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Early planning for 2016 trip to Puglia, Calabria & Basilicata

Early planning for 2016 trip to Puglia, Calabria & Basilicata

Old Oct 23rd, 2015, 03:43 PM
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Early planning for 2016 trip to Puglia, Calabria & Basilicata

We just got home from vacation so I'm beginning to plan our next trip which we're pretty certain on taking to Puglia. I'm also thinking of adding day trips to nearby Calabria and Basilicata. If I can come up with enough destinations in Calabria and Basilicata, we would add a base there and split our hotel nights between that base and one the in Puglia.

Our main focus is usually food, scenery and local art. We always rent a car to get around. We've been to Italy several times over the last 18 years but never to the 3 regions noted.

Any suggestions or insights would be greatly appreciated as these regions are not typical destinations. Thanks to all.
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Old Oct 23rd, 2015, 04:49 PM
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How much time do you plan to spend there and at what time of year?
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Old Oct 23rd, 2015, 10:01 PM
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I didn't write as much on my blog as I intended to but there are a few posts on Puglia and Basilicata which you may find interesting.

http://www.somuchmoretosee.com/search/label/Puglia

I would highly recommend the Crypt of Original Sin outside Matera, one of the most memorable sites from our trip.

http://www.somuchmoretosee.com/2012/...in-matera.html

The very best meal of out rip ( and there was lots of incredible food) was at the slow food favorite Antichi Sapori in nearby Montegrosso. If you're interested in Puglia Romanesque I highly recommend the downloadable Approach Guide.

http://www.approachguides.com/guide/...hes-of-puglia/
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Old Oct 24th, 2015, 01:11 AM
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Thanks very much for the responses so far.

We always spend 10 days and never go in the summertime. I'm not sure yet whether we will go in April/May or September/October.
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Old Oct 24th, 2015, 04:30 AM
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We did 8 days in that region a couple years ago (combined with Rome and the Amalfi Coast). Here's my trip report - http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...ast-puglia.cfm

We though 8-10 days the perfect amount of time for that region. Of course more is always better but you can see a lot in a relaxed method in that time. We loved the region and highly recommend it. I picked the hotels based on ease of driving to and parking at them, not for charm. But that said I was very happy with the places we stayed.

Have fun planning.
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Old Oct 24th, 2015, 05:11 AM
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Pugila is lovely and relatively uncrowded with lots to visit. We spent ~2 weeks there in mid - September 2012 and had perfect weather the entire trip. Matera is a fascinating town and should not be missed. We used Nadia as our guide and she greatly enhanced our time there.

Agree with WTB on the restaurant Antichi Sapori - delicious meal there, probably the standout of the trip. Le Botteghe in Matera was also very good. In general food was excellent with huge quantities served.
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Old Oct 24th, 2015, 08:46 AM
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Tropea down on the Calabrian coast is delightful. I spent 4 days there just last week.

It's easily reached by train. And there are some terrific restaurants with great food for very reasonable prices. You can take a boat trip out to Stromboli. It's very much an Italian beach town in the summer months, particularly August, but quieter the rest of the year, though not many English-speaking people visit. Our B&B host spoke no English and he has been running his B&B in an old castle in the centre of the old town for years.

If you have any questions, ask away.
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Old Oct 24th, 2015, 09:09 AM
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I visited the area in May a few years ago and thought it lovely!

For Puglia itself, you might consider Lecce as one of your bases. I was also charmed by Trani and Polignano a Mare. I thought Alberobello easily worth a few hours, but was glad I didn't stay there.

Matera, just outside Puglia in Basilicata, is also easily worth a day or two.

Be prepared for VERY long siestas.
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Old Oct 27th, 2015, 03:38 PM
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Thanks so much for your responses.
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Old Oct 28th, 2015, 12:09 AM
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In Basilicata you might look at Potenza (maybe as part of a train trip into or out of Puglia), really interesting town and train trip to Naples is very interesting.

I've cycled around a fair bit of Puglia and even gotten married down there. I'd try and do at least a day's cooking with some people who now a lot about wine

We used YLtour which you can find on FB, Ylenia is a storm of fun and enthusiasm and she knows everyone aroud Lecce.

In terms of places to visit, the usual Lecce/Ostuni/Monopoli stand out but don't ignore Gravina/Martina Franca/Gioa etc. Just about all the towns look rough on the outside but inside every oyster you will find an ancient pearl of marble, church, castle with some good local foods and wines of Aglianico of Negromaro both of which you will find in very few other places.
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