Presenting the Art and History of Italy

The Ancient South

Basilicata Tour Itinerary 2017

Cultural and Gastonomic Tours of Matera, Basilicata

Tour Highlights

Art and History:
Daily art and history presentations by Chris Dobson. Guided tour of Matera, a UNESCO World Heritage site with an English-speaking guide. Chris Dobson also leads trips from La Lucana.
Trip to mountain towns of Pietrapertosa, Castelmezzano, Pisticci, Montescaglioso and Miglionico.
Trip to the historic port of Taranto, its castle and archaeological museum.
All museum and monument entrance fees are included.

Workshop for making fresh pasta with the family at La Lucana, and workshop on mozzarella production with a local producer.
Making pizza with the family.
Degustazione: trying and comparing various local wines with local produce.

Full board:
Accommodation at a beautiful Lucanian farmhouse.
3 daily meals freshly prepared at the farm including drinks at meal times.
Intimate local music concert at the farm.
All transportation (excluding flights) Bari Airport pick up/drop off.


Price per person, double occupancy: £2,275

Single supplement: add £250

This tour itinerary at La Lucana is available only from Chris Dobson


Day 1: Monday

We pick you up from Bari Airport (at 2pm) and take you to the farmhouse, near Matera (journey time 1 hour). The afternoon is time to relax and settle in.

Chris Dobson: General welcome talk and orientation.
Followed by dinner.

Day 2: Tuesday

After breakfast, around 10.00am we take you to Matera for a guided tour of the UNESCO World Heritage site, The Sassi. The tour is presented by a local expert, an English-speaking guide. We shall visit the sites of interest this ancient stone city, with some free time to explore and shop in the narrow streets afterwards.
We then return to the farmhouse, where lunch takes the form of a degustazione, a wine-tasting with a buffet of local ham, salami and cheeses. We shall sample several reds, a rosé and a white: all local wines.
After the degustazione there a relaxing free time during the afternoon at the farm: wander round the olive groves, or just have a siesta!
Chris Dobson: Enemies of Rome. The Greeks, Latins and Carthaginians.
Followed by dinner.

Day 3: Wednesday

After breakfast, around 10.00am we will depart by minibus for a trip through the beautiful Dolomite mountains of Basilicata. We shall visit two stunning little mountain towns, Castelmezzano and Pietrapertosa, situated right in the heart of the Dolomites. These ancient hill towns have a variety of beautiful churches and chapels and a history that stretches back millennia to the Hill Peoples who defied the might of Rome.
We then return to the farmhouse for a light lunch.
In the afternoon, Marisa and/or Pietro will show you how to make fresh pasta in a hands-on fresh pasta workshop. You'll learn all about the techniques and different types of pasta and in the evening you'll get to see how it's cooked here in Matera.
Chris Dobson: The Roar of the Crowd: The Gladiators.
Followed by dinner: for dinner you get to eat the fresh pasta prepared in the afternoon: a true taste of Southern Italy!

Day 4: Thursday

After breakfast we head out to visit some more of the local towns in this part of Basilicata. First we visit Pisticci, known for the production of the local digestivo, Amaro Lucano, one of the most famous liqueurs in Italy. We'll explore the winding streets and beautiful buildings of the historic centre. Pisticci is also surrounded by impressive mountain scenery. From Pisticci we head on to the abbey-town of Montescaglioso, dedicated to Saint Michael Archangel. This larger town is famous for its beautiful abbey and historically it was the centre of a county in the Norman Kingdom of the Two Sicilies.
This will be a picnic prepared for us at the farmhouse, which we shall eat at Montescaglioso.
In the afternoon we continue on to the small castle-town of Miglionico, which is visible from the farm. This small medieval town is famous for its beautiful castle, the Castello del Malconsiglio. We then return to the farmhouse.
Chris Dobson: The Two Kingdoms. The Normans and the House of Aragon.
Followed by dinner.

Day 5: Friday

After breakfast, it's time for you to learn all about how to make fresh mozzarella with Antonio, a family friend who comes from a long line of Southern Italian mozzarella makers. In this hands-on workshop you will be guided through the process of making this wonderful cheese and then get to taste it. Cheese fans who have never tasted authentic Southern mozzarella are in for a surprise: this cheese is a world away from the bland offerings found in supermarkets.
We eat a light lunch at the farmhouse.
After all that food some relaxing free time at the farmhouse is in order, and for those interested, the family will be happy to show you the fruit orchards of the farm. You can chat to them about the use of fruit in the local cuisine, and try anything in season.
Chris Dobson: Steel Haloes: Warriors Saints in Medieval and Renaissance Italy.
Followed by dinner.

Day 6: Saturday

We round off the week in style: after breakfast, around 10.00am we head off by minibus for a day trip (journey time about 90 minutes) to the beautiful port city of Taranto, founded as a colony by the Greeks in the 8th Century BC. Here we visit the picturesque Old Town, the excellent archaeological museum, and the impressive 15th Century Aragonese castle.
Lunch is a picnic provided by the farm, which we can eat while looking at the beautiful waters of the Mediterranean.
In the afternoon there is some free time to explore and do a bit of shopping, before returning to La Lucana.
Chris Dobson: A Very Southern Renaissance. Finishing on a high note, Chris takes a look at the new appreciation of southern culture and gastronomy.
Followed by dinner: our week at La Lucana concludes with a farewell pizza party where you are invited to make this signature Southern food with the family, and celebrate a great week here in Basilicata. To set the mood, local musicians will come to the farm to introduce you to some of the fascinating music and instruments that have been played in Southern Italy for generations.

Day 7: Sunday

After breakfast, we take you back to Bari airport, and wish you buon viaggio!


Cultural and Gastonomic Tours of Apulia
Photos: above Franco Caputo (CC-BY-SA 3.0) and below Maximix (Free Art Licence).
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