Basilicata and Puglia: the Heel and the Hinterland

April 16–23, 2018

From Greeks to Romans to Byzantines, Saracens, and Normans, the waves of diverse peoples who settled southeastern Italy left their mark on its food and culture. Our trip spans parts of two Italian regions, Basilicata and Puglia, and highlights the various legacies of its colonists and conquerors.

Our archaeological itinerary in this part of Magna Graecia will include a stop at the newly restored world-class archaeological museum of Taranto (ancient Tarentum) and a visit to the site of Metapontum, both first settled by Greek colonists when Romans were still living in shepherds’ huts.

We’ll see stunning scenery of Italy’s rugged interior and visit at least three UNESCO World Heritage Sites—Frederick II’s majestic octagonal Castel del Monte; the sassi, rock-cut dwellings and churches, of mysterious Matera (European Cultural Capital in 2019); and the curious conical buildings called trulli in and around Alberobello. The historic center of Lecce, a baroque gem (with a Roman amphitheater), and the cathedrals of Trani and Otranto are also on the itinerary.