The map says Italy. The heel of the "boot." Though you may feel you've strayed into Greece. And that's a part of Puglia's appeal. Endless olive groves. A rugged coastline and the blue-green Adriatic. The people are welcoming and down-to-earth. The cuisine rustic and satisfying. You've found your perfect escape.
1 Unbeatable views of ancient olive groves, whitewashed villages and age-old farmhouses Journey to the World Heritage site of Matera, one of Italy's most fascinating towns Some 9,000 years ago, humans inhabited the canyon's caves, creating what UNESCO calls the most outstanding example of a troglodyte settlement in the Mediterranean Soak up the authentic feel of this ancient town, with its intriguing history and sublime views Cap off your trip with a ride or a walk through Matera with a local expert.
2 Ever wondered how mozzarella is made? It's your chance to learn Explore the World Heritage site of Alberobello with 1,500 trulli, unusual round stone buildings topped with conical gray slate roofs Bike into the surrounding landscape, an artist's dream, with its vibrant palette of reddish brown soil, green grass and blue skies.
3 Start the day off with an espressino freddo, Puglia's delicious cold sweet coffee Take in unbeatable views of ancient olive groves as you pedal to historic Ostuni, "the white city," which spans three hilltops and is crowned by a Gothic cathedral Taste regional wines, learn to make pasta and enjoy home-cooked Pugliese specialties at a local masseria (fortified farmhouse).
4 Enjoy a two-wheeled journey through peaceful farmland and scenic roads down the Adriatic coast Along the way, delight in views of the azure Adriatic and its picturesque white-sand beaches Savor local produce, fresh seafood and regional wines.
5-6 Superb coastal vistas, extraordinary grottoes and opportunities to swim in the sea Bike to the "heel of the boot" on a spectacular seaside ride to the tiny village of Santa Maria di Leuca Take a final spin over undulating terrain toward Otranto Delight in an evening of lively traditional music and folk dancing The trip ends in historic Lecce, a city famed for its beautiful baroque architecture.