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where to stop driving perugia to Otranto via east Coast Italy??

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Hi, Husband and I will be making a round driving trip from Umbria region (perugia or orvieto) to Otranto (apulia region) then back to Tuscany this June. From Perugia area (after the Spello and Orvieto Infiorata festival) we plan to take the east coast down, spend ~4 nights exploring the south apuglia region (we will be based in otranto) and then drive back to tuscany with a 2-3 night stop on the Amalfi Coast (google maps suggests driving to tuscany via naples outskirts).

Does anyone have any suggested stops along the way from Perugia(or Orvieto) to Otranto. We are looking for a possible overnight stop about half way (eg, is Pescara nice?)- and we also welcome any favourite stops both along the way and also on the way back. In our research it has been quite hard to find nice places to stop by in the regions of south Lazio, east Abruzzo, Melisa, central Campania or northern Apulia.

Does anyone have any advice/tips in their experience for this kind of drive?

Regards, and thanks in advance :)

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    Hi,

    I've looked at your previous posts and remember your first post about going to a wedding in Otranto.

    To be honest, I think you are making a mistake trying to tour all of Italy in a car in June, especially these most-touristy-jammed hotspots like the Amalfi and famous festivals all over Tuscany and Umbria. If you are sociologists -- and especially sociologists of tourist migrations -- you will have a rich experience. Otherwise, what you are setting yourself up for is traffic jams, places so crowded you see very little of anything, and pretty much a clear miss of today's Italy, which is in fact very beautiful everywhere. You don't have to go stalking beautiful places and booking yourself into picture postcard spots that are hyped in all the travel books.

    Given the amount of ground you are trying to cover, you'd do better to book a bus tour, which will whisk you in and out of the tourist "highlights" so you don't get bogged down looking for a parking space.

    If you are revolted by the idea of a coach tour, then think about whether you really want to take the same highways and routes the bus tours go to, make the same pit stops. Maybe what you would rather do is explore Italy. It is all much more beautiful than you are imagining. Many beautiful, fascinating, scenic towns and places in Italy never get mentioned in guidebooks and the towns don't have websites.

    But if you set yourself on a course to zoom past all these interesting areas (like the Gargano penisula, or Ascoli Piceno) to swat down the famous tourist sights like flies in June, you are putting yourself under a lot of stress without a lot more reward than what you would get if you took it easy and discovered that other Italy mass tourism has yet to discover.

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    Zeppole: our itinerary has changed from earliest post to include just Italy with a car. We dislike giant bus tours and don’t want many places they include (e.g. Rome, Florence, Pompeii etc, been already) and we feel bus tours are very rushed (only 2-3nights in each place). Actually, we are surprised by your comment: we don’t see how this suggestion fits our interest at all (or with the wedding in a region no major bus tours go?).

    This trip will be our 3rd to Italy (my 7th to Europe), but our first big EU trip with a car (we normally use trains/planes, but not advisable for tuscany/umbria/south Italy). We will have 6 weeks in Italy spending a minimum 4 nights in each place (except for the stops we wish to make to and from Otranto), and we plan ~2 weeks in tuscany/umbria. I don’t feel we are trying to 'whisk' around Italy and have read a few driving trip reports that have got us excited for a more slow-travel personal experience. We do want to explore Italy and are excited by the freedom a car will give us to make stops at the less well known or accessible areas. Plus, living in Sydney, Australia we are used long driving, (takes me 2hrs to drive to work most days, and 4-6hrs to drive to nearby weekend getaway destinations). We also don’t mind if our car will get unused a couple days here or there (like when we visit the CT and lakes region)

    Also, some places like the AC are touristy because they are amazing. Having already spent 6 nights on the AC and found it enchanting we want to try return even if for only 2 nights (and the otranto to Tuscany drive via Naples makes this seem like a feasible detour-stop?). In my experience, early-mid June in Mediterranean Europe is not usually high tourist season.

    Do you have a suggestion for a good 2-night stopover town in the AC with a car? We loved Sorrento and positano but are open to an alternative 'less touristy' location if easier to drive to/park. Are Ravello or Salerno good options?

    You say many beautiful towns in Italy are not mentioned in guide books, hence why I have come to this forum (I do like the suggestions of gargano peninsual or ascoli piceno) I would love more such suggestions. Do you know much of Pescara as this appears to be a half way driving stop? We are asking for 1) hidden gems people recommend that are not on the tourist trail, particularly with this thread on the Umbria to Puglia to Tuscany drive;.and 2) driving tips to help us come up with the best driving plan and avoid driving disaster zones

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    Are you wanting to relax or sightsee?

    Parking would be a challenge in Ravello so make sure any place you book there has some kind of parking option.

    Salerno is easy to get in and out, but not as attractive as the other towns along the Amalfi coast.

    Is the wedding a weekend? You can run into traffic jams around Naples and heading back towards Rome on the autostrada late Friday/Sunday.

    Not far off the autostrada north of Naples is the Royal Palace at Caserta.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Der_bourbonische_K%C3%B6nigspalast_in_Caserta.jpg

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    Hi, the wedding is on a thursday (14th june) and we intend to leave puglia region on saturday 17th.

    If the AC is too much of a detour or logistic hassle on our route to tuscany we are happy to choose elswhere more convenient and worthwhile (for 1-2 nights)but dont know where. Hence, we come to fodors. The google map predicted drive from umbria to otranto and then to Val d'orica region in tuscany is 8hrs each way, so we are asking for driving hints and suggestions for a nice stop for 1or2 days half-way to break it up. thanks:)

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