World Expeditions has launched an exclusive new walking tour, exploring the sunny and historic region of Puglia, the ‘heel of Italy’, in Southern Italy.
The highlight of the 11-day Puglia Cultural & Walking tour will be staying at the beautiful home of Lady Athena McAlpine, wife of the late Lord Alistair McAlpine, which is opening its doors and welcoming guests of the walking tour for the very first time.
Located on the outskirts of Marittima, the 500-year old ex-Franciscan Monastery, “Il Convento di Santa Maria Costantinopoli”, has been lovingly restored to its former glory by the couple, after it was purchased by Lord McAlpine as a wedding present for his wife.
Speaking of her historic home, Lady McAlpine comments: “It was heap of stones and rubble that we brought back to life together, and now guests can wander corridors and rooms filled with textiles and art from Asia and Africa, admire Sidney Nolan paintings and Aboriginal drawings, and walk barefoot on exquisite Moroccan carpets or relax in our extensive library.”
The hospitality is relaxed, where guests are treated as visiting friends, the kitchen offers local produce and serves breakfast until 1pm, and guests can relax by the swimming pool or head through the olive groves down to the small bay of Acquaviva for a refreshing swim.
Meanwhile, the essence of Puglia can be experienced by walking through valleys, coastal paths, olive groves, vineyards and small villages, tasting the local wines, cheese and fresh produce, and dining in traditional restaurants.
Travellers can discover unique dry stone cottages in Alberobello, explore the caves in Matera, wander through the narrow streets in the ‘white city’ of Ostuni and visit the elegant baroque city of Lecce.
History buffs will especially love the small walled city of Otranto, for its rich and dramatic past, with the 12th century cathedral which has a remarkable mosaic floor depicting the Tree of Life.
The Puglia Cultural & Walking tour will commence in Matera, Puglia on 19 September 2016, and is exclusive to World Expeditions.