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Looking for suggestions on Puglia - Calabria Trip

Looking for suggestions on Puglia - Calabria Trip

Old Jan 16th, 2023, 11:04 AM
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Looking for suggestions on Puglia - Calabria Trip

After a 4-year hiatus, brought about by Covid and a number of personal issues, we are happily planning a 2-week trip to Europe with another couple, our good friends with whom weve traveled for 30+ years. The time frame will be mid-late September, and the general plan is to visit Southern Italy. The specific day-to-day itinerary is very rough at this point, and Im looking for some help.

We have been to Italy quite a few times before, having visited Rome and many points north on multiple occasions. Weve also spent time on the Amalfi coast, and have no interest in returning. We are targeting Puglia and Calabria. We are fairly comfortable with Puglia, and it seems to make sense to spend the bulk of our time there, maybe 9 -10 days, with 2 different bases say 3 4 days somewhere in the Gargano Peninsula, and another 5 6 days in the south, near the Trulli district. We will have a car, and would stop for a day to see Matera at some point, possibly on the way to Calabria.

We are a bit fuzzier on where to go for 4 5 days in Calabria. Ideally, we would pick one base for that stay, as we dislike stays of less than 3 days. The obvious choices would be Tropea or Capo Vaticano, but we wouldnt be spending all our time on the beach. We would have interest in exploring Pollino National Park, but are primarily looking to visit authentic Calabrese towns with a lively atmosphere and good food.

So at this point, the areas where we are looking for help are:

- Two good bases for Puglia, one each in the North and another in the South. Though we will obviously be near the water everywhere in this region, we dont necessarily need to be right on the coast for the entire time. We do plan on visiting inland attractions like the Umbra Forest, Lecce, olive groves and vineyards of the Itria Valley.

- One good base in Calabria. Same strategy as Puglia likely stay on/near the Tyrrhenian coast, but we will be driving inland to see the mountains, the Ionian coast, and any other ideas you have.

We are all in our early 70s, in good enough health to do a reasonable amount of walking, but not looking for major hikes or other highly strenuous activities. Thanks for whatever help you can offer.
phillyboy is offline  
Old Jan 16th, 2023, 12:51 PM
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I spent 5 nights in Lecce and 5 nights in Polignano a Mare and enjoyed both very much. Easy to do daytrips by train from both except to Matera (but you have a car if I remember correctly).
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Old Jan 16th, 2023, 02:57 PM
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Yo PB,
Below is our TR (sorry no fotos yet). It could be useful.
Stanley Tucci showed Tropea during his recent episode and that too might inform your choices.
I am done. the end
Bella Puglia (also Basilicata and Rome)
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Old Jan 16th, 2023, 06:47 PM
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BowenLinda - Thanks for your suggestions, we are especially interested in Polignano and Lecce.

zebec - Quite an entertaining and informative TR. You have a real talent. Some great information there, I may come back with some specific questions. Thanks very much.
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Old Jan 17th, 2023, 08:06 AM
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The Gargano got nixed from both of my Puglia trips because it is a bit isolated--check drive times. It looks gorgeous, so if I was looking for beach and hiking only, that is where I would go. If you want options of other things to do, I would look at the central and southern areas for bases (Itria Valley and Lecce, for example).
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Old Jan 17th, 2023, 09:44 AM
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I would spend your two weeks in Puglia, so many places to see and enjoy.
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Old Jan 17th, 2023, 03:12 PM
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Yorkshire - yes, I can see that the Gargano is a long way from Southern Puglia, hoping we can get there.

Happy - Id happily stay in any one region of Italy for 2+ weeks, and we could possibly end up doing that. But at this point, we hope to get to Calabria for at least a few days.
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Old Jan 22nd, 2023, 02:29 PM
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We stayed in Polignano a Mare for ten days and highly recommend it as a base.
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Old Jan 24th, 2023, 07:01 PM
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Thanks Happy.
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