I need advice on Puglia planning.

Old Mar 4th, 2017, 06:15 AM
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I need advice on Puglia planning.

My husband and I will be in Puglia in early May for 7 nights and I am struggling with the itinerary as this is a last minute plan. To give some help with our background, we are retired age and are very fortunate to be able to spend about 5 months of the year in the south of Portugal where we have had an apartment for many years.

We will arrive in Brindisi in the evening so that will not be a day of touring. (We will have eight full days as our departure from Brindisi is at 9:30 PM). The following day my plan was to head to Lecce for two nights, then drive following the coast from Oranto, sleeping in Gallipoli, then on to just south of Martina Franca where I found a lovely house rental for three nights where we would day trip from.

My main question is am I planning too much time spent on this "coastal" drive with a night in Gallipoli and should possibly spend a night or two further north inland from Bari (to include visiting) Matera? A day trip from our home rental to Matera, (a must see as I read in trip reports) could be done.

We do get plenty of beautiful beach experience when we are in Portugal so I am wondering if our time would be better spent exploring another area? We are not obsessed with cathederals and mostly love just wandering and exploring interesting little towns, eating , usually avoiding big city headaches....parking, finding one's way, etc.

I thank in advance anyone who is willing to share their thoughts and am also grateful to all those who have posted such interesting and informative trip reports about Puglia/Basilicata.
lowcountrycarol is offline  
Old Mar 4th, 2017, 06:43 AM
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Just my personal take: I would not spend so much coastal time and would visit Matera for a couple of nights.
Are all of your rentals set?
Why not stay longer in Lecce and day trip from there and then go on to Matera?

We stayed here: https://www.homeaway.com/vacation-rental/p1597574
in Lecce for a week (followed by 2 nights in Matera.) and there is easy, safe parking very nearby.

If you like, you can look at my blog: keepyourfeetinthestreet.com and search for Lecce, for more info.
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Old Mar 4th, 2017, 06:58 AM
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I think your plan is fine, if I had to do anything I might decide to focus on where you are, southern Puglia, rather than starting to look into Basilicata, there are so many nice little towns all over the "heel" and even stretching up into Northern Puglia maybe only up to Gioa di C, but the common view is that Matera is not to be missed. My own view is focus on where you are and don't keep adding extra bits.

Matera is interesting but honestly then are many other ex-poverty-striken towns in southern Italy you can visit, this was (heavy on the "was") just the worst.

You may also like to try the lousy little train service that connects some of the places on your list, imagine single carriage buses on rails, a real eye-opener and wonderful in their own way, it also saves you having to drive everywhere.

One thing you do need to do is meet the people, who can be charming, I'd try and get on a cooking course, or yoga or even a half day language thing at one of your hotels, you'll enjoy a real wecome.

I seldom recommend Taranto, but if you want to see a modern shopping area connected to some real ancient appartments on the little island, it is interesting and "eye opening".
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Old Mar 4th, 2017, 07:35 AM
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oTranto rather than oranto, I suspect
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Old Mar 4th, 2017, 09:02 AM
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I'm sure you will enjoy your trip no matter what you decide!

I was very glad to see Matera, and not just because of the history of its sassi. It has and impressive cathedral and several churches with memorable treasures, and the sassi churches, with their frescoes, were of great interest to me. Whether you will want to see it, or to see it on this particular trip, is your call.

FWIW, I loved Trani, which I don't think you mentioned....
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Old Mar 4th, 2017, 09:48 AM
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May be you are interested in:
Trulli of Alberobello
Castellana Cave
Carlo Levi section in the museum of Matera
Metaponto excavations
Old city of Bari
Old city of Vieste Gargano
Partly walled city of Termoli
Tremiti Islands
Castels of Castel del Monte, Castello Svevo di Bari, Castello di Melfi
If yes, google for these places
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Old Mar 4th, 2017, 10:11 AM
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Wow, thank you all for the wonderful input. Jangita your included information will be very helpful. Everything I have booked can be cancelled in the next few weeks so I can rearrange these stays. Bilboburger, there is always something in what you write that makes me smile..."lousy little train" and kja thanks for adding Trani. Neckervd, I think this area of Italy will no doubt be calling us back and I am already thinking of a trip again from Portugal (Easyjet is great) in the autumn. I appreciate your list of places to try and see.
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Old Mar 4th, 2017, 10:17 AM
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low, too kind
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ymv6N9IxwOA
now tell me it ain't lousy?
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