The Ohio State University Alumni Association


April 18 – April 26, 2018 Sold Out


Spend seven nights in Polignano a Mare and explore Apulia, Italy’s unrivalled southern destination.

Whet your appetite for Italy’s southern region during this seven-night program in Apulia. From your base in Polignano a Mare, explore the fascinating architecture, alluring villages and craggy coastlines of this renowned destination. Experience Bari, a vibrant, storied seaport with a charming Old Town. View Lecce’s Roman amphitheater, and admire Ostuni’s intricate, alabaster facades. Visit Trani, the Pearl of Apulia; sample freshly pressed oils at an olive mill; and interact with locals during an open-forum discussion. Travel through the countryside to see Alberobello’s conical trulli dwellings, and follow lanes bordered with unique commerce in Locorotondo. Visit the sassi districts of Matera, the 2019 European Capital of Culture and learn about the region’s dramatic history. Local guides and expert speakers provide insight during included excursions and interactive talks. This Alumni Campus Abroad program features first-class accommodations and an extensive meal plan including wine with dinner. For solo travelers, there is no single supplement.

Tour highlights and included features

  • Seven nights in Polignano a Mare, Italy, at the first-class Hotel Covo dei Saraceni
  • Extensive meal program featuring seven breakfasts, three lunches and four dinners, including Welcome and Farewell Dinners
  • Tea or coffee with all meals; wine with dinner
  • Sample authentic regional specialties during meals at local restaurants
  • Discovery excursions highlighting the local culture, heritage and history
  • Expert-led enrichment programs enhance your insight into the region
  • Free time to pursue your own interests
  • Welcome and Farewell Receptions to mingle with fellow travelers
  • Clearly hear your English-speaking guide with your VOX headset
  • Tipping of guides and drivers
  • Complimentary travel mementos

Dates April 18 – April 26, 2018 Sold Out

Cost $2,695* (Airfare not included. All prices are per person, based on double occupancy, and early booking deadlines. Dates, itineraries, and prices are subject to change.)

Type Land

Region Europe

Activity level



Contact Laura DeRose
614-292-2372 or
800-852-TOUR (8687), ext. 2



2018 Apulia map.jpg
2018 Apulia 1.jpg
2018 Apulia 2.jpg
2018 Apulia 3.jpg
2018 Apulia 4.jpg
2018 Apulia 5.jpg
2018 Apulia 6.jpg
2018 Apulia 7.jpg
2018 Apulia 8.jpg
2018 Apulia 9.jpg
2018 Apulia 11.jpg


AHI FlexAir passengers depart for Bari, Italy.

Meals - Appropriate in-flight meal service

Arrive at Bari Karol Wojtyla Airport. Proceed through immigration to the baggage claim area and retrieve your luggage. After completing customs, AHI FlexAir passengers traveling on flights that qualify for the group arrival transfer to hotel and Land Program passengers who have purchased seats on the group transfer should exit the baggage claim area and proceed to the designated meeting point listed on your Airport Arrival Transfer Confirmation document.

Transfer to Polignano a Mare and check in to the Hotel Covo dei Saraceni, a beautiful property perched on a cliff overlooking the sea. Please note if you arrive at the hotel before check-in time, your room may not be immediately available.

Gather with your fellow travelers and enjoy a Welcome Dinner at the hotel this evening.

Accommodation - Hotel Covo dei Saraceni
Meals - Appropriate in-flight meal service and dinner

View on map

Enjoy an American-style buffet breakfast at your hotel each morning.

Enrichment: The History, Agriculture and Beauty of Apulia. Apulia has been tempting travelers since the ancient Greeks first glimpsed its rugged coastal beauty. Study the enduring influence of the region’s diverse cultural inheritance on architecture, food and languages, and learn how the rocky terrain produces thriving olive groves and vineyards.

Discovery: Beautiful Bari. The ancient seaport of Bari boasts labyrinthine, narrow lanes and a harbor of colorful boats bobbing on their moors. Visit the historic port, and wander the tight tangle of medieval streets in the city’s Old Town. Admire the carved Apulian-Romanesque portal of the 11th-century Basilica di San Nicola, which houses the relics of Bari’s patron saint, St. Nicholas. Inside is a marble Episcopal throne and striking mosaic floor. Traverse the seafront promenade where exhilarating views are revealed with each turn. Stroll the renowned Murat quarter —this modern heart of the city is laid out in a rectangular grid-plan and was designed by Joachim Murat, Napoleon's brother-in-law.

Enjoy regional specialties for lunch in Bari.

Discovery: Walking Tour of Polignano a Mare. Discover why this vibrant fishing village, which rises from limestone cliffs molded by the Adriatic, makes the ideal base for exploration of the region. Pass through the Porta Vecchia gate to the Old Town to stroll along cobbled streets, and inhale the fragrance of flowering plants and freshly baked goods. Peek into workshops to wave at local artisans, and experience the warm hospitality of local residents.

This evening, gather at the hotel and visit with your fellow travelers during a Welcome Reception.

Cap off the evening with a delicious dinner at the hotel.

Accommodation - Hotel Covo dei Saraceni
Meals - Breakfast, lunch and dinner

View on map

Discovery: Matera — The 2019 European Capital of Culture. Visit the sassi districts of Matera, a 2019 European Capital of Culture, and witness its dramatic saga of rebirth. Initially gouged out by troglodytic nomads, these rock-hewn cave dwellings were carved from limestone tufa, and some showcase intricate, ornate façades. Honeycombed throughout the sassi are more than 100 rock churches decorated with delicate frescoes, which were carved between the 8th and 13th centuries by monks seeking refuge from the Byzantine Empire. The caves provided homes to the people of Matera until the 1950s, when the population was rehoused. By the 1980s, people began returning and the sassi became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993.

Savor southern Italian cuisine during a group lunch in Matera.

Enrichment: The History and Architecture of Lecce and Ostuni. Explore southern Italy’s rich architectural heritage, focusing on Lecce, “The Florence of the South,” and Ostuni, the “White City.” Learn about the local stone used in Lecce’s architectural development and how Ostuni’s practice of uniformly whitewashing their buildings can be traced back to the plague of the 17th century.

Accommodation - Hotel Covo dei Saraceni
Meals - Breakfast and lunch

View on map

Discovery: Barocco Leccese and The White Town of Ostuni. Witness Lecce’s florid baroque architecture carved from honey-colored stone by 17th-century architects. More fanciful than typical baroque, the voluptuous caryatids, whimsical garlands, fruit, crests and lyrical scrolls comprising Lecce baroque are an unparalleled treat for the eyes. Visit the Basilica of Santa Croce and admire the elaborate façade, rose window and intricately carved capitals of this quintessence of Lecce baroque style. Walk to the center of the Piazza Sant’ Oronzo to see the Roman Column crowned with a bronze statue of St. Oronzo, the first bishop of Lecce appointed by St. Paul in A.D. 57. Next to the column, the shallow rows of seats within the elliptical Roman amphitheater date from Emperor Hadrian’s era and once held 20,000 spectators.

Enjoy free time to explore Lecce and discover a lovely café for lunch at your leisure. Continue to Ostuni where gleaming, whitewashed buildings cascade over the side of its hilltop perch. Get lost in the labyrinthine passages of the Old Town, visit the magnificent cathedral, and walk atop the ancient city walls for wonderful vistas of olive groves and the sea.

Dinner is at your leisure this evening.

Accommodation - Hotel Covo dei Saraceni
Meals - Breakfast

View on map

Discovery: Trulli Fascinating Alberobello and Locorotondo. Unusual dome-shaped buildings dot the Apulian countryside, but it is in the enchanting city of Alberobello where you find the largest concentration of the mysterious dwellings known as trulli. Found nowhere else in the world, these whitewashed limestone structures are pieced together without mortar, their pointed fieldstone roofs painted with primitive Christian and pagan symbols. More than 1,000 trulli cluster Alberobello’s cobblestone streets, which are recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site. The origins of the trulli remain a mystery, but legends abound linking them to ancient Greece as well as theorizing their creation as a 15th-century tax dodge due to the ease of their demolition and reconstruction.

Following lunch at leisure in Alberobello, travel through the Valle d’Itria to Locorotondo. Notice the curious cummerse, Locorotondo’s narrow houses brandishing pointed gable roofs. Locorotondo’s pretty historic center features stone staircases, balconies draped with flowers and small, quaint parks.

Delight in a delicious dinner of Italian fare at a local restaurant.

Accommodation - Hotel Covo dei Saraceni
Meals - Breakfast and dinner

View on map

Discovery: Trani. Explore the historic seaport of Trani. Known for its Moscato di Trani wine and savory figs, this fishing town is home to a 13th-century fort and a cathedral nestled in the harbor of the Adriatic. The white limestone cathedral was dedicated to Saint Nicolas the Pilgrim. Take note of the distinguishing Norman houses, a typically English Romanesque style of architecture. Medieval Trani also had one of the largest Jewish populations in southern Italy and was a Knight’s Templar site.

Enrichment: Meet the People and Olive Mill Outing. Visit a family-run olive mill in Bisceglie for a guided tour and learn about the fascinating history and cultivation process of olives. Enjoy the smooth, sweet smells and buttery flavors of these regional specialties. Then join your fellow travelers for lunch at the olive mill and gather with locals for an open-forum discussion about their life in Italy.

Enrichment: Contemporary Italy. In 2011, Italy celebrated the 150th anniversary of its unification as a single state. Compare the rich cultural heritage and slow-paced lifestyle of southern Apulia with its northern neighbors.

Accommodation - Hotel Covo dei Saraceni
Meals - Breakfast and lunch

View on map

Free Time: The day is at leisure to explore Polignano a Mare on your own. Delight in the village’s shadowy grottos, admire sweeping coastline vistas or wind your way through piazzas and stone streets while savoring fresh gelato. Enjoy a coffee in Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II, or stroll along Blue Flag beach, a popular local hangout.

Share your favorite experiences with your fellow travelers as you gather for a Farewell Reception and Dinner this evening.

Accommodation - Hotel Covo dei Saraceni
Meals - Breakfast and dinner

View on map

After breakfast, AHI FlexAir passengers traveling on flights that qualify for a group transfer and Land Program passengers who have purchased seats on the group transfer to Bari Karol Wojtyla Airport for your return flights home. Your Travel Director will provide the details.

Meals - Breakfast and appropriate in-flight meal service

*Itinerary subject to change due to local conditions.


Contact Laura DeRose at Ohio State Alumni Tours:
Phone: 614-292-2372 or 800-852-TOUR (8687), ext. 2

Space is limited. Book your tour now!