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The tour could be fun and informative if you join the tour with 3 or 4 people, don't join if there are only two of you , like we did.
Because the tour guide received order from two source, Viator and an agent from Berlin, who broke this trip into 3 part and sold separately Bali, Alberobello and Matera, Castel del Mounte, all with free pickup and return. Our guide Vito picked us up 8.30 AM, then went outside city to pick up a Dutch lady and return to our pickup spot 9.30Am to start the tour 1 hour wasted . We went to the Basilica of Nicola, where people were having a wedding ceremony, so lots of place not accessible. After half an hour we have another half hour free time when Vito leave us to pick up two guest from Argentina. We then start heading west the second part of our journey without the Dutch lady 10.30 AM we have seen nothing in Bali other than the Basilica . We arrive Matera before noon and head down Via Bruno Buozzi from the edge of the Sassi, where the Argentine want to have lunch, so we end up with another half an hour free time. We walk down Via Bruno Buozzi to Chiesa di San Pietro Caveoso for a short tour, then we head back to our car stopping only in a small shop within a cave, bypassing all the must see items in Matera according to Tripadvisor . We headed south to Alberobello arriving after 3.00 PM, the tour here was more thorough and informative, although its still a single street walking up and down, but at least cover most important sight there. Vito then took us back to Bali city center for the Argentine before heading north to Castel del Monte another hour lost in traffic , can't understand why its Unesco listed, there are nothing there worth seeing except for a photo outside its front gate, we did gone back to Bali 6.30 PM on time. Frankly speaking Vito is Knowledgeable and a very good driver, but to make up for lost time, doing 120 KM/HR on a 30 KM/HR dirt road, with constant overtaking and explanation in two language at the same time is way too much. Especially for someone sitting in front row like me. All in all Vito drive for more than 400 KM in a day when its only 250 KM if the tour goes Alberobello, Matera and Castel before heading back .
We have just arrived back to our accommodation after 12 hours with the wonderful Vito. I cannot tell you what a pleasure today was. It is impossible to summarise the beauty and history of the Puglia region but Vito most certainly can. And he does it with humour, knowledge and most of all passion. The Sassi is amazing, the Castel astounding, Bari is so old world get vibrantly alive and the clash of the old and the new is intriguing. But the Trulli oh the Trulli were the highlight for me. I cannot recommend this tour more highly. Thank Vito for an amazing day.
I have to break this tour into two parts, the sites visited and the driver/tour guide. The sites are must see. Bari is a unique city on the coast. The history of the other sites an the tour is outstanding. They are everything you can imagine after reading about them.
The driver/tour guide on the other hand was terrible. As a guide he did now convey very much information about the history of the sites. He spoke at lengths of the present day situation in Puglia. As a driver he was dangerous. He was the worst of what you hear about Italian drivers. He hit speed of 150 km/h in 90 km/h zones, sometimes using his cell phone to show pictures of his sister. If he was not talking, he had the radio volume so high you could not ask questions and turned it down only if he wanted to make a comment. Much of the drives between sites was done with the radio at full blast. Perhaps we should have conveyed our feelings about these issues, but we were a long way from our hotel in Bari, and was not sure of his reaction.
With a competent driver/guide I would recommend this tour highly. It is a long day, but the sites are worth it.
This tour was beautiful however we felt rushed at the end and would have liked to stay at Matera longer. I think it's too much in one day.
The guide was perfect person for the tour but I would recommend staying away from talking about politics with clients. Politics are a sensitive subject.
This is a difficult review to write. We had booked this full day tour only a day before we arrived at Bari and had it confirmed for an 8am start for what was an 8 hour tour. The guide rang us at our hotel at 8pm the night before the tour to say that because we had booked so late, he could not pick us up at 8 but if we wanted to go ahead with the tour he could start at 2pm. As it was that or no tour and we had no More time in Puglia we agreed. On the day he rang us from reception at about 1.20pm to say he was there.
All of the above was very unsatisfactory but we agreed not to make any issue and just enjoy the experience. Overall the tour was interesting and enjoyable and as we were the only tourists we sat in the front of our guide's mini bus/people mover.
Castel del Monte was interesting but took too long because you need to catch a special bus from the car park to the castle and on the way back we had to miss two buses because they were overcrowded with big tour groups. That put us behind schedule and we arrived at Matera close to dusk. Matera is Magic and we would have liked to spend more time there but obviously were were running against the clock. Within 30 minutes of leaving Matera it was dark and we assumed the trip would be cut short but found ourselves in Alberobello about an hour later. Fortunately, the truly area was still alight and alive with people which in itself gave a different perspective from seeing it in daylight. But again, by this time it was about 8pm and we still had an hour's drive back to Bari, which we did at a rather fast speed, or so it seemed to us but maybe that was normal.
We arrived back at our hotel At about 9pm. It had been a long and tiring day but we were glad we got to see Matea and Alborabello especially.
In summary , our guide was clearly passionate and committed to his region Puglia and was informative and good company. However, I think the itinerary is too ambitious and would suggest that the castle be deleted.