Location: Italy Duration: 10 nights Price: From £2,050 per person in low season based on two adults travelling together and including all flights in economy class, accommodation on a bed and breakfast basis, car hire and taxes

Nothing screams romance quite like the Amalfi Coast, with its pastel-coloured towns and sea views; while Puglia is a foodie’s paradise. Combining these two irresistible destinations, this luxury self-drive trip in southern Italy will have you losing yourselves in a Puglian rural retreat, exploring the cave-town of Matera and luxuriating in glamorous Praiano on the Amalfi Coast.

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Those seeking the ultimate romantic getaway in Italy.

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FASANO – 3 nights

After a flight to Bari in Puglia, pick up the rental car and drive to your hotel, Masseria Torre Maizza, where your luxury Italian holiday begins. Relish the hour-long drive along the coast, passing quaint Puglian towns like Polignano A Mare, said to be one of the best spots for creamy Italian gelato. A delightful bucolic retreat, Masseria Torre Maizza is encircled by fruit orchards and olive groves and equipped with luxurious amenities like the outdoor pool and Aveda Spa. You’ll have access to the exclusive beach club down the road where you can try water-sports, as well as the equestrian centre, cookery school, golf course and quad bikes. At the hotel restaurant, tuck into traditional Pugliese specialties, like friselli and orrechiette pasta, complemented with a bottle of local wine.

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MATERA – 2 night

Hop in the car and weave through Puglia to reach Matera, a beautiful town teetering over a ridge flanked by deep canyons, and home to hundreds of caves that have been inhabited since Palaeolithic times. Admire the town’s fascinating sassi caves on foot, unearthing ancient churches as well as restaurants and cafes – the sassi are particularly magical by night. A cluster of these ancient sassi house Sextantio Le Grotte Della Civita, a boutique hotel which fuses luxury with Matera’s troglodyte heritage, and will be your bolt-hole for two nights. Savour this enchanting setting with dinner by candlelight or a spa treatment in the atmospheric cave dwelling. During your stay in Matera discover another distinctive local style of Puglian architecture, the trulli: small conical-roofed houses found in the village of Alberobello.

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SORRENTO – 2 nights

From Puglia, hit the road and make for Sorrento. Once you reach Salerno, you’ll be winding your way along the Amalfi Coast, with dramatic views of the forested cliffs, ice cream-hued villages clinging to the hillsides and electric-blue expanse of sea as you cruise along. Sorrento is brimming with basilicas, roman ruins and monasteries, and when you tire of its promenades the lure of mighty Mount Vesuvius will be hard to resist. Enjoy a guided tour of the volcano and the archaeological site of Pompeii, and get a grasp of what Roman life would have been like two thousand years ago. In Sorrento, stay at Bellevue Syrene, a hotel with its own slice of history: it sits on the ruins of an ancient Roman villa.

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PRAIANO – 3 nights

Relish the laidback charm of Praiano by ambling along quiet lanes, stumbling upon 12th century churches and joining the locals on the mosaic piazza in the evenings. Discover Amalfi’s beauty by hiking the Sentiero degli Dei up towards the clouds and over into Positano, or admire the gardens at Villa Cimbrone in Ravello before stopping for lunch at Osteria da Luisella, and round things off with a dip in the waters of Conca dei Marini. The picturesque coast is delightful to explore by private boat, taking you to secret coves, waterfalls and rockstacks; or you might want to canoe along the azure waters. Relax by the outdoor pool at Casa Angelina or down by the sea, rejuvenating with a yoga or Pilates class, and feast on Mediterranean fare at Un Piano nel Cielo as the sun dips below the horizon.

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