Vineyards & Castles of the South Overview
Head back in time on a leisurely journey through the vineyards of the south, passing elegant castles on your way to magical Matera.
- self-guided hotel-to-hotel cycling, luggage transported
- idyllic rural cycling
- wonderful vineyards
- fascinating medieval fortifications
- stay in unique Matera
Situated at the northern end of Italy’s ‘heel’, the rural provinces of Basilicata and Puglia are largely unspoiled and unknown to many, although they hide a truly astonishing wealth of artistic and historic treasures. From the coast at Bari, the undulating countryside of Puglia, dotted with the historical remains of myriad invaders, gradually climbs up into the hills of Basilicata, where local customs and traditions have survived for centuries in seemingly timeless hill-top towns protected by spectacular fortresses.
Starting from Andria, you cycle to the Castel del Monte, an octagonal and enigmatic hill-top fortress, and Venosa, the ancient Roman town where Horace, the Latin poet of Carpe Diem
, was born. Having passed through the vineyards of Vulture, you cycle south along gentle trails through rolling hills of wheat until you reach your final destination, UNESCO-protected Matera, with its unique sassi
houses built into the rocks. There is a noticeably slower rhythm to daily life here and you are encouraged to immerse yourself in the charm and peacefulness of Italy’s ‘deep south’.