Pilgrimage to Bari, Otranto and Leece

Led by Canon Christopher Tuckwell, 14 - 20 October 2018

To include: The Basilica of St Nicholas in Bari, the Church of St Anthony in Alberobello, the shrine of the 813 martyrs in Otranto, and Lecce, the ‘Baroque Florence’.


DAY ONE: London – Bari

Scheduled flight from Gatwick to the seaside town of Bari, capital of Puglia. We check into our four-star hotel, The Palace, which overlooks the Basilica of St Nicholas. Time permitting, we will celebrate Mass at a church near to where we are staying. Dinner will be in our hotel on each night of the pilgrimage.


This morning we hope to celebrate Mass at the magnificent Romanesque Basilica of St Nicholas which was consecrated in 1197. The fourth century saint was Bishop of Myra in Lycia (in modern Turkey). He is known today as the origin of the modern Father Christmas (Santa Claus) and has been one of the most popular of all Christian saints for centuries and is the patron saint of children. One story tells of his bringing back to life three children who had been murdered and pickled in a barrel of brine. He is also known as the patron saint of sailors, merchants, pawn brokers, brides, travellers, as well as Greece and Russia. This afternoon we will also have the opportunity to visit the eleventh century Romanesque Cathedral of St Sabinus.

DAY THREE: Alberobello – Lecce

We depart Lecce, and enjoy a coastal drive before coming inland to the small town of Alberobello, which features the strange whitewashed dwellings known as Trulli. We walk to the church of San Antonio where we will celebrate Mass. There will be time to browse and have lunch, before driving on to Lecce where we check into our centrally located four- star accommodation, Hotel delle Palme, for a four-night stay.

DAY FOUR: Lecce 

In roman times, Lecce was the Roman town of Lupia. From the 16th century, splendid Renaissance, the Baroque monument sprung up giving that town the feel of ‘Baroque Florence’. We spend the day here, with a guided tour to include The Chiesa del Rosario, the last work of the great artist Giuseppe Zimbalo, the splendid piazza del duomo, and the Basilica di Santa Croce, where we will celebrate Mass. The rest of the day will be at leisure. Why not try out one of the popular cafes and restaurants in Lecce for lunch.

DAY FIVE: Ostuni – Lecce

This morning we drive to the market town of Ostuni, which is an outcrop of three hills which outlook the plains below. White alleyways and white cubed houses welcome us. The highlight is the 15th century cathedral which has one of the most beautiful facades in Puglia and a splendid rose window, with Christ in the centre surrounded by seven angels representing the days of the week. We have a guided tour and celebrate Mass before finding time for lunch and some free time before returning to Lecce.

DAY SIX: Otranto – Lecce

Our excursion today is to Otranto, a small fishing port on the Adriatic coast. It was the last byzantine stronghold in the 15th century, and was besieged by Muhammad II, the Turkish ruler. The inhabitants took refuge in the 15th century cathedral, where they were massacred, with survivors taken to the top of a hill, Colle Minerva, and killed. A sanctuary was built to their memory here, and in the cathedral is a chapel dedicated to the martyrs who were canonised by Pope Francis in 2013. We celebrate Mass here, and afterwards we’ll have time for lunch, before returning to Lecce for the last evening of our pilgrimage.

DAY SEVEN: Brindisi – London Gatwick

An early breakfast before driving to Brindisi Airport (approximately 40 minutes) for our return flight to Gatwick.

This tour involves a substantial amount of walking, some of which will be over irregular surfaces such as cobblestones and badly-maintained walking areas. If everyday walking is something you find difficult, this tour may be unsuitable for you.



This itinerary is a guide and subject to change. 



Single room supplement: £186

14/10/18 - 20/10/18
Price Includes:
EasyJet or BA scheduled flights: Gatwick - Bari Bari - Gatwick. 23kg checked-in luggage. Current U.K. and Italy airport departure taxes. Six-nights accommodation in shared twin-bedded rooms with private facilities in religious four-star hotel accommodation in Bari and Lecce. Meal Plan: six breakfasts and six dinners. All touring and transfers in air-conditioned coach as per the itinerary.  Entrance fees as per the itinerary. Guided tours where applicable by fully licensed English-speaking guides.  Daily Masses booked at churches, shrines and basilicas. ATOL and ABTA financial protection. 
Price Extras:
Travel insurance. You may like to arrange cover through Travel & General Insurance Services Ltd. Contact them for details and the premium: 020 3794 2954. Single room supplement at £186 per person for 6 nights (limited avaliability). Lunches and drinks. Gratuities to hotel, restaurant staff and coach drivers. U.K. coach transfers. Fuel surcharges if passed on by the airline. City  tax (if applicable).
Terms of Payment:

Deposit of £200 per person is required (plus the insurance premium if the cover we offer is required) per person, with a completed booking form. Balance payment is due no later than 6th August 2018.