3 months in Puglia region

Old Apr 19th, 2017, 08:14 AM
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3 months in Puglia region

Hi everyone
My husband and I love Italy and last year we did an excellent experience staying 3 months in Palermo. We did 2 months italian course, made some good friends and traveled a lot around Sicily. Next year we want to do the same on the other side of the boot, on Puglia.
Would you give us some advice? Would Bari be a good choice as base for 3 months stay, study a little more italian, and travel arou the region? We think about staying march april may or april may june...
We are a retired couple and we love walking and knowing people . We are also pedestrians... no car at all.
We imagine taing in a somewhat large city so that we can have an itailian course for foreigners and also also restaurants and bars...
Thanks for any help!
Katia
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Old Apr 19th, 2017, 09:25 AM
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Bari is smaller than Palermo, but even so, it's about the only true city that Puglia has, and it certainly has the best train connections.

Bari was my favorite experience of Puglia. Lots of people love Lecee but I didn't care for it and would find it much too small for a 3-month stay, in particular without a car

I don't know what the language school opportunities are in Puglia. Other interesting cities in Italy that are not tourist-depots but where you would really mix it up with the locals and have good train connections for fascinating excursions are Genova, Torino and Bologna -- but all would be more expensive than Puglia.
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Old Apr 19th, 2017, 09:28 AM
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Give Naples some consideration as well -- but it is much more intense as an urban environment. Still, if you stay in a quieter part of town like Vomero it eases up on the intensity.
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Old Apr 19th, 2017, 10:17 AM
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I loved Lecce, more a town than a city. The local trains south to the heel are a bit odd, but interesting and there are Italian courses in Lecce.

As well as a limited train system there is a bus system, the best ones go to the various ariports.

I'd look at Bari, Brindisi and Lecce but not Taranto
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Old Apr 19th, 2017, 07:25 PM
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I agree with bilboburgler -- Bari, Brindisi, or Lecce. But they each have different merits, so do your research to see which best matches your needs and interests.

Enjoy!
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Old Apr 19th, 2017, 07:42 PM
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Oh, and Trani might be worth considering, although it might be a bit too far out of the core....
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Old Apr 20th, 2017, 08:08 AM
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Well now I'm really confuse... a friend just asked me why not Umbria, Perugia ?
Someone please help me here...
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Old Apr 20th, 2017, 09:27 AM
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Would the public transport be any better there?
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Old Apr 20th, 2017, 01:37 PM
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Public transportation options in Perugia are probably better than in Bari and certainly better than Brindisi or Lecce. The devil is in the details, but I suspect they are better. Perugia has thousands of students, almost none of whom have cars, and yet they enjoy excursions out of the city. You would also have the advantage of being in the company of a great many language students, who will understand your desire to stick to speaking Italian rather than reverting to English.

But not to confuse you more but I would say: Why not Rome? Why not Pisa? Why not Verona? And that's in addition to the cities I already mentioned. In terms of public transportation options, the region of Puglia has very weak transportation infrastructure. Further north in Italy you find wonderful train connections that, for a 3 month stay, would give you nearly endless options for excursions, plus the cities themselves are packed with artistic, historic & architectural interest.
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Old Apr 20th, 2017, 08:20 PM
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I strongly encourage you to consult some good guidebooks at your local library so you can make a choice that meets your interests.
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Old Apr 21st, 2017, 12:06 AM
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Benefits of Puglia

1) far fewer people speak English (so you have to speak Italian)
2) prices are far lower
3) The food is good in both areas, but I prefer Puglian food
4) the people of the south are a bit different from those in the north, a bit more fun loving, a bit more laid back, a bit more food obsessed
5) the south is where Italians go for a holiday
6) getting to know people in the south is fair bit easier
7) April would be a lovely time in Puglia
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Old Apr 21st, 2017, 06:49 AM
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April is early to go to Puglia. Many beach towns will be near empty, although of course not Bari, which is a city.

Food is different all over Italy, and it is not true that the Pugliesi are more "food obsessed" than the Bolognesi or the Torinesi. (Or the Genovese or the Sicilians). It is not correct to talk about food in the "north" vs food in the "south." Food in Florence is different from food in Bologna, which is only 30 minutes away, and different from Livorno, 30 minutes in the opposite direction. Food is different in Venice from Verona, in Perugia is it much different from Florence, Venice or Bologna or Pisa.

Food in Bari is different from food in Martina Franca, which is inland and eats meat rather than fish.

Many, many Italians go to Umbria for their holidays. They live in Rome or Modena or Verona, but they go to Umbria for the beautiful hills. (Puglia is mainly flat.) Last August there was an earthquake in one part of Umbria and most of the people who were affected were there for summer holiday.

On holidays, many people who live in the city of Bari in Puglia go someplace else, like everybody in cities do.

It is not hard to get to know Italians in Perugia or Bologna . These are all false comparisons.

Many people have a favorite part of Italy and they imagine it is "better" than other parts. If you are looking for cheaper, Puglia is cheaper. But Bari is not "better" than Perugia for food, friendliness, holiday fun, or April weather. (It rains plenty in Puglia in April.) And Perugia is devoted to language students.

If you want to go to Puglia go there. But don't go there thinking it is "better" for what you are looking for, and if you want to go to Genova or Perugia or Torino, you can still find a way to do it on a budget & spend no more than if you went to Puglia.

If you want to go to Puglia go to Puglia because Puglia is what you want to see, not because you think other parts of Italy are somehow less. They aren't.
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Old Apr 21st, 2017, 12:50 PM
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you are right, the beaches will be "closed" (that is no bars or deck chairs placed on the sand) the beaches will, of course be open, for walking, swimming, etc etc.

I do agree that other areas are just as pleasant but I was trying to give the OPs reasons and my 7 stand.
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