Day 1~ In TRANSIT
Depart for Bari, Italy (provided for AHI FlexAir participants).
DAY 2 ~ BARI/POLIGNANO A MARE
Upon arrival, transfer to Polignano a Mare and the Hotel Covo dei Saraceni. Tonight, attend a Welcome Dinner and meet your fellow travelers.
DAY 3 ~ BARI/POLIGNANO A MARE
Educational Focus: The History, Agriculture and Beauty of Apulia. Hear the stories of Apulia’s multicultural past and the secrets behind its olive groves and vineyards.
Excursion: Beautiful Bari. Tour the ancient seaport of Bari. Step inside the 11th-century Basilica of St. Nicholas to admire its Byzantine columns, colorful mosaics, and Apulia’s oldest ciborium. Stroll past beautiful churches while enjoying the atmospheric tangle of alleys in Old Town. Explore the Murat Quarter and its 19th-century grid layout, which was designed by Joachim Murat, Napoleon’s brother-in-law.
Local Flavor: Dine on local specialites during lunch in Bari.
Excursion: Wonders of Polignano a Mare. This tiny village rises dramatically from craggy limestone cliffs. Admire the medieval Marchesale Arch in the village’s historic center and weave through the Old Town’s cobbled street, fragrant with flowering plants.
Engage with fellow travelers during a Welcome Reception at the hotel this evening.
DAY 4 ~ LECCE/OSTUNI
Excursion: Barocco Leccese and the White Town of Ostuni. Witness Lecce’s whimsical Barocco Leccese architecture. These 17th-century structures display elegant caryatids, ornamental garland, and lyrical scrolls. Stand in the heart of Piazza Sant’Oronzo, where the ancient Roman Column marks the end of the Appian Way. View the Roman amphitheater that once held 20,000 spectators and see the intricate facade, rose window, and ornately carved capitals of Basilica di Santa Croce. Following leisure time, continue to Ostuni and admire the famous whitewashed buildings that blanket its hilltop perch. Then, in Old Town, take in sweeping coastal vistas from the city walls.
DAY 5 ~ TRANI
Excursion: Trani, the Pearl of Apulia. Tour the historic seaport of Trani, renowned for sweet Moscato di Trani wine and some of Apulia’s finest architecture. Admire the 12th-century cathedral, its pale pink stone an arresting sight against the turquoise Adriatic. Note the cathedral’s elegant portals and pillar capitals that hint at an Arab influence. View Norman houses that line polished cobblestone streets in the historic Jewish Ghetto.
Excursion and Local Flavor: Visit a family-run olive mill in Bisceglie for a guided tour. Learn about the mill’s cultivation process and sample the rich flavors of the olive oil.
Local Flavor: Enjoy an al fresco lunch amid the mill’s beautiful citrus grove.
DAY 6 ~ ALBEROBELLO/ LOCOROTONDO
Excursion: Trulli Fascinating Alberobello. Discover Alberobello’s enigmatic trulli dwellings. Found nowhere else in the world, these unusual dome-shaped buildings dot the Apulian countryside. More than 1,000 trulli cluster along cobblestone streets, some dating back to the 15th century. Beneath conical fieldstone roofs, the limestone buildings are pieced together without mortal so that, according to legend, they could be quickly disassembled by their peasant owners to avoid property taxes.
Excursion: Luminous Locorotondo. Journey to Locorotondo, where gleaming white buildings swirl down the contours of a hilltop setting. Explore this picturesque medieval village whose name means “round place.” Wander past angular townhouses with pointed roofs piercing the sky and vibrant blossoms spilling from iron balconies.
Local Flavor: Enjoy a delicious dinner at a local restaurant.
DAY 7 ~ MATERA
Educational Focus: Contemporary Italy. Examine Italy’s cultural heritage as it’s reflected today and compare southern Apulia’s slower-paced lifestyle with that of its more industrialized northern counterpart.
Excursion: Sassi di Matera. Journey to Matera and venture into the village’s celebrated cave dwellings known as sassi. The prehistoric caverns and more than 100 rock-hewn churches are carved into the soft calcareous rock straddling both sides of a steep ravine. View delicate frescoes that adorn church walls, painted by monks fleeing the Byzantine Empire. The honeycombed dwellings were continuously inhabited until 1952, when the government relocated the population.
DAY 8 ~ POLIGNANO A MARE
Independent Exploration: Today is at your leisure. Consider exploring nearby Grotte di Castellana, a subterranean labyrinth of passages and caves.
Tonight, gather for a Farewell Reception followed by a Graduation Ceremony and a Farewell Dinner.
DAY 9 ~ IN TRANSIT
Transfer to the airport for the return flight to your gateway city.
Enoch Brater is the Kenneth T. Rowe Collegiate Professor of Dramatic Literature and has been a past representative of the Alumni Association on several trips abroad. He is an internationally recognized critic of modern and contemporary theater and is widely published on such figuers as Samuel Beckett and Arthur Miller (UM '38).