Driving Tour - Bari to Bologna

Aug 28th, 2016, 12:58 PM
  #21  
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 8,523
Hi, Aussie, I flew into Rome, meeting my sister and her family, who had arrived several days earlier. Spent the weekend with them, then picked up the rental car at FCO where friends were arriving, and went with my niece and friends to Umbria. This trip was sort of a giant circle, as we included Naples and Ravello. A bit of an all-over-the-place tour, but it worked out that way because I was spending time with both family and friends, and everyone had a slightly different agenda. No complaints from me, I truly enjoyed the diversity.

I think you will have a phenomenal time. And, for what it's worth, I chose Spello because I found a place in town with pool (for my 10-year-old niece). One day we visited Spoleto: if I were returning just with grown-ups, I'd stay there. Spello is very cute, but Spoleto had more to hold my interest.

On the day we went down to Spoleto, we also visited Cascate delle Marmore. It was a "for the child" excursion, but my friends and I liked it too, for a change of pace.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cascata_delle_Marmore
Leely2 is offline  
Sep 16th, 2016, 05:15 AM
  #22  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 62
We have managed to score an additional night to add to our itinerary - yay! However, we are interested in your thoughts on where we should add an additional night. We love people watching, photography, food, wine and walking.

Our itinerary is currently as follows;

3 nights - Polignano a Mare - day trips to Matera, Trani, Alberobello, Ostuni

3 nights - Ascoli Piceno - day trips to Gola dell'Infernaccio, Camerino, Monti Sibillini NP

3 nights - Spoleto - day trips to Orvieto, Spello, Civita

2 nights - Gubbip - day trips to Urbino

2 nights - San Leo - hikes around countryside, day trip to San Marino

4 nights - Bologna - day trips to Parma, Modena, Ravenna
AussieHubbyWife is offline  
Sep 16th, 2016, 05:26 AM
  #23  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 10,298
I would add the day to Gubbio, because you only have 1 full day there and it looks like you are doing a day trip that day.
jamikins is offline  
Sep 16th, 2016, 06:01 PM
  #24  
kja
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 20,440
With only 3 nights in Polignano a Mare, I'm not convinced that you can actually see Matera, Trani, Alberobello, AND Ostuni. Matera itself easily merits a full day. You might consider adding your time to that segment, and you might consider staying a night (or two) in Matera.
kja is offline  
Sep 16th, 2016, 07:03 PM
  #25  
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 50
We stayed in Trani and went to Polignano a Mare as a day trip and would do it the same way again. Trani has a medieval section, a harbor where you can have a drink or dinner with a view, and is a larger town in general. Polignano a Mare is delightful to visit with the dramatic cliffs but felt like there would be less to do on a longer stay. Much of what we walked by was housing, although I guess its possible we missed some streets with more shops to browse. We were there in early Sept and it seemed like much of the town was closed down, so I think it caters primarily to the summer visitor.

From Bologna on a different trip we visited Parma and Modena in a single day. We really enjoyed the museum in Parma, as well as just wandering around. If you go to Ravenna then I suggest also visiting Pesaro, a delightful city with a pedestrian-only core.
miket123 is offline  
Sep 16th, 2016, 09:17 PM
  #26  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 62
Interesting.. Someone else has also suggested we stay in Ostuni and do a trip to the coast taking in Polignano a Mare and other towns, then a separate day trip to Matera from there..

The main reason we have selected Polignano a Mare is because years ago we saw a picture in an inflight magazine of Ristorante Grotta Palazzese and have been wanting to go ever since..

We were planning to see Trani on our first day when we get off the ferry from Dubrovnik.. It docks early in the morning in Bari so we were thinking we'd have the whole day to explore before heading to our accommodation that evening..

Hmm, more to think on.. So many options.
AussieHubbyWife is offline  
Sep 16th, 2016, 09:58 PM
  #27  
kja
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 20,440
I had dinner at the Ristorante Grotta Palazzese back in 2007, and it was extraordinary! The setting is magnificent, but unfortunately, it doesn't seem -- from what I've read -- that the restaurant's once very high standards for culinary excellence have been maintained. Only you can decide whether the setting is worth it in light of more recent reviews.

If it matters, I didn't actually stay in Polignano a Mare: I had been in Lecce for most of that day, and I spent the night in Bari. I had made arrangements in advance with the Grotta Palazzese to store my luggage during, and freshen up before, my meal; I also made arrangements to get from the hotel to the train station afterwards. So I took a train from Trani, walked to the hotel where they were expecting me and my luggage, spend an hour or so roaming the town, and returned to the hotel to freshen up before dinner. After dinner, I reclaimed my luggage and took the pre-arranged car (at a nominal cost) to the train station, from which I traveled to Bari for the night.

From what you are describing, it sounds like you probably have enough time to explore charming Trani. I will say, though, that like miket123, I was very glad I spent a night there. YMMV.

Hope that helps!
kja is offline  
Sep 16th, 2016, 10:30 PM
  #28  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 62
Since reading these last few posts I have been doing a little more research. Looks like Matera might be a better option, especially as we will have just come from Croatia where we will have spent lots of time with water based locations, maybe something different will be better. We can still visit Polignano a Mare - does anyone know whether the Grotta Palazzese serves lunch?
AussieHubbyWife is offline  
Sep 16th, 2016, 10:58 PM
  #29  
kja
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 20,440
have you checked it's website?
http://www.grottapalazzese.it/en/home/
kja is offline  
Sep 16th, 2016, 11:09 PM
  #30  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 62
Couldn't see opening hours on their website but looked it up on google and found out that it is open for lunch.. I have also since read a number of reviews and sounds like hyper expensive and average food... Maybe a drink in the bar instead..
AussieHubbyWife is offline  
Sep 16th, 2016, 11:22 PM
  #31  
kja
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 20,440
That's exactly why I encouraged you to read some recent reviews. But I don't remember a bar in the awesome cave area. Maybe I've simply forgotten, or maybe it's new, or maybe we are talking about different areas of the Grotta Palazzesse?
kja is offline  
Sep 16th, 2016, 11:35 PM
  #32  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 62
So, Matera it is for three nights, with a day trip to Polignano a Mare..

And we will probably add our spare night to San Leo, which means itinerary now looks like this;

3 nights - Matera
3 nights - Ascoli Piceno
3 nights - Spoleto
2 nights - Gubbio
3 nights - San Leo
4 nights - Bologna
AussieHubbyWife is offline  
Sep 17th, 2016, 12:07 AM
  #33  
kja
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 20,440
I'm so confused! What happened to Trani and Alberobello, not to mention Lecce? And 3 nights for Matera seem a bit much....
kja is offline  
Sep 17th, 2016, 12:15 AM
  #34  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 62
We still plan to see Trani and Alberobello but we will base ourselves from Matera rather than Polignano a Mare
AussieHubbyWife is offline  
Sep 17th, 2016, 12:27 AM
  #35  
kja
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 20,440
Sounds like a LOT of driving to me -- I would think it hard to fit Polignano a Mare AND Trani AND Alberobello (let along anything else) into a single day trip from Matera, which I think is all you have, but I could be wrong. Too bad you're skipping Lecce.

Still, it should be a great trip!
kja is offline  
Sep 17th, 2016, 03:49 AM
  #36  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 62
Our plan is as follows;
Day 1 - Trani - the ferry docks in Bari at 7am, which gives us a full day to explore Trani before driving to Matera for the night.
Day 2 - explore Matera
Day 3 - Morning in Alborobello, Lunch in Polignano a Mare
AussieHubbyWife is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 10:09 AM.