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    Sicilian architecture
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    Trulli houses in Alberobello
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    'Florence of the south'
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    Historic Ostuni
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    Rural Calabria

Secrets of Southern Italy and Sicily

Italy and Sicily

  • A plate with a knife and fork Half board

Travel through Puglia and Calabria to Sicily

As this enchanting tour unfolds, you'll discover the rustic charm and unique culture of Italy’s ‘heel’, the region of Puglia. Journey south through remote Calabria, pausing in a European Capital of Culture for 2019 – Matera, before crossing the Messina Strait to Sicily. Stay at the foot of Mount Etna, enjoying a mix of included and optional excursions and days spent relaxing in the sun.


Hands shaking Included travel insurance

Bed10 nights in hotels

Dinner plate20 meals: 10 breakfasts (B) and 10 dinners (D)

PersonSaga Tour Manager


  • Return flights and transfers
  • Welcome drink reception
  • Porterage at all hotels

MapIncluded excursions and visits

  • Guided tour of Alberobello, Martina Franca and Ostuni
  • Visit to the cave dwellings at Matera
  • Altomonte orientation tour
  • Visit to Archaeology Museum in Reggio Calabria to Riace warriors
  • Godfather tour
  • Visit to Lecce

HeadphonesUse of audio headsets on guided tours

save up to £50
per person on selected departures and durations. Prices shown includes saving, subject to availability.

View Full Itinerary

Day 1 UK-Bari-Alberobello

See the intriguing truli dwellings of Alberobello

Fly to Bari and transfer to Alberobello in Puglia (34 miles, one hour), staying three nights at the locally rated 4-star Grand Hotel La Chiusa di Chietri (4Q).

The hotel sits among olive and almond trees in extensive grounds, which were part of the original farm, or 'chiusa' from which the hotel takes its name.

It has a bar, restaurant and an outdoor swimming pool, open in the summer months, weather permitting. There are no shops or restaurants in the immediate vicinity. All bedrooms have air conditioning, a satellite television, telephone, fridge, hairdryer and safe. D

Day 2 Alberobello, Martina Franca and Ostuni

White washed houses of Ostuni

Today’s full-day excursion begins with a tour of the old town centre of Alberobello, consisting of nearly 1,000 of the unique 'trulli'. These whitewashed stone houses, with conical roofs covered with dry stone slabs, are only to be found in this region, and have resulted in Alberobello being designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Continue your tour to see some interesting towns in the region. Martina Franca is an attractive small town in the Apulian hills with a number of fine baroque buildings including a Ducal Palace and a fine Collegiate church.

Your final visit is to historic Ostuni, a town built on the hillside leading down to the sea. Pre-Roman in origin, there are narrow, winding medieval streets to explore and the cathedral which lies in the heart of the old quarter. No entrance fees are included during this excursion which involves some uphill walking in Martina Franca and Ostuni. B, D

Day 3 Lecce

Piazza del Duomo square, Lecce, Italy

Join a full day included excursion to Lecce, the stunning baroque city known as the ‘Florence of the south’, which includes a visit to Cathedral, which is renowned for being masterpiece of Baroque art. B, D

Day 4 Alberobello-Altomonte

Panoramic view of Matera

Enjoy a long but interesting journey (147 miles, three hours and 30 minutes) as you travel down to Altomonte in the Calabria region of southern Italy.

Pause in the unusual historic town of Matera, where 20,000 people lived in a maze of ‘sassi’ – primitive houses and churches carved into the Tufa rock, often shared with livestock and which remained inhabited until the late 1950s. Once considered a slum and described as ‘the shame of Italy’, they have been transformed into stylish bars, restaurants and hotels.

Matera was recognised as a World Heritage Site in 1993 and named European Capital of Culture in 2019. In one of the old town’s neighbourhoods, Sasso Caveoso, you can stroll atmospheric streets of uninhabited caves to see how life once was.

Stay at the family-run, locally rated 4-star Hotel Barbieri (4Q) for three nights. The hotel is perched 455 metres above sea level and overlooks the ancient ‘borgo’ or hamlet, with superb views of Pollino National Park, the largest in Italy.

Facilities include a restaurant, outdoor swimming pool (weather permitting) and wellness centre (extra charge). Typically for a southern Italian hotel, rooms vary in size, with some of them being compact.

Please note: This hotel can be popular for local weddings, in which case Saga guests will have the use of a private restaurant and terrace. All rooms have air conditioning, satellite television, telephone and a minibar. B, D

Day 5 Altomonte

Church of Santa Maria della Consolazione, Altomonte, Calabria

Join a morning orientation tour of Altomonte to see its cobbled streets, stone houses, and views of the surrounding valley and mountain ranges.

Spend the rest of the day at leisure, perhaps exploring independently or relaxing at your hotel. B, D

Day 6 Altomonte


Spend the day at leisure in Altomonte, or join an optional excursion to nearby Rossano. B, D

Day 7 Altomonte-Acireale, Sicily

Mountain Etna above the Italian coastal town Acireale

Drive south to Reggio Calabria (150 miles, three hours), and pause at the National Archaeological Museum to see its famous bronze figures of Greek warriors, found in the sea near Riace.

Board the ferry across the straits of Messina (25 minutes). On arrival in Sicily, enjoy a scenic drive to Acireale, a coastal city at the foot of Mount Etna (52 miles, one hour).

Stay four nights at the locally rated 4-star Hotel Maugeri (3Q+). Set in the heart of town, the hotel is within walking distance of the historic quarter with its cathedral and the Basilica of San Sebastiano.

There are shops and restaurants nearby and the hotel facilities include a restaurant and bar. There are 59 comfortable bedrooms each equipped with a satellite television, telephone, individual heat control, safe, hairdryer, minibar and Wi-Fi (extra cost). B, D

Day 8 Acireale

The main Piazza of Acireale

Either relax in the sun or join an optional trip to Syracuse, a city founded nearly 3,000 years ago. B, D

Day 9 Acireale

Savoca village in Sicily, Italy

This morning, join a guided tour exploring villages featured in the 1972 film, The Godfather. Visit the mountain villages of Savoca and Forza d’Agro’, both used as filming locations for a number of iconic scenes, including Bar Vitelli. Enjoy free time to explore the narrow streets and ancient churches to get a taste of rural life in Sicily. Spend the rest of the day at leisure. B, D

Day 10 Taormina and Mount Etna

Mount Etna volcano and Taormina, Sicily

Join an included visit to picturesque Taormina and Mount Etna, the highest active volcano in Europe. From the lower level of Mount Etna, called Rifugio Sapienza (the Refuge), the Silvestri Crateri are within walking distance and you'll be able to admire the older frozen lava flows.

Continuing to Taormina, a guided tour reveals elegant mansions and palaces dating from the Middle Ages, and several interesting churches. B, D

Day 11 Acireale-Catania-UK

Transfer to the airport (37 miles, 45 minutes) for your return flight home. B

Secrets of Southern Italy and Sicily

Italy and Sicily