Bicycling and Walking Vacations Since 1971 Call a VBT Tour Consultant: (800) 245-3868

Puglia: Italy’s Undiscovered Coast

Cycle through a corner of Italy well off the beaten path.

  • Activity Level: Easy
  • Daily Mileage: 15 - 35 mi
  • Daily Biking: 2 - 4 hr
  • Small Groups: 20
  • Biking
  • Easy
  • Plane

Why You'll Love This Tour

Overview

Puglia: Italy's Undiscovered Coast

Slip through Adriatic fishing villages by day and by night sleep in intimate masserie, authentic 16th-century fortified farms. We’ll savor the subtle flavors of a medley of olive oils, cultivated by our local hosts. Clusters of cone-roofed trulli homes will beckon us as we pedal past. We’ll wander the narrow alleys of the walled sea town of Otranto and follow the limestone cliffs of the Salento Coast. Join VBT in discovering the people and places of Puglia, Italy’s best-kept secret.

 

Cultural Highlights

  • Stay at several luxurious masserie, centuries-old, fortified villages transformed into country hotels
  • Explore the town of Otranto and its mysterious mosaic
  • Taste a variety of fresh olive oils along with a delicious home-hosted lunch at Il Frantoio
  • Cycle on peaceful country roads along the glimmering coast
  • Relax in wonderfully restored farm hotels and a 5-star country resort
  • Marvel as our local host in Alberobello explains the unique construction of a “trulli” house

What to Expect

This tour offers easy terrain throughout the trip and is ideal for beginning cyclists.

Average Daily Mileage: 15 - 35 miles
Average Cycling Time: 2 - 4 hours

Climate Information

Average Daily Temperature (°F) – Otranto
Feb 53° Mar 55° Apr 60° May 68° Jun 75° Jul 80° Aug 80° Sep 75° Oct 68° Nov 60°

Average Rainfall (in.) – Otranto
Feb 2.6 Mar 3.0 Apr 1.7 May 1.0 Jun .9 Jul .3 Aug .3 Sep 2.5 Oct 3.8 Nov 4.5

What’s Included:

Bicycle Tour Only – without Air

  • 6 nights in 4- and 5-star hotels and authentic masserie
  • 12 meals – 6 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 4 dinners

Air Package Plus

  • Roundtrip international airfare
  • 8 nights in 3-, 4- and 5-star hotels and authentic masserie
  • 14 meals – 8 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 4 dinners
  • Transfers
  • AND the option to add our Low-Cost Trip Extensions: Pre-trip: Matera – 2 nights for only $345 • Post-trip: Rome – 3 nights for only $545

 Both Vacation Options Include

  • Free use of our custom VBT bicycle and helmet
  • Service of two local, bilingual VBT Trip Leaders
  • FULL VAN SUPPORT
  • Daily route directions and maps
  • Sightseeing and cultural activities
  • 5% Frequent Traveler Credit to use on your next VBT vacation
  • Special Good Buy Discount
Dates & Prices
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Departure &
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NEW YORK

Air Package Plus 10 Days Includes round-trip international airfare

LOS ANGELES

Air Package Plus 10 Days Includes round-trip international airfare

BOSTON

Air Package Plus 10 Days Includes round-trip international airfare

Land Only

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Air Package Plus Single Supplement: $445 | Land Only Single Supplement: $295

Please note: Web Special savings cannot be combined with any other offer. Standard Terms & Conditions apply when purchasing this trip. 2015 Prices include all airline surcharges and Government taxes and fees. Ask our Tour Consultants for details. Every effort has been made to produce this information accurately. We reserve the right to correct errors. Prices are based on preferences selected above, including meals and sightseeing as specified in What's Included. All prices are subject to change. Departure dates and prices shown may be updated several times daily, and apply to new bookings only.

Itinerary & Map
Or, Expand All Days
DAY 1: Depart U.S. / Fly overnight to Bari

Depart from the U.S. and travel to Italy. The particulars of your arrival overseas are detailed with your flight itinerary and airline tickets.

DAY 2: Arrive in Savelletri

You arrive at the airport in Bari, Italy, where a VBT representative meets you and helps you transfer (approximately 1 hour) to your first masseria, in Savelletri.

If you are going to be delayed meeting our transfer representative for more than 15 minutes due to delayed or lost luggage, please have airport staff page our driver with your last name so they may be notified of your delay. You may also contact our One Call travel assistance to advise of your delay and they will contact our transfer service. Our drivers are only able to wait for up to 45 minutes from the time your flight lands after which you would be responsible for your own transfer.

Upon arrival in Savelletri, you have the rest of the day free to discover the peaceful countryside and relax at our luxurious 5-star masseria, where there are a number of amenities to take advantage of. You can play golf at the 9-hole course, get a massage at the Aveda hotel spa, spend the afternoon relaxing on the private sand beach or stroll through the large orchards, vineyards and olive groves. By contacting the hotel in advance, you may also book a cooking class, rent a boat or practice outdoor sports such as tennis, sailing and horseback riding.

Hotel: Masseria Torre Coccaro
Alternate Hotel: Masseria Torre Maizza

DAY 3: Land Program begins / Warm-up ride to Egnatia

VBT No-Air Package guests: Meet your VBT Trip Leaders at 2:00 pm in the lobby of our first masseria. To get to the masseria, we suggest that you contact the hotel and ask for their shuttle. The shuttle is available at special rates for our guests and must be booked in advance, directly with the hotel. If your arrival at the masseria is scheduled later than 2:00 pm, or if you are delayed, please contact the hotel, and the staff will pass your message along to your VBT Trip Leaders. A taxi to the masseria from the Bari railway station is approximately 100 euros/$150 USD; from the Bari airport, the cost is approximately 110 euros/$165 USD. Alternatively, you may consider traveling from Bari (or even Rome) by train. The closest railway station to the masseria is FASANO. Note that if you take a train from Rome to Fasano, you may need to connect in Bari. Once in Fasano, call the masseria to arrange for a taxi or shuttle pickup (approximately a 10-minute drive). VBT highly recommends flying to Italy at least one day before the tour begins; this allows you to rest and recover from jet lag before you begin sightseeing and cycling.

VBT Air Package and Pre-Extension guests: This morning, continue exploring the surroundings on a self-guided walk, or maybe join in an optional cooking class organized by the masseria. Meet your VBT Trip Leaders at 2:00 pm in the main lobby; they will be wearing VBT staff garments. Please plan to eat lunch before you meet them.

The Masseria Torre Coccaro and its sister, Masseria Torre Maizza, are 5-star resorts set alongside each other on the kind of historic fortified farms for which this region is known. Masseria is the local name for these large farms, which were fortified around the 16th century to ward off attacks by pirates and brigands. Masserie feature high boundary walls, angular towers, drawbridges and watchtowers. Inside the walls, families worked and lived alongside their own church, oil mill and oven to bake bread. These farms would also house cisterns for water, storage rooms for tools and hay, stables and everything else needed for day-to-day life.

After meeting your VBT Trip Leaders, join them for a safety and bike-fitting session. Then take a short warm-up ride along quiet country roads past 800-year-old olive groves to Egnatia, an ancient Messapican (and later Roman) coastal town of great economic and military importance in the 10th century. A short stop at its archaeological museum reveals precious finds such as sculptures, jewels, funeral equipment and the particular pottery produced here, called gnathia.

Later, enjoy a welcome cocktail reception on the elegant hotel patio. Dinner is at the hotel restaurant and is prepared with local products and herbs produced on the farm.

Hotel: Masseria Torre Coccaro
Alternate Hotel: Masseria Torre Maizza
Meals: B, D
Daily Options: 6 miles (10 km)

DAY 4: Cycle to Savelletri and Monopoli

After breakfast, we cycle along the coast on quiet roads, completely surrounded by ancient olive trees. Puglia ranks first in Italy in the production of olive oil, wine and hay, and second for almonds. Continue to Monopoli, where we stop to visit the beautiful cathedral and the fish and fruit market. Spend free time here exploring and eating lunch on your own. Walk the maze of pedestrian streets in Monopoli's old city center, and see why they make the city so intimate and unique.

In the afternoon, ride along the coast to your beautiful hotel and enjoy its numerous amenities. Tonight, dinner is in the hotel restaurant.

Hotel: Masseria Torre Coccaro
Alternate Hotel: Masseria Torre Maizza
Meals: B, D
Daily Options: 17 or 25 miles (29 or 41 km)

DAY 5: Alberobello / The Itria Valley

This morning we shuttle to Alberobello in the Itria Valley, where we visit with a local expert to learn about “trulli” (traditional Puglian stone huts) and why this unique style of architecture has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A trullo consists of a whitewashed, round house topped by a large cone of local stones—all assembled without mortar. It is believed that trulli originated as storage sheds built for agricultural implements. Much later, they became dwellings, with adjoining buildings added as families grew. Many trulli are still used and inhabited today, and some of their roofs show mysterious chalk marks, either to protect them from evil or to bless the house.

After our visit and lunch in Alberobello, we continue cycling mostly downhill through the gorgeous countryside to our next masseria. Tonight, dinner is at the hotel restaurant.

Hotel: Masseria Torre Del Diamante
Meals: B, D
Daily Options: 20 or 35 miles (33 or 56 km)

DAY 6: Ride to Ostuni / Olive oil tasting

This morning, we ride along the coast. On our way, we will see many different masserie, such as the 17th-century fortified Masseria San Lorenzo, which has its own church.

For lunch, we visit Armando and his wife Rosalba at Il Frantoio, a family-run masseria. The estate extends over 150 acres and includes a “secret garden” planted with orange and lemon trees, as well as a well-preserved underground oil mill. Our hosts have collected many interesting novelties over the years. From ancient dresses and hats to precious books and a gramophone, each piece has its own story.

Lunch is prepared using produce grown on the farm. We'll also have the opportunity to try a sampling of five different extra-virgin oils that Rosalba uses to flavor her focaccia, pickles, preserves and delicious laganari pasta. Afterward, shuttle or continue cycling to our hotel.

In the afternoon, choose the long or short option to bike back to our agriturismo-masseria.

This evening, stroll Ostuni's narrow, limestone streets before having dinner on your own. Admire the graceful towers, staircases, arches, balconies and carved doorways, many of which are adorned with colorful pots of flowers or garlic and tomato crowns left to dry in the sun.

Hotel: Masseria Torre Del Diamante
Meals: B, L
Daily Options: 18 or 31 miles (30 or 50 km)

DAY 7: Cycle to Otranto / Discover Otranto

Leave Ostuni and take a morning shuttle further south to discover another area of Puglia: Salento. Begin biking at Melpignano. In Curzi, notice the impressive quarries where big ivory sandstones (called chianche in the local dialect) are extracted for use in local construction. Continue your ride into a quiet park, shaded by big olive trees and old oaks, as you head toward the sea to Otranto. Lunch is on your own in Otranto, in one of the many simple fish restaurants or pizzerias.

After lunch, discover this picturesque town on the Italian coast. Founded by the Greeks, Otranto is surrounded by great ramparts and walls. From late spring onward, its atmosphere is extremely lively with local craft studios selling clay whistles, baskets, hand-dyed fabric and ceramics. The city's highlight is certainly the huge, 8,611-square-foot (800-square-meter) floor mosaic representing the Tree of Life, created in 1163 by a monk in the Otranto cathedral.

After our visit, cycle flat, country roads, catching sight of menhirs and dolmens—ancient monoliths and tombs—before arriving at our last accommodations. After settling in, you may want to swim or relax with a good book. This evening, we shuttle to Otranto for dinner on your own at one of the many outdoor cafés or restaurants. Or, if you prefer, enjoy dinner at the hotel.

Hotel: Masseria Montelauro
Alternate Hotel: Tenuta Centoporte
Meals: B
Daily Options: 15 or 20 miles (27 or 35 km)

DAY 8: Discover the Coast of Salento

After breakfast, we set out on one of the best bike rides in Italy. Starting in the interior of Salento, we follow gentle, rural pathways through little villages to the coastal town of Castro Marina. Relax on the way with a picnic lunch prepared by your Trip Leaders.

Continue to Santa Cesarea, a quiet town set on the edge of the Adriatic Sea. From here, we follow the cliffs to the town of Porto Badisco, famous for its azure waters and prehistoric Cervi Grottoes. In Porto Badisco, take time for a dip before continuing to Cape Otranto, the easternmost tip of Italy. We cycle back to the hotel in time to freshen up before a special farewell dinner at the masseria's restaurant.

Hotel: Masseria Montelauro
Alternate Hotel: Tenuta Centoporte
Meals: B, L, D
Daily Options: 14 or 24 or 38 miles (23 or 40 or 63 km)

DAY 9: Transfer to Lecce / VBT No-Air Package ends

VBT No-Air Package guests: After breakfast, transfer to the Brindisi airport, arriving at approximately 11:30 am. Please note: For guests with early-morning departures, breakfast at the hotel may not be available. Please check with the front desk to verify the times that breakfast is served. Important: Flight departures from Brindisi prior to 1:30 pm are not recommended; those departing earlier must make transfer arrangements at their own expense from the last hotel in Otranto to Brindisi (approximately 1½ hours). Taxi cost to the Brindisi airport is approximately 80 euros/$102 USD.

VBT Air Package and Post-Trip Extension guests: Transfer to the Hotel Patria Palace in Lecce, an elegant and centrally located 5-star hotel, arriving at about 10:30 am. A customized walking tour can be purchased at the time of your booking. Lecce is a beautiful Baroque city, called “the Florence of the South,” thanks to the skill with which local builders and stonemasons worked the soft, pink-tinged local stone called pietra dorata.

Explore Piazza Sant'Oronzo, the city's main square and the heart of local activities for centuries. The square's centerpiece is the Roman amphitheater. From here, narrow streets fan out into the city's charming quarters.

The gem of Lecce is Piazza Duomo, enclosed on three sides by the cathedral and two palaces belonging to the church. Though this is one of the largest squares in Europe, it has an intimate feel that invites lunch and people-watching from a local café or bakery. Your City Information Packet will provide useful information for exploring on your own for the rest of the day. Tonight, dinner is on your own.

Hotel: Patria Palace Hotel
Meals: B

DAY 10: Depart for Home

After breakfast, transfer to the Brindisi airport for your flight to Rome or your flight back to the U.S. VBT recommends that you check the transfer time in your “Transfer Reminder” the night before your flight. The transfer is prearranged with the reception desk and is prepaid by VBT.

Please note: VBT transfer times and departure points are finalized in advance and cannot be modified for individual guests. If you extend your stay beyond the scheduled program dates, return transportation to the airport will be at your own expense.

Meals: B

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Accommodations

Tenuta Centoporte

The 4-star Tenuta Centoporte is a peaceful oasis on the old road between Otranto and ancient Giurdignano. This recently opened property is surrounded by centuries-old olive trees and is only a few miles from Salento’s southern coast. It is located close to the ruins of Le Centoporte (“100 Doors”), an ancient abbey built during the 5th and 6th centuries, after which the hotel is named. With its seaside color scheme of bright whites and aqua-greens, Tenuta Centoporte is the perfect place to enjoy Mediterranean culture. Each tastefully appointed room has a private entry and features telephone, television, minibar and private bath with shower and hair dryer.
Free WiFi Included

Patria Palace Hotel

The Patria Palace Hotel enhances the baroque scenery of Lecce’s historical center, called “the Florence of the South” for its beautiful buildings, churches and squares. The hotel brings to life an 18th-century marquis palace. Each room is unique, personalized with original frescoes and equipped with all modern comforts.
Free WiFi Included

Masseria Torre Coccaro

The ancient, fortified Masseria Torre Coccaro was built in the 16th century. It is known for its watchtower and the centuries-old olive groves and carob trees that surround it. Today it keeps the simple and characteristic whitewashed look of old masserie, but this 5-star resort is a relaxing oasis of tranquility where food is still finely prepared from local products grown on the property. The onsite Aveda Health Club has a unique setting in a series of caves. Its Jacuzzi pools are kept at different temperatures and its hammam bath offers beauty treatments and relaxing massages. Its beautifully designed swimming pool is nestled among the olive trees and palms, perfect for a refreshing dip.
Free WiFi Included

Masseria Torre Maizza

This 5-star resort is part of a large hillside estate overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, just one mile from the coast and its beaches. In the 16th century it was used as a garrison and watchtower against the raids of Ottoman and Saracen Turks. Beautifully restored and refurbished, the estate includes its sister farm Masseria Torre Coccaro (another ancient watchtower restored into a 5-star country hotel), a 9-hole golf course, a small lake, and 10 hectares of land cultivated with centuries-old olive trees, carob trees, vineyards and orchards that provide fresh vegetable and fruit to the masseria’s restaurant.
Free WiFi Included

Hotel Giulio Cesare

The Giulio Cesare is a family-run hotel in Rome, quietly located a few steps from the Tiber River and a 10-minute walk from Piazza Del Popolo. Once a patrician villa, this hotel has been recently redecorated in an elegant, classical style. You’ll enjoy the garden, where breakfast is served, and a quiet lounge with an antique fireplace. These and other touches keep this 4-star hotel feeling very much like a family home. Breakfast is said to be one of the best in Rome, because many of the products are grown by the owner in his fields north of the city. Internet is available for guests at the reception desk and a free WiFi connection is available throughout.
Free WiFi Included

Relais La Casa di Lucio

The small, intimate Casa di Lucio – located in the fascinating Sassi district of Matera – is comprised of two renovated ancient palaces and their courtyards. Its ten adjacent guestrooms surround the courtyard, and the hotel itself is nestled among the stone city’s narrow lanes and network of stairs. Each room is designed to mirror the Sassi’s houses, with the front dug from tufa and the rear carved into the rock. The guest rooms feature a large, modern bedroom and ample amenities. Its sister property, the Hotel Sant’ Angelo Sassi, is just a few steps away and has a restaurant and spa. Complimentary WiFi is available in the lobby.  
Free WiFi Included
Photos

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Reviews
  • Ratings Summary

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    125 out of 127 travelers would recommend this tour to a friend.

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  • Excellent all the way around

    This was our first VBT trip, and our expectations were high based on many friends' recommendations. Happy to report that the entire experience, other than a miserable AlItalia flight (which VBT has little control over), was outstanding. From our initial phone contact while doing research to our final contact with the home office, the entire VBT experience was 5 star. If you've never taken a VBT trip, start dropping the name around the people you know: Guaranteed at least one person will have heard of them and most, likely will have had a fantastic experience with them. We rode with people who have used other bike tour companies and paid considerably more for the same experience. They all, without exception, said the VBT experience was far superior to even their most pricey rivals'.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: July 11, 2014
    Posted by: Monique26
    From: Colorado, USA
    Age: 45 to 54
    # Of Trips: 1

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  • Wow!

    This was our first VBT biking vacation (and won't be our last). What an experience! It was the perfect balance of biking, sightseeing, relaxing, wining and dining. Everything about this trip was perfect, from the accommodations to the scenery and our lovely, sweet and wonderful guides, Debora and Martin. While in Ostuni, we were looking for a pizzeria and ended up finding one off the beaten path, down an alley and were seated outside. What a treat we had eating our pizza, drinking our wine and watching and listening to the locals live their lives! It was really special and I will always remember that evening. Thanks VBT for the trip of a lifetime!

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: June 27, 2014
    Posted by: lala52
    From: Georgia, USA
    Age: 45 to 54
    # Of Trips: 1

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  • Best Cycling Trip yet!

    We spend a lot of time in Itay but had never been to Puglia. Puglia ia like Tuscany 25 years ago! Unscathed by tourists but very upscale resorts. We would start in the morning riding along the ocean and then weave through beautiful bike paths lined with 2000 year old olive trees, poppies, ancient walls and rolling hills. I had a drop bar road bike and I am not sure i ever used my 'easy' gears because the cycling was so perfect. The resorts were the best yet on any of my 4 cycling trips, I could have just stayed at the resorts all day. The meals beginning with breakfast were beautiful, dining was a highlight. The planned stops, olive oil producing fattoria was gorgeous and lunch like a Michelin star restaurant, the ancient ruins of Egnatia,the town of Alberobello and the guide Nemo who told us the history of the whitewashed Trullo. it was all so well planned and intertwined with the cycling. We really did cover "the heel of the boot" , beginning in Bari, Fasano, Ostuni, Alberobello, and eventually down south to Otranto, Lecce (the Florence of the south). The guides were from the area, both fantastic people who love their homeland and both very equipped to be totally in charge and assist us in every way. The only regret we have is that we did not take the pre-trip to Matera, as the group had so much fun there and did so many amazing things in such a short time. Because of that, after the cycling trip, my husband and I rented a car and went to Matera to do what they had done, it was a fantastically beautiful place! We have told so many friends about this trip, we may even do it again!

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Other tours I recommend:

    Posted on: June 17, 2014
    Posted by: Sharky
    From: Arizona, USA
    Age: 45 to 54
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • great trip...best leaders..

    puglia....our new favorite part of Italy...great ride through old olive groves, beautiful wild flowers, and along the sea...and the leaders were the best, clearly love what they are doing...we have been on many bike trips, this was among the best...

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Other tours I recommend:

    Posted on: June 10, 2014
    Posted by: gabagg
    From: Pacific Palisades, Los Angeles, CA, USA
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 5 or more

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  • Great accommodations

    My wife and I are repeat VBT travelers. The guides as always were extremely helpful and professional. The entire trip was well planned out , the routes, accommodations were tremendous. VBT should be commended. The best part was the people we met on the trip, I would recommend this vacation to anyone.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

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    Posted on: May 30, 2014
    Posted by: FarmerJim
    From: Massachusetts
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 1

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  • The Perfect Trip!

    From the start of this trip in the amazing cave city of Matera to the final few days in Rome, this was our ideal trip. The places we stayed at in Puglia, the beautiful towns we visited, the smooth, shady cycle routes through olive groves and the stunning coastline all made this trip so memorable. Oh, did I forget to mention the food? It was wonderful. I have taken five VBT trips to date and there are so many more that I hope to take in the future---but I must admit that I toy with the possibility of taking the Puglia trip again. I know I would love just as much the second time!

    Posted on: May 18, 2014
    Posted by: David773
    From: Toronto, Canada
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 5 or more

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  • We'll be back for more!

    From the first night dining and drinking the local Primitivo wine inside the Masseria to the tours of ancient Rome, this was the trip that my wife and I had been dreaming of! It was so great to cycle from village to village and get a sense of the history of the area. If not for VBT, we never would have found the restaurant on our own or had the dining experience that we had. Superb! We were lucky enough to share this with close friends and we have all booked another one on the other side of the Adriatic in Croatia!

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Other tours I recommend:

    Posted on: April 30, 2014
    Posted by: Matt
    From: Sturgis, SD, USA
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • Puglia Discovery

    As I rounded a bend about the 40 kilometer mark I thought I saw an apparition - or maybe it was OZ. High on a hill, surrounded by its wall, rose the pure white city of Ostuni. Legend has it that during the Middle Ages the Plague gripped the entire Puglia region except for Ostuni whose buildings had been painted white. Many Puglians died but no one in Ostuni. It was a miracle. (It may also have been the chemicals in the white paint that did the trick.) Thus the city decided to continue its good fortune by insisting that all buildings be painted white. So the white city of Ostuni sits high on a hill, overlooking miles and miles of olive groves - still white - still beautiful - and still Plague free. But most important of all - still there to be revealed as you round the corner on your bike for another Puglia discovery.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: April 23, 2014
    Posted by: Al321
    From: Boston, MA, USA
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 5 or more

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  • A Magnificent, Unique Tour in Italy

    Our 7th VBT Bicycle tour and, as always, an awesome adventure. The heel of the boot has so much culture and history and the picturesque cities and towns are full of charm. The white-walls of Ostuni are breathtaking when you first see them from a distance. Our tour guides, Juliano and Marco, did a superb job in every way. Thanks, VBT, for another "smile till your face hurts" vacation!

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: April 23, 2014
    Posted by: pianogirl718
    From: Mechanicsburg, PA, USA
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 5 or more

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  • Fabulous honeymoon in Puglia

    My husband and I chose the Puglia trip for our honeymoon in 2010. Both of us had taken trips with REI, and we were amazed by how much more value VBT provided. The accommodations were luxurious. Our guides, Edo and Debora, were extremely knowledgeable and gracious. We especially enjoyed their recommendations for the Gelato of the Day. My husband is a hard-core cyclist, and they helped him map out additional rides while the rest of the group relaxed before dinner. Among our favorite activities were visiting the home of Debora's nonna for a pasta-making lesson, eating a amazing lunch at Il Frantoio, and touring a trullo home in Alberobello. Attached is a photo of my husband, Neil Holdway, before our first day of riding.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: April 23, 2014
    Posted by: Michelle72
    From: Schaumburg, IL, USA
    Age: 35 to 44
    # Of Trips: 1

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  • Absolutely wonderful!!

    We have traveled many times with VBT and have loved every trip, but Puglia was particularly wonderful. We stayed in beautiful hotels, had delicious meals, had excellent bike trails and loved our guides. The guides were fun, so knowledgeable and very helpful in every way. Each day we had new adventures and traveled through lovely towns, interesting villages and beautiful countrysides often with sheep to keep us company. We were provided with new experiences such as helping a grandmother make pasta, watching a chef make mozzarella cheese and visiting a farm that served amazingly delicious vegetarian food. The pre trip to Matera was worth every minute and was extraordinary.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: April 22, 2014
    Posted by: Judybug22
    From: New York
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 5 or more

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  • Warmth and wonderful biking

    This was a great trip, masterfully planned. We have never seen a more beautiful countryside, filled with century old olive trees and wonderful towns in which to stay. We will never forget our morning in Alberobello. Out leaders were fantastic as usual.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Other tours I recommend:

    Posted on: April 22, 2014
    Posted by: Vines368
    From: Chicago
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 5 or more

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  • By the sea, by the sea...

    I went on the last trip of this year in early November 2013. We were very lucky with the weather - the first few days it was actually pretty warm for cycling! The trip leaders (Marco and Juliano) were great - kept us safe, let us enjoy ourselves at the same time, and had great good humor. The pre-trip in Matera was fantastic, but if you have any sort of issues with stairs, beware! I pretty much blew my knees out before I ever got on a bike! Still, it was totally worth it to spend a few days in such a magical place! The riding was a bit more challenging that what I would call easy. Maybe Easy-Moderate. Still, I'd do it again (with more preparation knowing what I know now) in a heartbeat - what a magnificent coastline and oh the olive trees... and the food was ahhhhmazing! Great group, great fun!

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Other tours I recommend:

    Posted on: December 10, 2013
    Posted by: skater
    From: Austin, TX, USA
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • An all-around great trip, especially if you're into food...

    We recently returned after taking the last Puglia tour of the year (November). I highly recommend this harvest season timing as everything seemed especially relaxed and fresh. The days were a bit short, but our guides managed this very well, arranging for evening wine tastings and food demonstrations. The cooking class at our first stop was great -- and the local food experiences just kept coming and were all excellent. The pre-trip extension in Matera is fantastic, and a great way to recover from jet lag before taking to the bikes. We also had a great time during the post-trip extension in Rome, but this was predictable -- Matera was a very happy and interesting surprise.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: December 08, 2013
    Posted by: PhileasFogg
    From: Texas
    Age: 45 to 54
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • First bicycle tour ever!

    This was my first bicycle tour ever and I'm happy to have done it with VBT. The guides were excellent, courteous, professional, knowledgeable and available to help you with any issues that arose not just fixing a slipped chain or adjusting the height of your seat. They were attentive, inventive, creative with a great sense of humor. VBT was a great experience and I'd be happy to recommend them to anyone. I felt pampered during the whole trip, the accommodations were excellent as well. I could go on and on but I think you get the picture. I'll do it again!

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: December 05, 2013
    Posted by: Jjaguar
    From: Texas
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 1

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  • This trip had it all!

    This tour had it all! Beautiful scenery - peaceful countryside surrounded by olive groves, medieval towns, and the sea coast. The tour guides were very helpful, informative, and entertaining! Accommodations and food were 5-star. A very satisfying and relaxed way to see Puglia.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: November 28, 2013
    Posted by: Bruce46
    From: Traverse City, MI, USA
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 5 or more

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  • Great balance between structured and free time

    We loved the number and variety of the side visits included on this tour. We experienced so much of this wonderful region of Italy both on and off the bike. The masserias and hotels were top notch and the staff at each were very accommodating. Our tour guides were very attentive to our needs and tailored sections of the trip as needed - they were real pros! The bike routes included unbelievable views of the area, the coast is spectacular!

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: November 24, 2013
    Posted by: ronic
    From: Skaneateles NY
    Age: 45 to 54
    # Of Trips: 1

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  • What a place! What a trip!

    Our son in Minneapolis was leafing through a book on Otranto that we had bought on VBT's Puglia coast tour. "Wow! That looks beautiful!" he said. Oh it all looks like that, I said. Gorgeous town after gorgeous town--Monopoli, Ostuno, Otranto and more. We'd been on three VBT bike trips before and when our other son moved to Rome in March we said "Let's see where VBT will take us in Italy." VBT was our first and only choice for a bike tour. We know we'll get great guides, great scenery and great accommodations. Next year it's Tuscany by the Sea. We've already taken advantage of the Good Buy discount to pay for the trip.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: November 23, 2013
    Posted by: Colette
    From: Minneapolis
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • Perfect vacation

    VBT does an excellent job! They take care of everything!! The hotels were wonderful and our guides were perfect (Marco and Guiliano)! Puglia was SPECTACULAR!!

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: November 16, 2013
    Posted by: skingsbury2013
    From: Essex,CT
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 1

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  • A fabulous experience

    I went on this trip with little bicycle experience and little knowledge about Puglia. I was blown away by the experience. It exceeded my expectations in every way. I started with the pre-trip to Matera. I knew little about what I would see but it was wonderful. The hotel was great with rooms built into the rock. Coordination was great. A local host met us and told us about the area. She made an optional tour the next morning which was great. The hotels/masserias were great throughout the trip. They were much nicer than hotels that I would have picked for myself. Breakfasts were provided each day and lunch and dinner about half of the time. There was always a wide choice of delicious food. The cuisine in Puglia was great. The van would stop twice a day for snacks. There was a variety of snacks available including healthy and not so healthy, but delicious, choices. The two guides were wonderful. They were competent, friendly, entertaining, and always willing to help with whatever you needed. One of the members of our group had a broken wrist and a medical problem on the first full day of the ride. Giuliano and Marco arranged for transportation to hospitals on several occasions. I would expect their support for situations like this but I think they went way beyond the expected. The organization of the trip was great. Little things such as getting your luggage to the room was always taken care of. We met each morning to go over the route for the day. The guides went through the route talking about turns and issues where people had problems in the past. We were somewhat on our own during the ride. This allowed groups to form with people who rode at the same level and speed. One of the guides followed the group on a bike. The other drove the van and would sweep back to make sure that no one needed help. Anyone who needed help or didn't want to continue riding could ride in the van the rest of the way. This trip is rated as easy and I think that it is pretty accurate. It is mostly flat. We spent most of the time on beautiful back roads riding through olive groves with trees that were up to 1,000 years old. A good portion of the ride was also along the coast, which was beautiful. On the last day there was a steady uphill climb that was 4-5 km. I found it challenging but doable. Our group of 20 people was great. Everyone got along well. It was fun getting to know a very interesting group of people. I plan to go back and do the Puglia trip again, and bring my wife this time. It was a fabulous experience and I would recommend it to anyone.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: November 14, 2013
    Posted by: Gary
    From: Salt Lake City, UT, USA
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 1

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  • Great food! Easy biking. Matera is a must-see!

    Quite a few amazing food experiences included on this trip. The biking is easy with many quiet back roads and some nice views of the beautiful Adriatic. The pre-trip in Matera is not to be missed - hard to imagine how much of a town could be dug out of a cliffside without seeing it.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Other tours I recommend:

    Posted on: October 25, 2013
    Posted by: KathyS
    From: Winfield, IL, USA
    Age: 45 to 54
    # Of Trips: 5 or more

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  • Beautiful coastline

    Had a wonderful time. The tour leaders were fabulous. They always made sure we had what we needed.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: October 23, 2013
    Posted by: Athena61
    From: Minneapolis, MN, USA
    Age: 45 to 54
    # Of Trips: 5 or more

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  • Better than expected!

    There is no better way to see Italy's undiscovered coast than on a VBT cycling tour. The very informative and personable guides brief the group each morning on the day's riding adventure and are sure to point out scenic stops along the way. Bring your cameras as the towns of Ostuni, Monopoli, etc. will provide beautiful scenery for some magnificent photos. Amazing meals, accommodations, guides, and scenery along with a great group of people with whom to travel - VBT has it all. I just can't wait to book my next trip!

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: October 23, 2013
    Posted by: AngelaD
    From: Southbury, CT
    Age: 45 to 54
    # Of Trips: 1

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  • Nothing Better Than Biking Next to the Sea

    While in Puglia we enjoyed biking along the Ionian and Adriatic Seas, what could be better! Flat quiet roads, history, argitourism and wonderful people. Check out Puglia!

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: October 22, 2013
    Posted by: Chum
    From: Sun City West, AZ, USA
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 5 or more

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  • 1st Rate Tour

    Puglia is a place with wonderful masserias, delicious food, great scenery and good biking. We experienced it all on this tour. The memories will stay with me always. As a solo traveler I was welcomed into the group and each of the leaders were always there for me. I am looking forward to the next tour.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Other tours I recommend:

    Posted on: October 21, 2013
    Posted by: damlady
    From: Winter WI
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • This trip was beyond our expectations..

    Everything about this tour was first class. This was our first VBT trip and it certainly will not be our last. The bicycling was outstanding. The tour leaders were very impressive. Puglia is a beautiful region of Italy that we probably would not of visited had it not been for VBT.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: October 16, 2013
    Posted by: bering
    From: Alpharetta, GA, USA
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 1

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  • Best vacation ever

    Biking in Italy had been a dream of mine for years. This trip was perfect and exceeded my expectations in every respect. I was concerned that the biking might be too difficult, or even too easy, but it was just right. It was challenging enough to be fun and definitely doable for a casual rider. The guides were knowledgable, helpful and gave our group good cultural information about what we were about to see. It was a great trip.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: October 16, 2013
    Posted by: JV2826
    From: Minneapolis, MN, USA
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 1

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  • Great opportunity to explore a unique part of Italy. Terrific balance between hotels in town and the Masserias in the country.

    Puglia is truly an undiscovered gem of Italy. Our rides along the Adriatic Sea could not have offered more spectacular views. Each of the masserias we stayed at were special and led us to think how much we would like to bring our son's and their significant others on a future trip. Our guides were top shelf just as they were on our Burgundy trip. Hats off to VBT for another incredible venture.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: October 15, 2013
    Posted by: Rick0128
    From: North Carolina
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • My first VBT trip and it won't be my last!

    Absolutely perfect mix of exercise, sight seeing, great food, relaxation and fun. I wish all of my vacations could be the same.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: October 14, 2013
    Posted by: Katrina24
    From: Salem, OR, USA
    Age: 35 to 44
    # Of Trips: 1

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  • puglia

    Our tour was wonderful with great people, beautiful terrain/ scenery and top notch guides. I would actually have no problem doing this one again if I was guaranteed the same tour guides, Debora and Fabio! I enjoyed the pedaling, the history, the towns, the camaraderie and definitely the food and wine. We did enough diversions such as the Olive oil tour and others that we were never bored. I recommend this tour highly no matter what the level of cycling you are at.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: October 02, 2013
    Posted by: TeamIndy
    From: Indiana, USA
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 1

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  • Exactly as Described

    The best part was the unexpected sagra at Masseria Torre Coccaro, the sister masseria to our hotel, Masseria Torre Maizza. The weather was perfect; low 80's and high 70's the entire trip. The trip leaders, both local to the area, were exceptional in preparing us for the routes and avoiding the "tricky turns." Great experience.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: September 27, 2013
    Posted by:
    From: Huntington Beach, CA, USA
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • i loved this trip!

    it combines all of the reasons for biking in Italy: enjoyable terrain: mostly gently rolling, often along the Adriatic or past fields of 1000-year old olive trees, tour leaders who are logistically adept, passionately enthusiastic about the region and good company, great food and wine, charming accommodations, wonderful Baroque architecture and Roman ruins, and warm, friendly Italians. Whenever i tried to use my few words of Italian, i got a warm smile and a generous compliment in response!

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: August 31, 2013
    Posted by: Miles49
    From: Ithaca, NY, USA
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • PUGLIA, NO LONGER UNDISCOVERED

    Our trip would not have been nearly as fun and enjoyable if it were not for our guides, Marco & Sandro. They are on a scale of 5, a 5 plus. Witty, fun, enthusiastic, knowledgeable, and just great to be with. The Masserias we stayed at are truly the best in the region. Masseria Torre Maizza the one we stayed at, is fabulous, big rooms, golf course, excellent food, staff that is very helpful, spa, pool, cooking class, and just a neat place. Their sister hotel, Masseria Torre Coccaro, right next door is just as nice and also has all of the aforementioned amenities. Ostuni Palace, very nice, in the heart of Ostuni, but not a Masseria. Masseria Montelauro in Otranto is also very nice, spa, pool good food, big rooms, just really perfect. Patria Palace, in Lecce, our last hotel, is great, in the center of old town, walking streets, good restaurants,, old Roman Coliseum, a fabulous bike store, but one night is too short for this super city. Now for the biking. Riding along the Adriatic Sea to Monopoli and past the Masseria's private beach club is really a good start to the tour. Way too short of a warm-up ride, Monopoli is a super nice town, on the way we rode into Savelletri, also a small village on the Adriatic. Riding through Olive trees that go as far as the eye can see is stunning. Stopping at an old Masseria for lunch one day and taking a tour of it was really cool. Saw Alberobello, where the trulli houses are, was a highlight. We cycled almost around the toe of the boot, where the Ionian Sea meets The Adriatic and from coast, back inland, back to the coast, just good, fun biking. This was a very well thought out route, trip, and our other travelers were fun to bike with and spend a week enjoying their company. We have already planned and signed up for 2014 back to back trips, first to Burgundy, then on to a Bike & Barge on the Moselle river in Germany. Do not hesitate to take this trip, it was great.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Other tours I recommend:

    Posted on: August 17, 2013
    Posted by: Corvette
    From: California, USA
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 5 or more

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  • Great trip

    Many daily options--wondeful accomodations--Debra and Marco were outstanding. It was if they had been working together for years. If they ever get tired of guiding they can do stand up comedy. First Masseria--great pool--But you'd think for ten Euros you'd get a dcent drink. (ot VBT's problem, I understand) Second Masseria--my favorite of the trip. The Matera pre-trip was fascinating.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: July 31, 2013
    Posted by: GIII
    From: Fayetteville, AR, USA
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • Outstanding

    Everything about this trip was outstanding. The guides, the scenery, the ocean, food wine, historical and cultural opportunities. I would recommend it to anyone. My traveling partner put together an album combining my photos and his. We have sent it to many friends and family. One of my friends are seriously interested. I am anxious to do another bike tour with VBT - eastern Europe, though I would like to see what you have to offer in South America.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: July 29, 2013
    Posted by: Rosebuds
    From: Santa Fe, NM, USA
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 1

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  • The pre and post trip features helped complete this vacation. I don't think I would have felt as satisfied had we not participated in both.

    First I believe its important to switch off for a while, and two weeks is much better than one. The choice of lodging maximized the cultural experience of the setting. Staying in cave conversions at Matera, Masserias in olive country all enhanced the experience of place. I would recommend stacking the trip with friends if possible but I would also think you would have a lot in common with strangers that choose this way to travel that was certainly true for our group. The flexibility of the itinerary was surprising and unexpected in a very positive way. Some folks wanted a challenge others wanted the day off, both I believe were satisfied. Our trip leaders were remarkable, Deb and Marcos, being from the area, shared their love and knowledge of the area. They were close by and helpful if we needed them without being intrusive.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: July 17, 2013
    Posted by: Karan
    From: Fayetteville, AR, USA
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 1

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  • What a Great trip

    This was our fifth bike ride with VBT. The folks at VBT were great to work with in setting up this bike ride. We had special requests for air travel which were quickly met. Our incoming flights were delayed so we missed our connection to Bari. But VBT's emergency phone number was great to have. The folks there advised the VBT rep in Bari of our new arrival time, and he was there to meet us and take us to the first Masseria. All the Puglia Masserias were wonderful. The properties, the people, the service, the cleanliness of the rooms, the meals and the facilities. Then there are the two trip leaders, Sandro and Giuliano. Two super guys to be with over the next several days. Natives of Puglia, they gave us history lessons, kept us on track on the road, were so very friendly and answered all our questions about the land, the trees, the people et al. and gave great recommendations for places to eat, site see, swim and rest. Their morning discussions of the days' routes were a seamless integration of each other's comments, as if they were reading it on a monitor. The rides each day were through a forest of olive trees on small narrow by-ways with little or no passing cars. Once at the Adriatic, the the olive trees were no more, but the views were spectacular of the deep blue sea, the rugged coastline and the wonderful towns and smooth sand beaches along the shore. We had delicious meals in small outdoor areas, one on a terrace overlooking Monopoli and the sea with Vito, the owner of the ristorante, serving us our delicious repast. And I can’t say enough about the great camaraderie that always develops between the bikers after just a day or two. While the ride was rated “Easy”, the last day consisted of an 8.8 km uphill section that was a bit tough for my wife. But she made it with some help from me pushing her along and walking her bike once in a while. And even though the sag wagon was always available if she wanted to bypass the seemingly never ending incline, she did it on her own! The last night's farewell dinner was another special treat for all with Kevin from California being served the chocolate spaghetti he kiddingly pleaded for on the prior night. The next day we left Sandro and Giuliano with our heartfelt thanks, big hugs and an offer to come see us if ever in our area. We added the Rome post-trip extension and were met at the Rome airport by a VBT rep who led us to our transportation to the hotel in Rome. The ride was interesting enough until in the hustle of Roman traffic the driver says "The Vatican", and we marvel at the tallest inclined wall of old bricks that I've ever seen along the north side of the Vatican. Impressive! Once at our hotel, another VBT rep met us at the front desk and sat us down for a review of what Rome has to offer, a list of restaurants, sites to visit and a map of the city. We were very impressed with VBT's ability to plan and implement such a complete array of services that address most visitors' needs. We'll be back for another VBT bike ride someplace in this wonderful world of sights, sounds, smells and nice folks like VBTers!

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: July 17, 2013
    Posted by: BikerDave
    From: Mountain View, CA, USA
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 5 or more

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  • Cycling opportunities, pre- and post-trips, and accommodations far exceeded expectations.

    Among a wealth of good memories, my favorite is riding through ancient olive groves between dry-stack stone walls and hearing insects singing. At night in our massarias, we left the windows open to listen to the night and feel the breezes. The food was delicious, abundant, and varied at every meal. The people in Puglia love their region and are happy to help you get to know it. Shopkeepers were friendly and generous with their time. The lovely roads lull you into relaxation and a sense of well being.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: July 17, 2013
    Posted by: Leonie20
    From: South Carolina, USA
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 1

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  • great opportunity to see and experience a part of Italy that is "off the beaten path."

    this was a great opportunity to see, experience, and learn about the heel of Italy. Matera is a very interesting and worthwhile trip extension.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: July 05, 2013
    Posted by: JamesA
    From: Bethesda, MD
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • Almost perfect

    The terrain was easy. The scenery was beautiful. The guides were great. The accommodations excellent. The weather was perfect, unseasonable cool (70s) and no rain!

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Other tours I recommend:

    Posted on: June 26, 2013
    Posted by: Timon1115
    From: Damascus, MD, USA
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 5 or more

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  • The last day of this tour was the best bike route I have ever ridden.

    The trip title is very accurate--this "undiscovered" area of Italy was a delight. Few tourists, lots of contacts with local people, beautiful scenery and great food. The people were very welcoming and eager to explain their culture and customs. The last riding day--on the plateau over the Adriatic and Ionian Seas--is the loveliest route I have ever ridden. A wonderful experience.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: June 24, 2013
    Posted by: Kati
    From: Michigan, USA
    Age: 45 to 54
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • This tour has it all!

    I could have asked for a more amazing time! I felt quite pampered on this tour, even though we were biking everyday. Beautiful scenery, great accommodations, wonderful support, glorious food, all lead by an energetic and knowledgable pair of tour leaders: Giuliano & Marco. I'd go back in a heartbeat!

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: June 22, 2013
    Posted by: AJP1828
    From: Berkeley, CA, USA
    Age: 25 to 34
    # Of Trips: 1

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  • magnificent from start to finish!

    the puglia trip was incredible. i was not sure what to expect having done the tuscan coast trip the year before and thinking nothing could possibly top that. not that it was better, but totally different. undiscovered is a good way to bill puglia because that is exactly what it is. anyone wishing to get there before it becomes a more mainstream trip needs to do it now. it is an "off the beaten path" type adventure with the VBT touch. my only dilemma is deciding which VBT trip to do next. don't change a thing!!

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: June 21, 2013
    Posted by: vespa517
    From: Roanoke, VA, USA
    Age: 45 to 54
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • A hidden gem

    A great opportunity to see a part of Italy that we hadn't visited before and that is somewhat off the beaten path. We enjoyed it tremendously! Great accommodations, fantastic biking with beautiful scenery, excellent food and wine.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Other tours I recommend:

    Posted on: June 13, 2013
    Posted by: Dick
    From: Big Sky, Montana
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • Wonderful Area and Culture but Isolated Hotels Limit Interaction

    It is a great joy to visit an area you know little about, and find delightful people, culture, and history. The guides were, as always, superb. The difficulty level is more appropriately easy/moderate, similar to the Alpilles trip. The rural isolation of the lodgings for five nights did not permit much interaction with local culture. I would have traded the swimming pool and cabana for a hotel closer to local activities. Also, VBT needs to consider the comfort of beds in their selections. At two of the hotels, many in our group were complaining of waking up multiple times in pain from the hard beds. VBT has better choices until these issues are corrected.

    Response from VBT
    VBT Product Team - June 13, 2013

    Thank you for your comments. We choose our accommodations carefully to reflect the character of each destination. On this tour we feature two masserias that are located in the countryside so that our guests can relax and enjoy the experience of being on a working farm where the owners produce their own olive oil and wine, and our travelers eat fresh food grown on the premises. We offer shuttles into town for select meals. Our accommodations in Ostuni are in the center of town, so that guests can also interact with local people and experience all that a small Italian city has to offer, including local restaurants and shops. Thank you again for taking the time to provide your feedback, we greatly appreciate it.

    Posted on: June 11, 2013
    Posted by: OldDukeDoc
    From: Jacksonville, FL, USA
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • Our first VBT tour, but it won't be our last!

    It's hard to imagine a more wonderful trip. We started with the amazing pre-trip to Matera, don't miss this experience, it was extraordinary! Then, we seamlessly transferred to our first Masseria which was beautiful, to start our biking tour. We met lovely people, our wonderful tour guides and set out on the adventure of a lifetime. We spend 7 days traveling through the unspoiled countryside, it felt like we were living in a postcard. Our guides, Marco and Juliano, were so great. They always appeared when we needed them, guiding us along, supporting us and giving us wonderful advice for dining and gelato in the lovely villages that we cycled through. Our trip was perfect in every respect. We made life time friends and look forward to our next trip!

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: June 11, 2013
    Posted by: Callie0
    From: Central PA
    Age: 45 to 54
    # Of Trips: 1

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  • Bike touring is the ONLY way to see a country you've never been to before!

    This was our first VBT tour and I would highly recommend touring with them. In fact, upon returning home from Puglia, we booked the Tuscany Coast tour for this October and will probably book France for next spring (with VBT)!! You are taken care of from the instant you step foot off the plane. The trip leaders were TERRIFIC!! Very safety conscious, fun and extremely knowledgeable of the area because they were from the Puglia area. I can't imagine all of the wonderful smells and people that we would have missed if we were on a bus tour. Biking a country road and having the farmer wave and greet you in Italian -- it was perfect! The fresh produce was outstanding as was the iced expresso with almond milk - ahhhhhh.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: June 08, 2013
    Posted by: AZbiker
    From: Tucson, AZ, USA
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 1

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  • Puglia in April 2013

    We happily appended this trip to ours in Sicily. Linking both of these gave us a much broader perspective on southern Italy. The Puglia trip offers many views---ancient Roman urban sites; captivating looks at "masserie", rural areas, villages, small towns, and more; seascapes; modest hills; and distant sights of Albania. Excellent food everyplace and superb guidance from both Debora and Luigi. Also, the guests on this VBT trip, like many others, were just wonderful company for the week plus. For others contemplating this tour, I must underline adding the stop in Matera, as this gives a glimpse of another region and additional historical and cultural perspectives on this compelling area. Finally do all this in the spring was just "perfetto"!

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Other tours I recommend:

    Posted on: May 23, 2013
    Posted by: TomNorthwest
    From: Seattle, WA, USA
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 5 or more

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  • Gliding Through the Olive Groves

    I loved the "off-the-beaten-path" nature of this trip, through lovely Italian countryside unspoiled by crowds of tourists. The pace was relaxed, and our guides were top rate: professional, warm and gracious, and SO organized! It was the perfect get-away for outdoor adventure in a leisurely vein. Highly recommended!

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: April 26, 2013
    Posted by: Sfnodak
    From: San Francisco
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 1

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  • Outstanding Tour & Great Leaders

    The Puglia tour is outstanding. One is able to really see a wide variety of Italian towns and get to visit some amazing sites. The tour leaders were great - funny, informative and energizing. The places that we stayed could not have been better - the food, service and rooms were all above 1st class. Can't wait for our next tour - we have already booked for summer of 2013!

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: December 11, 2012
    Posted by: GBBiker
    From: Green Bay, WI, USA
    Age: 45 to 54
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • Scenery, Food, and Friends!

    We were thrilled with our Puglia vacation. The guides couldn't have been friendlier or more helpful (Bravo, Luigi and Marco!), and the people we met on the trip were a fun, congenial group. We rode, we laughed, we wined, and we dined. Great vacation.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: December 07, 2012
    Posted by: Ruth
    From: Westfield, NJ, USA
    Age: 45 to 54
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • This tour did not disappoint!

    This tour met and exceeded expectations. Lovely way to experience this region of Italy!

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: December 07, 2012
    Posted by: UVM77
    From: Massachusetts, USA
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 1

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  • Outstanding trip!!!

    Pre-trip was fantastic and Puglia was amazing. Great food, beautiful scenery, wonderful people, fantastic guides !!

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: December 05, 2012
    Posted by: Steve27
    From: Bedford, MA, USA
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • The Puglia biking trip exceeded our expectations as first-time VBT travelers!!

    From Day 1 until the last day of our Puglia Bike trip, we experienced the most amazing trip!! Smelling the floral fragrance as we biked through olive tree groves, and viewing the lovely Italian coastline throughout our trip made for a trip of a lifetime. Our excellent leaders provided us with every experience possible, touching every one of our senses with wonderful local cuisine, history, spectacular scenery, pasta-making and music, along with attention to every detail and need of each group member. I was so moved with the thrills and emotions of this trip, that I fought back tears behind my sunglasses as we said good-bye to our group leaders.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: November 18, 2012
    Posted by: Nancy57
    From: Lakeville, MN
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 1

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  • Puglia:Pedaling through time and tradition

    It was our first VBT trip and our first visit to Italy. Punch-drunk from 18 hours of travel, we arrived in Matera and were escorted to the most amazing hotel room, chiseled from a cave. It was romantically lit, beautifully decorated and sound-insulated with stone to guarantee sleep, which we did. Matera, continuously occupied by humans since the Paleolithic era (think of a place continuously occupied for more than 12,000 years), is an amazing place to begin a journey. And after a couple of wonderful discovery days there, to move to the Masseria Torre Coccaro was like moving from one fantasy landscape to another. The masseria is a vacation destination unto itself. Gorgeous garden, underground spa, surrounded by olive groves, it would all be enough by itself. But the food here takes it to another level. Take the cooking class, revel in the dinners and the endless breakfast buffet. And then we got on our bikes. The routes VBT and out guides prepared were wonderful, with lots of time on narrow, mostly traffic-free country roads, through groves of twisted 500-year-old trees and picturesque villages wrapped along the shores of the Adriatic. You had to pay close attention to the printed directions, but even when you missed a turn or two, the guides seemed to magically find you and set you straight. This trip is easy biking and in late October, there's not a lot of traffic anywhere. People still fish for octupus in the tidal pools along the shore the way they have for generations, cooking traditions are lovingly passed down from mother to daughter, olive harvests with rakes and nets are an annual family event. You feel fortunate to be a fleeting part of it. They tell you the last day's ride is the best. They're right. But for an occasional meander through an agricultural field or two, you hug the shoreline, and it's spectacular, with old Roman quarries, lovely beach towns and long stretches of sun, and turquoise-embroidered deep blue sea. We envy those who never have to leave.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: November 16, 2012
    Posted by: RHP1
    From: St Simons, GA, USA
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 1

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  • Perfect Puglia ...

    Day after day of perfect weather (maybe we were lucky in October), delicious and local food, charming accommodations from the 5-star cave in Matera to the professional and amusing local guides who constantly checked in our well-being with the "toot toot toot" from the van as it sweeped the route checking in our well-being. They would be there at any turnoff which appeared to be somewhat difficult to find, waving us on and making sure we did not miss that tricky turn. It was a great trip and Puglia, which is somewhat off the radar for visiting Italy, seemed to attract an interesting and well-travelled group of people. Pam Nelson

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

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    Posted on: November 16, 2012
    Posted by: greattrip
    From: Manchester, MA, USA
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 1

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  • Best trip ever

    This trip exceeded our expectations. This was our first VBT trip, and it won't be our last. It was very well organized and executed. Going in to it we felt that six days of biking in a row might be a little too much, and we would take a day off from riding somewhere in the middle. However, everyday was interesting and promised great riding, the pacing was good, the snack and interest breaks were great, and we would not have wanted to miss any of the rides. One day, in the middle of another great ride, Deborah, one of our two excellent guides, pointed out a sign showing that we were currently riding on the Via Traiana. On a trip with so much to see, not a big thing, but, to me at least, exciting.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: November 14, 2012
    Posted by: Peddles
    From: Eagan, MN
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 1

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  • The only way to see Italy

    Wow..was this ever the perfect trip. I had been on one other with some girlfriends/sister but wanted to get my husband on this one. We both loved it and it exceeded out ( very high) expectations. I had told him only good things so he knew it would be good but the hotels, tour guides, biking, friends, food, wine, sightseeing, and tours were all just perfect. We had an excellent time and I am already looking for another one to get on the calendar as I feel it is the only way to see Europe. I have done some cruises thru Europe but highly prefer to see it this way instead. Thanks so much for thinking of everything to make our trip excellent!

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: October 24, 2012
    Posted by: Betsy123
    From: Chicago, IL, USA
    Age: 45 to 54
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • Undiscovered is Perfect

    We picked the perfect week: A great group of fellow adventurers, wildflowers and blue sky, wonderful food and accommodations and the best guides ever. Marco and Eduardo were tops. We have enjoyed every one of our 5 VBT trips and we generally knew what to expect but this far exceeded our expectations. The stay at the first Masserie, a 5 star lodging in the middle of beautiful olive groves, set the tone and nothing disappointed throughout the entire trip. There was even a golf course to play at this Masserie! It's easy cycling, mostly on quiet, rural lanes, with a few beachside or hilltop experiences thrown in to make things more interesting. We went in April when the temperature was mild and the wildflowers were at their peak. It was even warm enough for a swim in the Adriatic! All in all, we can highly recommend this for all levels of cyclists and for all ages.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: October 22, 2012
    Posted by: tojo
    From: California, USA
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 5 or more

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  • Magnifica Italia

    Where do I start? The food was fantastic, the accommodations were perfect, our trip leaders were efficient and entertaining, the cycling was through some of the most picturesque countryside. What more could one want from an active vacation? We spent the first few days in a cool mountainside hotel of the Sasso Caveoso where we explored the rich cuisine and culture of the region. From there we hip-hopped along the Puglian coast from one masseria to the next with plenty of time to explore each area and sample the food along the way. And the food! Did I mention the food? The Italians have elevated the evening meal to an art form. They are worried if you do not eat heartily of every one of the five courses they serve you! And our trip companions! Everyone was a joy to ride with! Finally, we finished up in Roma, the eternal city. What a finish that was! To stand in awe at the size and architectural grandeur of the Coliseum was the thrill of a lifetime. I know that this all sounds like so much hyperbole. But, it really was the trip of a lifetime. Thanks VBT for thinking of everything!

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: October 14, 2012
    Posted by: CDMD
    From: Green Bay, WI, USA
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • Everything exceeded our highest expectations

    My husband and I anxiously waited two long years to go on this trip to Italy with VBT. I can honestly say that we have NEVER been on a more wonderful vacation. It seemed unreal at times due to the elegant and exquiste places we were staying at. Each time we entered our room we would look @ each other and say," WOW, is this really our room and are we really here?" Just enough exercise while riding along the Adriatic Sea and beside beautiful 800 year old olive trees you really did not want to stop. Whether I was biking next to my husband, with the "group" or by myself it was so exhilerating. What a treat it was to have lunch in a NEW small village and to end up in a NEW location and stay in a NEW Masseria. At times I felt as if I was a local while sitting on a park bench and enjoying the conversation, the wonderful fresh air and the most amazing food I have ever had. A couple of mornings while having breakfast we had a down pour of rain and we all thought that this would be the weather of the day. But oh, the Puligia sun came out before we even got on our bikes and we had sunshine the rest of the day. The weather was perfect around 76. I was so pleased and surprised when we actually swam in the Adriatic Sea not once but three times. What FUN and oh so breath taking. We always had a full day and the evenings did not end til late but not once did we feel tired. Taking this trip was like being in the fountain of youth. It made me feel young again. We LOVED it and can not stop talking about it. We are enthusiastically looking forward to our next adventure with VBT!

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: October 13, 2012
    Posted by: italy2012
    From: Denver, CO, USA
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 1

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  • Good food, beautiful scenery, great people - a perfect vacation!

    This was our 3rd VBT bicycle trip and, as we have come to expect, it did not disappoint. The pre-trip in Matera was absolutely fascinating and the hotel accommodations were gorgeous - the rooms were actual caves, carved into the rock. Once we met up with our bike group at the first Masseria we knew we were in good hands. The guides were so helpful, charming and funny - we looked forward to our morning route review with them each day. The riding was easy, mostly flat but we did hit a few hills. Of course, for those on the trip that didn't want to do the hills, the van was always available to give them a lift to the top. Like the tour description says, this is truly an undiscovered area which is what made the vacation so memorable and enjoyable. We came home from this trip with a list of other tours we want to do next - we are hooked on VBT for the quality, value and the great people who we get to meet and know along the way.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: October 12, 2012
    Posted by: Robyn
    From: Westwood, NJ, USA
    Age: 45 to 54
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • Beautiful scenery, wonderful biking, great food, and wonderful hotels wrapped in one package.

    If you're into beautiful scenery, miles of quiet country roads with almost no traffic, outstanding food, and great Masserias and hotels, this trip is for you. And don't forget congenial traveling companions and outstanding guides. My wife and I have taken more than a dozen vacations with several different bicycle touring companies around the world and we rate VBT and Puglia with the best of them. Everything about our trip was top of the line except the price, which provided more bang for the buck than anyone else. We're already selecting our next VBT trip, which isn't easy due to the great variety being offered..

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: October 12, 2012
    Posted by: Ben220
    From: Philadelphia
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 1

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  • This tour showcases the breathtakingly beautiful and serene southeasten coast of Italyy

    This was my first VBT experience and certainly not my last! Each day unfolded more majestically than the day before. The confluence of the natural beauty and relaxed environment and the spot-on perfect tour guides (friendly, laid back, knowledgeable, funny and fully professionally) contrbuted to a wonderful group bonding experience. Bicycling through the countryside was the perfect way to see Italy. As a single person, I have now discovered the best way to travel safely and see the best this world has to offer.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: October 11, 2012
    Posted by: Miriam0007
    From: Durham, NC, USA
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 1

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  • Amazing scenery and incredible leaders!

    The scenery was amazing - unending fields of gnarly 800 year old olive trees, gentle hills, and gorgeous turquoise ocean. Sandro and Debora (our leaders) were professional, funny, entertaining, and always willing to help. I felt I could travel at my own pace with personal, enthusiastic support from the leaders in the van. Our group was filled with interesting, educated, and fun-loving people. We became friends with many in the group and will continue to keep up with them in the future. I tell everyone - Go to Puglia and travel with VBT!

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: October 08, 2012
    Posted by: LibbyK
    From: Hingham, MA, USA
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • The tour was well planned. The itinerary was interesting and just the right amount of cycling and sightseeing

    Everything from the tour guides to the itinerary was excellent. In particular the accommodations for top rated and the service was excellent. It was very convenient to be able to check into all the hotels seemlessly. The bicycling was excellent and the guides were always there when you needed them. Both tour guides were friendly and helpful and available at all times. They really worked hard!

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: October 06, 2012
    Posted by: erc1
    From: New York, NY, USA
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 1

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  • We can not say enough good things about our experience!

    From our very first ride through centuries old olive groves, to the gorgeous coastal roads and rural countryside as well as the opportunity to tour Masserias, Cathedrals, the architectural unique Turllis and the pasta cooking lesson; this was a trip of a life time. Then there is the mouth-watering food, amazing! We especially appreciated our guides who made this trip absolutely fantastic as they kept everything running smooth and efficient. Their passion for Italy as well as cycling was infectious and provided us with so many excellent memories. BRAVO VBT!

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

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    Posted on: August 25, 2012
    Posted by: Hall95
    From: Richmond, VA, USA
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • First VBT tour

    My sister suggested a VBT tour for my husband and i so this was our first and what a first it was! You can't loose on this tour as there is such a variety of sights. The pre-trip is an absolute must. The countryside, the sea, the food, the guides, all beyond our expectations. We traveled in June and have already booked our next trip (Chesapeake Bay) in October. My goal is to do every VBT tour that i can, for as long as i can. thanks VBT for a wonderful and unforgetable trip!

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: August 22, 2012
    Posted by: Bugs
    From: burlington, nc
    Age: 45 to 54
    # Of Trips: 1

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  • A less crowded Italy

    Olive trees a plenty, and a sea that doesn't end. Safe and fairly quiet resorts that are clean, with staff that create a very personal experience. The boys that were our guides, we're more fun than we deserved. We laughed and biked for cheese and wine!

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: August 12, 2012
    Posted by: Mary007
    From: Utah
    Age: 35 to 44
    # Of Trips: 1

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  • A wonderful tour

    This tour provides easy rides along spectacular coastal roads as well as quiet back roads among olive groves. All of the accommodations were wonderful 5 star hotels or masserias without being commercial or pretentious. The food was unsurpassed and employed mostly local ingredients including many varieties of seafood. From beginning to end, our guides were delightful and knowledgeable, meeting our every need. This is a less traveled area of Italy with its own character--well worth exploring especially by bicycle. I would highly recommend this trip.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: August 10, 2012
    Posted by: Ade80
    From: Miami, Florida
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • Genuine Italy

    Did we know about Puglia before we chose this VBT bike tour? Not really. It is off the beaten path for tourists. But that is what we loved about this trip. The landscape, people, food, towns are so like the Italy one imagines. I was fascinated by the masseria--the self-contained walled compounds dotting the countryside. I was thrilled we had a chance to stay in two remarkable examples of masseria during this VBT trip! We biked every day along olive groves on quiet roads edged with low stone walls. It was a full sensory experience: seeing the individuality of the twisted, ancient olives; smelling the sweet wild fennel and oregano along the roads; feeling the sound-wave chirr vibration of cicadas; breaking open fresh green pods to find sweet, tender almonds inside; feasting on olives and cheeses and seafood and the local Primitivo red wine made locally. Did I mention I learned to make pasta with the master chef at the amazing masseria where we first stayed? We were drawn to Puglia because of the charming, quirky conical dry-stone Trulli houses found in this region. I delighted in every one of these amazing structures I saw, whether the vast numbers in the World Heritage site of Alborobello or the unpretentious homes we rode by. My curiosity was satisfied by our opportunity to see the inside of a Trulli and how the architecture perfectly suited the environment. And to cap it off, biking along the Salento coast looking out towards the Adriatic. Monopoli! Ostuni! Lecce! Each town magical in its own way. Do I want to go to Rome and Venice? Probably. But maybe I'll just come back to Puglia.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: August 07, 2012
    Posted by: Anne56
    From: Bristol, VT
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 1

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  • Puglia is a 'trulli' magical adventure.

    When we booked our cycling trip to Puglia, we had no idea what to expect. It was our first VBT trip, and our first time visiting the southern part of Italy. The tour was magical from beginning to end. The cycling led us through gently sloped, winding country roads lined by ancient olive groves and crumbling stone walls. Our frequent photo stops involved repeated attempts to capture the quaint round hobbit like 'trulli' homes that dot the landscape. The cuisine, typically crafted from locally grown products, was a slow food gourmet experience not to be missed. This trip absolutely exceeded our expectations on all levels and sold us completely on the VBT experience.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Other tours I recommend:

    Posted on: August 05, 2012
    Posted by: Dixie67
    From: Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Age: 45 to 54
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • Adventure in Undiscovered Italy- Puglia

    We weren't sure what to expect when we booked our tour to Puglia in 2008 but fell in love with this lovely, undiscovered part of Italy. Riding through olive groves and along the Adriatic was beautiful and the biking was easy to do. This was my husband's first VBT trip and perfect for a novice cyclist. The hotels were luxurious and scenic, the guides fabulous and we loved the cooking lesson and walking tours. As usual we ended up learning so much about the history and culture of the area.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

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    Posted on: July 21, 2012
    Posted by: Jane67
    From: Louisville, KY, USA
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 5 or more

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  • This tour has it all: Cycling; exploring; dining; wine, cheese and olive oil tastings; cooking classes and especially Deborah’s magnanimous Nonna!

    We chose to travel with VBT to Puglia, Italy as a way of celebrating our thirtieth wedding anniversary. This cycling trip gave us both flexibility and security in active travel. In anticipation of the trip we cycled and packed our most comfortable exercise clothes. Upon arrival we met the group, who quickly became like extended family members for the next ten days. Our guides, Deborah and Juliano, in their lyrically Italian laced English were true to the VBT promise. We enjoyed full van support, recommendations for optional excursions and restaurants, and they seamlessly modified the tour when inclement weather pervaded. Cycling; exploring; dining; wine, cheese and olive oil tastings; cooking classes and especially Deborah’s magnanimous Nonna! The experience of making pasta in Nonna’s kitchen was heart-warming. VBT exceeded our expectations with a most memorable experience. Mille Grazie

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: July 18, 2012
    Posted by: indianajones
    From: Pittsburgh, PA, USA
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 1

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  • Seeing the countryside at bike speed is the perfect speed- car too fast, walking too slow. On a bike you pedal down roads you are unlikely drive .

    A magical trip on hidden country roads and along the cliffs of the Adriatic Sea. Through olive groves and farms, and small villages a picture of life in southern Italy emerges. Accommodations first class Guides experienced and fun.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: July 13, 2012
    Posted by: Breezy
    From: Atlanta, GA, USA
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • Great scenery, excellent accomodations, fantastic food.

    The ride along the coast as well as inland offered an up close view of Puglia. Riding through the farmland it was not unusual to smell the crop before actually coming up to it, e.g. mint or some other herb.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Other tours I recommend:

    Posted on: July 07, 2012
    Posted by: Alvin
    From: St. Louis, MO
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • As close to perfection as humanly possible! Surpassed our already high expecations!

    The bar for the Puglia Trip was set extremely high based our incredible experience with VBT on the Po River Valley Trip. And, wow - were our expectations met! Our bike trip began in the lap of luxury with a warm welcome at an elegant Masseria. Our guides embodied all the fabulous characteristics to maximize our pleasure - knowledge, experience, intelligence, helpfulness & humor. Our group came together to generate a warm & spirited dynamic. The fun began with our first warm up and it persisted as did the luxurious standards with regard to accommodations and gourmet cuisine. Once again, a perfect balance was struck among the biking, eating, cultural attractions and just sitting by the beautiful pools and hotel grounds. It must be noted, too, that VBT leaves no detail out - all of the extras..like wine tasting, special cultural guides, orientations were superb! And top of everything, the weather was perfect everyday! (A bonus I think may be beyond VBT's power to control!) The pre trip (Matera) and post trip (Rome) were added pleasures. VBT - how do you achieve such excellence in every aspect of your trips? We are hooked! See you again soon!

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: July 07, 2012
    Posted by: AmyE
    From: Oak Park, Illinois
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • The Tour is Great!

    The landscapes, weather, and lodges were great! The guides and people on the trip were wonderful. The food was fabulous and the wine fantastic. I wouldn't mind living there someday.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

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    Posted on: July 06, 2012
    Posted by: Marcia
    From: Florida
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • This tour was one of the best vacations of my life.

    The people were fun, the bikes were excellent, the food was fabulous ! One evening, we did a spontaneous roof top picknic in a roof garden, looking out over a beautiful cathedral . About 10 of us gathered, each contributing wine or snacks. The swallows flew by, and the evening slowly enveloped us. we enjoyed it emencely. The fields of poppies and the groves of olive trees were beautiful to bike past. The food and the service at Masseria Torre Caccaro was outstanding. I would go back in a heartbeat !

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: July 06, 2012
    Posted by: Didi
    From: Delaware, USA
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • The Puglia/Rome trip was memorable in every way

    After flying from Rome to Bari, in the province of Puglia on the boot heel of Italy, we were taken by van to our first masseria near the fishing village of Savelletri. A masseria is a large farm which was fortified around the 16th century in areas around Brindisi to protect the master and his workers from attack by pirates and brigands. Many of these are now operated as luxury hotels. We were only about 3 K from our lovely beach club on the Adriatic Sea where I had my first glass of vino roso just an hour after arriving! The food at the Masseria Torre M Maizza was amazing as was the food we e enjoyed all over Puglia. We took a pasta making class and learned to make the pastas of of Puglia: cavatelli, orecchiette and tagliolini. T The highlight was the wonderful lunch we enjoyed after the class. We stayed at this masseria for three delightful nights biking on level roads along the Adriatic to Savelletri, Monopoli and on to Ostuni where we stayed in the elegant Ostuni Palace Hotel. Ostuni is known as the whitewashed city. It is located on a hill top 7K from the coast. Yes, a hill, and a nasty one at that! When we weren’t cycling by the sea we were riding through 1000 year old olive groves. The trees are so gnarly and intriguing. On the way to Ostuni we visited a very interesting olive oil museum and we had a “slow” lunch at a masseria where all the food and the five kinds of olive oil were made on site. By this time I was really beginning to enjoy this life style and feel very spoiled! Our two young Italiano guides, Luigi and Alesandro, were major contributors to spoiling us. As they were going over the ride instructions for the day, they liked to say, “It is your vacation! You have options!” A highlight in Ostuni was a 4 course dinner ending with a flaming dessert provided by VBT at a local trattoria. I also had a very nice massage at the hotel but I was a little surprised that the Italians just “let it all hang out” during a massage! On our second day in Ostuni, we biked to the in- credible village of Alberobello in the Itria Valley. The whole valley is dotted with trulli houses, unique to this region. A trulli consists of a whitewashed, cylindrical roundhouse topped by a large cone of local stones, all assembled without mortar. They were originally built as storage sheds but later became dwelling places, with adjoining buildings added as families grew. Most of the town of Alberobello consists of trulli. We were fortunate to get a tour of the town by a young man who rehabs trulli. We got to go inside one that he rents as a vacation home and were also able to tour his mother’s home and take pictures from the roof. Next we spent two nights in a gorgeous hotel outside the charming walled city of Otranto founded by the Greeks. It is a coastal resort for southern Italians. It Is known for the 800 square meter floor mosaic representing the Tree of Life in their 12th century cathedral. Our last day of biking was the best. We cycled on flat country roads through small villages to the coastal town of Castro Marina where our two guides had laid out a delicious picnic lunch for us. The southern Adriatic coast was rugged and the breath taking views kept our minds off the long hills that led us to higher elevations with even more thrilling vistas. That evening we were rewarded with a wine tasting featuring 3 wines of Puglia on the beautiful hotel patio, followed by a delicious multiple course good bye dinner on VBT with more wine! The next morning, during the first rain we had seen, we were bused to Leece, known as the Florence of the South. Its old section is famous for the exquisite Baroque architecture crafted from the pink-tinged local stone called pietra dorata. Our stunning 5 star hotel featured an original and unique fresco in each room. Our walking tour of Leece brought us to the unusual Museo Faggiano. During a plumbing repair, the Faggiano family unearthed an ancient medieval monastery and a pre-historic cave site with small hand prints on the walls. We were able to descend to several of the rooms and see burial sites, a huge cistern, many relics and ancient pottery. A real highlight of our stay in Leece was the picnic dinner of leftover pizza from lunch along with delicacies we purchased at a small store front grocery store (and of course a couple bottles of vino roso) that we took to the hotel roof top and enjoyed by the light of the full moon. The next morning our group of 20 was reduced to the 15 who went on to do the 3 day Rome extension. Ah Roma! It was certainly a contrast to the non-touristy boot heel towns and villages where we biked. Rome was crowded with tourist groups from all over the world and instead of biking we walked and took the busses and subways. We learned that crossing the street was an art that was rather like a game of “chicken”! Again we had a lovely, centrally located hotel convenient to the public transportation and just a couple blocks from the intriguing Tiber River. Three days really aren’t nearly adequate to do justice to such an historic city, but we gave it our best shot. We packed in 3 tours, shopping, dining and drinking. Upon our arrival we were greeted by a very knowledgeable, entertaining (and extremely hyper) tour guide who oriented us to the city and lead us around to some of the lesser known but very interesting sites. He also gave us insights into the interplay of culture, economics, religion and history. On the second day we toured the Vatican, which meant that we actually left Italy. The crowds there were phenomenal. We saw the large collection of art (sculptures, paintings and tapestries), toured the Sistine Chapel, saw a grand processional in St. Peter’s Cathedral and stood in the vast St. Peter’s Square. The cathedral was beautifully opulent and dazzling. However, I was disappointed in the Sistine Chapel. The ceiling has recently been cleaned and the colors looked garish, not as impressive in person as in books and on the internet. The grounds of the Vatican are beautiful and would have been nice for a meditative time out if there hadn’t been thousands of tourists! On our last day we really got in touch with ancient Rome at the Coliseum and the Forum. It was remarkable knowing that we were treading on the same stones, walking through the same portals as Julius Caesar, Cleopatra, the gladiators! It wasn’t hard to picture what it must have looked like at the height of the Roman Empire. Indeed a trip to remember!

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: July 06, 2012
    Posted by: Cris
    From: Kansas City
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 1

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  • Don't Miss Undiscovered Apulia

    If you are tired of going to tourist trodden places with Rick Steeves followers you should sign up for this fabulous tour before he discovers and writes about Apulia. The hotels were top notch, food was great and trip leaders very knowledgeable and accomodating. Don't miss seeing two UNESCO World Heritage sites, Matera and Alberobello (which is also listed in the book 1000 Places to See before you die). You won't be sorrry.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

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    Posted on: July 06, 2012
    Posted by: DLSinBenicia
    From: Benicia, CA
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • A hidden jewel

    Puglia is a quiet corner of Italy that is visited by relatively few tourists. The region is beautiful, and the VBT rides give you a chance to enjoy some of the most wonderful scenery. It is difficult to describe the variety of terrain, which included the coast, olive groves, and the other agricultural areas. The accommodations were fabulous, as were the cooking classes, and the city experiences were unexpectedly rich. The folks who made up the group were extraordinary, as were our guides and the others whom we encountered. It was a truly memorable experience.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Other tours I recommend:

    Posted on: July 06, 2012
    Posted by: Molisiano
    From: New Mexico, USA
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 5 or more

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  • Perhaps our best travel experience ever!

    My wife and I are not big fans of group tours, but our experience with VBT far exceeded our expectations. While we usually rode with the group, we always felt like our schedule was relaxed, flexible, and always enjoyable. Puglia really is "undiscovered"...we had very few encounters with other tourists, and big tour buses and crowds of people were virtually nonexistent. Yet, the area is beautiful, with lovely back roads routes through quaint villages terminating along the spectacular bootheel coastline. Lodging was first class all the way, totally unexpected by us considering the price of this tour. The tour arrangements and itinerary were wonderful. Each day, there was something special or different to accentuate our trip - a tour of an ancient olive oil plant, a wine tasting, a fabulous mid-day luncheon featuring regional specialties, etc. Our tour guides cheerfully took care of our every need, and since they were "locals", they really knew how to maximize our engagement with the local areas. While we were blessed with perfect weather, what I will remember most about this trip was how carefree and pampered we all felt. Oh, and the food? Healthy and delicious.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: July 06, 2012
    Posted by: onewag
    From: Kansas City, Missouri
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 1

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  • A unique part of Italy, not to be missed

    Puglia is yet another of Italy's grand surprises, this one more subtle, yet engaging and engrossing in every way.. Charming towns and villages abound. The food is very different from the North, typically Italian in freshness and simplicity, but with a tendency toward seafood. We cycled past olive trees hundreds of years old with trunks that it would have taken several of us to encircle. We rode to a village with stone 'tepees' that would be dismantled at a moment's notice when the tax man appeared #centuries ago!#. Our guides Sylvia and Debra were extremely knowledgable, and made each morning's route review a true delight. A visit to Debra's Nona's tiny kitchen for a pasta-making lesson was an experience that will live on. As with all VBT rides we have been on, the special extras like an Adriatic coastal cave exploration made for a variety filled experience. Any VBT trip is far more than just cycling. A VBT trip is an exercise in immersion in local culture that no bus ride or car-drive could ever hope to match.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Other tours I recommend:

    Posted on: July 06, 2012
    Posted by: JoeCam
    From: Lisle, IL
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 5 or more

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  • Puglia is beautiful

    The Puglia tour was wonderful. We had great weather, the views of the Sea were out of this world, and the hotels were extremely nice. The terrain was relatively flat with a couple of days of more challenging riding. It truly is the "undiscovered coast" - for now anyway. The countrysides were beautiful to look at, and the cities weren't entirely filled with tourists! We had a great time and were so glad we chose this tour.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: July 06, 2012
    Posted by: SaraC
    From: Minneapolis, MN, USA
    Age: 25 to 34
    # Of Trips: 1

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  • An Amazing Trip

    We loved our Puglia trip. Our pre-trip to Matera was a great way to get started - a very interesting place. The accommodations were all incredible. Our guides, Gigi and Sandro, were wonderful. The difficulty of the trip was perfect - easy but an occasional little challenge. We have recommended the trip to many people and definitely plan to do another VBT trip ourselves.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: July 06, 2012
    Posted by: Geri
    From: Centreville, VA
    Age: 45 to 54
    # Of Trips: 1

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    View Reviewer's Photos:

  • One of my best vacations!

    This was my first VBT trip experience, and it exceeded my expectations! The scenery was outstanding, the rides beautiful, the accommodations spectacular and our guides, Sandro and Deborah were "TOP NOTCH"! I will definitely plan to take another VBT vacation!

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: July 03, 2012
    Posted by: Hellie
    From: NC
    Age: 45 to 54
    # Of Trips: 1

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  • Highly Recommended

    This was my first VBT trip and it surpassed my expectations. The countryside was beautiful and and the local people were so welcoming. The planned activities really added to the whole experience. I returned relaxed, refreshed, and looking forward to traveling again with VBT in the next year. Dolomite Valley here I come!

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: July 02, 2012
    Posted by: Joan5587
    From: Chepachet, RI, USA
    Age: 45 to 54
    # Of Trips: 1

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  • Exceptional sights, food, accommodations, guides

    The Puglia vacation is the trip all others are compared to. The delightful and knowledgeable guides who met us the first day made us all friends by the end of the trip. The very unusual accommodations were just luxurious. I long for the great food we were introduced to. Still trying to make nona's pasta. The landscape was that of post cards. The biking was great with the perfect mix of climbs and coasts. This is a dream vacation. Anyone not knowing where to go next should go to Puglia

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Other tours I recommend:

    Posted on: July 01, 2012
    Posted by: Carm
    From: Penn Run, PA 15765, USA
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • Outstanding vacation experience!

    Everything about this trip is top notch. The areas visited were beautiful and interesting, the accomodations were beyond excellent. The tour guides were extremely helpful and set a great pace. This trip can be considered one of a life time from the olive groves to the Tuli's. Be swept away in the beauty of Italy. We had so much fun and came away relaxed and in better shape than then we we started the vacation despite the excellent Italian food!

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: June 28, 2012
    Posted by: agnes111
    From: rhode island
    Age: 45 to 54
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • Puglia: Italy's Undiscovered Coast

    Unique, Different, Peaceful! If you like fish and fresh vegetables, this is the trip to take. We always take the pre trip and have never been disappointed. Matera was a city unlike any other. This trip was a delightful experience for biking, cultural experiences and historical Italian traditions. As always, bikes, biking, trip leaders and accommodations would be hard to beat. Bob and Aleda

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Other tours I recommend:

    Posted on: June 27, 2012
    Posted by: AJ41
    From: Eagle, CO
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • The most interesting places to stay

    One of the BEST vacations ever! Everything was the BEST - the itinerary, bikes, support, trip leaders, accommodations!

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: June 27, 2012
    Posted by: Debigroup
    From: Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON, Canada
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • Loved everything about this tour.

    Loved the area and the cycling was great. Trip leaders were exceptional. They really added a special element to the entire trip. They worked well together and they were very experienced and helpful. Really loved getting to visit Nona at her home and make homemade pasta. That was an added bonus. Thanks for a very fun and adventurous trip!!

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: June 23, 2012
    Posted by: NANA
    From: Olympia, WA, USA
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • Absolutely wonderful trip

    A beautiful undiscovered part of italy that we hadn't even heard of. Both of our guides were very helpful and knew the area well. The accommodations were great and the people we met along the way were so nice. We even got to stop at "Nona's" to watch her make homemade pasta! The biking was both chalenging as well as easy with wonderful sights along the way.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Other tours I recommend:

    Posted on: June 21, 2012
    Posted by: Nita
    From: Portland OR
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 5 or more

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  • All who enjoy adventure, travel and great association will love this trip.

    Although in my seventies, I have thoroughly enjoyed VBT trips to Prince Edward Island, Viet Nam, South Africa and Puglia. VBT makes all arrangements so the travelers have only to show up and enjoy the ride. All accomodations, and equipment have been top notch and the trip leaders superb.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: June 18, 2012
    Posted by: Jimmy
    From: Bristol, VA, USA
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • Great locations, food, swimming, and biking!

    VBT out did themselves on this tour. I finally convinced my sister and brother-in-law to come along. We loved all the opportunities to swim in the Adriatic. And, as always, a really congenial group of fellow travelers.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Other tours I recommend:

    Posted on: June 18, 2012
    Posted by: Lisa
    From: Reston, VA
    Age: 45 to 54
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • Best Trip Ever!

    We were brought along by another VBT alumni. On our Puglia trip we were not prepared for the most amazing vacation of our lives. We were pampered, we were exercised, we were fed fabulous foods, we were exposed to down home cooking and majestic sites. The accommodations were outstanding, the guides very knowledgeable and friendly and for us the weather was fantastic. The small group of travelers made the trip intimate and personal. We had such a great time were going back with VBT to Italy this fall and brining 8 people with us.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Other tours I recommend:

    Posted on: June 18, 2012
    Posted by: BuzzardsBayBikers
    From: South Coast, MA
    Age: 45 to 54
    # Of Trips: 1

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  • Puglia is high on luxury and low on commercialism.

    Puglia was our family's first trip with VBT and all six of us are planning to use VBT again. This part of Italy is very rural and unspoiled with beautiful, ancient cities, and wonderful beaches to add spice to the trip. Our guides, Marco and Edo, were personable, funny, and very helpful. They, as well as the 14 other travelers on our tour, felt like family by the end of the trip. Well done VBT!

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: June 17, 2012
    Posted by: Dpstone32
    From: New Gloucester, ME, USA
    Age: 45 to 54
    # Of Trips: 1

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  • The Best Ever, great rides, beautiful scenery, exceptional hotels

    This was an exceptional trip with plenty of beautiful rides, not too long and not too short. The trip leaders were a delight, knowledgeable, fun and accommodating to all of our needs. The hotel and spas were truly beautiful and of such high quality and location. Even the food was outstanding and so were the stops along the way either to see a grandmother making pasta or to visit a special vegetarian villa with an amazing lunch. Who knew that a vegetarian meal could be so delicious and unusual. And the pre trip to Matera was absolutely wonderful with a stay in a hotel made from the stone of the hillside. Our room was a cave of stone that was so beautiful with candles on the ledges and a canopy bed of a sheer gauzy material.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Other tours I recommend:

    Posted on: June 17, 2012
    Posted by: EspressoEric
    From: Hudson Valley
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • Wonderful rides and great accomodations

    What could be better than great weather, great rides, great places to stay and amazing rides.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: June 17, 2012
    Posted by: ASMESS
    From: Portage, MI, USA
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • One of my all time VBT favorites

    Puglia was a wonderful experience - the region is a gem because it is still somewhat undiscovered (especially by Americans) and is spectacularly scenic - especially biking on the coast. The various towns we traveled through were unique, and the accommodations and meals werre outstanding. The pretrip, to Matera, was a special place that I would never have explored had it not been for VBT. While I am always looking for new adventures and have never repeated a trip, I would consider doing this one a second time. The guides, as usual for VBT, were attentive, helpful, and great fun!

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Other tours I recommend:

    Posted on: June 17, 2012
    Posted by: Cheryl
    From: Manhattan, New York, NY, USA
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 5 or more

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  • The tour was fantastic! The guides, accomodations and places were amazing!

    Although mostly everything about the trip was perfect, I would like to suggest that it would be helpful if there would have been more time to get ready after the breakfast/meeting. I know we have to have a schedule, but many times it was so regemented, we were under pressure and stressed. Also, the tour was booked as easy. There were a few 6-9% grades uphill as well as 9-11% downhill & winding, pretty dangerous. My wife, an average rider was unable to do them and felt bad she was alone with this. On a positive note (there are many) One of the guides (Deborah) actually rode to the next town to give me back a part of my bike computer i had left! She & Edo were wonderful!!! All in all, it was the trip of a lifetime, but we'd love to do more!!

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: June 17, 2012
    Posted by: Saxman2u
    From: Ventnor, NJ
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 1

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  • The Other Italy

    Having been to many areas of Italy, I found Puglia to be very different and very interesting as this area still not overwhelmed with tourism. The locals are very helpful and friendly, while at the same time retain the unique quiet and peaceful envoirnment that makes Puglia different from the majority of Italy. This is a very good trip, expecially if one wants to see and experience a region unique from the rest of Italy.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: June 17, 2012
    Posted by: SeaLover4
    From: California, USA
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 5 or more

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  • A particularly interesting trip since the area differs so much from the rest of Italy and is largely undiscovered as a tourist site

    The meandering through the olive groves and charming small towns made this trip a gem. We will always remember the morning when we visited one of the leader's grandmothers who taught us pasta making in her own kitchen!! It is these unique events that sets VBT apart from other tour groups

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: June 17, 2012
    Posted by: Ladybug
    From: Baltimore, MD, USA
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • Overall a fantastic trip...best of the 5 trips that I've taken

    Wonderful lodging and meals were only topped by the trips to see ancient Roman ruins in the morning followed by swimming in the Adriatic in the afternoon. Routes were well planned and the guides attentive and good-humored. I'm actually tempted to take the same trip once more.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: June 17, 2012
    Posted by: Patrice
    From: Pasadena, California
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 5 or more

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  • It was a great trip. It really goes to an undiscovered part of Italy.

    I loved the Puglia trip so much that I have also booked my next vacation with VBT. I'm going to Slovenia in September.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: June 16, 2012
    Posted by: Teri1118
    From: Wayne, PA
    Age: 45 to 54
    # Of Trips: 1

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  • Great tour, great leaders, great country!!

    This tour was fantastic. This part of Italy is still quaint and very interesting. We were there over Easter and the religious ceremonies were very moving. Everyone is so friendly, always willing to help or explain any questions you had. The biking was great. I loved going through the olive groves, along the shoreline, and the tiny villages. The leaders were the best, always making sure you were having a good time. Their knowledge of the area and customs was amazing. The accommodations were unbelievable. The converted olive farms were like staying in small castles. I would take this tour again!!

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: June 16, 2012
    Posted by: NancyLouise
    From: Somers Point, NJ, USA
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • My first VBT bike trip and the standard was set very high from this trip. Just a wonderful way to be part of a foreign country.

    Peddling through 800-year old olive orchards was a treat. The views of the Adriatic Sea were just breath-taking. Small towns held magical memories and important historical surprises. The small boutique hotels were wonderful. The guides selected by VBT know two important things - how to handle bicycles and cyclers and all about their routes.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: June 16, 2012
    Posted by: Karver
    From: Omaha, NE
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • Best recreational vacation I ever took!

    VBT is the best value for the money of any vacation I have taken. Everything was first class, well organized and most of all exciting and fun. The two guides were great. The touring was great, the meals were great and the hotels were great. VBT IS GREAT!!

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Other tours I recommend:

    Posted on: June 16, 2012
    Posted by: MKnupp9
    From: Mass
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 1

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  • My first experience with VBT was definitely memorable.

    The tour guides were very supportive and knowledgeable. The towns we visited were quaint and exactly what I was hoping to experience. I'm looking forward to booking a trip in 2013.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: June 16, 2012
    Posted by: MissBuffy
    From: Travelers Rest, SC
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 1

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  • Unexpectedly lovely part of Italy

    This is a fairly easy tour, with lovely views of the sea and olive groves, in an interesting, beautiful and undiscovered part of southern Italy. Don't be dismayed by the climb toward the alabaster walled town of Ostuni--it's really not that bad and the "trulli" in Alborobello are "truly" unique.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Other tours I recommend:

    Posted on: June 16, 2012
    Posted by: eric
    From: Stockbridge, MA, USA
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 5 or more

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  • Excellent trip.

    Puglia was beautiful and the towns we visited were all fun to see. All the accommodations were excellent. The provided meals were all excellent, and we were given great options by our guides for the meals on our own. The two guides were especially good and entertaining. The morning meeting to review the route was like a comedy act. They did a great job, and I think everyone enjoyed them. In addition, My wife turned her ankle in our hotel room and the two of them were extremely helpful. One went to get an ice pack and the other ran down the street to a pharmacy. The entire tour was a lot of fun. As usual, we felt like we got more than our money's worth.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Other tours I recommend:

    Posted on: June 16, 2012
    Posted by: sparty71
    From: Savannah, GA, USA
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • Different from Tuscany

    Easy riding through the olive groves, with some unique towns added in. We stayed at a couple lovely masserias, and enjoyed dining on many local specialties, with lots of vegetables and fruits. If you like eggplant, you'll be fulfilled. Because of the weather, some of our group missed cycling on the last day, alongside the Adriatic. Don't miss it; its the most scenic ride of the tour.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: June 16, 2012
    Posted by: ArizonaGil
    From: Jackson, NJ, USA
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • Biking with Olives

    Did you know that Puglia is spelled "olive". Have been to Italy a lot, but never to Puglia. A truly different part of Italy that resembles no other place. Somehow I thought olive trees were small - wrong. How about big and old! Some you could climb inside because as they get hundreds of years old, the trees split leaving big gaps that can hold a person. However, the trees are still producing and healthy. One thing I am sure of - there are not enough people living in Puglia to pick all the olives that grow there! We rode through olive, nuts, and citrus trees every day. And at night we had some of the best native olive dishes you can imagine. The riding was relatively easy and the guides suprised us with "on the road" picnics with bread, fruits, vegtables and meat that they bought along the way. The places we stayed were fantastic. The first "Masseria" we stayed in for two nights could have been the source of a two week vacation in and of itself. The food and accomodations were more than excellent. And that was true of all the places we stayed. My wife and I along with several others of the group took a morning cooking class offered by the head chef of the masseria. We all got our hands in the food, and then got to eat it for lunch served with some excellent local wines. Puglia has some really good reds and whites that if you look for in a good wine store here in the U.S you should be able to find. Two really memorable stops we made were to a working farm, B&B, and dining establishment all rolled into one. The owner grew most of the food items, and made their own olive oils which were served in a particular order with the food. He was full of information and the food was too good to talk about. A second stop we made was in a tiny little village where we were treated to the kitchen of a little old grandmother (nona) who showed us how she made pasta every day for her family. Imagaine 20 people in a kitchen smaller than any of you have, with just a big bread board, a pile of flour, some water, salt and an egg, and what you and I would call a three foot section of a broom handle that was her rolling pin. Nona spoke no english so the guides did all the translation. In no time she had a dough ball made, kneaded and rolled out so thin you could hardly handle it. But she could! Each one of us got a turn at making several pasta shapes that she showed us how to do. And as we made them, she rated us ( you know, the 1 - 10 scale) by holding up fingers. I got a three and was glad to get that. Our last ride was heading north along the coast with the sea on our right. Different than all the olive trees but just as spectacular. This is a trip that I could take again just to eat the food and stay in some of the places again. Our two guides were fantastic and would love to have them again on another trip. They guide several trips in Italy besides Puglia.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: June 16, 2012
    Posted by: Chips
    From: South Carolina, USA
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • The best!

    My second trip with VBT was really great! This part of Italy was beautiful and less busy than other parts. Cycling was along one lane, little traveled roads. The guides were incredibly helpful and knowledgeable. As with all VBT trips, accommodations were fantastic. Loved it!

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: June 16, 2012
    Posted by: Carol10s
    From: Sonoma County, California
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • We have done this trip twice. Great trip. Great value.

    We enjoyed this trip and were pleased to do it a second time. There is always lots more to see! With different leaders new experiences can be suggested. It is important to be comfortable on a bike so practice particularly practice hills. A fabulous quiet part of Italy

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: June 16, 2012
    Posted by: Maryjane
    From: Usa
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • Beautiful, relaxing, out-of-the-way experiences

    The Pulia trip took us to places that we would not normally see on an Italy trip. The laid-back countryside and ancient cities were an experience that was only enhanced by our most-personable guides.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: June 16, 2012
    Posted by: Jim76
    From: Philly
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • My pick for a first European Trip

    This trip is an excellent combination of easy cycling and spectacular scenery. Also, a great combination of activities to drink in the Italian culture while you're enjoying their awesome food and wine. If you're not sure about your cycling level, this is a great first trip.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Other tours I recommend:

    Posted on: June 16, 2012
    Posted by: Earl123
    From: Pittsburgh
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 5 or more

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  • We saw and experienced Italy from an entirely new perspective.

    This was one of the best vacations we have ever experienced. The trip leaders were exceptional and we met so many good people. I would recommend this trip to all my friends. The cycling was invigorating but not exhausting and the pace was perfect. You can see so much more of the country when you are pedalling at a comfortable rate past such an interesting area.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: June 16, 2012
    Posted by: Bluelumpy
    From: Kelowna, BC, Canada
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 1

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  • The pre and post tours enhanced the trip.

    This part of Italy is little known and the trip provided an in-depth exposure to the breadbasket of the country. There were so many unique features to the towns we visited and the food and accomodations were wonderful.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Other tours I recommend:

    Posted on: June 16, 2012
    Posted by: jog2733
    From: Appleton WI
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • Beatiful seascapes and countryside with very special accommodations

    There were great rides on this VBT trip. Some were through country lanes surrounded by ancient olive trees. Others were along the sea coast with magnificent views. We had opportunities to swim in the ocean at points along the way, as well as at our accommodations. And, our accommodations were truly elegant. We are already booked for another VBT biking trip, this time just north of Rome.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Other tours I recommend:

    Posted on: June 16, 2012
    Posted by: John
    From: Pennsylvania, USA
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • Marvelous!

    Hurry and take this trip to Puglia before others discover this beautiful part of Italy. If you can, take the pre-trip extension and spend time in Matera, a most fascinating place, unlike any other part of Italy. Guides on this trip were absolutely outstanding. Hotel selections were also outstanding as were the planned meals. A lunch with Armando and Rosalba was most memorable, excellent. I loved this trip!

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Other tours I recommend:

    Posted on: June 16, 2012
    Posted by: Savipam
    From: New York, NY, USA
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • fantastic trip

    most beautiful scenery, Italian food so how can you go wrong, great rides and leaders, highly recommended

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Other tours I recommend:

    Posted on: June 16, 2012
    Posted by: bonz
    From: south florida
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 5 or more

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  • Superb hotels, wonderful cycling and great leaders

    We are generally independent travelers and have lived in Europe and have no problem with language. We booked this tour to fill an unexpected lull in our schedules. We had heard good things about VBT and expected a pleasant trip. It was pleasant and much more. The leaders were great. There when you needed them and not intrusive when you did not. The hotels were over the top. In one Masseria we picked ripe apricots from the trees outside our room. On our return we spoke to a colleague who took the same trip at twice the price with a "high-end" bicycle tour - she had the same route, the same hotels and less time in the fantastic city of Lecce. They did get "free" wine while we had to pay 15 Euros a bottle. Hardly makes up the difference. The cycling is largely on flat terrain but there are often strong headwinds. Almost the entire route is on country lanes with very sparse traffic. Was good enough that we would do it again. Off to Chile and Easter Island on our own in a few weeks, but to Vietmam with VBT at Christmas

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Other tours I recommend:

    Posted on: June 15, 2012
    Posted by: MandV
    From: New York, NY, USA
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 1

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  • A wonderful way to experience a lovely part of Italy

    There were 11of us on the Puglia tour in the spring of 2010 (Counting our 2 excellent guides). I came with my daughter and 14 year old granddaughter who had never done a bike tour and not much biking at all The pace was easy, the vistas of the Adriatic Sea spectacular,the food delicious, and the rides through the ancient olive groves were wonderful; peaceful , quiet and calming.We enjoyed every moment.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: June 15, 2012
    Posted by: Carol3
    From: New Brunswick, Canada
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 1

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  • What a great way to see southern Italy

    Puglia and the pre-trip to Matera were beyond our expectations. The lodging was very nice and the regional food and wines were great. The rides were through ancient olive groves and farms with some regular road riding necessary to get to the small blue highways, farms and wineries. Our leaders Paulo and Deborah were awesome.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Other tours I recommend:

    Posted on: June 15, 2012
    Posted by:
    From: santa fe, nm
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • This area is not touristy at all and there are so many places to explore

    I can't recommend the Matera extension enough. It was one of the most interesting places I've ever been and I'd love to go back. The biking was fabulous - not very difficult and we had plenty of time. The guides were so wonderful and took fantastic care of everyone. The food was amazing and the accomodations were great too. Once again, the Italian people were warm and welcoming.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: June 13, 2012
    Posted by: T7876
    From: Maine
    Age: 45 to 54
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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