Check in around 14.00 at your charming hotel in Alberobello. Alberobello will welcome you in this beautiful valley with its thousand cones upside down toward the sky. The history of these ancient rural buildings with conical shape, each distinguished by strange symbols and pinnacles of various forms mingle easily with local myths and legends. Some late studies associate Alberobello to the Turkish town of Harran, in Kurdistan, where similar houses are made with blocks of soil baked in the sun. Piazza Martellotta divides the city between the more touristic and suggestive part in Rione Monti, and the most authentic and calm in Aia Piccola
Alberobello – Putignano – Grotte di Castellana – Alberobello 35km
Today you will know one of the principal phenomena of this territory, the karst with its rock formations. Following gentle undulations, oak forests, vineyards and olive trees you will cycle up to the largest karst caves in Italy. The magnificent caves of Castellana are a truly unique experience: they run underground for over three kilometers in an atmosphere between evocative power and magic, reflections with stalagmites and stalactites grown with ancestral rhythms. Before reaching them, you can have a detour to Putignano, elegant town well-known for its ancient Carnival with incredible floats, dated more than 600 years ago. Another night in a trullo is awaiting you.
Alberobello – Locorotondo – Alberobello 20km loop ride
Few kilometres of gentle ups and downs to reach Lorocotondo, small white village whose wonderful balcony overlooks the heart of the Itria Valley. The lands here are devoted to the cultivation of vines, which with the help of the sun produce a light and fresh white wine of high-quality: the Locorotondo Doc. Have a walk in its old town and take your time for a careful and tasting “food&wine research” in one of the small restaurants that the centre hides. Going back to Alberobello for your last night here, try to don’t miss the amazing sunset over the Trulli from one of its panoramic terraces.
Alberobello – Martina Franca 20km
The route will be almost completely flat; the only ascent will be the one that will take you to the town of Martina Franca. The town takes its name from its patron saint, San Martino. The name “Franca” is given by Philip of Anjou in the 14th century, to exempt the town from the payment of taxes in perpetuity. That’s how the centre, attracting many people from the surrounding hills, develops quickly turning it into a well-fortified city. Besides the arch entrance of the old town, along the main street a rich and elegant scenery of striking buildings and churches will open up. Here the typical Baroque becomes almost Rococò and combining with the white lime creates an entirely unique style full of exotic charm.
To satisfy eyes and palate, don’t miss the famous local products: the Capocollo, Puglia appreciated cold cut, Slow Food Presidium since 2007, and the Bocconotto, sweet shortbread with a cream and black cherry heart, to taste strictly at Café Nuova Tripoli.
Martina Franca – Cisternino – Martina Franca 30km
Cycling in this fairytale land surrounded by gentle undulations full of vineyards and cultivated fields you will reach Cisternino, one of the “Most Beautiful Villages of Italy”. This small town is well known in the Itria Valley for its mazy oriental charm, reflected in the alleys, arches, courtyards and stairways of its four old districts. This spontaneous and unique architecture branches around the Clock Tower Square.
A truly local eating experience here is the Fornello, the barbecuing butcher: you choose your meat, take a seat and wait with a carafe of local wine! Before returning to Martina for your last night there, you will cycle along a stretch of the new Greenway of the Puglia aqueduct, the longest in Europe.
Martina Franca – Ceglie Messapica – Ostuni 35km
Day dedicated to the town of Ceglie Messapica, a small town where art and food coexist harmoniously…
In the centre a Norman Tower over 30m high overlooks the entire complex. All around an ancient and surreal atmosphere that ranges from the time of Messapians ancestors to Medieval times. Ceglie is considered the gastronomic capital of the Itria valley: stop for lunch at one of its restaurants and check it for yourself! From the mashed Fava-beans accompanied by wild vegetables to the special Cookie of Ceglie, a Slow Food product, you will eat like locals do everyday. Great help for digestion, a ride towards Ostuni, the White City par excellence. The custom of whitewashing the walls with lime dates back to the Middle Ages, to make brighter and fresher the narrow alleys. Besides being a natural disinfectant lime prevented the spread of the plague when an epidemic broke out in the 17th century.
Ostuni – Parco Dune Costiere – Ostuni 30km
Ostuni – Parco Dune Costiere – Ostuni (about 30km)
Nature will relax you today thanks to the beauty of the Natural Park of Coastal Dunes. Slice of heaven between the land and the sea, here the dunes preserve many natural habitats. Not only fossil dunes, but also long and beautiful beaches, a fragrant Mediterranean vegetation, ponds and wetlands, archaeological sites of historical and cultural significance, historic farms and oil mills, rock settlements and more. On the way back you will find an authentic Masseria among century-old olive trees for a surprising guide tour with Extra Virgin Olive oil tasting.
On the road uphill you will reach Ostuni again.
Departure day…..Time to say goodbye, a good flight back home or a pleasant stay in Italy. Transfers upon request.