Southern Italy’s World Heritage Marvels

Highlights: Napoli – Hercolaneum - Caserta – Benevento – Alberobello – Lecce -Matera  






The Bel Paese has more UNESCO World Heritage sites than any other country in the world. Some are well-known such as the Dolomites and the city of Verona in the North or the historic centres of San Gimignano, Florence and Rome in the Centre. In the South usually Naples, the Amalfi Coast and Pompeii complete the list. Travellers fond of history, art and culture can take advantage of this tour and find out more of other Unesco World Heritage sites in Southern Italy. Moving on from Naples, a fascinating trail of speechless wonders welcomes you towards the backcountry of the Campania region and farther on to Puglia: the majestic Royal Palace of the Bourbons in Caserta, the medieval Santa Sofia Church in Benevento, the distinctive cone roofed Trulli in Alberobello and the ‘Rupestrian’ Sassi in Matera. Experience also the Baroque magnificence of Lecce in Puglia which is in a nomination list and is likely to become a Unesco Heritage site very soon.

A dive into the past seeking out the marvels of history you cannot miss!



DAY 1: arrival in Naples
Arrive in Naples and meet your tour leader. Transfer to the hotel, check-in and join your fellow travelers for a tour briefing. (D)

DAY 2: Naples - Herculaneum - Naples
Your first day starts with a big jump back in time. You leave Naples going towards Herculaneum, the town buried by the mud and lava of the Vesuvius volcano in 79 AD and where wealthy Romans enjoyed their vacations. A local guide will lead you in the site of the archeological excavations and you will have the opportunity to discover a Roman town perfectly organized in its social and political life. In the early afternoon you head back to Naples. Unesco has considered Naples’ ancient historic town centre as a World Heritage Site as it is not only the widest in Europe (17km2) but it embraces 27 centuries of history whose signs are visible in its urban structure, architecture and monuments. Take your time in a pleasant walk in its alleys and enjoy meeting the lively local people.(B, D)

DAY 3: Naples - Royal Palace of Caserta – Benevento 
This morning you are headed to Caserta to visit the Royal Palace. In the 18th century the Bourbon King requested the building of a new Palace away from Naples where he risked to be attacked from the sea. In order to compete with the French Chateau in Versailles, the architect Vanvitelli built the biggest palace in Europe with 1200 rooms and a park with fountains, a Grand Cascade and a beautiful English garden. After your visit to Caserta you will have a pleasant lunch in a typical ‘trattoria’ and then you continue your trip to Benevento, known as the ‘city of witches’. Benvento’s history goes back to the Samnites who resisted the power of the Roman legions for three wars. Afterwards, it was first taken by the Goths and Longobards and then it became a Papal city until the Unification of Italy in 1861. A local guide will be pleased to introduce you to the history and monuments of Benevento from the Trajan Arch to the Santa Sofia Church. Santa Sofia is a masterpiece of the Middle Ages and became a Unesco World Heritage Site in 2011. While you have a pleasant walk in the historic centre, the guide will also give you details about the legend of the witches and you can taste the typical liqueur of Benevento made of herbs whose recipe is a secret even today.

Before heading to the hotel, your final stop will be at the imposing Roman amphitheatre. (B, L, D)

DAY 4: Benevento - Alberobello - Lecce
Today you leave the Campania Region and your tour continues to the Region of Puglia towards the Southern part named ‘Salento’. On the way you will notice a change in the landscape from the vineyards of Benevento to a wild nature until you see wide landscapes filled with old olive groves. The first amazing World Heritage Site you visit today is Alberobello. This village is a concentration of the white ‘trulli’ which are cone-roofed dwellings with a circular structure and built with local limestone. You will enjoy a pleasant stroll in its alleys and feel like you are in a fairytale when you enter small shops, taste local flavoured liquors and visit an example of an inhabited Trullo or the cone-roofed church. Have a rest while you head to Lecce along the Adriatic Coast. Here a local guide will wait for you and lead you in Italy’s most beautiful Baroque town. Lecce is in the nomination list to become a Unesco World Heritage Site and once you have seen it you will wonder how come it has not been declared as such yet. Its historic centre preserves marvelous Baroque masterpieces, some also mixed with Gothic and Norman elements. You will be surprised to discover such a splendor almost at the end of Italy’s boot heel. Not to miss is also a Templar house recently discovered in a private home. (B, D)

DAY 5: Lecce - Matera - Naples
The last Unesco Heritages Site is the ‘Sassi’of Matera. From Lecce you will travel across the Salento region, go through Taranto on the Ionian Sea and arrive in Matera in the region of Basilicata. Visiting the Sassi is like stepping into the past and live a unique experience. It is a settlement of calcareous rocks carved over the centuries since the Paleolithic period. A local guide will highlight the development of Rupestrian churches and ancient houses and give you interesting details of the peasant’s life in a cave house. You will feel as if you have stepped back in time and will not help but take pictures. Then have a nice lunch amidst the Sassi and relax during your trip back to Naples. (B, L, D)

DAY 6: Departure
Breakfast, transfer to the airport and departure. (B)






5 Nights/6 Days


Hotel Category:

3* or 4* in comfortable rooms with private bathroom, tv, airdryer



5 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 5 dinners


Tour Leader:

English speaking leader (also other language available)


Local Guides:

Half day guides in: Herculaneum, Royal Palace in Caserta, Benevento, Lecce


Means of transportation:

Comfortable luxury bus with air conditioning and tv



Mid March – mid October





 For information contact macondotour

Phone: +39 0824 941385

Ultima modifica il Mercoledì, 05 Marzo 2014 10:18