Southern Italy: Amalfi Coast & Puglia
Learn about Limoncello in a farmhouse in Sorrento, cruise the Amalfi Coast at sunset & SUP through sea grottoes off Polignano a Mare
Southern Italy: Amalfi Coast & Puglia
About your trip
From the iconic to the little-known – this sun-kissed adventure through Italy’s heartlands is for anyone in search of la dolce vita. And isn’t that all of us?
Over seven days you’ll travel from the capital, Rome, to the charming port town of Bari on the heel of Italy’s boot. You’ll learn all about Limoncello from an expert in Sorrento, cruise the Amalfi Coast by private boat (complete with sunset dinner on board) and paddleboard to dramatic sea caves and picturesque swimming spots off Polignano a Mare. You’ll explore the incredible Unesco-listed cave dwellings of Matera and you’ll discover the secrets of south Italian cooking with a four-course feast in a local home.
There’ll be time for basking on Puglia’s most beautiful beaches, too, as you cement new friendships under a warm Italian sun.
This is la dolce vita. When life’s this good, why rush?
- Accommodation in twin rooms
- Max 14 travelers per group
- Exclusively for people in their 30s & 40s
- Experienced Pack Leader with you throughout the trip
- All activities mentioned on the itinerary
- 6 breakfasts, 4 dinners
- Stay in hand-picked 3-4 star hotels
- Arrival airport transfer
- Local transport
Flashpackers must provide evidence that they have purchased travel insurance for the duration of their adventure. Remember, flights aren't included and prices are based on sharing a twin room. If you'd like to upgrade to a single room, you can add this during the booking process or by contacting our Customer Experience team.
Day 01 Rooftop welcome dinner
Welcome to Rome, one of the world’s most charismatic capitals. Steeped in 2,500 years of history and culture, it’s an extraordinary tumble of haunting Roman ruins, iconic art-filled churches and vibrant modern street life that doesn’t disappoint. At the airport you’ll be met by a Flash Pack driver who will transfer you to your hotel in the heart of the historic center. There’ll be time to freshen up before meeting your group and heading out for a delicious rooftop dinner.
Day 02 Learn about Limoncello
After breakfast, you’ll travel south towards the Amalfi Coast. It’s a beautiful drive over rolling hills, dotted with olive groves and cypress trees, giving way to twisting cliff-top roads overlooking the brilliant blue Mediterranean Sea. Perched dramatically above the Bay of Naples, Sorrento is known for its picturesque old town and cliff-top views – as well as the fragrant lemon groves that grow abundantly in the area. After checking at your hotel, you’ll head to the nearby Il Convento estate for a Limoncello workshop. You’ll visit the farmhouse, cellar and sacristy of the former medieval convent and discover all kinds of products from lemon pasta and homemade jam to citrus-infused olive oil.
Day 03 Cruise the Amalfi Coast
Enjoy a relaxed morning, exploring Sorrento at leisure. Admire the majolica clock tower on the 15th-century cathedral, visit the Correale Museum with its collection of local art, or sip cappuccinos on Piazza Tasso gazing out towards Mount Vesuvius. After lunch, you’ll head down to the Marina Grande, with its colorful bobbing boats, for an afternoon of cruising and swimming along this stunning stretch of coast. From the water, you’ll gain a different perspective of the coves and pastel-colored villages set beneath towering cliffs. Dropping anchor off the pretty hillside town of Positano, you’ll toast the sunset with a glass of Prosecco and enjoy a slap-up dinner on board.
Day 04 Explore an ancient cave city
Today, you’ll travel east to Puglia – the bucolic region that forms the heel of Italy’s boot. Blessed with quaint hill towns set amongst age-old farmland, it’s a deeply traditional area best explored at an unhurried pace. Arriving in the ‘cave city’ of Matera – inhabited since the Paleolithic Age – you’ll explore the ancient dwellings, known as sassi: a series of natural grottoes carved out of tufa limestone, teetering on the edge of a ravine. Many of the caves have been transformed into atmospheric shops and restaurants. There’s even a dreamy ‘cave spa’ where you can relax in the thermal pools before continuing to your hotel in Ostuni.
Day 05 Hill towns & hobbit houses
Start the day with some free time to explore the chic cliff-top town of Ostuni, known as the ‘White City’ for its whitewashed medieval architecture and magnificent frescoed cathedral. Then, you’ll take an afternoon road-trip, taking in the wine-producing town of Locorotondo and enchanting Alberobello, with its hobbit-like Unesco-listed trulli houses. You’ll stop off for a market tour with a culinary enthusiast, visiting some historical food shops. Finish your day with a cooking demonstration and a four-course dinner in a local home. If you’ve still got some energy, why not head out to explore Ostuni’s stylish bars or enjoy people-watching and live music in one of the vibrant piazzas.
Day 06 Sea grottoes by SUP
Prepare to get wet today as you master the art of paddleboarding. Arriving at the charming seaside village of Polignano a Mare, set in a craggy ravine, you’ll have a short SUP lesson before setting off to explore the hidden sea grottoes that pockmark the dramatic cliffs. Paddling at a gentle pace, you’ll stop off in sheltered bays and rocky inlets to swim in the aquamarine water. Back on dry land, spend an afternoon strolling through the cute winding streets and sampling the local gelato. But don’t fill up: tonight’s farewell dinner is a feast of traditional Italian dishes at a local trattoria in Bari. Raise a toast with your fellow Flashpackers to an indulgent week of adventure. Saluti!
Day 07 Until next time, Puglia
Your trip has come to an end and it’s time to say your goodbye to your group. Together, you’ve experienced the true highlights of southern Italy and formed memories to last a lifetime. It’s now over to you to make your way to the airport for your flight home. Or, for a longer adventure, why not hop over to Sicily or combine this trip with our Northern Italy tour?
Our Favourite Hotels
Here's a taste of the hotels we sometimes use on this adventure. The hotels you'll stay in for your departure will be shared with you one month before you go.
The Savoy, Rome
Fancy soaking up views over Rome with a cocktail in hand? The rooftop terrace of this former palazzo is an elegant sundowner spot. The central location puts you within a few minutes’ walk of the Trevi Fountain and Spanish Steps.
UNAHOTELS Regina Bari
With architecture inspired by ancient Apulian villages, you’ll feel immersed in local beauty at the Regina Bari. Boasting a spa and gorgeous pools; if it wasn’t for the wonders of Puglia to explore, there’d be no reason to leave.
Perched on a hill overlooking the Adriatic Sea, this elegant hotel fits in perfectly with the ancient ‘White City’ of Ostuni. Think classic interiors, an impressive facade and silvery green olive trees that date back to the Roman empire.
- Which airport do I need to fly in and out of? Plus airport code
Fly into Rome Fiumicino Airport (FCO), also known as Leonardo da Vinci International Airport, and out of Bari International Airport-Karol Wojtyla (BRI).
- What time do I need to arrive (in time for the welcome meeting)?
We suggest arriving before 12 pm on Day 1, to allow yourself enough time to freshen up and meet your group before dinner.
- What time should my flight depart on the last day?
There are no scheduled activities for the final day, so you can depart at your own leisure.
- Are airport transfers included?
If you arrive on Day 1 of your adventure, or you book pre-tour accommodation with us, your airport arrival transfer will be included. If you book alternative pre-tour accommodation or are arriving by another mode of transport you must arrange your own arrival transfer.
Arrival transfers are private to Flash Pack and will be in groups depending on flight times. Sometimes this means waiting in the airport for a short while until other flights have arrived.
We don’t offer a departure transfer as Flashpackers leave at different times of the day and many stay for extra nights. We will offer you support with finding a local taxi.
- Are tips included?
Please note that tips are not included in the cost of this adventure. Suggested amounts per person are:
- Pack Leader: 7-10 USD per day
- Drivers: 3 USD per day
- Local tips: your Pack Leader will be able to advise on how much to tip local guides, restaurants, etc. Some Pack Leaders will collect a tipping kitty at the welcome meeting to take care of local tips.
However, all tips are at your discretion depending on what you feel comfortable with.
- How far in advance should I book entrance tickets for sights in Rome?
To fully immerse yourself in the history of Rome, we suggest booking some additional nights before the start of your trip. This will allow you time to explore and appreciate the rich cultural attractions the city has to offer.
Tickets for popular attractions in Rome – such as the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, Palatine Hill and the Vatican Museums – sell out quickly, particularly in the summer months of May to September.
We highly recommend that you book tickets for these attractions well in advance to avoid any disappointment or last-minute complications.
Tickets are typically released on official websites three to four weeks in advance.
If you miss out on purchasing tickets through the official websites, you may still be able to buy tickets through third-party vendors. Bear in mind that they may add their own margins to the ticket costs.
The official website for the Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill tickets is: https://colosseo.it/en
The official website for the Vatican Museum tickets is: https://www.museivaticani.va/content/museivaticani/en.html
Note that St Peter’s Basilica (which is separate from the Vatican Museums) is free of charge. However, during summer, queues can stretch up to two hours and there is limited shade. The Basilica may be closed or have restricted access during special events, so check in advance on the official Vatican website: https://www.vatican.va/content/vatican/en.html
If you have any additional questions or would like assistance in arranging activities before or after your tour, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our team. We are here to help!
- Will this itinerary change?
Please be aware that the itinerary, activities, and hotels are subject to change. These changes are rare but can happen with little notice due to availability, poor weather, seasonal changes, or other circumstances beyond our control – but we’ll always do our best to ensure it has little impact on your experience. From time to time, we may also make changes to your itinerary to try out new ideas and keep things fresh and exciting which we will always try and communicate to you.
- Do I need a visa?
You do not normally need a visa if you’re visiting as a tourist from the EU, UK, USA, Australia or Canada. Please check with your local consulate/embassy if the country you are travelling from requires a visa.
From 2024, ETIAS travel authorization will be an entry requirement for visa-exempt nationals travelling to European countries https://travel-europe.europa.eu/etias/what-etias_en.
We recommend that you have at least six months validity remaining on your passport and can show a return ticket.
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Our trips are made up of ‘can’t-do-by-yourself’ experiences – think staying on your own private island in the Arctic and glamping in Land Rovers on the Serengeti SEE TRIPS
We only work with trusted local guides who know their destinations better than anyone.
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