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FROM PETTOLE TO PASTICIOTTi—A WEEK IN SOUTHERN PUGLIA

FROM PETTOLE TO PASTICIOTTi—A WEEK IN SOUTHERN PUGLIA

Old Sep 10th, 2011, 07:11 AM
  #101  
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I can't wait to read about your trip!

Hopefully with a hot sfogliatelle in my hands. I will be careful not to drop crumbs on the keyboard!

That blog is really good..there are a lot of links on it to other interesting sites, too. Enjoy!
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Old Sep 10th, 2011, 08:50 AM
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Just spent a week based in Lecce in June. I think I ate my way through most of the pastries on your link but don't remember seeing the eye-catching pastry chef.
I ran around much of the area on the local trains and had a wonderful time. Strongly recommend, few tourists, fantastic uncrowded sights, easy to find accommodation and get about. And the pastries....
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Old Sep 10th, 2011, 09:00 AM
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Ekscrunchy: I know you leave for Italy in a few days; enjoy your trip and some sfogiatelle and baba!!
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Old Sep 10th, 2011, 10:49 AM
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Gracias, JE! I have to tell you that my neighbors, with whom I will be traveling this week, have been to Uruguay at least once and they are most enthusiastic about your country! (I've only put my foot on the soil for an afternoon, at Colonia del Sacramento, on a daytrip from BA; I hope one of these days I will make it to your neck of the woods!!)
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Old Dec 4th, 2011, 11:43 PM
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thanks so much for this report-- am taking my time going through this... it's making me even more excited about our upcoming trip!! (april-may)
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Old Dec 5th, 2011, 02:59 AM
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I am glad that you enjoyed reading. I wrote another report after my second trip to the region (with a stop in Matera) and will be happy to answer questions based on my experience, or just discuss.




http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...-di-senise.cfm
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Old Dec 10th, 2011, 10:13 AM
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I am so grateful for your Puglia trip reports,both of them !! We are in the early planning stages of a two week stay in Puglia,and I am using your reports to shape our journey.If you were to do it ALL in two weeks,have you any thoughts about which portion you would do first??We will fly into Bari or Brindisi,depending on our first stop.You are so very generous to us Fodorites,not only with the sharing of intelligent itineraries and mouth watering descriptions of what filled your plate........you also guide us to bread and chocolate and dried peppers!!You are a soulmate.I so appreciate your assistance with our itinerary.
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Old Dec 10th, 2011, 01:35 PM
  #108  
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That's very kind of you! When will this trip take place? What is your departure point? I ask because sometimes the airline schedule might determine the best routing.
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Old Dec 10th, 2011, 05:42 PM
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We depart D.C.24 April and return 9May,flying into and out of Rome. I am curious about which itinerary you would choose to begin our trip to Puglia.Also,I have been taking copious notes in regard to lodgings,and wonder if you would stay in the same places if you had the opportunity to do it over again? I should admit that we "shadowed you" in the Dordogne,using a number of your suggestions during a memorable trip last Spring,including a lunch at the walnut farm.We are ardent Italianophiles and have wanted to do this trip for years.Again,I so appreciate your suggestions.
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Old Dec 11th, 2011, 02:58 AM
  #110  
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Before I go further, I just want you to be aware that you will be straddling two holidays in that time frame: April 25 and May 1. So it might be a bit more busy than usual as there will be people stretching the two holidays into a long vacation, and you may face closings of restaurants and shops on both days. I am not at all dissuading you from going at that time, just want you to be aware.

I would certainly return to each of the hotels we stayed at during the two trips to the area. But if I were to visit Matera again, on the second visit I might stay in a hotel in the "new" section, not in the sassi. The cave hotels are atmospheric and charming, but the rooms tend to be dark and there are lots of steps. Matera abounds with good hotels and I don't think that the choice there is as crucial as it might be in other places. And in Lecce, while our hotel was very good, I might go for something with a bit more charm the second time around. there is a new upscale B&B that looks great, for example:

http://www.palazzopersone.it/

I am happy to discuss hotels and restaurants, so let me know which ones you are considering and if you have any questions.



This is an area that is well saturated by excellent inland hotels, though not so much on the seashores. (But I did not have time to visit the Gargano peninsula and with two weeks, you might think about that, although the towns may be still largely shuttered so early in the season--we could do some inquiring about that)

Two weeks is a great time frame and I look forward to participating in the planning discussions. Will you have two weeks in Puglia/Matera or will you spend part of that in Rome?


Another area to consider including, since you will have more time than I have had, would be Castelmezzano and Pietrapertosa in the region dubbed the Lucanian Dolomites.

http://www.discoverbasilicata.com/uk...national-parks


Well-regarded hotel restaurant in Castelmezzano:

http://www.beccodellacivetta.it/


Also, let me know if you have any specific restaurants on your list because you may have to work around their closing days when planning the route. Also important: If you will be arriving directly after the flight from the US, how long do you feel comfortable driving directly after arrival? (We like to keep this first drive to less than an hour and that helped shape our itineraries; driving in Puglia is easy for the most part although we did manage to get hopelessly tangled on the drive from Bari airport to Lama di Luna on the first day of our second trip; you will not make that mistake!)
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Old Dec 13th, 2011, 07:17 PM
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eks... We are still very early in the planning stage....actually just learning the geography of Puglia. Our original plan was to fly from Rome to either Bari or Brindisi and plan our 13 day route from there.Now we wonder if we should spend a few days somewhere else before arriving in Puglia.We lived in Tuscany for 2 years, a long time ago,and in the last 30 years,on many subsequent trips,we have seen lots of Italy,but have never been to Ascoli Pienza.....I know...a whole other trip,or is it ???The sub-text to all this is that this will probably be our last 'driving in Italy' vacation.We are getting older,and my husband,the road warrior,gets tired now,and the driving is no longer the fun it used to be.Small group tours may well be in our future.Ascoli Pienza is such a favorite of Fodorites.Travelmath says it is 99 miles/2 1/2 hours from the airport.We could spend 2 nights and then head for Bari via Pescara ,and begin our Puglia holiday.Any thoughts about this ???As soon as we solve this bit,I will plan out the rest.Thoughts??
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Old Dec 14th, 2011, 02:58 AM
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Funny you should mention Ascoli, since it's been on my own travel radar for a while now. At first glance it seems far out of the way for someone heading to Puglia from Rome, but when you take another look at the road map, not so much. What you propose might be doable.

OR, leave Ascoli for next time, and take the route through Sulmona, making stops at Agnone (famed for ball making) and any other Abruzzese town that catches your interest. Both of these have come up in my reading and piqued my interest and if I had more time, I would take a trip such as this one. This does not veer so far out of the way as the Ascoli option.

http://www.sulmona.org/foto/fotosulmona.php

http://www.agnoneitaly.com/

Also, after arrival in Rome, and if you choose the Ascoli Piceno route, you might want to spend a night in the area of the Sabine Hills around Rieti, NE of Rome; I began a thread about this a few years ago. We never took this trip, but again, it sounds interesting and might allow you to have only a short drive after arriving at the Rome airport after the long flight.


http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...-near-rome.cfm




I would certainly recommend doing the drive from Rome only in one direction, and then dropping the car (no charge for this is you use a broker like Kemwell) and flying home from Bari or Brindisi via Rome. There are good connections on Alitalia.
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Old Dec 16th, 2011, 06:13 PM
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We are pretty sure we will do the drive to Ascoli...and spend 2 or 3 nights there.The next stretch is the long one,and I am considering 2 or 3 nights in Trani,then on to Matera for one night,then Ostuni and finally Lecce.We have 12 nights in all before flying from Brindisi to Rome....What do you think???I have begun to read trip reports and TripAdvisor in regard to Trani and Ostuni lodgings.Any suggestions???
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Old Dec 17th, 2011, 03:23 AM
  #114  
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This sounds good. I think that I would keep Trani at 2 nights. One day for Trani and perhaps a nearby seaside town, and a half day for Castel del Monte. Alternative: You can stay inland, at Lama di Luna (a little closer to Castel del Monte and in the heart of great eating country) or another masserie. I am not strongly urging one or the other, just bringing up possibilities. The drive from Lama di Luna to Trani is about a half hour; easy driving.

http://www.lamadiluna.com/



I was glad that we had two nights in Matera and would recommend extending your stay to include that. (unless either of you has a problem walking; there are some steps and uneven stone pavements in Matera) Even with two nights, there was a lot we did not have time to see both in the city and across the ravine. There are many, many hotel choices in Matera.


Yes, then a few days in the trulli upland area or nearby, around Ostuni. Depends if you want the easy in and out access of a rural location, but which also means driving to dinner, or an in-town location which means negotiating the driving to and from your day trips but puts you within walking distance of your meals outside the hotel. If the latter, Villa Cenci is a good bet, but there are many others, as the area is rich in excellent lodgings. From your base in this area you will want to see not only the trulli zone but the city of Martina Franca and the seaside town of Polignano a Mare. Half a day/a few hours is fine for each.

http://www.villacenci.it/


Last, one night/day for Lecce and at least one for the scenic Salento. (Could do both from the same location, either Lecce city or a rural hotel further south; again, driving is pretty easy)
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Old Dec 17th, 2011, 09:45 AM
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Thank you.Your suggestions are most helpful.I am still feeling a bit anxious about the drive from Ascoli,but the more I enter into defining our bases,the more I can relax and enjoy the planning.I will check out lama di luna and villa cenci.Wish we could stay at the wonderful Torre Maizza,but alas.......We do not mind driving to dinner,and enjoy staying in places that feel a bit special.IF YOU were doing that drive from Ascoli,where do you think you would stop for you first memorable nights in Puglia ??We need to stay in the $200..ish range,would like it really nice and want to eat in some of those really great restaurants !!
Lastly,in looking thru my travel book shelf,I found " PAN e POMIDOR,My Passage to Puglia " by
Ian McEwan."When the journey began,we didn't expect to buy a derelict "torretta".....in Gargano,Puglia". I am a HUGE McEwan fan,but this is nothing like his Booker Prize writing.it is a self-published ode to discovery.
I am keeping careful notes of all your inn/restaurant/travel route suggestions,and so appreciate your careful reading and responses to my queries.
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Old Mar 11th, 2012, 01:17 PM
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Saving to read for later. Wondering how late in September you made this trip? We're thinking a trip to this region at the beginning of october. Is that too late? thanks
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Old Mar 12th, 2012, 03:24 AM
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We were from 18-26 September. We had lots of rain on the 25th but great weather before that.

Look at seasonal averages for temperature and rain for Brindisi; chance of rain spikes in October but early in the month should be a good chance of good weather.


http://www.wunderground.com/NORMS/Di...WUI&normals=on
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Old Mar 12th, 2012, 08:49 AM
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Thanks! We will move the trip back a bit so we will only have a week in Oct.
I read your other wonderful report and I think we'll pretty much follow your trail. We will have about 3 weeks, so are there places you would have liked to spend more time?
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Old Mar 12th, 2012, 12:17 PM
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I'll get back to you soon when I have more time, but for the moment, two questions:

Do you mean that you will have 3 weeks in Puglia?

Will you rent a car?

We plan to return to the area in September.
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Old Mar 12th, 2012, 01:58 PM
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We are pretty flexible with time so yes, about 3 weeks in Puglia. At this point I'm not sure the delineations between areas, for example I think Matera is in Basilicata and we would like to go there. We may start or end with a few days in Naples.

Yes, we will rent a car.

So this September will be your 3rd trip to the area? It really sounds like a fabulous region to visit.
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