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Puglia 10 nights Early May - Help with where to base ourselves please.

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I am planning a trip to Puglia at the beginning of May 2015 and would appreciate some tips from those who have been before or live in the area. I have read most of the posts on here and have picked up some great information but undecided on the best base for our stay.

We are flying into Brindisi,will hire a car and will fly out of either Brindisi or Bari.
There are 4 of us (no kids), our interests are food, wine & local culture. On this trip we plan to stay in villages/towns so we can walk to dinner etc but will have a car to do day trips.

We plan to have 2 x 5 night stays and would like some tips on where to base ourselves. Being early May, being beachside is not high on our list but we do enjoy a nice water view so plan to have one stay on the coast and one stay inland.
We are thinking either Polignano or Monopoli (or around there) but can’t decide and the other stay south of Lecce in a village/town with good dining options and located well to trip around the Salento region. Any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

As we are arriving on Thursday 30th April – with Friday 1st May being a public holiday, making for a long weekend, I am also interested to know how the long weekend and festival in Bari 7-9 May should factor into our plans ie: places to avoid and or not to miss?

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