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Trip Report Venturing into Southern Italy – A Short TR

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All I can say is Puglia is wonderful – go now before it truly gets discovered which it will. People are delightful, friendly and wanting to help. It’s very scenic with lots of villages with interesting sites to visit, beaches to lie on, seas to swim in, fabulous food to eat and wine to drink and all this at a price I doubt you will find elsewhere in Italy.
We began our trip mid September and had great weather - not a drop of rain, clear, blue skies every day. Our second weeks temps did get up ion the 90's which is apparently warm for that time of year or so we were told by the locals.

Again, I want to thank all the fodorites who wrote such great TRs and answered my many questions as I planned. Throughout the trip we constantly referred back to various reports. Below are the logistics of our 3 week trip.

4 nights at Albergo Palazzo Decumani
Piazzetta Giustino Fortunato,8 Naples
Loved this hotel – quiet, peaceful in a great location within the Centro Storico with easy access to many sites in Naples. Good buffet breakfasts offered.
After reading for many years about the crime and garbage in Naples, we found Naples to be a crazy, chaotic fun – and safe -city. Absolutely loved it!

2 nights at Villa Casa D'angelo
via Canosa 150
Wanted to stay near the Masseria Barbera & Antichi Sapori and this was well located. Old villa with 4 rooms, but we were the only people staying. Vittora was a great host, offereing lots of information. We had a large room with big bath. Wifi reception was in the public areas right outside our room. Breakfasts were individualized as you requested and served outside in the lovely garden area.

3 nights at Masseria Serra dell'Isola
S.P. 165 Mola - Conversano, n. 35
Rita, the owner is wonderful and clearly makes this place. What it is, a homey, gracious home. Beautiful old masseria with nice grounds pretty much in the middle of nowhere, but only 20 minutes drive from the main roads once u figure out the tiny country roads leading to Rita’s. Again we were the only guests. Room was nice, but bathroom very tiny. I had debated whether to stay here or move further south closer to Ostuni, Martina Franco area, but Rita enticed me so in our emails, that I went against better judgment and stayed here. We adored Rita, had one fabulous dinner here and did enjoy our stay with her. Her breakfasts were unreal, started with coffee and a big bowl of fresh fruit and was followed by one plate of goodies after another. We had to stop the parade of delicious baked goods. But re location it not far enough south to efficiently visit the area, but hey, it’s Italy, who needed efficiency???

5 nights at Escape to Italy apt
30, Via Robertini Galatina
I have to thank Kodi for telling me about this great apt in Galatina. We used this as a home base to explore the Salento and loved our apt and the charming town of Galatina. Galatina is about 20-30 minutes south of Lecce and about 30 minutes to either coast. It made a perfect spot from which to day trip and explore the area. We had easy parking near our apt and getting into and out of town was easy peasy. Our only complaint was the unreliable wifi which we did mention to the owners and they have decided to go ahead and fix their wifi this winter. BTW owners are fabulously helpful and easy to deal with – they are in England.

3 nights at Residence San Giorgio
Via Fiorentini, 259 Matera stayed in suite della bifora
This was a converted cave dwelling in a dispersed hotel. Quite luxurious. The cave (American pronunciation) had a cave (French pronunciation) – a wine cellar! Unfortunately, it didn’t have wine. We literally ran right into the reception area where we could leave our car. The walk with luggage t our suite was quite a walk. And I might add the staff did not offer to carry anything, so we trudged up 100 mts consisting of stone steps and walking on slippery stone walkways with our 2 suitcases and miscellaneous stuff to get to our room. While we really liked this place, be wary of the walk to the rooms with your luggage. Perhaps other staff would help?

1 night at Boutique Hotel Palazzo Marzoli Resort
Via G.Marconi, 334 Positano
this was a last minute switch to go to the Amalfi coast and we had trouble finding a place to stay. We found this nice hotel on the Internet and it was recently renovated and quite nice with beautiful views. It had very friendly, helpful staff. But it’s way too far from the main part of Positano to realistically spend time here. We have always stayed more in town or in Ravello, but we were unable to get any reservations, so we took a chance on this place. I couldn’t imagine spending any time at this location. It’s not that it is a far walk up and down the windy hills, but the traffic is so heavy that walking feels dangerous with cars and motorcycles whizzing about 6” from you. Amalfi Coast was way too crowded and we left after one night.

2 nights at Orsini 46 Naples
We had planned to spend just our last night here before flying home, but we ended up with the last two nights. The B&B is inside the owner’s apt bldg and has 3 rooms. Our first room, which we had not reserved in advance, was tiny, but nice. We were moved the next morning into the room we had reserved and it was about twice as big with two small balconies. This B&B is located in the Port area that has a very different feel then the Centro Storico where we stayed upon our arrival. The area is convenient for visiting old palaces and castles, but felt a touch sterile to me and I think I preferred the location of our first hotel in Naples. Nonetheless, this is a lovely B&B with very nice owners and I highly recommend it for anyone interested in staying in the Port area.

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