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Italy itinerary - Puglia or other region for 1 week?

Italy itinerary - Puglia or other region for 1 week?

Old Jan 18th, 2023, 10:21 AM
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Italy itinerary - Puglia or other region for 1 week?

Hi all, We are looking at a 2.5 week trip to Italy end of April/beginning of May and looking for itinerary advice. This is my partners first trip to Italy and my second.

We have already booked flights flying into Milan and then out of Rome. Coming from NZ the flights were limited! My partner has a conference in Rome from the 3nd to the 6th of May, but will do 7 nights so he can enjoy the sites of Rome too.

So we have 10 days before we plan to get to Rome to explore another region. We are thinking of doing 3 nights when we arrive in Bologna (skipping Milan) to explore the city and get over the jet lag, and can do day trips if we feel like it to neighbouring Parma or Florence. The food and vibe of the city really appeals to us.

That leaves us with 7 nights between Bologna and Rome. I have been to Tuscany and Venice many years ago now and whilst I wouldn't mind returning, my partner prefers to find places which feel more off the usual tourist path and less crowded so I wonder if he would prefer somewhere different. So far I have been thinking of Umbria, or possibly making the trip down south to Puglia for a complete change in scenery, but would love suggestions for favorite regions for a week trip slightly off the beaten path. Puglia looks like it could tick our boxes but am concerned that the transport time there for just a week could be draining, especially with so many other unexplored regions which could make more geographical sense. I am thinking of splitting the week between 2 bases 3n then 4n, with one base being in a larger town and maybe one more rural.

We are both active, love walking and doing day bike trips, prioritise good affordable food (especially seafood, wine, cheese, olive oil..), like learning about a regions history, we like the scenery of the coast but wouldn't sit at the beach on holiday. Overall we prefer to explore and soak up the atmosphere and scenery of a town rather than visit every single gallery and church!

We are happy to hire a car for a few days of the trip, but prefer train travel in general.

Many thanks for any thoughts or suggestions!

So far itinerary:
Land milan 6am
Bologna - 3 nights
?umbria ?puglia - 7 nights
-e.g matera, monopoli, lecce as bases?
Rome - 7 nights
Fly out of Rome

Last edited by georginakliffen1528; Jan 18th, 2023 at 10:37 AM.
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Old Jan 18th, 2023, 10:36 AM
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Consider Le Marche. I've stayed in Urbino, Ascoli Piceno, Senigallia and done day trips to smaller towns, hiking and beach spots, etc. One trip I took the train from Venice to Pesaro, where I picked up my rental car. Another time we were coming from Spello in Umbria and drove to Ascoli via the Piano Grande.

Very beautiful region and generally less touristed than Tuscany and Umbria.
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Old Jan 18th, 2023, 10:40 AM
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Urbino, June 2019
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Old Jan 18th, 2023, 10:52 AM
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Agree with Leely2. Puglia is a far trip from Bologna and while I love the area, and neighboring Basilicata, I would consider Le Marche and Abruzzo which are much easier to get to... You will waste too much time getting to and from Puglia, and even then, will not have enough time to really delve into the region.

We spent about 10 days in LeMarche and Abruzzo a few years back and cannot recommend more highly. I wish we had had more time.

We began our trip with a couple of nights in Norcia, in Umbria, and then drove to the Adriatic coast to begin the rest of our trip.
We had overnights in Senegallia and in Ascoli Piceno, and in Sulmona and each of those spots were a delight! There were very few English-speaking tourists, and few tourists overall. Food is fantastic and the driving is very easy with a rental car, which we had. I can recommend a few specific spots if you decide to visit those areas.
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