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FROM PETTOLE TO PASTICIOTTi—A WEEK IN SOUTHERN PUGLIA

FROM PETTOLE TO PASTICIOTTi—A WEEK IN SOUTHERN PUGLIA

Old Mar 28th, 2011, 03:58 PM
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Yeah, I don't think I'm keen on attempting the drive out of Naples. Rather fly into Brindisi or Bari, wherever it is one flies into.

Not sure about Matera. Maybe as a day trip. Though I would like to have a meal or two in Basilicata; I watched an episode of Lydia's Italy that was based there, and she made pasta that made me want to eat my flatscreen.

I so want Grotta Palazzese to be a great hotel. I keep rereading the tripadvisor reports, hoping one will pop up saying they've revamped their service and turned into a customer-friendly place.

So, seaside towns that appeal, just based on trip reports here, are Monopoli, Trani, Polignano, Gallipoli, Porto Cesare. Seems like we can't go wrong staying in one of those. I'm wondering whether it makes more sense to stay in a coastal town on the Salento and do a masseria up north, or vice versa. Maybe a night or 2 in Lecce.
Having done it, would you now recommend 1 or 2 for Lecce?

I'm in headspin mode. I wish you'd go on your May trip already so I could get the second report!
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Old Mar 29th, 2011, 01:59 AM
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Taconic: Thank you very much for your comment,

Look at this thread discussing how many nights to stay in Lecce. So you see you are not the only one with these questions!!

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...any-nights.cfm



We ended up staying only one night and because the entire trip was only a week, I made the right decision. I felt like we saw a lot in the one afternoon we had there; we would have had the next morning as well if I had not left my camera charger back in Otranto.

The beaches, and the coastal scenery, in general, is best in the Salento. But on the other hand, Grotta P. has a great position. I will take a look now at the reviews on TA.
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Old Mar 29th, 2011, 02:23 AM
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Option for Polignano:


http://www.covodeisaraceni.com/
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Old Apr 3rd, 2011, 08:01 AM
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Lbelgray: I think you can cancel all compliments.

Apropos of the conversation above, I was just looking at a map in preparation for my forthcoming trip to Puglia and I realized that I did NOT drive through Porto Cesareo. I confused it with Santa Cesarea Terme, which had the bathing platforms jutting out into the sea.
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Old Apr 4th, 2011, 06:35 AM
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Oh - thanks for the accuracy check! I will continue to compliment you.

I'm now wondering whether we should add a few nights in Amalfi to satisfy my terrace-over-the-sea quest. Now having been in both places, would you combine the two? If so, what order would you pick: Amalfi to start, or to end?

I'm also struggling with which three locations to pick in Puglia:

A 1)Seaside town like Trani or Polignano or Monopoli, 2)Lecce, and 3)Masseria Montelauro?

B 1)Masseria Torre Maizza, 2)Lecce, 3)seaside town like Gallipoli or Otranto?

C 1)Trani/ Polignano/ Monopoli, 2) Torre maizza, 3) Gallipoli/ Otranto

Or, maybe I just do two of those? Lecce looks like a fun place to be for just walking around and finding restaurants, so it might be nice to stay there a couple of nights. But it seems like I could also visit it and feel satisfied in a day trip.

Gaaahhhh. So hard to narrow down.
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Old Apr 4th, 2011, 06:49 AM
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I know, I know. I went through the same thing, and there is far less info about these places here, or on any other English-language site or book.

Adding Amalfi depends on how much you like to drive...see how long that drive would take. OR you could add the Gargano peninsula and begin the trip there. Fly into Bari and rent the car there, perhaps. I have this hotel on my list, but I have never been to the area.

http://www.hotelbaiadellezagare.it/e...rt_gargano.php

I was thinking about the lack of enticing-looking hotels on the sea in that area. The same holds true on the Calabrian coast and in the Cilento, two regions that I hope to visit in the fall. I often see comments about this on the Italian-language TA site. I think that (and this is just a theory with no facts to back it up) that the coastal development has been a bit uncontrolled, and also perhaps the hotels have been designed with package tourists in mind, so they look kind of slap-dash and concrete-block-ish. To me. The more inviting looking places are the renovated (in Puglia) masserie in the countryside, but not on the sea.


Anyway, maybe think about the Gargano, then move on to Trani for a day or two. Then move to Torre Maizza. From there you can see the trulli areas as well as Polignano and Monopoli, and Martina Franca. (I stayed overnight at Villa Cenci and saw the trulli areas from there, but you could easily do it from Torre Maizza) And then on to Lecce for an overnight, and head last to someplace in the Salento. But where ??????

Since I am leaving at the end of this month and will visit Trani, Matera, and Torre Maizza, I will have more info for you. I will try to inquire locally about seaside hotels, since I hope that this will not be my last visit to Puglia!
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Old Apr 4th, 2011, 05:52 PM
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We, too, are travelling to Puglia as part of a longer trip to Italy this summer.
I've been back and forth about the areas and think we'll be driving from Sorrento after a few days on Capri (I enjoyed this so much a few years ago).
If it's any use, I found this website which represents a variety of accommodations in locations all over Italy.
It's been great fun to browse-
http://www.italytraveller.com/en/r/apulia
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Old Apr 7th, 2011, 08:09 AM
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Here's what I'm now thinking:

Use Lecce as a base to see Salento. Is that crazy? To think of driving in and out of the city that much? I'm trying to minimalize the number of different stays so I don't drive my husband crazy. And it sounds like Trani is a great seaside town, so maybe that would give us our fix. Thinking something like this:

3 nights Trani
3 nights Torre Maizza
3 nights Lecce

Plus maybe a night or two in Naples, since my husband is dying to check it out. Maybe Amalfi?

But what do you think of those three bases in Puglia?
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Old Apr 7th, 2011, 08:39 AM
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EKS, I think I should have just paid you a consulting fee to plan our upcoming trip for us! WOW, your details are incredible - I can practically taste the stratiacella cheese now!

Here is my question. We have just six nights and are committed to see some things along the AC and Campania Coast. I'm dying to experience Puglia, but at most we could allow 2 days/night. Is it worth it for such a short time, or should we concentrate our stay around Campania and save Puglia for another trip, dedicated only to that area? My conceren is that our travel has been severely curtailed since our kids were born a couple years ago, so I'm not sure how soon we can return to Italy (or anywhere internationally, for that matter.)

For the time being, I am just happy to travel vicariously through your trip reports. THANK YOU!
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Old Apr 7th, 2011, 09:41 AM
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Cstallwitz: Definitely not enough time. If you want to branch out, take a look at the Cilento area, south of Salerno. If this interests you, see:


http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...-long-trip.cfm



http://www.travelandleisure.com/arti...-cilento-coast





Lbel: that sounds good. Lecce is a city by Puglian standards, but it is not at all huge and overwhelming and the driving in and out did not seem difficult even for us. (Although we did have a bit of a hard time trying to find our hotel when we first arrived). That way you could do the touring in the day and be able to walk home from dinner.

I don't know about Trani since I will be visiting for the first time in early May, but will report back.

Torre Maizza for three nights gives you a good base for daytrips to the trulli towns, along with Cisterino, Martina Franca, Ostuni, and Polignano/Monopoli. Also, do you know about the caves of Castelllina Grotte? Those are also close. (I did not go, but it would be an option...)


http://www.grottedicastellana.it/



If you do book at Torre Maizza, say hello for me!
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Old Apr 7th, 2011, 04:57 PM
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No, I didn't know about those caves. Cool!

Hey, at Torre Maizza, you were happy with the classic room, right? Did you have a private deck or anything?

In Trani, I'm looking at both the Mare Resort
http://www.mareresort.it/it/home/

or the Regia, which looks kind of drab but gets the thumbs up from sssteve.
http://www.hotelregia.it/indexeng.asp

In Lecce, I was already looking at the Risogimento when I saw that you'd stayed there. I like the looks of it.
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Old Apr 8th, 2011, 01:53 AM
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The Risorgimento interior is very contemporary. The rooms do not have old-world charm but they are comfortable. It is a very good hotel in a great location. You can walk everywhere, and they will park the car (most important!!)

The classic rooms are fine at Torre Maizza. Check to make sure that they have a bathtub if that matters to you. The higher category rooms are different mainly in their size and that the Jr suites have a fireplace.
As far as I know, all the rooms have outdoor space (but check that to be sure); it is a private outdoor area with loungers, etc. Not a terrace because all the rooms are ground floor. But please check all this with the hotel because I only saw a couple of rooms.
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Old Apr 8th, 2011, 10:02 AM
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Thanks! That's good stuff. I like contemporary rooms. Rarely find old-world charm with good bathrooms.
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Old Apr 9th, 2011, 06:35 AM
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Eks, adding more questions to this great thread.

We, too, will be visiting Puglia with 1 week in the Salento and 2 nights planned closer to Fasano. We will driving there from Salerno/Paestum.
Looking for a Masseria experience for those two nights. Thinking one with easy driving to Trani area since when staying in Galatina we could tour Martina Franca etc.
We love the look of Torre Maizza but would like something less expensive. Would also like the experience of eating in a Masseria for a good meal.

Any suggestions?
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Old Apr 9th, 2011, 07:07 AM
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Martina Franca looks to me to be about midway between Trani and Galatina, and it is an easy drive from Fasano. In the Fasano area, Masseria Parco di Castro has excellent food (see report above); I did not see the rooms but the location is good:


http://www.masseriaparcodicastro.it/

This masseria is a few minutes from Parco di Castro, just outside Fasano; I have not visited but it seems to receive good reports:

http://www.borgosanmarco.it/

Also nearby:

http://www.masseriasanmartino.com/index_ing.htm




But if you are planning to visit Martina Franca and the trulli zones from Galatina, I am questioning whether you ought to stay near Fasano if Trani is the objective.

You might think about someplace further north, perhaps near Andria. I will stay at this first masseria soon and will report back. I am sure there are quit a few others in the region as well as these:


http://www.lamadiluna.com/

http://www.cefalicchio.it/eng/index.asp

http://www.tenutacocevola.com/


I like the look of this one, too, although I see no English site; their restaurant gets good reports on TripAdvisor where it is listed under Bari:

http://www.masseriabarbera.com/l-azienda

http://www.pugliadoc.net/ristoranti/..._page=graphics
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Old Apr 9th, 2011, 07:38 AM
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Eks, I do think you are right about staying further north and I had been going back to the website of Lama di Luna frequently!

All of your suggestions look great. When are you leaving in May. I will really look forward to your trip report. Do you think it is reasonable to wait further for a booking for October?

As always in my trip planning I want to swallow the whole country whole in one bite!!!

Thank you and hope this thread goes on for some time as there really is not that much information readily accessible about this area of Italy.
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Old Sep 8th, 2011, 07:10 AM
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Since I am so enamored of the pastries of Lecce, I thought I would add this great blog post with photos from one of the city's bakeries:






http://foodloversodyssey.typepad.com...capilungo.html
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Old Sep 8th, 2011, 09:12 AM
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I need a Giulietta pastry now!!!(two or three will be better).
Really a good and informative blog
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Old Sep 8th, 2011, 12:09 PM
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a giulietta would be nice but I'd really like a fruttone.

almond, pear AND chocolate? sounds divine.
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Old Sep 10th, 2011, 06:35 AM
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Still followimg this thread and glad to see it pop up periodically.

Leaving in about one month and looking forward to exploring Puglia.
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