Exploring Southern Italy

  • Napoli
  • Melfi
  • Monte Vulture
  • Matera
  • Maratea


April 25 – May 5, 2025


  • Escape the commercial tourist crowds
  • Small group vibe; local hospitality
  • Multi-night stays in high-standard hotels
  • Three mesmerizing “hubs” of southern Italy: Monte Vulture; Matera; Maratea
  • Explore the sites of ancient Italy; enjoy an enduring “enlightened lifestyle”

Trip Description

Join us for a small group adventure to the stunning landscapes and cultural mélange of southern Italy!  We’ll fly in and out of Napoli – gateway to the less-traveled South – and enjoy three distinct geographic regions of Italy.  We’ll spend our first two nights near the beautiful “Norman town” of Melfi:  featuring a 12th century Norman-built castle; the famous Aglianico wines, grown on the slopes of the extinct volcano, Vulture; and the nearby ancient Roman city of Venosa.

We’ll then move to Matera – city of the Sassi (that is, ancient homes / dwellings cut into the soft limestone of the gorge where the city lies).  Matera was named Europe’s “Culture Capital” in 2019 – and it’s uniquely beautiful.  Across the gorge lie churches and hermitages, painted in frescoes, and blending into the natural surroundings – and offering stunning views of Matera, itself.  In the wider region (Puglia), we’ll make a visit to the unique trulli houses of Alberobello – another UNESCO world heritage site.

We’ll then drive through valleys framed by the high, jagged peaks of the Pollino, as we make our way to Maratea – on the Tyrrhenian Sea.  We’ll stay in one of Italy’s best hotels, as we take in the views, enjoy a tour of the coast from the water, and sample the region’s delectable food and wine.  Yes – enlightened living.

What's Included

  • Comfortable ground transportation (including yes, by train!)
  • Accommodation for nine nights
  • Breakfast, 4 lunches and 6 dinners
  • All activities / admissions per the itinerary
  • Guide and concierge service throughout the trip

Trip Price

$6,365 / person (double occupancy; single supplement, $1,185)

What's Not Included

Price does not include airfare, alcohol, other meals, optional activities, or optional trip insurance.

I highly recommend Explore Up Close. Not only did we enjoy some beautiful cities and landscapes, we learned so much history. They are memory makers!
If you want first-class service within a small group of traveling companions that you can really get to know, then definitely consider Explore Up Close.

Trip insurance safeguards your travel investment, your belongings, and most importantly, you. Trip insurance is required for all international trips, in the event you have to cancel or leave a trip for any reason. Please note, all trip participants should wait for confirmation from Explore Up Close that the trip has the minimum sign-up required to be a “go” before purchasing travel insurance or airline tickets. Please confirm with Explore Up Close before making any additional travel arrangements.

Once you have received confirmation from Explore Up Close, we recommend contacting a travel insurance provider directly to request a quote and compare pricing and features. You can find other providers that may fit your needs at www.insuremytrip.com, or we can gladly connect you with our travel agent.

Please note, all trip participants should wait for confirmation from Explore Up Close that the trip has the minimum sign-up required to be a “go” before purchasing airline tickets.

Explore Up Close will provide a recommended flight itinerary for your consideration, which is intended as a helpful suggestion. We encourage travelers to choose airfare depending on their personal preferences, as some travelers may prefer to travel independently and meet at our destination, or may wish to extend their travels at the beginning or end of the trip. Our travel agent is available to assist you with booking flights and trip insurance.

Again, please confirm with Explore Up Close before purchasing your airline tickets or making additional travel arrangements!

Book Trip