9

NewcastleWed 20/05/20208Thomson08001545Places Available1029Naples15050NCL17PUCB7

NewcastleWed 02/09/20208Thomson08001545Places Available1049Naples15050NCL17PUCB8

NewcastleWed 30/09/20208Thomson08001545Places Available1029Naples15050NCL17PUCB9

StanstedWed 20/05/20208Easyjet06001200Places Available949Naples15050STN17PUCB7

StanstedWed 02/09/20208Easyjet06001200Places Available969Naples15050STN17PUCB8

StanstedWed 30/09/20208Easyjet06001200Places Available949Naples15050STN17PUCB9

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 19/10/2019 at 19:47:08

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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Apulia & Royal Caserta