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Looking for stops between Matera/Potenza, and from Potenza/Sorrento?

Looking for stops between Matera/Potenza, and from Potenza/Sorrento?

Jul 16th, 2013, 02:27 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 34
Looking for stops between Matera/Potenza, and from Potenza/Sorrento?

Following a stay in Ostuni, we have two nights in Matera, after which we head to the Potenza area to visit Avigliano, an ancestral town. Looking to stay someplace interesting for one night in the Avigliano/ Potenza area. As well, need ideas for stops along the way from Potenza to Sorrento, where we plan to turn in our rental car. Another option would be to return rental in Salerno, then perhaps have a private drive of the coast from Salerno to destination, Soreento. Is this crazy?

We will visit Altamura while in Matera.

MoPet is offline  
Jul 17th, 2013, 01:59 AM
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 5,825
Stop between Potenza and Sorrento:
Wht are you interested in:
Greek temple of Paestum?
Medieval city (Unesco site) and beach of Castellabate?
Beaches of Palinuro and Marina di Camerota?
Amalfi coast (close to Sorrrento)?
neckervd is offline  
Jul 17th, 2013, 04:27 AM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 21,711
Castellabate and Camerota and Palinuro have good beaches but are really a bit of a detour on that route. If you are interested in cheese, you could stop at a mozzarella farm south of Battipaglia, near the temples of Paestum.

The drive is only about two hours to Sorrento. Make sure you check opening hours of the car rental agency so you do not arrive in midday and find it shut for break.
ekscrunchy is offline  
Jul 20th, 2013, 06:35 AM
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Thanks for the input. Paestrum area sounds like a good option. How risky would it be to wing it and not book accommodations for this one night? It will be in the middle of a two week stay. The thought of just going with whatever we feel like doing that day is appealing, but we wouldn't want to be stuck! Also, with rental cars, is there an advantage to turning in at Salerno versus Sorrento? If we turn our rental in at Salerno, I am thinking we could have a scenic water transport to Sorrento from Salerno, or a scenic ride along the coast via private driver. We'd have our luggage in tow.

MoPet is offline  
Jul 20th, 2013, 07:10 AM
Join Date: May 2013
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Personally, I found the area of Avigliano so beautiful and unusual, and such an incredible travel experience, I highly recommend you seize the opportunity to experience the Italy that exists beyond commercial tourism and spend your time there, especially since you have ancestral ties. (Also, when you are in the area of Matera, it is marvelous to visit the Crypt of the Original Sin in the countryside. You can find a link online.)

When I visited Paestum, I stayed at the Novotel Salerno Est Arechi, which is about 10kms south of Salerno and a half hour drive from Paestum. It is a HUGE modern hotel with parking, run by Accor, and if the place is ever fully booked, I'd be surprised. Double rooms usually go for about 100e per night, but of course that varies.

There are also lots of other options within a reasonable drive or walk to Paestum, in all categories -- hotels, b&bs and agriturismi.

The options you have for not booking in advance on the coast vary according to what day of the year you are talking about, how big your group is and whether you are traveling with interconnectivity. A sunny Saturday in August or September traveling with 4 people or more and no internet or cell phone means it is a lot harder to find a room than in that popular coastal area than if you are traveling as a couple at some other time of year and are able to check the internet for availability in well-reviewed lodgings so you don't waste time driving around.

Regarding what to do with your car and water transport: Most of the year the ferries from Salerno leave extremely early in the morning and take a long time to make their way to the Amalfi towns. And they may not run if the water is choppy (or you might not want to be on them for hours if they do run in choppy water.

But I would stay in Basilicata. You can head out in the direction of Sorrento and pick a mountain town or head to the wine area around Melfi and Rionero in Vulture. I can't imagine a time of year when you would have trouble finding last minute accommodations, but check about local festivals that might make me wrong.

It's about a 2.5 hour drive from Melfi to Sorrento, and a 90 minute drive to Salerno. I would be tempted to drop off my car at the airport in Naples, and take the bus to the central Naples train station and go to Sorrento that way. It would make for a longer travel day, but I think I'd be glad to ditch the car, provided I was not going in time of year when it was terribly hot.
stevewith is offline  
Jul 20th, 2013, 07:24 AM
Join Date: May 2013
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Some place else I forgot to mention is Venosa, which is 90 minute drive to Salerno or the Naples Airport.


stevewith is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2013, 05:58 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2013
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Thanks for all of the great options. Happy to hear you're familiar with Avigliano, and to read your positive comments. I think we will reserve a night in the area just in case we would like more time there. Would love to hear more about your experiences in the area. I'm very excited about visiting there and hope my husband enjoys it too. The wineries sound perfect!

You've made some great points--the ferry situation, and drop- off suggestions are appreciated, and while Paestum sounds doable, we've decided to dedicate more time to Basilicata and see Paestum another time.
MoPet is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2013, 08:20 AM
Join Date: May 2013
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You might want to read this book before you go. A lot of the narrative is self-absorbed, and it over-emphasizes the "backward" nature of the area (you 'll be surprised at how well organized and forward looking it can be when you get there. But it is one of the few extended takes published other than Carlo Levi, whose framework for understanding what he was seeing was really just a keyhole. But you should read Levi as well. (Christ Stopped at Eboli.)


For history, you really might enjoy visiting Venosa, in combination with a winery tour in the Rionero di Vulture




Also near to Avligliano is Acerenza, which occupies a dramatic high hill positon

However, what is also really striking is to visit the towns of Pietrapertosa and Accetura south of Avigliano, in the Parco Regionale Gallipoli Cognato-- Piccole Dolomiti Lucane.


This is really extraordinary scenery. If you like, when you are leaving Matera, you can take a more southerly route to Avigliano so you can see this part of Basilicata.
stevewith is offline  

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