A messapian archeological site, pink flamingos, wine and evo tasting.
Manduria is in the heart of the Primitivo di Manduria wine area and it's been always on the border of different dominations (Messapian and and the Greek colony of Taranto before, Byzantine and Lombards after). Here we can visit the historic city center (with the Cathedral, the eclectic Calvary and the Jewish area) and the largest and well preserved Messapian (a pre-roman population) archeological site in Puglia with the ancient and mighty fortifications (walls, ditch), the necropolis (with more than 1. 200 graves carved in the rocks), the Plinian Fountain (mentioned by Pliny the Elder in his "Historia Naturalis") and the small and interesting Church of St. Peter of Manduria.
At about 15 km it's worth a visit to the Monks' Salt Marsh: an amazing protected area only a few meters far from a wide sandy beach. Depending on the season, it's possible to admire interesting botanical and faunal species: halophytic plants, Mediterranean maquis, some birds (pink flamingos, dwarf heron, black-winged stilt, kingfisher).
While with a full day you can enjoy all aspects of the city, in an half day you can visit only a few ones.
In this case the tour is focused on wine (its majesty the Primitivo di Manduria) and EVO (extra virgin olive oil).
Depending on your interests we can visit one or more winery: a small family run one with a vineyard with alberello (bush trained) vines planted in 1920, another small family run one located in a small old winery, a consortium of winemakers with an interesting wine, folk art and tradition museum.
Thanks to the extra virgin olive oil tasting you will discover all the secrets of the healthy symbol of the Mediterranean diet (history, different cultivars, milling techniques, organoleptic characteristics, nutritional facts, etc. ) and how to recognize a good quality evo from a bad one, its use in the cuisine and food pairing.
It's also possible to modify the tour with a cheese tasting, a meal at a masseria (a typical puglian farmhouse), a gourmet restaurant, etc.
Meeting Location + Tour Duration
Meeting location: we can meet in Manduria or whererever you like in Puglia or Matera.
It's also possible to enjoy the experience to use a local railway line connecting Manduria with Martina Franca or Lecce and running through the countryside with its olive groves and vineyards.
End location: wherever you like in Puglia or Matera or we will be back to the railway station on time to take the train to go back.
Duration: 4 hours
For this tour you need a transfer. If you have a vechicle I can come with you otherwise I can arrange for you the transportation by car, van, minibus, bus, wheelchair accessible vehicle, bike, Electric pedal assisted cycle, segway, scooter, vintage car or vespa, etc.
You can also use a local railway line connecting Manduria with Martina Franca or Lecce: when you will be in Manduria, being the tour a few kilometres long, we can use for free my car (it can guest 4 people plus me as driver).
half day (morning or afternoon, up to 4 hours) private (I'll be entirely dedicated to you thus you won't share the tour with other travellers) guided visit in English language. I'm a licensed tour guide, wine and olive oil sommelier.
Estimated Local Cash Needed
20 EUR - the money for the wine tasting and if you like to buy some EVO and wine (the value for money here is unbelievable: starting from 6-8 Eur you can buy and excellent bottle of EVO or wine).
- meals and personal extras;
- extra hour: 30 eur (per group, not per person) for each extra hour (if any) exceding 4 hours;
- wine tastings: the cost change accordingly to the winery, wines, number of people, food pairings. It can go from zero to 30 Eur per person, the average is 10-15 Eur for 3 or 4 wines and breadsticks.
If you like to buy some wine a bottle usually costs from 6 to 25 Eur, the average is 12 Eur. With 35-50 Eur you will have a great wine;
- cheese tasting (mozzarella, caciocavallo, etc.): from 5 to 10 Eur per person;
- extra-virgin olive oil tasting: usually it's free of charge but it's appreciated if you buy something;
- transportation: to be quoted.
A Recent Review of this tour
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Excellent guide, well connected to the well known and lesser known wine producers. Would certainly recommend Alessandro!